“The important thing is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.”
William IV’s reign over the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Hanover came to an end on the 20th of June 1837. His niece, Alexandrina Victoria, daughter of his brother, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, ascended to the throne on the same day.
Queen Victoria may have been 1.52 m or 4 feet, 11 inches tall, but her strength of mind and character was legendary. On June 20, 1837, the archbishop of Canterbury and the lord chamberlain arrived at her residence in the early hours of the morning to inform her that she was now queen. Queen Victoria did not keep her guests waiting. She greeted them in her nightgown and shawl, her feet in slippers, tears in her eyes. At eighteen, Queen Victoria embraced her calling.
“Since it has pleased Providence to place me in this station, I shall do my utmost to fulfil my duty towards my country.”
Queen Victoria, 1837
One hundred and fifteen years later, a new queen ascended the throne. Queen Elizabeth II, like her great-great grandmother before her, graciously promised to serve her people.
“I have in sincerity pledged myself to your service, as so many of you are pledged to mine. Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to worthy of your trust.”
Queen Elizabeth II, 1953