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Queen Victoria

Prince Albert

It was of vital importance that Victoria be married and produce heirs to the throne. Within her mother’s side of the family it had been desired the she marry her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg. Born on August 26, 1819, he had been raised in his native Germany to take on political and economic challenges through a very thorough education and strict upbringing. It was deemed the ideal of circumstances that he would wed Victoria and assist her in her duties as Queen. Where their first meeting, when she was still a princess, had been rather inconsequential, their second one proved to be a great success. By this time Victoria was seriously looking for a husband and she was impressed by the good looks and welcoming manner of her cousin. Because of her rank as Queen, she proposed marriage to Albert and was accepted in this endeavor. They were married on February 10, 1840 in the Chapel Royal at St. James’s Palace in London. The bride, wearing a simple white dress, would begin the fashion for women wearing white to their weddings. The partnership that was formed that day would prove to be a formidable one until Albert’s death in 1861. Over the course of their marriage Albert would attain more control over the workings of political negotiations and diplomacy that Victoria found a bit overwhelming. He was able to utilize the education of his youth and be an indispensible helpmate to the Queen. While initially there was some hesitancy in granting him authority over such matters of state because of the fear of him having German leanings, those fears would prove largely groundless as he worked effectively for the English people. His diplomatic skills in matters of national and international affairs proved to be essential in maintaining peace. His hands on attention to the design of the current day Parliament buildings and the organization of the Great Exhibition, with the building of the Crystal Palace in 1851, would be remembered long after his death. It is hard to look at the reign of Victoria without seeing the absolute importance Albert had in structuring and organizing a partnership between the sovereign and Parliament. One cannot look at the Victorian Age without seeing the careful groundwork that Albert set up in giving this time period its importance in the areas of political, economic and cultural development.

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