On this day, 20th June 1837, Queen Victoria ascended the British throne following the death of King William IV.
Queen Victoria was born on 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace in London, the daughter of Edward, Duke of Kent (fourth son of George III), and Princess Mary Louise Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Victoria’s father died when she was less than a year old. Her grandfather, George III, died less than a week later. Princess Victoria’s uncle, the Prince of Wales, inherited the Crown, becoming King George IV. When George IV died in 1830, his brother, the Duke of Clarence and St Andrews, became King, William IV.
Victoria was recognised as heiress-presumptive to the British throne, and on 20 June 1837 at the age of 18 she succeeded her uncle, William IV, to the throne to become the last monarch of the House of Hanover. Queen Victoria’s formal titles included Queen of Great Britain and Ireland (1837–1901) and empress of India (1876–1901). Victoria is at this time Britain’s longest reigning monarch. She reigned for 63 years, 7 months (23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes) until her death in January 1901.
(On September 9th, 2015 this record could be broken by the length of Queen Elizabeth II’s current reign.)
This portrait is from the State Library of New South Wales.
This portrait is a copy of Thomas Sully’s (an American artist) portrait of Queen Victoria, painted in 1838, and from which an engraving was published in 1840.