Marie of Romania
Marie of Romania known as Marie of Edinburgh, was the last Queen of Romania as the wife of King Ferdinand I. Born into the British royal family, she was titled Princess Marie of Edinburgh at birth, her parents were Duke of Edinburgh and Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia. Marie's early years were spent in Kent and Coburg. After refusing a proposal from her cousin, the future King George V, she was chosen as the future wife of Crown Prince Ferdinand of Romania, the heir apparent of King Carol I, in 1892. Marie was Crown Princess between 1893 and 1914, became popular with the Romanian people. Marie had controlled her weak-willed husband before his accession in 1914, prompting a Canadian newspaper to state that "few royal consorts have wielded greater influence than did Queen Marie during the reign of her husband". After the outbreak of World War I, Marie urged Ferdinand to ally himself with the Triple Entente and declare war on Germany, which he did in 1916. During the early stages of fighting, Bucharest was occupied by the Central Powers and Marie and their five children took refuge in Moldavia.
There and her three daughters acted as nurses in military hospitals, caring for soldiers who were wounded or afflicted by cholera. On 1 December 1918, the province of Transylvania, following Bessarabia and Bukovina, united with the Old Kingdom. Marie, now queen of Greater Romania, attended the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, where she campaigned for international recognition of the enlarged Romania. In 1922, she and Ferdinand were crowned in a specially-built cathedral in the ancient city of Alba Iulia, in an elaborate ceremony which mirrored their status as queen and king of a united state; as queen, she was popular, both in Romania and abroad. In 1926, Marie and two of her children undertook a diplomatic tour of the United States, they were received enthusiastically by the people and visited several cities before returning to Romania. There, Marie found that Ferdinand was gravely ill and he died a few months later. Now queen dowager, Marie refused to be part of the regency council which reigned over the country under the minority of her grandson, King Michael.
In 1930, Marie's eldest son Carol, who had waived his rights to succession, deposed his son and usurped the throne, becoming King Carol II. He strived to crush her popularity; as a result, Marie moved away from Bucharest and spent the rest of her life either in the countryside, or at her home by the Black Sea. In 1937, she died the following year. Following Romania's transition to a Socialist Republic, the monarchy was excoriated by communist officials. Several biographies of the royal family described Marie either as a drunkard or as a promiscuous woman, referring to her many alleged affairs and to orgies she had organised before and during the war. In the years preceding the Romanian Revolution of 1989, Marie's popularity recovered and she was offered as a model of patriotism to the population. Marie is remembered for her work as a nurse, but is known for her extensive writing, including her critically acclaimed autobiography. Marie was the eldest daughter and second child of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, the former Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia the son of Queen Victoria and the daughter of Emperor Alexander II.
She was born at her parents' residence, Eastwell Manor in Kent, on 29 October 1875, at 10:30 a.m. in the presence of her father. Her birth was celebrated by firing the Tower guns, she was named Marie Alexandra Victoria, after her mother and grandmothers, but she was informally known as "Missy". The Duke of Edinburgh wrote that his daughter "promises to be as fine a child as her brother and gives every evidence of finely developed lungs and did so before she was in the world." As a grandchild of the reigning British monarch in the male line, Marie was formally styled "Her Royal Highness Princess Marie of Edinburgh" from birth. Marie's christening took place in the private chapel of Windsor Castle on 15 December 1875 and was officiated by Arthur Stanley and Gerald Wellesley, Dean of Windsor; the baptism, "of a private nature", took place one day after the ceremony marking the anniversary of the death of her paternal grandfather, Prince Albert. Marie's godparents were Empress Maria Alexandrovna, the Princess of Wales, the Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the Tsarevich of Russia and the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn.
