The lif of young Victoria
Victoria was born in 24 May 1819 in the middle of the succession crisis. By this time George III’s six daughters and seven sons were moving into their fifties. By 1817, they had only managed to produce one legitimate heir, Princess Charlotte, the daughter of Prince Reagent. When she became pregnant by her popular husband, Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, the English people were delighted. But her baby boy was born dead and within hours, she had fallen into a fatal fever and she too died. The country mourned her, and the politicians began panicking over the lack of an heir. In the hope that Parliament would pay off their huge debts, the royal dukes embarked on a race to marry and produce children. The Duke of Kent began courting Prince Leopold’s sister Victoire, Dowager Princess of Leininghen. Victoire was initially reluctant to marry Kent, an indebted duke twenty years her senior, but finally accepted and soon fell pregnant.
The Prince Regnant was infuriated by his brother’s success in producing a child and took his revenge by spoiling the christening. He allowed only a few guests to attend and refused to let the child bear the names associated with queens, such as Charlotte, Augusta or Elizabeth. On the actual day, the Archbishop of Canterbury stood with the child over the font, waiting for the Prince Regent to inform him of her name. Finally, the Regent said, “Give her the mother’s name”. Her first name was Alexandrina ì, but she quickly became known by her middle name: Victoria.