May 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria (24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901), Britain’s second longest serving monarch. The Queen's reign marked a period of great cultural, industrial and political change as well as a great expansion of the British Empire. She succeeded to the throne shortly after her eighteenth birthday in July 1837, and governed the empire until 1901.
An avid photography collector, Queen Victoria was frequently photographed herself: as loving mother, devoted wife, grieving widow, and powerful sovereign. She was the first British monarch to have her life recorded by the camera, and her portraits became emblematic of an entire age.