Skip to main content

Full text of "Queen Victoria, a biography"

See other formats



FOURTH EDITION, with 2 Portraits of Shakespeare, a Portrait of the Earl 

of Southampton, and facsimiles of Shakespeare's known Signatures. 

Large crown 8vo. 7s. 6d. 


%* Also the LIBRARY EDITION, in One Volume, with 6 Photogravure 
Portraits, 1 Coloured Plate, and 84 Illustrations and Facsimiles in the 
Text. Medium 8vo. 16*. And the STUDENT'S EDITION, with a Photo- 
gravure Portrait of Shakespeare and 5 Facsimiles. Grown 8vo. 2s. Qd. 

'This masterly work is an honour to English scholarship, an almost 
perfect model of its kind, and it is matter for great national rejoicing 
that the standard life of Shakespeare has at last been made in England. 
Rarely have we seen a book so wholly satisfying, so admirably planned, so 
skilfully executed. ... It is an absolutely indispensable handbook for every 
intelligent reader of the plays.' BLACKWOOD'S MAGAZINE. 

' There is no doubt that for some time to come, probably for a long time, 
it will be a general text-book.' ATHENAEUM. 

'A marvel of research, and, though we find it hard to agree with all the 
author's conclusions, it is, on the whole, remarkably temperate, judicious, 
and convincing. . . . Never before has learning been brought to bear upon 
Shakespeare's biography with anything like the same force.' TIMES. 

' Unquestionably one of the most remarkable achievements of modern 
English scholarship. . . . The mass of obscure and tangled controversies 
which he has ravelled out is immense.' SPECTATOR. 



full Explanatory Notes on the Significance of the surviving Examples of 

Shakespeare's Handwriting. 

%* This pamphlet forms an interesting memorial of the dramatist's work, 
and is of service in determining the manner in which his surname should be 

London : SMITH, ELDER, & CO., 15 Waterloo Place, S.W, 

/'>< 1 1 


l: . 











[All rights reserved] 


THIS work is based on the biographical notice of 
Queen Victoria which was published in the third 
Supplementary Volume of the ' Dictionary of National 
Biography ' in October 1901. I undertook that article 
at the earnest request of the public- spirited proprietor 
of the Dictionary, the late Mr. George Smith, who 
impressed on me the imperative need of observing 
in the notice of the Queen that sense of proportion 
and that regard for exact detail which distinguished 
other contributions to the 'Dictionary,' and were 
essential characteristics of its general scheme. I 
set to work on the memoir with some misgiving. 
I was fully conscious of its difficulty. But I did 
what I could to execute the task in the spirit in 
which it was confided to me. 

The article in the ' Dictionary ' was favourably 
received on its publication by the press and the public 
as a first serious attempt at an exhaustive account of 
the Queen's long and varied life, and of her relations 
with public affairs. A general wish was at once 



expressed for the independent re-issue of the article, 
and with that wish I have here complied. 

In order to fit the memoir for separate publication, 
I have found it necessary substantially to re-write it. 
The somewhat abrupt method of presenting facts and 
dates which is appropriate to a ' Dictionary ' article is 
out of place in an independent volume. The ' Dic- 
tionary ' memoir was exceptionally long, but the 
space at my disposal there did not enable me to utilise 
all the material that I had collected. The omitted 
detail or illustrative comment is now added. A few 
errors which readers of the article pointed out to me 
have been corrected. I have also incorporated much 
information which has only been recently at my 
disposal, and is, I believe, of first-rate importance. 

In spite of all changes and additions, I have 
endeavoured to remain loyal throughout to the prin- 
ciples inherent in the aims of the 'Dictionary of 
National Biography.' I have sought to record clearly 
and with such conciseness as coherence would permit 
the main facts known to me concerning the Queen's 
personal history in the varied spheres of life in which 
she played her great part. It has been necessary for 
me to touch on the extended political history, and on 
the many vexed questions of politics at home and 
abroad, with which her long career was associated. 
But I have tried to avoid treating such topics in any 
fuller detail than was needful to make her personal 
experiences and opinions intelligible. The circum- 


stance of politics is to a large extent the scenery 
of every sovereign's biography, but it is the duty of a 
biographer sternly to subordinate his scenery to the 
actor who is alone his just concern. 