Marie and her siblings, Prince Alfred, Princesses Victoria Melita and Beatrice, spent much of their early life at Eastwell Park, which their mother preferred instead of Clarence House, their official residence. In her memoirs, Marie would remember Eastwell fondly; the Duke of Edinburgh was absent from his children's lives, due to his position in the British Royal Navy, their life was governed by their mother. Marie would state that she did not know the colour of her father's hair until she looked at portraits of him, believing it to be much darker than it was; when he was at home, the Duke would play with his children, inventing many games for them. Of all her siblings, Marie was closest to her sister Vic
Abdul Karim (the Munshi)
Mohammed Abdul Karim, known as "the Munshi", was an Indian attendant of Queen Victoria. He served her during the final fourteen years of her reign, gaining her maternal affection over that time. Karim was born the son of a hospital assistant near Jhansi in British India. In 1887, the year of Victoria's Golden Jubilee, Karim was one of two Indians selected to become servants to the Queen. Victoria came to like him a great deal and gave him the title of "Munshi". Victoria appointed him to be her Indian Secretary, showered him with honours, obtained a land grant for him in India; the close platonic relationship between Karim and the Queen led to friction within the Royal Household, the other members of which felt themselves to be superior to him. The Queen insisted on taking Karim with her on her travels, which caused arguments between her and her other attendants. Following Victoria's death in 1901, her successor, Edward VII, returned Karim to India and ordered the confiscation and destruction of the Munshi's correspondence with Victoria.
Karim subsequently lived near Agra, on the estate that Victoria had arranged for him, until his death at the age of 46. Mohammed Abdul Karim was born into a Muslim family at Lalitpur near Jhansi in 1863, his father, Haji Mohammed Waziruddin, was a hospital assistant stationed with the Central India Horse, a British cavalry regiment. Karim had one older brother, Abdul Aziz, four younger sisters, he was taught Persian and Urdu and, as a teenager, travelled across North India and into Afghanistan. Karim's father participated in the conclusive march to Kandahar, which ended the Second Anglo-Afghan War, in August 1880. After the war, Karim's father transferred from the Central India Horse to a civilian position at the Central Jail in Agra, while Karim worked as a vakil for the Nawab of Jaora in the Agency of Agar. After three years in Agar, Karim resigned and moved to Agra, to become a vernacular clerk at the jail, his father arranged the sister of a fellow worker. Prisoners in the Agra jail were trained and kept employed as carpet weavers as part of their rehabilitation.
In 1886, 34 convicts travelled to London to demonstrate carpet weaving at the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in South Kensington. Karim did not accompany the prisoners, but assisted Jail Superintendent John Tyler in organising the trip, helped to select the carpets and weavers; when Queen Victoria visited the exhibition, Tyler gave her a gift of two gold bracelets, again chosen with the assistance of Karim. The Queen had a longstanding interest in her Indian territories and wished to employ some Indian servants for her Golden Jubilee, she asked Tyler to recruit two attendants. Karim was hastily coached in British manners and in the English language and sent to England, along with Mohammed Buksh. Major-General Thomas Dennehy, about to be appointed to the Royal Household, had employed Buksh as a servant, it was planned that the two Indian men would wait at table, learn to do other tasks. After a journey by rail from Agra to Bombay and by mail steamer to Britain and Buksh arrived at Windsor Castle in June 1887.
They were put under the charge of Major-General Dennehy and first served the Queen at breakfast in Frogmore House at Windsor on 23 June 1887. The Queen described Karim in her diary for that day: "The other, much younger, is much lighter and with a fine serious countenance, his father is a native doctor at Agra. They both kissed my feet."Five days the Queen noted that "The Indians always wait now and do so, so well and quietly." On 3 August, she wrote: "I am learning a few words of Hindustani to speak to my servants. It is a great interest to me for both the language and the people, I have never come into real contact with before." On 20 August she had some "excellent curry" made by one of the servants. By 30 August Karim was teaching her Urdu, which she used during an audience in December to greet the Maharani Chimnabai of Baroda. Victoria took a great liking to Karim and ordered that he was to be given additional instruction in the English language. By February 1888 he had "learnt English wonderfully" according to Victoria.
After he complained to the Queen that he had been a clerk in India and thus menial work as a waiter was beneath him, he was promoted to the position of "Munshi" in August 1888. In her journal, the Queen writes that she made this change so that he would stay: "I wish to retain his services as he helps me in studying Hindustani, which interests me much, & he is intelligent & useful." Photographs of him waiting at table were destroyed and he became the first Indian personal clerk to the Queen. Buksh remained in the Queen's service, but only as a khidmatgar or table servant, until his death at Windsor in 1899. According to Karim biographer Sushila Anand, the Queen's own letters testify that "her discussions with the Munshi were wide-ranging—philosophical and practical. Both head and heart were engaged. There is no doubt that the Queen found in Abdul Karim a connection with a world, fascinatingly alien, a confidant who would not feed her the official line." Karim was made responsible for their accounts.
