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With the death of King William IV of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, King of Hanover, on June 20, 1837, his 18 year old niece ascends the throne as Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria was christened as Alexandrina Victoria and for a while was known as “Drina” in her youth. The first official documents prepared for her on her first day as queen named her Queen Alexandrina Victoria. However the queen requested it to be changed and stated she wanted to be known as Victoria.

Queen Victoria was the only daughter of HRH Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and   Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Her father was the fourth son of King George III and he died in 1820. With both George IV and William IV leaving no legitimate offspring Victoria was heir to the throne. Her accession to the throne also witnessed the separation of the personal union between the United Kingdom and Hanover. Since women were not allowed to rule in Hanover in their own right the Kingdom of Hanover went to her her uncle, HRH the Duke of Cumberland, who became King Ernst August of Hanover. To this day his descendants still call themselves Princes/Princesses of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (retaining this outdated title) which is not recognized in Britain. 

Early in her reign she was able to remove herself from the influence of her mother HRH The Duchess of Kent and her friend and comptroller Sir John Conroy whom she detested. During her first years of her reign she was greatly influenced by her Prime Minister, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne. 

Here is an excerpt from her journal expressing her thoughts upon her accession. 

“I was awoke at 6 o’clock by Mamma, who told me the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Conyngham were here and wished to see me. I got out of bed and went into my sitting-room (only in my dressing gown) and alone, and saw them. Lord Conyngham then acquainted me that my poor Uncle, the King, was no more, and had expired at 12 minutes past 2 this morning, and consequently that I am Queen.” 

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