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Prince Albert’s love letters to Queen Victoria unveiled for first time | UK News

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A collection of photographs, prints and papers belonging to Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, have been published for the first time.

Nearly 18,000 items have been made available online on a new website dedicated to the prince, which has been set up by the Royal Collection Trust.

Most of the material in the collection has never been published before, and the trust hopes the website will shed new light on Albert’s contribution to British society.

This year marks 200 years since Prince Albert was born in Bavaria, Germany.

Albert married his cousin Victoria in 1840 and served as her consort, as well as her unofficial private secretary.

The new website includes material exchanged between the pair between 1836 and 1861. It shows how the prince and the queen communicated in English before their engagement in 1839, after which they only wrote in German.

Pic: Royal Collection Trust John Jabez Edwin Mayall's portrait of 1860, the Queen stands dutifully at her seated husband's side, her head bowed. This little-known version of the photograph, hand coloured and presented in a custom frame, was taken a year before Albert's untimely death in 1861.
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This little-known version of a photograph of the royal couple, hand-coloured and presented in a custom frame, was taken a year before Prince Albert’s death in 1861. Pic: Royal Collection Trust

In a letter from Albert to his future wife on the day the pair became engaged, the prince writes: “I… can only believe that Heaven has sent down an angel to me, whose radiance is intended to brighten my life.”

Albert’s passion for social issues are also shown in the collection. Included is a speech he made calling for the abolition of slavery across Europe in 1840.

The prince describes the practice as “the blackest stain” on the continent in a speech made at a meeting of The Society for the Extinction of the Slave Trade and for the Civilisation of Africa.

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Tim Knox, director of the Royal Collection, said: “We hope that the publication of material held in the Royal Archives and the Royal Collection and by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 will increase awareness and understanding of the achievements of this extraordinary man.”

Prince Albert was known for his interest in education and science, as well as being a supporter of industry, technology and design.

Albert's passion for photography was instrumental in the realisation of a vast and unique project begun in 1853, which was nspired by his admiration for the Italian Renaissance painter Raphael and sought to catalogue his work. The Raphael Collection comprises of over 5,000 prints and photographs of every work regarded in the mid-19th century as being by or after Raphael, including The Colonna Madonna, the Prince's favourite Raphael painting. Pic: Royal Collection Trust
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Prince Albert’s love photography was instrumental in a project which began in 1853 to catalogue the work of Italian Renaissance painter Raphael. Pic: Royal Collection Trust

His death from typhoid in 1861 caused Queen Victoria to retire from public life for two years.

The digital project is due to be completed by the end of 2020, by which point 23,500 items relating to Prince Albert will be available to view online.

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