Albert’s death in 1861, aged 42, was a catastrophe. (Typhoid was the official cause, but it may have been cancer.)
Victoria briefly considered suicide, but she told herself that she must ‘still endure’, a phrase that became her motto. Widely referred to as ‘the Widow of Windsor’, she took to wearing mourning black and withdrew from public life.
She had a huge photograph of Albert’s corpse placed over her bed; in the morning a bowl of water was set out for him and in the evening his clothes were laid out on the bed.