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.

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.

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, wearing 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.

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).

Queen Victoria died on January 22, 1901, at the Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. In her lifetime, Victoria never liked black funerals, so in her honor, London was decorated in purple and white. U.S. 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.

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 these records were recently surpassed by her great-great-granddaughter Elizabeth II.

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

Victoria’s reign was of immense importance. Because of its sheer length, it insured the continuance of the Royal Family’s place in British government. Through Victoria’s influence, the present-day rights of the Crown were established: to be consulted, to encourage, and to warn. Victoria’s real influence grew as she intervened in disputes between political factions, and was a major factor in all foreign policy matters.

Click here for more Queen Victoria stamps.

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  1. Not a lot of content in this one. What did she do as Queen? What were the foreign policy decisions she was involved? What domestic policies?

  2. It was interesting to note that Victoria was the first foreigner that the USA lowered our Flag upon death. Now a days we seem to lower it for any incident of death. When I drive by our Post Office my first question is who died now? Special occasions need to remain special.

  3. other than ensuring the perks of her own position, i did not get an idea of what she accomplished in “disputes … and foreign policy matters”. please elucidate more. thank you for all your fascinating historical notes.

  4. Thank you Mystic for this fascinating and informative article on Queen Victoria. So many things I did not know about her. All the stamps are beautiful.

  5. Queen Victoria fell ill with Rheumatism-chronic pain of the joints and/or connective tissue, “arthritis”, also Cataract, a condition described as clouding of the lens in the eye, decrease in vision.
    Died Tuesday January 22,1901 at half past six in the evening at age 81. Her favorite Pet Pomerania Dog, Turi as a last request.

  6. I enjoy the short lessons in history and they are presented it this format. Those of you who are critical of the articles for not having enough info should familiarize themselves with this thing called the internet. If you seek more info then go out and look for it and stop expecting to be spoon fed.

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