Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for 63 years. It was the longest reign in England’s history. The Victorian Era is named for this great queen! Victoria was born Alexandra Victoria at Kensington Palace, London, on May 24, 1819. Her father’s name was Edward Augustus, duke of Kent and Strathern. He died a little after Victoria’s birth. Her mother’s name was Victoria Mary Louisa, daughter of the duke of Saxe-coburg-Saalfeld. Victoria was a lively child. A governess educated her at home. Victoria learned to speak and write French and German as easily as she spoke English. She also studied history, geography, and the Bible. She was taught how to play the piano. She had a gift for drawing and painting, a hobby that she enjoyed into her 60s. Victoria kept a detailed diary. Her famous journal is in 111 manuscript volumes. She became Queen at the age of 18 on June 20, 1837 because William IV, Victoria’s Uncle, had no children. In February 1840, Victoria married her German cousin Albert. They had nine children. They set a great example of devotion to family. Albert died in 1861 at the young age of 42. She mourned his death for almost 10 years. For the rest of her reign she wore black. In 1877 became Empress of India. During her reign as Queen, British people had great prosperity. Victoria is associated with the rise of industry, economic boom and the expansion of the British Empire. Victoria was the first reigning monarch to use trains. Many of her children and grand children married heirs to thrones of Spain, Russia, Sweden, Norway, and Romania. Because this, Victoria became known as the “Grandmother of Europe.” Victoria died on January 22, 1901. She is buried at Windsor Castle beside Prince Albert. She was succeeded by her son, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales. He became King Edward VII.