Between 1998 and 2000 the Royal Australian Mint undertook a three-year series dedicated to the 'Coins of the 20th Century'. Each year included a different set consisting of proof silver pieces with a mintage of 15,000 sets. The series concluded in 2000 with the 'Monarchs' set which features portraits of the five monarchs who have ruled over Australia.
This two dollar silver
Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom between 1837 until 1901. She was born on the 24th of May 1819 the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn. (The Royal Hosehold, 2017) Prince Edward was the fourth son of King George III and following a succession crisis Victoria became heir to the throne with her uncle, King William IV, pledging to live until she was 18 to avoid a regency. A month after Victoria came of age King William IV died and Victoria became Queen of the United Kingdom.
In 1840 Queen Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert and the royal couple had four boys and five girls. Victoria's control over her children was complete, she considered her eldest son, later Edward VII, a total disappointment and halfwit. She remarked of him - "Handsome I cannot think him, with that painfully small and narrow head, those immense features and total want of chin." (Jane Ridley, 2013) When Victoria'a husband Prince Albert died from typhoid she partly blamed her eldest son for disappointing him to death. For the rest of her life Victoria wore only black and appeared in public very rarely. This long period of mourning and her lack of engagement with the British people and the Commonwealth aged and weakened the monarchy.
Queen Victoria remained on the throne until her death in 1901 - her reign lasted nearly 64 years, the longest reign of any British monarch at the time and only now has been surpassed by Queen Elizabeth II. After her death her eldest son Edward VII became King at the age of 59. He modernised the monarchy and regained public support which some argue allowed the British monarchy to survive the First World War where others did not.
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