In 1836, about a year before Victoria would become Queen of England, her uncle Leopold arranged an introduction between the princess and her cousin, Albert, a German prince. After the meeting, she wrote to her uncle, effusively thanking him for the "prospect of great happiness that [he] contributed ... in the form of Prince Albert." Albert possessed, she continued, "every quality that could be desired to render me perfectly happy." He was, in her opinion, "extremely handsome," and she wrote that "the charm of his countenance is his expression, which is most delightful." The two young royals were married in 1840, had nine (!) children, and were beloved figureheads of Great Britain until Albert's death in 1861, which plunged the Queen (and her kingdom) into three decades of mourning. This 1 1/4" silver-plated brooch depicting the couple's opposing profiles is one of the thousands of commemorative pieces created to honor Albert's legacy and and the era-defining heartbreak of the wife he left behind.