Point of Interest

The Albert Memorial

England / Europe

The National Memorial to the Prince Consort. The Albert Memorial was commissioned by Queen Victoria and designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott as the foremost of many memorials to the Prince, who died in 1861. Ironically, as his will stated that he wished there to be no memorials to him of any kind. Designed in the Gothic Revival style, it was opened in 1872 and shows Prince Albert, now a heavily gilded figure in the robes of the Order of the Garter, and with the Garter Collar, seated under a vast canopy. The memorial is 176 feet tall and took more than 10 years to construct. The statue of Albert was designed by John Henry Foley and placed in the memorial in 1875. A frieze around the memorial depicts 169 figures, comprising composers, architects, poets, painters, sculptors and musicians, who flourished at the time. At each corner there are four groups. These represent the industrial arts and sciences in which Prince Albert took such a great interest – agriculture, commerce, engineering and manufacturing – with four further representations of a bull (for Europe), an elephant (for Asia), a camel (for Africa), and a buffalo (for the Americas). There are a great many mosaics on each side and beneath the canopy, some of which depict allegorical figures representing the four arts – poetry, painting, architecture and sculpture. Below the canopy is the message from a grieving widow Queen Victoria. 

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