Victoria Day is a federal Canadian public holiday celebrated on the last Monday preceding May 25, in honour of Queen Victoria's birthday. As such, it is the Monday between the 18th to the 24th inclusive, thus is always the penultimate Monday of May; the date is that on which the current Canadian sovereign's official birthday is recognized. It is sometimes informally considered the beginning of the summer season in Canada; the holiday has been observed in Canada since at least 1845 falling on Victoria's actual birthday. It continues to be celebrated in various fashions across the country. Victoria Day is a federal statutory holiday, as well as a holiday in six of Canada's ten provinces and all three of its territories. In Quebec, before 2003, the Monday preceding 25 May of each year was unofficially the Fête de Dollard, a commemoration of Adam Dollard des Ormeaux initiated in the 1920s to coincide with Victoria Day. In 2003, provincial legislation created National Patriots' Day on the same date.
The birthday of Queen Victoria was a day for celebration in Canada long before Confederation, with the first legislation regarding the event being in 1845 passed by the parliament of the Province of Canada to recognize May 24 as the Queen's birthday. It was noted that on that date in 1854, the 35th birthday of Queen Victoria, some 5,000 residents of Canada West gathered in front of Government House to "give cheers to their queen". An example of a typical 19th century celebration of the Queen's birthday took place on May 24, 1866, in Omemee in Canada West: the town mounted a day-long fête to mark the occasion, including a gun salute at midnight, pre-dawn serenades, athletic competitions, a display of illuminations, a torch-light procession. Following the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, May 24 was made by law to be known as Victoria Day, a date to remember the late queen, deemed the "Mother of Confederation", and, in 1904, the same date was by imperial decree made Empire Day throughout the British Empire.
Over the ensuing decades, the official date in Canada of the reigning sovereign's birthday changed through various royal proclamations until the haphazard format was abandoned in 1952. That year, both Empire Day and Victoria Day were, by order-in-council and statutory amendment moved to the Monday before May 25 and the monarch's official birthday in Canada was by regular viceregal proclamations made to fall on this same date every year between 1953 and January 31, 1957, when the link was made permanent by royal proclamation; the following year, Empire Day was renamed Commonwealth Day and in 1977 it was moved to the second Monday in March, leaving the Monday before May 25 only as both Victoria Day and the Queen's Birthday. Victoria Day celebrations have been marred by major tragedy at least twice: In 1881, the passenger ferry Victoria overturned in the Thames River, near London, Ontario; the boat departed in the evening with 600 to 800 people on board—three times the allowable passenger capacity—and capsized part way across the river, drowning some 182 individuals, including a large number of children, with their families for Victoria Day picnics at Springbank Park.
The event came to be known as the Victoria Day disaster. On May 26, 1896, the Point Ellice Bridge disaster occurred in Victoria, British Columbia, when a bridge collapsed under the weight of a streetcar overloaded with passengers on their way to attend Victoria Day celebrations. In 2013, a group of prominent Canadian actors and politicians sent a petition to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, requesting that the holiday be renamed Victoria and First Peoples Day. Most workplaces in Canada are regulated by the territorial governments. Therefore, although Victoria Day is a statutory holiday for federal purposes, whether an employee is entitled to a paid day off depends on the province or territory of residence; the status of Victoria Day in each of the provinces and territories is as follows: It is a general holiday in Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Yukon and is a statutory holiday in British Columbia and Saskatchewan. Victoria Day is not a paid public holiday in Newfoundland and Labrador, but is a government holiday.
In Nunavut and New Brunswick, the date is set as a general holiday to mark the reigning sovereign's official birthday. In Quebec, the province's legislative assembly passed legislation that dedicated National Patriots' Day, commemorating the patriotes of the Lower Canada Rebellion of 1837, to be celebrated on the Monday preceding May 25; this replaced the Fête de Dollard, celebrated by Quebecers on Victoria Day since the 1960s and which commemorated Adam Dollard des Ormeaux. Canada is the only country. Federal government protocol dictates that, on Victoria Day, the Royal Union Flag is to be flown from sunrise to sunset at all federal government buildings—including airports, military bases, other Crown owned property across the country—where physical arrangements allow (i.e. where a second flag pole exists, as the Royal Un
Wedding dress of Queen Victoria
The wedding dress of Queen Victoria was worn by Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom, at her wedding to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha on 10 February 1840. She selected a white dress, considered an unusual choice at a time when colours were more usual, made from heavy silk satin; the Honiton lace used for her wedding dress proved an important boost to Devon lace-making. Queen Victoria has been credited with starting the tradition of white weddings and white bridal gowns, although she was not the first royal to be married in white; the lace was designed by William Dyce, head of the Government School of Design, mounted on a white satin dress made by Mary Bettans. The plain, cream-coloured satin gown was made from fabric woven in Spitalfields, east London, trimmed with a deep flounce and trimmings of lace hand-made in Honiton and Beer, in Devon; this demonstrated support for English industry the cottage industry for lace. The handmade lace motifs were appliquéd onto cotton machine-made net.
