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Prince Consort's statue unveiling
Memorialising Albert

Prince Albert's lasting influence can be seen in many mediums


One of the most well known monuments to Prince Albert is the Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens, London. In February 1863, Queen Victoria inspected seven designs for the memorial, which had been submitted by prominent artists and architects. The competition to design the memorial was won by George Gilbert Scott, with his Gothic design based partly on the Eleanor Crosses erected by Edward I to commemorate his wife, Eleanor of Castile. The construction of the memorial began in 1864 and it was finally unveiled to the public in 1876. The central statue of Prince Albert was initially designed by Carlo Marochetti, and completed after his death in 1867 by J.H. Foley.

Illustrated here are several key works associated with the history of the Albert Memorial, including a watercolour depicting Sir George Gilbert Scott’s design. Numerous other monuments were erected all over Britain and Europe. Examples of these are illustrated below in paintings, photographs and prints. Especially poignant works are those that show Victoria's visit to Coburg in August 1865 to unveil her husband's statue. The Queen writes about this moment in great detail in her diary:

I cannot attempt to describe the whole ceremony at any length, confining myself chiefly to the impression on me, which was very deep & moving. The guns were fired from the fortress, & the bells rung, in the particular German way, so different from ours, but very impressive. All the houses were beautifully decorated with flowers & troops lined the roads. I was received on the market place amidst beating of drums & loud cheers, & got out of the carriage trembling.

Queen Victoria’s Journal, RA VIC/MAIN/QVJ (W) 26 August 1865 (Princess Beatrice’s copies)