Wedding dress of Queen Victoria
The wedding dress of Queen Victoria was worn by Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom, at her wedding to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha on 10 February 1840. She selected a white dress, considered an unusual choice at a time when colours were more usual, made from heavy silk satin; the Honiton lace used for her wedding dress proved an important boost to Devon lace-making. Queen Victoria has been credited with starting the tradition of white weddings and white bridal gowns, although she was not the first royal to be married in white; the lace was designed by William Dyce, head of the Government School of Design, mounted on a white satin dress made by Mary Bettans. The plain, cream-coloured satin gown was made from fabric woven in Spitalfields, east London, trimmed with a deep flounce and trimmings of lace hand-made in Honiton and Beer, in Devon; this demonstrated support for English industry the cottage industry for lace. The handmade lace motifs were appliquéd onto cotton machine-made net.
Orange flower blossoms, a symbol of fertility trimmed the dress and made up a wreath, which Victoria wore instead of a tiara over her veil. The veil, which matched the flounce of the dress, was four yards in length and 0.75 yards wide. Victoria's jewellery consisted of a necklace and earrings made up of diamonds presented to her by the Sultan of Turkey, a sapphire cluster brooch given to her by Albert a day earlier; the slippers she wore matched the white colour of the dress. The train of the dress, carried by her bridesmaids, measured 18 feet in length. Queen Victoria described her choice of dress in her journal thus: "I wore a white satin dress, with a deep flounce of Honiton lace, an imitation of an old design. My jewels were my Turkish diamond necklace & earrings & dear Albert's beautiful sapphire brooch." While photography existed in 1840, the techniques were not yet developed. A series of photographs taken by Roger Fenton on 11 May 1854 of Victoria and Albert are described as wedding or reenactment photographs, with the dress identified as her wedding dress.
The Royal Collection has refuted these interpretations, stating that the images are the first photographs to show Victoria as a queen, rather than as a wife or mother, that she and Albert are wearing court dress. In 1847, Victoria commissioned Franz Xaver Winterhalter to paint a portrait of her wearing her wedding clothes as an anniversary present for Prince Albert; the portrait was copied as an enamel miniature by John Haslem. Victoria revisited the lace-makers to create the christening gown worn by her children, including Albert Edward, the future Edward VII; this gown was worn for the christening of all subsequent Royal babies until the baptism of James, Viscount Severn in 2008, when a replica was used for the first time. As a mark of support for the Honiton industry, in addition to wearing their lace on her and her children's clothes, Victoria insisted her daughters order Honiton lace for their wedding dresses. Victoria wore her wedding lace mounted on the dresses she wore to the christenings of her nine children.
She wore it to the weddings of two of her children, her eldest daughter, Victoria, in 1858, her youngest son, Leopold, in 1882. Her youngest daughter, Princess Beatrice, was permitted to wear it as part of her wedding gown in 1885. Victoria wore the lace to the wedding of her grandson George to Mary of Teck in 1893, for her Diamond Jubilee official photograph in 1897; when Victoria died, she was buried with her wedding veil over her face. In 2012 it was reported that while the dress itself had been conserved and displayed at Kensington Palace that year, the lace was now too fragile to move from storage. Wearing white was adopted by wealthy, fashionable brides. Less than a decade Godey's Lady's Book would incorrectly claim that white wedding gowns were an ancient custom reflecting a bride's virginity, writing "Custom has decided, from the earliest ages, that white is the most fitting hue, whatever may be the material, it is an emblem of the purity and innocence of girlhood, the unsullied heart she now yields to the chosen one" though white had been a distinctly uncommon choice for bridal gowns before Victoria's wedding and was not chosen by a majority of brides until decades later.
Following the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, comparisons were drawn between the bride's white wedding dress and Queen Victoria's own. BBC audio slideshow featuring her wedding dress
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
Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Medal
The Diamond Jubilee Medal was instituted in 1897 by Royal Warrant as a British decoration. The medal was awarded to members of the Royal Family and the court and dignitaries present at the celebrations of Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee and to selected soldiers and sailors who formed the jubilee parade in London; the Medal followed the Golden Jubilee Medal, issued ten years both in terms of design and award criteria, with those qualifying for both medals receiving a ribbon clasp in lieu of a second medal. The medal was awarded to those involved in the official celebrations of Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee, including members of the Royal Family, Royal Household and government officials, as well as Envoys, Foreign Ambassadors and Colonial Prime Ministers. Military recipients included selected officers and soldiers of the Royal Navy and Army, the Indian and colonial contingents, that participated in jubilee activities, including the London procession in which the Queen took part. Three types of medal were awarded: Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Awarded in gold to members of the Royal Family, silver to officers and those of similar status, bronze to selected other ranks who took part in the jubilee parade. A special diamond shaped medal for mayors and provosts, presented in gold to lord mayors and lord provosts and silver to mayors and provosts from across the United Kingdom. A Police Diamond Jubilee Medal of a different design was awarded to those on duty during the jubilee celebrations. Please see separate article. Other members of the Commonwealth struck their own versions of the medal, albeit not sanctioned for wear; the Government of Ceylon in particular is notable for the medals they struck in 14-carat gold and silver, awarded to senior members of government and local officials. The Diamond Jubilee Medal followed the design of Golden Jubilee Medal, it measures 30 millimetres in diameter. On the obverse Queen Victoria is depicted crowned and wearing a veil which falls over the back of the head and neck, with the text VICTORIA D. G.
