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Queen Victoria

The Children

The importance of heirs to the throne has always been an all-consuming affair for sovereigns. Victoria was well aware that children would be a necessary component of her marriage. Victoria would prove to be immensely successful in producing healthy children, having nine children who would survive to adulthood, and having never suffered the sorrow of miscarriages or stillbirths. But despite this success in family planning, she abhorred the condition of pregnancy and the process of childbirth. When she was in a “delicate condition,” she felt unable to be an active participant in the conduction of state affairs. Even though Albert was effective in handling affairs of state, Victoria was upset that she was could not participate in the same capacity. Childbirth was a process of consternation for her and a great inconvenience to her social activities. When her children were young, she found them be rather disagreeable, but as they matured they became indispensible to her domestic happiness. Not only were they vital to her personal happiness, but also important pawns in international alliances. Her children were as follows:

-- Victoria Adelaide Mary Louise “Vicky” (November 21, 1840 – August 5, 1901)

-- Albert Edward “Bertie” (November 9, 1841 – May 6, 1910)

-- Alice Mary Maud (April 23, 1843 – December 14, 1878)

-- Alfred Ernest Albert “Affie” (August 6, 1844 – July 30, 1900)

-- Helena Augusta Victoria “Lenchen” (May 25, 1846 – June 9, 1923)

-- Louise Caroline Alberta “Loosy” (March 18, 1848 – December 3, 1939)

-- Arthur William Patrick Albert (May 1, 1850 – January 16, 1942)

-- Leopold George Duncan Albert (April 7, 1853 – March 28, 1884)

-- Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodora “Baby” (April 14, 1857 – October 26, 1944)

Royal children were prized commodities during these days and Victoria’s children had to be married off to spouses of diplomatic advantage. Much importance was placed upon Victoria and Albert’s eldest daughter Vicky, who from infancy was destined to marry into the Prussian royal family. Albert envisioned developing a close and mutual alliance with the powerful, and potentially dangerous, country. Vicky knew the importance of helping to expedite this alliance and was open to this marriage to the fullest extent. Her marriage to Prince Frederick in 1858 was a happy one, but ended too early when he died in 1888 after ruling Prussia for only 99 days. There would be strained relations between Great Britain and Prussia under Kaiser Wilhelm, Vicky’s son. Bertie, the eldest son, would marry the Danish princess, Alexandra, to strengthen ties with the enemy of Prussia. Queen Elizabeth II would be the great-granddaughter of Bertie and Alexandra. Alice, Helena, Arthur, Leopold and Beatrice would also marry into German royal families. Affie was married to a Russian princess, Maria Alexandrovna. Nearly every royal family of Europe has some blood connection to Victoria and Albert.

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