By Engraving from 1886 book “True Stories of the Reign of Queen Victoria” by Cornelius Brown. Scanned by Infrogmation (talk) from original copy. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Having survived typhoid at the age of 16, Victoria became queen in 1837 when her uncle William IV died. The first thing the 18-year-old monarch did was order that her bed be moved out of her mother’s room in Kensington Palace in order to escape her domination.
Shortly afterwards she became the first British monarch to take up residence at Buckingham Palace, then still unfinished.
Though today we imagine Victoria being held in the highest respect during her lifetime she was not popular at the start of her reign. She was hissed by the crowd at the Ascot races on one occasion and survived seven assassination attempts.
More than once she had a narrow escape when shots were fired at her as she passed in her carriage. In 1850 a retired hussar managed to give her a ‘sharp blow’ on the head with his cane.