Author Topic: Queen Victoria & Prince Albert--Photos and Information  (Read 282576 times)

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Offline historyfan

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Re: Queen Victoria & Prince Albert--Photos and Information
« Reply #495 on: January 26, 2012, 09:06:55 PM »
Who's the author?

Offline po3a

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Re: Queen Victoria & Prince Albert--Photos and Information
« Reply #496 on: January 27, 2012, 09:31:58 AM »

Offline feodorovna

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Re: Queen Victoria & Prince Albert--Photos and Information
« Reply #497 on: January 29, 2012, 01:44:39 PM »
At risk of being jumped on from a great height I'm going to reveal that I've never quite bought into the love story we are lead to believe is Victoria and Albert.

Albert had been trained, coached, groomed from a young age, by Stockmar, at Leopold's behest, to become Victoria's husband. I doubt Albert's feelings or opinions were sought. He dutifully learned her likes and dislikes, the books she read, the composers she favoured, the artists she appreciated and it worked. That she fell in love with him was to his advantage, perhaps his only one. Was he ever IN love with her? He must have breathed a sigh of relief that she so obviously wanted him, it would have made his job, for job it was, much easier, but was he IN love with her? He was certainly everything Victoria wanted. Consciously or unconsciously IMO she would never have married an equal. SHE was Queen, she held a position she was unprepared to relinquish or share any part of with a man who might want some of her power for himself. She had experienced behaviour at the hands of Sir John Conroy which would she would never allow another to repeat. Her letters tell us she believed that "We poor women are at the mercy of our husbands," odd then, that her husband to be could not propose to her, had little say in the venues of the marriage and forshortened honeymoon, was allowed no say in his new wife's household and the only "job" she permitted him was that of "Husband." Hopefully, her healthy appetite provided some compensation. We could argue that he knew the score, but knowing is quite different from feeling. I believe he dealt with uncomfortable feelings-anger and frustration would be understandable-in the same way he did as a child when his mother was wrested from him. He immersed himself in books and soaked up knowledge like a sponge. I believe he soothed his increasingly troubled soul by playing and composing music.

Victoria adored him and I feel she was as good a wife to him as she was capable of being, but with her passionate, volatile temper and the imperiousness she may have used against him, she was never going to be easy to live with and maybe, over time, this wearied him. She did, however, provide him with a family life he had never previously experienced and eventually she came to realise what an enormous asset he was.

I never see Albert's life as joyful. Dutiful, diligent,serious, possessed of one of the finest minds of his generation but lacking the ability, I think, to experience spontaneity and maybe not having the capacity to fall in love, but he fulfilled to the letter all that had been asked of him, and probably, as time passed, developed love for her.

Offline historyfan

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Re: Queen Victoria & Prince Albert--Photos and Information
« Reply #498 on: January 29, 2012, 08:36:37 PM »
I'm not going to jump on you. : )  I will say, though, that I suppose it depends on what one's individual idea of "love" is. When you compare Albert to other royal spouses (whether they're "just consorts" or not), it would seem that Albert loved his wife enough to not run around on her, not bully his way into whatever he might have felt was "his share" of the power, to take the time to learn about her likes and dislikes, as you said.

To me, that's a pretty substantial contribution to the love story.

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Queen Victoria & Prince Albert--Photos and Information
« Reply #499 on: January 30, 2012, 05:48:09 AM »
While much pressure was clearly placed on Albert, there is no evidence that he was actually forced into the marriage against his own inclination.  He had in fact concerns that Victoria was leading a life in which she revelled in ceremony, etiquette, trivial formalities, late nights and late risings; she had no interest or pleasure in nature, and her relations with her prime minister, Lord Melbourne, were too partial.  When he arrived in England in 1839, however, she fell almost instantly in love with him, and he found she was not at all keen on ceremony etc. (though she didn't mind late nights as much as he did) and had no problems with nature.  His other options were to marry a woman of his own rank in Germany (i.e. the younger daughter of a minor German princely house) and to have either a military career in the service of a nation with a larger army than that of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (Great Britain, Prussia, Russia - Austria at a pinch), or to serve his father or brother in some minor capacity.  But here was the pretty young Queen of England, suddenly in love with him, not displaying any of the frivolities he dreaded, offering him a position the possibilities of which he never could have achieved elsewhere - why shouldn't he consider himself in love with her?  Ernest was considered just as handsome, and as clever, but Victoria ignored him and focused on Albert - there is much evidence he reciprocated.  "He was so affectionate, so kind, so dear, we kissed each other again and again...." Queen Victoria wrote, and Albert told her "Ich habe dich so lieb", and "Ich habe dich so unaussprechlich lieb" - were these the actions or words of someone forced into a dutiful alliance?  A consummate hypocrite?  Perhaps it wasn't as strong on his side as on hers, but he certainly gave the impression of someone in love, and happy with it.  (Honeymoons were not necessarily prolonged at that period – and there is no evidence whatsoever that Albert was dissatisfied with it).

