June 20th 1837: Queen Victoria succeeds to the throne
On this day in 1837, Victoria became Queen of the United Kingdom aged only 18, following the death of King William IV. Her coronation took place on 28th June 1838 and Victoria was the first British monarch to live in Buckingham Palace. She married her first cousin Prince Albert in 1840 and had 9 children. The couple were deeply in love and upon his premature death in 1861 she was plunged into deep mourning. As Queen, Victoria tried to influence government policy, but initially relied heavily on the Whig Prime Minister Lord Melbourne. She was a beloved Queen and a national icon who oversaw the great period of change dubbed the ‘Victorian era’ after her reign. Queen Victoria served until her death on 22nd January 1901, thus making her reign of 63 years and 7 months the longest of any British monarch.
“Lord Conyngham then acquainted me that my poor Uncle, the King, was no more, and had expired at 12 minutes past 2 this morning, and consequently that I am Queen”
- Victoria’s diary for 20th June 1837