The sources whence I have derived my information 
are mentioned in the notes to my text and in the 
detailed bibliography which I give in the third 
appendix to the volume. I believe that I have 
examined all the printed memoirs in English, French, 
or German which could reasonably be expected to 
throw light on my subject, nor have I neglected news- 
papers of the time, and periodical publications like 
the ' Annual Kegister,' which collect methodically 
contemporary facts and dates. The printed records 
are abundant and detailed, but they are not all 
equally trustworthy, and the labour of reconciling 
the published evidence of the numerous witnesses has 
not been light. 

Most of the printed testimony has the advantage 
of a remarkable frankness. The statesmen of the 
Queen's reign who gave their memoirs to the world 
showed little reticence in describing their intercourse 
with their sovereign. Nor were journalists holding 
responsible positions in the early and middle years of 
her career timorous in their notices of the Queen's 
life or in their comments on important passages of it. 
They interpreted very liberally the principle of the 
freedom of the press. As one turns over the pages of 
' The Times ' newspaper and other leading London 



journals of thirty years ago, one is impressed by the 
outspoken tone in which the actions of the Queen were 
then recorded and criticised. The editorial judgments 
may have been warped by prejudice, and many of 
them may now excite resentment, but the lack of 
reserve frequently enables the investigator to detect 
the cause and effect of the Queen's public conduct with 
a precision that greater urbanity and more respectful 
restraint would render impossible. 

The Queen was a voluminous correspondent. 
Thousands of her letters to ministers, relatives, and 
friends survive. A great number of these, on both 
public and personal topics, were published with her 
permission in her lifetime in the biographies of dis- 
tinguished subjects with whom she was on terms 
of intimacy. Many have been acquired as valued 
autographs by public libraries or museums, and are 
now placed freely at the public disposal. Other of 
her letters have from time to time been printed in 
volumes issued for private circulation only. Such 
fragments of the Queen's correspondence as I have 
been able to consult afford a rich mine of biographical 

The Queen was rarely averse from taking her 
subjects into her confidence. She allowed her trusted 
friend, Sir Theodore Martin, whose contributions to 
her biography are invaluable, to print many fragments 
of her diary in his admirably exhaustive ' Life of the 
Prince Consort.' Other portions she herself prepared 


for publication in the two volumes of ' Leaves ' from 
her journal. The various letters of the Queen to 
which I have had access, combined with the available 
excerpts from her diary, have enabled me to present 
in her own words her opinions and experiences at 
many critical epochs of her reign. Wherever my 
sources of knowledge permitted it, I have endeavoured 
to let the Queen speak for herself. 

I have also derived assistance from the remi- 
niscences of several of her friends and associates. 
Some of those who came into most frequent inter- 
course with her in her later years have been good 
enough to communicate to me their recollections. 

My endeavour has been at all points to present 
facts fully, truthfully, and impartially, but I hope 
that I may claim to have written in a spirit of 
sympathy as well as in a spirit of justice, and to have 
paid fitting consideration alike to the public and to 
the private interests involved. The inevitable candour 
of the historical biographer can never be unwelcome 
to those who honour the Queen's memory aright. 
Truth with her was an enduring passion. Not 
long before her death she contemplated the pre- 
paration of a biography which should give her 
people accurate knowledge of her career. Although 
that purpose was not fulfilled, her subjects may 
confidently cherish the thought that such a record 
would have testified in no grudging measure to her 
unquenchable ' delight no less in truth than life.' 


To the gracious kindness of the King I am indebted 
for an autograph of Queen Victoria, which his Majesty 
has been pleased to lend me for reproduction in fac- 
simile in this volume ; it is the Queen's first draft 
of her letter summoning Mr. Disraeli to Windsor to 
form an administration in February 1874. By his 
Majesty's gracious permission I am also enabled to 
include two photogravure portraits of Queen Victoria, 
which have been reproduced from the originals in 
his Majesty's possession at Windsor Castle. 