He undoubtedly had a couple of years of frustration because of his wife's dominant role which she did not give up without a fight, but he won that battle early on.  What 'increasingly troubled' his soul as he grew older, to diminish what appeared to be a strong partnership where he exercised, with his wife’s willing cooperation, the leading role?  What evidence is there that his wife “wearied him”?  I am not sure that I recognise a ‘joyless’ Albert, who played practical jokes at university, and who swung his daughter in a napkin and cracked jokes at his last Christmas.  His last few years were troubled, insofar as it appears he had a chronic gastric illness, which Helen Rappaport convincingly suggests was Crohn’s disease, aggravated by overwork and worry.  But these in themselves are sufficient to suggest why an older Albert might appear to be joyless and merely dutiful, but I don’t agree that he lacked the capacity to fall in love and I think that, handed it on a plate, the young Albert did fall in love, and with Victoria.  Perhaps, after 20 years of marriage, love might not be as fresh and spontaneous as it was when he was 20, but I don’t believe it had disappeared entirely.

Offline po3a

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Re: Queen Victoria & Prince Albert--Photos and Information
« Reply #500 on: February 07, 2012, 03:16:38 PM »
Finally Albert by Jules Stewart arrived!  This will be a quick read----anyone read this book?

Offline Selencia

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Re: Queen Victoria & Prince Albert--Photos and Information
« Reply #501 on: February 11, 2012, 01:45:17 AM »
It is so fascinating and astonishing that Albert was so moral and faithful when everyone around him wasn't (in regards to men). For centuries it has been taught that men are allowed to ignore their marriage vows, and during  the 1800s women had no rights to protest. Yet despite all that Albert was a faithful husband; I wonder what drove him? I've either read or seen in a documentary that it was rooted in his mother's banishment.

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Queen Victoria & Prince Albert--Photos and Information
« Reply #502 on: February 11, 2012, 03:25:46 AM »
It is so fascinating and astonishing that Albert was so moral and faithful when everyone around him wasn't (in regards to men). For centuries it has been taught that men are allowed to ignore their marriage vows, and during  the 1800s women had no rights to protest. Yet despite all that Albert was a faithful husband; I wonder what drove him? I've either read or seen in a documentary that it was rooted in his mother's banishment.

While I agree that Albert's horror at sexual impropriety was probably very strongly connected to his parents' marriage breakdown and his mother's divorce and banishment, his faithfullness to his marriage vows was part of a wider reaction of his generation to the previous one, of 'modern' morality and probity as opposed to the perceived degradation and vice of the former leaders of society as represented by Victoria's uncles, George IV and William IV in particular, with their mistresses and illegitimate children and extravagance.  So I don't think it was just a personal code - after all, Albert's brother Ernest presumably suffered just as much in losing his mother, but never saw any reason to be faithful to his marriage vows.  Albert saw himself as a modern man, one who had no commerce with the old court and its degenerate and corrupt ways.  And indeed, although it took a long time, the 19th century did see the advancement in the treatment of women, not least in the public intolerance of politicians who were exposed for sexual misconduct - successive reform bills gave a wider franchise to men who demonstrated that they, too, did not approve of marriage vows being broken.  Politicians such as Melbourne and Palmerston, whose morals would not have stood up to public scrutiny later in the century, gave way to Peel and Gladstone and Lord Salisbury, whose marriages were exemplary (and Gladstone's attempts to 'rescue' prostitutes had to be carefully hidden, in case the cynical public misunderstood).  Given Albert was not especially popular, and his sexual propriety certainly not admired by much of aristocratic society, it was not his example which influenced the public into greater demands for proper marital conduct; rather, he was in the forefront of new social developments which were moving away from the older, socially lax values.  This was not only demonstrated in the area of marriage, but in areas such as the reduction of patronage (e.g., reforms of the army so you could no longer purchase commissions, reforms of the civil service so you could no longer appoint your friends and relatives to jobs without examinations, and indeed, reforms of womens’ rights so at least they had control over their own money).  The 19th century was certainly repressive to women, but one can see it as a time when very longstanding inequalities were gradually corrected, and Albert was certainly part of this ‘progressive’ movement; his sexual continence may have been a personal drive, but it was also part of his being a modern man of his time.     

