Queen Victoria's reign began in 1837, just a few years before New Zealand's founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, was signed. So her reign and the nation that was the most distant of her dominions were of a similar age.
Only a small proportion of those New Zealanders alive at the end of Victoria's sixty-three year reign would have remembered its beginning. The era we call "Victorian" covered a period of changes and developments in many areas, technology and fashion included. But the adjective still calls to mind a period of strict morality (outwardly, at any rate) and rigid social structures.
New Zealanders were generally perceived, not least by themselves, as loyal members of the British Empire. No public function was complete without a toast to the Queen. Many towns and cities have Victoria (or Queen) Streets, and the country has many statues of Queen Victoria.
|View of the statue of Queen Victoria in Albert Park, Auckland. Price, William Archer, 1866-1948 :Collection of post card negatives. Ref: 1/2-000451-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22537153|
|Unveiling of the statue of Queen Victoria at the head of Queens Wharf, Post Office Square, Wellington. Ref: 1/2-007908-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22559141|