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Queen Victoria ruled for 64 years, from 1837 to 1901, and the whole world changed as a result – Britain became the most powerful nation on Earth, ruling over 25% of the population. The population of Britain itself doubled and that population became mobile with the introduction of a national rail network.
Victoria was born in 1819, becoming queen at just 18 years of age. Her name at birth was Alexandrina Victoria though she was formally addressed as Her Royal Highness Princess Victoria of Kent. Her first language was German – she came from a family of Germans – though she learnt French and English aged 3 and, when she became Empress of India in 1876, she also learnt Hindustani!
At the age of 21 she married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg Gotha who was her cousin. They had 9 children, 40 grand-children and 37 great-grandchildren, many of whom married into the Royal Families of Europe.
When Albert died in 1861 she mourned for 10 years and famously wore black for the rest of her reign.
Did you know that Queen Victoria learnt to speak Hindustani..?