Curiosity

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert Statues

Situated in front of Salford Museum and Art Gallery are two statues by Matthew Noble, the statue of Queen Victoria and the statue of Prince Albert, which still stand in their original settings. The statue of Queen Victoria was erected in commemoration of her royal visit to Salford in 1851. Following their role in this momentous occasion, it was decided that the 80,000 children involved were to be the primary contributors in the commissioning of the memorial. They collectively contributed pennies and raised a considerable amount of the 1000 guineas required.

The statue of Queen Victoria was one of the earliest to be erected during her reign and, after its completion in 1857, Prince Albert visited Salford for the unveiling ceremony. During his visit he took time to visit what was then the Salford Royal Museum and Library, also visiting an exhibition on Salford’s local art scene. In 1861, the Prince passed away and it was decided a statue was to be erected in his honour. It was inaugurated in 1864 and placed facing the statue of his wife. This was paid for through public contributions, with Salford’s working class donations and Sunday school collections contributing to the commission which saw all of Salford coming together to commemorate the Princes death.

Both statues are larger than life size, made from Sicilian Marble, and placed on granite pedestals. The Queen is represented in typical regal fashion, wearing a coronet and robes, whilst leaning on the Imperial crown which sits on a cushion atop a pillar. The inscription pays homage to ‘…the visit of her most gracious Majesty Queen Victoria to this Park…’ and the reception she was given by the local Sunday school teachers and students. With the statue of Prince Albert commemorating the man rather than any of his specific visits, he is given an academic personality that does not necessarily correspond with his relation to Salford, but instead as Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. He is associated with numerous scholarly symbols: wearing the Chancellors robes, holding a scroll in one hand and a university cap in the other, which rests on a globe and pile of books.