Many of us associate Queen Victoria with stuffy collars and po-faced stoicism. Many also know she ruled the British Empire at the height of its power and was the longest-reigning British monarch until Queen Elizabeth surpassed her in 2015. Here are other interesting, less known facts and anecdotes about her:
Queen at 18
Alexandrina Victoria was born on May 24,
The Queen was deemed to have had an unhappy childhood due to the "Kensington System," which was developed by her mother, Victoria, Duchess of Kent, and her adviser, Sir John Conroy. She was required to adhere to rules such as having to share a room with her mother, not having any alone time, and not being exposed to the royal court.
The White Wedding
Queen Victoria fell in love with her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, when he visited Britain in 1839. She proposed to him five days later—royal protocol stated that he could not propose to her because she was queen—and they were married the following year. She wore a white lace dress (brides during that time wore their Sunday best) which started a wedding trend that we still see today.
The Grandmother of Europe
Victoria and Albert with their children
Victoria and Albert had nine children who were married into members of various European royal families to ensure Britain’s influence in the Empire and beyond. Some of her notable grandchildren include Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany and Tsarina Alexandra of Russia, but the family’s ties also extended to Greece, Romania, Sweden, Norway, and Spain.
The Royal Disease
As Victoria’s descendants married into royal families throughout Europe,
“We are Not Amused”
This line is famously attributed to Queen Victoria, who supposedly uttered this upon hearing a risque story during dinner at Windsor Castle. However, she is also understood to have denied ever saying this, according to her granddaughter Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone.
The Worst Heartbreak
The widowed queen
Prince Albert, the Queen’s husband, died in 1861 at the age of 42. The royal couple was known for having a loving and passionate marriage, and Victoria was devastated
The Little Woman
Despite being only four feet and eleven inches in height, the Queen was known as an outspoken ruler who led the British Empire at its height (it extended all the way to India during her reign). She is also assumed to have had a 50-inch waistline by the end of her life, and this was supported by a nightgown and pair of bloomers that she owned.