Death of Queen Victoria: January 22, 1901

Death of Queen Victoria: January 22, 1901

On January 22, 1901, Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland and Empress of India, passed away at the age of 81 at the royal residence on the Isle of Wight, marking the end of her 63-year reign.

Queen Victoria's Diamond JubileeVictoria had celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in 1897, which marked the 60th anniversary of her accession to the throne and made her Britain’s longest-reigning monarch up to that point. By this time, old age had begun to take its toll, and the queen suffered from failing eyesight and had trouble walking, among other health issues. By Christmastime of 1900, which she spent at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, her health had further declined, and after the New Year she suffered a stroke and was confined to her bed.

Her family was alerted to her poor health, and her children who were able gathered at her bedside—as did her grandson Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. Victoria passed away at 6:30 p.m. on January 22. She had written her funeral wishes three years earlier, which included being dressed in white and laid in her coffin with various mementos and keepsakes. Per her request, Victoria was given a military funeral and was laid to rest at Frogmore Mausoleum, in Windsor, alongside her husband Albert, who had died in 1861.

People around the world mourned Victoria’s death. Her reign had lasted 63 years, and for many people, she had been queen for their entire lives. The London Times wrote, the day after her death:

To most of us the whole course of our lives as subjects of the Queen has been the proof of the admirable way in which this unique woman—whose small frame was permeated, so to speak, with Royal dignity, whose home life was so simple and pure, and whose intelligence […] was […] formed by work and long experience into a powerful instrument of life—has met the difficulties of the longest and the fullest reign in English history.

The queen’s death was literally the end of an era. Her death marked the end of the Victorian Era, which spanned 1837 to 1901, the years of her reign. Though just 18 years old at the time she became queen, over the course of her life Victoria oversaw Britain’s transition to an industrialized nation, as well as its expansion into the British Empire.

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66 thoughts on “Death of Queen Victoria: January 22, 1901

  1. You cannot discuss events of the 19th century without including Queen Victoria. Even when discussing American lives, such as the Civil War, during that time, her influence was felt across North America.
    If taken with the ascension of Theodore Roosevelt after McKinley’s assassination, we can see 1901 as the beginning of the 20th century.

    • William Hallett- I will never forget my Canadian grandmother standing up & singing “God Save the Queen” when I played “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” on the piano in the early 1950s. That’s when I learned they had the same music. My grandmother had Alzheimers and was actually singing about Queens Victoria, the Queen of her youth. By the way you have a famous name here in Queens where Hallett’s Point is. Related to the 1600s William Hallett? One or more of the children was baptized by our pastor. Didn’t smallpox also hit the family? I am the Historian of The First Presbyterian Church of Newtown, founded 1652.

      • Hello,
        Yes, I am descended from THAT William Hallett from Queens. He married Elizabeth Fones, and coincidently my wife’s name is Elizabeth.
        A few generations later during the American Revolution, Robert Hallett served as a Loyalist under DeLancy’s Regt. He and his wife fled with other Long Island Loyalists to New Brunswick. In the 1880s, his great grandson came into Maine and New Hampshire, this bringing the family back to the States. I live in Massachusetts.

      • To Marjorie Melikian
        I noticed you are connected to church records in Newtown, Queens, now Elmhurst as I understand it. I’m doing family genealogy and have a German great-great-grandfather who lived there in the 1860’s and whom I assume worshipped at a Lutheran church. Do you know if there was one in that area? He is my very large brick wall. Much thanks for any information. I love history and enjoyed reading the postings.
        Barb Doherty (seabarb9810@gmail.com)

        • Barb,

          I live in northeastern Massachusetts and have only been to Queens, NY, twice in my life. I’m sorry to say I don’t know the area very well yet. The Hallett family I’m connected to split in 1782 when the Loyalists had to flee to Canada. Some of the family stayed behind as they were Patriots.
          This knowledge has only come to me in the last 5 or 6 years.
          Wish I could offer more info.

    • Farewell Dear Victoria Regina Parting Is Such Immense Sorrow. And May Your Eternal Slumber Be In Peace Forever And For All Time In The Kingdom Of Our Heavenly Father God Almighty Our Creator.

  2. A mini-series is on TV now and I am enjoying it for the 2nd time in 6 months.
    Lovely person.

      • Most stations have run most of the “catch-up”. This week episodes 6 and 7 will air, at least on OPB. Then we’ll be ready for season 2.

