This week we look at Victoria's Prime Ministers following the death of Lord Palmerston in 1865. Victoria was heavily into mourning Prince Albert, but the efforts of Lord John Russell and the Earl of Derby to introduce electoral reform started to coax her back into national affairs. However, it was the rivalry of the two great politicians of the age - the charming Benjamin Disraeli and the severe William Gladstone - saw her re-emerge as a dominant figure. To Victoria's great distress, Gladstone proved to be the candle that wouldn't blow out, replacing her favoured Disraeli and Salisbury before finally retiring and allowing the reluctant Rosebery to become her final (new) PM.
November 29, 2012