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The rise to the throne of Victoria

The Duke of Kent died when Victoria was just eight months old. The duchess was full of debts and desperate so the Prince Regent gave her rooms in Kensington Palace. On 29 January 1829 the poor mad King George III finally died and his first born, the Prince Regent, became King George IV, After the Dukes of York and Clarence, baby Victoria was next in line to the throne. A that time Kensinghton Palace was cold and gloomy and the life Victoria led there was little better. The duchess was convinced that Victoria would become queen and so she started the “Kensinghton System”, a cruel regime of bullying and, most of all, control. Victoria was not allowed to be alone for a second. She slept in her mother retired to bed. She was kept away from her father’s family and isolated from all other children. Victoria’s food was tasted before every meal, and she could not walk downstairs without holding somebody’s hand.

Kent’s eider brothers had no heirs, just after Victoria turned 11, King George IV died and his brothed, the 65.years.old Duke of Clarence, ascended the throne as King William IV. Victoria was now heir to the throne. Meanwhile, the politicians voiced their opinion that Victoria was just too ridiculus a name for a ruler. Indeed the king tried to force her mother to change it to Elizabeth or Charlotte, but she refused. It is odd to think now that if she had accepted, the Victoria’s eighteenth birthday was a giant gala day for the country. Kensinghton was decorated with banners and there was an official reception at the palace with a formal ball in the evening. In the early hours of 20 June 1837 the king died. At six o’clock in the morning. In Kensington Palace, Victoria stood in her nightdress as the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord Cancellor knelt to her and told her that she was queen. Her first act was to ask for an hour alone. Then she moved her bad from her mother’s room. “I shall never remember this day as the proudest of my life” wrote Victoria on 28 June 1838, her coronation day.

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