Queen Victoria: The Empress of India and Her Relationship with Benjamin Disraeli
The Death of Prince Albert
Prince Albert died of typhoid fever in December of 1871. Queen Victoria was totally lost without him. She retreated to her home at Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands where she grieved in private. She withdrew from all public life for 10 years, which was very disturbing for an English Monarch to do.
Queen Victoria, was not exempt from her duties as monarch and so she did the bear minimum required of her. She carried on her administrative duties by reading the parliamentary dispatches. However, she refused to be present in person to open the parliamentary sessions.
The alienation from the public further added to her unpopularity with the public and got many parliamentarians to question if she even deserved the money she was paid for her administrative duties.
More talk of scandal
It appeared the saga had come full circle. While Queen Victoria was grieving, she befriended a young Scottish servant in her employ, by the name of John Brown. The relationship between the two were so close that rumours again spread that she was having an affair with him. Just like those rumours surfaced when she was a young woman of 18 years old and was uncomfortably close to Sir John Conway.
Some thought she was secretly married to Brown and many were so infuriated that they were advocating for the abolishment of the British Monarchy.
Prior to 1872, the voting system was open and all could see who a constituent was voting for. This system was being challenged in government because of the danger it could create for common voters. If voters did not vote for the right candidate, their employer who preferred a different candidate could impose penalties upon them such as being fired from their jobs.
William Gladstone was to change all that when he introduced the secret ballot system.
Queen Victoria apposed the secret ballad act of 1872, but there was nothing she could do about it. Her popularity as a monarch was at its lowest during these years. She will still out of touch with the every day lives of her British subjects. Her opposition to a secret ballad at election time only made matters worse.
Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli
However, once Benjamin Disraeli came to power, her popularity began to raise and stayed that way until her death in 190l. She was given the title Empress of India by Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.
Queen Victoria had a very successful jubilee (50 year reign) in 1887, and this helped her to come out of the isolation and show herself once more to her British subjects.