These little-known facts about Queen Victoria bring the indestructible monarch's story to life.
She was born fifth in line to the throne, making it unlikely that she would ever become queen to begin with. Wikimedia Commons
Victoria was actually her middle name. Her first name was Alexandrina. Wikimedia Commons
But to her German-speaking family, she was mainly called "Vickelchen." Wikimedia Commons
She was brought up under the restrictive “Kensington System” of parenting, which kept her in near-complete isolation in order to make her dependent upon her parents. Wikimedia Commons
She was just 18 years old when she became queen. Wikimedia Commons
Victoria then promptly moved into Buckingham Palace and became the very first monarch to live there. Wikimedia Commons
She proposed to her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, who accepted. He could not propose to her because she was already queen. Wikimedia Commons
Albert’s health was fragile, but Victoria privately believed he overplayed it — like a Victorian version of the "man flu." Wikimedia Commons
But when Albert died of typhoid fever (or perhaps another chronic condition) in 1861 at age 42, the emotional Queen adopted some elaborate mourning rituals. Wikimedia Commons
These included having a change of his clothes laid out every morning, and hot water brought in for his shave, as if he may reappear at any moment. Wikimedia Commons
She spoke several languages, including French, Italian, and Hindustani. Wikimedia Commons
She learned the Hindustani language from her Indian attendant, Abdul Karim, whom Victoria considered her true friend and most trusted confidant. Wikimedia Commons
Her family hated Karim’s presence and closeness with the queen, and after Victoria’s death, they burned all their correspondence and deported him back to India. Wikimedia Commons
Her face was on the first adhesive postage stamp, known as the Penny Black, issued in Great Britain on May 1, 1840. Wikimedia Commons
She was prone to oversleeping. Wikimedia Commons
Queen Victoria was the first known carrier of the blood disease hemophilia, which would become known as the "Royal disease." Wikimedia Commons
She hated the telephone, citing the new invention as cold and impersonal. Wikimedia Commons
Eventually, she made peace with her severe upbringing and forgave her mother, who died the same year Albert did (1861). Wikimedia Commons
In 1880, she had a retired ship, the HMS , made into a desk as a gift for then-President Rutherford Hayes. Most presidents since then have used the very same desk. Resolute Wikimedia Commons
She was named the Empress of India, yet never got to set foot in the country. Wikimedia Commons
She was the first British royal to travel by train. Wikimedia Commons
Eventually, she got her own royal train car, the first in the world to feature an onboard bathroom. Wikimedia Commons
Before Queen Elizabeth II beat her record in 2015, Queen Victoria was the longest reigning monarch in English history, serving for 63 years and seven months. Wikimedia Commons
There were six attempts made on her life and she survived them all. Wikimedia Commons
Today, Queen Victoria might be at the height of her popularity — a whopping 117 years after her death. With a television drama about the 19th-century British monarch now airing and a film about her released last year, interest in the queen's life has spiked.
And in light of these dramas centered on the queen, many have surely been left wondering where the truth ends and fiction begins. The fascinating Queen Victoria facts above — about her family, her reign, and many things in between — will reveal just how incredible her life actually was.
After learning these fascinating things about Queen Victoria, discover the lineage of the British royal family. Then, discover the true story of the real-life "Bloody Mary," a.k.a. Queen Mary I of England.