Albert, Prince Consort: Wikis


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Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Portrait by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 1842
Prince Consort of the United Kingdom
Tenure 10 February 1840 – 14 December 1861
Spouse Victoria of the United Kingdom
Victoria, German Empress and Queen of Prussia
Edward VII of the United Kingdom
Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse
Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Helena, Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein
Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll
Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany
Beatrice, Princess Henry of Battenberg
Full name
Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel
House House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Father Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Mother Princess Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
Born 26 August 1819(1819-08-26)
Schloss Rosenau, Coburg, Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Died 14 December 1861 (aged 42)
Windsor Castle, Berkshire, England
Burial 23 December 1861; 18 December 1862
St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle; Frogmore, Windsor

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel;[1] 26 August 1819 – 14 December 1861) was the husband of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

He was born in the Saxon duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld to a family connected to many of Europe's ruling monarchs. At the age of 20 he married his first cousin, Queen Victoria, with whom he had nine children. At first, Albert felt constrained by his position as consort, which did not confer any power or duties upon him. Over time he adopted many public causes, such as educational reform and the abolition of slavery, and took on the responsibilities of running the Queen's household, estates and office. He was heavily involved with the organisation of the Great Exhibition of 1851. Albert aided in the development of Britain's constitutional monarchy by persuading his wife to show less partisanship in her dealings with Parliament—although he actively disagreed with the interventionist foreign policy pursued during Lord Palmerston's tenure as Foreign Secretary.

He died at the early age of 42, plunging the Queen into a deep mourning which lasted for the rest of her life. Upon Queen Victoria's death in 1901, their son, Edward VII, succeeded as the first monarch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, named after the ducal house to which Albert belonged.


Early life

Albert was born at Schloss Rosenau, near Coburg, Germany, and was the second son of Ernest III, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, and his first wife, Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg.[2] Albert's future wife, Queen Victoria, was born in the same year with the assistance of the same midwife.[3] Albert was baptised into the Lutheran Evangelical Church on 19 September 1819 in the Marble Hall at Schloss Rosenau with water taken from the local river, the Itz.[4] His godparents were his paternal grandmother, the Dowager Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld; his maternal grandfather, the Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg; the Emperor of Austria; the Duke of Teschen; and Emanuel, Count von Mensdorff-Pouilly.[5] In 1825, Albert's great-uncle, Frederick IV, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, died. The death led to a re-arrangement of the Saxon duchies the following year and Albert's father became reigning duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.[6]

Albert and his elder brother, Ernest, spent their youth in a close companionship scarred by their parents' turbulent marriage and eventual separation and divorce.[7] After their mother was exiled from court in 1824, she married her lover, Alexander von Hanstein, Count of Polzig and Beiersdorf. She probably never saw her children again and died of cancer at the age of 30 in 1831.[8] The following year, their father married his own niece, his sons' cousin Princess Antoinette Marie of Württemberg, but the marriage was not close, and Antoinette Marie had little, if any, input into her stepchildren's lives.[9]

The brothers were educated privately at home by Christoph Florschütz and later in Brussels, where Adolphe Quetelet was one of their tutors.[10] Like many other princes, Albert studied at the University of Bonn as a young adult. Albert studied law, political economy, philosophy, and art history. He played music and excelled in gymnastics, especially fencing and riding.[11] His teachers in Bonn included the philosopher Fichte and the poet Schlegel.[12]


The first photograph of Prince Albert, 1842, two years after his marriage to the Queen [13]

By 1836, the idea of marriage between Albert and his cousin, Victoria, had arisen in the mind of their ambitious uncle, Leopold, who had been King of the Belgians since 1831.[14] At this time, Victoria was the heir to the British throne. Her father, Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent, the fourth son of King George III, had died when she was a baby, and her elderly uncle, William IV, was king. Her mother, the Duchess of Kent, Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, was the sister of both Albert's father – the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha – and Leopold, King of the Belgians. Leopold arranged for his sister, Victoria's mother, to invite the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and his two sons to visit her in May 1836, with the purpose of meeting Victoria. King William IV, however, disapproved of any match with the Coburgs, and instead favoured the suit of Prince Alexander, second son of William II of the Netherlands. Victoria was well-aware of the various matrimonial plans and critically appraised a parade of eligible princes.[15] She wrote, "[Albert] is extremely handsome; his hair is about the same colour as mine; his eyes are large and blue, and he has a beautiful nose and a very sweet mouth with fine teeth; but the charm of his countenance is his expression, which is most delightful."[16] Alexander, on the other hand, was "very plain".[16]

Victoria wrote to her uncle Leopold to thank him "for the prospect of great happiness you have contributed to give me, in the person of dear Albert ... He possesses every quality that could be desired to render me perfectly happy."[17] Although the parties did not undertake a formal engagement, both the family and their retainers widely assumed that the match would take place.[18]

Victoria came to the throne aged just eighteen on 20 June 1837. Her letters of the time show interest in Albert's education for the role he would have to play, although she resisted attempts to rush her into marriage.[19] In the winter of 1838–39, the prince visited Italy, accompanied by the Coburg family's confidential adviser, Baron Stockmar.[20]

Albert returned to England with Ernest in October 1839 to visit the Queen, with the object of settling the marriage.[21] Albert and Victoria felt mutual affection and the Queen proposed to him on 15 October 1839.[22] Victoria's intention to marry was declared formally to the Privy Council on 23 November,[23] and the couple married on 10 February 1840 at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace.[24] Just before the marriage, Albert was naturalised by Act of Parliament,[25] and granted the style of Royal Highness by an Order-in-Council.[1] At first, he was not popular with the British public. He was perceived to be from an impoverished and undistinguished minor state, barely larger than a small English county.[26] The British Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, advised the Queen against granting her husband the title of "King Consort". Parliament even refused to make Albert a peer – partly because of anti-German feeling and a desire to exclude Albert from any political role.[27] Melbourne led a minority government and the opposition took advantage of the marriage to weaken his position further. They opposed the ennoblement of Albert and granted him a smaller annuity than previous consorts,[28] £30,000 instead of the usual £50,000.[29] Albert claimed that he had no need of a British peerage; he wrote, "It would almost be step downwards, for as a Duke of Saxony, I feel myself much higher than as a Duke of York or Kent."[30] For the next seventeen years, Albert was formally titled "HRH Prince Albert" until, on 25 June 1857, Victoria formally granted him the title Prince Consort.[31]

Consort of the Queen

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, 1854

The position in which the prince was placed by his marriage, while one of distinction, also offered considerable difficulties; in Albert's own words, "I am very happy and contented; but the difficulty in filling my place with the proper dignity is that I am only the husband, not the master in the house."[32] The Queen's household was run by her former governess,[33] Baroness Lehzen. Albert referred to her as the "House Dragon", and manoeuvred to dislodge the Baroness from her position.[34]

Within two months of the marriage, Victoria was pregnant. Albert started to take on public roles; he became President of the Society for the Extinction of Slavery (slavery had already been abolished throughout the British Empire, but was still lawful in places such as the United States and the colonies of France); and helped Victoria privately with her government paperwork.[35] In June 1840, while on a public carriage ride, Albert and the pregnant Victoria were shot at by Edward Oxford, who was later judged insane. Neither was hurt and Albert was praised in the newspapers for his courage and coolness during the attack.[36] Albert was gaining public support as well as political influence, which showed itself practically when, in August, Parliament passed the Regency Act 1840 to designate him Regent in the event of Victoria's death before their child reached the age of majority.[37] Their first child, Victoria, named after her mother, was born in November. Eight other children would follow over the next seventeen years. All nine children survived to adulthood, a fact which biographer Hermione Hobhouse credited to Albert's "enlightened influence" on the healthy running of the nursery.[38] In early 1841, he successfully removed the nursery from Lehzen's pervasive control, and in September 1842, Lehzen left England permanently – much to Albert's relief.[39]

British Royalty
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
UK Arms 1837.svg
Descendants of Victoria & Albert
   Victoria, Princess Royal
   Edward VII
   Princess Alice
   Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha
   Princess Helena
   Princess Louise
   Arthur, Duke of Connaught
   Leopold, Duke of Albany
   Princess Beatrice

After the 1841 general election, Melbourne was replaced as Prime Minister by Sir Robert Peel, who appointed Albert as chairman of the Royal Commission in charge of redecorating the new Palace of Westminster. The Palace had burnt down seven years before, and was being rebuilt. As a patron and purchaser of pictures and sculpture, the commission was set up to promote the fine arts in Britain. The commission's work was slow, and the architect, Charles Barry, took many decisions out of the commissioner's hands by decorating rooms with ornate furnishings which were treated as part of the architecture.[40] Albert was more successful as a private patron and collector. Among his notable purchases: early German and Italian paintings – such as Lucas Cranach the Elder's Apollo and Diana and Fra Angelico's St. Peter Martyr – and contemporary pieces from Franz Xaver Winterhalter and Edwin Landseer.[41]

Albert and Victoria were shot at again on both 29 and 30 May 1842, but were unhurt. The culprit, John Francis, was detained and condemned to death, although he was later reprieved.[42] Some of their early unpopularity came about because of their stiffness and adherence to protocol in public, though in private the couple were more easy-going.[43] In early 1844, Victoria and Albert were apart for the first time since their marriage when he returned to Coburg on the death of his father.[44]

By 1844, Albert had managed to modernise the royal finances and through various economies had sufficient capital to purchase Osborne House on the Isle of Wight as a private residence for their growing family.[45] Over the next few years a house modelled in the style of an Italianate villa was built to the designs of Albert and Thomas Cubitt.[46] Albert laid out the grounds, and improved the estate and farm.[47] Albert managed and improved the other royal estates; his model farm at Windsor was admired by his biographers,[48] and under his stewardship the revenues of the Duchy of Cornwall – the hereditary property of the Prince of Wales – steadily multiplied.[49]

Unlike many landowners who approved of child labour and opposed Peel's repeal of the Corn Laws, Albert supported moves to raise working ages and free up trade.[50] In 1846, Albert was rebuked by Lord George Bentinck when he attended the debate on the Corn Laws in the House of Commons to give tacit support to Peel.[51] During Peel's premiership, Albert's authority behind, or beside, the throne became more apparent. He had access to all the Queen's papers, was drafting her correspondence[52] and was present when she met her ministers, or even saw them alone in her absence.[53] The clerk of the Privy Council, Charles Greville, wrote of him: "He is King to all intents and purposes."[54]

Reformer and innovator

In 1847, he was elected Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, but only after a close contest with the Earl of Powis,[55] a man who was killed accidentally by his own son during a pheasant shoot the following year.[56] Albert used his position as Chancellor to campaign successfully for reformed and more modern university curricula, expanding the subjects taught beyond the traditional mathematics and classics to include modern history and the natural sciences.[57]

That summer, Victoria and Albert spent a rainy holiday in the west of Scotland at Loch Laggan, but heard from their doctor, Sir James Clark, that his son had enjoyed dry, sunny days further east at Balmoral Castle. The tenant of Balmoral, Sir Robert Gordon, died suddenly in early October, and Albert began negotiations to take over the lease of the castle from the owner, the Earl Fife.[58] In May the following year, Albert leased Balmoral, which he had never visited, and in September 1848 he, his wife and the older children went there for the first time.[59] They came to relish the privacy it afforded.[60]

Revolutions spread throughout Europe in 1848 as the result of a widespread economic crisis. Throughout the year, Victoria and Albert complained about Foreign Secretary Palmerston's independent foreign policy, which they believed destabilised foreign European powers further.[61] Albert was concerned for many of his royal relatives, a number of whom were deposed. He and Victoria, who gave birth to their daughter Louise during that year, spent some time away from London in the relative safety of Osborne. Although there were sporadic demonstrations in England, no effective revolutionary action took place, and Albert even gained public acclaim when he expressed paternalistic, yet well-meaning and philanthropic, views.[62] In a speech to the Society for the Improvement of the Condition of the Labouring Classes, of which he was President, he expressed his "sympathy and interest for that class of our community who have most of the toil and fewest of the enjoyments of this world".[63] It was the "duty of those who, under the blessings of Divine Providence, enjoy station, wealth, and education" to assist those less fortunate than themselves.[63]

A man of progressive and relatively liberal ideas, Albert not only led reforms in university education, welfare, the royal finances and slavery, he had a special interest in applying science and art to the manufacturing industry.[64] The Great Exhibition of 1851 arose from the annual exhibitions of the Society of Arts, of which Albert was President from 1843, and owed the greater part of its success to his efforts to promote it.[49][65] Albert served as president of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, and had to fight for every stage of the project.[66] In the House of Lords, Lord Brougham fulminated against the proposal to hold the exhibition in Hyde Park.[67] Opponents of the exhibition prophesied that foreign rogues and revolutionists would overrun England, subvert the morals of the people, and destroy their faith.[68] Albert thought such talk absurd and quietly persevered, trusting always that British manufacturing would benefit from exposure to the best products of foreign countries.[49]

The Queen opened the exhibition in a specially designed and built glass building known as the Crystal Palace on 1 May 1851. It proved a colossal success.[69] A surplus of £180,000 was raised, which went to purchase land in South Kensington and establish educational and cultural institutions there – including what would later be named the Victoria and Albert Museum.[70] The area was referred to as "Albertopolis" by sceptics.[71]

Family and public life (1852–1859)

Prince Albert, Queen Victoria and their nine children. Left to right: Alice, Arthur, The Prince Consort, The Prince of Wales, Leopold (in front of him), Louise, Queen Victoria with Beatrice, Alfred, Victoria and Helena[72]

In 1852, a timely legacy to the Royal Family made it possible for Albert to obtain the freehold of Balmoral, and as usual he embarked on an extensive program of improvements.[73] The same year, he was appointed to several of the offices left vacant by the death of the Duke of Wellington, including the mastership of Trinity House and the colonelcy of the Grenadier Guards.[74] With Wellington out of the picture, Albert was able to propose and campaign for modernisation of the army, which was long overdue.[75] Thinking that the military was unready for war, and that Christian rule was preferable to Islamic rule, Albert counselled a diplomatic solution to conflict between the Russian and Ottoman empires. Palmerston was more bellicose, and favoured a policy which would prevent further Russian expansion.[76] Palmerston was manoeuvred out of the cabinet in December 1853, but at about the same time a Russian fleet attacked the Ottoman fleet at anchor at Sinop. The London press depicted the attack as a criminal massacre, and Palmerston's popularity surged as Albert's fell.[77] Within two weeks, Palmerston was re-appointed as a minister. As public outrage at the Russian action continued, absurd rumours circulated that Albert had been arrested for treason.[78] By March 1854, Britain and Russia were embroiled in the Crimean War. Early British optimism soon faded as the press reported that British troops were ill-equipped and mismanaged by aged generals using out-of-date tactics and strategy. The conflict dragged on as the Russians were as poorly prepared as their opponents. The Prime Minister, the Earl of Aberdeen, resigned and Palmerston succeeded him.[79] A negotiated settlement eventually put an end to the war with the Treaty of Paris. During the war, Albert arranged to marry his fourteen-year-old daughter, Victoria, to Prince Frederick William of Prussia, though Albert delayed the marriage until Victoria was seventeen. Albert hoped that his daughter and son-in-law would be a liberalising influence in the enlarging Prussian state.[80]

Albert involved himself in promoting many public educational institutions. Chiefly at meetings in connection with these he spoke of the need for better schooling.[81] A collection of his speeches was published in 1857. Recognised as a supporter of education and technological progress, he was invited to speak at scientific meetings, such as the memorable address he delivered as president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science when it met at Aberdeen in 1859.[82] His espousal of science spawned opposition from the Church. His proposal of a knighthood for Charles Darwin, after the publication of On the Origin of Species, was rejected.[83]

Albert continued to devote himself to the education of his family and the management of the royal household.[84] His children's governess, Lady Lyttelton, thought him unusually kind and patient, and described him joining in family games with enthusiasm.[85] He felt keenly the departure of his eldest daughter for Prussia when she married her fiancé at the beginning of 1858,[86] and was disappointed that his eldest son, the Prince of Wales, did not respond well to the intense educational programme that Albert had designed for him.[87] At the age of seven, the Prince of Wales was expected to take six hours of instruction, including an hour of German and an hour of French every day.[88] When the Prince of Wales failed at his lessons, Albert caned him.[89] Corporal punishment was common at the time, and was not thought unduly harsh. Albert's biographer Roger Fulford wrote that the relationships between the family members were "friendly, affectionate and normal ... there is no evidence either in the Royal Archives or in the printed authorities to justify the belief that the relations between the Prince and his eldest son were other than deeply affectionate." Philip Magnus wrote in his biography of Albert's eldest son that Albert "tried to treat his children as equals; and they were able to penetrate his stiffness and reserve because they realised instinctively not only that he loved them but that he enjoyed and needed their company."[90]

Final year

Prince Albert in 1861, the last year of his life

During a trip to Coburg in the autumn of 1860, Albert was driving alone in a carriage drawn by four horses which suddenly bolted. As the horses continued to gallop toward a stationary wagon waiting at a railway crossing, Albert jumped for his life from the carriage. One of the horses was killed in the collision, and Albert was badly shaken, though his only physical injuries were cuts and bruises. He told his brother and eldest daughter that he sensed his time had come.[91]

In 1861, Victoria's mother and Albert's aunt, the Duchess of Kent, died and Victoria was grief-stricken; Albert took on most of the Queen's duties, despite being ill himself with chronic stomach trouble.[92] In August, Victoria and Albert visited the Curragh Camp, Ireland, where the Prince of Wales was doing army service. It was there that the Prince of Wales was introduced, by his fellow officers, to Nellie Clifden, an Irish actress.[93]

By November, Victoria and Albert had returned to Windsor, and the Prince of Wales had returned to Cambridge, where he was a student. Two of Albert's cousins, King Pedro V and Prince Ferdinand of Portugal, died of typhoid fever.[94] On top of this news, Albert was informed that gossip was spreading in gentlemen's clubs and the foreign press that the Prince of Wales was still involved with Nellie Clifden.[95] Albert and Victoria were horrified by their son's indiscretion, and feared blackmail, scandal or pregnancy.[96] Although Albert's mood was at a low ebb, and almost constantly ill, he travelled to Cambridge to see the Prince of Wales[97] to discuss his indiscreet affair.[49]

When the Trent Affair – the forcible removal of Confederate envoys from a British ship by Union forces – threatened war between the United States and Britain, Albert was gravely ill, but intervened to soften the British diplomatic response. [98] On 9 December, one of Albert's doctors, William Jenner, diagnosed typhoid fever. Congestion of the lungs supervened, and Albert died at 10:50 p.m. on 14 December 1861 in the Blue Room at Windsor Castle, in the presence of the Queen and five of their nine children.[99] Though the contemporary diagnosis was typhoid fever, modern writers have pointed out that Albert was ill for at least two years before his death, which may indicate that a chronic disease, such as renal failure or cancer, was the cause of death.[100]