REGINA ET IMPERATRIX F. D.. The reverse bears the words IN COMMEMORATION OF THE 60TH YEAR OF THE REIGN OF QUEEN VICTORIA · 20 JUNE 1897 within a garland of roses and thistles; the medal was designed by Clemens Emptmayer, with the portrait of Queen Victoria based on a design by Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm. The ribbon is garter blue with wide white stripes towards each edge. Holders of the 1887 medal who qualified were awarded a bar inscribed'1897' and surmounted by a crown, to be attached to the ribbon of the existing medal; the medal for mayors and provosts is a lozenge, 40 by 48 millimetres, bearing a trefoil pattern, with a circular centre that depicts the portrait of the older Queen on the obverse, with the young Queen on the reverse. The ribbon follows that of the standard medal; the medal of Admiral of the Fleet, Earl David Beatty in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich on collections.rmg.co.uk The medal of Richard Seddon, premier of New Zealand in the Museum of New Zealand on collections.tepapa.govt.nz
Royal Order of Victoria and Albert
The Royal Order of Victoria and Albert was a British Royal Family Order instituted on 10 February 1862 by Queen Victoria, enlarged on 10 October 1864, 15 November 1865, 15 March 1880. No awards were made after the death of Queen Victoria; the order had four classes and was only granted to female members of the British Royal Family and female courtiers. For the first three classes, the badge consisted of a medallion of Queen Victoria and Albert, The Prince Consort, differing in the width and jewelling of the border as the classes descend, whilst the fourth substitutes a jewelled cipher. All four were surmounted by a crown, attached to a bow of white silk moiré ribbon; the honour conferred no rank or title upon the recipient, but recipients were entitled to use the post-nominal letters "VA". The last holder of the Order, Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, died in 1981; the German Empress The Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein The Princess of Wales The Marchioness of Lorne The Princess Beatrice The Duchess of Edinburgh 1879: The Duchess of Connaught and Strathearn The Duchess of Albany 1885: Princess Louise of Wales Princess Victoria of Wales Princess Maud of Wales The Duchess of York Princess Patricia of Connaught The Queen of Denmark The Queen of Hanover 1878: The Queen of the Belgians Princess Louis of Battenberg The Queen Regent of Spain The Grand Duchess of Baden The German Empress The Queen of Romania 1896: The Empress of Russia 1898: The Queen of the Netherlands Princess Marie of Edinburgh Princess Victoria Melita of Edinburgh Princess Alexandra of Edinburgh Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh Princess Margaret of Connaught Princess Alice of Albany Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna of Russia Princess Charlotte, The Hereditary Princess of Saxe-Meinigen Princess Irene, Princess Henry of Prussia Princess Viktoria, Princess Adolphe of Schaumburg-Lippe Princess Marie Amelie, The Duchess of Hamilton, Princess of Baden Princess Marie Louise, Princess Aribert of Anhalt Princess Sophie, The Crown Princess of Greece Princess Margaret, Princess Frederick Charles of Hesse Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg The Countess of Mount Edgcumbe Jane Spencer, Baroness Churchill The Duchess of Sutherland The Dowager Duchess of Wellington Dowager Lady Churchill The Dowager Duchess of Roxburghe Lady Waterpark The Dowager Duchess of Atholl Viscountess Clifden The Dowager Countess of Mayo The Dowager Countess of Erroll Lady Abercromby Lady Portman The Countess of Mount Edgcumbe Countess of Gainsborough Dowager Lady Southampton The Dowager Duchess of Buccleuch Viscountess Jocelyn 1880: Albertha, Duchess of Marlborough The Dowager Duchess of Bedford 1881: The Dowager Duchess of Abercorn The Duchess of Roxburghe 1885: Countess Spencer The Duchess of Buccleuch & Queensberry Lady Ampthill 1889: The Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava Viscountess Downe The Countess of Antrim 1892: The Marchioness of Salisbury The Marchioness of Lansdowne The Countess of Lytton Frances, Viscountess Chewton Countess Cadogan Lady Hamilton-Gordon Edith Codrington, Lady Codrington Adelaide Biddulph, Baroness Biddulph Lady Elizabeth Phillipa Biddulph Flora C.
