Queen Victoria is one of the most famed monarchs of England. Her 63-year reign from 1837 to 1901 marked the Victorian era, a period of great prosperity and national self-confidence for the UK. Her face graces the obverse side of many gold Sovereign coins, the flagship coins of the Royal Mint.
An Elegant Ruler
Queen Victoria was famed for her beauty. Her coronation was celebrated by the entire country when 400,000 subjects gathered on the streets of London to catch a glimpse of the young queen as she travelled to Westminster Abbey for the ceremony. She wore immaculate robes of white satin and red velvet and was named Queen of England on the 28th of June 1838.
She proposed to her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840. The white royal wedding was unprecedented for the time: Brides in the past simply wore their Sunday best during their wedding, but the Queen appeared in a glorious white gown made especially for the ceremony. Brides have been wearing white gowns to their weddings ever since.
Though her rule had its scandals, she was a paragon of elegance and grace. She and her Prince Albert redefined what it meant to be royal, becoming a major patron of over 150 institutions, including several charities. She visited industrial towns and developed educational facilities.
The excess of her uncles marred the reputation of the monarchy, but Queen Victoria stemmed the criticism with her personable approach to public relations. She helped the Royal Family regain the trust of the people of England.
A Face in Gold
As a beloved ruler, Queen Victoria features in multiple editions of the gold sovereign. In 1871, a portrait of her in her youth appeared on the obverse side of the coin. In later years, an older portrait, to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 1887, replaced the young head. The coins are still popular among collectors, and the original mints can cost a small fortune.
Queen Victoria was a unique woman who changed the face of the English monarchy, and her visage will forever be immortalised in gold.