Manchester Guardian's Queen Victoria obituary supplement

Queen Victoria died on 22 January 1901 at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. The Manchester Guardian produced detailed news coverage the following day and a 12 page special illustrated supplement celebrating her 63 year reign

The news of the death of the Queen was reported in detail on page five of the Manchester Guardian (adverts were on the front page until 1952). Eight columns covered announcements of her death, reports from the paper’s special correspondent relating events from Osborne House, the proclamation of Edward VII as King, the reconvening of Parliament and reactions in London and Manchester.

News coverage of the death of Queen Victoria, Manchester Guardian, 23 January, page 5

Illustrations were rarely used in the paper. They tended to be small and were to mark special occasions. However for the obituary supplement CP Scott and his editorial staff took the decision to use 30 drawings, many of them large, across all 12 pages.

The supplement runs in chronological order starting with Queen Victoria’s lineage, parents’ marriage, her birth and early life. The large drawing on the first page is of her being declared Queen at the age of 18. On subsequent pages accompanying an analysis of her reign are illustrations of her childhood, coronation and wedding, family life, prime ministers and portraits.

Queen Victoria Special supplement, Manchester Guardian, 23 January, page 4 with illustrations of coronation and wedding

Queen Victoria Special supplement, Manchester Guardian, 23 January, page 8 with illustrations of five prime ministers

The penultimate page of the supplement focuses on the new King Edward VII and the final page details the three visits the Queen made to Manchester in 1851, 1857 and 1894.

Queen Victoria special supplement 23 January 1901 p 11
Queen Victoria special supplement 23 January 1901 p 11 Photograph: The Guardian

In 1910 the newspaper produced a similar style supplement using only illustrations to mark the death of King Edward VII. It did however use a photograph of the new King, George V, in the main section of the paper.

The Guardian News and Media Archive holds a copy of the Queen Victoria obituary supplement (reference 2012/030).

From the archive blog - reports from Queen Victoria’s reign

The coronation of Queen Victoria, 30 June 1838

Royal Albert Hall opened by Queen Victoria, 30 March 1871

Queen Victoria proclaimed Empress of India, 2 January 1877

A golden jubilee garden party for Queen, 1 July 1887

Queen Victoria’s record reign, 23 September 1896

Death of Queen Victoria


Margaret Holborn

The GuardianTramp

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