Queen Victoria, who ruled the United Kingdom from 1837 until her death in 1901, had nine children. The oldest of Victoria’s children was Princess Victoria, the Princess Royal, born in 1840.
Queen Victoria's Children
Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, had nine children and raised their extensive royal family within the traditions of classic British monarchical traditions.
- The oldest of Victoria’s children, Princess Victoria, Princess Royal, was born in 1840. Princess Victoria served as Princess Royal beginning in 1841; she later became German Empress and Queen of Prussia by marrying German emperor Frederick III.
- The second child was Prince Albert Edward, Prince of Wales; he later became King Edward VII.
- Princess Alice was next; she became Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine through her marriage to a German prince. Princess Alice was a great champion of womens’ causes and nursing as a career for women; she managed field hospitals and publicized her beliefs, earning many supporters for the movement.
- The next child was Alfred, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, who later became Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Ulster, and Earl of Kent.
- Princess Helena, the fifth child, married a German prince, and the couple stayed in England fairly close to Helena’s parents. Helena worked as her mother’s secretary for many years, and she also became something of the family figurehead, staying active in various royal events and engagements. She was one of the founders of the Red Cross and, like her sister Alice, supported the womens' nursing movement.
- The next child was Princess Louise, who was a skilled artist. Like her older sisters, Louise was a supporter of the feminist movement. She eventually married a Marquess who later became Governor General of Canada. After years spent moving from Canada back to Britain, and working as the viceregal consort to her husband, Louise ended up a widow and spent the last years of her life living at Kensington Palace.
- Prince Arthur, born in 1850, served as General Governor of Canada and was the Canadian Commander-in-Chief’s representative in World War I. He devoted much of his life to performing various duties both royal and military.
- Prince Leopold became the Duke of Albany. Born in 1853, Leopold died at the young age of 31 due to hemophilia, with which he was diagnosed at his birth.
- Princess Beatrice, the youngest child of Victoria and Albert, spent her childhood with her recently-widowed mother as a companion. Victoria intended for Beatrice to remain unmarried and to stay with her, but eventually Beatrice was given consent to marry Prince Henry of Batternberg, with whom she had fallen in love. The couple lived with Victoria for the next ten years, at which point Henry died followed closely by Victoria. Beatrice spent the remainder of her life editing her mother’s journals and making various public appearances on behalf of the royal family.
Each of Queen Victoria's nine children, and many of the 42 total grandchildren, married into various royal families across Europe, creating a web of family connections that spanned the continent.