Sir John Ponsonby Conroy, 1st Baronet, KCH was a British army officer who served as comptroller to the Duchess of Kent and her young daughter, Princess Victoria, the future Queen of the United Kingdom. Conroy was born in Wales to Anglo-Irish parents. In 1817, after holding several ranks in the army, he became the equerry of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn. Edward died two years leaving a widow and infant daughter. Holding the position of comptroller of the Duchess of Kent's household for the next nineteen years, Conroy acted as her confidant and political agent, among other roles. Together, they designed the Kensington System, an elaborate and strict system of rules for the upbringing of young Victoria, designed to render her weak-willed and utterly dependent upon them in the hope of allowing them one day to wield power through her. Princess Victoria grew to hate Conroy, thanks to the oppressive system, he was unpopular among the rest of the British royal family, his efforts to place the Duchess in the role of regent were unsuccessful, as Victoria ascended the throne after reaching her majority in 1837.
Conroy was expelled from Victoria's household, though he remained in the Duchess of Kent's service for several more years. Given a pension and a baronetcy, Conroy retired to his estate near Reading, Berkshire, in 1842 and died in debt twelve years later. Historians have referred to Conroy as someone with strong ambition, with varying degrees of positive or negative opinion. Rumours circulated during and after his lifetime that he was the Duchess of Kent's lover. Queen Victoria was shocked stating that her mother's piety would have prevented it. Conroy was born on 21 October 1786 in Maes-y-castell, Caernarvonshire, Wales, he was one of six children born to John Ponsonby Conroy, Esq. and Margaret Wilson, both native to Ireland. His father was a barrister and the younger Conroy was educated in Dublin. On 8 September 1803, he was commissioned in the Royal Artillery as a Second Lieutenant and was promoted to first lieutenant on 12 September. In 1805, Conroy enrolled in the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich.
He made his career during the Napoleonic Wars, though his ability to avoid battle attracted disdain from other officers. Conroy did not participate in the Waterloo Campaign. Further advancement of rank was facilitated with Conroy's marriage to Elizabeth Fisher on 26 December 1808 in Dublin, though not as far as Conroy felt he deserved. Elizabeth was the daughter of Colonel Benjamin Fisher and Conroy served under him in Ireland and England while performing various administrative duties. Conroy was promoted to Second Captain on 13 March 1811 and appointed adjutant in the Corps of Artillery Drivers on 11 March 1817. Conroy and Elizabeth had six children together: Sir Edward Conroy, 2nd Baronet, married Lady Alice Parsons, daughter of Laurence Parsons, 2nd Earl of Rosse, they were the parents of 3rd Baronet. Elizabeth Jane Conroy. Arthur Benjamin Conroy. Stephen Rowley Conroy, served with the Coldstream Guards. Henry George Conroy, served with the Grenadier Guards, aide-de-camp to the commander of the forces in Ireland.
Victoria Maria Louisa Conroy, married Sir Wyndham Edward Hanmer, 4th Baronet. Through the connection of his wife's uncle, Conroy came to the attention of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III. Conroy was appointed as an equerry in 1817, shortly before the Duke's marriage to Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. An efficient organiser, Conroy's planning ensured the Duke and Duchess' speedy return to England in time for the birth of their first child; the child was Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent Queen Victoria. While Kent had promised Conroy military advancement, he was still a captain by the time of the Duke's death in 1820. Conroy was named an executor of the Duke's will, though he was unsuccessful in persuading the dying man to name him Victoria's guardian. Aware that he needed to find another source of revenue Conroy offered his services as comptroller to the now-widowed Duchess of Kent and her infant daughter, he retired from military service on half-pay in 1822.
Together in a hostile environment, Conroy's relationship with the Duchess was close, with him serving as her comptroller and private secretary for the next nineteen years, as well as holding the unofficial roles of public relations officer, counsellor and political agent. While it is not clear which of the two was more responsible for devising the Kensington System, it was created to govern young Victoria's upbringing. An elaborate and oppressive system of rules regulating every facet of Victoria's life, it kept her in reclusive isolation most of the time, with the goal of making her weak and utterly dependent upon her mother and Conroy; the intention was for the Duchess to be appointed regent upon Victoria's ascension and for Conroy to be created Victoria's private secretary and given a peerage. Aware of the reasons behind King George IV's unpopularity, Conroy promoted a public image of the Duchess, pure and decorous, while at the same time increasing her paranoia against the British royal family the Duke of Cumberland.
