Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India.

Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III. Both the Duke of Kent and King George III died in 1820, and Victoria was raised under close supervision by her German-born mother Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. She inherited the throne at the age of 18, after her father's three elder brothers had all died, leaving no legitimate, surviving children. The United Kingdom was already an established constitutional monarchy, in which the sovereign held relatively little direct political power. Privately, Victoria attempted to influence government policy and ministerial appointments. Publicly, she became a national icon, and was identified with strict standards of personal morality.

Victoria married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in 1840. Their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the nickname "the grandmother of Europe". After Albert's death in 1861, Victoria plunged into deep mourning and avoided public appearances. As a result of her seclusion, republicanism temporarily gained strength, but in the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were times of public celebration.

Her reign of 63 years and seven months, which is longer than that of any other British monarch and the longest of any female monarch in history, is known as the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom, and was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire. She was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover. Her son and successor, Edward VII, belonged to the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the line of his father. (Wikipedia)

Anna Neagle (1904-1986), perhaps the most famous of all screen Victoria's, played the Queen in Victoria the Great (1937) and it's sequel Sixty Glorious Years (1938). Both films directed by Herbert Wilcox, also starring Anton Walbrook as Prince Albert.

The Mudlark (1950) directed by Jean Negulesco and starring Irene Dunne as Victoria and Alec Guinness as Benjamin Disraeli. Oscar nominated for Best Costume Design.

Beautiful German actress Romy Schneider as young Victoria in The Story of Vickie (1954), an Austrian film directed by Ernst Marischka and also starring Adrian Hoven as Prince Albert.

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) directed by Billy Wilder and starring Robert Stephens as Holmes, Colin Blakely as Dr. Watson, Christoper Lee as Mycroft Holmes and Mollie Maureen as Queen Victoria. WGA nomination for Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen.

Yes that's Peter Sellers as Victoria in the British comedy The Great McGonagall (1974) directed by Joseph McGrath and also starring Spike Milligan and Julia Foster.

Dame Judi Dench as Queen Victoria in Mrs. Brown (1997) directed by John Madden and also starring Billy Connolly as John Brown, Geoffrey Palmer, Anthony Sher and Gerard Butler. Oscar nominated for Best Actress (Judi Dench) and Best Make Up. Winner of the Golden Globe for Best Actress - Drama (Judi Dench).

From Hell (2001) directed by Albert & Allen Hughes, starred Johnny Depp as Inspector Abberline, on the hunt for Jack the Ripper in Victorian London, also starring Heather Graham, Ian Holm, Robbie Coltrane and Liz Moscrop as the Queen. Based on the comic book by Alan Moore.

Gemma Jones as Queen Victoria, seen here knighting Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson in the action comedy Shanghai Knights (2003), directed by David Dobkin.

Kathy Bates as Victoria in the all-star comedy Around the World in 80 Days (2004) directed by Frank Coraci and starring Jackie Chan as Passepartout, Steve Coogan as Phileas Fogg. Jim Broadbent and Cecile De France. Cameos by John Cleese, Mark Addy, Rob Schneider, Owen and Luke Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger as Prince Hapi.

Emily Blunt as The Young Victoria (2009) directed by Jean-Marc Vallee, also starring Rupert Friend as Prince Albert, Paul Bettany, Miranda Richardson and Jim Broadbent. Oscar nominations for Best Art Direction and Best Make Up, Oscar winner for Best Costume Design.

Imelda Staunton voices Queen Victoria in the animated movie The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists (2012) directed by Peter Lord and Jeff Newitt, also starring the voices of Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, David Tennant, Jeremy Piven and Salma Hayek. Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature. Retitled The Pirates! Band of Misfits in America.

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