On 23 November 1839 Queen Victoria announced her engagement to Prince Albert of Saxe Coburg. The story, as told in Gillian Gill’s We Two: Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals is interesting, indeed, for Her Majesty was in charge.
“She imposed upon Albert a series of tests and ordeals. The prince had to beg through family intermediaries for an invitation to come to England to see the Queen.” The invitation was quite a cool one, apparently. Then, “After Victoria had looked Albert over and decided that, indeed, he was the husband she was looking for, her first impulse was not to clasp her beloved in her arms but to go into delicious conclave with her prime minister over how exactly she should propose and what arrangements would have to be made for the wedding.”
England wasn’t happy about her choice. Albert was foreign and poor. Caricatures, insults, and mocking poetry ensued. Parliament voted him an allowance of only £30,000, though in the 17th century, Prince George of Denmark, Queen Anne’s spouse, had received £50,000.
|Victoria is engaged|
For more dish on Victoria & Albert, I highly recommend (again) We Two.
Illustration: Prince Albert, a print "after George Baxter, 1804–1867" made after 1855. Image courtesy Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection.
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