Princess Victoria soon came to hate Conroy who bullied and insulted her, mocking her economical habits. Some historians have conjectured that Conroy's arrogant behaviour towards Victoria may have stemmed from a personal belief that his wife Elizabeth was secretly the illegitimate child of the Duke of
Emperor of India
Emperor/Empress of India, styled as the King-Emperor or Queen-Empress, was a title used by British monarchs from 1 May 1876 to 22 June 1948. The Emperor/Empress's image was used to signify British government authority — his/her profile, for instance, appearing on currency, in government buildings, railway stations, courts, on statues etc. "God Save the King" was the former national anthem of British India. Oaths of allegiance were made to the Emperor/Empress and his/her lawful successors by the princes, commissioners in India in events such as Imperial Durbars; the Emperor/Empress took little direct part in government. The decisions to exercise sovereign powers were delegated from the Emperor/Empress, either by statute or by convention, to the Viceroy and Governor-General of India who were appointed by the Emperor/Empress, to offices such as the Secretary of State for India, exclusive of him/her personally, thus the acts of state done in the name of the Crown, such as Crown Appointments if performed by them, such as the Imperial Durbars depended upon decisions made elsewhere, such as the India Office.
Legislatures such as the Central Legislative Assembly, Imperial Legislative Council and Council of State were presided by the Viceroy and Governor-General on behalf of the Emperor/Empress, Governors of provinces, by and with the advice and consent of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the Government of India. Executive power was exercised by His/Her Imperial Majesty's Government in the presidencies and provinces, which comprised of ministers, the princely states, via suzerainty, they had the direction of the Armed Forces in India, such as the British Indian Army and Royal Indian Navy, the Indian Civil Service and other Crown Servants Secret Services. Judicial power was vested in the various Crown Courts in India, who by statute had judicial independence of the Government. Unlike the United Kingdom, the Church of England did not hold power in Indian matters as it would be deemed unacceptable to the religions of India. Powers independent of government were granted to other public bodies by statute or Statutory Instrument such as an Order in Council, Royal Commission or otherwise.
After the nominal Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was deposed at the conclusion of the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the government of the United Kingdom decided to transfer control of British India and its princely states from the mercantile East India Company to the Crown, thus marking the beginning of the British Raj. The EIC was dissolved on 1 June 1874, the British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, decided to offer Queen Victoria the title "Empress of India" shortly afterwards. Victoria accepted this style on 1 May 1876; the first Delhi Durbar was held in her honour eight months on 1 January 1877. The idea of having Victoria proclaimed Empress of India was not new, as Lord Ellenborough had suggested it in 1843 upon becoming the Governor-General of India. By 1874, Major-General Sir Henry Ponsonby, the Queen's Private Secretary, had ordered English charters to be scrutinised for imperial titles, with Edgar and Stephen mentioned as sound precedents; the Queen irritated by the sallies of the republicans, the tendency to democracy, the realisation that her influence was manifestly on the decline, was urging the move.
Another factor may have been that the Queen's first child, was married to Crown Prince Frederick, the heir to the German Empire. Upon becoming empress, the Princess Royal would outrank her mother. By January 1876, the Queen's insistence was so great that Benjamin Disraeli felt that he could procrastinate no longer. Victoria had considered the style "Empress of Great Britain and India", but Disraeli had persuaded the Queen to limit the title to India in order to avoid controversy. Many in the United Kingdom, regarded the assumption of the title as an obvious development from the 1858 Government of India Act, which resulted in the founding of the British Raj; the public were of the opinion that the title of "Queen" was no longer adequate for the ceremonial ruler of what was referred to informally as the Indian Empire. The new styling underlined the fact that the native states were no longer a mere agglomeration but a collective entity; when Edward VII ascended to the throne on 22 January 1901, he continued the imperial tradition laid down by his mother, Queen Victoria, by adopting the title "Emperor of India".
