For twenty years Victoria reigned with the capable Albert at her side. The queen’s relationship with a series of weak ministries was not always smooth. The policies of Lord John Russell were widely blamed for exacerbating the severity of the potato famine, which killed a million Irishmen. The industrial revolution had swept the kingdom, generating great economic wealth for the country and its colonies. Victoria was the mother of nine. The good times for Victoria abruptly ended when Albert died of typhoid in 1861.