(NOTE: this is just a whimsical post without much purpose)
Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel (Prince Albert as we know him) had an ambitious uncle named Leopold, who just happened to be King of Belgium during the 1830s. Crafty old Leopold thought that it would be a fine idea to encourage romance between his nephew and his English niece (a fine lass named Victoria). I’m not sure that we would approve of that these days, but hey – they were the Royal Family! Anyway, we subsequently had Queen Victoria and Prince Albert happily married from 1840 till his death in 1861.
The things I like aboutÂ Prince AlbertÂ are best summed up by Wikipedia (source of all truth – in you we trust):Â “a man of progressive and relatively liberal ideas, Albert not only led reforms in university education, welfare, the royal finances and slavery, he had a special interest in applying science and art to the manufacturing industry”. I have to respect this.
Given that we arrived in London late in the afternoon,Â we decided to trek across Hyde Park and take a look at his memorial. Maybe take a few happy snaps too. :) This is something I have done each time I’ve been to London. I don’t know why, but perhaps it’s just that the memorial is more than just a remembrance of some old royal dude but of someone who tried to make a difference.
Below is a map (from good old Google) showing where The Albert Memorial is in London.
Anyway, we traipsed from the north side of Hyde Park for about 20 minutes in search of it. Luckily for us it has a fairly tall spire which we used as a guide to stay on track. On the way Rhiannon started making friends with the local animal life.
But at last the monument’s spire became closer through the trees.
Yes, it was the Golden Hours (yet again!!!!) and everything took on the expected hue. Given that much of the memorial is itself gold, this was quite spectacular to us as we approached it.
I took a close up of Albert which I later discovered was blurred (grrrrrrr). Anyway, it’s essentially a large gilt bronze statue.
Luckily some of my other close-ups turned out better. Below is the Frieze of Parnassus (named after Mount Parnassus of Greek mythological fame), which depicts 169 individual composers, architects, poets, painters, and sculptors.
After this we moseyed around the Park till the sun set. I took a few more photos, but nothing special.
So what is the point of this post?
But, I guessÂ I would comment though that Hyde Park is a good place to visit if you arrive in London late in the day. It is free. It is large. It has animals. And it has the Albert Memorial.