Three subsequent British monarchs followed in his footsteps, it continued to be used after India had become independent on 15 August 1947. It was not until 22 June 1948 that the style was abolished during the reign of George VI; when signing off Indian business, the reigning British king-emperors or queen-empresses used the initials R I or the abbreviation Ind. Imp. after their name. When a male monarch held the title, his wife used the style queen-empress, despite the fact that she was not a reigning monarch in her own right. British coins, as well as those of the Empire and the Commonwealth included the abbreviated title Ind. Imp.. Coins in India, on the other hand, were stamped with the word "Empress", "King-Emperor"; when India became independent in 1
Royal Order of Victoria and Albert
The Royal Order of Victoria and Albert was a British Royal Family Order instituted on 10 February 1862 by Queen Victoria, enlarged on 10 October 1864, 15 November 1865, 15 March 1880. No awards were made after the death of Queen Victoria; the order had four classes and was only granted to female members of the British Royal Family and female courtiers. For the first three classes, the badge consisted of a medallion of Queen Victoria and Albert, The Prince Consort, differing in the width and jewelling of the border as the classes descend, whilst the fourth substitutes a jewelled cipher. All four were surmounted by a crown, attached to a bow of white silk moiré ribbon; the honour conferred no rank or title upon the recipient, but recipients were entitled to use the post-nominal letters "VA". The last holder of the Order, Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, died in 1981; the German Empress The Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein The Princess of Wales The Marchioness of Lorne The Princess Beatrice The Duchess of Edinburgh 1879: The Duchess of Connaught and Strathearn The Duchess of Albany 1885: Princess Louise of Wales Princess Victoria of Wales Princess Maud of Wales The Duchess of York Princess Patricia of Connaught The Queen of Denmark The Queen of Hanover 1878: The Queen of the Belgians Princess Louis of Battenberg The Queen Regent of Spain The Grand Duchess of Baden The German Empress The Queen of Romania 1896: The Empress of Russia 1898: The Queen of the Netherlands Princess Marie of Edinburgh Princess Victoria Melita of Edinburgh Princess Alexandra of Edinburgh Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh Princess Margaret of Connaught Princess Alice of Albany Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna of Russia Princess Charlotte, The Hereditary Princess of Saxe-Meinigen Princess Irene, Princess Henry of Prussia Princess Viktoria, Princess Adolphe of Schaumburg-Lippe Princess Marie Amelie, The Duchess of Hamilton, Princess of Baden Princess Marie Louise, Princess Aribert of Anhalt Princess Sophie, The Crown Princess of Greece Princess Margaret, Princess Frederick Charles of Hesse Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg The Countess of Mount Edgcumbe Jane Spencer, Baroness Churchill The Duchess of Sutherland The Dowager Duchess of Wellington Dowager Lady Churchill The Dowager Duchess of Roxburghe Lady Waterpark The Dowager Duchess of Atholl Viscountess Clifden The Dowager Countess of Mayo The Dowager Countess of Erroll Lady Abercromby Lady Portman The Countess of Mount Edgcumbe Countess of Gainsborough Dowager Lady Southampton The Dowager Duchess of Buccleuch Viscountess Jocelyn 1880: Albertha, Duchess of Marlborough The Dowager Duchess of Bedford 1881: The Dowager Duchess of Abercorn The Duchess of Roxburghe 1885: Countess Spencer The Duchess of Buccleuch & Queensberry Lady Ampthill 1889: The Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava Viscountess Downe The Countess of Antrim 1892: The Marchioness of Salisbury The Marchioness of Lansdowne The Countess of Lytton Frances, Viscountess Chewton Countess Cadogan Lady Hamilton-Gordon Edith Codrington, Lady Codrington Adelaide Biddulph, Baroness Biddulph Lady Elizabeth Phillipa Biddulph Flora C.
