Prince Albert’s interests outshining his fellow royals to such a stark extent suggests an alarming intellectual aridity. Reminds me of an alleged response by the King on being presented with Edward Gibbon’s Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. ‘Another big fat book! Scribble, scribble, scribble, eh Mr. Gibbon!’

‘Albert’s interests seem thoroughly genial, a relief in the stony desert that is the intellectual life of the British royal family.’

Source: Simon Winder, Germania (London, Picador, 2011), p. 279

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