        It IS an excellent series. Plenty of fireworks and fun between Victoria and Albert, but clear caring for each other.

        Good acting by all.

        • I dont get the hype about this woman. Seems like just another spoiled brat since she been born

    • Everyone they are re-airing all of Season 1 (7 episodes I believe) Sunday 1/7/18 on local PBS stations.

        • season three about to start. BBC (uk) cable channel. Season 2 withheld final episode 9 as xmas special. BBC series is not true to fact…but lovely adaptation.

  3. Irronically, the Victorian Age is considered an era of sexual repression. The Queen, from her diaries, was quite enthusiastic about sex, much less so about bearing and raising children. Likewise, in both Britain and the US, there were times and places where it was though better to regulate prostitution rather than suppress it. In Nashville Tennessee, the Union commander found that regulation with medical checks dropped the STD rate from over 20% to about 5%. The British Army had such a system in place in India, but when they were ordered to dismantle it, the STD rate rose dramatically, and the commanders there reinstated the old system with a similar drop back to around 5%. A handful of “reformers”, aka busybodies, active in the last decade or so of the Victorian period are responsible for the reputation of the era, but it was mostly a surface effect.

    • Thanks for that interesting information. I hadn’t heard that before, but I can see the wisdom in such regulations. As you have piqued my curiosity, I am going to read further about that era.

    • As a medical officer aboard a US Navy vessel in the Western Pacific summer/fall of 1974, the medical department would remind sailors, as we came into overseas ports, that “West Pac socks” were available, i.e. condoms, through the medical department. Apparently, some sailor let his family back home know of the “ad” and his mother complained to her congressman that we were supporting “immoral behavior” and we then instructed to no longer advertise the use of condoms. The STD rate didn’t really climb but Victorian/Puritanical attitudes persisted. Somehow not advertising condom use was going to stop young, horny men from experiencing the comfort of some ladies once on shore.

  4. I wish there was more about her (Victoria’s) successor, Edward VII and his marriage to the Danish Princess Alexandra. I hadn’t realized that his father Albert died before the marriage.

    • iAs the new article says, he died in 1861– of typhoid, which was epidemic in London at the time. I think Edward really didn’t want to be king, and he’d been having a great time as a prince. He also didn’t want to get married; his mother kind of “forced” him.

      • But he turned out to be a great king. BBC did a dramatic series on him years ago. I picked up the series from my local Barnes and Noble. I highly recommend it.

  5. I knew a lady years ago whose only son died of cancer on 11/22/63. The news of his death and compassion for her grief were completely swept away by news of the assassination of JFK on the same day.
    The same was true of my third great-grandfather, Schuyler Worden, of Oswego, NY. He was a well-known citizen and pioneer of that area. His death would have been major news there, but he died Jan. 20, 1901. The papers were full of reports of the illness, death, and funeral of the Queen, and the once-famous Schuyler lost his front-page spotlight. Fame is fleeting!

  6. I had the good fortune of visiting Kensington Palace the year that Queen Victoria & Albert’s personal belongings were on public display. I was shocked at how tiny Victoria was. Her wedding gown & slippers looked as if they would fit a 12 year old & Albert’s Royal costume wasn’t much bigger! Victoria’s drawings of her children were very good & her letters to the Prime Minister showed her forward thinking ideas. The way she is portrayed on PBS looks very accurate to me.

  7. How do all your positive comments about Victoria relate to what I have heard about her “retiring” in mourning when her beloved Albert died. She rarely appeared in public after that, etc. What DID she do after Albert’s death?

    • I would imagine that she carried on the business of the Kingdom even if she didn’t appear in public.

    • Have you seen the movie ‘Victoria & Abdul? She was very much in control right up to the minute she died, demanding that Abdul be brought to her bedside. He held her hand as she passed away! Although she was a recluse after Albert died, she had her box of papers sent every day to be signed, so I guess that she was still fulfilling her duties as Queen.

  8. According to a book titled “Victoria’s Mysterious Daughter”, by Lucinda Hawksley, as Victoria got older she gave more and more of her paper-signing and responding to her three youngest daughters, but when the two older girls got married, one by one the youngest, Louise, was left to do it by herself. She’s the one about whom the book is written. I found it interesting. The author noted that much of the archived information about Victoria is inaccessible, and lately I saw something I couldn’t stop to read about “two men [who] sanitized Victoria’s history”.