My thanks are due to my friend Mr. Thomas 
Seccombe for the valuable assistance he has rendered 
in reading with me the final proofs. 

S. L. 

November 24, 1902. 



Queen Victoria's an- 
cestry .... 

Her descent from King 

Alfred .... 

1714 The Hanoverian line . 

Hanoverian marriages . 

George III.'s family 

1817 Succession to the crown 
George III.'s sons . . 

1818 Three marriages . 
The Duke of Kent . . 
May 29. His marriage 
The Duchess of Kent . 
Her family connections 
Eelations with France 

and Portugal 

1819, May 24. Queen Vic- 
toria's birth . . . 

1819 Her place in the succes- 


sion .... 


June 24. Baptism . . 



Baptismal names . 



Aug. At Claremont 


8 1820, Jail. At Sidmouth 


8 Jan. 23. Death of Duke 


of Kent . ... 



JVm.29. Death of George 





Position of the Duchess 


of Kent .... 



Prince Leopold and his 


niece .... 


The Duchess of Kent's 


resolve . . . . 


The Duke of Kent's in- 





1820 Settlement at Kensing- 
ton . . . .19 

1824 Friiulein Lehzen . . 19 

1827 Appointment of a pre- 
ceptor . . .20 
The Princess's teachers 21 
Homely life at Kensing- 
ton 23 

1828, May 19. Sir Walter 

Scott's visit . 24 

1828 Knowledge of her rank . 24 

1829 Country excursions . . 25 
1826 Visit to George IV. . 26 
1827, Jan. 5. Death of the 

Duke of York . . 2G 
1829, Maij 28. The Princess 
and the Queen of Por- 
tugal . . . .27 
Queen Victoria's sym- 
pathy with Portugal . 27 










June 26. Death of 


George IV. and acces- 

sion of William IV. . 



Heir - presumptive to 

the crown . 


Appointment of a gover- 

ness . . . . 


Sept. 8. Absence from 
William IV.'s corona- 


tion .... 


Prince Leopold's re- 

moval to Belgium . . 


William IV.'s treatment 

of the Princess . 


The Princess's early 

travels . . . . 



Tour in Wales 


Visits to the nobility . 


Nov. 8. At Oxford . . 


Hospitalities at Ken- 



Tour on the south coast 


Delight in music and the 
drama . . . . 39 

At Ascot ... 40 

July 30. Her confirma- 
tion . . . . 40 

Further visits to the no- 
bility . . . .41 

May. First meeting 
with Prince Albert . 42 

Other possible suitors . 42 

Widening of the breach 
with William IV. . . 44 

Aug. 21. The King and 
the Duchess of Kent 
at Windsor . . 45 
May 24. Coming of age 46 

State ball in her honour 46 

Visits the Royal Aca- 
demy . . . . 47 

William IV.'s last com- 
munication to hi s 
niece . . . .47 



1837, June 20. Death of Wil- 
liam IV. . ... 48 
The Queen's accession . 48 
Lord Melbourne's first 

audience . . .49 
The first council . . 49 
The proclamation . .51 
The second council . 51 
Her name as sovereign . 52 

1887 Dissemination of the 

name Victoria . . 52 

Public sentiment re- 
garding her 

Peel on her inexperi- 
ence . . . . 53 

The hopes of Sydney 
Smith and Lord John 
Eussell . 54 


1837 The Queen and Hauovev 56 
The Queen and the 
criminal law . . 57 

1837 Lord Melbourne's in- 
struction . . .58 
His career . . . 58 



1887 His opinions and cha- I 1837 

racter . . . .59 

The private secretary- 
ship . . . . 60 

The Queen's preference 
for the Whigs . . 61 

The formation of her 
household . 62 

Her foreign advisers 
Baron Stockmar . . 
The Baroness Lehzen . 
The Duchess of Kent . 
Public ceremonials 
First speech from the 
throne . 


