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This being the sixty-second anniversary of the birth of Her Majesty the Queen, a slight sketch of her life may not prove uninteresting to our readers; —

Victoria Alexandria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland and Empress of India, was born at Kensington Palace on May 24, 1819. She was the only child of Edward Duke of Kent, George lll.’s only son, and of the Princess Luise Yictorie of Sachsen-Kohurg, widow of the Prince of Leiningen, and sister to Leopold, King of the Belgians. The death of her father, a year later, left her heiress to the throne of Great Britain and Ireland ; but of this fact she was kept in ignorance until 13 years of age. Until within a few weeks of her elevation to the throne, her life was spend in comparative retirement, the supervision of her education being entrusted to the Duchess of Northumberland. She ascended the English throne on June, 1837, and her coronation was celebrated on the 28th of the same month in the year following, in Westminster Abbey. On February 10, 1840, Her Majesty was married to Prince Albert of Saxo-Cobnrg Gotha, their wedded life extending over a period of 21 years 10 months, in which five daughters and four sons were born. On December 14, 1801,, occurred the death of the Prince Consort, to the great grief of the entire kingdom. Her Majesty’s intense sorrow for her irreparable loss, although it has in a great degree disqualified her from appearing in public and at Court ceremonials, and has imposed on her habits of a life of comparative seclusion, has, however, never been allowed by her to interfere with the performance of her duties as a sovereign Regarding the political phases of Her Majesty’s reign: Oh her accession, the Whigs occupied the Ministerial benches, "but were displaced by the Ministry of Sir Robert Peel in 1841. In 1846 the Corn Laws were repealed, and two years later England was brought to the verge of revolution by the Chartist /agitations, but these were fortunately suppressed. The Tories regained office in 1852, but had to retire the year following, being succeeded by Lord Aberdeen’s Ministry, which held office till 1855. In 1854 the alliance of France in defence of Turkey against Russian encroachments was entered into and was followed by the Crimean war, which ended in the taking of Sebastapool in 1855. Lord Palmerston’s Ministry then took office and held the same, with the exception of a short interval in 1858, during which Lord Derby was Prime Minister, till 1805, his policy being inaction at home, and nonintervention abroad. During this period the Indian Mutiny broke out (1857), but was stringently and heroically suppressed. Lord Russell held office for only twelve months, he resigning, following the negativing by the House of his. Reform Bill, Lord Derby re-assuming »the reins and passing a more sweeping measure. The new constituencies returned a Liberal majority of over 100, and Mr Gladstone became the Liberal leader, and as such has since continued. He retained office till 1874, when the Tories obtained a Majority of 50, and the late Mr Disraeli took the Premiership, and remained in Power till the elections last year, when the Liberals were returned to power and Mr Gladstone was again called on to fill the office of Prime Minister, which he now occupies.

Locally the anniversary has been observed as a strict holiday. Nothing of importance in the way of fetes , etc., has taken place, pleasure seekers being confined, for fields, to the ordinary pjcnicing excursions, or football playing on the* Domain ‘ Reserve, etc/ In Timaru the annual meeting of the New ''Zealand Steeplechase Club has taken place. In Dunedin there have also been held Birthday races, but the telegraph offices being closed, we arc unable to furnish our readers with details thereof’. Regarding local amusements for this evening, pleasure hunters should find no difficulty in obtaining enjoyment. At the Templar Hall an anniversary tea meeting will beheld by the Star of the East Good Templar Lodge, whilst at the Wakanui mill a farmer’s ball will take place. In conclusion, we wish Her Majesty many happy returns and a long and peaceful reign, and in so doing merely echo the sentiments existing in every true Briton’s heart.

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Bibliographic details

HER MAJESTY'S BIRTHDAY., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 352, 24 May 1881

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HER MAJESTY'S BIRTHDAY. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 352, 24 May 1881