Queen Victoria's reign, lasted 63 years, from 1837 to 1901. She ascended the throne of Great Britain, when she was 18. Despite being the Queen of Britain, and a very influential and prominent person, she also had an impact on Australian history. In Australia the most apparent legacy of Queen Victoria's reign is manifested in the names of the two states, Victoria and Queensland. There are also a large number of other important buildings and places, named in her honor such as, the Queen Victoria Building, in Sydney.
Victoria was loved and respected by her subjects, and Australian society at the time was affected greatly by the loss of their beloved Queen. An example of the affection and grief felt by the Australian people is apparent in the following poem, written by J D Horne of Castlemaine, Victoria.
"Who can recall to memory the life
Of one so loved, so dear
A devoted mother, Queen and wife
A friend when few drew near
And not in silent agony
Be melted into tears.
A nation weeps her,
The whole world mourns her...
Dead, did I say? Ah! No! She lives
In every loving heart.
A nation's grief is not assuaged
No time can heal the smart.
She lives forever, and her deeds
Will live in memory too,
And history recount her praise
For all the ages through.
For never monarch lived on earth
So worthy of our song..."
The Victorian era, as it became known, was the time of Queen Victoria's reign. Victoria's death signaled the end of an era. It was a rich and significant period in Britain, which had a positive influence on Australia also. It saw profound social changes culminating in the rise of the middle class, population growth, and an increase in wealth. Victoria was Queen and so it was seen as a product of her reign and so the love for her increased. Victoria's death created a feeling of insecurity and uncertainty of what would result. However, it also created the feeling of opportunity and a new beginning. "There was...