This was a fact I knew already, but it was slightly supplemented when I saw a recent episode of QI (series N, episode “Noble Rot”).
Queen Victoria’s name wasn’t Victoria. She was born Alexandrina Victoria and was called “Drina” for most of her childhood (so much for me irreverently calling her “Vicky” or “Tori”).
The name “Alexandrina” was in honor of her godfather, Alexander I of Russia, and the “Victoria” bit came from her mother, who was also NOT named Victoria, but rather ‘Marie Luise Victoire’. Queen Victoria then named her first daughter Victoria, just to make things really confusing. Her daughter, who actually was named Victoria, then named HER daughter “Viktoria”, and now my head hurts. STAHP.
When Queen Victoria first came to the throne, she did sign a few orders as “Alexandrina Victoria”, but quickly decided that she needed something pithier, and decreed that her first name was never to be used again. From then on, she was to be only only as “Victoria”.
From what I understand about Victoria, upon ascending to the monarchy at 18, she very quickly attempted to distance herself from her creepy, over-protected childhood as quickly as possible. If you know nothing about her early life, just keep in mind two things:
1.) She never climbed or walked down a set of stairs alone. She was ordered to hold someone’s hand EVERY. TIME. until she became the queen and went, “I CAN’T TAKE THIS ANYMORE”. The death of her cousin, Charlotte, who was the previous heir to the throne (and the subsequent shortage of other legitimate heirs) made her mother and others extremely panicky that something would happen to Victoria–hence why she went from never being able to walk down a set of stairs alone, to becoming the most powerful woman in the world quite literally overnight.
2.) Her first official act as queen was to have her bed moved out of her mother’s room and to give herself a bedroom of her own.
It’s not really surprising that she wanted to shed everything about her childhood, including her name, and to create a new adult identity. Bless, you poor thing.