Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria ruled the British Empire for nearly 64 years, after ascending the throne just weeks after turning 18. She was the second-longest-reigning English royal in history, topped only by her great-great-granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II. While short in stature–she was barely 5 feet tall–Victoria was a giant in shaping the modern monarchy, leaving her mark on what has come to be called the Victorian Era.

Early Life and Ascension to the Throne

Alexandrina Victoria was born on May 24, 1819, at London’s Kensington Palace to Edward, Duke of Kent, the fourth son of King George III, and his wife, Princess Maria Louisa Victoria, who was of German descent. Named for her godfather, Russian Tsar Alexander I, she was fifth in line for the crown at birth.

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