Death Of Queen Victoria 

Great Britain #Black1xxx – Victoria insisted the portrait of her on the Penny Black be the only image of her on Britain’s postage stamps.  Click image to order. 

On January 22, 1901, the longest-reigning British monarch up to that time, Queen Victoria, died.

The queen was born on May 24, 1819, to Edward, Duke of Kent and Victoria, Princess of Saxe-Coburg of Germany at Kensington Palace. She was baptized in the name of Alexandrina Victoria after her cousin, Tsar Alexander I of Russia. Although her first language was German, Drina (as she was called at home) also learned English and French.

Canada #26 – From Canada’s popular Large Queen Issue.  Click image to order. 

Victoria became Queen of England at age 18 when her uncle, William IV, died. (Her father had died when she was eight months old.) Three years after being crowned, Victoria married her German cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Their loving marriage produced nine children – 4 sons and 5 daughters. However, in 1861 Albert died of typhoid, likely caused by primitive sanitary conditions at Windsor Castle. Devastated by her husband’s death, in addition to her mother’s death months earlier, Victoria went into seclusion that lasted 20 years, and wore black for the rest of her life.

Canada #46 pictures Victoria in her “widow’s weeds” which she wore from the time of her husband’s death until her own.  Click image to order. 

In 1887, Victoria celebrated her Golden Jubilee, the 50th anniversary of her becoming Queen. Nine years later, she reached another milestone, surpassing George III as the longest reigning monarch in English, Scottish, and British history. She chose to celebrate this milestone the following year, in 1897, to coincide with her Diamond Jubilee (60th anniversary as Queen).

Victoria’s reign was of immense importance.  Because of its sheer length, it insured the continuance of the Royal Family’s place in the British government.  In the 1840s, social bitterness was openly expressed in terms of revolution and class warfare.  It was not an easy time.  Monarchies were crumbling all around as class distinctions were disappearing with the advance of the industrial age and a generally improved standard of living.

Canada #88 was overprinted due to a shortage of 2¢ stamps. Click image to order. 

Through Victoria’s influence, the present-day rights of the Crown were established: to be consulted, to encourage, and to warn. While her actual power continued to ebb and parliamentary rule advanced, Victoria’s real influence grew.  She intervened in disputes between political factions and was a major factor in all foreign policy matters.  Victoria was respected by the English people for her honesty and direct simplicity.

Queen Victoria died on January 22, 1901, at the Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. she left behind a Royal Government both restored to popularity and dignity.  She also left 37 great-grandchildren. In her lifetime, Victoria never liked black funerals, so in her honor, London was decorated in purple and white. US President William McKinley ordered all American flags be flown at half-mast in her honor. This was the first time a foreign monarch was paid this respect.

Canada #54 was issued for Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.  Click image to order. 

In all, Victoria reigned for 63 years, seven months, and two days. For over a century she held the record for the longest reign of any British monarch and the longest-lived monarch (she lived three days longer than her grandfather, George III). But her great-great-granddaughter Elizabeth II recently surpassed these records.

Click here for more Queen Victoria stamps and here for more Great Britain stamps, including many early issues that picture Queen Victoria.

Click here to see what else happened on This Day in History.

Did you like this article? Click here to rate:
Share this Article


    1. I have a world wall map with the black penny stamps commemoratives of the 100th and the 150th yeas emission from many countries, a lot of them from the BCW

  1. 4 Mr sandman (?) I was interested in a perfvguageb but sinveci found some in the clutter (?), I will not need to order oneThe half pound , ordered and received, may justvgo into the garbage.
    Started soaking it, we sorting it, started on arrived 3 pound newly used, ’18 stamps used on only shippments. 25 diff countries, from algeria, to un, NYC some are really nice my printedused, AND NOW soaked and sorted. WISH I HAD ACCESS TO NEWEST EDITION OF SCOTTSO AS TO CORRECTLY IDENTIFYV

  2. As there is now a television series on Victoria, this information is most timely. Thank you!
    I now have a text on British History (1815-1906) by Norman McCord that will get more attention.

  3. When I click on the stars to rate the article, nothing happens. I have one question, what historical personage has the record for the most stamps issued with his/her face. The answer to this question will settle a bet. Thanks for providing these short articles explaining the background of various stamps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *