“Recent” is relative, no pun intended.
The noted Victorian queen, Queen Victoria, married her first cousin.
For years she had refused to consider marriage. It was rumored she had a serious crush on the first prime minister, a Whig named Lord Melbourne, during these reluctant years.
In 1840, she gave into parental pressure and married her cousin Prince Albert of Germany.
Her reluctance disappeared more quickly than you can say, “Do you have Prince Albert in a can?” This was the 21-year-old Victoria’s diary entry describing her honeymoon:
I never, never spent such an evening! My dearest, dearest dear Albert sat on a footstool by my side, and his excessive love and affection gave me feelings of heavenly love and happiness I never could have hoped to have felt before! He clasped me in his arms, and we kissed each other again and again! His beauty, his sweetness and gentleness—really, how can I ever be thankful enough to have such a Husband! To be called by names of tenderness I have never yet heard used to me before was bliss beyond belief!
They had an unusually happy marriage that produced nine children.
When Albert died in 1861 at 42 years of age, Victoria was completely bereft.
Many historians say she never fully recovered from her loss, and as a result, she chose never to marry again.