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7,000 people gathered under a purpose-built marquee to watch HM Queen Victoria lay the Hall’s red Aberdeen granite foundation stone, which today can be found underneath K stalls, row 11, seat 87 in the main auditorium.
Queen Victoria had rarely been seen in public since Prince Albert’s death in 1861 and was still dressed entirely in black. The Queen was handed gold and silver coins and an inscription by the Prime Minister and placed them in a glass vessel given to her by the Lord President of the Council, which was put in a cavity beneath the foundation stone and lowered.
The Queen announced that “It is my wish that this Hall should bear his name to whom it will have owed its existence and be called The Royal Albert Hall of Arts and Sciences”, as a 21 gun salute was heard from Hyde Park and a trumpet fanfare from HM Life Guards sounded.
Image is a reproduction of a drawing from 1867