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Queen Victoria (1837-1901) 1842 Giclee Print

Queen Victorian by Franz Xavier Winterhalter, 1842 (6 years into her reign)

Today marks the 194th birthday of Queen Victoria. She was born Alexandrina Victoria in 1819 in Kensington Palace, London, England. At birth, Victoria was fifth in the line to the throne. Due to non-childbearing women, infant deaths, and the death of her grandfather and father, she moved ever so steadily up succession, until she was second in line. Her dear Uncle knew that if he should pass before his niece turned 18 years old, her mother would become Queen Regent, acting in her place until Victoria was no longer a minor. Luckily for the history and the world, King William saw that Victoria’s mother was just a puppet to Lord Conroy and knew in reality it would be Conroy pulling the strings of the nation. So King William shook his fist at Death and beat him back away from his door and held on with every once of his soul to maintain life until Victoria was 18. A month after her 18th birthday, King William made good on his promise and died of a “prolonged heart attack.”

While deeply tragic circumstances lead to the rise of Queen Victoria; nevertheless she went on to become England’s most famous and longest reigning monarch, although Queen Elizabeth II is currently tied for this title. (Give her a year, I am sure she will do trump Victoria). Queen Victoria was a constitutional monarch and unlike many of her predecessors, she did not have absolute power. She also lived a rather morally strict and humble lifestyle considering centuries of debaucheries which came before her. She was credited for many things to the era which she lends her name, but she was a complicated woman. She was slow to learn, but usually diligent in her studies and once she learned something she almost never forgot. Due to her ridiculously and depressing upbringing she had “mommy issues” for much of her life. The restricted environment of her childhood marred her personality until her dying day as much as she tried to shed its skin. Victoria was notoriously stubborn and headstrong. She was incredibly moody and completely dependent on her husband for emotional support. All her married life was devoted to Albert. Besotted does not begin to describe her attachment; it was more akin to worship, though I hesitate to use the word choice should it sound blasphemous. I shall save Albert and his influence for another post, but I assure you it was a loving and generous influence. Victoria may best be remembered for her 40 years mourning and the serious pall cast on her Court. Of course, as fate would have it, there was the wonders (let us focus on the positive here) Industrial Revolution! The science! The fashion! The Rules! The social reform! The fashion! The arts! The novels! The music! The FASHION! Are you noticing a trend?

To the nucleus of the era that forever captures my attention; hail the Queen. HAPPY BIRTHDAY QUEEN VICTORIA!!! *throws a handful of confetti into the air!*