It is unfortunate, though indicative of the English sense of humor, that today in the country of which he was Prince Consort the name of Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, husband to Queen Victoria and ancestor of a large slice of European royalties, should be most associated with a cosmetic piercing of the penis. It was a part of the princely anatomy of considerable importance—Albert fathered nine children, hence his formidable dynastic effect—but it is not dwelled upon in A. N. Wilson’s thorough, well-written, and insightful biography, Prince Albert. This is the more reliable story of Albert: participant in an arranged marriage that turned into a passionate love-match, embodiment of the Victorian determination for self-improvement, a man thwarted by the limitations of the role of husband to the Queen Regnant and whose death at the age of forty-two was not merely a...


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