Victorian London

Princess Victoria was born on 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace. She was the only daughter of Edward, Duke of Kent, the fourth son of George III. Her father died shortly after her birth and she became heir to the throne because her three uncles who were ahead of her in succession - George IV, Frederick Duke of York, and William IV - they had no legitimate children who survived. Victoria developed a gift for drawing and painting; educated by a governess at home, she was a natural diarist and kept a regular journal throughout her life. On William IV's death in 1837, Victoria was crowned Queen of England on the 9th of November 1837, at the tender age of 18. So when you look for a start date for the Victorian age it was then. The Victorian era is associated with Britain's great age of industrial revolution, economic progress and - empire building. At her death in 1901, it was said, Britain had a worldwide empire where the sun never set.


She got married in 1840 to Prince Albert who took an active interest in the arts, science, trade and industry; the project which he is best remembered for was the Great Exhibition that was held in Hyde Park in 1851, a stone's throw from Kensington Palace, and where the Albert Memorial now stands. The profits from this exhibition helped to establish the South Kensington museums complex in London. Her marriage to Prince Albert brought nine children between 1840 and 1857. Most of her children married into other royal families of Europe: Edward VII (born 1841, married Alexandra, daughter of Christian IX of Denmark); Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (born 1844, married Marie of Russia); Arthur, Duke of Connaught (born 1850, married Louise Margaret of Prussia); Leopold, Duke of Albany (born 1853, married Helen of Waldeck-Pyrmont); Victoria, Princess Royal (born 1840, married Friedrich III, German Emperor); Alice (born 1843, married Ludwig IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine); Helena (born 1846, married Christian of Schleswig-Holstein); Louise (born 1848, married John Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll); Beatrice (born 1857, married Henry of Battenberg). Victoria bought Osborne House (later presented to the nation by Edward VII) on the Isle of Wight as a family home in 1845, and Albert bought Balmoral in 1852.

Prince Albert Memorial

Prince Albert Memorial, Kensington. The best statue in London by far, that was paid for by public subscription and stands opposite the Albert Hall on the site of Prince Albert's Great Exhibition. It was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and unveiled by Queen Victoria in 1876. The book he holds in his right hand is not the Bible but a catalogue of the Great Exhibition of 1851.

London Time

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