Mourning Fashion

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Introduction M10561 M972.123.11 M968.7.116 M10559 M18679 M965.71.4


Mourning rituals have been known among all cultures, but black clothing gained special significance when widows adopted nuns' black robes while staying in convents in the 1100s. These rituals intensified in England and America after the death of Prince Albert in 1861, which Queen Victoria mourned for the rest of her life. The "cult of mourning" that developed relied on detailed etiquette to create the "look" of mourning in personal attire and household decor.