Happy Victoria Day Everyone!
I can still recite a strange little rhyme I learned as a child, do you remember it?
“It’s the 24th of May,
It’s the Queen’s birthday,
If we don’t get a holiday,
We’ll all run away”
While you are out enjoying the lovely weather and extra day off this weekend (check out my Family Fun Listing for a full listing in KW area), I thought I’d have a little fun by giving you a little history lesson about this well loved Canadian holiday Monday which is named in honour of Queen Victoria, whose birthday was on May 24th, 1819. She was a mom just like you and I and had nine children.
About Queen Victoria
* Her full name was Alexandrina Victoria
*Her childhood nickname was Drina and she spoke German only until the age of 3
*Queen Victoria was the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for 63 years until her death.
*Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III and her mother was the German-born Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.
*Victoria inherited the throne at the age of 18, after her father’s three elder brothers had all died.
* Our current Queen Elizabeth II is Queen Victoria’s great-great-grandmother
*She married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in 1840
*She had 9 children – Victoria, Bertie, Alice, Alfred, Helena, Louise, Arthur, Leopold, and Beatrice.
*She had 34 grandchildren, 26 of who lived past childhood and married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the nickname “the grandmother of Europe”.
* After her husband Albert’s death in 1861, Victoria plunged into deep mourning and avoided public appearances. She was devastated and wore black for the rest of her life (40 years!) and made servants take hot water for shaving to his dressing room each morning even after he had died.
* In the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered and her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were timesof public celebration.
*She died on January 22nd, 1901 at the age of 83. Her own sons lifted her into the coffin. She wore a white dress and her wedding veil and because Victoria had disliked black funerals, London was decorated in purple and white. She was buried beside her husband at Windsor Castle.
* Her reign of 63 years and 7 months is known as the Victorian Era and was longer than that of any other British monarch and the longest of any female monarch in history.
* She was succeeded by her son Edward VII.
Happy Victoria Day everyone!