Albert, Prince consort

Seven equestrian statues of Prince Albert were erected in the UK.

The inauguration of this statue in Wolverhampton was Victoria’s first public engagement after Albert’s death. The Queen had lent the uniform and Albert’s favourite charger, Nimrod, to the sculptor and visited him several times in his studio while the statue was being made. She recorded in her diary that the statue is ‘on the whole good’. Thornycroft produced three equestrian statues, which were more or less the same. The first one was unveiled in Halifax (West Yorkshire) in 1864, the statues in Wolverhampton and Liverpool followed in 1866. The Liverpool statue of Prince Albert proved rather controversial, though it was almost a replica of the Wolverhampton statue. The cocked hat was replaced by a top hat, the sabre is missing and the horse’s head is more upright. It was said that the Queen did not attend the unveiling, because the sculptor had portrayed the Prince Consort as a ‘philosophical prince’ rather than as a military man.

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