Edward Duke of Kent, George IV, Kings and Queens of England, kings and queens of Scotland, kings and queens of the United Kingdom, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, The Prince Regent, William IV of the United Kingdom
On this date: May 24, 1819. Birth of future Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India. She was the daughter Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (4th son of King George III of the United Kingdom) and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.
Victoria was christened privately by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Manners-Sutton, on June 24, 1819 in the Cupola Room at Kensington Palace. She was baptised Alexandrina, after one of her godparents, Emperor Alexander I of Russia, and Victoria, after her mother. Additional names proposed by her parents—Georgina (or Georgiana), Charlotte, and Augusta—were dropped on the instructions of the Duke’s eldest brother, George, the Prince Regent.
At birth, Victoria was fifth in the line of succession after the four eldest sons of George III: George, the Prince Regent (later George IV); Frederick, the Duke of York; William, the Duke of Clarence (later William IV); and Victoria’s father, Edward, the Duke of Kent.
The Prince Regent had no surviving children, and the Duke of York had no children; further, both were estranged from their wives, who were both past child-bearing age, so the two eldest brothers were unlikely to have any further children. The Duke of Clarence and the Duke of Kent married on the same day in 1818, but both of Clarence’s daughters (born in 1819 and 1820) died as infants. Victoria’s father died in January 1820, when Victoria was less than a year old.
A week later her grandfather died and was succeeded by his eldest son, George IV. The Duke of York died in 1827. When George IV died in 1830, he was succeeded by his next surviving brother, William IV, and Victoria became heir presumptive. The Regency Act 1830 made special provision for the Duchess of Kent (Victoria’s mother) to act as regent in case William died while Victoria was still a minor. King William IV distrusted the Duchess’s capacity to be regent, and in 1836 he declared in her presence that he wanted to live until Victoria’s 18th birthday, so that a regency could be avoided.
In 1837 she succeeded to the throne on the death of her uncle King William IV. She reigned over her vast Empire until her death on January 22, 1901 and a reign of 63 years. At the time she was Britains longest ruling monarch until she was surpassed by her great-great granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II in 2015...