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Prince, consort of Queen Victoria
Prince Consort
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Prince Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was born in the Saxon duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, the second son of Ernest III, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, and his first wife, Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. Albert’s family was connected to many of Europe's ruling monarchs. He was educated privately at home and later in Brussels, before entering the University of Bonn. At the age of twenty he married his first cousin, Queen Victoria, on 10 February 1840. Only in 1857, did Victoria formally grant him the title Prince Consort. Constrained by his position as consort, which did not confer any power or duties upon him, Albert turned his energies to many public causes, such as educational reform and the abolition of slavery, and took on the responsibilities of running the Queen's household, estates and office. A man of progressive and relatively liberal ideas, Albert not only led reforms in university education, welfare, the royal finances and slavery, he had a special interest in applying science and art to the manufacturing industry. He was instrumental in organizing The Great Exhibition of 1851. In 1860 Albert became ill, and on14 December 1861 died at Windsor Castle, allegedly from typhoid fever. After his death Victoria withdrew from public life and wore black mourning clothes the rest of her life. Her marriage with Albert produced nine children.