Go to contents

Queen’s consort, first subject, helper

Posted August. 04, 2017 07:14,   

Updated August. 04, 2017 07:24


On the day when British Queen Victoria (1819∼1901) first met Prince Albert from Germany, she described him in his diary as follows: “He is extremely handsome, but the charm of his countenance is his expression‎, which is most delightful.” They tied the knot in 1840 and had four sons and five daughters. The tradition of a white wedding dress is commonly credited to her choice of a white court dress at their wedding.

During the early days of their marriage, Prince Albert lamented his life in the shadows of the queen. But he soon changed his mind, standing by her side as a reliable aide and helper who supported the queen’s leading “the empire on which the sun never sets.” He died suddenly at the of 42. Queen Victoria never took off her black mourning dress after his death. She named Royal Albert Hall in London after his late husband.

Queen Elizabeth II is comparable to Queen Victoria in terms of their long reigns and close marital relationships with their respective husband. Last September, Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch, surpassing the reign (63 years and seven months) of her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria. Both queens are what today’s people call “romantists.” When she visited the Royal Naval Academy as a 13-year-old princess with her father, King George VI, she fell in love at first sight with a good-looking cadet. The two started their relationship as pen pals and later got married to each other in 1947. The young cadet is Prince Philip, who is now 96 years old.

Prince Philip is the queen’s man and her first subject at the same time. He was the first to kneel before the queen and pledge loyalty at her coronation ceremony in 1953. He has announced his retirement from public life from September, citing his age and health. It was six years ago that he confessed in an interview with BBC that he wanted to have some time for himself. Even the queen’s consort had his own distresses. He cannot hand over his family name to his children. Prince Philip had a busy life as a member of the royal family, making 637 overseas trips and leading or patronizing some 780 organizations including the WWF International, the world's largest conservation group. People from outside might envy his life as the queen’s consort, it seems not so easy to live in the shadows of the queen.