Here’s How Queen Victoria Would’ve Looked In Color

Before her great-great-granddaughter surpassed her record of being the longest-living and reigning British monarch, that title was held by Queen Victoria. The namesake of the Victorian era, she ruled over the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1837 until her death in 1901 (via Britain Magazine).

Born Alexandrina Victoria at Kensington Palace on May 24, 1819, she was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathern, and Princess Victoria Saxe-Saalfield-Coburg (via Britannica). She was the only child of the pair but had two half-siblings from her widowed mother’s previous marriage. When her father died when she was just a baby, her mother became a widow for a second time. And because neither of her uncles had a living or legitimate heir, she was next in line for the throne. Indeed, she rose to power following the death of her uncle, King William IV, in 1937. That year she became the first Queen to rule England since Queen Anne did into the 18th century (per BBC).

Queen Victoria was just 18 years old when she succeeded the throne, per The Royal Family. Of course, being one of the longest-ruling monarchs, she aged during her reign. Luckily, photography — still in its infancy and a new concept — was able to document what she looked like over the years. But early photography was strictly black and white. What did she look like in color?

Queen Victoria in color

The advent of colorized photography allows the conversion of black-and-white photos to show us what people — including Adolf Hitler — would have looked like in color. The vast majority of images of Queen Victoria are in black and white, but several years ago, an artist decided to colorize a famous image of the Queen.

In 2018, British artist Nicola Branson added color to a late 19th-century photograph of Victoria (via Media Drum World). The portrait she colorized was taken in 1882 by photographer Alexander Bassano. It was one of several photos taken to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 1887 (via the Royal Collection Trust). The portrait shows the monarch wearing a coronet, her jewelry, sash, and her signature widow’s veil (per The New York Times). The color version of the image shows that the Queen had light-brown hair, a reddish tinge to her skin, and blue eyes (via The Guardian).

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