This portrait of Queen Victoria was painted in 1842 by Franz Zaver Winterhalter, three years after she had ascended the throne, and the year that 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 which, until 2015, made her the longest reining British sovereign. The Colonel-in-Chief of The Queen's Royal Regiment throughout her reign, she oversaw vast changes in British society and became the figurehead of a worldwide Empire which was unrivalled in power and prestige.