A British queen of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. During her reign, Britain reached new heights in industrial and colonial power and diplomatic influence. Victoria became queen at the age of eighteen and soon married Prince Albert, who proved an enormous support to her; after his early death, she remained in official mourning until her own death forty years later. Victoria was known for her impartiality toward the two leading political parties of Britain, the Liberals and the Conservatives, which both produced extraordinary leaders during her reign (see Benjamin Disraeli and William Ewart Gladstone). She was also known for establishing strict standards of personal morality. (See Victorian period.)
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.