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Her Majesty Queen Victoria Essay

1116 words - 5 pages

How would it feel to carry an entire country’s problems on one’s own shoulders? That is precisely what all kings and queens have to do. However, Queen Victoria had to carry England’s weight longer than any other English monarch. For sixty-four years she reigned, longer than any of English monarch. That is essentially what makes Queen Victoria famous. The sixty-four years under her control became known as the Victorian Era, an era that provided many advances in science, politics, education, and literature (Shepherd). With such a long reign, however, problems were to arise. Long before her reign, during her reign, and towards the end of it, Queen Victoria took on the responsibility that very few could—the responsibility of ruling an entire kingdom and keeping its people happy.
Many girls remember a happy childhood of playing with dolls, learning to sew, and helping their mothers in the kitchen. For Victoria, that was not a choice. Born on May 24, 1819, Alexandrina Victoria was already royal. Her father was Edward, the Duke of Kent, the fourth son of King George III (Pruitt), and her mother, Princess Victoire of Leiningen and the daughter of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg, automatically giving the title of Princess of Saxe-Coburg to Victoria. At a young age, her father died pneumonia. George IV, a prince at the time and the Duke of Kent’s older brother, despised the fact that his brother’s child would be his heir, especially since he had no legitimate children to take his place. He forbade Victoria to be named the traditional names of her royal predecessors and instead made her take her mother’s name instead (Hindley 8-9). Due to the family politics involved, her mother and her mother’s advisor, Sir John Conroy, isolated Victoria to Kensington Palace. There, she was raised by her mother, her governess, and her uncle, Leopold, King of the Belgians, all of who educate Victoria and make her the woman she was (Moncrieff 123).
At a young age, Victoria knew her fate. When her uncle died in the summer of 1830, eleven-year-old Victoria knew she would soon be the Queen of England (Hindley 9). She cried from shock but then simply stated: “I will be good” (Moncrieff 123). When she turned eighteen in 1837, she ascended to the throne. With help from her mother and her Uncle Leopold, Victoria met Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg (Moncrieff 123-124) and proposed to him on October 15, 1839 (“Queen Victoria.” History Net). The 1840s and 50s of Queen Victoria’s reign were known as the Hungry Forties. With the Corn Laws active, wages were low and bread prices high, making bread unaffordable to the average person. The Irish Potato Famine in 1845 and 1846 only stressed the current situation, causing Queen Victoria herself to ration her household’s food. However, once the Corn Laws were repealed by Sir Robert Peel, the new Prime Minister, those whose wealth survived the Corn Laws experienced a higher standard of living, thus igniting the flames for the...

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