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A group surrounds a harpsichord playing instruments

Many members of the royal family were talented musicians

Cambridge : Hills & Saunders

Prince Consort's Organ Room 1873

RCIN 2101748

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This photograph depicts Prince Albert’s Organ Room, which contained an organ built by Gray & Davison in 1841. The organ was of an ingenious design, fitting seamlessly into its surroundings. The bellows were kept from sight outside in a passage and made to look like a table. The organ was divided on either side of the fireplace with trackers passing behind a mirror. No pipes were visible and the keyboard and pedals could be slid back into the case. Mendelssohn played this instrument during his five visits to Buckingham Palace. He wrote in a letter to his mother:

"I begged that the Prince would first play me something, so that, as I said, I might boast about it in Germany. He then played a chorale, by heart, with the pedals, so charmingly and clearly and correctly that it would have done credit to any professional; and the queen, having finished her work, came to sit by him and listened, and looked pleased. Then it was my turn, and I began my chorus from, 'St. Paul', 'How lovely are the messengers!' before I had got to the end of the first part they had both joined in the chorus, and all the time Prince Albert managed the stops for me so cleverly – first a flute, at the forte the great organ, and at the D Major section the full organ. Then he made a lovely diminuendo with all the stops, and so on to the end of the piece, and all my heart – that I was really quite enchanted."

Mendelssohn, 19 July 1842