Alfred Ernest Albert, Third Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

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Admiral of the Fleet HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS Alfred Ernest Albert, Third Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, K.G., K.T., K.P., G.C.B., G.C.S.I., G.C.M.G., G.C.I.E., G.C.V.O., Royal Navy (6 August, 1844 – 30 July, 1900) was an officer of the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

Prince Alfred was born at Windsor on 6 August, 1844, the second son and fourth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Albert, writing to his brother in 1857, wrote, "As regards his wish to enter the navy. This is a passion which we, as his parents, believe not to have the right to subdue. It is certainly not right to break the spontaneous wish of a young spirit, yet we do what we can, not to encourage the wish."[1] Accordingly he examined at the Royal Naval College, Portsmouth, and appointed as a Naval Cadet to the Euryalus on 31 August, 1858, having passed a "very creditable" examination for a Naval Cadetship. He was rated Midshipman on 28 February, 1860, and appointed to the St. George on 8 January, 1861. On 24 February, 1863, he passed his examinations for the rank of Lieutenant and was specially promoted to that rank, and appointed to the Raccoon from the same date. He was promoted to the rank of Captain on 23 February, 1866, in accordance with an Order in Council which allowed him to be promoted to that rank without having first attained the rank of Commander. On 22 January, 1867, he was appointed in command of Galatea. He paid her off on 2 June, 1871.

Five years later he was appointed in command of the ironclad Sultan on 25 February, 1876. On 9 May, 1878 he took command of the Black Prince, and paid her off on 23 December.

Flag Rank

Prince Alfred was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 30 December, 1878. On 21 November, 1879, he was appointed Admiral Superintendent of Naval Reserves, with his flag in Penelope. The Queen appointed him a Knight of Saint Patrick (K.P.) on 14 May, 1880. He transferred his flag to Hercules on 1 May, 1881, and was superseded as Admiral Superintendent on 23 November, 1882. On 30 November he was promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral.[2]

He was appointed in command of the Channel Squadron on 3 December, 1883, hoisting his flag in Minotaur. He hauled down his flag on 3 December, 1884.[3]

Prince Alfred was appointed Commander-in-Chief in the Mediterranean on 5 February, 1886, with the rank of Acting Admiral, assuming command on 5 March upon hoisting his flag in Temeraire. He was promoted to the rank of Admiral on 18 October, 1887, additional of that rank under the provisions of the Order in Council of 30 November, 1882.[4] He struck his flag at Portsmouth on 29 April, 1889.[5]

He was appointed Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth on 4 August, 1890, in succession to Sir William M. Dowell. He was superseded on 2 June, 1893, and promoted to the rank of Admiral of the Fleet on 3 June.[6]

On 22 August his uncle Ernest died and Alfred succeeded him as reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

Bibliography

  • "The Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha" (News). The Times. Wednesday, 1 August, 1900. Issue 36209, col A, p. 8.
  • "The Duke's Naval Career" (News). The Times. Wednesday, 1 August, 1900. Issue 36209, col C, p. 8.
  • Bolitho, Hector (1933). The Prince Consort and his Brother: Two Hundred New Letters. London: Cobden-Sanderson.

Service Records

  • The National Archives. ADM 196/36. Volume 1. f. 18. Volume 3. f. 22.
  • The National Archives. ADM 196/15. Volume 3. f. 282.

Footnotes

  1. Bolitho. The Prince Consort and his Brother. p. 169.
  2. ADM 196/36. Volume 3. f. 22.
  3. ADM 196/36. Volume 3. f. 22.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 25749. p. 5653. 21 October, 1887.
  5. ADM 196/36. Volume 3. f. 22.
  6. ADM 196/36. Volume 3. f. 22.
  7. Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/36. f. 22.
  8. Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/36. f. 22.
  9. Clowes. The Royal Navy. Vol. VII. p. 86.