Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910. The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Edward was related to royalty throughout Europe, he was heir apparent to the British throne and held the title of Prince of Wales for longer than any of his predecessors. He was heir presumptive to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha until before his marriage he renounced his right to the duchy, which devolved to his younger brother Alfred. During the long reign of his mother, he was excluded from political power, came to personify the fashionable, leisured elite, he travelled throughout Britain performing ceremonial public duties, represented Britain on visits abroad. His tours of North America in 1860 and the Indian subcontinent in 1875 were popular successes, but despite public approval his reputation as a playboy prince soured his relationship with his mother; as king, Edward played a role in the modernisation of the British Home Fleet and the reorganisation of the British Army after the Second Boer War.
He reinstituted traditional ceremonies as public displays and broadened the range of people with whom royalty socialised. He fostered good relations between Britain and other European countries France, for which he was popularly called "Peacemaker", but his relationship with his nephew, the German Emperor Wilhelm II, was poor; the Edwardian era, which covered Edward's reign and was named after him, coincided with the start of a new century and heralded significant changes in technology and society, including steam turbine propulsion and the rise of socialism. He died in 1910 in the midst of a constitutional crisis, resolved the following year by the Parliament Act 1911, which restricted the power of the unelected House of Lords. Edward was born at 10:48 in the morning on 9 November 1841 in Buckingham Palace, he was the eldest son and second child of Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. He was christened Albert Edward at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, on 25 January 1842.
He was named Albert after his father and Edward after his maternal grandfather Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn. He was known as Bertie to the royal family throughout his life; as the eldest son of the British sovereign, he was automatically Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay at birth. As a son of Prince Albert, he held the titles of Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Duke of Saxony, he was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester on 8 December 1841, Earl of Dublin on 10 September 1849 or 17 January 1850, a Knight of the Garter on 9 November 1858, a Knight of the Thistle on 24 May 1867. In 1863, he renounced his succession rights to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in favour of his younger brother, Prince Alfred. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were determined that their eldest son should have an education that would prepare him to be a model constitutional monarch. At age seven, Edward embarked on a rigorous educational programme devised by Prince Albert, supervised by several tutors.
Unlike his elder sister Victoria, Edward did not excel in his studies. He to no avail. Although Edward was not a diligent student—his true talents were those of charm and tact—Benjamin Disraeli described him as informed, intelligent and of sweet manner. After the completion of his secondary-level studies, his tutor was replaced by a personal governor, Robert Bruce. After an educational trip to Rome, undertaken in the first few months of 1859, he spent the summer of that year studying at the University of Edinburgh under, among others, the chemist Lyon Playfair. In October, he matriculated as an undergraduate at Oxford. Now released from the educational strictures imposed by his parents, he enjoyed studying for the first time and performed satisfactorily in examinations. In 1861, he transferred to Trinity College, where he was tutored in history by Charles Kingsley, Regius Professor of Modern History. Kingsley's efforts brought forth the best academic performances of Edward's life, Edward looked forward to his lectures.
In 1860, Edward undertook the first tour of North America by a Prince of Wales. His genial good humour and confident bonhomie made the tour a great success, he inaugurated the Victoria Bridge, across the St Lawrence River, laid the cornerstone of Parliament Hill, Ottawa. He watched Charles Blondin traverse Niagara Falls by highwire, stayed for three days with President James Buchanan at the White House. Buchanan accompanied the Prince to Mount Vernon, to pay his respects at the tomb of George Washington. Vast crowds greeted him everywhere, he met Ralph Waldo Emerson and Oliver Wendell Holmes. Prayers for the royal family were said in Trinity Church, New York, for the first time since 1776; the four-month tour throughout Canada and the United States boosted Edward's confidence and self-esteem, had many diplomatic benefits for Great Britain. Edward had hoped to pursue a career in the British Army, but his mother vetoed an active military career, he had been gazetted colonel on 9 November 1858—to his disappointment, as he had wanted to earn his commission by examination.
