When Princess Victoria of Kent was eleven years old, King George IV died childless, leaving the throne to his brother, who became King William IV. Four weeks after Victoria turned 18, William died. Victoria was now Queen of the United Kingdom. The government was controlled by the Whig Party and its Prime Minister Lord Melbourne. The politically inexperienced young queen quickly came to rely on Melbourne for advice. Four years into her rule, Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert. He was not only the Queen's companion, but also an important political advisor, replacing Lord Melbourne as the dominant figure in her life.