Victoria praised him in her letters and journal. "I am so fond of him" she wrote, "He is so good & gentle & understanding all I want & is a real comfort to me." She admired "her personal Indian clerk & Munshi, an excellent, clever pous & refined gentle man, who says,'God ordered it'... God's Orders is what they implicitly obey! Such faith as theirs & such conscientiousness set us a gt. example." At Balmo
The British Empire comprised the dominions, protectorates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, 23% of the world population at the time, by 1920, it covered 35,500,000 km2, 24% of the Earth's total land area; as a result, its political, legal and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse around the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories. During the Age of Discovery in the 15th and 16th centuries and Spain pioneered European exploration of the globe, in the process established large overseas empires.
Envious of the great wealth these empires generated, England and the Netherlands began to establish colonies and trade networks of their own in the Americas and Asia. A series of wars in the 17th and 18th centuries with the Netherlands and France left England and following union between England and Scotland in 1707, Great Britain, the dominant colonial power in North America, it became the dominant power in the Indian subcontinent after the East India Company's conquest of Mughal Bengal at the Battle of Plassey in 1757. The independence of the Thirteen Colonies in North America in 1783 after the American War of Independence caused Britain to lose some of its oldest and most populous colonies. British attention soon turned towards Asia and the Pacific. After the defeat of France in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, Britain emerged as the principal naval and imperial power of the 19th century. Unchallenged at sea, British dominance was described as Pax Britannica, a period of relative peace in Europe and the world during which the British Empire became the global hegemon and adopted the role of global policeman.
In the early 19th century, the Industrial Revolution began to transform Britain. The British Empire expanded to include most of India, large parts of Africa and many other territories throughout the world. Alongside the formal control that Britain exerted over its own colonies, its dominance of much of world trade meant that it controlled the economies of many regions, such as Asia and Latin America. During the 19th century, Britain's population increased at a dramatic rate, accompanied by rapid urbanisation, which caused significant social and economic stresses. To seek new markets and sources of raw materials, the British government under Benjamin Disraeli initiated a period of imperial expansion in Egypt, South Africa, elsewhere. Canada and New Zealand became self-governing dominions. By the start of the 20th century and the United States had begun to challenge Britain's economic lead. Subsequent military and economic tensions between Britain and Germany were major causes of the First World War, during which Britain relied upon its empire.
The conflict placed enormous strain on the military and manpower resources of Britain. Although the British Empire achieved its largest territorial extent after World War I, Britain was no longer the world's pre-eminent industrial or military power. In the Second World War, Britain's colonies in East and Southeast Asia were occupied by Japan. Despite the final victory of Britain and its allies, the damage to British prestige helped to accelerate the decline of the empire. India, Britain's most valuable and populous possession, achieved independence as part of a larger decolonisation movement in which Britain granted independence to most territories of the empire; the Suez Crisis confirmed Britain's decline as a global power. The transfer of Hong Kong to China in 1997 marked for many the end of the British Empire. Fourteen overseas territories remain under British sovereignty. After independence, many former British colonies joined the Commonwealth of Nations, a free association of independent states.
The United Kingdom is now one of 16 Commonwealth nations, a grouping known informally as the Commonwealth realms, that share a monarch Queen Elizabeth II. The foundations of the British Empire were laid when Scotland were separate kingdoms. In 1496, King Henry VII of England, following the successes of Spain and Portugal in overseas exploration, commissioned John Cabot to lead a voyage to discover a route to Asia via the North Atlantic. Cabot sailed in 1497, five years after the European discovery of America, but he made landfall on the coast of Newfoundland, mistakenly believing that he had reached Asia, there was no attempt to found a colony. Cabot led another voyage to the Americas the following year but nothing was heard of his ships again. No further attempts to establish English colonies in the Americas were made until well into the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, during the last decades of the 16th century. In the meantime, the 1533 Statute in Restraint of Appeals had declared "that this realm of England is an Empire".
