The Victoria on Vancouver Island in Canada is the capital of British Columbia. It’s the largest town named Victoria is a world with 156 places named after the one-time British Monarch. There are about 386,000 people living there. In a world where colonialism is frowned upon and change is occurring, the city of Victoria, BC might change its name. What its new designation will be is being debated, but I doubt it will be named Columbus any time soon.
That so many places are named for Queen Victoria should surprise no one. Until Queen Elizabeth II came along, Victoria was the world’s longest reigning royal and very popular. She ruled Great Britain for 63 years. Queen Elizabeth II has been on the throne for about 69 years.
In London there are roads, a famous museum, and a hospital named for Victoria, but there are only 3 towns in England officially called this. Some who think they know, say that there are 16 Victorias in Great Britain. I can’t find them.
There are a lot of Victoria’s in Australia. One of its states, in fact, is called Victoria. It’s the state with one of my favorite cities in the world, Melbourne. There is a mall in downtown Sydney named after this queen. It’s a great tourist draw with some special clocks. The statue photo above of Queen Victoria graces its entrance.
There are several Victorias in Canada apart from the city on Vancouver Island. The capital of Saskatchewan, for example, was named for her. “Hold on,” you might say, “the capital of Saskatchewan where the Royal Mounted Police train is called Regina.” It’s a town of about 193,000 Canadians. Regina is the Latin word for queen, and this city was named Regina to honor Queen Victoria.
The largest Victoria in the USA is Victoria, TX. With a population of 67,000 people, this city is one of only 6 viable Victorias in this country that threw off British rule. The only other one of any size is Victoria, MN. There are many landmarks in the world with her name including a park (for now) in Hong Kong and some spectacular waterfalls in Zimbabwe. There’s a huge Lake Victoria in Kenya. Said to be the smallest capital in the world, the village of Victoria in The Seychelles is the only town of any size in this island group. There are also Victorias in Romania, Mexico, and Chile.
And finally, the chief town on Gozo, Malta’s 2nd island, is named Victoria. It’s in the center of this island in the Mediterranean Sea and was named on Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. That’s Malta’s capital Valletta in the photo just above.
PS The curious seagull hung out outside our window when Ruth & I stayed high up in The Empress Hotel at Victoria, BC’s harbor a few years ago.