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The New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian, Saturday, March 22, 1862

The late Prince Albert

The late Prince Albert.

Albert, Franz-August-Karl-Emanuel, Prince Consort, and Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, was next brother and heir-presumptive to the Duke of Saxe-Coburg, whose ancestors were Margraves of Meisson in the twelfth century, and Electors of the Empire from 1425 to 1547, when the electoral dignity passed over to the collateral line of this house, whose present head is the King of Saxony. Prince Albert was born August 26, 1819, at the castle of Rosenau. After receiving a thorough education at the hands of private tutors, he entered the University of Bonn on the 3rd of May, 1837, as a student of jurisprudence. A small house, of most simple aspect, standing behind some young trees, on one side of the cathedral at Bonn, is shown as the residence of his Royal Highness during his university course. Here, surrounded by the memorials of ancient Christendom, and in view of the historical Rhine, the Prince is said to have devoted himself to the studies of the place with an ardour which is spoken of with pride by the teachers of the university. It was his custom, they say, to rise not later than six every morning, and to pursue his studies until seven in the evening, allowing himself an interval of three hours for dinner and recreation. The labours of the day finished, he would pay visits to families of his acquaintance, or entertain students of worth at his own table. Among the chief professors of Bonn at this time were Dr. Walter, a jurist celebrated for his thorough mastery of the civil and Germanic law; and Dr. Loebell, remarkable for his skill in the treatment of the history of Europe. Besides these may be mentioned Professors Bocking and Perthes, colleagues of Dr. Walter. The Prince was in the habit of attending their public lectures, and of afterwards receiving their more special assistance at his own residence. Having spent three academical seasons at Bonn, Prince Albert took his leave of the university at the close of the summer half-year of 1838. In July of the same year, the Prince, with his father and brother, visited England to attend the coronation of her Majesty, and at Michaelmas returned to Coburg, Prince Albert having for the first time made the acquaintance of her Majesty. After his departure, rumour was busy in England in pointing out Prince Albert as her Majesty’s future consort: and although the report was contradicted by ministerial newspapers, the belief was strengthened by a journey to England made about this time by Leopold, king [sic: King] of the Belgians, and the subsequent arrival in this country of the prince himself during the autumn of 1839. Immediately after the departure of Prince Albert, the Queen caused all the members of the Privy Council to be summoned, to meet at Buckingham Palace on November 23, and then and there communicated to her council her royal intention to form a matrimonial alliance with the Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. On the announcement to the House of Lords of her Majesty’s intention, the Duke of Cambridge spoke from his personal knowledge of Prince Albert, and confidently predicted his future high popularity. The Duke of Wellington expressed his surprise that the House had not been informed that the Prince was a Protestant, and received the most satisfactory assurances on that head from the ministry. The Prince was a great admirer of the arts, a ready draughtsman, had skill in music, and has written verses. His popularity in England had been greatly increased by his patronage of the Great Exhibition of 1851 in Hyde Park; and to him is due the credit of having suggested that the noble display of human skill should not, as was first intended, be a mere exposition of British productions, but should be an exhibition of the Industry of All Nations. This notice would be incomplete without a list of the dignities enjoyed by the Prince. He was naturalised on his marriage to her Majesty, February 10, 1840, by Act of Parliament, and received a grant of £30,000 a year; the title of Royal Highness by patent; the right to quarter the royal arms of England; precedence by royal warrant next to the Queen; and Prince Consort by an order in Council, in June, 1857. He was a member of the Privy Council: Chief Steward of the Duchy of Cornwall, and Lord Warden of the Stanneries; Governor and Constable of Windsor Castle; Grand Ranger of Windsor, St. James’s and Hyde Parks; a Field-Marshal and Colonel-in-Chief of the Rifle Brigade; Colonel of the Grenadier Guards; Captain-General and Colonel of the City of London Artillery Company; a Knight of the Garter, of the Thistle, and of St. Patrick; also G.C.B., G.C.M.G., Acting Grand Master of the Order of the Bath, and Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece. His scholastic dignities in England are, Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, L.L.D., D.C.L., and Ph.D. He was also Master of the Trinity House, and President of the Royal Commission of the Patriotic Fund for the relief of the widows and orphans of soldiers, seamen, and marines who fell in the war with Russia.