Victoria was the daughter of Edward, the Duke of Kent and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg. She was born in Kensington Palace in London on May 24th, 1819.
In 1837 Queen Victoria took the throne after the death of her uncle William IV. Due to her secluded childhood, she displayed a personality marked by strong prejudices and a willful stubbornness.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
On Feb 10th, 1840, Victoria took her first vow and married her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Their relationship was one of great love and admiration. Together they bore nine children - four sons and five daughters .
Victoria's long reign witnessed an evolution in English politics and the expansion of the British Empire, as well as political and social reforms on the continent. France had known two dynasties and embraced Republicanism, Spain had seen three monarchs and both Italy and Germany had united their separate principalities into national coalitions. Even in her dotage, she maintained a youthful energy and optimism that infected the English population as a whole.
During the early 19th century the romantic medieval Gothic revival style was developed. By the middle of the 19th century, as a result of new technology, construction was able to incorporate steel as a building component; one of the greatest exponents of this was Joseph Paxton, architect of the Crystal Palace. During this era of prosperity new methods of construction were developed, but ironically the architectural styles, as developed by such architects as Augustus Pugin, were typically retrospective.
The interiors were rich and exciting. Entering into a home you could enjoy decorative plaster moldings or cornices. Intricately patterned friezes, ceiling medallions, even mirror frames were highly embellished. Wonderfully turned balusters to support your stair railing reminds us of the grand entrance. Parquet floors might call for our attention as well as inlayed wood patterns or painted/stenciled borders. Rich carpets were freely used.
Victorian fashion comprises the various fashions and trends in British culture that emerged and grew in province throughout the Victorian era and the reign of Victoria, a period which would last from June 1837 to January 1901. Covering nearly two thirds of the 19th century, the 63 year reign would see numerous changes in fashion. These changes would include, but not be limited to, changes in clothing, architecture, literature, and the decorative and visual arts.