The Queen's grief was overwhelming, and the tepid feelings the public had felt for Albert previously were replaced by sympathy.[101] Victoria wore black in mourning for the rest of her long life, and Albert's rooms in all his houses were kept as they had been, even with hot water brought in the morning, and linen and towels changed daily.[102] Such practices were not uncommon in the houses of the very rich.[103] Victoria withdrew from public life and her seclusion eroded some of Albert's work in attempting to re-model the monarchy as a national institution setting a moral, if not political, example.[104] Albert is credited with introducing the principle that the British Royal Family should remain above politics.[105] Before his marriage to Victoria, she supported the Whigs; for example, early in her reign Victoria managed to thwart the formation of a Tory government by Sir Robert Peel by refusing to accept substitutions which Peel wanted to make among her ladies-in-waiting.[106]

Albert's body was temporarily entombed in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.[107] The magnificent mausoleum at Frogmore, in which his remains were deposited a year after his death, was not fully completed until 1871.[108] The sarcophagus, in which both he and the Queen were eventually laid, was carved from the largest block of granite that had ever been quarried in Britain.[109] Despite Albert's request that no effigies of him should be raised, many public monuments were erected all over the country, and across the British Empire.[110] The most notable are the Royal Albert Hall and the Albert Memorial in London. The plethora of memorials erected to Albert became so great that Charles Dickens told a friend that he sought an "inaccessible cave" to escape from them.[111]

All manner of objects are named after Prince Albert, from Lake Albert in Africa to the city of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, to the Albert Medal presented by the Royal Society of Arts. Four regiments of the British Army were named after him: 11th (Prince Albert's Own) Hussars; Prince Albert's Light Infantry; Prince Albert's Own Leicestershire Regiment of Yeomanry Cavalry, and The Prince Consort's Own Rifle Brigade. He and Queen Victoria showed a keen interest in the establishment and development of Aldershot in Hampshire as a garrison town in the 1850s. They had a wooden Royal Pavilion built there in which they would often stay when attending reviews of the army.[112] Albert established and endowed the Prince Consort's Library at Aldershot, which still exists today.[113]

Biographies published after his death were typically heavy on eulogy. Theodore Martin's five-volume magnum opus was authorised and supervised by Queen Victoria, and her influence shows in its pages. Nevertheless, it is an accurate and exhaustive account.[114] Lytton Strachey's Queen Victoria (1921) was discredited by his repetition of gossip that Albert was illegitimate, and that he did not love the Queen but married her in pursuit of power. Such calumnies were soundly dismissed by mid-twentieth-century biographers such as Hector Bolitho and Roger Fulford, who (unlike Strachey) had access to Victoria's journal and letters.[115] Other popular myths about Prince Albert – such as the claim that he introduced Christmas trees to Britain – are dismissed by scholars.[116] More recent biographers, such as Stanley Weintraub, portray Albert as a figure in a tragic romance, who died too soon and was mourned by his lover for a lifetime.[49] In the 2009 movie Young Victoria, Albert, played by Rupert Friend, is made into an heroic character; in the fictional depiction of the 1842 shooting, he is grazed by a bullet – something that didn't happen in real life.[117][118]

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Royal styles of
Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

UK Arms 1837.svg

Reference style His Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Sir
Arms of Prince Albert

Titles and styles

  • 26 August 1819 – 12 November 1826: His Serene Highness Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Duke of Saxony
  • 12 November 1826 – 6 February 1840:[1]His Serene Highness Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duke of Saxony
  • 6 February 1840 – 25 June 1857:[31]His Royal Highness Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duke of Saxony
  • 25 June 1857 – 14 December 1861: His Royal Highness The Prince Consort


British Empire


Prince Albert was granted the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom, with a three-point label bearing a red cross in the centre, quartered with the Arms of Saxony.[1][121]


Name Birth Death Notes[122]
The Princess Victoria, Princess Royal 21 November 1840 5 August 1901 married 1858, Frederick III, German Emperor; had issue
Edward VII 9 November 1841 6 May 1910 married 1863, Princess Alexandra of Denmark; had issue
The Princess Alice 25 April 1843 14 December 1878 married 1862, Ludwig IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine; had issue
The Prince Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Duke of Edinburgh 6 August 1844 30 July 1900 married 1874, Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia; had issue
The Princess Helena 23 or 25 May 1846 9 June 1923 married 1866, Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein; had issue
The Princess Louise 18 March 1848 3 December 1939 married 1871, John Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll; no issue
The Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn 1 May 1850 16 January 1942 married 1879, Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia; had issue
The Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany 7 April 1853 28 March 1884 married 1882, Princess Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont; had issue
The Princess Beatrice 14 April 1857 26 October 1944 married 1885, Prince Henry of Battenberg; had issue

Prince Albert's 40 grandchildren included four reigning monarchs: King George V of the United Kingdom; Wilhelm II, German Emperor; Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse; and Carl Eduard, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Albert's many descendants include royalty and nobility throughout Europe.


