I hope this holiday weekend is going great! Get those flowers out, fire up the barbecue, and a big thumbs up for Queen Victoria! The longest reigning monarch in her people’s history, a harbinger for a time of great progress in industry, politics, society, economy, science, and more. She helped establish the idea of modern constitutional monarchy, with significant increase of power to the democratic bodies in her Empire. She placed a strong emphasis on morality and family values, in contrast to the sexual, financial and personal scandals of the previous monarchs, and despite the negative (such as becoming queen of India), she did so much good in fighting against injustices around the world, reaching into my own country. For example:
Martha Ricks, a former slave from Tennessee, had saved her pennies for more than fifty years, to afford the voyage from Liberia to England to personally thank the Queen for sending the British navy to patrol the coast of West Africa to prevent slavers from exporting Africans for the slave trade. Martha Ricks shook hands with the Queen and presented her with a Coffee Tree quilt, which Queen Victoria later sent to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition for display.
She was responsible for Canada’s confederation as well as establishing many new provinces, which explains why they have this holiday.
So thank you, Queen Victoria. If I may speak tongue in cheek, I can see why Sherlock Holmes shot your emblem into the walls of 221B Baker Street.