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victoria, queen

victoria, queen in Culture

Victoria, Queen definition


A British queen of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. During her reign, Britain reached new heights in industrial and colonial power and diplomatic influence. Victoria became queen at the age of eighteen and soon married Prince Albert, who proved an enormous support to her; after his early death, she remained in official mourning until her own death forty years later. Victoria was known for her impartiality toward the two leading political parties of Britain, the Liberals and the Conservatives, which both produced extraordinary leaders during her reign (see Benjamin Disraeli and William Ewart Gladstone). She was also known for establishing strict standards of personal morality. (See Victorian period.)

Note: Queen Victoria's children and grandchildren married into many of the other royal families of Europe. Tragically, many of them passed on the disease hemophilia. Victoria carried the disease in her genes, and one of her sons died from it. The hemophiliac son of Nicholas II, the czar of Russia, was descended from Victoria. (See Grigori Rasputin.)
Note: The term Victorian today sometimes recalls Queen Victoria's stands on personal moral issues and may suggest prudery or a moral self-satisfaction.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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