Lady in Black
Long before Kate and William, there was Victoria and Albert. The young British queen married her German cousin Albert in 1840, making him the Prince Consort. “He possesses every quality that can be desired to make me perfectly happy,” she wrote. The father of her nine children, Prince Albert was also among Victoria’s shrewdest and most trusted advisers. When he died suddenly of typhoid in 1861, the queen was devastated. She built Albert a grand mausoleum and kept one of the rooms in Windsor Palace as his shrine, complete with changes of clothes for him and fresh water for his basin. She traveled with a giant portrait of him and kept a smaller likeness by her bed, so she could wake to the sight of his face. As a widow, Victoria, famed for her longevity, wore black every day until her death in 1901.