. 64 
. 64 
. 66 
. 66 
. 67 




1837 Removal to Bucking- 
ham Palace . . 69 
Aug 21. Opening of 
Victoria Gate, Hyde 
Park . . . . 70 
At the Pavilion, Brighton 70 
Private life ... 70 
Innovations at Bucking- 
ham Palace . . . 71 
Foreign guests . . 72 
Attitude to her kins- 
folk . . . . 72 
Court etiquette . . 73 
The general election . 74 
Tory attacks on the 

Queen . . . . 74 
Whigs affect suspicion 

of a Hanoverian plot . 75 
Whigs' small majority . 75 
Nov. 9. At the Guild- 
hall banquet . . 77 

1837, Nov. 20. Opening of her 

first Parliament . . 77 

The Civil List . . 77 
The hereditary Crown 

lands . . . . 78 
William IV.'s income . 78 
The duchies of Lancas- 
ter and Cornwall . 79 
The final settlement . 79 
Civil List pensions . 80 
Radical criticism . . 80 
Provision for Duchess 

of Kent ... 81 
The Queen pays her 

father's debts . 81 

The British Empire in 

1837 .... 82 

The revolt of Canada . 83 

Lord Durham's mission 84 

His recall . . . . 85 
The colonial policy of 

self-government . . 85 



1838, June 28. The corona- 
tion .... 
The ceremony in the 
Abbey . . . . 
The want of rehearsal . 
Close of the celebrations 
1838-9 The Queen's speech"* 

in Parliament 
1839 Crises of 1839 . 


1839 The episode of L:uly 

Flora Hastings . '.93 

Outcry in the press . . 94 

Lady Flora's death . 94 

Hostility to the Court . 95 
May. First ministerial 

crisis .... 95 

Melbourne's resignation 96 






1845 The parliamentary ses- 
sion . . . . 162 

The Queen and the May- 
nooth agitation . . 162 

Court entertainments . 168 

Aug. Queen's first visit 
to Germany . . 168 

The King of Prussia's 
welcome . . . 164 

Prince Albert's pre- 
cedence . . .164 

Aug. 19. At Eosenau . 164 

Second visit to Louis 
Philippe . . .165 

The Queen's delight at 
visiting Coburg . . 165 

Peel and the corn laws 165 

The Queen's support of 
Peel . . 166 

1845, Dec. 6. Peel's resigna- 
tion . . . . 167 

Lord John Kussell sum- 
moned . . .167 

Negotiations with Lord 
John . . . . 167 

The Queen's dread of 
Palmerston . . 168 

Lord John's pertinacious 
appeals . . . . 168 

Peel's return to power . 169 
1846 The Queen's support of 

him . . . . 170 

Eegrets for his difficulties 171 

June 26. His fall . . 171 

May 25. Birth of Prin- 
cess Helena . . 171 

The Queen's enthusiasm 
for free trade . . . 172 



1846, July. Lord John's first 

ministry . . . 178 
The Queen and Lord 

John . . . . 173 
His colleagues . .174 
Macaulay at Court . . 174 
Difficulties with Palmer- 
ston . . . .175 
The Spanish marriages 176 
The Chateau d'Eu 
agreement . . . 176 

1846 Prince Albert and Prince 
Leopold of Saxe-Co- 
burg . . . .177 

Queen Christina's inter- 
ference . . . . 178 

Family conference at 
Windsor . . .178 

Palmerston's rash des- 
patch . . . . 179 

French retaliation . . 179 

The Queen's indignation 180 


1847 The ' season ' of 1847 . 182 
Prince Albert Chan- 
cellor of Cambridge . 182 

1847, July. At Cambridge . 183 
Third visit to Scotland . 184 
1848 Louis Philippe's de- 
thronement . . . 184 




1848 The Queen's treatment 

of him . . . 185 
Welcome to his sons . 186 
Revolution in Germany 186 
Mar. 18. Birth of Prin- 
cess Louise . . . 186 
Chartist menaces . . 187 