See also


  1. ^ a b c d London Gazette: no. 19821, p. 241, 7 February 1840. Retrieved on 4 August 2009.
  2. ^ Hobhouse, p. 2; Weintraub, p. 20 and Weir, p. 305
  3. ^ Weintraub, p. 20
  4. ^ Weintraub, p. 21
  5. ^ Ames, p. 1 and Hobhouse, p. 2
  6. ^ e.g. Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh (ed.) (1977) Burke's Royal Families of the World1st edition. London: Burke's Peerage, London.
  7. ^ Weintraub, pp. 25–28
  8. ^ Hobhouse, p. 4 and Weintraub, pp. 25–28
  9. ^ Weintraub, pp. 40–41
  10. ^ Hobhouse, p. 16
  11. ^ Weintraub, pp. 60–62
  12. ^ Ames, p. 15 and Weintraub, pp. 56–60
  13. ^ Pakula, p. 128
  14. ^ Hobhouse, pp. 15–16 and Weintraub, pp. 43–49
  15. ^ Weintraub, pp. 43–49
  16. ^ a b Victoria quoted in Weintraub, p. 49
  17. ^ Weintraub, p. 51
  18. ^ Weintraub, pp. 53, 58, 64, and 65
  19. ^ Weintraub, p. 62
  20. ^ Hobhouse, pp. 17–18 and Weintraub, p. 67
  21. ^ Fulford, p. 42 and Weintraub, pp. 77–81
  22. ^ Fulford, pp. 42–43; Hobhouse, p. 20 and Weintraub, pp. 77–81
  23. ^ Fulford, p. 45; Hobhouse, p. 21 and Weintraub, p. 86
  24. ^ Fulford, p. 52 and Hobhouse, p. 24
  25. ^ London Gazette: no. 19826, p. 302, 14 February 1840. Retrieved on 4 August 2009.
  26. ^ Fulford, p. 45
  27. ^ Weintraub, p. 88
  28. ^ Weintraub, pp. 8–9 and 89
  29. ^ Fulford, p. 47 and Hobhouse, pp. 23–24
  30. ^ Quoted in Jagow, Kurt (ed.) The Letters of the Prince Consort, 1831–61 (London, 1938).
  31. ^ a b London Gazette: no. 22015, p. 2195, 26 June 1857. Retrieved on 4 August 2009.
  32. ^ Albert to William von Lowenstein, May 1840, quoted in Hobhouse, p. 26
  33. ^ Or more properly "Lady Attendant"
  34. ^ Fulford, pp. 59–74
  35. ^ Weintraub, pp. 102–105
  36. ^ Weintraub, pp. 106–107
  37. ^ Weintraub, p. 107
  38. ^ Hobhouse, p. 28
  39. ^ Fulford, pp. 73–74
  40. ^ Ames, pp. 48–55; Fulford, pp. 212–213 and Hobhouse, pp. 82–88
  41. ^ Ames, pp. 132–146, 200–222 and Hobhouse, pp. 70–78. In 1863, the National Gallery, London received 25 paintings (National Gallery list, accessed 4 August 2009) "Presented by Queen Victoria at the Prince Consort's wish". See external links for works in the Royal Collection.
  42. ^ Weintraub, pp. 134–135
  43. ^ Ames, p. 172; Fulford, pp. 95–104 and Weintraub, p. 141
  44. ^ Ames, p. 60 and Weintraub, p. 154
  45. ^ Fulford, p. 79; Hobhouse, p. 131 and Weintraub, p. 158
  46. ^ Ames, pp. 61–71; Fulford, p. 79; Hobhouse, p. 121 and Weintraub, p. 181
  47. ^ Hobhouse, pp. 127, 131
  48. ^ Fulford, pp. 88–89 and Hobhouse, pp. 121–127
  49. ^ a b c d e Weintraub, Stanley (September 2004; online edition January 2008). "Albert (Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha) (1819–1861)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press. Accessed 4 August 2009 (Subscription required)
  50. ^ Fulford, p. 116
  51. ^ Fulford, p. 116 and Hobhouse, pp. 39–40
  52. ^ Hobhouse, pp. 36–37
  53. ^ Fulford, p. 118
  54. ^ Greville's diary volume V, p. 257 quoted in Fulford, p. 117
  55. ^ Fulford, pp. 195–196; Hobhouse, p. 65 and Weintraub, pp. 182–184
  56. ^ Weintraub, p. 186
  57. ^ Fulford, pp. 198–199; Hobhouse, p. 65 and Weintraub, pp. 187 and 207
  58. ^ Weintraub, pp. 189–191
  59. ^ Weintraub, pp. 203 and 206
  60. ^ Extracts from the Queen's journal of the holidays were published in 1868 as Leaves from the Journal of Our Life in the Highlands.
