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Albert, Prince Consort
Portrait by Winterhalter, 1859
|Prince consort of the United Kingdom|
|Tenure||10 February 1840 – 14 December 1861|
|Born||26 August 1819|
Schloss Rosenau, Coburg, Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, German Confederation
|Died||14 December 1861 (aged 42)|
Windsor Castle, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom
|Burial||23 December 1861; 18 December 1862|
|House||House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha|
|Father||Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha|
|Mother||Princess Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg|
Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel; later The Prince Consort; 26 August 1819 – 14 December 1861) was the husband of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland . | Empress of India .
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 a clever child, and liked science, reading and mathematics.
He married Queen Victoria, his first 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. In the end, this 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 elder son.
Albert came up with the idea of the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, London. The exhibition was meant to show Britain's industrial strength. It was a great success, and improved his popularity in England. It was held in the Crystal Palace, a huge glass and iron building. It burnt down in 1936, long after it had been moved from Hyde Park and rebuilt in a part of south London now called Crystal Palace.
In 1861, Albert caught a fever, whilst travelling to Cambridge to see his son. The fever was typhoid, a disease which was common in the 19th century. Like cholera, it was a disease of water contaminated by faecal bacteria. He died at Windsor Castle, on the 14 December 1861. Queen Victoria was very upset, and she spent the next forty years of her reign in mourning her dead husband. She avoided public appearances and rarely set foot in London in the following years. Her contribution to government was little in that long period after the death of her husband. It was during that long period when Germany and the United States transformed their countries so that, in the 20th century, Britain was no longer the leading country of the world, but just one of several leading countries. In the 19th century the monarch was an important part of government, and most countries still had monarchs.
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: His Serene Highness Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duke of Saxony
- 6 February 1840 – 25 June 1857: 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