Queen Victoria Becomes Empress of India
In 1877, Benjamin Disraeli, Conservative Prime Minister, had Queen Victoria proclaimed as Empress of India. India was already under crown control after 1858, but this title was a gesture to link the monarchy with the empire further and bind India more closely to Britain.
The Royal Titles Bill was brought before Parliament in 1876. It faced opposition from Liberals who feared that the title was synonymous with absolutism. Queen Victoria opened Parliament in person, the first time since the death of Prince Albert, to announce the change in royal title. Celebrations were held in Delhi, in what is known as the Delhi Durbar, on 1 January 1877, led by the Viceroy, Lord Lytton.
Benjamin Disraeli, Queen Victoria.
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