  61. ^ Fulford, pp. 119–128 and Weintraub, pp. 193, 212, 214 and 264–265
  62. ^ Weintraub, pp. 192–201
  63. ^ a b The text of the speech was widely reproduced, e.g. "The Condition of the Labouring Classes". The Times, 19 May 1848; p. 6
  64. ^ Fulford, pp. 216–217 and Hobhouse, pp. 89–108
  65. ^ Fulford, pp. 219–220
  66. ^ e.g. Fulford, p. 221
  67. ^ Fulford, p. 220
  68. ^ Fulford, pp. 217–222
  69. ^ Fulford, p. 222 and Hobhouse, p. 110
  70. ^ Hobhouse, p. 110
  71. ^ Ames, p. 120; Hobhouse, p. x and Weintraub, p. 263
  72. ^ Finestone, p. 36
  73. ^ Hobhouse, p. 145
  74. ^ Weintraub, pp. 270–274 and 281–282
  75. ^ Hobhouse, pp. 42–43, 47–50 and Weintraub, pp. 274–276
  76. ^ e.g. Fulford, pp. 128, 153–157
  77. ^ Weintraub, pp. 288–293
  78. ^ Fulford, pp. 156–157 and Weintraub, pp. 294–302
  79. ^ Weintraub, pp. 303–322, 328
  80. ^ Weintraub, pp. 326 and 330
  81. ^ Hobhouse, p. 63
  82. ^ Darby and Smith, p. 84; Hobhouse, pp. 61–62 and Weintraub, p. 232
  83. ^ Weintraub, p. 232
  84. ^ Fulford, pp. 71–105 and Hobhouse, pp. 26–43
  85. ^ Lady Lyttelton's journal quoted in Fulford, p. 95 and her correspondence quoted in Hobhouse, p. 29
  86. ^ Fulford, p. 252 and Weintraub, p. 355
  87. ^ Fulford, pp. 253–257 and Weintraub, p. 367
  88. ^ Fulford, p. 255
  89. ^ Diary of Sir James Clark quoted in Fulford, p. 256
  90. ^ Magnus, Philip (1964) King Edward VII, pp. 19–20, quoted in Hobhouse, pp. 28–29
  91. ^ Weintraub, pp. 392–393
  92. ^ Hobhouse, pp. 150–151 and Weintraub, p. 401
  93. ^ Weintraub, p. 404
  94. ^ Weintraub, p. 405
  95. ^ Hobhouse, p. 152 and Weintraub, p. 406
  96. ^ Weintraub, p. 406
  97. ^ Hobhouse, p. 154 and Fulford, p. 266
  98. ^ Hobhouse, pp. 154–155; Martin, vol. V, pp. 418–426 and Weintraub, pp. 408–424
  99. ^ Darby and Smith, p. 3; Hobhouse, p. 156 and Weintraub, pp. 425–431
  100. ^ See for example, Hobhouse, pp. 150–151
  101. ^ Darby and Smith, p. 1; Hobhouse, p. 158 and Weintraub, p. 436
  102. ^ Darby and Smith, pp. 1–4 and Weintraub, p. 436
  103. ^ Weintraub, p. 438
  104. ^ Weintraub, pp. 441–443
  105. ^ Fulford, pp. 57–58, 276 and Hobhouse, pp. viii, 39
  106. ^ Fulford, p. 67 and Hobhouse, p. 34
  107. ^ Darby and Smith, p. 21 and Hobhouse, p. 158
  108. ^ Darby and Smith, p. 28 and Hobhouse, p. 162
  109. ^ Darby and Smith, p. 25
  110. ^ Darby and Smith, pp. 2, 6, 58–84
  111. ^ Charles Dickens to John Leech, quoted in Darby and Smith, p. 102 and Hobhouse, p. 169
  112. ^ Hobhouse, pp. 48–49
  113. ^ Hobhouse, p. 53
  114. ^ Fulford, pp. ix–x
  115. ^ e.g. Fulford, pp. 22–23, 44, 104, 167, 209, 240
  116. ^ Armstrong, Neil (2008) "England and German Christmas Festlichkeit, c.1800–1914. German History 26 (4): 486–503
  117. ^ Jurgensen, John (4 December 2009). "Victorian Romance: When the dour queen was young and in love". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 21 December 2009-12-22. 
  118. ^ Knight, Chris (17 December 2009). "A Duchess, a reader and a man named Alistair: Getting The Young Victoria right by Her Majesty". National Post. Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  119. ^ Weir, p. 305
  120. ^ a b c d e Burke's Peerage, 1921, p. 39
  121. ^ Maclagan, Michael; Louda, Jiří (1999) [1981]. Lines of Succession: Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe. London: Little, Brown. ISBN 0-85605-469-1. pp. 30, 32
  122. ^ Weir, pp. 306–321


