In 1837 Queen Victoria took the throne after the death of her uncle William IV. Due to her secluded childhood, she displayed a personality marked by strong prejudices and a willful stubbornness.
The general public, however, was not enamored with the German prince; he was excluded from holding any official political position, was never granted a title of peerage and was named Prince Consort only after seventeen years of marriage.. His interests in art, science, and industry spurred him to organize the Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1851, a highly profitable industrial convention. He used the proceeds, some Ј186,000, to purchase lands in Kensington for the establishment of several cultural and industrial museums.Crystal Palace Exhibition
Barely eighteen, she refused any further influence from her domineering mother and ruled in her own stead. Popular respect for the Crown was at a low point at her coronation, but the modest and straightforward young Queen won the hearts of her subjects. She wished to be informed of political matters, although she had no direct input in policy decisions. The Reform Act of 1832 had set the standard of legislative authority residing in the House of Lords, with executive authority resting within a cabinet formed of members of the House of Commons; the monarch was essentially removed from the loop. She respected and worked well with Lord Melbourne (Prime Minister in the early years of her reign) and England grew both socially and economically.
Victoria was the daughter of Edward, the Duke of Kent and Princess Victoria of Saxe- Coburg. She was born in Kensington Palace in London on May 24th, 1819.
Her popularity was at its lowest by 1870, but it steadily increased thereafter until her death. In 1876 she was crowned Empress of India by Disraeli. In 1887 Victorias Golden Jubilee was a grand national celebration of her 50th year as Queen. The Golden Jubilee brought her out of her shell, and she once again embraced public life. She toured English possessions and even visited France (the first English monarch to do so since the coronation of Henry VI in 1431).
Prince Albert, Queen Victoria and their nine children. Left to right : Alice, Arthur, The Prince Consort, The Prince of Wales, Leopold ( in front of him), Louise, Queen Victoria with Beatrice, Alfred, Victoria and Helena