Albert of Saxony
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Albert of Saxony by Nicola Perscheid, c. 1900
|King of Saxony|
|Reign||29 October 1873 – 19 June 1902|
|Born||23 April 1828|
|Died||19 June 1902 (aged 74)|
|Spouse||Carola of Vasa|
|Father||John of Saxony|
|Mother||Amalie Auguste of Bavaria|
Albert had a successful military career leading Saxon troops which participated in the First Schleswig War, the Austro-Prussian War, and the Franco-Prussian War. Otherwise, his reign as king was largely uneventful.
Albert's education, as usual with German princes, concentrated to a great extent on military matters, but he attended lectures at the University of Bonn. His first experience of warfare came in 1849, when he served as a captain in the First War of Schleswig against Denmark.
When the Austro-Prussian War broke out in 1866, Albert then Crown Prince (German: Kronprinz), took up the command of the Saxon forces opposing the Prussian Army of Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia. No attempt was made to defend Saxony; the Saxons fell back into Bohemia and effected a junction with the Austrians. They took a prominent part in the battles by which the Prussians forced the line of the Jizera and in the Battle of Jičín. The Crown Prince, however, succeeded in effecting the retreat in good order, and in the decisive Battle of Königgrätz (3 July 1866) he held the extreme left of the Austrian position. The Saxons maintained their post with great tenacity, but were involved in the disastrous defeat of their allies.
During these operations the Crown Prince won the reputation of a thorough soldier; after peace was made and Saxony had entered the North German Confederation, he gained the command of the Saxon army, which had now become the XII army corps of the North German army, and in this position carried out the necessary re-organisation. He proved a firm adherent of the Prussian alliance. On the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 he again commanded the Saxons, who were included in the 2nd army under Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia, his old opponent. At the Battle of Gravelotte, they formed the extreme left of the German army, and with the Prussian Guard carried out the attack on St Privat, the final and decisive action in the battle.
In the re-organisation of the army which accompanied the march towards Paris the Crown Prince gained a separate command over the 4th army (Army of the Meuse) consisting of the Saxons, the Prussian Guard corps, and the IV (Prussian Saxony) corps. He was succeeded in command of the XII corps by his brother Prince George, who had served under him in Bohemia.
Albert took a leading part in the operations which preceded the battle of Sedan, the 4th army being the pivot on which the whole army wheeled round in pursuit of Mac-Mahon; and the actions of Buzancy and Beaumont on 29 and 30 August 1870 were fought under his direction; in the Battle of Sedan itself (1 September 1870), with the troops under his orders, Albert carried out the envelopment of the French on the east and north.
Albert's conduct in these engagements won for him the complete confidence of the army, and during the Siege of Paris his troops formed the north-east section of the investing force. During the siege he blocked French attempts to break out of the encirclement at Le Bourget and Villiers. After the conclusion of the Treaty of Frankfurt (1871), he was left in command of the German army of occupation, a position which he held till the fall of the Paris Commune. On the conclusion of peace he was made an inspector-general of the army and a field marshal.
On the death of his father King John on 29 October 1873, the Crown Prince succeeded to the throne as King Albert. His reign proved uneventful, and he took little public part in politics, devoting himself to military affairs, in which his advice and experience were of the greatest value, not only to the Saxon corps but to the German army in general. During his reign, the Saxon monarchy became constitutional.
In the 1870s, Albert initiated the construction of a Dresden suburb, the Albertstadt. At that time it was the largest garrison in Germany. Near the former suburb other buildings and places still bear his name: the Albertbrücke, the Alberthafen, the Albertplatz and the Albertinum.
Marriage and succession
In Dresden on 18 June 1853, Albert married Princess Carola, daughter of Gustav, Prince of Vasa and granddaughter of Gustav IV Adolf, the second to last king of Sweden of the House of Holstein-Gottorp. The marriage was childless, although Carola miscarried many times. These included:
- A miscarriage of a daughter in the 4th month of pregnancy (19 December 1853).
- A miscarriage of a daughter in the 6th month of pregnancy (16 August 1854).
- A miscarriage in the 1st month of pregnancy (22 January 1855).
- A miscarriage of a son in the 4th and a half month of pregnancy (17 January 1856).
- A miscarriage in the 1st month of pregnancy (4 December 1856).
- A miscarriage in the 1st month of pregnancy (30 January 1857).
- A miscarriage in the 1st month of pregnancy (30 March 1857).
- A miscarriage of a son in the 5th and a half month of pregnancy (11 January 1858).
- A miscarriage of a son in the 4th and a half month of pregnancy (20 March 1859).
- A miscarriage in the 1st month of pregnancy (30 March 1860).
Albert died at Sibyllenort on 19 June 1902, and was succeeded by his brother, who became King George. He was buried in Dresden on 23 June, among the mourners present were both the German Emperor Wilhelm II and the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I.