I. Macdonald Hon Mrs. Ferguson Hon Horatia C. F. Stopford Hon Emily Sarah Cathcart Lady Cust Mrs Magdalen Wellesley Lady Ponsonby Ina Erskine McNeill 1889: Lady Geraldine Somerset Harriet Lepel Phipps Caroline Fanny Cavendish Mrs. Georgina Townshend Wilson Lady Cowell Hon. Mrs. Mallett Hon. Mrs. Grant Ethel H. M. Cadogan Mrs. John Haughton Whitaker's Almanack, 1893 British Imperial Calendar, 1900, 1902 The Times
Hackpen White Horse
Hackpen White Horse is a chalk hill figure of a white horse on Hackpen Hill, located below The Ridgeway on the edge of the Marlborough Downs, two miles south east of Broad Hinton, England. It is one of nine white horse hill figures located in Wiltshire, it is known as the Broad Hinton White Horse due to its near location to Broad Hinton. Cut by local parish clerk Henry Eatwell in 1838 to commemorate the coronation of Queen Victoria, the horse is 90' square feet and is said to be best viewed from B4041 road; the horse is scoured and maintained. The origin of the horse is uncertain, is sometimes said to be the only 19th century white horse to have little of its history known, it is regarded that the horse was cut in 1838 by Henry Eatwell, a parish clerk of Broad Hinton, assisted by a local pub landlord. It is said to commemorate the coronation of Queen Victoria; the horse is cut of chalk, is 90' square feet, making it the only square-dimension horse in England, faces WNW. Although the hill it resides on, Hackpen Hill, is high, it is a gentle slope when compared to the hills of most other Wiltshire horses.
Because the hill is gentle, the horse is banked up and raised from the surrounding grass to make it more visible. The head was elevated to help with the foreshortening; the best view of the horse is said to be from the nearby B4041 road, whilst the A361 road near Broad Hinton provides a clear view. At the top of the hill is a car park where the Ridgeway crosses the B4041 road, a footpath stretches from there down to the horse, making the horse accessible to the public. Many real horses roam the field, it has been suggested that the stones for Stonehenge and Avebury may have come from a field of sarsen stones just to the south east of its location. The expression "as different as chalk and cheese" is sometimes believed to refer to the land divided by Hackpen Hill; the hill forms the boundary between the high chalk downs to the south of it and the clay cattle country to the north, where cheese is a product of the milk from the cattle, so the two areas "are as different as chalk and cheese." Hackpen White Horse was not the only hillside shape cut to commemorate Queen Victoria.
The horse ties "neck-and-neck" with Broad Town White Horse as the closest white horse to Swindon. The horse is scoured. In either May or June 2000, John Wain cleaned it single-handedly, he flew David Brewer over the area to photograph the village of Broad Hinton and the white horse for brewers's book Images of a Wiltshire Downland Village: Broad Hinton and Uffcott. Wain cleaned it annually until Bevan Pope cleaned the horse single-handedly on 23 September 2004. Wain cleaned the horse again with the help of a group of friends on 1 February 2011 and 4 February 2012. On both occasions, they illuminated the newly cleaned horse. Although to illuminate a white horse has been sporadic tradition for other horses in Wiltshire, those occasions marked the first times it had been done for Hackpen White Horse. In March 2009, the horse was transformed into a "red horse" for the Comic Relief charity's Red Nose Day campaign; the White Horse pub, located half a mile away in Winterbourne Bassett, features an illustration resembling the horse as its logo.
The pub itself was named after the eight horses in Wiltshire. The horse has featured in several artworks, including a stained glass window made by Berry Stained Glass, Benoit Philppe's The Hackpen White Horse oil on canvas painting, a silver necklace created in 2015 by Devizes-based jeweller Daniel Pike. In 2005, the horse appeared in episode 1 of series 6 of Top Gear, and, in 2012, for a Pukka Pies sponsorship advert for ITV travel series Ade in Britain, Pukka Pies modified a photograph of the location to include a hill figure of one of their pies instead of the horse. Wiltshire white horsesWestbury White Horse Pewsey White Horse Devizes White Horse Broad Town White Horse Cherhill White Horse Marlborough White Horse Alton Barnes White HorseOther white horsesUffington White Horse Osmington White Horse Kilburn White Horse Woolbury White Horse
Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn was the seventh child and third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. He served as the Governor General of Canada, the tenth since Canadian Confederation and the only British prince to do so. In 1910 he was appointed Grand Prior of the Order of St John and held this position until 1939. Arthur was educated by private tutors before entering the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich at the age of 16. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the British Army, where he served for some 40 years, seeing service in various parts of the British Empire. During this time he was created a royal duke, becoming the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, as well as the Earl of Sussex. In 1911, he was appointed as Governor General of Canada, he occupied this post until he was succeeded by the Duke of Devonshire in 1916. He acted as the King's, thus the Canadian Commander-in-Chief's, representative through the first years of the First World War. After the end of his viceregal tenure, Arthur returned to the United Kingdom and there, as well as in India, performed various royal duties, while again taking up military duties.
