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Queen Victoria

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Born on 24 May, 1819 in Kensington Palace, Alexandrina Victoria was the only daughter of Edward, the Duke of Kent and Victoria Maria Louisa of Saxe-Coburg. At birth, Victoria was the fifth in line after her father and his three older brothers. Eight months after her birth, her father had died and she was the next in line as her three uncles before her had no legitimate children who survived. In 1830 after her uncle George IV died, she became heiress presumptive next to her surviving uncle, William IV. The Regency Act of 1830 made special provision for the Duchess of Kent to act as her regent just in case William died while Victoria was still a minor. King William in 1836 declared in the Duchess’ presence that he wanted to live until Victoria’s 18th birthday, so that the regency could be avoided. Victoria’s childhood was described as “melancholy”. Her mother, whom was overly protective of her daughter, formed the Kensington System. The system in practice allowed Victoria to never leave the sides of her mother, tutor or her governess. She was isolated from other children and in that, the Duchess of Kent and her attendant, Sir Conroy supervised and noted every action the heiress did as well as who she was and was not allowed to see. During her daily rituals, her lessons often included French, German, Italian and Latin but only English was spoken at home. On 24 May 1837, Victoria turned 18 and the regency was avoided as King William had hoped for. On 20 June 1837, King William IV died at the age of 71; Victoria was then Queen of the United Kingdom. The government at the time was led by the Whig Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne who had deeply influenced the Queen. Melbourne was a childless widower and considered Victoria to be his o... ... middle of paper ... ...of her time, surpassing her grandfather George III by three days. She was also the last monarch of the House of Hanover. Victoria wrote on average 2500 words a day during her adult life. She encompassed 122 volumes of her detailed daily life from July 1832 just until before her death. Beatrice was appointed her literary executor shortly after her mother’s death. Beatrice, having edited the diaries on her own hand burned the originals in the process. To this day, despite the destruction, much of the diaries still exist. Works Cited • Benson, E.F. Queen Victoria. New York: Marboro Books Corp., 1992. • “Victoria”. The Encyclopedia Americana International Edition. Vol 28. 1996. • “Queen Victoria: Biography”. http://spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/PRvictoria.htm 7/9/11 • “Queen Victoria”. http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_Victoria_of_the_United_Kingdom 7/9/11
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