Born on May 24, 1819, Victoria became queen at age 18 after the death of her uncle William IV on June 20, 1837. She immediately became popular. After her coronation on June 28, 1838, Victoria’s popularity continued to grow because of her full participation in court balls and other types of royal events.
She had a deep interest in colonialism, which earmarked a new era not only for the monarchy but also for the development and expansion of British colonies. In redefining the monarchy, Queen Victoria has left many traditions which are still with us today.
Today, her influence is still felt in Canada and around the world. She fully supported the Canadian Confederation and became known as the “Mother of Confederation.” The white wedding dress that brides wear today is influenced by Victoria’s white dress that she wore as a bride to her wedding.
Looking to the Past to Celebrate the Present
Royal Canadian Mint employees are very passionate about sharing the rich history of Canada. In researching the history of Queen Victoria, the product development team of the Mint became inspired by what they found and have produced three new coins each depicting a historical era of the past to celebrate the 200th year anniversary of Queen Victoria.
Treasure 1: The First Commemorative Stamp of Canada
In past years, the Royal Canadian Mint has issued several coins in celebration of the postal history of Canada but has never had one to celebrate Queen Victoria until now. That has changed, however, and the Mint team has used the 1897 Jubilee commemorative stamp to design a coin.
The fact that the Jubilee commemorative stamp of 1897 was a hit and was sold-out quickly after it was released, was a true indication of Queen Victoria’s acceptance among Canadians.
The 2019 50-cent coin is similar to the stamp. It has a deep royal blue colour with engraved horizontal lines. The coin’s edge is serrated to give the appearance of the real postage stamp.
Treasure 2: Combining Two Historic Images
One product manager of the Royal Canadian Mint in collaboration with London’s National Portrait Gallery (UK) developed the next tribute to Queen Victoria. They wanted to use an image of the coronation of the queen at Westminster Abbey on the coin.
The decision was to use two images that showed Queen Victoria inside Westminster Abbey. They chose Wenceslaus Hollar etching of Westminster Abbey and the renowned portrait of Queen Victoria at her coronation.
The new 5 oz. coin is not only a replica of the famous portrait but is also of an original creation of the artist, Sir George Hayter.
NPG’s archives verify that in 1838 when Hayter painted the coronation portrait of Queen Victoria, he retained the life-size picture to produce additional copies when needed. The drawing on this coin is the cropped copy from Hayter’s original 1863 painting, which Queen Victoria herself gave to the NPG in 1900.
This 2019 $50 silver coin shows the final outcome of Queen Victoria in complete colour and positioned over the Abbey’s pillars. This is a spectacular tribute to the 200th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Victoria’s birth (1819-1901).
Treasure 3: A Picture Fit for Royalty
While the majority of Canadians are familiar with Queen Elizabeth II on their coins, Queen Victoria’s image was featured on Canadian money for 68 years.
One of the Royal Canadian Mint employees discovered the uncrowned picture of the young queen in the database of the Library and Archives. The original portrait was the work of R.J. Lane and conveys Victorian classiness. This 2019 $10 gold coin features the original garland with added maple leaves to deliver a stunning 200-century tribute to Queen Victoria.
Fans of the royal family and Queen Victoria will rejoice when this new set is added to their collection. And you can find all pieces at Colonial Acres.