ONE hundred and eighty years ago, on June 20, 1837, King William IV died and his 18-year-old niece Victoria became Britain’s Queen.

1. When Victoria was born in 1819 she was only fifth in line for the throne. But all those above her had died by the time she was in her teens.

2. She was woken at 6 am to be told her uncle had died and she was Queen. Smelling salts had been prepared for her reaction but she declined them.

3. Queen Victoria was only 4 ft 11 in tall.

4. Until she became Queen, she shared a bedroom with her mother. One of her first acts as Queen was to ask for the bed to be moved to another room.

5. In 1840 she married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Her mother was Albert’s aunt.

6. He had been born the same year as her and was delivered with the assistance of the same midwife.

7. After Albert died at the age of 42, Victoria continued dressing in black and laying out a fresh suit for him each morning for the rest of her life.

In 1840 she married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
8. Victoria was her middle name. Her first name was Alexandrina.

9. Victoria’s first act after her coronation in 1838 was to give her pet spaniel Dash his daily bath.10. “I think people marry far too much; it is such a lottery after all,” (Queen Victoria).

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