  9. My grandmother Isabella, came to the US as a mail order bride in 1901. She later married a student studying to be a doctor. In her house she had a picture huge framed of Queen Victoria’s golden anniversary and many pictures of the queen and other royalty. She always felt that she was still under Queen Victoria. He favorite saying was “My Queen would not do it that way!” When she made tea for the afternoon event she would first put in the sugar, then the milk, then the hot tea. I once asked he “Why don’t you put the tea in first, then the milk, then the sugar, like the rest of the world?” She responded “This is the way the Queen does it, and I don’t care about the rest of the world!” That was the end of those types of questions. She always did her laundry on Monday. I am sure that is also when the Queen did it. I learned not to ask why she did things.

    • Laundry was always done on a Monday, because the factory’s would produce a lot of soot from there chimneys Monday to Saturday. Sunday being the day of rest and the day for family and church it would not be possible to do your washing. So Monday morning was the best time to hang your washing out, and that tradition Carried on until the 1960’s when the air became cleaner and the use of driers came into use.

    • When I got married in 1962 I received a set of seven dish towels, embroidered for a day of the week, Rest/Worship on Sunday, Wash on Monday, Iron on Tuesday, Mend on Wednesday, Market/Shop on Thursday, Clean on Friday, Bake on Saturday…………Still most of them. Wish that I could find the missing ones. 🙁

          • I probably could, but not likely to match the ones I have since they were made for me by a friend of the family. To tell a “joke” on me, when I first opened the box I thought they were some of those “Birdseye diapers” since all I could see first was the end. I was rather miffed that she would give me diapers….lol

  10. I loved reading all of your comments. I have been to Kensington Palace twice and saw Princess Diana’s gowns displayed but so wish I could have seen Victoria’s and Albert’s belongings.

    I did not realize that Victoria was born in Kensington Palace and I did see her bedroom. I am fascinated with English history as I was born in the UK . My Father was very loyal and instilled in me a great respect for the monarchy.

  11. Whatever her troubles as she grew older, and after her husband died, it is clear that her reign marked an era of innovation and industry that appears to have been aided greatly by her embrace of the monarchy, and the hardships that came with it. Imagine any man in her situation managing the monarchy under such circumstances, a small queen amidst enormous forces of government while having so many children. Obviously she owes much of her early success to Prince Albert who managed to keep her in check, provide the love and comfort she needed, and drive her enthusiasm to providing the best for her people, a model Queen, and perhaps one of the few, including the current Queen Elizabeth II who have managed to sustain a very stable government for so many years. It’s likely that England could not have weathered such global forces of progress without their Queens, and would be much the worse for wear without having had them. Sometimes it’s easy to take government for granted, but we should not. Public welfare is never an accident, but a well planned, and considered public policy. Perhaps Britain, or any nation, would be better off with Queens rather than Kings, as Queens reign, Kings are expected to dominate, and command. Oppressive governments are not usually associated with Queens, as they can be with Kings. England has been very lucky to have Queens as monarchs, and perhaps less demanding on the public purse. From America, Trump is evidence of the expense of male heads of state, and temperamental leadership. Queens are the best!

  12. President Trump is doing an amazing job of improving our economy, adding jobs, and reestablishing American leadership in the world. He is correcting many of the misguided actions made by the previous president. We should be thankful.

  13. I have been watching “The Crown” about Queen Elizabeth. I am disappointed that so much of it is fictional but one thing that I do wonder about is the remarks about being a Queen or King being a burden.

  14. N.Furman did you really have to bring that Baffoon into the conversation!?! Unbelievable…

      • FYI – N. Furman did not bring President Trump into the conversation. He was responding to a post by Patricia on January 8th.

    • And E.Ferguson…did you really have bring a nasty comment into the discussion? We are all entitled to our views.You spoilt what was an interesting, enjoyable read .A real shame.

  15. Thank you for your comment regarding the lack of being appropriate by N. Furman.

  16. Don’t hate the man just because that is the plan of your political party He is not the cookie cutter model of previous presidents but if he saves our country by improving the economy and the military, I will be eternally grateful. Respect the man warts and all.

