Queen Victoria – Victoria Park’s Namesake
Queen Victoria’s reign of the United Kingdom lasted for nearly 64 years – longer than any other British monarch. Born Alexandrina Victoria on May 24, 1819 to her German mother and her father, Prince Edward, Victoria was raised by her mother, several German governesses and her uncle, Prince Leopold, since her father died when Victoria was only 8 months old.
She became queen as a teenager of 18, upon the death of her uncle, King William IV. Immediately upon becoming queen, Victoria sought the assistance of then Prime Minister Lord Melbourne who taught her the daily workings of British Parliament. She became great friends with Lord Melbourne and a public supporter of his party.
Many of Victoria’s children and grandchildren married the heirs to the thrones of several different European countries, giving Queen Victoria the distinction of being known as the “Grandmother of Europe.” Her oldest grandson became Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany and led his country against England in the First World War. Queen Victoria’s death in 1901 made Prince Albert Edward, her eldest son, King Edward VII of England.
Here in Canada we celebrate her birthday on the Monday prior to May 25 whereas the British celebrate it in June. Victoria Day became a national holiday here in 1901, the year Queen Victoria died.
The dedication of Victoria Park, in honour of Britain’s longest reigning monarch, was confirmed in 1874 and the year 2003 sees the park now established on the World Wide Web.