Queen Victoria (1819-1901)

[photo of Queen Victoria]

Victoria is the "Queen" in Queen's University. It is unknown who first suggested naming the university after her, but it was William Morris, first Chair of the university's Board of Trustees, who cleared the idea with British authorities.

The idea to name the university after the young Queen (she was 22 and only four years into her long reign when the university was founded in 1841) may have been inspired by the name of Queen's main rival, King's College (now the University of Toronto), which was named after King George IV in 1827.

Queen's Royal Charter of 1841 was issued in Queen Victoria's name but, despite a persistent myth, was not signed by her. It was, in fact, signed by Leonard Edmunds, a British Clerk to the Commissioner of Patents who was later at the centre of a major political scandal in England.

Victoria's was the longest reign in British history and she gave her name to the Victorian Age, which in large part reflected her ideals and personality. Her rule saw the expansion of the British Empire, the transformation of English politics, and extensive social changes. Victoria had nine children and was related by marriage to most of the royal houses in Europe.

Victoria Hall and the Victoria School building (now part of Goodes Hall, home of the School of Business) are also named after Queen Victoria.