Queen Victoria, or Princess Alexandrina Victoria as she was to be known before taking the throne, was baptised into the Church of England in the Cupola Room of Kensington Palace by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Manners-Sutton.
The private affair, ordered by the Prince Regent (George III’s son, the Prince of Wales and later King George IV) on 24 June 1819 (exactly one month after her birth) saw her names being revealed amongst close family. Her Christian name, Alexandrina was in honour of her godfather, Emperor Alexander I of Russia. Of course, her second name was in honour of her mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld – the Duchess of Kent.
Her godparents were Emperor Alexander I of Russia, the Prince Regent (her paternal uncle); her maternal aunt, Charlotte, Princess Royal (also the Dowager Queen of Württemberg); and her maternal grandmother, the Dowager Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.
Not much is known about the christening due to its private nature. There are no paintings or much written about it. This could be because, being born fifth in line, it was not certain that she would one day reign, but as her uncles either did not have children or had children who died in infancy, her future role became more apparent.
However, we do know the christening had a bit of controversy, and family squabble as the Duke of Kent wanted to name his daughter Victoria Georgiana Alexandrina Charlotte Augusta, but the Prince Regent would not allow it. Reportedly, as the Archbishop was holding Victoria over the christening font, the family was still in disagreement until the Prince Regent declared that she be named after her godfather. More arguments then ensued as the Duke of Kent wanted her middle name as ‘Elizabeth’, but the Prince Regent rejected that. As such, he finally ordered that she be named after her mother.
The future queen was born in Kensington Palace on 24 May 1819 to Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the Duchess of Kent. At the time of her birth, she was fifth in line to the throne; she became Queen of the United Kingdom upon the death of her uncle, William IV in 1837.
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