In 1820, on this day the future Prince consort of the United Kingdom Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel (pictured) born at Schloss Rosenau in the Saxon duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld to a family connected to many of Europe's ruling monarchs.
This post is an article from the Good Old Willie thread.
Good Old Willie #5At the age of twenty he married his first cousin, Queen Victoria, with whom he would ultimately have nine children. At first, Albert felt constrained by his position as consort, which did not confer any power or duties upon him. Over time he adopted many public causes, such as educational reform and a worldwide abolition of slavery, and took on the responsibilities of running the Queen's household, estates and office. He was heavily involved with the organisation of the Great Exhibition of 1851. Albert aided in the development of Britain's constitutional monarchy by persuading his wife to show less partisanship in her dealings with Parliament-although he actively disagreed with the interventionist foreign policy pursued during Lord Palmerston's tenure as Foreign Secretary.
But it was the Trent Affair that finally allowed the Prince Albert to emerge from his shadowy position as a foreign figurehead. When the forcible removal of Confederate envoys from a British ship by Union forces threatened war between the United States and Britain, Albert intervened to soften the British diplomatic response. More remarkably, he was at this time gravely ill, having been desperately unwell for two years. Although his physician William Jenner had diagnosed typhoid fever but it finally began to clear up by December of 1861. It would remain a cold, solemn Christmas, but, by spring, Albert would be well among the living.
A decade later, his diplomatic skills would be brought to the fore again during the break-up of the North German Confederation. Not only would he expedite the Hohenzollern flight to England during a naval clash in the North Sea with the Russian Navy, but he would also rise to the putative leadership of the independent German States. And as he increasingly assumed the role of elder statesman, he became a mentor to his eldest grandson, Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albrecht Hohenzollern. By 1897, he was long dead and Britain and France went to war over the Fashoda Crisis. Two years later, Wilhelm Hohenzollern would be crowned King of England. He would need every ounce of his grandfather's diplomatic skills to navigate the ship of state through uncertain waters. And perhaps even seek a restoration of the Prussian monarchy.