Throughout her extensive reign, Queen Victoria valiantly overcame seven assassination attempts, demonstrating remarkable fortitude. Faced with adversaries such as Edward Oxford, a bold 18-year-old who disrupted the tranquility of Buckingham Palace with gunfire, and John Francis, who twice attempted to harm her in a single weekend, Queen Victoria confronted each incident with unwavering resolve. The assailants, ranging from a disgruntled ex-actor to a newsstand worker with a hunchback, each harbored unique yet misguided reasons for their actions. Despite these continuous threats, Victoria’s composed response, including her prompt appearance at the opera after being struck by Robert Pate’s iron-tipped cane, not only showcased her bravery but also cemented the public’s deep respect for her. The varied motives of these attacks, from political zeal to personal distress, never compromised her safety. Instead, these repeated attempts only seemed to elevate her esteem among her subjects, affirming a strong bond between the monarch and the people. In navigating these relentless dangers, Queen Victoria stood as a beacon of resilience and a beloved figure of public reverence.
Top image: Left; Franz Xavier Winterhalter – The Young Queen Victoria in 1837. Right; Older Queen Victoria photograph. Source: Left; Gandalf’s Gallery/ CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Right; Wellcome Images/ CC BY 4.0