Queen Victoria occupied the throne of the United Kingdom for over 63 years, longer than any other sovereign. Through her children and their offspring, she also managed to spread her family among a dozen European royal houses. Her great-great-grandchildren now sit on the thrones of five European kingdoms. Her descendants also were the last sovereigns of five other kingdoms and two German duchies. These monarchies, empires, and duchies often engrave the heads of their rulers and sometimes other family members on the coins of their countries. So Victoria's family tree is filled with European coins, not only shillings, but also marks, kroner, drachma, pesetas, rubles, and now euros. Studying the coins in her "tree" leads to some fascinating personalities and European history stories.
Jim Wells is a retired software engineering manager who has been a coin collector for most of his life. He enjoys researching and collecting coins of America, and of European royal houses, and has exhibited and written about the descendants and coins of Queen Victoria, King Christian IX of Denmark, and William the Conqueror. His coin exhibits in local, state, and national conventions have won several Best of Show and People's Choice awards. He published a five-part series on Queen Victoria coins in the World Coin News monthly newspaper, and has written many articles for other numismatic publications. He was recently named "Speaker of the Year for 2012" by the Numismatic Association of Southern California.