January 23

Queen Victoria

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Queen Victoria died one hundred and ten years ago on 22 January, 1901, 21 days after the inauguration of the Commonwealth of Australia whose Constitution she had assented to. Only four months before at Balmoral , on 17 September, 1900, being satisfied that the people of Western Australia were in agreement,  she had assented to the following Proclamation:

 “ ….by and with the advice of Our Privy Council, have thought fit to issue this Our Royal Proclamation, and We do hereby declare that on and after the first day of January, One thousand nine hundred and one, the people of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania, and Western Australia shall be united in a Federal Commonwealth under the name of the Commonwealth of Australia.Given at Our Court at Balmoral, this seventeenth day of September, in the year of Our Lord One thousand nine hundred and in the sixty-fourth year of Our Reign.

God Save The Queen!”

  

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She was 81, and had reigned for 63 years—the longest of any of our monarchs. Until Queen Elizabeth II, she was the oldest monarch. her influence as Queen-Empress was such that a whole era is named after her.

Her son, the Prince of Wales and future King Edward VII , and her eldest grandson, Kaiser Wilhelm II, were at her deathbed. On 25 January, Edward VII, the Kaiser and Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, helped lift her into the coffin.

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She was dressed in a white dress and her wedding veil. An array of mementos commemorating her extended family, friends and servants were laid in the coffin with her, at her request.

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One of Albert's dressing gowns was placed by her side, with a plaster cast of his hand, while a lock of Brown's hair, along with a picture of him, were placed in her left hand.

After two days of lying-in-state, her funeral was held on 2 February. She was interred beside Prince Albert in Frogmore Mausoleum at Windsor Great Park. Victoria requested a white funeral instead of the usual black. When she was laid to rest at the mausoleum, it began to snow.Flags in the United States were lowered to half-mast in her honour by order of President William McKinley, a tribute never before offered to a foreign monarch.  

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