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The Last Moments of HRH the Prince Consort

Photo credit: Wellcome Collection

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Albert Prince Consort was the husband of Queen Victoria. She had ascended the throne in 1837 at the age of only 18. Being relatively inexperienced, she relied on her husband's guidance in many affairs of state. In particular he was a powerful champion of the arts and sciences, education and industry. The Great Exhibition, held in London in 1851, was a triumph of his drive and organising ability. His sudden death on 14 December 1861 was therefore a great shock to the country and of course to the Queen. However, there were two factors which made it even more disturbing. Firstly, the diagnosis was 'low fever' or typhoid, a particularly undignified disease involving vomiting, diarrhoea and intestinal haemorrhage. Second, the seriousness of the illness had been suppressed by the Prince's doctors, with the result that people were still praying in church for his recovery after he had died.

Wellcome Collection

London

Title

The Last Moments of HRH the Prince Consort

Date

c.1861

Medium

oil on canvas

Measurements

H 123 x W 183 cm

Accession number

47371i

Acquisition method

purchased by Henry S. Wellcome, c.1900–1936

Work type

Painting

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Wellcome Collection

183 Euston Road, London, Greater London NW1 2BE England

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