Prince Albert's tears were an expression of his shyness. He disliked visitors, and when they came he would run to a corner of the room and cover his face with his hands. He would never have closed the pianoforte lid if his tutor had said
Sometimes the brothers went up to the ruined castle on the hill, along the grey, dusty road that wound up between rich trees and meadows. They were boys with the pride of princes and the blood of soldiers and they loved the lofty, proud fortress, with its old green guns which had long since fired their last shots; the lime tree under which Luther had spun his radical thoughts, the ramparts with redleafed vines, and the rooms and high walls, warm with history.
Albert would stand on the ramparts and look out towards the forest where his father was so often stalking. A black tide of trees flowed over the placid hills, and in the summer, wild pigeons came from Scandinavia, circled overhead, then flew down among the harvesters in the fields. There were birthdays with parties for a thousand children jumping about "like grasshoppers," eating cake and sausage and drinking wine. One year, Ernst and Albert went to their party in shining armour, to honor Uncle Leopold who had come all the way from England to stand on a platform and receive them.
Sometimes the Princes went to stay with their grandmother in Gotha. She wrote to their father, after one visit, "I have gratified their ardent wish to have another goat, which has been sent today. I entreat that they may be allowed to keep them, all three. ... Albert wishes to drive the little goat. Happy children! How much are they to be envied for the power of being pleased with so little. ... Do not let them take much medicine nor hear much about their health; it only makes them nervous."
WHEN Prince Albert was older, he rode his English pony into the Thuringian forest where larch and pine trees rose above the myriads of brown and saffron toadstools. He loved the still, gold light between the trees, the pungent smell of the wood piles and the clearings where little peasant girls gathered mushrooms. It was as a dreamer and student rather than a sportsman that he broke into the secrets of the