On this day–186 years ago–June 20, 1837, a young woman, just eighteen years old, ascended the British throne. She replaced her uncle, King William IV, and was just seventeen years removed from the death of her grandfather, King George III. (Remember him? I do–even just through history studies and because he wasn’t–at least in my youth and despite his manifest faults–cancelled or ignored.) He’s the monarch who gave his assent to the bill abolishing the slave trade in England in 1807. Then, there’s the American Revolution. Off you go, my friends!)
This woman, barely an adult when she took over, ruled Great Britain for just over 63 years, and gave her name to an age whose importance refuses to be cancelled, and which so many in living memory remember, if only at second hand.
She was Victoria.
There are, admittedly, some downsides to a monarch ascending the throne at a very young age. But there are some upsides too, ones which I celebrate today, and which I probably won’t see again in my lifetime, as the British monarchy dodders into senility with a new king who started his reign at the age of 73, and as it totters on with occasional pokes from Prince Henry and Princess Meghan of Montecito, who are determined to demean the privacy of others whilst complaining about the lack of it on their own account, and whose regular accusations of subjective truth somehow seem to register with folks who ought to have more sense.
One day, I expect they’ll be recalled–at the insistence of the Great British Public–to their rightful places on the throne, at which moment they’ll probably descend on Buck House in a rainbow-striped miasma of private jet fumes, just before they install the CEO of Netflix as Prime Minister and the Oprah Winfrey as the Chancellor of the Exchequer. And before they start the capital murder trials of Charles and Camilla for–among other things–depriving Harry of his bedroom (in the house he moved out of at the age of 28) by turning it into Camilla’s dressing room and filling it up with her own clothes. TBC, the exact words of this grievance-mongering loon, a decade after the fact and when he was almost 40 were: “I tried not to care. But especially the first time I saw it, I cared”
First world problems, especially compared to those faced by some I’ve actually known IRL.
Yet, given some of the insane drivel I’ve read recently, even on websites I usually trust, I guess some are actually trying to make this sort of thing an issue.
You do you. And, as a proud daughter of the British Empire, I’ll do me.