Today 111 years ago Britain lost an institution; it marked the end of the life of a thoroughly remarkable woman, that woman was Queen Victoria.
It always strikes me how history has a habit of throwing people who, if things had gone to plan, would never have lived the lives they did, Elizabeth I, Elizabeth II and of course Victoria. As well as being Queens, these three women have something else in common; they ruled and ruled well, something their male successors and predecessor were not always able to do.
Also each of these women also found themselves taking the throne at a very young age, and in the cases of Elizabeth I and Victoria it was the harsh lessons life had taught them before taking the throne, that would help them rule with their heads rather than their hearts, find good people to help guide them and do the job well.
The stable rule during the period of Victoria’s reign produced the right climate to encourage and grow industry, art, poetry, writing, philanthropy, inventors, scientists and outstanding pioneering individuals to thrive.
Of course I can’t sit here and say that it was all a bed of roses and everyone was able to live well, all you have to do is pick up a Dickens novel to know that as well as creating chances to self improvement, the gap between the better off and the very poor deepened and is still something that we find hard to find answers to today.
For me Victoria will be the woman who took control of her life the day she became queen, she was the woman who married the man she wanted and loved him until the day she died and mourned him from the day he died, she was a working woman who balanced motherhood and her duty the way many women do today, she was a role model and an inspiration.
So here’s to you Queen Victoria, an inspirational woman who started the wheels of the modern world and enabled Britain to lead the way for the first half of the 20th century.