Conservative - · The political party which succeeded the Tory party
in the mid-nineteenth century. The Conservatives were pro-Empire
in their policies and favored slow democratic reforms, if any,
in the ruling structure of Britain. They were more pro-business
than their Tory predecessors.
High Church - · A form of liturgy in the Church of England characterized
by its many rituals, traditional sacramental practices, and close similarities
to the rites of the Roman Catholic Church. Raised as a Lutheran,
Victoria was not fond of High Church Anglicanism, and preferred
the simple worship services of the Scottish Church and other more
formally Protesant denominations.
Home Rule - · Controversial policy idea pushed by some British Liberals
and desired by many of the Irish people to grant Ireland its own parliament,
rather than have Irish representatives sit in the British Parliament
in London. It was rejected consistently by parliaments throughout
Liberal - · The political party which succeeded the Whigs in the
mid-nineteenth century. The Liberals continued to champion democratic
reform efforts, were less imperialist in their politics than the
Conservatives, and tended to be more open to the establishment
of labor unions and other organizations that empowered traditionally
unrepresented groups in politics.
Prince Consort - · Title granted to Prince Albert, Victoria's husband,
in 1857. It reflected his official position in the Crown government,
which was wholly subordinate to the rule of his wife and Queen. Parliament
had originally been reluctant to grant him any official title,
fearing it would encourage him to behave as a king—a reasonable
fear considering Victoria's great personal dependence on her strong-minded
Republican movements - · Sporadic, non-violent revolutionary efforts in Britain
to change the principle of the nations's government from the constitutional "Crown,
King (or Queen), and Commons" to that of total popular sovereignty.
The republican effort was very strong at the beginning of Victoria's
reign as well as in the 1860s, when the Queen hid herself from
the public eye in mourning for her late husband, Prince Albert.
Tory - · Name of the conservative, monarchist political party
in Britain in the first part of the nineteenth century. Tories
were often opposed to democratic reform efforts in the Parliament,
favored protectionist trade policies, and often represented the
interests of the traditionalist elements in the Anglican Church
and the agricultural aristocracy.
Whig - · Name of the liberal political party in Britain in the
first part of the nineteenth century. Whigs usually favored free
trade and were often enthusiastic about democratic reform efforts
in the Parliament. They usually represented the merchant and middle-class
interests, along with those of a substantial portion of the moneyed
home in the Scottish Highlands where her family often went for
extended stays. The Queen adored Scottish ways and the romantic
beauty of the Highlands, and Balmoral reflected her penchant for
a more rustic way of living than most previous British monarchs
had ever shown.
Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield
- Conservative Prime Minister of Britain in 1868 and
again from 1874 to 1980. A staunch imperialist and also notably
open to democratic reforms in the government, Disraeli was Victoria's
favorite prime minister. He pushed through the bill that made her
Empress of India in 1876.
Edward, or Albert Edward, Prince of Wales
- Born in late 1841, the eldest son of Victoria, and
heir to the throne. He was crowned King of Great Britain and Ireland
in 1901 upon his mother's death. As a young man he continually
disappointed his mother's hopes, dropping out of college and showing
little talent or judgment. He lived a fast, cosmopolitan life with
gamblers, actresses, and similar people who Victoria disdained
servant of Victoria's who, in the mid-1860s, also became the Queen's
closest friend and confidante. Their relationship sparked many
rumors and scandalized many in Britain, though it is unknown whether
the relationship was sexual in nature. Brown's death in 1883 affected
the Queen deeply, and she mourned him in a manner similar to the
way she mourned her late husband, Prince Albert.
Leopold, King of the Belgians
- Uncle and father figure of Queen Victoria, brother
of Victoire of Saxe- Coburg. Leopold corresponded regularly with
his royal niece, who depended upon his wise counsel in matters
of state for many years.
Melbourne, William Lamb, Second Viscount
- Victoria's first Prime Minister, member of the Whig
party. Lord Melbourne was the Queen's most important adviser during
her first several years on the throne. He was also her political
mentor, teaching her many of the ins and outs of royal government
while she was young and inexperienced as a ruler.
on the Isle of Wight in 1845, the Queen's favorite retreat home
which she called "a place of our own" when writing to Prince Albert.
It was modest for a royal residence, reflecting Victoria's taste
for simplicity rather than grandeur.
Otto Von Bismarck
- Prussian Chancellor and chief architect of the new,
united German Empire constituted in 1870. Bismarck was one of the
chief figures in European politics in the nineteenth century. Victoria's
relations on the whole with Germany, the land of her mother's and
husband's birth, were very friendly.
