The history of the Royal Albert Hall, London

The Royal Albert Hall is named after Prince Albert, the consort and husband of Queen Victoria. Albert was notorious for being an appreciator of Arts and Sciences, and he had originally planned to build the structure on the grounds of the royal South Kensington Estate. However, following his death from typhoid fever in 1861, all existing plans for this great building were put on hold.

That is, however, until Albert’s Great Exhibition collaborator Henry Cole rekindled them. Work began on the newly named Royal Albert Hall in April of 1867, and it was opened four years later by Queen Victoria herself. It is said that when conducting the opening ceremony, Victoria became so overcome with emotion that her son, the Prince of Wales, had to speak in her place.

With a main hall auditorium of 185 feet by 219 feet, the interior structure of Royal Albert Hall is incredibly impressive, and after an echo problem was fixed in the 1960s, the acoustics within the hall make it an ideal and favoured location for musical artists spanning many different genres.

Some famous performances to have taken place at the Royal Albert Hall over the years include Eric Clapton, David Bowie, Adele, Shirley Bassey, Bob Dylan, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, and many more.

Perhaps the Royal Albert Hall’s most famous musical association is its long lasting relationship with the BBC Proms. The hall has been the chosen location of the BB Sir Henry Wood Promenade Concerts since 1942, and the sight of concert goers waving their Union Jack flags to the tune of Land of Hope and Glory has become an iconic Royal Albert Hall image.

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