The subsequent Protestant Reformation turned Catholic Spain into implacable enemies. In 1562, the English Crown encouraged the privateers John Hawkins and Francis Drake to engage in slave-raiding attacks against Spanish and Portuguese ships off the coast of West Africa with the aim of breaking into the Atlantic slave tr
Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse
Louis IV was the Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine, reigning from 13 June 1877 until his death. Through his own and his children's marriages he was connected to the British Royal Family, to the Imperial House of Russia and to other reigning dynasties of Europe. Louis was born at the Prinz-Karl-Palais in Darmstadt, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine in the German Confederation, the first son and child of Prince Charles of Hesse and by Rhine and Princess Elisabeth of Prussia, granddaughter of King Frederick William II of Prussia; as his father's elder brother Louis III, the reigning Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine, had been married to his first wife since 1833 without legitimate children and from 1868 was married morganatically, Prince Louis was from birth second-in-line to the grand ducal throne, after his father. On 1 July 1862, Louis married Princess Alice, a daughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. On the day of the wedding, the Queen issued a royal warrant granting her new son-in-law the style of Royal Highness in the United Kingdom.
The Queen subsequently made Prince Louis a knight of the Order of the Garter. Although an arranged marriage orchestrated by the bride's father Albert, Prince Consort, the couple did have a brief period of courtship before betrothal and wed willingly after the death of the Prince Consort left Queen Victoria in a protracted state of grief that cast a pall over the nuptials. Becoming parents in less than a year following their marriage, the young royal couple found themselves strapped financially to maintain the lifestyle expected of their rank. Princess Alice's interest in social services, scientific development, hands-on child-rearing and intellectual stimulation were not shared by Louis who, although dutiful and benevolent, was bluff in manner and conventional in his pursuits; the death of the younger of their two sons, afflicted with hemophilia and suffered a fatal fall from a palace window before his third birthday in 1873, combined with the wearying war relief duties Alice had undertaken in 1870, evoked a crisis of spiritual faith for the princess in which her husband does not appear to have shared.
In 1866 the Austrians suffered defeat in the Austro-Prussian War and the Hessian grandduchy was in jeopardy of being awarded as the spoils of war to victorious Prussia, which annexed some of Austria's other allies, a fate from which Hesse-Darmstadt appears to have been spared only by a cession of territory and the close dynastic kinship between its ruler and the Emperor of Russia. In the Franco-Prussian War provoked by Bismarck's manipulation of the Ems telegram in 1870, Hesse and by Rhine this time found itself a winning ally of Prussia's, Prince Louis was credited with courageous military service at the Battle of Gravelotte, which afforded him the opportunity of mending the previous war's grievances with the House of Hohenzollern by fighting on the same side as his brother-in-law and future emperor, Prince Frederick of Prussia. In March 1877, Louis became heir presumptive to the Hessian throne when his father died and, less than three months found himself reigning grand duke upon the demise of his uncle, Louis III.
A year and a half however, Grand Duke Louis was stricken with diphtheria along with most of his immediate family, from which he recovered but to which his four-year-old daughter Marie succumbed, along with his wife of 16 years. From on, he reigned and raised his five surviving children alone. During the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, Louis commanded the Hessian cavalry in support of the Austrian side. In the 1870-71 Franco-Prussian War, Louis led the Hessian contingent of the armies of the North German Confederation. On 13 June 1877, he succeeded his uncle as Grand Duke of Hesse, taking the name "Ludwig IV". Grand Duchess Alice having died in 1878, Louis IV contracted a morganatic marriage on 30 April 1884 in Darmstadt with Countess Alexandrina Hutten-Czapska, the former wife of Aleksander Kolemin, the Russian chargé d'affaires in Darmstadt, his second wife received the title Countess von Romrod. But the couple, facing objections from the Grand Duke's in-laws, separated within a week and the marriage was annulled within three months.