In September 1861, Edward was sent to Germany to watch military manoeuvres, but in order to engineer a meeting between him and Princess Alexandra of Denmark, the eldest daughter of Prince Christian of Denmark and his wife Louise. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had decided that Edward and Alexandra should marry, they met at Speyer on 24 September under the auspices of his elder sister, who ha
Victoria, Princess Royal
Victoria, Princess Royal was German Empress and Queen of Prussia by marriage to German Emperor Frederick III. She was the eldest child of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, was created Princess Royal in 1841, she was the mother of German Emperor. Educated by her father in a politically liberal environment, she was betrothed at the age of sixteen to Prince Frederick of Prussia and supported him in his views that Prussia and the German Empire should become a constitutional monarchy on the British model. Criticised for this attitude and for her English origins, Victoria suffered ostracism by the Hohenzollerns and the Berlin court; this isolation increased after the arrival of Otto von Bismarck to power in 1862. Victoria was empress and queen of Prussia for only a few months, during which she had opportunity to influence the policy of the German Empire. Frederick III died in 1888 – just 99 days after his accession – from laryngeal cancer and was succeeded by their son William II, who had much more conservative views than his parents.
After her husband's death, she became known as Empress Frederick. The empress dowager settled in Kronberg im Taunus, where she built Friedrichshof, a castle, named in honour of her late husband. Isolated after the weddings of her younger daughters, Victoria died of breast cancer a few months after her mother in 1901; the correspondence between Victoria and her parents has been preserved completely: 3,777 letters from Queen Victoria to her eldest daughter, about 4,000 letters from the empress to her mother are preserved and catalogued. These give a detailed insight into the life of the Prussian court between 1858 and 1900. Princess Victoria was born on 21 November 1840 at London, she was her husband, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. When she was born, the doctor exclaimed sadly: "Oh Madame, it's a girl!" And the Queen replied: "Never mind, next time it will be a prince!". She was baptised in the Throne Room of Buckingham Palace on 10 February 1841 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Howley.
The Lily font was commissioned for the occasion of her christening. Her godparents were Queen Adelaide, the King of the Belgians, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the Duke of Sussex, the Duchess of Gloucester and the Duchess of Kent; as a daughter of the sovereign, Victoria was born a British princess. On 19 January 1841, she was made Princess Royal, a title sometimes conferred on the eldest daughter of the sovereign. In addition, she was heir presumptive to the throne of the United Kingdom, before the birth of her younger brother Prince Albert Edward on 9 November 1841. To her family, she was known as "Vicky"; the royal couple decided to give their children as complete an education as possible. In fact, Queen Victoria, who succeeded her uncle King William IV at the age of 18, believed that she herself had not been sufficiently prepared for the government affairs. For his part, Prince Albert, born in the small Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, had received a more careful education, thanks to his uncle King Leopold I of Belgium.
Shortly after the birth of Victoria, Prince Albert wrote a memoir detailing the tasks and duties of all those involved with the royal children. Another 48-page document, written a year and a half by the Baron Stockmar, intimate of the royal couple, details the educational principles which were to be used with the little princes; the royal couple, had only a vague idea of the proper educational development of a child. Queen Victoria, for example, believed that the fact that her baby sucked on bracelets was a sign of deficient education. According to Hannah Pakula, biographer of the future German empress, the first two governesses of the princess were therefore well chosen. Experienced in dealing with children, Lady Lyttelton directed the nursery through which passed all royal children after Victoria's second year; the diplomatic young woman managed to soften the unrealistic demands of the royal couple. Sarah Anne Hildyard, the children's second governess, was a competent teacher who developed a close relationship with her students.
Precocious and intelligent, Victoria began to learn French at the age of 18 months, she began to study German when aged four. She learned Greek and Latin. From the age of six, her curriculum included lessons of arithmetic and history, her father tutored her in politics and philosophy, she studied science and literature. Her school days, interrupted by three hours of recreation, began at 8:20 and finished at 18:00. Unlike her brother, whose educational program was more severe, Victoria was an excellent student, always hungry for knowledge. However, she showed an obstinate character. Queen Victoria and her husband wanted to remove their children from court life as much as possible, so they acquired Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. Near the main building, Albert built for his children a Swiss-inspired cottage with a small kitchen and a carpentry workshop. In this building, the royal children learned practical life. Prince Albert was involved in the education of their offspring, he followed the progress of his children and gave some of their lessons himself, as well as spending time playing with them.