I. Macdonald Hon Mrs. Ferguson Hon Horatia C. F. Stopford Hon Emily Sarah Cathcart Lady Cust Mrs Magdalen Wellesley Lady Ponsonby Ina Erskine McNeill 1889: Lady Geraldine Somerset Harriet Lepel Phipps Caroline Fanny Cavendish Mrs. Georgina Townshend Wilson Lady Cowell Hon. Mrs. Mallett Hon. Mrs. Grant Ethel H. M. Cadogan Mrs. John Haughton Whitaker's Almanack, 1893 British Imperial Calendar, 1900, 1902 The Times
Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria
The Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria was celebrated on 20 June 1887 on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Queen Victoria's accession on 20 June 1837. It was celebrated with a banquet to which princes were invited. On 20 June 1887 the Queen had breakfast outdoors under the trees at Frogmore, where Prince Albert had been buried, she travelled by train from Windsor station to Paddington to Buckingham Palace for a royal banquet that evening. Fifty foreign kings and princes, along with the governing heads of Britain's overseas colonies and dominions, attended, she wrote in her diary: Had a large family dinner. All the Royalties assembled in the Bow Room, we dined in the Supper-room, which looked splendid with the buffet covered with the gold plate; the table was a large horseshoe one, with many lights on it. The King of Denmark took me in, Willy of Greece sat on my other side; the Princes were all in uniform, the Princesses were all beautifully dressed. Afterwards we went into the Ballroom; the following day, she participated in a procession in an open landau through London to Westminster Abbey escorted by Colonial Indian cavalry.
During prayers for the Queen at the Abbey, a beam of sunlight fell upon her bowed head, which the future Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii observing noted as a mark of divine favor. On her return to the Palace, she was cheered by the crowd. In the ballroom she distributed. In the evening, she put on a gown embroidered with silver roses and shamrocks and attended a banquet. Afterwards she received a procession of Indian princes, she was wheeled in her chair to sit and watch fireworks in the palace garden. At the Jubilee she engaged two Indian Muslims as waiters. A commemorative bust of Victoria was commissioned from the sculptor Francis John Williamson. Many copies were made, distributed throughout the British Empire. A special Golden Jubilee Medal was instituted and awarded to participants of the jubilee celebrations. Writer and geographer John Francon Williams published The Jubilee Atlas of the British Empire to commemorate Victoria's Jubilee and her Jubilee year; the Queen of the United Kingdom The German Crown Princess and Crown Prince, the Queen's daughter and son-in-law Prince and Princess Wilhelm of Prussia, the Queen's grandson and granddaughter-in-law The Hereditary Princess and Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Meiningen, the Queen's granddaughter and grandson-in-law Princess Feodora of Saxe-Meiningen, the Queen's great-granddaughter Prince Henry of Prussia, the Queen's grandson Princess Viktoria of Prussia, the Queen's granddaughter Princess Sophia of Prussia, the Queen's granddaughter Princess Margaret of Prussia, the Queen's granddaughter The Prince and Princess of Wales, the Queen's son and daughter-in-law Prince Albert Victor of Wales, the Queen's grandson Prince George of Wales, the Queen's grandson Princess Louise of Wales, the Queen's granddaughter Princess Victoria of Wales, the Queen's granddaughter Princess Maud of Wales, the Queen's granddaughter The Grand Duke of Hesse, the Queen's son-in-law Princess and Prince Louis of Battenberg, the Queen's granddaughter and grandson-in-law Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna and Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia, the Queen's granddaughter and grandson-in-law Princess Irene of Hesse and by Rhine, the Queen's granddaughter The Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse, the Queen's grandson Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine, the Queen's granddaughter The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, the Queen's son and daughter-in-law Prince Alfred of Edinburgh, the Queen's grandson Princess Marie of Edinburgh, the Queen's granddaughter Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the Queen's granddaughter Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the Queen's granddaughter Princess and Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, the Queen's daughter and son-in-law Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein, the Queen's grandson Prince Albert of Schleswig-Holstein, the Queen's grandson Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, the Queen's granddaughter Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein, the Queen's granddaughter The Marchioness and Marquess of Lorne, the Queen's daughter and son-in-law The Duke and Duchess of Connaught and Strathearn, the Queen's son and daughter-in-law Princess Margaret of Connaught, the Queen's granddaughter Prince Arthur of Connaught, the Queen's grandson The Duchess of Albany, the Queen's daughter-in-law Princess and Prince Henry of Battenberg, the Queen's daughter and son-in-law The Duke of Cambridge, the Queen's first cousin The Grand Duchess and Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the Queen's first cousin and her husband The Hereditary Grand Duke and Hereditary Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the Queen's first cousin once removed and his wife The Duchess and Duke of Teck, the Queen's first cousin and her husband Princess Mary of Teck, the Queen's first cousin once removed Prince Adolphus of Teck, the Queen's first cousin once removed Prince Francis of Teck, the Queen's first cousin once removed Prince Alexander of Teck, the Queen's first cousin once removed Princess Frederica of Hanover and Baron Alphons von Pawel-Rammingen, the Queen's first cousin once removed and her husband The Hon. Aubrey FitzClarence, great-grandson of King William IV The Prince and Princess of Leiningen, the Queen's half-nephew and half-niece-in-law Princess Alberta of Leiningen, the Queen's half-great-niece The Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, the Queen's half-nephew Prince and Princess Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, the Queen's half-nephew and half-niece-in-law Countess Feodora Gleichen, the Queen's half-great-niece Count Edward Gleichen, the Queen's half-great-nephew Countess Victoria Gleichen, t
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
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