Though he retired from public life in 1928, he continued to make his presence known in the army well into the Second World War, before his death in 1942. He was Queen Victoria's last surviving son. Arthur was born at Buckingham Palace on 1 May 1850, the seventh child and third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha; the prince was baptised by the Archbishop of Canterbury, John Bird Sumner, on 22 June in the palace's private chapel. His godparents were Prince William of Prussia; as with his older brothers, Arthur received his early education from private tutors. It was reported, it was at an early age that Arthur developed an interest in the army, in 1866 he followed through on his military ambitions by enrolling at the Royal Military College at Woolwich, from where he graduated two years and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Corps of Royal Engineers on 18 June 1868. The Prince transferred to the Royal Regiment of Artillery on 2 November 1868 and, on 2 August 1869, to the Rifle Brigade, his father's own regiment, after which he conducted a long and distinguished career as an army officer, including service in South Africa, Canada in 1869, Egypt in 1882, in India from 1886 to 1890.
In Canada, Arthur, as an officer with the Montreal detachment of the Rifle Brigade, undertook a year's training and engaged in defending the Dominion from the Fenian Raids. Following his arrival at Halifax, Arthur toured the country for eight weeks and made a visit in January 1870 to Washington, D. C. where he met with President Ulysses S. Grant. During his service in Canada he was entertained by Canadian society, it was not, all social and state functions for Arthur. Arthur made an impression on many in Canada, he was given on 1 October 1869 the title Chief of the Six Nations by the Iroquois of the Grand River Reserve in Ontario and the name Kavakoudge, enabling him to sit in the tribe's councils and vote on matters of tribe governance. As he became the 51st chief on the council, his appointment broke the centuries-old tradition that there should only be 50 chiefs of the Six Nations. Of the Prince, Lady Lisgar, wife of Governor General of Canada the Lord Lisgar, noted in a letter to Victoria that Canadians seemed hopeful Prince Arthur would one day return as governor general.
Arthur was promoted to the honorary rank of colonel on 14 June 1871, substantive lieutenant-colonel in 1876, colonel on 29 May 1880 and, on 1 April 13 years was made a general. He gained military experience as Commander-in-Chief of the Bombay Army from December 1886 to March 1890, he went on to be General Officer Commanding Southern District, at Portsmouth, from September 1890 to 1893. The Prince had hoped to succeed his first cousin once-removed, the elderly Prince George, Duke of Cambridge, as Commander-in-chief of the British Army, upon the latter's forced retirement in 1895, but this desire was denied to Arthur, instead he was given, between 1893 and 1898, command of the Aldershot District Command. In August 1899 the 6th Battalion, Rifles of the Canadian Non-Permanent Active Militia, located in Vancouver, British Columbia, asked Prince Arthur to give his name to the regiment and act as its honorary colonel; the regiment had been converted to the infantry role from the 2nd Battalion, 5th British Columbia Regiment of Canadian Artillery.
With the Prince's agreement the unit was renamed 6th Regiment, Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles on 1 May 1900. He was subsequently appointed colonel-in-chief of the regiment k
Edward Oxford was the first of eight people who tried to assassinate Queen Victoria. After Oxford was arrested and charged with treason, a jury found that Oxford was not guilty by reason of insanity and he was detained at Her Majesty's pleasure in the State Criminal Lunatic Asylum and in Broadmoor Hospital. Given conditional release for transportation to a British colony, he lived out the remainder of his life in Australia. Edward was born in Birmingham in 1822, the third of Hannah Marklew and George Oxford's seven children, his father, a gold chaser, died. His mother was able to find work and support the family, which meant Edward was able to attend school both in Birmingham and the Lambeth area of London, where the family moved when he was about 10; when Oxford left school, he first took bar work with his aunt in Hounslow in other public houses as a pot boy, or waiter. At the time of the attack he was eighteen years old and living with his mother and sister in lodgings in Camberwell, having quit his job at the Hog-in-the-Pound in Oxford Street.