Victoria is described as having "idolised" her father and having inherited his li
Hackpen White Horse
Hackpen White Horse is a chalk hill figure of a white horse on Hackpen Hill, located below The Ridgeway on the edge of the Marlborough Downs, two miles south east of Broad Hinton, England. It is one of nine white horse hill figures located in Wiltshire, it is known as the Broad Hinton White Horse due to its near location to Broad Hinton. Cut by local parish clerk Henry Eatwell in 1838 to commemorate the coronation of Queen Victoria, the horse is 90' square feet and is said to be best viewed from B4041 road; the horse is scoured and maintained. The origin of the horse is uncertain, is sometimes said to be the only 19th century white horse to have little of its history known, it is regarded that the horse was cut in 1838 by Henry Eatwell, a parish clerk of Broad Hinton, assisted by a local pub landlord. It is said to commemorate the coronation of Queen Victoria; the horse is cut of chalk, is 90' square feet, making it the only square-dimension horse in England, faces WNW. Although the hill it resides on, Hackpen Hill, is high, it is a gentle slope when compared to the hills of most other Wiltshire horses.
Because the hill is gentle, the horse is banked up and raised from the surrounding grass to make it more visible. The head was elevated to help with the foreshortening; the best view of the horse is said to be from the nearby B4041 road, whilst the A361 road near Broad Hinton provides a clear view. At the top of the hill is a car park where the Ridgeway crosses the B4041 road, a footpath stretches from there down to the horse, making the horse accessible to the public. Many real horses roam the field, it has been suggested that the stones for Stonehenge and Avebury may have come from a field of sarsen stones just to the south east of its location. The expression "as different as chalk and cheese" is sometimes believed to refer to the land divided by Hackpen Hill; the hill forms the boundary between the high chalk downs to the south of it and the clay cattle country to the north, where cheese is a product of the milk from the cattle, so the two areas "are as different as chalk and cheese." Hackpen White Horse was not the only hillside shape cut to commemorate Queen Victoria.
The horse ties "neck-and-neck" with Broad Town White Horse as the closest white horse to Swindon. The horse is scoured. In either May or June 2000, John Wain cleaned it single-handedly, he flew David Brewer over the area to photograph the village of Broad Hinton and the white horse for brewers's book Images of a Wiltshire Downland Village: Broad Hinton and Uffcott. Wain cleaned it annually until Bevan Pope cleaned the horse single-handedly on 23 September 2004. Wain cleaned the horse again with the help of a group of friends on 1 February 2011 and 4 February 2012. On both occasions, they illuminated the newly cleaned horse. Although to illuminate a white horse has been sporadic tradition for other horses in Wiltshire, those occasions marked the first times it had been done for Hackpen White Horse. In March 2009, the horse was transformed into a "red horse" for the Comic Relief charity's Red Nose Day campaign; the White Horse pub, located half a mile away in Winterbourne Bassett, features an illustration resembling the horse as its logo.
The pub itself was named after the eight horses in Wiltshire. The horse has featured in several artworks, including a stained glass window made by Berry Stained Glass, Benoit Philppe's The Hackpen White Horse oil on canvas painting, a silver necklace created in 2015 by Devizes-based jeweller Daniel Pike. In 2005, the horse appeared in episode 1 of series 6 of Top Gear, and, in 2012, for a Pukka Pies sponsorship advert for ITV travel series Ade in Britain, Pukka Pies modified a photograph of the location to include a hill figure of one of their pies instead of the horse. Wiltshire white horsesWestbury White Horse Pewsey White Horse Devizes White Horse Broad Town White Horse Cherhill White Horse Marlborough White Horse Alton Barnes White HorseOther white horsesUffington White Horse Osmington White Horse Kilburn White Horse Woolbury White Horse
Carl, 3rd Prince of Leiningen
Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Emich, Prince of Leiningen, KG was the third Prince of Leiningen and maternal half-brother of Queen Victoria. Leiningen served as a Bavarian lieutenant general, before he played an important role in German politics as the first Prime Minister of the Provisorische Zentralgewalt government formed by the Frankfurt Parliament in 1848. A member of the Hardenburg branch of the Leiningen family, Carl was born in Amorbach, the son of Prince Emich Carl of Leiningen by his second marriage with Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, he was the only son, as Emich Carl's son by his first wife, had died in 1800. Prince Emich Carl had received the Principality of Leiningen during the German mediatisation in 1803, as a compensation for the lost Hardenburg estates in the Palatinate occupied by French revolutionary troops, took his residence at the secularised Amorbach Abbey; the princely territory, soon after passed to the newly established Grand Duchy of Baden, the Kingdom of Bavaria and the Grand Duchy of Hesse.
