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Their grand scheme began to take shape in the autumn of 1855, when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert invited the handsome second heir to the Prussian throne, Prince Frederick, to Balmoral.Although their beloved oldest daughter, Vicky, was just 14, they had long planned a great dynastic marriage for her.Queen Victoria and Prince Albert surrounded by some of their children at Windsor Castle.In the group are Princess Victoria; the future King Edward VII (as a young prince); Prince Alfred, Princess Alice and Princess Helena.These matches soon brought connections to the royal houses in Denmark, Greece and Russia.
Writing for Queen Victoria with her children and grandchildren.
But a century before that, there was another dream of European unity, born out of the ravages of the Napoleonic Wars in which up to 6 million people lost their lives.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had a plan that they hoped might play a part in steering Europe from a potential battlefield to a haven of peace and prosperity.
Her marriage in 1858 was not just a question of her health and happiness, Albert warned.
At stake was “the future of your country and people and thereby, one might almost say, the welfare of Europe”.
Traumatised and isolated in the German court, Vicky poured out her heart in her revealing correspondence to her mother.