The Truth About Prince Albert's Death

Queen Victoria wore black for 40 straight years after her first cousin and only husband, Prince Albert, died at the age of 42. They enjoyed "an extraordinarily happy marriage" per Biography. Albert was her right hand, her secretary and the angel on her shoulder. He openly opposed slavery and helped end the tradition of dueling between Army officers, according to the Royal Family. Albert encouraged Victoria to challenge child labor practices, and with his help she had plenty of practice going into labor, giving birth to nine children.

It wasn't love at first-cousin sight. When they first met as teenagers, Victoria didn't fancy Albert, according to PBS. But being queen afforded her a new set of eyes because when she saw the man he had become, her heart swooned. In an 1839 diary entry, Victoria wrote, "It was with some emotion that I beheld Albert — who is beautiful." And it was with immeasurable heartache that she beheld the great love of her life on his dying day.

Via the Associated Press, Victoria wrote that as Albert lay dying, she "kissed his dear heavenly forehead and called out in a bitter and agonizing cry: 'Oh! My dear Darling!' then dropped on my knees in mute, distracted despair, unable to utter a word or shed a tear!" It took her 10 years to write about the day he died.

Goodnight, sweet prince

Albert's began to wane in the 1850s, according to the Royal Family. He had virtually worked himself into the ground from the sound of things. Albert served as Chancellor of Cambridge University, founded the Imperial College in London, worked as Director of the Concerts of Ancient Music in London, decorated the Westminster Palace, and had nine kids with the Queen of England. But in 1861 he fell terribly ill, and a doctor would diagnose him with typhoid. Per The Conversation, Victoria's husband of 21 years died after 21 days.