This famous photograph of Queen Victoria, which hangs in the National Portrait Gallery, was taken by Alexander Bassano in 1882.
Victoria was born in 1819 to the Duke and Duchess of Kent (formerly, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld). Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent, was the fourth son of the reigning monarch, King George III. After King George III died, the crown was passed to his eldest son, George IV, who would rule for only 10 years until his own death in 1830. Victoria’s father, Prince Edward, would not himself be king, having died the same year as his father in 1820; and George IV’s only child, Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales, had died in 1817 (aged only 21 years).
Prince Edward’s daughter, Victoria, would eventually ascend the throne and remain Britain’s monarch for nearly 64 years. In 1837, at the age of 18, Victoria became Queen of the United Kingdom. Her reign continued until her death in 1901.
Queen Victoria presided over dozens of wars and military conflicts as ruler of the United Kingdom and Empress of India—the latter a position she held from 1876 to her death in 1901. This site pays particular attention to four military engagements during Victoria’s reign: The First Anglo-Afghan War (1839-1842), the Crimean War (1853-1856), the Indian Mutiny (1857), and the Boer Wars (1880-1881 and 1899-1902).