Prince Albert

Prince Albert

Albert, the younger son of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was born at Schloss Rosenau in 1819.

Albert was educated in Brussels and Bonn and in 1839 visited his cousin, Queen Victoria in London. Victoria immediately fell in love with Albert and although he initially had doubts about the relationship, the couple were eventually married in February 1840. During the next eighteen years Queen Victoria gave birth to nine children.

Throughout their marriage Prince Albert acted as Victoria's private secretary. His German background, worried some of the government ministers and Albert was therefore rarely consulted about political issues.

After the death of her favourite politician, Lord Melbourne in 1848, Albert's political influence over Queen Victoria increased. Whereas Melbourne had advised Victoria not to think about social problems, Prince Albert invited Lord Ashley to Buckingham Palace to talk about what he had discovered about child labour in Britain.

Albert took a keen interest in the arts and sciences and planned and managed the Great Exhibition in 1851. The profits of this successful venture enabled the building of the Royal Albert Hall and the museums in South Kensington.

In 1857 Albert was given the title of Prince Consort. However, four years later he died of typhoid fever. The Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens, designed by Sir George Scott, was erected in his memory in 1871.