A glimpse into the story behind the show

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The recent premiere of Season 3 of Victoria on Masterpiece on PBS has us curious about the stories behind the story as well as the history that inspired the show. In the series, Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and the characters surrounding them are all based on figures from life, with plotlines taken straight from the history books. A little digging reveals some interesting facts about the monarch, her family, and the politics of the day.

1. She went by her middle name.

Queen Victoria was born Alexandrina Victoria. As a child, she went by her first name, Alexandrina, and was often called by her nickname, "Drina." Upon becoming queen at age 18, she chose to use her middle name, Victoria.

2. She was fifth in line to the throne.

For most of her life, Queen Victoria was not "next in line" to the throne. In fact, when she was born, she was fifth in line to the throne. A series of deaths, and the fact that several royals had no heirs, led to Victoria assuming the throne in June of 1837. A year later, her coronation took place.

3. She had nine children.

Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, had nine children: Princess Victoria (later German Empress and Queen Consort of Prussia, born 1840), Prince Edward (Edward VII, born 1841), Princess Alice (later Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine, born 1843), Prince Alfred (later Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, born 1844), Princess Helena (later Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, born 1846), Princess Louise (later Duchess of Argyll, born 1848), Prince Arthur (later Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, born 1850), Prince Leopold (later Duke of Albany, born 1853), and Princess Beatrice (later Princess Henry of Battenberg, born 1857).

4. She was five feet tall.

According to the records, Queen Victoria was five feet tall. For comparison, Queen Elizabeth II is five feet-and-four inches tall.

5. She helped popularize the white dress wedding trend.

Prior to Queen Victoria's marriage to Prince Albert, wedding dresses came in a variety of colors and patterns. When she married, she donned a white dress with patterned lace, and a trend was born, one that has only grown in the centuries since.

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6. Her reign was 63 years long.

Queen Victoria was monarch of the United Kingdom for precisely 63 years, 7 months, and 2 days. She ascended the throne on June 20, 1837, and her reign ended upon her death on January 22, 1901. At the time, her 63-year rule was longer than the reigns of any of her predecessors. Only the reign of her great-great-granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth (at 66 years and counting), has been longer.