Victoria married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840. Their 9 children and 26 of their 42 grandchildren married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the nickname "the grandmother of Europe". After Albert's death in 1861, Victoria plunged into deep mourning and avoided public appearances. As a result of her seclusion, republicanism temporarily gained strength, but in the later half of her reign, her popularity recovered. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were times of public celebration.
At 63 years and 7 months, her reign as the Queen lasted longer than that of any other British monarch, and is the longest of any female monarch in history. Her reign is known as the Victorian era, and was a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military progress within the United Kingdom. Overseas, it was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire. She was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover; her son and successor King Edward VII belonged to the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.