Queen Victoria is said to be a symbol of nineteenth-century Britain, and she was considered the first modern British sovereign. Although Victoria was only 4’9” tall, she went down in history as a great and imperious queen. She enjoyed being bossy in her private life as well. Victoria and her husband had 9 children together, and 42 grandchildren. However, she was called a caring mother with a pinch of salt.
Queen Victoria, the reigning record-holder
Alexandrina Victoria assumed the reign at the age of 18. She was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and also served as Empress of India. She ruled for 63 years, setting an absolute record for any reigning monarch to date. Known as the Victorian era, her years of reign witnessed many changes in British culture, science and politics. Although Victoria preferred to listen rather than to give orders, she was considered to be decisive and commanding. She was empowered to appoint the commander-in-chief of the British Navy and Army, as well as to convene Parliament or even to dissolve the House of Commons. With the change in political significance of monarchy, Queen Victoria came to be seen as a model of high morals and family values. The very same values are attributed to the next generation as depicted in the British Royal Family documentary.
Imperious Queen Victoria and submissive Prince Consort
Initially, there was a great deal of controversy surrounding the relationship between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who lived to be known as the “Prince Consort.” He got this nickname because the monarch took matters into her own hands and proposed to her future husband. Victoria’s need to marry and start a family anchored the image of the kingdom as a family monarchy in the minds of the British people, as shown in the documentary on the British royal family. Even though Victoria and Albert’s marriage was considered particularly happy, the Queen made it clear to her husband who “wears the pants” in their house. As a sign of his absolute compliance, Albert would communicate his requests on pieces of paper, which he tossed under the chamber door. Nevertheless, Albert displayed an appetite for co-ruling the state. While the Queen was initially reluctant to allow him to have a say for fear of losing her authority, it was not long before she appointed him chief advisor.
Insensitive mother as the guardian of the hearth
With the couple having 9 offspring and 42 grandchildren, the Queen was called “the grandmother of Europe.” She and her husband valued peace and family time, and instead of spending it in palaces, they sought quiet refuge in the distant provinces. Victoria was presented to the public as the guardian of the hearth and a loving and caring mother. Interestingly, she considered pregnancy and childbirth to be the greatest inconvenience in a woman’s life, and her views on motherhood were hardly filled with love and tenderness. She claimed that pregnancy was appalling and considered breastfeeding to be undignified and animalistic. Nevertheless, Victoria was seen as a tender caregiver and a model of maternal love, who raised generations that would soon assume the thrones of Europe. Alexandrina Victoria died at the age of 82. The remarkable privilege of longevity among monarchs, is also discussed on the account of Prince Philip, who died at the age of 99. A documentary about the British royal family details the life of the prince and his family.