1848, May 13. Princess Louise 

christened . . . 187 
Anticipated defeat of 

the Government . 187 
Sept. 5. Parliament pro- 
rogued . . . . 188 



1848 First stay at Balmoral . 189 
Music and drama at 

Court. . . .190 
1842, July. The Queen and 

Mendelssohn . . . 190 
Actors and actresses at 

Court . . . .198 
The drama at Windsor . 193 
The Queen and Charles 

Kean . . 194 

1842 Patronage of art . . 194 
Education of the chil- 
dren . . . . 195 
The Queen's dislike of 

London . . . 197 
1844 Acquisition of Osborne . 198 
1848-52 Acquisition of Bal- 
moral . . . . 199 
Modes of life at Bal- 
moral and Osborne . 199 



1849 First visit to Ireland . 201 
State of the country . . 201 
Arrival at Queenstown . 202 
Oct. 30. Last royal water 

pageant . . . 203 
1848 Nov. 24. Death of Lord 

Melbourne . . . 203 
1850, July 3. Death of Peel . 204 

1850, Aug. 26. Death of Louis 

Philippe . . .204 
1849-50 Two assaults on the 

Queen . . . . 205 
1850, May 1. Birth of Prince 

Arthur . . .205 
The Queen's robust 

health . . 206 



Differences with Pal- 
merston . . . . 207 

Prince Albert's antagon- 
ism . . . . 207 

Their respective atti- 
tudes towards Italy . 208 

Their respective atti- 
tudes towards Prussia 209 
Palmerston's offences 210 
The Queen's private 

correspondence . . 211 
1847 The appeal of the Queen 

of Portugal . . 211 




1847 Letter to the King of 

Prussia . . . . 212 
Palmerston's obduracy . 213 
1850 Popularity of Palmer- 
ston's policy . . 214 
The Queen's demands . 214 

1850 Prince Albert on Pal 

Fresh dissensions 

1851 Papal aggressions . 
Ministerial crisis 
Recall of Lord John 





1851 The Great Exhibition 220 
Court festivities . . 222 
The Queen at Liverpool 

and Manchester . . 223 
Nov. 18. Death of King 

Ernest of Hanover . 223 
Palmerston and Kossuth 223 

1851 Palmerston and Napo- 
leon III. . . . 224 
Dec. 19. Palmerston's 

fall 224 

Prince Albert's elation . 225 
The peril of dismissing 
a minister . . .226 


1852, Feb. Palmerston's re- 
venge .... 

Lord Derby's first 
Government . . . 

Inexperience of its mem- 
bers .... 

Early impression of Dis- 




July. Defeat of Derby's 

Government . . 229 
Second visit to Belgium 229 
Neild's bequest . . . 230 
Sept. 14. Death of the 

