Queen Victoria (1819-1901) reigned over the largest empire the world has ever seen. She was a hugely important figure, causing sweeping changes in the history of many parts of the world, and inspiring her people. She was not simply a prudish old woman with no sense of humour, and in fact probably never said, "We are not amused".
Her reign was equally momentous, occupying nearly the entire period of the Industrial Revolution, from 1837 to 1901, and being the longest in British history till the 9th of September 2015, when her great-great-granddaughter Elizabeth II surpassed her.
She married her handsome cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a small principality in what is now Germany, in 1840. Albert died of typhoid fever in 1861, only 42, leaving Victoria stricken with grief. She never remarried, and indeed she spent the rest of her reign wearing only mourning colours and only rarely making public appearances and even more rarely living at Buckingham Palace; this earned her the not-entirely-complimentary nickname "the Widow of Windsor." As a result, republican sentiment in Britain was at its height, to the extent that some felt the monarchy was going to be abolished sooner or later; fortunately (for the monarchy at any rate), the Prince of Wales, and future Edward VII, "Bertie" had a better understanding of public relations and charmed the socks off the whole country, and partied the socks off the whole upper crust.
Victoria wanted every male British monarch after her to have a double-barrelled regnal name of "Albert [Something]," starting with her son, whom she expected would be known as "Albert Edward." However, "Bertie" decided that he would better honour his father's name if he left it to stand alone, and took the name "Edward VII." Now there is an opposite tradition: Any monarch with the given name "Albert" would not use that name, out of respect for the Prince Consort's singular position. However, there is a low-key tradition where each monarch/heir apparent who has a second son gives that son "Albert" as one of his names (if not necessarily his primary given name). note
Many, many books have been written about her and the era named after her. These tend to be set when they were written, either in Victorian London or in the colonies. Also the default timeframe for Steampunk works.
The Queen has been seen in the following works:
- In Black Butler, main character Ciel Phantomhive directly serves as her "watchdog" as part of his family's role and does what she wants to protect the country, essentially serving as England's black-ops. The manga version has her manservant John Brown follow her around with an Albert hand puppet to calm her down whenever her mourning overtakes her.
- Queen Mousetoria in The Great Mouse Detective is the mouse counterpart of her.
- Features as the main antagonist in The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!. She apparently enjoys eating any animal that is considered to be rare in the wild, hates pirates, and at the climax reveals herself as a katana-wielding Acrofatic Dark Action Girl.
- She is featured in the animated prequel of 2004's Van Helsing titled The London Assignment, where she kidnapped by Dr. Henry Jekyll who has a Villainous Crush on her (at least on her younger self) and plans to make her immortal with a youth potion created from the souls of his freshly killed victims. She is rescued by the titular protagonist, whom she develops some romantic feelings and even kissing him at the end.
- The film The Young Victoria, which is based on, well... a young Victoria.
- The 1950 film The Mudlark is about a street urchin who finds a medallion of Vicki while scavenging. A friend tells him she's "the mother of all England", so he sets out to meet her. She's a Hero's Muse in this, and played by an almost unrecognizable Irene Dunne.
- The 1998 film Mrs Brown starring Dame Judi Dench as the Queen mourning the death of Prince Albert and her friendship/romance with her unconventional Scottish servant John Brown.
- In 2017, Dench reprised the role in Victoria and Abdul, which is about the relationship between Victoria and her Indian servant Abdul Karim.
- Appears in two Jackie Chan movies - played by Kathy Bates in Around the World in 80 Days (2004), and Gemma Jones in Shanghai Knights.
- The 1966 movie The Wrong Box begins showing members of a Tontine dying off one by one over the decades - one by the hand of Queen Victoria, who is knighting him and uses the sword a bit too forcefully. "Oh! ...We are dreadfully sorry."
- The animated sequences of The Charge of the Light Brigade feature satirical representations of her and Prince Albert. Notably, they appear as angels dancing in Heaven to celebrate the British capture of Sevastopol and eat a cake shaped like the Kremlin. It's a strange film.
- In Australian and Kiwi cinema, Victoria is usually the unseen Big Bad in whose name the Evil Brit colonialist officials oppress the poor Irish settlers and natives. Examples: Mad Dog Morgan, Ned Kelly, Utu, and Captain Thunderbolt. There's also Picnic at Hanging Rock where one scene contrasts Mrs. Appleyard's breakdown and a portrait of Queen Victoria glowering stoically from the wall.
- She appears for a few minutes, played by a quietly warmhearted Beryl Mercer, in the 1939 version of A Little Princess with Shirley Temple.
- A very attractive, young Queen Victoria appears in The Greatest Showman, and definitely has a sense of humor.
