DEVOTION to duty, a keen realization of the responsibility her position placed upon her, an intense affection for her people and her family, filled the queen's life and thoughts. She was the greatest moral force in England in the nineteenth century, by her example as a worker, a woman, a wife, and a mother. And the words that Shakespeare puts into the mouth of Cranmer at the christening of Queen Elizabeth in Henry VIII. might more fittingly have been spoken at that painful christening scene on June 24, 1819, at Kensington Palace, when the greatest of the English queens was regarded as an interloper and a block of stumbling to family ambition:She shall be, to the happiness of England, an aged princess,
Many days shall see her, and not a day
Without a deed to crown it.
AT the time of the Queen's accession the English royal family was connected only with the smaller reigning houses of Germany. To-day, it is closely related to the majority of the ruling houses of Europe. Six of her grandchildren are European sovereigns the Empress of Russia, the Queen of Spain, the Queen of Norway, the German Emperor, the Grand Duke of Hesse, and the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha; while five of her grandchildren are married to the heirs-apparent to thrones and principalities the Crown Princess of Sweden, the Duchess of Sparta (Crown Princess of Greece), the Crown Princess of Roumania, the Hereditary Princess of Saxe-Meiningen, and the Hereditary Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.
The Queen had forty grandchildren, of whom thirty-one survived her. The following table shows their position and alliances:
Children of Victoria, Princess Royal, Crown Princess of Russia & Empress Frederick
Emperor William II, German Emperor and King of Prussia
Prince Henry, married Princess Irene, daughter of Princess Alice.
Children of Albert Edward, The Prince of Wales, King Edward VII.
Princess Alexandra Caroline Marie Charlotte Louise Julie,
Albert Edward, styled "By The Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India", Duke of Cornwall, etc., at birth, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duke of Saxony, Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester, Earl of Dublin, succeeded his mother as King of Great Britain, and Emperor of India.
Prince Albert Victor Christian Edward, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, and Earl of Athlone died (1892), in the lifetime of the father, unmarried.
Children of Princess Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse-Darmstadt
Ludwig IV Friedrich Wilhelm Karl Großherzog von Hessen und bei Rhein (the Grand Duke of Hesse)
The present Grand Duke of Hesse, married his cousin, Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg.
Children of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia
Prince Alfred (died 1899).
[* This marriage was dissolved in 1901 by the sovereign law of the Grand Duchy of Hesse, and the Princess has since married her cousin on the mother's side, the Grand Duke Cyril of Russia. The Grand Duke of Hesse has also remarried, his present wife being a princess of one of the smaller German ruling houses.]
Children of Princess Helena, Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein
Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein
Prince Christian Victor (died during the Boer War).
[* This marriage was dissolved by the husband's father, the Prince of Anhalt, who has sovereign rights within his own principality.]
Children of Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll
John Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll (Marquess of Lorne)
Children of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia
Prince Arthur (unmarried).
Children of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, Earl of Clarence, and Baron Arklow
Princess Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont
Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The present Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (succeeded his uncle, the Duke of Edinburgh, when the Duke of Connaught renounced the succession to the duchy for himself and his son).
Longest-lived Princess of the Blood Royal of the British Royal Family, and was the last surviving grandchild of Queen Victoria. (1883-1981)
Children of Princess Beatrice, Princess Henry of Battenberg
Prince Henry of Battenburg
Prince Alexander (unmarried).
Victoria the Woman, By Frank Hird, 1908