A photographic portrait of Queen Victoria.
This commercial photographic card of Queen Victoria displays the portrait artist’s many awards and commendations on the reverse side. Although undated, this photograph shows the queen wearing a black lace-trimmed dress in mourning for her husband, Prince Albert, who died in 1861. Queen Victoria had set the fashion in England and America for white wedding dresses when she and Albert married in 1840, and she also set the standard as a widow by remaining in mourning for the rest of her life. Especially during and after the Civil War, many Americans looked to Victoria as an example for proper mourning practices, and an entire industry grew to accommodate the rituals and special clothing associated with mourning the loss of a loved one.