Born in England, only child of George III's fourth son, Edward, Duke of Kent. In her first years as queen she was guided by Lord Melbourne, Whig prime minister. She married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in 1840. She was much influenced by him and his advisor, Baron Stockmar. She achieved a measure of personal authority by requiring Lord Palmerston to inform her of every proposed course of action. Founded the Order of Victoria Cross in 1857. Made her husband Prince Consort in 1857. After the death of her husband in 1861 she followed policies which she believed he would have endorsed. She accepted the title of Empress of India in 1876. Celebrated her golden jubilee in 1887 and her diamond jubilee in 1897. At the time of her death she was recognised as symbolising a new conception of British monarchy and a unified empire.