Decorations and awards
- Kingdom of Saxony:
- Ernestine Duchies: Grand Cross, Saxe-Ernestine House Order, 1846
- Kingdom of Prussia:
- Kingdom of Bavaria:
- Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach: Grand Cross, Order of the White Falcon, 1850
- Duchy of Anhalt: Grand Cross, Order of Albert the Bear, 1879
- Austrian Empire:
- Belgium: Grand Cordon, Royal Order of Leopold I, 1853
- Denmark: Knight of the Elephant, 14 June 1878
- Netherlands: Grand Cross, Military William Order, 9 July 1878
- Kingdom of Portugal: Grand Cross, Order of the Tower and Sword
- Russian Empire:
- Kingdom of Sardinia:
- United Kingdom: Knight of the Garter, 20 February 1882
- "Latest intelligence - Funeral of the King of Saxony". The Times (36802). London. 24 June 1902. p. 5.
- Staatshandbuch für den Freistaat Sachsen (1867) (in German), "Königliche Ritter-Orden", pp. 3, 6, 45.
- "Albert, King of Saxony". Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary: In 86 Volumes (82 Volumes and 4 Additional Volumes). St. Petersburg. 1890–1907. (in Russian)
- Staatshandbücher für das Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha (1890), "Herzogliche Sachsen-Ernestinischer Hausorden" p. 44
- Justus Perthes, Almanach de Gotha (1902) page 91
- Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Preußen (1877), "Ritter-Orden" p. 54
- Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreichs Bayern (in German). Königl. Oberpostamt. 1867. p. 9. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
- Staatshandbuch für das Großherzogtum Sachsen / Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach (1900), "Großherzogliche Hausorden" p. 15
- Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogtum Hessen (1879), "Großherzogliche Orden und Ehrenzeichen" pp. 10, 44
- Hof- und Staats-Handbuch für des Herzogtum Anhalt (1883), "Herzoglicher Haus-Orden Albrecht des Bären" p. 16
- Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogtum Baden (1902), "Großherzogliche Orden" pp. 65, 71
- Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Württemberg (1907), "Königliche Orden" pp. 27, 64
- "A Szent István Rend tagjai" Archived 22 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
- Boettger, T. F. "Chevaliers de la Toisón d'Or - Knights of the Golden Fleece". La Confrérie Amicale. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
- Le livre d'or de l'ordre de Léopold et de la croix de fer, Volume 1 /Ferdinand Veldekens
- Jørgen Pedersen (2009). Riddere af Elefantordenen, 1559–2009 (in Danish). Syddansk Universitetsforlag. p. 469. ISBN 978-87-7674-434-2.
- Militaire Willems-Orde: Sachsen, Friedrich August Albert Anton Ferdinand Joseph Karl Maria Baptist Nepomuk Wilhelm Xaver Georg Fidelis van (in Dutch)
- Cibrario, Luigi (1869). Notizia storica del nobilissimo ordine supremo della santissima Annunziata. Sunto degli statuti, catalogo dei cavalieri (in Italian). Eredi Botta. p. 113. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
- "Sveriges statskalender (1881) p. 378" (in Swedish). Retrieved 6 January 2018 – via runeberg.org.
- "Norges statskalender (1890) p. 595-596" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 6 January 2018 – via runeberg.org.
- Shaw, Wm. A. (1906) The Knights of England, I, London, page 62
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Albert of Saxony.|
- Konrad Sturmhoefel: König Albert von Sachsen. Ein Lebensbild. Voigtländer, Leipzig 1898. (in German)
- Georg von Schimpff: König Albert: Fünfzig Jahre Soldat. Baensch, Dresden 1893. (in German)
- Joseph Kürschner (Hrsg.): König Albert und Sachsenland : eine Festschrift zum 70. Geburtstage und 25jährigen Regierungsjubiläum des Monarchen. Schwarz, Berlin 1898. (in German)
- Dem Gedächtnis König Alberts von Sachsen, Dresden: v. Zahn & Jaensch, 1902 (in German)
- Ernst von Körner: König Albert von Sachsen: der Soldat und Feldherr. Oestergaard, Berlin-Schöneberg 1936. (in German)
- Bernd Rüdiger: Wahre Geschichten um König Albert, Taucha: Tauchaer Verl., 1994 (in German)
- Bernhard Schwertfeger (1953), "Albert, König von Sachsen", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German), 1, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 131–132; (full text online)
- Albert Herzog zu Sachsen: Die Wettiner in Lebensbildern. Styria-Verlag, Graz/Wien/Köln 1995, ISBN 3-222-12301-2. (in German)
- Thomas Eugen Scheerer (Hrsg.): Albert von Sachsen – Kronprinz, Soldat, König. Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr, Dresden 2002. (in German)
- Arbeitskreis sächsische Militärgeschichte (Hrsg.): Sibyllenort und König Albert von Sachsen: Sonderheft zum 100. Todestag von König Albert. Arbeitskreis Sächsische Militärgeschichte, Dresden 2003. (in German)
Albert of SaxonyBorn: 23 April 1828 Died: 19 June 1902
| King of Saxony