Well, here’s a discovery that took me surprise and hope it does to you too! I was astonished to discover that Queen Victoria’s son, Prince Alfred visited Blantyre in 1864! I’ve never read or seen this discussed before.
Prince Alfred, born in 1844, was the second son and 4th child to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. When Alfred was only 18 years old in 1862, the King of Greece abdicated and proposed that young Alfred should be the new King of Greece. Queen Victoria forbade it, having her own intentions for Alfred in Europe. So, the young Prince joined the Navy and decided to travel.
A tour of his own country was first and at 20 years old on Saturday 2nd April 1864, Prince Alfred arrived by carriage at Hamilton Palace accompanied by Lord Belhaven and a Royal Escort. After seeing Chatelherault and the Cadzow Oaks, his carriage went to Bothwell Bridge, then on to Bothwell Castle. The men then took a boat across the Clyde and visited the ruins of Blantyre Priory! Perhaps the first Royal visit to Blantyre!
Their sight-seeing journey that day ended with them travelling to Wishaw House. Prince Alfred was well travelled, usually by ship taking in Hong Kong, Australia, India and Africa during his life. He passed away in 1900 from throat cancer.
Prince Alfred is pictured here aged 20, in a painting and an actual photo, the same age he was when he visited Blantyre.
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