The government and treasury of the British Virgin Islands have issued (18th September) a new coin which marks the 180th anniversary of one of the world’s most well-known and revered British monarchs — Queen Victoria. The 20th June 2017 marked Queen Victoria’s eventful and historic accession to the British throne — which also ushered in the Victorian Era — not just for Great Britain, but also for many parts of the world influenced by British culture. The .999 fine silver Proof-quality commemorative coin issued from the British Virgin Islands is struck in ultra high relief by the Pobjoy Mint, United Kingdom, on behalf of the treasury of the British Virgin Islands. The extra relief accorded from the double thickness of this 2-ounce coin allows for an unprecedented complexity of design, depth, and finish.
The obverse features a new effigy design of HM Queen Elizabeth II in exceptional detail, and is an exclusive effigy used by the Pobjoy Mint.
On the reverse is an effigy of a youthful Queen Victoria, inspired by the original portrait designed by Royal Mint engraver William Wyon, used on the coins issued in the United Kingdom from 1839. Emphasis has been placed on the detail of the hair of the young queen, who adopted a more mature style upon her accession.
|62.2 g||38.6 mm||Proof||
This Proof-quality, .999 fine silver coin is protected by an acrylic capsule and set in a custom walnut wood box with a suede-effect insert and includes a certificate of authenticity. For additional information on this and other coins issued by the government and treasury of the British Virgin Islands, please visit the website of the Pobjoy Mint.
Please note: After the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma which has adversely affected the British Virgin Islands, among many other Caribbean islands, the Pobjoy Mint will be donating 20% of the sale value of all silver Proof and cupro-nickel coins issued on behalf of the British Virgin Islands to a fund that has been set up by the island’s government. Your help will be much appreciated by the islanders.
The Queen Who Lent Her Name to an Era: Victoria of Great Britain
Born on the 24th May 1819 at Kensington Palace, Alexandrine Victoria was the only living legitimate grandchild of her grandfather, King George III, whose previous legitimate granddaughter, Princess Charlotte of Wales, had died in 1817 while giving birth. HRH Princess Alexandrine Victoria of Kent was the daughter and only child of Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III, and his wife Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg. Alexandrine Victoria’s mother was the German-born Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg Saalfeld, the widow of Prince Charles of Lenningen, and sister of the future King Leopold I of Belgium.
Princess Alexandrine Victoria’s father died in 1820, just six days before the death of his father George III. This elevated the young princess to third, and then second in line to the British throne after her uncle, the Prince-Regent George (later King George IV), and her second uncle Prince William, the Duke of Clarence (later William IV). She was raised in relative isolation by her oppressive mother, the Duchess of Kent, and the duchess’s rumoured lover, Sir John Conroy. Together they devised a set of strict rules known as the “Kensington System” in an attempt to render the queen-to-be dependent wholly on them. The great concern of the last king before the accession of Victoria, King William IV, was that he would not live long enough for his young, beloved niece to succeed him after her majority, and that a regency would be initiated by her mother and Sir John.
As fate would have it, the king died on the 20th June 1837, just three weeks after Alexandrine Victoria celebrated her 18th birthday. She was now queen in her own right and essentially free of the influence of her mother and Sir John. Their systematic method of forcing dependency on the young princess backfired spectacularly, and resulted in Victoria’s growing to resent both her mother and Conroy.
Her coronation at Westminster Abbey in June 1838, when she was just 19, was celebrated throughout the empire. Alexandrine Victoria, now known simply as “Queen Victoria,” was to become a lady of many titles during her life. In addition to the “Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,” she later adopted the title “Empress of India” in 1877. In her later years, she was also known as the “Grandmother of Europe,” as the nine children born to her and her husband, the Prince Consort Albert (her first cousin), married some of the most illustrious members of royalty throughout the Continent.
Sadly, Victoria was widowed in 1861 after only 20 years of happy marriage, and she spent much of the rest of her life mourning her dearly departed Albert. Queen Victoria died in 1901, aged 81, after a reign of 63 years and seven months—making her the longest-reigning British monarch for more than a century. She was lucky to make it to this age, as there were no fewer than six attempts to assassinate her. Most of these attempts were made by seemingly crazed gunmen whilst she was riding in a carriage. Victoria’s record-breaking reign was broken in September 2015 by her great-great-granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.
Queen Victoria was buried with various mementos of her friends, family, and servants — including a plaster cast of Albert’s hand and one of his dressing gowns, and a lock of hair from her loyal servant, John Brown. The Queen was succeeded by her eldest son, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, who was later known as King Edward VII.