Orange flower blossoms, a symbol of fertility trimmed the dress and made up a wreath, which Victoria wore instead of a tiara over her veil. The veil, which matched the flounce of the dress, was four yards in length and 0.75 yards wide. Victoria's jewellery consisted of a necklace and earrings made up of diamonds presented to her by the Sultan of Turkey, a sapphire cluster brooch given to her by Albert a day earlier; the slippers she wore matched the white colour of the dress. The train of the dress, carried by her bridesmaids, measured 18 feet in length. Queen Victoria described her choice of dress in her journal thus: "I wore a white satin dress, with a deep flounce of Honiton lace, an imitation of an old design. My jewels were my Turkish diamond necklace & earrings & dear Albert's beautiful sapphire brooch." While photography existed in 1840, the techniques were not yet developed. A series of photographs taken by Roger Fenton on 11 May 1854 of Victoria and Albert are described as wedding or reenactment photographs, with the dress identified as her wedding dress.
The Royal Collection has refuted these interpretations, stating that the images are the first photographs to show Victoria as a queen, rather than as a wife or mother, that she and Albert are wearing court dress. In 1847, Victoria commissioned Franz Xaver Winterhalter to paint a portrait of her wearing her wedding clothes as an anniversary present for Prince Albert; the portrait was copied as an enamel miniature by John Haslem. Victoria revisited the lace-makers to create the christening gown worn by her children, including Albert Edward, the future Edward VII; this gown was worn for the christening of all subsequent Royal babies until the baptism of James, Viscount Severn in 2008, when a replica was used for the first time. As a mark of support for the Honiton industry, in addition to wearing their lace on her and her children's clothes, Victoria insisted her daughters order Honiton lace for their wedding dresses. Victoria wore her wedding lace mounted on the dresses she wore to the christenings of her nine children.
She wore it to the weddings of two of her children, her eldest daughter, Victoria, in 1858, her youngest son, Leopold, in 1882. Her youngest daughter, Princess Beatrice, was permitted to wear it as part of her wedding gown in 1885. Victoria wore the lace to the wedding of her grandson George to Mary of Teck in 1893, for her Diamond Jubilee official photograph in 1897; when Victoria died, she was buried with her wedding veil over her face. In 2012 it was reported that while the dress itself had been conserved and displayed at Kensington Palace that year, the lace was now too fragile to move from storage. Wearing white was adopted by wealthy, fashionable brides. Less than a decade Godey's Lady's Book would incorrectly claim that white wedding gowns were an ancient custom reflecting a bride's virginity, writing "Custom has decided, from the earliest ages, that white is the most fitting hue, whatever may be the material, it is an emblem of the purity and innocence of girlhood, the unsullied heart she now yields to the chosen one" though white had been a distinctly uncommon choice for bridal gowns before Victoria's wedding and was not chosen by a majority of brides until decades later.
Following the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, comparisons were drawn between the bride's white wedding dress and Queen Victoria's own. BBC audio slideshow featuring her wedding dress
Victorian morality is a distillation of the moral views of people living during the time of Queen Victoria's reign, the Victorian era, of the moral climate of Great Britain in the mid-19th century in general. The British sought to bring these values to the British Empire. Historian Harold Perkin writes: Between 1780 and 1850 the English ceased to be one of the most aggressive, rowdy, riotous and bloodthirsty nations in the world and became one of the most inhibited, orderly, tender-minded and hypocritical; the transformation diminished cruelty to animals, criminals and children. Victorian values reached all facets of Victorian living; the values of the period—which can be classed as religion, Evangelicalism, industrial work ethic, personal improvement—took root in Victorian morality. Current plays and all literature—including old classics like Shakespeare—were cleansed of naughtiness, or "bowdlerized." Contemporary historians have come to regard the Victorian era as a time of many conflicts, such as the widespread cultivation of an outward appearance of dignity and restraint, together with serious debates about how the new morality should be implemented.
