Monday, December 12, 2011

Death of Prince Albert

Author Christina Croft explores the cause of his death.
From the first history books I ever read as a child, right through to those written today, it was repeatedly stated that Prince Albert died of typhoid, probably due to the dirty drains at Windsor. Though I have no proof, I seriously suspect that this is a myth. The prince, I believe, was suffering – and had been for a long time – from some more pernicious illness which, combined with his mental state, eventually led to his premature death.

One of the things which first struck me about the story of his death was the fact that no one else in the household was reported as suffering from typhoid (yet it usually occurs in epidemics) and, more noticeable, was the fact that his family – including four-year-old Beatrice – came to him during his last illness, held his hand, kissed him and sat on his bed. Would anyone let a four-year-old child approach a person with an infectious and potentially fatal fever? 
It then occurred to me that – from what I had previously read of typhoid – Prince Albert’s symptoms did not quite ‘fit’. He certainly had the high temperature and weakness but there is no mention of the purplish rash that sometimes occurs on the chest, or any sign of delirium. To his last breath he was speaking coherently with his daughter, Alice, and with the Queen. (Read entire post.)