This portrait of Queen Victoria was painted around 1840, three years after she had acceded to the throne, and the year she married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg Gotha. Victoria and Albert enjoyed a happy family life and had nine children. After Albert’s untimely death in 1861, Victoria was left shattered and withdrew from public life for nearly two decades. Only during the 1880s did she return to the forefront of British politics, and was subsequently restored to favour with the British people. Victoria ruled for more than 63 years, making her the longest-reigning British sovereign. The first monarch to board a train, she oversaw vast changes in British society and became the figurehead of a worldwide Empire, which was unrivalled in power and prestige.