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The Queen! Gaw bless ‘er!

Usually regarded as the period throughout Queen Victoria's reign, 1837-1901.

Most would say it was a golden age and the peak of the British Empire, when a chap could beat his children for the good of their souls, the dominions and colonies knew what was good for 'em, and wars were fought against militant (but often poorly-armed) locals.

It was a time of progress and innovation and saw the greatest quantum leaps in technology. Victorians invented steam turbines, designed enormous bridges and ships - and even powered flight could be accredited to a Victorian, Sir George Cayley. The huge ironclads of the Royal Navy plied the oceans and protected Britain's maritime interests, and places where the boot of the British redcoat trod were far and wide.

Throughout the reign of Queen Victoria, society changed from being largely agricultural to one of engineering and manufacture - the industrial might of Britain providing for the Empire's needs and actually exporting more than we imported.

Victorians transformed the landscape and opened up hitherto unheard of trade routes through exploration. Two thirds of the globe were pink and the benevolent hand of Britannia brought order, purpose and emancipation to millions. Victorians built India and the great dominions of Australia, Canada and New Zealand and made them what they are today. Good eh?

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