Victoria wore black even before her beloved Prince Albert died in 1861. Carl Haag’s Luncheon at Cairn Lochan depicts the royal family picnicking in Scotland. Painted in 1868, Haag based the scene on an episode in 1861, three months before Prince Albert’s death.
Haag shows the queen dressed in black. She is accompanied by Albert (the tall man beside her). John Brown, a Scots hunting and fishing guide (or gillie) kneels as he serves her.
There is a presumption that sometime after Prince Albert’s death Victoria secretly married, John Brown. They were a constant couple until Brown’s death in 1883.
*Victoria’s personal servant or gillie in Scotland at Balmoral then “personal servant “who she writes “always attends me when I go out—walking, riding and all our travelling expeditions.” “Invaluable, shrewd, and trustworthy man.” See John Kerr. Queen Victoria’s Scottish Dairies (1992).
Featured Image: Carl Haag. Luncheon at Cairn Lochan, 16 October 1861(1868). British Museum.
See: Carl Haag. Luncheon at Cairn Lochan, 16 October 1861(1868). British Museum; John Madden. Mrs. Brown (1997). Screenplay by Jeremy Brook; See Delia Miller’s Queen Victoria’s Scottish Highlands London: Philip Wilson Pub. 1985; Jeremy Brown. Mrs. Brown, a Screenplay. London: Methuen, 1997