Mary Stuart 1542-87
Queen of Scots
Mary became Queen of Scotland when she was just six days old. At age five she was sent to France to be brought up in the French court, and eventually married King Francis II, who died the next year.
A widow, Mary returned to Scotland in 1561, where a series of politically unwise love affairs and her continued adherence to Catholicism in a Protestant country led to trouble and a revolt against her.
The Scotish nobles imprisoned her; she escaped and fled to England. She then faced the fears of Queen Elizabeth I who saw her as a rival to her throne.
Elizabeth kept Mary under a form of imprisonment for the next 19 years.
Watched closely, she was implicated in a series of conspiracies against Queen Elizabeth,
and was executed.
She was married the king Philipp II of Spain and
imprisoned her half sister Elizabeth, but stops short at an execution.
Tzu-hsi maintained an iron grip over the Manchu Imperial house (Ch'ing dynasty) through a clique of conservative officials. When Kuang-hsu reformed the corrupt government she put him under house arrest and resumed the regency.
In 1900 she encouraged the anti-foreign Boxer rebels;
a coalition of foreign troops captured the capital and she was forced to accept
humiliating peace terms.
Queen Victoria ruled for 63 years, from 1837 to 1901, the longest reign of any British monarch. Her long reign restored dignity and popularity to the British crown and may have saved the monarchy from abolition.
Victoria insisted on taking an active part in the decisions of the government, and forcefully backed those ministers she liked. She herself was most proud of her role as wife and mother - she had nine children.
After the death of her beloved husband Prince Albert, she went into a period of deep depression, dropping out of public view for three years. Her popularity increased in her late years, particularly during time of national celebrations, like the Jubilees of 1887 and 1897.
The Victorian Age featured great industrial expansion at home and imperial
expansion abroad, when Great Britian reached the height of its power.