Queen Victoria Facts

Here are some facts about Queen Victoria, the 19th century British monarch.

  • Queen Victoria was the longest reigning British monarch in history. She was Queen from June, 1837 until her death in January, 1901.
  • She was born on May 24, 1819 and married her first cousin, Prince Albert in 1840. The couple had 9 children, all of whom married into European royal families, and Victoria was often known as the grandmother of Europe.

  • Although she had 9 children, Victoria was never happy at having to go through the experience of giving birth. One time she took chloroform, which helped many women realize they could give birth without pain.

Queen Victoria

  • She was the first monarch to live at Buckingham Palace in London. Queen Victoria’s coronation took place on June 28, 1838.
  • Queen Victoria was a prolific writer, writing about 2,500 words every day during her adult life. Although some of her diaries were accidentally destroyed, many of these 122 volumes survive to this day.
  • Victoria did not like smoking and had ‘no smoking’ signs placed in almost all the rooms in the palace. She also did not like using the newly invented telephone.
  • She enjoyed looking at art and was quite a talented artist herself. On several birthdays and anniversaries, she gave her husband a painting depicting nude, or near nude women.
  • Although the common image of Queen Victoria is of a serious looking woman, she had her fun side. She enjoyed a good joke, going to the opera, dancing and playing the piano.
  • Queen Victoria was devastated when her husband died in December, 1861. From that day on, she wore only black and was in a permanent state of mourning.
  • During her reign, there were at least seven attempts to kill her. Several of the would be assassins were sent to a mental asylum and were declared insane.
  • Queen Victoria could speak several languages, including Urdu and Hindustani. Although she never visited Canada, she declared Ottawa to be the capital of the province.
  • Named after the Queen, the Victoria Cross was introduced in 1856 for acts of bravery during the Crimean War. Today, it is still the highest award for bravery, not only in Britain, but in Canada and Australia.
  • Although she treated her staff well, she did not care for Prime Minister Gladstone. Often, she would remain standing so that he had to stand too, despite the fact that he was in his 80s.
  • The Penny Black, the first adhesive postage stamp, was released in Britain on 1st May 1840. It was designed by William Mulready and shows Queen Victoria in profile.

Penny Black

  • In the UK, hundreds of streets and squares are named after Queen Victoria, and there are many statues to her. London’s Victoria station is named after her, as well as the Victoria and Albert Museum.
  • Victoria Falls in Africa is named after Queen Victoria.
  • Many other places around the world are also named after her, including Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa, the capital of the Seychelles Islands, several Canadian cities and two states in Australia.
  • Queen Victoria’s reign is also known as the Victorian Era or the Victorian Period.

What next? Learn more about Queen Victoria and the Victorians by visiting the Primary Facts Victorians resources page.