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Victoria was born at Kensington Palace London on 24 May 1819 She was the only daughter of Edward Duke of Kent fourth son of George III Her father died shortly after her birth and she became heir to the throne because the three uncles who were ahead of her in succession - George IV Frederick Duke of York and William IV - had no legitimate children who survived Warmhearted and lively Victoria had a gift for drawing and painting educated by a governess at home she was a natural diarist and kept a regular journal throughout her life On William IVs death in 1837 she became Queen at the age of 18 Queen Victoria is associated with Britains great age of industrial expansion economic progress and - especially - empire At her death it was said Britain had a worldwide empire on which the sun never set In the early part of her reign she was influenced by two men her first Prime Minister Lord Melbourne and her husband Prince Albert whom she married in 1840 Both men taught her much about how to be a ruler in a constitutional monarchy where the monarch had very few powers but could use much influence Albert took an active interest in the arts science trade and industry the project for which he is best remembered was the Great Exhibition of 1851 the profits from which helped to establish the South Kensington museums complex in London Her marriage to Prince Albert brought nine children between 1840 and 1857 Most of her children married into other royal families of Europe Edward VII born 1841 married Alexandra daughter of Christian IX of Denmark Alfred Duke of Edinburgh and of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha born 1844 married Marie of Russia Arthur Duke of Connaught born 1850 married Louise Margaret of Prussia Leopold Duke of Albany born 1853 married Helen of Waldeck-Pyrmont Victoria Princess Royal born 1840
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