Palmerston, Henry John Temple, Third Viscount
- Foreign Secretary of Britain early in Victoria's
reign and Whig Prime Minister in the mid-1850s and early 1860s.
He was the chief architect of Victorian foreign policy, as well
as a firm moderating influence on the liberal politics of his fellow
Whigs in Parliament, before his death in 1865 .
Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg Gotha
- Husband and Prince Consort of Queen Victoria, and
father of her nine children. He was German by birth, a cousin of
the Queen's, and married her in 1840. Victoria and Albert were
devoted to eachother, and Albert was her most important adviser
on all matters until his untimely death at the age of forty-two
in 1861. He was remembered especially for organizing the Great
Exhibition of 1850.
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
- Fourth son of King George III of Great Britain and
Ireland, father of Queen Victoria. He led a disreputable life before
marrying Victoire of Saxe-Coburg in 1818, and died only seven months
after the birth of his only daughter, who was destined to be Queen.
Princess Royal Victoria
- Born in late 1840, the firstborn of Victoria's nine
children, and future bride of the German Emperor Friedrich III.
Pretty, intelligent, and talented, she was very close to her mother
and she may have been the Queen's favorite child, often outshining her
younger brother Edward.
Sir John Conroy
- Comptroller of Victoire of Saxe-Coburg's household
at the palace of Kensington while the future Queen Victoria was
growing up. He was alleged to be a lover of Victoire's, though
the rumors were never substantiated. he is most known for attempting
to make himself young Victoria's regent, or power behind the scenes,
during her teen years, involving the household at Kensington in
several feuds with that of King William IV's court. Victoria stood
fast against his attempts to influence her, and shook off his power quickly
upon succession to the throne.
Victoire of Saxe-Coburg
- German princess, widow of Prince Charles Emich of
Leiningen, later Duchess of Kent, and mother of Queen Victoria.
She married Prince Edward, Duke of Kent in 1818, giving birth to Victoria,
her third and last child in May 1819. Her relationship with her
royal daughter was rocky; after Victoria's accession to the throne,
Victoire exercised little if any influence over the young queen.
April 29, 1819, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland from 1837 to
her death in 1901. Named Empress of India in 1876, she came to
transform the institution of the British monarchy into its modern form,
came to be beloved by her people in the later decades of her reign,
and was nicknamed the "Grandmother of Europe," in part because
her nine children had married into many European royal families.
- Great Liberal Prime Minister from 1868 to 1874 and
again from 1880 to 1885. Very democratic in his politics, he was
responsible for the Third Reform Bill and also made many political
enemies for supporting Home Rule for Ireland. Victoria disliked him
with a passion.
Boer War - 1899–1902 conflict between British forces and descendents
of Dutch settlers in the country later known as South Africa. The war
was brutal, drawn- out, and opposed by many quarters in Britain
and abroad, casting the one great, dark shadow over the otherwise
happy end of Victoria's long reign as the British Queen and Empress.
Crimean War - 1853–1856, a war fought by Great Britain and Turkey against Russia,
which had aggressively moved in on Turkish lands in the Balkans
in 1853. The war was strongly supported and encouraged by the British
people, but was noted for its many blunders, including the famous
Charge of the Light Brigade, when 600 soldiers charged into sure
death after misinterpreting their orders.
Diamond Jubilee - 1897 celebration marking the sixtieth anniversary of
Victoria's succession as Queen.
Golden Jubilee - 1887 celebration marking the fiftieth anniversary of
Victoria's succession as Queen.
Great Exhibition - Organized by Prince Albert in 1851, a gathering of thousands
of scientists, inventors, and artists from around the globe showcasing
the cutting-edge technological advancements of the mid-nineteenth
Mutiny - 1857–1858 rebellion by the people of India against the
rule of British east India Company. The rebellion was crushed by
British troops and marked the transition to direct rule over India
by the British government.
Second Reform Bill - 1867 bill introduced by Benjamin Disraeli that expanded
the electorate by reducing property requirements for voting. Better-to-do
artisand and middle- class people were primarily affected, though
the bill was originally intended to affect the greater population
of working class people.
Third Reform Bill - 1884 bill passed by Gladstone's parliament which expanded
the voting franchise to poorer agricultural workers and laborers
in British towns and cities.
Treaty of Berlin - 1878 treaty that avoided another British war with Russia,
whose troops had moved in on the Balkan territories of Turkey.
The treaty restored Turkish power to the Balkans and also handed Bosnia
and Herzegovina to the Austro-Hungarians. Benjamin Disraeli was
one of the treaty's main architects.