Queen Victoria witnessed many technological marvels during her sixty-four year rule of Great Britain. New inventions included the sewing machine, anaesthetic, and the light bulb. She also oversaw a vast territorial expansion with colonies that came to stretch around the globe, causing people to declare “the sun never set” on the British Empire. On the death of her husband Prince Albert in 1861, she chose to wear widow’s mourning clothes for the rest of her life. This formal gown was designed for Queen Victoria in 1897, the year of her Diamond Jubilee, celebrating sixty momentous years on the throne. It is made of somber black materials: faille and crêpe. Only a long train and scattered embellishments of silk lace and metal spangles are a concession to required royal grandeur.