The characters in Jane Eyre Gets Real are almost all of the Victorian era and “knew” Prince Albert, the Queen’s consort, well. He was born August 26, 1819. Considered a kind, intelligent man–as well as handsome, in his youth–his accomplishments including strengthening the constitutional monarchy, advancing social issues, and popularizing #Christmas. He died at the age of 42, plunging Queen Victoria, their children and their court into perpetual mourning.
Officially the cause of Prince Albert’s death is recorded as “typhoid.” However, as #SherlockHolmes has been quick to note, Albert was ill for most of his life; pale, feverish and so fatigued he would sometimes fall asleep at the dinner table. He was prone to headaches, toothaches, nosebleeds, anaemia and dizzy spells. Whilst Victoria thrived on cold air and kept no room heated above 68 degrees, Albert wore a fur-lined coat indoors and later, when he began to lose his hair, a wig to keep his head warm. He suffered from rheumatism–but worst of all his ailments was his constantly painful and troubling gut. Of a sensitive, nervous disposition (unlike Victoria’s robust constitution) Albert withstood incessant stomachaches and bloating.
By the late 1850s he had severe diarrhoea as well, which probably contributed to his #depression-egads! 1861, the year of Albert’s death, was a particularly stressful one, including the death of Victoria’s mother, a sexual #scandal involving his son Bertie, heir-to-the-throne. and diplomatic problems with America. In December Albert had an intense stomach flareup which, Sherlock Holmes declares, may have led to a perforated abdominal abscess resulting in septicaemia. Thus, Prince Albert died not from typhoid but the ultimate result of #Crohn’s Disease, an unknown condition at the time, and from which he’d probably been a victim most of his life.
Though Holmes does not believe in #astrology, let it be noted that Prince Albert was born under the sign of #Virgo. Virgo rules the digestive system and people under this sign are especially susceptible to ulcers and #IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Ironically, Albert was concerned during all of his reign with perfecting public hygiene systems; the first flush #toilet, invented by George Jenning, was installed outside the Great Exhibition, one penny per visit.