Grand Duke Ludwig IV died on 13 March 1892 of a heart attack in the New Palace in Darmstadt and was succeeded by his son, Ernest Louis. His remains are buried at the mausoleum for the Grand Ducal House outside of Darmstadt. Domestic Foreign Austria-Hungary: Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Stephen of Hungary - 1880 Belgium: Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold Civil Cross, 1st Class Denmark: Knight of the Order of the Elephant - 23 September 1878 Kingdom of Greece: Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer Kingdom of Italy: Grand Cross of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus Ottoman Empire: Order of Osmanieh, 1st Class Kingdom of Portugal: Grand Cross of the Order of the Tower and Sword Russian Empire: Knight of the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle the First-Called Grand Cordon of the Imperial Order of St. Alexander Nevsky Grand Cordon of the Order of the White Eagle Knight 1st Class of the Order of St. Anna Knight 2nd Class of the Imperial Order of St. George United Kingdom: Knight of the Order of the Garter - 5 July 1862
Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia
Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia was the fifth son and seventh child of Emperor Alexander II of Russia. He was an influential figure during the reigns of his brother Emperor Alexander III of Russia and his nephew Emperor Nicholas II, his brother in law through Sergei's marriage to Elizabeth, the sister of Tsarina Alexandra. Grand Duke Sergei's education gave him lifelong interests in the arts. Like all male members of the Romanov dynasty, he followed a military career, he fought in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, receiving the Order of St George for courage and bravery in action. In 1882, his brother, Tsar Alexander III, appointed him Commander of the 1st Battalion Preobrazhensky Life Guard Regiment, a position he held until 1891. In 1889, Grand Duke Sergei was promoted to the rank of Major General. In 1884, Sergei by Rhine, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, their marriage remained childless, but they became the guardians of the two children of his brother, Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia: Grand Duchess Maria, Grand Duke Dmitri.
Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and his wife promoted the marriage of Sergei's nephew, Tsar Nicholas II, with Princess Alix of Hesse, Elizabeth's youngest sister. Between 1891 and 1905, Grand Duke Sergei served as Governor General of Moscow, his reputation was tarnished as he was blamed for the Khodynka Tragedy, during the festivities following the coronation of Emperor Nicholas II, resulted in thousands of deaths. As a Governor of Moscow, Grand Duke Sergei was responsible for the expulsion of Moscow's 20,000 Jews at the start of his tenure, he repressed a student movement to prevent the spread of revolutionary ideas, his conservative policies, extreme by contemporary standards, made him a polarizing figure, he was regarded as a reactionary. In 1894 Grand Duke Sergei was made a member of the State Council. In 1896 he was promoted to Lieutenant General and appointed as Commander of Moscow military district. After thirteen years of service, Grand Duke Sergei resigned from the Governorship on 1 January 1905.
Targeted by the SR Combat Organization, he was assassinated by a terrorist bomb at the Kremlin. Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich was born on 11 May 1857 in the Zubov wing of the Catherine Palace at Tsarskoye Selo, he was the seventh child and fifth son among the eight children of Alexander II of Russia and his first wife Maria Alexandrovna, née Duchess Maximilienne Wilhelmine of Hesse and by Rhine. Until he was old enough to begin lessons, Sergei's earlier years were spent with his younger brother Paul, from whom he was inseparable, their sister at Livadia, the family's Crimean retreat, at Tsarskoye Selo, at the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg. By the time Sergei was born, his mother was in declining health. Although she was not a affectionate mother, except to her daughter, her three youngest children, Marie and Paul, were close to her and to one another; as time passed and the Empress's health made it necessary for her to avoid the harsh Russian climate, they spent long sojourns abroad in Jugenheim outside Darmstadt and winters in the South of France.
A family tragedy hit them there. In April 1865, shortly before Sergei's eighth birthday, his eldest brother and godfather Nicholas, the heir to the crown, died in Nice; as a child, Sergei was shy and withdrawn. Under the influence of his mother, whose reserved character he resembled, he became religious. From the 1870s, Sergei and his younger brother Paul were kept in Russia by their studies, they were destined to follow a military career, but their tutor, Admiral Arseniev, encouraged Sergei's linguistic and musical abilities. He was learned Italian in order to read Dante in the original, his interest in Italian art and culture intensified. He was musical, playing the flute in an amateur orchestra, he enjoyed acting and steeped himself in the early history and traditions of Russia. He liked to read and in time came to know many of Russia's great writers among them Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, whose work the Grand Duke read and admired, he met Dostoevsky over dinner at the Winter Palace. Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich started a military career early in his life.
He was from birth Colonel-in-Chief of the 38th Tobolsk Infantry Regiment, he became Colonel-in-Chief of the 2nd Battalion Guards Rifles and, towards the end of his life, Colonel-in-Chief of the 5th Kievsky Grenadier Regiment. On his twentieth birthday on 29 April 1877, the Grand Duke took the solemn oath of allegiance to the Emperor. An educational tour, proposed for him was postponed upon the outbreak of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78. Sergei took part in the war with his father and brothers, the Tsarevich Alexander and Grand Dukes Vladimir and Alexei, he spent the greater part of his time serving as Poruchik in the Leib Guard under the Tsarevich in southeast Romania. He was promoted to Colonel. On October 12, following the battle of Meyk, the Emperor decorated him with the Order of St George, for courage and bravery in action with the enemy, for a reconnaissance expedition at Kara Loma near Koshev. At the end of December 1877, Sergei Alexandrovich returned to Saint Petersburg with his father.