  • Ames, Winslow (1968). Prince Albert and Victorian Taste. London: Chapman and Hall.
  • Bennett, Daphne (1977). King without a crown: Albert, Prince Consort of England, 1819–1861. Heinemann.
  • Darby, Elizabeth; Smith, Nicola (1983). The Cult of the Prince Consort New Haven and London: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-03015-0
  • Finestone, Jeffrey (1981). The Last Courts of Europe. London; The Vendome Press. ISBN 0-86565-015-2
  • Fulford, Roger (1949). The Prince Consort. London: Macmillan Publishers.
  • Hobhouse, Hermione (1983). Prince Albert: His Life and Work. London: Hamish Hamilton. ISBN 0-241-11142-0
  • Jagow, Kurt (ed.) (1938). The Letters of the Prince Consort, 1831–61 London.
  • Martin, Theodore (1874–80). The Life of H. R. H. the Prince Consort 5 volumes, authorised by Queen Victoria
  • Pakula, Hannah (1995). An Uncommon Woman: The Empress Frederic. New York; Touchstone. ISBN 0-684-84216-5
  • Weintraub, Stanley (1997). Albert: Uncrowned King London: John Murray. ISBN 0-7195-5756-9
  • Weir, Alison (1996). Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy (Revised edition). London: Random House. ISBN 0-7126-7448-9

External links

Albert, Prince Consort
Cadet branch of the House of Wettin
Born: 26 August 1819 Died: 14 December 1861
British royalty
Title last held by
Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen
as Queen-consort
Prince-consort of the United Kingdom
(officially HRH The Prince Consort from 1857)

Title next held by
Alexandra of Denmark
as Queen-consort
German royalty
Preceded by
Hereditary Prince Ernest
Heir to Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
as heir presumptive
29 January 1844 – 14 December 1861
Succeeded by
Prince Alfred
Court offices
Preceded by
The Marquess of Hertford
Lord Warden of the Stannaries
Succeeded by
The Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne
Academic offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Northumberland
Chancellor of the University of Cambridge
Succeeded by
The Duke of Devonshire
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Prince Augustus Frederick,
Duke of Sussex
Great Master of the Order of the Bath
Title next held by
Edward, Prince of Wales
later became King Edward VII


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Prince Albert in later life

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (August 26, 1819December 14, 1861) was the husband of Queen Victoria. He was interested in the arts, science and technology, and led the Great Exhibition project in 1851. After his death in 1861, Queen Victoria spent the rest of her life in mourning, and always wore black.


  • The works of art, by being publicly exhibited and offered for sale, are becoming articles of trade, following as such the unreasoning laws of markets and fashion; and public and even private patronage is swayed by their tyrannical influence.
    • "Albert, Prince" The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. Ed. Elizabeth Knowles. Oxford University Press, 2004. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Accessed on 20 November 2008

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

File:Winterhalter Prince
Prince Albert. A painting by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 1846

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (later His Royal Highness The Prince Consort; August 26 1819December 14 1861) was the husband of Queen Victoria.

Albert was born near Coburg, in Germany. He was the son of Ernest I, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Anhalt. He was an intelligent child, and liked science, reading and mathematics.

He married Queen Victoria, his cousin, on 10 February 1840. The wedding was held at St. James's Palace, the queen's official home in London. Both Victoria and Albert were deeply in love with each other. However, the queen kept Albert out of politics; he was not allowed to take part in the government of the country. This eventually changed, and Albert often gave advice to the Prime Minister of the time.

Albert and Victoria had nine children together. Albert's favourite child was his first, Victoria, who became Queen of Prussia and Empress of Germany in 1871. When his second child, Albert Edward (the future king Edward VII) was born in 1841, he took an active interest in his education. The two were never close, and Albert often overworked his son.

Albert came up with the idea of the Great Exhibition at Hyde Park in London. The exhibition was meant to show Britain's industrial strength following the Industrial Revolution. It was a great success, and improved his popularity in England. It was held in the Crystal Palace, a huge glass building, which burnt down in 1936, long after iy had been moved from Hyde Park and rebuilt in a part of south London which got called Crystal Palace.

Albert's health got worse as he got older. In 1861, he caught a fever while travelling to Cambridge to see his son. The fever eventually developed into typhoid, a disease which was common in the 19th century. He died at Windsor Castle on the 14 December 1861. Queen Victoria was devastated, and she spent the next forty years of her reign in mourning for her dead husband.

Remembering Albert

Prince Albert is still remembered today, nearly 150 years after he died. For example:


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