Tag Archives: Queen Victoria

Women’s History: May 24

24 May

Happy Birthday, Queen Victoria

Happy Birthday, Queen Victoria.  Queen Victoria was the longest ruling monarch of Great Britain, ruling from June 20, 1837 to January 22, 1901.  Our Elizabeth II is catching up, and may usurp Victoria’s title in four years and 100 days, but who’s counting?After reining for 63 years, it seemed most fitting to give Vicky her own era, The Victorian Era–a time known for great repression, “stiff upper lip”.

Most people are familiar with her marriage to her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.  Victoria and Albert had nine children.  Most of their children and grandchildren married into other royal families across Europe, thus earning Victoria the nickname,  “the grandmother of Europe”.  The irony of Queen Victoria is that while she held rather provincial views as to the role of women and mothers, she herself held a domineering presence, albeit the monarch’s status even at this point was more figurehead than actual policy maker.  While Albert was alive, Victoria deferred to her husband and promoted his activity within government.  Prince Albert was an abolitionist and worked to end slavery in Great Britain.  Adding to the irony, Victoria was none too happy to have “Mother” living with her, but by law, she was not allowed to live alone as Queen.  In order to remedy the problem of “Mother” Victoria would have to marry, as reported by her Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, to which she replied: “…schocking [sic] alternative”.  Victoria was very much in love with Albert, if we are to believe what she recorded in her journals:

I NEVER, NEVER spent such an evening!!! MY DEAREST DEAREST DEAR Albert … his excessive love & affection gave me feelings of heavenly love & happiness I never could have hoped to have felt before! He clasped me in his arms, & we kissed each other again & again! His beauty, his sweetness & gentleness – really how can I ever be thankful enough to have such a Husband! … to be called by names of tenderness, I have never yet heard used to me before – was bliss beyond belief! Oh! This was the happiest day of my life!

Being the eternal Anglophile that I am, I have always been fascinated by Queen Victoria and the British Monarchy.  Click here to learn more about Queen Victoria.

Women’s History: February 10

10 Feb

First African-American to become an international soprano opera star

Happy Birthday, Leontyne Price. Price was the first African-American to become an international soprano opera star; quite impressive, given she rose to fame during the very ugly, racially charged times of the 1950’s and 1960’s.  At 14, she was taken on a school trip to hear Marian Anderson sing, and she remembered the experience as inspirational. In 1955, (the same year Rosa Parks was arrested) Price was chosen to sing the title role in a television production of Tosca, becoming the first black singer on a televised opera production. In 1964, she won the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1989, Price won a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement Award.

February 10, 1840, Queen Victoria marries Prince Albert.

Quote of the day:

    Accomplishments have no color.–Leontyne Price

Women’s History, January 22

22 Jan

The Age of Morality (?)

January 22, 1901. Queen Victoria dies. Victoria ruled over Great Britain for 64 years. She took the throne at eighteen years of age and ruled until her death at 82 years old. Her marriage to her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, was legendary. They had nine children together and upon Albert’s death, Victoria plunged into a deep depression.  Their nine children and 26 of their 42 grandchildren married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the nickname “the grandmother of Europe.”

January 22, 1554, Lady Catherine Grey dies.  Catherine was the younger sister of Henry VIII and the younger sister of Grey Lady Jane Grey, a.k.a. The Nine Day Queen, who was then executed for treason.

Happy Birthday, Beatrice Potter Webb.  Webb was a sociologist, economist, reformer and a co-founder of the London School of Economics.  Webb identified as a socialist.  Webb collaborated with her husband in drafting the policy statement, Labour and the New Social Order.


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