Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
Although the general public never understood what she saw in him, Victoria's 1840 marriage to her first cousin Albert was one of the most loving and respectful of royal unions. Smitten with him from their first meeting in 1836, which had been orchestrated by their royal uncle Leopold, Victoria even wrote to thank the matchmaker "for the prospect of great happiness you have contributed to give me, in the person of dear Albert... he possesses every quality that could be desired to render me perfectly happy."
After their wedding, Albert fast became the Queen's best friend and confidante, and it is clear he would have given his life for her; during a carriage journey in 1840, a gunman fired a shot at Victoria, and Albert threw himself in front of her, although both were unhurt. The couple went on to produce nine children in 18 years, with Albert performing her duties while she was incapacitated from giving birth to them, until he died from typhoid in 1861. Stricken with grief, his wife entered a 10-year mourning period during which she wore nothing but black, and hid herself away, refusing to take on royal responsibilities. Though her profound depression eventually lifted, she never stopped grieving for Albert - her one true love.