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
Friar Street, Reading
Friar Street is a thoroughfare in the English town of Reading. It runs parallel to Broad Street, connected by Queen Victoria Street and Cross Street. At the western end is the Greyfriars Church and at the eastern end are the Town Hall and St Laurence's Church. Excavations carried out on Friar Street in 1997 at the location of a proposed extension Marks and Spencer store by the Oxford Archaeological Unit revealed successive layers of old buildings, some of which date back to the 13th century; the Frank Matcham-designed Royal County Theatre, built in 1895, was located on the south side of Friar Street. It burned down in 1937; the opening of a Sainsbury's supermarket in 1963 led to the closure of many smaller shops. Friars Walk shopping centre, located at the western end of Friar Street, opened in 1973-4. From around 2009 to present it has been derelict and will be demolished if the proposed Station Hill redevelopment project goes ahead. Friars Walk is known as "The Mall" and is used as a venue for airsoft and immersive zombie survival games
Dresden is the capital city and, after Leipzig, the second-largest city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. It is situated near the border with the Czech Republic. Dresden has a long history as the capital and royal residence for the Electors and Kings of Saxony, who for centuries furnished the city with cultural and artistic splendor, was once by personal union the family seat of Polish monarchs; the city was known as the Jewel Box, because of its baroque and rococo city centre. The controversial American and British bombing of Dresden in World War II towards the end of the war killed 25,000 people, many of whom were civilians, destroyed the entire city centre. After the war restoration work has helped to reconstruct parts of the historic inner city, including the Katholische Hofkirche, the Zwinger and the famous Semper Oper. Since German reunification in 1990 Dresden is again a cultural and political centre of Germany and Europe; the Dresden University of Technology is one of the 10 largest universities in Germany and part of the German Universities Excellence Initiative.
The economy of Dresden and its agglomeration is one of the most dynamic in Germany and ranks first in Saxony. It is dominated by high-tech branches called “Silicon Saxony”; the city is one of the most visited in Germany with 4.3 million overnight stays per year. The royal buildings are among the most impressive buildings in Europe. Main sights are the nearby National Park of Saxon Switzerland, the Ore Mountains and the countryside around Elbe Valley and Moritzburg Castle; the most prominent building in the city of Dresden is the Frauenkirche. Built in the 18th century, the church was destroyed during World War II; the remaining ruins were left for 50 years as a war memorial, before being rebuilt between 1994 and 2005. Dresden has nearly 560,000 inhabitants, the agglomeration is the largest in Saxony with 780,000 inhabitants. According to the Hamburgische Weltwirtschaftsinstitut and Berenberg Bank in 2017, Dresden has the fourth best prospects for the future of all cities in Germany. Although Dresden is a recent city of Germanic origin followed by settlement of Slavic people, the area had been settled in the Neolithic era by Linear Pottery culture tribes ca. 7500 BC.
Dresden's founding and early growth is associated with the eastward expansion of Germanic peoples, mining in the nearby Ore Mountains, the establishment of the Margraviate of Meissen. Its name etymologically derives from meaning people of the forest. Dresden evolved into the capital of Saxony. Around the late 12th century, a Slavic settlement called Drežďany had developed on the southern bank. Another settlement existed on the northern bank, it was known as Antiqua Dresdin by 1350, as Altendresden, both "old Dresden". Dietrich, Margrave of Meissen, chose Dresden as his interim residence in 1206, as documented in a record calling the place "Civitas Dresdene". After 1270, Dresden became the capital of the margraviate, it was given to Friedrich Clem after death of Henry the Illustrious in 1288. It was taken by the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1316 and was restored to the Wettin dynasty after the death of Valdemar the Great in 1319. From 1485, it was the seat of the dukes of Saxony, from 1547 the electors as well.
The Elector and ruler of Saxony Frederick Augustus I became King Augustus II the Strong of Poland in 1697. He gathered many of the best musicians and painters from all over Europe to the newly named Royal-Polish Residential City of Dresden, his reign marked the beginning of Dresden's emergence as a leading European city for technology and art. During the reign of Kings Augustus II the Strong and Augustus III of Poland most of the city's baroque landmarks were built; these include the Zwinger Royal Palace, the Japanese Palace, the Taschenbergpalais, the Pillnitz Castle and the two landmark churches: the Catholic Hofkirche and the Lutheran Frauenkirche. In addition significant art collections and museums were founded. Notable examples include the Dresden Porcelain Collection, the Collection of Prints and Photographs, the Grünes Gewölbe and the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon. In 1726 there was a riot for two days after a Protestant clergyman was killed by a soldier who had converted from Catholicism.
In 1729, by decree of King Augustus II the first Polish Military Academy was founded in Dresden. In 1730, it was relocated to Warsaw. Dresden suffered heavy destruction in the Seven Years' War, following its capture by Prussian forces, its subsequent re-capture, a failed Prussian siege in 1760. Friedrich Schiller wrote his Ode to Joy for the Dresden Masonic lodge in 1785. During the decline of Poland Dresden was site of preparations for the Polish Kościuszko Uprising; the city of Dresden had a distinctive silhouette, captured in famous paintings by Bernardo Bellotto and by Norwegian painter Johan Christian Dahl. Between 1806 and 1918 the city was the capital of the Kingdom of Saxony. During the Napoleonic Wars the French emperor made it a base of operations, winning there the famous Battle of Dresden on 27 August 1813. Following the November Uprising many Poles, including writers Juliusz Słowacki, Stefan Florian Garczyński, Klementyna Hoffmanowa and composer Frédéric Chopin, fled from the Russian Partition of Poland to Dresden.