Offline po3a

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Re: Queen Victoria & Prince Albert--Photos and Information
« Reply #503 on: February 12, 2012, 12:43:34 PM »
I'm reading a wonderful book   Albert---Jules Stewart.  In this book the author explains that Albert showed inherent goodness and intelligence from a young age recogniseed by Uncle Leopold.  In adolescence Albert began to display an extraordinarily rigorous self-imposed standard of high moral behaviour.  It gives examples of his empathy towards peasants living near Rosenau.  I guess this is the old question of nature verses nurture...I have been a teacher of small children for 17 years.  I believe that nurture plays a role in a persons development but, one is born who they are.  Albert's mother abandonnment played a role in making him the man the he was but, I believe this was a man born with a beautiful soul.

Offline Selencia

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Re: Queen Victoria & Prince Albert--Photos and Information
« Reply #504 on: February 18, 2012, 08:45:21 PM »
It's hard to swallow that Albert's morality was a generational thing when every man around him, including his brother, was still being unfaithful and sleeping with every woman they came across. If Victoria had married Ernst instead of Albert he more than likely would not have been faithful to her. I believe Victoria's court as well were not very moral despite the standards of Victoria and Albert; and Albert's own son continued the tradition of his paternal and maternal uncles. There are only a select few of men during Albert's times who were not disgraces to their gender, and rather than being a new trend that would last for decades, they appear to have just been lone islands of morality.
Either way, considering that Albert's influences were his father and brother, it is surprising and admirable that he ended up being so much better than them.

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Queen Victoria & Prince Albert--Photos and Information
« Reply #505 on: February 19, 2012, 05:14:38 AM »
It's hard to swallow that Albert's morality was a generational thing when every man around him, including his brother, was still being unfaithful and sleeping with every woman they came across. If Victoria had married Ernst instead of Albert he more than likely would not have been faithful to her. I believe Victoria's court as well were not very moral despite the standards of Victoria and Albert; and Albert's own son continued the tradition of his paternal and maternal uncles. There are only a select few of men during Albert's times who were not disgraces to their gender, and rather than being a new trend that would last for decades, they appear to have just been lone islands of morality.
Either way, considering that Albert's influences were his father and brother, it is surprising and admirable that he ended up being so much better than them.
I think it's a bit overstated that 'every man around' Albert was 'still being unfaithful and sleeping with every woman they came across'.  Certainly his father and brother were unfaithful to their wives but it is interesting that neither Albert nor Ernest were aware of why their mother had been sent away, and there was no subsequent overt dissoluteness in the Coburg court - whatever his father's private morals might have been - as this would have unquestionably impacted on Albert's marital prospects and been discussed in the context of his marriage by the English court and politicians.  As for Albert's immediate role models, in fact his father was friendly but took a far from close or immediate part in his upbringing and his tutor Florschutz, with whom Albert did have a close relationship, was a man of impecable morals, as was his later advisor, friend and mentor, Baron Stockmar.  Nor is there any evidence of friends of his youth such as Count Arthur Mensdorff-Pouilly being especially dissolute.  While I agree that it is to Albert's credit that he did in fact, see no reason to follow his father or brother into sexual impropriety, I don't think theirs was by any means the only, or indeed the greatest, male influences in his life from an early age. 

Offline Lucien

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Offline DNAgenie

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Re: Queen Victoria & Prince Albert--Photos and Information
« Reply #507 on: May 09, 2012, 06:40:10 PM »
The male line of Prnce Albert has now been established as belonging to the Y-DNA haplogroup known as R1b1a2a. 

Y-DNA matches within this group have been found between two descendants from different lines of the House of Saxe-Coburg und Gotha.  One of the men with matching Y-DNA results is a descendant of Albert and Victoria's son Leopold, Duke of Albany.  The other descends from the liaison of Albert's uncle Leopold I of Belgium with Arcadia Meyer, whose two sons were created Freiherrs von Eppinghoven.

Offline Lucien

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Re: Queen Victoria & Prince Albert--Photos and Information
« Reply #508 on: May 24, 2012, 12:51:03 PM »
HM Queen Elizabeth II at the launch of Queen Victoria's Journals:

http://www.queenvictoriasjournals.org/home.do


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Offline Eddie_uk

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Re: Queen Victoria & Prince Albert--Photos and Information
« Reply #509 on: May 24, 2012, 01:14:12 PM »
It is a WONDERFUL resource! www.queenvictoriasjournals.org. You can select the year, month & day and read the entry. Fascinating!
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