Just as the Victorian era is incorrectly portrayed as a period of demureness, misconceptions about the British monarchy – specifically, Queen Victoria – are equally persistent. In reality, crazy stories about the royal family abound from Victoria's court, the most well-known of which typically have to do with the standards Victoria set for Victorian mourning customs. However, despite accounts of her puritanical tendencies, Victoria was actually quite fond of sex and had a deep appreciation for the naked human form. Even the contents of her grave – the things she wanted to be interred with for eternity – had some highly sexual overtones that spoke to the question of what sex was like during the Victorian era.
While she took pleasure in the joys of the flesh, her life was also marked by a great deal of loneliness, from her isolated days as a child to her many years of mourning for her late husband Albert. However, despite her darker days, she managed to lead the British monarchy during a time of great peace and prosperity (at least for the British) as the second longest-reigning English monarch – she reigned for over 60 years, spanning the decades between 1837 and 1901.