National poet Adam Mickiewicz stayed several months in Dresden, starting in March 1832. He wrote the poetic drama Dziady, P
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
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
Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany
Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, was the eighth child and youngest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Leopold was created Duke of Albany, Earl of Clarence, Baron Arklow, he had haemophilia, which led to his death at the age of 30. Leopold was born on 7 April 1853 at Buckingham Palace, the eighth child and youngest son of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. During labour, Queen Victoria chose to use chloroform and thus sanctioned the use of anesthesia in childbirth developed by Professor James Young Simpson; the chloroform was administered by John Snow. As a son of the British sovereign, the newborn was styled His Royal Highness The Prince Leopold at birth, his parents named him Leopold after their common uncle, King Leopold I of Belgium. He was baptised in the Private Chapel of Buckingham Palace on 28 June 1853 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, John Bird Sumner, his godparents were King George V of Hanover. Leopold inherited the disease haemophilia from his mother, Queen Victoria, was a delicate child.
There was speculation during his life that Leopold suffered mildly from epilepsy, like his grand-nephew Prince John. The Prince's intellectual abilities were evident as a boy. In 1872, Prince Leopold entered Christ Church, where he studied a variety of subjects and became president of the Oxford University Chess Club. On coming of age in 1874, he had been made a privy councillor and granted an annuity of £15,000, he left the university with an honorary doctorate in civil law in 1876 travelled in Europe. In 1880, he toured Canada and the United States with his sister, Princess Louise, whose husband John Campbell, Marquess of Lorne, was Governor General of Canada, he was a prominent patron of chess, the London 1883 chess tournament was held under his patronage. Incapable of pursuing a military career because of his haemophilia and the need to avoid minor injuries, Leopold instead became a patron of the arts and literature and served as an unofficial secretary to his mother. "Leopold was the favourite son, through him her relations with the Government of the day were kept up."
He pursued vice-regal appointments in Canada and the Colony of Victoria, but his mother refused to appoint him, to his great unhappiness. Despite his inability to pursue an active military role, he had an honorary association with the 72nd Regiment, Duke of Albany's Own Highlanders, from 1881 served as the first Colonel-in-Chief of the Seaforth Highlanders, when that regiment was formed through the merger of the 72nd regiment with the 78th Regiment of Foot. A portrait of Prince Leopold in military uniform is held in the Royal Collection; the Seaforth Highlanders paraded at Prince Leopold's funeral, a fact recorded by William McGonagall in his poem "The Death of Prince Leopold". Prince Leopold was an active Freemason, being initiated in the Apollo University Lodge, whilst resident at Christ Church, he was proposed for membership by his brother, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, at the time the Worshipful Master of the Lodge, was initiated in a joint ceremony with Robert Hawthorne Collins, his friend and tutor, who became Comptroller of his Household.
He served as Master of the Lodge from 1876-1877, was the Provincial Grand Master for Oxfordshire, still holding that office at the time of his death. Prince Leopold was created Duke of Albany, Earl of Clarence and Baron Arklow on 24 May 1881. Prince Leopold, stifled by the desire of his mother, Queen Victoria, to keep him at home, saw marriage as his only hope of independence. Due to his haemophilia, he had difficulty finding a wife. Heiress Daisy Maynard was one of the women, he was acquainted with Alice Liddell, the daughter of the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford for whom Lewis Carroll wrote Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, was godfather of Alice's second son, named after him. It has been suggested that he considered marrying her, though others suggest that he preferred her sister Edith. Leopold considered his second cousin Princess Frederica of Hanover for a bride. Other aristocratic women he pursued included Victoria of Baden, Princess Stéphanie of Belgium, Princess Elisabeth of Hesse-Kassel, Princess Karoline Mathilde of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg.
Leopold was fond of Mary Baring, daughter of Lord Ashburton, though she was fond of him too, at 19, she felt she was too young to marry. After rejection from these women, Victoria stepped in to bar what she saw as unsuitable possibilities. Insisting that the children of British monarchs should marry into other reigning Protestant families, Victoria suggested a meeting with Princess Helena Friederike, the daughter of Georg Viktor, reigning Prince of Waldeck-Pyrmont, one of whose daughters had married King William III of the Netherlands. On 27 April 1882, Leopold and Helena were married, at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, his income was raised by parliament to £25,000. Leopold and Helena enjoyed a happy (although bri
George Blackall Simonds
George Blackall Simonds was an English sculptor and director of H & G Simonds Brewery in Reading in the English county of Berkshire. George was the second son of George Simonds Senior of Reading, director of H & G Simonds, Mary Anne, the daughter of William Boulger of Bradfield, his grandfather was Reading William Blackall Simonds. He added Blackall to his name after the death of his brother, Blackall Simonds II, in 1905, he was brother-in-law of the portrait painter, John Collingham Moore, cousin of the botanist, George Simonds Boulger. He served as the inaugural Master of the Art Workers' Guild in 1884-85, his best known works are The Falconer in Central Park, New York City and the Maiwand Lion in the Forbury Gardens, Reading in Berkshire. In 1922, he temporarily came out of retirement to build the war memorial in Bradfield, the village where he lived in Berkshire; this commemorates the deaths of local men in the First World War, including his son, a lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion, South Wales Borderers.
In 2005, users of Reading Borough Libraries, voted him winner of the'Great People of Reading' poll. New York City Department of Parks and Recreation: The Falconer Reading Borough Libraries: George Blackall Simonds Royal Berkshire History: George Blackall Simonds