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Queen Victoria's 200th Birthday
Intro CopyLet's say you are a contestant on the game show Jeopardy, and Alex Trebek asks you to fill in this phrase: "The _____ Era." More than likely your answer would be, properly phrased in the form of a question: " What is the Victorian Era." Alexandrina Victoria, born May 24, 1819, became Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in June 1837 and ruled until her death in 1901. She also took the title Empress of India in 1876. During her 63-year reign, she saw her nation serve as the world’s biggest empire, with one-quarter of the global population owing allegiance to the United Kingdom. At that time it could truly be said that “the sun never sets on the British Empire.” Victoria ascended to the throne at the age of 18. She married her first cousin Prince Albert in 1840, and theirs became one of the great royal love stories of that century. They had nine children and 42 grandchildren, most of whom married into other royal families which helped to gain her the unofficial title of “The Grandmother of Europe.” In fact, at one time, her grandchildren included King George V of England, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and Alexandra Feodorovna, Empress and wife of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, all ruling during the time leading up to World War I. Victoria and Albert both had an active interest in the arts and sciences, which flourished during her reign. Just a few of the innovations and events that occurred during her era include the first telegraph, the People’s Charter, the end of slavery, the first modern railroad line, the first postage stamp, the works of Charles Dickens, the smallpox vaccine and Darwin’s Origin of Species. When Albert died at the age of 42 in 1861, the Queen sank into a deep depression. She wore black for the rest of her reign. Even though she was loved by most of her subjects, she survived eight assassination attempts. Victoria died on the Isle of Wight in January 1901, then the longest reigning monarch in British history. She has since been surpassed by the current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Leading up to Victoria’s 200th birthday on May 24th, Social Studies teachers can use eLibrary to help students learn about this fascinating historical figure. Another great learning resource is Queen Victoria's Journals on ProQuest! You can learn more about Queen Victoria’s life at Kensington Palace by visiting the official website. You can also follow the Royal Family on Twitter. If you would like to share what you’ve learned about Victoria during the 200th anniversary of her birth, you can Tweet me me at: https://twitter.com/tommymike9 Don't have eLibrary? Request a Free Trial!