Queen Victoria Essay, Research Paper
On November 6, 1817 Princess Charlotte,
the only heir to the crown of England died. She was the only child of the
Prince Regent and was not a happy women. She was married off to prince
of Orange at the age or 17, but broke off the marriage after falling in
love with Prince Augustus of Prussia. He was already married but she was
unaware and she continued seeing him. After a long time of Prince Leopold
of Saxe-Cobury admiring her, Princess Charlotte gave him a chance and finally
they were married in 1816. Later she got pregnant and for nine months of
doctors told her that she was not in good health to have the baby on November
5, 1817 at nine o’clock in the evening after a 50 hour labor, Princess
Charlotte delivered a dead baby boy. That night she was obviously dying.
The Prince was in her room for hours and left for but a moment when a doctor
came out and told him his wife was dead.
After many controversies between the royal
family about who was to become the heir to the crown there was a female
infant born in Kensington Palace in London on May 24, 1819.
Born Alexandrina Victoria to Victoria Mary
Louisa, daughter of the Duke of Saxe-Cobury-Saalfeld, and Edward Augustus,
duke of Kent and Strathern, the fourth son of George III and youngest brother
of George IV and William IV, both kings of Great Britain.
In January of 1920 the Duke a Kent remembered
a prophecy that a fortune teller told him. The fortune teller said two
members of the royal family would die. The Duke of Kent never would have
thought one of the two members would be him and the other would be his
father George III. The Duke of Kent caught a cold and inflammation of lungs
occurred and he died on January 22 and then six days later his father’s
long, unhappy life was ended. Victoria called Drina by her family was raised
in Kensington Palace and was very spoiled she was idolized by her mother’s
ladies and despite her mother’s strictness about her being spoiled, she
had everything she cloud have wanted. At the age of five, Fraulein Lehzen
came who was the previous governess of Princess Feodoram she helped Drina
learn her letters and she acted like an angel unlike before the arrival
of Fraulein Lehzen when she was naughty and violent.
In 1830 Victoria was told that she was
to become heir to the British crown upon the accession of William IV. This
was to occur because William IV had no legitimate children therefore his
niece was to become queen. In 1833 a few days before Victoria’s eighteenth
birthday and the date of her legal majority the king fell very ill. He
recovered and the Princess had her birthday festivities which was a stale
ball and a drawing room suddenly. Shortly later the King collapsed due
to extreme weakness and everyone knew his death was close at hand. On,
June 18, the King fell very ill and two days later early in the morning
on June 20, 1837 the King saw his final sunset and Princess Victoria had
become Queen Victoria.
The Queen was very unknown to her subjects.
At her public addresses her mother usually spoke. Once the public started
to know her they realized that she was the contrast of her selfish and
ridiculous uncles. Within a month of her rule she moved the royal household
from Kensington to Buckingham Palace. She moved her mother into an entirely
different section of the palace than hers. Then she had a bedroom for Baroness
Lehzen placed right next to hers. Lord Melbourne was Prime Minister of
England for three years. He taught Queen Victoria much about the government
because she was led a sheltered life and knew nothing about the government
and its working. He taught her about the government, told her how to relate
to the people, and advised her on Acts and Bills to be passed. She gained
a clear grasp of constitutional principles and the scope of her own prerogative.
After six months of her depending completely on him their was an election
for the nest Prime Minister. Sir Robert Peel had beaten Lord Melbourne
and he would have to leave the Queen. She was very emotionally upset but
had to now depend on Peel. She disliked him and wrote Melbourne numerous
times for advice. Later Peel was “fired” by the Queen and Lord Melbourne
was again her Prime Minister.
Victoria’s Uncle Leopold had determined
that she would marry her cousin Albert. She told the public that she liked
him very much and that he would make the happy but in her diaries she said
that she didn’t like him and didn’t want to marry him. In fact she told
Lord Melbourne that she had no desire to get married at all. After one
meeting with him her opinion changed and she really liked Albert now. She
then met with him again and they agreed to get married. In 1840 Victoria
married Albert, who was prince of Saxe-Cobury- Gotha. He grew up a clever
boy who was sometimes violent. He was always told he was going to be married
to Victoria and he anticipated it. He was tutored and later attended a
university. Although their marriage was a marriage of the state it was
very successful and romantic. Victoria was devoted to her domestic responsibilities.
Victoria and Albert had nine children,
four sons and five daughters. The first was Victoria Adelaide Mary Lousie,
who later was Empress of Germany. Their first son was born in 1841 and
his name was Albert Edward, Prince of Wales and later King of Great Britain
known as Edward VII. After having children Victoria became very dependent
on Albert. She turned most of her power over to Albert although she officially
still ruled. Albert convinced her that the Liberal party jeopardized the
future of the crown, the queen lost her enthusiasm for the party. After
1841, when Lord Melbourne’s government fell, Sir Robert Peel became Prime
Minister and Victoria became a supporter of the Conservative Party. Due
to Albert she also began to question the tradition that restricted the
British sovereign to an advisory rule.
In 1850 Victoria challenged the authority
of Henry John Temple. Her position was that the sovereign should at least
be consulted on foreign policy. Palmerson ignored her request and they
struggle climaxed in 1851 when the prime minister who was displeased with
Palmerson dismissed him from office. Their struggle with Palmerson who
was very popular caused Victoria and Albert to lose popularity. Their popularity
decrease even more in 1854 when they tried to avert the Crimean War. After
the was begun they supported it greatly in 1856, she even instituted the
Victorian Cross, The highest British award for wartime valor.
Albert had become a man of unbending determination
who took no interest in politics. He still basically ran the country with
the consultation of Victoria. She saw how much her husband did and how
much time he put into his work.
Victoria was told that her husband was
sick but she didn’t want to face the fact that her husband was dying. On
the morning of December 14, 1861 Albert seemed better but in the course
of the day there was a serious relapse. The whole family was called one
by one to say farewell to their father and husband. He whispered something
to Victoria but she was unable to understand him. She left for a moment
to go into the other room and was called back immediately. She knelt by
his bed and he breathed deeply then gently then no more. She screamed throughout
the castle and finally had realized that he was gone forever.
After Albert’s death Victoria went into
a long seclusion neglecting many duties which brought her unpopularity
and motivated a Republican movement. The Queen herself felt that her life
had ceased with Albert’s. Conservative Party leader Benjamin Disraeli who
held office in 1868 and from 1874 to 1880, gained her confidence. He ingratiated
himself with the queen by his personal approach and his gift for flattery.
He also gave her a say in the awarding of church, military, and some political
She greatly disliked Gladstone who was
a follower of Peel and a Prime Minister. Disraeli and Gladstone had different
approaches at every situation. She fully endorsed Disraeli and his policy
of strengthening and extending the British Empire and 1876 he gave her
the title of Empress of India. Because of this title her popularity with
her subjects raised greatly.