The international slave trade was abolished, this ban was enforced by the Royal Navy. Slavery was ended in all the British colonies, child labour was ended in British factories, a long debate ensued regarding whether prostitution should be abolished or regulated. Homosexuality remained illegal; as of the turn of the 21st century, the term "Victorian morality" can describe any set of values that espouse sexual restraint, low tolerance of crime and a strict social code of conduct. Opposition to slavery was the main evangelical cause from the late 18th century, led by William Wilberforce; the cause organized thoroughly, developed propaganda campaigns that made readers cringe at the horrors of slavery. The same moral fervor and organizational skills carried over into most of the other reform movements. Victoria ascended to the throne in 1837, only four years after the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire; the anti-slavery movement had campaigned for years to achieve the ban, succeeding with a partial abolition in 1807 and the full ban on slave trade, but not slave ownership, which only happened in 1833.
It took so long because the anti-slavery morality was pitted against powerful economic interests which claimed their businesses would be destroyed if they were not permitted to exploit slave labour. Plantation owners in the Caribbean received £20 million in cash compensation, which reflected the average market price of slaves. William E. Gladstone a famous reformer, handled the large payments to his father for their hundreds of slaves; the Royal Navy patrolled the Atlantic Ocean, stopping any ships that it suspected of trading African slaves to the Americas and freeing any slaves found. The British had set up a Crown Colony in West Africa—Sierra Leone—and transported freed slaves there. Freed slaves from Nova Scotia founded and named the capital of Sierra Leone "Freetown". William Wilberforce, Thomas Fowell Buxton and Richard Martin introduced the first legislation to prevent cruelty to animals, the Cruel Treatment of Cattle Act 1822. In the Metropolitan Police Act 1839 "fighting or baiting Lions, Badgers, Dogs, or other Animals" was made a criminal offence.
The law laid numerous restrictions on how and where animals could be used. It prohibited owners from letting mad dogs run loose and gave police the right to destroy any dog suspected of being rabid, it prohibited the use of dogs for drawing carts. The law was extended to the rest of England and Wales in 1854. Dog-pulled carts were used by poor self-employed men as a cheap means to deliver milk, human foods, animal foods, for collecting refuse; the dogs were susceptible to rabies. They bothered the horses, which were economically much more vital to the city. Evangelicals and utilitarians in the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals persuaded Parliament it was cruel and should be illegal; the owners had no more use for their dogs, killed them. Cart dogs were replaced by people with handcarts. Evangelical religious forces took the lead in identifying the evils of child labor, legislating against them, they were angered at the contradiction between the conditions on the ground for children of the poor and the middle-class notion of childhood as a time of innocence led to the first campaigns for the imposition of legal protection for children.
Reformers attacked child labor from the 1830s onward. The campaign that led to the Factory Acts was spearheaded by rich philanthropists of the era Lord Shaftesbury, who introduced bills in Parliament to mitigate the exploitation of children at the workplace. In 1833 he introduced the Ten Hours Act 1833, which provided that children working in the cotton and woollen mills must be aged nine or above; the Factory Act of
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
The Frogmore Estate or Gardens comprise 33 acres of private gardens within the Home Park, adjoining Windsor Castle, in the English county of Berkshire. It is the location of Frogmore House, a royal retreat, Frogmore Cottage; the name derives from the preponderance of frogs which have always lived in this low-lying and marshy area near the River Thames. This area is part of the local flood plain, it is the site of three burial places of the British Royal Family: the Royal Mausoleum containing the tombs of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The gardens are Grade I listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. Frogmore House was built in the 1680s and purchased by George III as a country retreat for Queen Charlotte in 1792, she employed the architect James Wyatt to expand Frogmore House for her. In 1900 Earl Mountbatten of Burma was born there. On the estate near the House is Frogmore Cottage; this mausoleum within the Frogmore Gardens is the burial place of Queen Victoria's mother, Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, the Duchess of Kent.
The Mausoleum was designed by the architect A J Humbert, to a concept design by Prince Albert's favourite artist, Professor Ludwig Gruner. In the latter years of her life, the Duchess lived in Frogmore House and in the 1850s, construction began on a beautiful domed'temple' in the grounds of the estate; the top portion of the finished building was intended to serve as a summer-house for the Duchess during her lifetime, while the lower level was destined as her final resting place. The Duchess died at Frogmore House on 16 March 1861 before the summer-house was completed so the upper chamber became part of the mausoleum and now contains a statue of the Duchess; the second mausoleum in the grounds of Frogmore, just a short distance from the Duchess of Kent's Mausoleum is the much larger Royal Mausoleum, the burial place of Queen Victoria and her consort, Prince Albert. Queen Victoria and her husband had long intended to construct a special resting place for them both, instead of the two of them being buried in one of the traditional resting places of British Royalty, such as Westminster Abbey or St. George's Chapel, Windsor.
