Prince Albert the Husband of Queen Victoria: His Life, Legacy, and Philanthropic Work

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Prince Albert the Husband of Queen Victoria: His Life, Legacy, and Philanthropic Work
Anthony Ambrosius Aurelius

“Windsor Castle has been a royal residence for nearly 1000 years and at its heart stands the great Round Tower, home of the royal archives and royal photographic collection. This space holds the most complete collection of documents and photographs which depict Prince Albert’s life. As part of a massive digitization project, over 20,000 personal letters, diaries, and photographs will soon become available online to scholars and the public.

Although Albert developed an image as a leader within British society, his beginnings are not English, rather they are German in origin. Albert first arrived in England as a teenager from Coburg, Germany, (pronounced “ko-borg”) a minor and rather tiny German principality in southern Germany. Coburg was referred to as the “stud farm of Europe” because so many Saxe- Coburg individuals became married to influential monarchs throughout Europe and members of the European elite.

Albert had been promised to Queen Victoria as a husband when he was an infant, arranged by Alberts grandmother Countess Augusta Reuss of Ebersdorf (pronounced “ah-goost-ah royce of eh-burs-dorf”). Albert was described as the most handsome prince in Europe, a statement which Victoria agreed with as she was infatuated with his good looks as a young man with the wedding between Victoria and Albert taking place in St. James’ Palace in February of 1840.

Albert experienced immense sadness after having left Germany, as is demonstrated in various letters he sent such as the letter he sent December 6, 1839 in which Albert writes to his aunt and mother in law, the Duchess of Kent, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, who was also the mother of Queen Victoria as the pair were first cousins. Within this letter, Albert writes, “what a mass of emotions of the most diverse kind seize and overwhelm me. Hope, love for dear Victoria, the pain of leaving home, departing from your dearest kindred”. Albert had no friends his entire life, only his small family which consisted of his brother and parents, with Albert heart broken when he had to leave this family for England. Victoria understood how much Albert missed his homeland and arranged for a specialized, personalized gift to be commissioned for him. Victoria”

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