“The twenty-fourth of May is the Queen’s Birthday.
If you don’t give us a holiday, we’ll all run away.”
How many of us remember repeating this little ditty as children? In Canada , Victoria Day is a statutory holiday observed in memory of the gracious Queen Victoria, who was born 185 years ago at Kensington Palace.
Her’s was the longest reign in English history – 64 years, terminating with her death, January 22nd, 1901.
She succeeded her uncle, William IV, to the British Throne, in 1837. William was also Elector of Hanover. The ancient Frankish Salic Law, observed in Hanover , which declares that daughters cannot inherit land, prevented Victoria from succeeding to this title. Actually William never did visit his Hanover estates after accession to the British Throne.
Although Britain and Hanover were constitutionally independent of one another, 123 years, of personal ties came to an end with William’s death.
Victoria, although not five feet tall, was full of dignity and grace. She began to rule when politics still revolved around the throne. Historians may differ in their assessments of her political acumen, but none will question her high sense of duty as Queen, wife, and mother to her nine children. After the death of Prince Albert, her husband, in 1891, she passed into a long period of personal loneliness and gloom. But her royal character restored both dignity and popularity to a tarnished crown. Her death was like the passing of an era.
During the mid-Victorian age there existed an accepted moral code. Diversity of opinion was tolerated within its framework. In the late 19th Century, the influence of such critics as T. H. Huxley and Charles Darwin began to break down the moral code and the restraints of the mid-Victorian era began to be thought of as fetters.
The rot which set into the foundation of Victorian society in the latter part of her reign has caused the whole house to crumble today. The Empire of the “Great White Queen” is gone. National honour and glory have faded into the past – no longer virtues to be cherished. Nationally, we are shot through with the decay of perversion and a paralysis of the spirit.
In 2004 there is no moral code – no restraint.