Since we’re in London this Victoria Day, we’ve been able to explore the city where the long-reigning Queen Victoria lived. Unless you’re in Victoria BC where Victoria Day is a big day of celebration, for most Canadians it’s a long weekend to mark the unofficial start to summer and it’s one of the few times they might think about the namesake monarch.
However, in the UK, Victoria is everywhere, from memorials to palaces to chapels. The Victorian era has a long enduring influence on the transportation infrastructure, architecture, and style of the United Kingdom and all around Commonwealth.
When you’re in London here’s a few of easy spots associated with Queen Victoria;
Kensington Palace: the palace is the current home of many Royals, including the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and their children, Prince Harry and has a strong association with Diana Princess of Wales, Kensington Palace was the birthplace of Princess Victoria on May 24, 1819
Buckingham Palace: the original Buckingham House, it was later expanded and became the Monarch’s residence when Queen Victoria moved in after her coronation in 1837.
Westminster Abbey: located across from the Houses of Parliament, the gothic abbey is where the coronation of Victoria and all monarchs, starting with William the Conqueror in 1066, has taken place.
St James’s Palace: the Tudor palace is the oldest of London’s royal residences and where the young Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in the palace’s Chapel Royal
Albert Memorial: the hard-to-miss memorial sits in Kensington Gardens across from the Royal Albert Hall, and stands as a monument to Victoria’s beloved husband since the Queen dedicated it in 1872.
Windsor Castle: a main residence for the Monarch and her family, especially after Prince Albert’s death, the magnificent Castle’s grounds also house the Royal Mausoleum the final resting place of both Victoria and Albert.
Victoria Memorial: a visit to Buckingham Palace has to include a look at the Victoria Memorial standing front and centre at the front gates to the palace, begun in the year of her death, 1901 and unveiled a decade later.
London Victoria Station: located not far from Buckingham Palace, and representative of the major growth in transportation during the Victorian era. Since its opening in 1860 Victoria Rail Station has grown to become the second-busiest rail station in London, adding the Underground and Coach Stations nearly 200 million people travel through the station each year, including most visitors.
These are just a few of the many spots around the British capital that have an association with the diminutive monarch but nearly everywhere you look has a royal story. On your next trip, go out and visit Britain’s royal connections for yourself and find the hidden connections.
If you can’t be in London to celebrate, enjoy whatever you do this Victoria Day!