No, I don’t really think this day is about ME, but by sheer happenstance my blog day this month fell on Queen Victoria’s Birthday commemoration!
To edify those of us “south of the (Canadian) border, “Victoria Day, also known as May Two-Four, May Long and May Long Weekend, is a designated Canadian holiday to honor Queen Victoria. In some cities, fireworks and parades are held to mark Victoria Day. One of the most notable celebrations is held in Victoria, British Columbia, which was named after the queen. Similar to our own Memorial Day, this date marks the unofficial start of summer season in Canada and signals the opening of amusement parks and outdoor attractions.
Born on May 24, 1819, Queen Victoria was the longest-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, and will be exceeded only if Queen Elizabeth remains on the throne to 2017. During her lifetime it was said that the sun never set on the British Empire, however, her powers as Queen were greatly reduced as the House of Commons became more important and powerful in British politics.
Although well known for repression and prudery, the Victorian era is also distinguished for its revival of Gothic architecture, its literary giants, (Sir Walter Scott, Emily, Anne, and Charlotte Bronte, Anthony Trollope, George Eliot, Oscar Wilde, and, Charles Dickens), and beloved poets (the Brownings, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Lewis Carroll and Rudyard Kipling). There were also great leaps in science and industry during Victoria’s reign, but most notable of all was the advancement of the middle classes through the establishment of free education for all and universal suffrage.
And let’s not forget the incredibly restrictive and equally ornate Victorian fashions! Lovely to look at but impossible to breathe in.
Just to indulge my fantasies, here’s a shot with my Favorite Victorian Hottie! (A girl can dream, right?)