Since his mother had returned to Birmingham on a regular trip to see family over a month before, Oxford was, in effect, living alone at the time of the event. On 4 May 1840, he bought a pair of pistols for £2, as well as a gunpowder flask, began practising in various shooting galleries in Leicester Square, the Strand and the West End. A week before the attack, he went into a Lambeth shop owned by a former schoolmate named Gray and bought fifty copper percussion caps, enquired where he could buy some bullets and three-pennies' worth of gunpowder. Gray sold him the powder, told him where he could find the ammunition. On the evening of 9 June he showed several witnesses. At about 4:00 PM on 10 June 1840, Oxford took up a position on a footpath at Constitution Hill, near Buckingham Palace; the Queen, four months pregnant with her first child, was accustomed to riding out in a phaeton, or low, open horse-drawn carriage, with her husband, Prince Albert in the late afternoon or early evening, with no other escort than two outriders.
When the royal couple appeared some two hours and drew level with him, he fired both pistols in succession, missing both times. He was seized by onlookers and disarmed. Oxford made no attempt to hide his actions declaring: "It was I, it was me that did it."He was arrested and charged with treason for attempting to assassinate the sovereign. When he was taken into custody at the police station he asked; when he was asked if the pistols had been loaded, he said. After his arrest, his lodgings were searched and a locked box was found containing a sword and scabbard, two pistol-bags, powder, a bullet-mould, five lead balls, some of the percussion caps bought from Gray, the intricate rules and proceedings of an imaginary military society called "Young England", complete with a list of made-up officers and correspondence. Members were to be armed with a brace of a sword, a rifle and a dagger. Oxford's trial at the Old Bailey was postponed until 9 July, after a thorough investigation was made of both his background and his possible motives.
In spite of his earlier admissions, no bullets could be found at the scene, so that the Crown could not prove that the pistols were, in fact and that he could have harmed anyone. Oxford claimed that the guns contained only gunpowder. Oxford appeared to be oblivious for most of the proceedings; the prosecution presented much eyewitness evidence, while the defence case consisted of various family members and friends who testified that Oxford had always seemed of unsound mind, that both his grandfather and father were alcoholics who had exhibited signs of mental illness. This carried a great deal of weight, as it was thought during this time that both drink and hereditary influence were strong causal factors for insanity. Oxford's mother testified her late husband had been violent and intimidating, that her son was not only prone to fits of hysterical laughter and emitting strange noises, he had been obsessed with firearms since he was a child. Various eminent pathologists and physicians testified that due to "brain disease" or other factors, such as the shape of his head, Oxford was either a mental imbecile or incapable of controlling himself.
The following day, the jury acquitted Oxford, declaring him to be "not guilty by reason of insanity". Like all such prisoners, he was sentenced to be detained "until Her Majesty's pleasure be known". In effect, this was an indefinite sentence, the source of the asylum term "pleasure men". Oxford was sent to the State Criminal Lunatic Asylum in Bethlem, where he remained as a model patient for the next twenty-four years. During that time he occupied himself by drawing and learning to play the violin, he learnt French and Italian to a degree of fluency, acquired some knowledge of Spanish and Latin, was employed as a painter and decorator within the confines of the hospital. When he was transferred to Broadmoor Hospital in 1864, the notes taken on his arrival describe him as "apparently sane", he still claimed the pistols he fired at the Queen were not loaded with anything other than powder, that his attack was fuelled not by a desire to injure her, but purely by a desire for notoriety. Oxford continued to be order
Coronation of Queen Victoria
The coronation of Queen Victoria took place on Thursday, 28 June 1838, just over a year after she succeeded to the throne of the United Kingdom at the age of 18. The ceremony was held in Westminster Abbey after a public procession through the streets from Buckingham Palace, to which the queen returned as part of a second procession. Planning for the coronation, led by prime minister Lord Melbourne, began at Cabinet level in March 1838. In the face of various objections from numerous parties, the Cabinet announced on Saturday, 7 April, that the coronation would be at the end of the parliamentary session in June, it was budgeted at £70,000, more than double the cost of the "cut-price" 1831 coronation but less than the £240,000 spent when George IV was crowned in July 1821. A key element of the plan was presentation of the event to a wider public. By 1838, the newly built railways were able to deliver huge numbers of people into London and it has been estimated that some 400,000 visitors arrived to swell the crowds who thronged the streets while the two processions took place and filled the parks where catering and entertainment were provided.
