SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please consider donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!


A royal love story: Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, Wedding

Their love is perhaps one of the strongest in royal history, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. His early death impacted the rest of her reign as a depressed widow who took every opportunity to pay tribute to her late husband.

Albert was Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (present-day Bavaria and Thuringia, Germany) and Victoria’s first cousin. Despite being born three months apart, they had little contact as children but knew of their family’s desire to see them married one day.

In 1836, the two had a brief encounter at Victoria’s 17th birthday celebration. In her diary, she wrote of his ‘beautiful nose and sweet mouth with fine teeth.” Like any lovestruck teen, she wrote of his ‘goodness and sweetness’ and how clever and intelligent she thought he was. Albert wasn’t used to late nights and was forced to leave balls early as he felt sleepy and faint. Leaving his young cousin to dance into the night.

By 1839, Victoria was basking in her freedom and declared herself as reluctant to marry. That October, with Albert visiting England, she was smitten. In her diary, she wrote: “It was with some emotion that I beheld Albert – who is beautiful”

Following royal protocol, just five days later, Victoria proposed.

“Oh! to feel I was, and am, loved by such an Angel as Albert, was too great delight to describe! he is perfection; perfection in every way”.

A royal wedding was held on 10 February 1840 in the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace. Almost immediately, Victoria became pregnant and gave birth nine months later. The future Edward VII (Bertie) was born the next year. The physical attraction between Albert and Victoria was clear – they had nine children between 1840 and 1857.

With her multiple pregnancies, Victoria reluctantly shared some of her official duties with Albert despite him not being very popular with the public. The sharing of power would become an issue in the marriage. The two became locked in an endless power struggle with Victoria having violent outbursts. Something that ran in the family with her grandfather, George II1 who during his 60-year reign struggled with a period of mental illness. Royal doctors told Albert to not argue with his wife in case his fears of her inheriting these behaviours came true.

Prince Albert died on 14 December 1862 at the age of 42 after doctors diagnosed him with typhoid fever. Victoria would never recover from his death. For the rest of her life, she dressed in black and hardly appeared in public. She was known to surround herself with memorabilia to remind her of her late husband and even took his dressing gown to bed with her each night. Continuing to have hot water for shaving brought up on a daily basis as if he were alive. In a letter 15 months after his death, The Queen wrote: “The poor Queen… can only hope never to live to old age but be allowed to rejoin her beloved great and loyal husband before many years elapse”. 

Having suffered from rheumatism in her legs and with cataracts ruining her eyesight, Victoria’s health was on the decline. She died at 81 on 22 January 1901. She was buried next to her husband in the Royal Mausoleum, Frogmore at Windsor Great Park.

"; n.innerHTML = "window._taboola = window._taboola || [];_taboola.push({mode:'thumbnails-a', container:'taboola-below-article-thumbnails', placement:'Below Article Thumbnails', target_type: 'mix'});"; insertAfter(t, e); insertAfter(n, t) }injectWidgetByMarker('tbmarker');

About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.