24 May 1819: the Birth of Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria, born Alexandrina Victoria, was born 199 years ago today. She was the daughter of Edward, Duke of Kent and Princess Victoire of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Edward was the fourth son of King George III and Queen Charlotte. She became Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. On 1 May 1876, Queen … Continue reading 24 May 1819: the Birth of Queen Victoria

Royal Ciphers on Postboxes: a Brief Guide

Britain got her first post boxes during the 1850s. Apart from a short period when we posted mail in ‘anonymous’ post boxes, so called as they did not carry a royal cipher, (sometimes spelled cypher), the Post Office quickly settled on using the cipher of the reigning monarch on all letter boxes. Below left is the VR cipher that is found on Victorian pillar boxes, … Continue reading Royal Ciphers on Postboxes: a Brief Guide

The Victorian Christmas

Christmas was barely celebrated in the early part of the nineteenth century. It was not considered a public holiday and traditionally the giving of gifts was practised at New Year. However, come the end of the century, it was the biggest annual celebration in the British calendar. Workers had gained a two-day break (including the 26 December, Boxing Day) and the advent of the railways … Continue reading The Victorian Christmas