The queen and Prince Albert wrote to congratulate the chancellor of the exchequer.
To confer on Prince Albert every honour that the crown could bestow, and to let him make his way gradually into public favour by his own tact, was the advice which Lord Melbourne gave; and the prince acted upon it so well, avoiding every appearance of intrusion, and treating men of all parties and degrees with urbanity, that within five months of his marriage he obtained a signal mark of the public confidence.
It became a direct apanage of the Bohemian crown in 1625 at the extinction of the male line of its dukes, and since 1766 it bore the name of Saxe-Teschen, owing to the fact that Prince Albert of Saxony, who married a daughter of Maria Theresa, received it as part of his wife's dowry.
It took Prince Albert four years of firmness and diplomacy before in 1845 he was able to bring the queen's home under the efficient control of a master of the household.
Le Prince Albert de Monaco, 24 sheets (Paris, 1904).
He married in 1869 Lady Mary Douglas Hamilton, by whom in 1870 he had a son, Prince Louis: that marriage was, however, annulled in 1880, and subsequently Prince Albert married Alice, dowager-duchess of Richelieu, from whom he was divorced in 1902.
This was a lame way out of the difficulty, for the queen could only confer precedence within her own realms, whereas an act of parliament bestowing the title of prince consort would have made the prince's right to rank above all royal imperial highnesses quite clear, and would have left no room for such disputes as afterwards occurred when foreign princes chose to treat Prince Albert as having mere courtesy rank in his wife's kingdom.
In expectation of the queen becoming a mother, a bill was passed through parliament providing for the appointment of Prince Albert as sole regent in case the queen, after giving birth to a child, died before her son or daughter came of age.
Eventually, on 31st January 1854, Lord John Russell took occasion to deny most emphatically that Prince Albert interfered unduly with foreign affairs, and in both houses the statesmen of the two parties delivered feeling panegyrics of the prince, asserting at the same time his entire constitutional right to give private advice to the sovereign on matters of state.
The British government were on the point of demanding reparation for this act in a peremptory manner which could hardly have meant anything but war, but Prince Albert insisted on revising Lord Russell's despatch in a way which gave the American government an opportunity to concede the surrender of the prisoners without humiliation.