NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
22nd January, 1901 : Queen Victoria is dead. She died today at Osborne, her seaside home in the Isle of Wight. She was 82 and had reigned for 64 years, a lifetime in which industry transformed Great Britain and which saw a growth of the British Empire to all corners of the globe.
Victoria was the first British Queen to reign since Anne, more than a century earlier. She was only 18 when she ascended the throne. Victoria was born and brought up at Kensington Palace, the daughter of the impoverished Duke of Kent. In 1840 she married Prince Albert from the German Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. They had nine children.
During her reign she saw 12 prime ministers come and go. Disraeli was her favourite. One cause of tension between Downing Street and the Palace was the sheer length of her reign. It gave her unprecedented insight into government, and she did not hesitate to advise her ministers, particularly in her later years.
The Queen had travelled to more parts of Britain than her predecesors, using the steam railways which linked the rapidly growing cities. Her death, coming at the dawn of the new century, marks the end of an era and she will be widely mourned.