elaborated memorial to the Prince Consort was completed in 1876,
15 years after Albert's death.
The beloved husband and consort
of Queen Victoria, Albert died of typhoid at the age of 41.
The royal couple had been happily married for 21 years and
had nine children.
The desolate Queen commissioned
Sir George Gilbert Scott to design a tribute to her husband.
Standing 175 feet (55 metres)
high, the memorial is loosely based on a medieval market cross,
with a black and gilded spire and a multi-coloured marble
canopy, mosaics, enamels and wrought iron.
At the centre is a larger than
life glided statue of Prince Albert holding a copy of the
catalogue of the 1851 Great Exhibition. A superbly crafted
marble frieze around the base depicts 168 leading artistic
and literary figures from history.
The steps around the memorial
are guarded by four groups symbolizing Europe, Africa, America
and Asia. In the corners are Commerce, Manufacturing,
Agriculture and Engineering.
By the end of the 20th century
the Albert Memorial was seriously in need of repair. Between
1994 - 98 English Heritage undertook a £11 million restoration
programme. This included the re-gilding of Albert's
statue, the original gilding was removed during World War
I, and the replacement of lost details in the statuary and
mosaics to preserve their meaning.
The memorial, returned its gleaming,
original, splendour, was unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II in
Guided tours, which allow visitors
to examine the memorial in closer detail, can be booked on
020 7495 0916.
for guided tours