Queen Victoria

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Queen Victoria was born on May 24, 1819. She was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent who was the minor son of the reigning King George III, and Victoire of Saxe-Coburg, who was a German princess. Both her father and grandfather died in 1820, the year her uncle became King George IV. When George died without issue in 1830, Victoria stood to reign the throne after the daughter of her second royal uncle, King William IV, died in infancy. William himself died in 1837, and the eighteen-year-old princess became Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland on June twenty that year. Victoria was a virgin queen until February 10, 1840, when day she married her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg Gotha. Victoria had nine children in the next seventeen years, one of them the future King Edward VII. Albert was a patron of the arts, sciences, industries, and he helped organize the famous Great Exhibition of 1851 at the "Crystal Palace." Victoria doted on her husband, he influenced her greatly and became her most trusted matters of state. The other major influence early in her reign was her first Prime Minister William Lamb, the second Viscount Melbourne, of the liberal party. These early years of Victorian rule saw major changes in British education, with the Grammar Schools Act of 1840 and the founding of Queen's College for women in London in 1848. When Prince Albert died in 1861, the queen was devastated and went into deep sadness. She hardly appeared in public until the end of the 1860s, and during this time Great Britain saw a major change in favor of a a republican government and for the abolishment of monarch powers. However, with the help of Benjamin Disraeli, the prime minister in 1868 and again from 1874 to 1880, the queen eventually accepted a more public and influential role in the government. Throughout the middle years of her reign, Victoria had authority over Britain's involvement in the Crimean War (1854–56). She also presided over...
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