Prince Emich Carl died on 4 July 1814 and Carl succeeded him as third Prince of Leiningen. On 11 July 1818, his widowed mother married Prince Edward, the fourth son of King George III of the United Kingdom, at Kew Palace, Surrey. In 1819, Carl and his younger sister Princess Feodora were taken from Amorbach to London, where their half-sister Princess Victoria of Kent was born on 24 May at Kensington Palace. On 13 February 1829, Carl married the Bohemian countess Maria von Klebelsberg, daughter of Count Maximilian von Klebelsberg and his wife Maria Anna von Turba, they had two sons: Ernst Leopold, 4th Prince of Leiningen he married Princess Marie of Baden on 11 September 1858. They had two children. Prince Eduard Friedrich Maximilian Johann of Leiningen. Carl had attended a private school in Bern and from 1821 onwards studied law at the University of Göttingen with the jurist Karl Friedrich Eichhorn one of the principal authorities on German constitutional law and leading proponent of the German Historical School of jurisprudence.
At the British court, his multifaceted interests in art were aroused. From 1828, he had Waldleiningen Castle near Mörschenhardt erected as his private residence, a Romantic complex resembling Neo-Gothic castles in Britain, such as Abbotsford House. Carl was made a Knight of the Order of the Garter in 1837; as a mediatized house, the Princes of the Leiningen were members of the Landtag diet in Baden, as well as in Bavaria and Hesse. Prince Carl became president of the Bavarian upper house in 1842 and pursued a career in the Bavarian Army as Lieutenant general à la suite of the Cavalry. On 20 April 1842, he and 20 other noblemen gathered at Biebrich Palace, where they established the Adelsverein to organize the settlement of German emigrants in Texas. By the German revolutions of 1848–49, Leiningen had achieved much reputation as a liberal reformer and freethinker, he advocated the implementation of parliamentarism and criticized aristocracy's privileges. With a Catholic head of state and a Lutheran head of government, an equilibrium was reached in German dualism.
His cabinet could rely on a liberal and left-wing majority in the newly established Frankfurt Parliament, however, as early as on 5 September, he resigned over the Schleswig-Holstein Question when in the First Schleswig War King Frederick William IV of Prussia unilaterally signed an armistice with Denmark at Malmö. The delegates of the Frankfurt assembly reacted with outrage and Leiningen, unable to assert the powers of the central authority, was forced to step down, he was succeeded by the Austrian politician Anton von Schmerling, who acted as Prime Minister until December. In 1851, he resigned as president of the Adelsverein and was succeeded by Prince Hermann of Wied. Shortly after his niece Victoria became engaged to Prince Frederick of Prussia, in 1855, he suffered a severe apoplectic attack. A second attack in November the following year was fatal, he died at Waldleiningen Castle at the age of fifty-two, with his sister Feodora at his bedside. Hermann Nehlsen Fürst Karl zu Leiningen. In: Gerhard Köbler, Hermann Nehlsen: Wirkungen europäischer Rechtskultur.
Festschrift für Karl Kroeschell zum 70. Geburtstag. Verlag C. H. Beck, München, ISBN 3-406-42994-7, S. 763f. Friedrich Oswald, "Leiningen, Karl Emich Fürst zu", Neue Deutsche Biographie, 14, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 145–146 Sarah Tytler, The Life of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen, vol. II Fürstenhaus zu Leiningen Texas State Historical Association
Princess Alice of the United Kingdom
Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine, was the Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine from 1877-1878. She was the third child and second daughter of Prince Albert. Alice was the first of Queen Victoria's nine children to die, one of three to be outlived by their mother, who died in 1901. Alice spent her early childhood in the company of her parents and siblings, travelling between the British royal residences, her education was devised by Albert's close friend and adviser, Baron Stockmar, included practical activities like needlework and woodwork and languages like French and German. When her father, Prince Albert, became fatally ill in December 1861, Alice nursed him until his death. Following his death, Queen Victoria entered a period of intense mourning and Alice spent the next six months acting as her mother's unofficial secretary. On 1 July 1862, while the court was still at the height of mourning, Alice married the minor German Prince Louis of Hesse, heir to the Grand Duchy of Hesse.
