Albert, Prince Consort

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel;[1] 26 August 1819 – 14 December 1861) was the consort of Queen Victoria from their marriage on 10 February 1840 until his death in 1861.

Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Prince Consort
Photograph by J. J. E. Mayall, May 1860
Consort of the British monarch
Tenure10 February 1840 – 14 December 1861
Born(1819-08-26)26 August 1819
Schloss Rosenau, Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, German Confederation
Died14 December 1861(1861-12-14) (aged 42)
Windsor Castle, England, United Kingdom
Burial23 December 1861
Spouse
Issue
Names
English: Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel
German: Franz Albert August Karl Emanuel
House
FatherErnest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
MotherPrincess Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg

Albert 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 twenty, he married his first cousin Victoria; they had nine children. Initially he felt constrained by his role as consort, which did not afford him power or responsibilities. He gradually developed a reputation for supporting public causes, such as educational reform and the abolition of slavery worldwide, and was entrusted with running the Queen's household, office, and estates. He was heavily involved with the organisation of the Great Exhibition of 1851, which was a resounding success.

Victoria came to depend more and more on Albert's 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 actively disagreed with the interventionist foreign policy pursued during Lord Palmerston's tenure as Foreign Secretary.

Albert died at the relatively 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.