Queen VictoriaQueen Victoria reigned for 63 years, the longest reign in the history of England. Those years, from 1837 to 1901, became known as the Victorian Age and were marked by the rise of the middle class and a deeply conservative morality.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert Queen Victoria of England appears with her husband Prince Albert in this 1854 photograph by British photographer Roger Fenton. It was one of the first times she agreed to be photographed.
The Crystal Palace Queen Victoria's husband, Albert, was deeply interested in the arts and sciences. He organized the Great Exhibition of 1851, which was held in the Crystal Palace. The structure, built entirely of cast iron and glass, was an early example of modern, functional architecture.
Lord Henry Palmerston Lord Henry Palmerston served as British prime minister from 1855 to 1858 and from 1859 to 1865. A skillful diplomat and tactician, Palmerston was popular among the British people for his belief in the international superiority of Britain.
Benjamin Disraeli, 1st earl of Beaconsfield British writer and politician Benjamin Disraeli was known for his eccentric style of radical conservatism and dedication to Queen Victoria and the British Empire. Disraeli became prime minister in 1874. His most important act in office was to prevent Russia from gaining strategic advantages in the Mediterranean after its victory in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877 and 1878, thereby preserving the balance of power in the region in favor of the British.
William Ewart Gladstone British prime minister William Gladstone, leader of the Liberal Party, served four terms during the reign of Queen Victoria. He helped define the Liberal Party by working on reforms to improve the lives of the working class and fighting for Irish home rule. He was the rival of Conservative Benjamin Disraeli, to whom he once lost, then regained, the post of prime minister.
Queen Victoria and FamilyQueen Victoria, center, is shown with her family and other European royalty. Her descendants, including 40 grandchildren, married into almost every royal family in Europe.