The mausoleum for the Queen's mother was being constructed at Frogmore in 1861 when Prince Albert died in December of the same year. Within a few days of his death, proposals for the mausoleum were being drawn up by the same designers involved in the Duchess of Kent's Mausoleum: Professor Gruner and A J Humbert. Work commenced in March 1862; the dome was made by October and the building was consecrated in December 1862, although the decoration was not finished until August 1871. The building is in the form of a Greek cross; the exterior was inspired by Italian Romanesque buildings, the walls are of granite and Portland stone and the roof is covered with Australian copper. The interior decoration is in the style of Albert's favourite painter, Raphael, an example of Victoriana at its most opulent; the interior walls are predominantly in Portuguese red marble, a gift from King Luis I of Portugal, a cousin of both Victoria and Albert, are inlaid with other marbles from around the World. The monumental tomb itself was designed by Baron Carlo Marochetti.
It features recumbent marble effigies of the Prince Albert. The sarcophagus was made from a single piece of flawless grey Aberdeen granite; the Queen's effigy was made at the same time, but was not put in the mausoleum until after her funeral. Only Victoria and Albert are interred there. Among those is a monument to Princess Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse-Darmstadt, Victoria's second daughter, who died of diphtheria shortly after her youngest daughter May. In the centre of the chapel is a monument to Edward, Duke of Kent, Victoria's father, he is buried in St George's Chapel, Windsor. One of the sculptures is of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in Saxon Dress, commissioned after Prince Albert's death and executed by William Theed, it was unveiled on 20 May 1867 in Windsor Castle, was moved to the Royal Mausoleum in 1938. The plaster model, exhibited in 1868 at the Royal Academy of Arts, is on loan from the Royal Collection to the National Portrait Gallery, London; the official guidebook includes an image of the sculpture, mentions that the Queen recorded in her diary that the idea for it came from Victoria, Princess Royal and that the inscription on the plinth is a quotation from The Deserted Village by Oliver Goldsmith.
The inscription on the plinth alludes to the poet's lament for the passing of the imagined village of'Sweet Auburn'. The building is structurally unsound with the foundations having become waterlogged and the lower elements of the building beginning to disintegrate with paint and plaster peeling off the walls, it has been closed to the public since 2007. As of 2011, it was unknown. In February 2018, the Royal Household announced it was undertaking work on the mausoleum - drying it out - in order to be able reopen it to the public. Work commenced in June 2018, with a deep trench being dug out around the building to create a dry moat to allow the stonework to begin drying out. With the long dry Summer that occurred in 2018, this will have benefitted that process; the leaking roof and windows will be repaired/replaced before the internal restoration can commence. Since its inauguration in 1928, most members of the royal family, except for Kings and Queens, have been interred in the Royal Burial Ground, a cemetery behind Queen Victoria's mausoleum.
Jubilee Clock Tower, Weymouth
The Jubilee Clock Tower is a free-standing clock tower on the Esplanade of Weymouth, England. It was built and erected in 1888 to commemorate the Golden jubilee of Queen Victoria and became Grade II Listed in 1974. Historic England described the clock as being a "florid but characteristic enrichment to the sea-front" and "boldy coloured", it is set on a Portland stone base. Weymouth's Jubilee Clock Tower was built to commemorate Queen Victoria's 50 years of reign in 1887; the tower was paid for by public subscription, with £100 having been collected during celebrations on Her Majesty's Jubilee day of 21 June 1887. The Jubilee Committee approached the council with the idea for the clock tower, accepted; as fundraising did not reach enough to provide the clock itself, Sir Henry Edwards donated one, while the gas company agreed to keep the clock illuminated for free in perpetuity. Weymouth Corporation provided the stone base; the clock tower was unveiled on 31 October 1888. Erected on Weymouth's esplanade, it was set in front of the esplanade and jutted out onto the sands of Weymouth Beach.
In the 1920s, the clock was set back from the beach as the esplanade was extended around it to protect the beach from the encroachment of shingle from the eastern end. The clock tower was painted in bright colours during the same decade