- One of The Royal Diaries books is "written" by Queen Victoria when she is in her late preteens/early teens, around the time of William IV's accession. (In fact, the wham entry for her is when she realizes she's his successor.)
- Incidentally, in real life Victoria really was an obsessive journal writer, even by the standards of the times. Her daily journals cover a 69 year period and totals 121 volumes (that would mean that Victoria wrote about two thousand words a day—i.e. roughly the daily output of a professional author).
- A child Victoria makes an appearance in the Gaslamp Fantasy The Missing Magician. Also it turns out that as she is of Royal Blood, no one can cast spells on her because England's ley lines protect her.
- Makes the occasional appearance in The Parasol Protectorate.
- The 1939 movie adaptation of A Little Princess
- A recurring character in the Flashman series, where she's portrayed as an amiable ditz.
- Queen Victoria is married to Dracula in Anno Dracula, which takes place in a what-if scenario where he survived the events of the novel and proceeded to take power by storming Buckingham Palace and turning Victoria into his vampire bride. She is kept around as Puppet Queen, locked up as a prisoner inside her own palace while Dracula rules England as the tyrannical Prince-Consort. The main protagonist delivers her from her torment by killing her with a silver knife and effectively dissolving Dracula's claim to the throne.
- The series Victoria, which follows her early years on the throne and her May-December relationship with the Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne (whom it was long rumoured Victoria was in love with), and her romance and marriage to Prince Albert. Initially announced as a miniseries for broadcast in 2016, it was popular enough in its first few episodes that a second series was quickly commissioned for 2017, followed by a third for 2018. Jenna Coleman portrays the queen from the age of 18 onwards.
- The Doctor Who episode "Tooth and Claw". A running subplot in the episode is a bet between the Doctor and his companion Rose whether or not they could get the Queen to say "I am not amused". In direct response to the events of the episode, she founded the Torchwood Institute. A later episode, "Empress of Mars", includes a Call-Back to the version of Victoria seen in this episode.
- Vicki and Albert begin to appear in episode 3 of the 1978 ITN miniseries Disraeli: Portrait of a Romantic, played by Rosemary Leach and Jeremy Longhurst. Disraeli is telling his wife that facing the royal couple is like — cutting to our first view of them as Dizzy continues in voiceover — "looking into a double-barreled shotgun."
- Victoria and Albert naturally appear in the 1975 ATV miniseries Edward the Seventh (also called Edward the King). Victoria, played by Annette Crosbie in a BAFTA-winning role, appears in 10 of 13 episodes and the first focuses largely on her (the title character being unborn, a baby, or small child for most of it).
- Blackadder's Christmas Carol has a short, chubby, highly-sexed, Victoria and a doofus Albert (played by Miriam Margoles and Jim Broadbent, respectively) singing Christmas carols and exchanging gifts.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus
- The "Wacky Queen" sketch features Queen Victoria acting out silly hijinks from a turn-of-the-century silent film comedy, like squirting Gladstone with a garden hose.
- Another sketch, the "Queen Victoria Handicap", is a horse-racing spoof in which all eight participants are named, and are, Queen Victoria.
- She was the #18 "Greatest Briton" on One Hundred Greatest Britons.
- Bleak Expectations: Briefly appears at the end of series 3, knighting protagonist Pip Bin for saving Britain from zombies (long story), only to be abducted mid-ceremony by Big Bad Mister Benevolent. Series 4 begins with Pip trying to rescue her, a process that takes years (on account of Pip being an idiot), leaving Britain in disarray, especially at Christmas, when there's an awkward silence when there should be the Queen's Speech. She also gets a mention in the framing sequence, set decades later, having caused a traffic jam getting stuck on Oxford Street.
- In Fallen London, while her actual name never comes up (because speaking it is forbidden), it's clear that the Traitor Empress (or "Her Enduring Majesty" to loyalists) is/was Queen Victoria. She sold London to Alien Space Bats and their Bazaar of the Bizarre in exchange for Prince Albert's (now, similarly, known only as "the Consort") health.
- The Queen has appeared in the Horrible Histories franchise.
- She gets two musical number in the TV series; one with her butler called "British Things", where she finds out that most of the things from her empire don't originate from the British Isles, and a love duet with her husband called "Vic and Al", where they sing about their passionate devotion to each other.
- She appears on "This Is Your Life" in the audio-book series and reunites with her royal subjects, her dead husband from a video call and the Grim Reaper. Throughout, she is portrayed as the grumpy stereotype that everyone associates her with, and her catchphrase being "We are not amused".
- She had her own book dedicated to her in the original book series and her own episode in season 6 of the TV series. Both take pains to point out various facts about her beyond the stereotype, such as her actually being a very sensual woman despite the stereotypical prudery of the agenote . Both also claim she did say "We are not amused", but only once in her life, and the story differs between the two versionsnote .