2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the births of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Friedenstein Palace in Gotha as the starting point for the dynastic links with the British Royal family stages various special exhibitions to commemorate this and other festive occasions.

It all started 400 years ago with a woman called Elisabeth

The small Thuringian town of Gotha not only celebrates Queen Victoria and Prince Albert but close Royal relations that go even further back in time: In 1736, Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, who was born in Gotha in 1719, married the Prince of Wales, establishing the first dynastic link with the British royals.

As her husband died early, she never became queen, however, her son ascended the throne as King George III in 1760. Exactly one hundred years after her birth, her great-granddaughter, the later Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland, was born in 1819, and only a few months after that Victoria’s cousin Prince Albert, who was to become her husband in 1840.

Their marriage established the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha dynasty in the UK. Throughout their lives, they entertained a close relationship to the home region of their German family and, something not many people know, there is even a 400th birthday to be celebrated this year, as their common ancestor, Elisabeth Sophia of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, was born in Thuringia on 10 October 1619.

Head to Friedenstein Palace for special exhibitions

Friedenstein Palace in Gotha, one of Germany’s most stunning baroque ensembles, this year stages various special exhibitions plus events during the annual Ekhof Festival (dates and info listed below) to commemorate the various anniversaries and visitors can explore the spacious palace grounds and beautiful gardens to learn all about the enduring German-UK connection:


4 May – 30 November 2019
Marriage as a success model. German-English marriages.
Friedenstein Palace museum, Gotha

28 June – 24 August 2019
23rd Ekhof Festival
Ekhof Theatre in Friedenstein Palace


4 August – 27 October 2019
Gotha and the English crown: Portraits of a dynastic relationship
Ducal Museum at Friedenstein Palace, Gotha


24/25 August 2019
Baroque Festival in Gotha: “Aunt Augusta is paying a visit”
Friedenstein Palace and Gardens


23 November 2019 – 23 February 2020
Beautiful old fans: Duke August’s and Prince Albert’s passion
Ducal Museum at Friedenstein Palace, Gotha


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