The ceremony—conducted and with unrelieved gloom at Osborne House—was described by the Queen as "more of a funeral than a wedding". The Princess's life in Darmstadt was unhappy as a result of impoverishment, family tragedy and worsening relations with her husband and mother. Alice was a prolific patron of women's causes and showed an interest in nursing the work of Florence Nightingale; when Hesse became involved in the Austro-Prussian War, Darmstadt filled with the injured. One of her organisations, the Princess Alice Women's Guild, took over much of the day-to-day running of the state's military hospitals; as a result of this activity, Queen Victoria became concerned about Alice's directness about medical and, in particular, matters. In 1871, she wrote to Alice's younger sister, Princess Louise, who had married: "Don't let Alice pump you. Be silent and cautious about your'interior'". In 1877, Alice became Grand Duchess upon the accession of her husband, her increased duties putting further strains on her health.
In late 1878, diphtheria infected the Hessian court. Alice nursed her family for over a month before dying late that year. Princess Alice was the mother of Tsaritsa Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia, maternal grandmother of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, maternal great-grandmother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Another daughter, who married Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia, like the tsaritsa and her family, killed by the Bolsheviks in 1918. Alice was born on 25 April 1843 at Buckingham Palace in London, she was the second daughter and third child of Queen Victoria, her husband Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. She was christened "Alice Maud Mary" in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace by The Archbishop of Canterbury, William Howley, on 2 June 1843. "Maud", the Anglo-Saxon name for Matilda, was chosen in honour of one of Alice's godparents, Princess Sophia Matilda of Gloucester, a niece of King George III. "Mary" was chosen because Alice was born on the same day as her maternal great-aunt, the Duchess of Gloucester.
Her gender was greeted with mixed feelings from the public, the Privy Council sent a message to Albert expressing its "congratulation and condolence" on the birth of a second daughter. Her godparents were the King of Hanover, the Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, the Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Princess Sophia Matilda of Gloucester. Alice's birth prompted her parents to find a larger family home. Buckingham Palace was not equipped with the private apartments that Victoria's growing family needed, including suitable nurseries. Therefore, in 1844, Victoria and Albert purchased Osborne House on the Isle of Wight as a family holiday home. Alice's education was devised by his close friend, Baron Stockmar. At Osborne and her siblings were taught practical skills such as housekeeping, cooking and carpentry, as well as daily lessons in English and German. Victoria and Albert favoured a monarchy based on family values. Alice was fascinated with the world outside the Royal Household. On one occasion, she escaped from her governess at the chapel at Windsor Castle and sat in a public pew, so she could better understand people who were not strict adherents to royal protocol.
In 1854, during the Crimean War, the eleven-year-old Alice toured London hospitals for wounded soldiers with her mother and her eldest sister. She was the most sensitive of her siblings and was sympathetic to other people's burdens, possessing a sharp tongue and an triggered temper. In her childhood, Alice formed a close relationship with her brother, the Prince of Wales, her eldest sister, The Princess Royal. Victoria's marriage to Prince Frederick of Prussia in 1858 upset her. Alice's compassion for other people's suffering established her role as the family caregiver in 1861, her maternal grandmother Victoria, Duchess of Kent, died at Frogmore on 16 March 1861. Alice had spent much of her time at her grandmother's side played the piano for her in Frogmore's draw
Coronation of Queen Victoria
The coronation of Queen Victoria took place on Thursday, 28 June 1838, just over a year after she succeeded to the throne of the United Kingdom at the age of 18. The ceremony was held in Westminster Abbey after a public procession through the streets from Buckingham Palace, to which the queen returned as part of a second procession. Planning for the coronation, led by prime minister Lord Melbourne, began at Cabinet level in March 1838. In the face of various objections from numerous parties, the Cabinet announced on Saturday, 7 April, that the coronation would be at the end of the parliamentary session in June, it was budgeted at £70,000, more than double the cost of the "cut-price" 1831 coronation but less than the £240,000 spent when George IV was crowned in July 1821. A key element of the plan was presentation of the event to a wider public. By 1838, the newly built railways were able to deliver huge numbers of people into London and it has been estimated that some 400,000 visitors arrived to swell the crowds who thronged the streets while the two processions took place and filled the parks where catering and entertainment were provided.
