Queen Victoria was widowed in 1861 following the death of her beloved husband Prince Albert. Famously, she never remarried before her own death 40 years later. And while there was a well-known, though undefined, relationship with John Brown, a servant from the Scottish Highlands, he too died in 1883. Only recently, however, has it has been revealed that Victoria had another close relationship after Brown – one that her family successfully conspired to conceal after her death.
Alexandrina Victoria was born in 1819 at London’s Kensington Palace. She succeeded to the British throne aged 18 in 1837 on the death of her uncle William IV. Victoria only became queen because three of her uncles who were heirs to the throne all died and left behind no legitimate children.
Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840. Born in the same year as her, Albert was her first cousin. And, by all accounts, the young Queen was love-struck. After the wedding, she wrote in her diary, “He clasped me in his arms, and we kissed each other again and again! His beauty, his sweetness and gentleness – really how can I ever be thankful enough to have such a husband!”