Alexander II had started a new family with his mistress and Sergei sided with his neglected mother in the breaking of the family's harmony. Empress Maria died in June 1880, in March 1881 Alexander II, who had married his mistress, Princess Catherine Dolgoruki, was assassinated by terrorists. Sergei was in Italy with his brother Paul a
Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Alfred reigned as Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha from 1893 to 1900. He was the second son and fourth child of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, he was known as the Duke of Edinburgh from 1866 until he succeeded his paternal uncle Ernest II as the reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in the German Empire. Prince Alfred was born on 6 August 1844 at Windsor Castle to the reigning British monarch, Queen Victoria, her husband, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the second son of Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, he was second in the line of succession behind the Prince of Wales. Alfred was baptized by the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Howley, at the Private Chapel in Windsor Castle on 6 September 1844, his godparents were Prince George of Cambridge. Alfred studied violin at Holyrood, where his accompanist was Hungarian expatriate George Lichtenstein. Alfred remained second in line to the British throne from his birth until 8 January 1864, when his older brother Edward and his wife Alexandra of Denmark had their first son, Prince Albert Victor.
Alfred became third in line to the throne and as Edward and Alexandra continued to have children, Alfred was further demoted in the order of succession. In 1856, at the age of 12, it was decided that Prince Alfred, in accordance with his own wishes, should enter the Royal Navy. A separate establishment was accordingly assigned to him, with Lieutenant J. C. Cowell, RE, as governor, he passed the examination in August 1858, was appointed as midshipman in HMS Euryalus at the age of 14. In July 1860, while on this ship, he paid an official visit to the Cape Colony, made a favourable impression both on the colonials and on the native chiefs, he took part in a hunt at Hartebeeste-Hoek, resulting in the slaughter of large numbers of game animals. On the abdication of King Otto of Greece, in 1862, Prince Alfred was chosen to succeed him, but the British government blocked plans for him to ascend the Greek throne because of the Queen's opposition to the idea, she and her late husband had made plans for him to succeed to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg.
Prince Alfred, remained in the navy, was promoted to lieutenant on 24 February 1863, serving under Count Gleichen on the corvette HMS Racoon. He was promoted to captain on 23 February 1866 and was appointed to the command of the frigate HMS Galatea in January 1867. In the Queen's Birthday Honours on 24 May 1866, the Prince was created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Ulster, Earl of Kent, with an annuity of £15,000 granted by Parliament, he took his seat in the House of Lords on 8 June. While still in command of the Galatea, the Duke of Edinburgh started from Plymouth on 24 January 1867 for his voyage around the world. On 7 June 1867, he left Gibraltar, reached the Cape of Good Hope on 24 July and paid a royal visit to Cape Town on 24 August 1867 after landing at Simon's Town a while earlier, he landed at Glenelg, South Australia, on 31 October 1867. Being the first member of the royal family to visit Australia, he was received with great enthusiasm. During his stay of nearly five months he visited Adelaide, Sydney and Tasmania.
Adelaide school Prince Alfred College was named in his honour to mark the occasion. On 12 March 1868, on his second visit to Sydney, he was invited by Sir William Manning, President of the Sydney Sailors' Home, to picnic at the beachfront suburb of Clontarf to raise funds for the home. At the function, he was wounded in the back by a revolver fired by Henry James O'Farrell. Alfred was shot just to the right of his spine and was tended for the next two weeks by six nurses, trained by Florence Nightingale and led by Matron Lucy Osburn, who had just arrived in Australia in February 1868. In the violent struggle during which Alfred was shot, William Vial had managed to wrest the gun away from O'Farrell until bystanders assisted. Vial, a master of a Masonic Lodge, had helped to organise the picnic in honour of the Duke's visit and was presented with a gold watch for securing Alfred's life. Another bystander, George Thorne, was wounded in the foot by O'Farrell's second shot. O'Farrell was arrested at the scene tried and hanged on 21 April 1868.