Hyde Park was the scene including a balloon ascent. The fair was extended by popular demand to four. Green Park featured a firework display the night after the ceremony; the event took place in fine weather and was considered a great success by the press and wider public, though those inside the Abbey witnessed a good deal of mishap and confusion due to lack of rehearsal. In the country at large, there was considerable Radical opposition to the coronation in northern England. Queen Victoria succeeded her uncle King William IV on 20 June 1837, her first prime minister was Lord Melbourne. Until 1867, the Demise of the Crown automatically triggered the dissolution of parliament and a general election was therefore necessary with voting between 24 July and 18 August; the result was a victory for Melbourne whose existing Whig Party government was returned to power for four more years. Their majority over the opposition Conservative Party was reduced from 112 seats to thirty. Melbourne was the leading player in the planning and implementation of Victoria's coronation.
Melbourne's Cabinet began formal discussion of the subject of the coronation in March 1838. A major factor in the planning was this being the first coronation held since the passing of the Reform Act 1832, which the government recognised as radically reshaping the monarchy. In terms of the ceremony itself, the extension of the franchise meant that some 500 Members of Parliament would be invited to attend in addition to the peerage. A greater consideration was the need to somehow involve the general public and Melbourne championed the centuries old custom of a public procession through the streets. There had been a procession in 1831 but a much longer route was planned for 1838 including a new startpoint at Buckingham Palace. Earlier processions had run from the Tower of London to the Abbey. Victoria's procession would be the longest since that of Charles II in April 1661. Scaffolding for spectators would be built all along the route; this was achieved according to contemporary reports, including one saying there was "scarcely a vacant spot along the whole, unoccupied with galleries or scaffolding".
The diarist Charles Greville commented that the principal object of the government plan was to amuse and interest the ordinary working people. He concluded that the "great merit" of the coronation was that so much had been done for the people. In terms of cost, the government was torn between the extremes of George IV's lavish coronation in 1821 and the "cut-price" event, dubbed the "Half-Crown-ation", held for William IV in 1831, they decided to allow a budget of £70,000. Therefore, the cost of Victoria's coronation represented a compromise between two extremes of £240,000 and £30,000; the government's plans for the coronation attracted considerable criticism from its opponents. For different reasons, both Tories and Radicals objected to the coronation being turned into a day of popular celebration, to be seen by as wide a public as possible; the Tory objections made beforehand, were that the government's plans to put much of the spending into the long public procession detracted from the traditional dignity of the ceremonies at Westminster, which would be "shorn of majesty by Benthamite utilitarianism".
The Radical left, including the Chartist movement, anti-monarchist, thought the whole occasion far too expensive. A dubious perception that prevailed was the identification of the new monarch with the Whig party; this would be a problem through the early years of Victoria's reign, leading to the so-called Bedchamber Crisis in 1839 over what were the political appointments of her ladies-in-waiting. In addition, the Whig party had exploited Victoria's name in its election campaign, suggesting that a monarch from a new generation would mean the progress of reform. William IV and his wife, Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, had strong Tory sympathies, while Victoria's mother and namesake was known to favour the Whigs, it was assumed, to some extent that Victoria herself had been brought up to hold similar views. This was reflected in popular ballads sold on the streets, one of which had Victoria saying: The government's decision to dispense with certain traditions was seen as snub by the Tory aristocracy.
The omissions included an exclusive banquet at Westminster Hall and medieval rituals like a monarchical champion throwing down a gauntlet. In the House of Lords, complaints were made about the processions because a young girl (Victori
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