  17. This string was not about fake president” Trump, but about a fascinating Queen of a bygone era! Keep American politics to yourself! I love PBS for broadcasting so many great BBC productions; don’t forget to support Public Television financially..and, PBS is one of the things Trump & Co. are trying to get rid of!!! PBS is the best thing about television!

  18. Yes, It’s quite sad that there are many wonderful things that are on the chopping block for US now! I, myself, watch many PBS show’s along with checking out allot of Movies/ Documentaries and such from our Library here! I just dont understand how people can find it so easy to “get rid” of such Public programing, or History of any kind!Such important School studies, History, Programs for the needy and so forth are just being tossed… for what? Good or bad, it needs to be told to our next generations… I am so fascinated by the whole Monarchy, and one day I would love to travel there to see the Palace in person! It’s on my Bucket List….

  19. Dede,thanks for your comments.

    Edward VII wife Aleandre and her sister Dagmar were both danish.
    Dagmar was married to the Rusian Tzar Alexander III, and fled to Denmark, after her son ex-tsar Nicolas II and his wife and children had been slaugtered/shot dead by the socialists on 17 july 1918.
    Aleandra also went to Denmark when Edward VII died, she was deaf and had a limp, but was very beautiful.
    The two sisters lived together at Hvidore north of Copenhagen, where they died when they were about 80 years old.
    Dagmar would never realise that her family had been killed.
    People thought that if she had believed it, she would have become mad.
    Sorry for my bad english, I am danish.

    • You being Danish should appreciate this. I have what I believe is a copy of the “Alexandra Vase” that was given to Edward and Alexandria on their wedding by the Danish people living in the UK at the time. It is of Oxidized Silver and stands about 3.5 feet tall. It is dated the date of the marriage. I also have the provenance to go with it. It describes the vase in detail and also gives permission for the gentleman who crafted it to make copies for whom ever had the funds to pay for one. I have tried to get more information on it from the V & A Museum in London, but no luck.

    • Your English is text book perfect. Most Americans now speak American and quite frankly it is harder to grasp than Cicero’s Roman Latin writings about the Garlic Wars.
      My USA homeland has so many from so many places on Earth that our language is full of contradictions and multiple spellings of the same words and their meanings, more so than Latin. Our dictionary is much larger also.

  20. Amazing comments. The British Empire was the largest empire in history if you don’t count the Vatican. I’m very glad the days of kings and queens as rulers are over. As far as STDs if you read old medical books from the era, the treatments would be illegal in the USA today. They were akin to punishment. And as far as birth control, when I was excommunicated because of it, my response was half the parish uses it the other half should. (No mother can properly raise 10 kids). Turns out it was more to do with the theft of technology than birth control. Queen Victoria was amazing, but I admire the today’s. Common Wealth queen a whole more.

  21. I have a book titled “The Illustrated History of the 19th Century” ISBN 9781931040013 On page 586 is the family chart of Queen Victoria under the heading A Family Affair. The family includes the King of Hanover in Germany and King Leopold I of the Belgiums. It list all 9 of her children and who they married for political positions in Europe. Nine countries rivaled only by the Hapsburgs.
    I married when I was 17 and believe me no one but God told me who to marry. It lasted 52 years till death do us part. I applaud the USA for their Constitution written in the late 1700s to protect human rights. I’m gad Democracy spread across the globe. And grateful to those who laid their lives on the line to protect it.

  22. In the new Dame Judi Dench movie Victoria and Abdul, we find out she taught herself to read and write Urdu and Hindi with the help of Abdul as her tutor. QV was at least 60 y/o at the time. I found this amazing!

  23. I enjoy reading the published story. I must admit I also enjoy fresh perspectives that can be viewed in the many comments!
    There are great seasons and not so stellar seasons during everyone’s life.
    There is an old story that tells of a group of individuals sitting at a large table. Each person is instructed to write the problems being faced in their life ( health , money, family dynamics, marriage, legal).Each person places their list in a brown lunch bag. The bags are mixed and set in the center of the table.
    Each person reaches for a bag , opens bag , and reads issues that another person is facing.
    Immediately, each person at the table wishes to have their original list back.
    No matter if a person is royal, rich,poor, popular, has notoriety, or has nothing more than a pair of shoes , a coat and enough money to cover rent; everyone has problems and seasons in life that are “character building “.

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