On the evening of 23 March 1868, the most influential people of Sydney voted for a memorial building to be erected, "to raise a permanent and substantial monument in testimony of the heartfelt gratitude of the community at the recovery of HRH". This led to a public subscription. Alfred soon recovered from his injury and was able to resume command of his ship and return home in early April 1868, he reached Spithead on 26 June 1868, after an absence of seventeen months. He visited Hawaii in 1869 and spent time with the royal family there, where he was presented with leis upon his arrival, he was the first member of the royal family to visit New Zealand, arriving in 1869 on HMS Galatea. He became the first European prince to visit Japan and on 4 September 1869, he was received at an audience by the teenaged Emperor Meiji in Tokyo; the Duke's next voyage was to India, where he arrived in December 1869 and Ceylon, which he visited the following year. In both countries and at Hong Kong, which he visited on the way, he was the first British prince to set foot in the country.
The native rulers of India vied with one another in the magnif
Albert, Prince Consort
Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was the husband of Queen Victoria. 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 Queen Victoria, he felt constrained by his role of prince consort, which did not afford him power or responsibilities. He developed a reputation for supporting public causes, such as educational reform and the abolition of slavery worldwide, was entrusted with running the Queen's household and estates, he was involved with the organisation of the Great Exhibition of 1851, a resounding success. Victoria came to depend more on his support and guidance, he aided the development of Britain's constitutional monarchy by persuading his wife to be less partisan in her dealings with Parliament—although he disagreed with the interventionist foreign policy pursued during Lord Palmerston's tenure as Foreign Secretary. Albert died at the young age of 42. Victoria was so devastated at the loss of her husband that she entered into a deep state of mourning and wore black for the rest of her life.
On her death in 1901, their eldest son succeeded as Edward VII, the first British monarch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, named after the ducal house to which Albert belonged. Albert was born at Schloss Rosenau, near Coburg, the second son of Ernest III, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, his first wife, Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. Albert's future wife, was born earlier in the same year with the assistance of the same midwife, Charlotte von Siebold. 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, his godparents were the Dowager Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. In 1825, Albert's great-uncle, Frederick IV, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, died, his death led to a realignment of Saxon duchies the following year and Albert's father became the first reigning duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Albert and his elder brother, spent their youth in a close companionship marred by their parents' turbulent marriage and eventual separation and divorce.
After their mother was exiled from court in 1824, she married her lover, Alexander von Hanstein, Count of Polzig and Beiersdorf. She never saw her children again, died of cancer at the age of 30 in 1831; the following year, their father married his sons' cousin Princess Marie of Württemberg. The brothers were educated at home by Christoph Florschütz and studied in Brussels, where Adolphe Quetelet was one of their tutors. Like many other German princes, Albert attended the University of Bonn, where he studied law, political economy and the history of art, he played music and excelled at sport fencing and riding. His tutors at Bonn included the poet Schlegel; the idea of marriage between Albert and his cousin, was first documented in an 1821 letter from his paternal grandmother, the Dowager Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, who said that he was "the pendant to the pretty cousin". By 1836, this idea had arisen in the mind of their ambitious uncle Leopold, King of the Belgians since 1831. At this time, Victoria was the heir presumptive to the British throne.
Her father, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III, had died when she was a baby, her elderly uncle, King William IV, had no legitimate children. Her mother, the Duchess of Kent, was the sister of both Albert's father—the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha—and King Leopold. 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. William IV, disapproved of any match with the Coburgs, instead favoured the suit of Prince Alexander, second son of the Prince of Orange. Victoria was well aware of the various matrimonial plans and critically appraised a parade of eligible princes, she wrote, " is handsome. Alexander, on the other hand, she described as "very plain". 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 happy."
Although the parties did not undertake a formal engagement, both the family and their retainers assumed that the match would take place. Victoria came to the throne aged 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. In the winter of 1838–39, the prince visited Italy, accompanied by the Coburg family's confidential adviser, Baron Stockmar. Albert returned to the United Kingdom with Ernest in October 1839 to visit the Queen, with the objective of settling the marriage. Albert and Victoria felt mutual affection and the Queen proposed to him on 15 October 1839. Victoria's intention to marry was declared formally to the Privy Council on 23 November, the couple married on