How did Queen Victoria's son Leopold die

Work, a sense of duty and a virtuous life were his top priorities. Prince Albert von Sachsen-Coburg was anything but an unimportant, Teutonic boredom.

"I am the husband, but not the master of the house," said Prince Albert, describing his role, which he saw as an anomaly.

He had made a good match: At the age of 21 he married - a later son from a remote duchy in Germany - the most powerful woman in the world: Queen Victoria (1819-1901). Until his death in December 1861, the married couple formed a symbiotic unit, even if he was always in the second row in public.

This year is celebrated in England. Not only did Prince Harry and his wife Meghan have offspring, Queen Victoria's birthday 200 years ago is also commemorated with numerous events and publications. And with that, Prince Albert also moves into the spotlight. Because he too was born 200 years ago, on August 26, 1819 at Rosenau Castle in Rödental in what was then the Duchy of Saxony-Coburg-Saalfeld.

Love at second sight

Similar to his future wife, he came from a dysfunctional family. The parents' marriage failed early on, and since then the rumor has persisted that Albert was the son of Leopold, King of the Belgians. He held a benevolent hand over his nephew and ensured his long-term future - Leopold actually arranged the marriage between Albert and Victoria.

Prince Albert had nothing but contempt for his easy-going father. That is why he created an alternative world as early as childhood and youth, where virtue, morality and discipline reigned. In raising his eldest son Edward, Prince Albert followed these principles and exaggerated them immeasurably. His son turned into the opposite and led a hedonistic life from an early age - the main thing was to have fun with all things.

As historian Karina Urbach, author of a biography on Queen Victoria said, Albert was beautiful and smart. For Queen Victoria it was love at second sight, but then there was no stopping it. No other person shaped Victoria more than her husband. "I don't think anyone has been so completely transformed as I have been by the good influence of my dearest papa. His position towards me is therefore a very unusual one, and when he is not there I feel paralyzed," she said, describing her feelings in one Letter to the eldest daughter Vicky.

Compass for the aspiring middle class

Prince Albert was a typical Victorian. Unlike her, he was interested in technology and progress. The first world exhibition in London (1851) was largely the result of his initiative. He was involved in charity work, the anti-slavery movement, and science.

Victoria and Albert wanted to create something new for their family and for the monarchy. And they could not have imagined how successful they were with it: The royal couple established themselves as the moral compass for the rising middle class. A happy family who sang Mozart songs in the evenings and went to bed at half past ten, says Karina Urbach; That seldom happened at European royal courts.

Production as a family company

The English royal family owes an enormous gain in prestige to Prince Albert because he staged the royal family as a family company.

The happy marriage and the many children provided a perfect backdrop, which was perfectly put into the picture by the German painter Franz-Xaver Winterhalter. To this day it is true of the royals that a functioning marriage with beautiful children ensures beautiful pictures and thus popularity.

He was the father of nine children, all of whom were reaching adulthood, which was unusual at the time. He preferred the bright children, Queen Victoria the attractive ones. With the marriages of the children, Prince Albert hoped to modernize the various European monarchies and influence them along the lines of the English model, starting with the eldest daughter Victoria. She was married to Berlin and, according to her parents' wishes, was to liberalize Prussia together with her husband Friedrich. This calculation did not work out.

Prince Albert died on December 14, 1861. Victoria fell into a deep crisis for years, which also became the crisis of the monarchy.

She kept the memory of her husband alive by giving instructions to keep laying out fresh clothes and shaving equipment in the dressing room every day. His death room at Windsor Castle could not be changed. Her children suffered greatly, not only because of the loss of their father, but also because their mother placed the father on a pedestal as a saint - an unattainable role model.

His name is still part of cultural life today, the Royal Albert Hall is one of the most important concert halls, and the Victoria & Albert Museum is appreciated by countless visitors. Today's London Museum Mile was even called Albertopolis in the middle of the 19th century. Its influence is never more noticeable than at Christmas time, which in England is often staged as a Victorian excess. Because Prince Albert had "invented" Christmas for the Royals, the common celebration under the Christmas tree.