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Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
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Image:  Prince Albert.
Prince Albert
(1819-1861)

 

 

In October 1835 the young Princess Victoria and her mother, the Duchess of Kent, passed through Dover and stayed at the Ship Hotel on Commercial Quay.

Image:  Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria
(1819-1901)


Less than five years later, on Thursday 6 February, 1840, Dover welcomed the future husband of their young Queen, who was to be married the following Monday. At about 4:20, Her Majesty’s packet ‘Ariel’, convoyed by HMS ‘Firebrand’, arrived in the bay, after a rough crossing. The ship was decorated with the Royal Standard and onboard was the young Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. On entering the harbour they were saluted by the cutters ‘Vigilant’ and ‘Victoria’ and there was loud cheering from the large crowds gathered on the quays. Prince Albert was welcomed by the Commander of the Garrison, and with a Guard of Honour provided by the 90th Light Infantry was escorted to the York Hotel. At the hotel he was greeted by the Mayor and other local dignitaries and a special deputation sent by the Queen.

There were further lively scenes the following morning , when shortly after 10 o’clock two troops of the 11th Light Dragoons, and a Guard of Honour of the 90th Light Infantry, drew up in front of the hotel. The Prince was addressed by the Mayor, who was accompanied by the Aldermen and Members of the Corporation in their robes. The Prince made a speech in answer, and at 11:30 left Dover with his suite in seven carriages. He was escorted out of the town by the two troops of Dragoons, and a Royal salute was fired from the batteries. The Prince appeared to be delighted at his reception, and vast crowds cheered him as he drove along the streets.

On 14 November, 1842, Prince Albert and Queen Victoria visited Dover while staying as guests of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, The Duke of Wellington, at Walmer Castle. Only short notice of the visit was given but there was sufficient time to decorate the town with a considerable number of flags, and the Deal Road and Castle Hill were lined with a multitude of people. At 3:00 pm the Royal couple drove into the Castle via the Constable’s Gate, and were shown around the Castle. On leaving the Castle their carriage went down Castle Hill into the town and along Castle Street into the Market Square. Their open carriage was drawn by four beautiful bays, and from the Market Square they trotted on through King Street, Bench Street and Snargate Street towards the harbour. They passed along the Sea Front by Waterloo Crecent and Marine Parade and through Woolcomber Street, to Castle Hill. As their carriage ascended the hill out of the town a Royal salute was fired from the Castle.

Image:  The steam packet 'Ariel' entering Dover on 6 February 1840.
The steam packet 'Ariel' entering Dover on 6 February 1840.
Prince Albert must have been glad to land judging by the rough sea.

 

 


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