Hyde Park was the scene including a balloon ascent. The fair was extended by popular demand to four. Green Park featured a firework display the night after the ceremony; the event took place in fine weather and was considered a great success by the press and wider public, though those inside the Abbey witnessed a good deal of mishap and confusion due to lack of rehearsal. In the country at large, there was considerable Radical opposition to the coronation in northern England. Queen Victoria succeeded her uncle King William IV on 20 June 1837, her first prime minister was Lord Melbourne. Until 1867, the Demise of the Crown automatically triggered the dissolution of parliament and a general election was therefore necessary with voting between 24 July and 18 August; the result was a victory for Melbourne whose existing Whig Party government was returned to power for four more years. Their majority over the opposition Conservative Party was reduced from 112 seats to thirty. Melbourne was the leading player in the planning and implementation of Victoria's coronation.
Melbourne's Cabinet began formal discussion of the subject of the coronation in March 1838. A major factor in the planning was this being the first coronation held since the passing of the Reform Act 1832, which the government recognised as radically reshaping the monarchy. In terms of the ceremony itself, the extension of the franchise meant that some 500 Members of Parliament would be invited to attend in addition to the peerage. A greater consideration was the need to somehow involve the general public and Melbourne championed the centuries old custom of a public procession through the streets. There had been a procession in 1831 but a much longer route was planned for 1838 including a new startpoint at Buckingham Palace. Earlier processions had run from the Tower of London to the Abbey. Victoria's procession would be the longest since that of Charles II in April 1661. Scaffolding for spectators would be built all along the route; this was achieved according to contemporary reports, including one saying there was "scarcely a vacant spot along the whole, unoccupied with galleries or scaffolding".
The diarist Charles Greville commented that the principal object of the government plan was to amuse and interest the ordinary working people. He concluded that the "great merit" of the coronation was that so much had been done for the people. In terms of cost, the government was torn between the extremes of George IV's lavish coronation in 1821 and the "cut-price" event, dubbed the "Half-Crown-ation", held for William IV in 1831, they decided to allow a budget of £70,000. Therefore, the cost of Victoria's coronation represented a compromise between two extremes of £240,000 and £30,000; the government's plans for the coronation attracted considerable criticism from its opponents. For different reasons, both Tories and Radicals objected to the coronation being turned into a day of popular celebration, to be seen by as wide a public as possible; the Tory objections made beforehand, were that the government's plans to put much of the spending into the long public procession detracted from the traditional dignity of the ceremonies at Westminster, which would be "shorn of majesty by Benthamite utilitarianism".
The Radical left, including the Chartist movement, anti-monarchist, thought the whole occasion far too expensive. A dubious perception that prevailed was the identification of the new monarch with the Whig party; this would be a problem through the early years of Victoria's reign, leading to the so-called Bedchamber Crisis in 1839 over what were the political appointments of her ladies-in-waiting. In addition, the Whig party had exploited Victoria's name in its election campaign, suggesting that a monarch from a new generation would mean the progress of reform. William IV and his wife, Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, had strong Tory sympathies, while Victoria's mother and namesake was known to favour the Whigs, it was assumed, to some extent that Victoria herself had been brought up to hold similar views. This was reflected in popular ballads sold on the streets, one of which had Victoria saying: The government's decision to dispense with certain traditions was seen as snub by the Tory aristocracy.
The omissions included an exclusive banquet at Westminster Hall and medieval rituals like a monarchical champion throwing down a gauntlet. In the House of Lords, complaints were made about the processions because a young girl (Victori