Duke of Wellington . 230 
Nov. 18. His funeral . 231 
Dec. 17, Lord Derby's 

resignation . .231 
The Queen's desire for 

a coalition ministry . 231 
Her appeal to Aberdeen 232 

1852 Coalition of Peelites and 

Liberals. . . . 233 

Aberdeen's Whig col- 
leagues . . . 233 

The Queen's satisfac- 
tion . . . . 234 
1853, April 7. Birth of Prince 

Leopold . . .234 

Military preparations . 234 

Aug. 30. Second visit 

to Dublin . . . 235 
1852 Napoleon III.'s ad- 
vances . . .235 

His matrimonial plans . 236 

King Leopold's media- 
tion between the 
Queen and Napoleon . 237 

Napoleon's importuni- 
ties . . 237 





1853 Quarrel with Russia . 239 
Palmerston's resolute 

views . . . . 239 
The Queen's dread of 

war .... 240 
Attitude of foreign 

sovereigns . . . 240 

1854 Popular suspicion of 

Prince Albert . . 241 
The Queen's resentment 242 
Feb. 28. War declared 

with Russia . . . 243 
The Queen and the 

troops . . .243 
Hospitalities at Court . 244 
June 10. Opening of 

the Crystal Palace at 

Sydenham . 245 


1854 The Queen protests 
against lukewarmness 
about the war . . 245 

Prince Albert at St. 
Omer . . . , 245 

Aug. 12. The Speaker 
harangues the sove- 
reign for the last time 246 

Anxieties about the war 247 

Oct. 25. Battle of In- 
kerman . . . 247 

Nov. 5. Battle of Bala- 
clava . . . . 247 
1854-5 The winter and its 

hardships . . . 247 
1855, Jan. 29. Lord Aberdeen's 

defeat . . . 248 



1855 The Queen's renewed | 1855 

dread of Palmerston . 249 ' 

Her appeal to Lord 
John . . . .249 

Palmerston's omnipo- 
tence . . . . 250 

Feb. 15. The Queen ac- 
cepts Palmerston . 250 

Wounded soldiers . .251 

Napoleon offers to go to 
the Crimea . . .252 

The Queen's distrust of 
her political associ- 
ates . . . . 252 

AprillQ. Visit of Napo- 
leon III. . . .252 

His agreeable demean- 
our . 253 

His M'elcome by the 
people . . . 253 

The Queen on the irony 
of royalty . . . 254 

She reproves Lord John 254 

Maij 18. First distri- 
bution of war medals . 255 

The Emperor's invita- 
tion .... 256 

Aug. 20-7. The Queen 
in Paris . . . . 256 

Her brilliant welcome . 257 

First meeting with Bis- 
marck . . . 258 

Success of the Paris 
visit . . . . 258 

Relations with Napoleon 259 






1855, Aug. The fall of Sebas- 

topol . . . .260 
Sept. 29. The Princess 

Koyal's engagement . 260 
Hostility in England .260 
Views of Prussian 

statesmen . . . 261 
Nov. Victor Emanuel 

visits the Queen . 262 
She discourages him . 263 

1856, March 30. The peace of 

Paris .... 263 
General rejoicings . . 264 
April 16. First visit to 

Aldershot . . 264 


1856 The Victoria Cross .265 
July 14. The Duke of 
Cambridge Comman- 
der-in-Chief . . . 265 
Court festivities . . 266 
May 9. Ball at Buck- 
ingham Palace . . 267 
Reception of Sir Feii- 
wick Williams and 
Florence Nightingale 267 
Domestic hospitalities . 267 
Nov. Death of Prince 
Leiningen,the Queen's 
half-brother . 268 



1857 Approach of the Indian 

mutiny . . . 269 

March. Palmerston's 
defeat on China ques- 
tion . . . . 269 

April 14. Birth of Prin- 
cess Beatrice . . 270 

April 30. Death of the 
Duchess of Gloucester 270 

May. Grant to the 
Princess Royal . . 270 

Brilliant festivities at 
Court . . . .271 

Public functions . . 272 

Royal guests . . . 272 

June 25. The title of 
Prince Consort . . 273 

Relations with Napo- 
leon III. . . .273 

1857 Differences about the 

Balkan peninsula . . 274 
Aug. 19. Prince Albert 

and the Queen visit 

Cherbourg . . .275 
The Indian mutiny . . 275 
The Queen's urgency of 

counsel . . . 276 
Sept. Fall of Delhi and 

relief of Lucknow . 277 
Nov. Death of the 

Duchess de Nemours 277 
1858, Jan. 25. Marriage of the 

Princess Royal . . 277 
Palmerston and the 

Orsini conspiracy . . 278 
Feb. 19. Palmerston's 

fall . . 279 






1858, Feb. Lord Derby's 

second cabinet . . 281 
Aug. Second visit to 

Cherbourg . . 282 

Aug. Tour in Germany 283 
At Birmingham and 

Leeds . . . . 284 
The first submarine cable 284 
The resettlement of 

India . . .284 

The Queen's objections 
to the Government 
Bill . 285 

1858 Her personal interest 

in India . . . 286 

Her sympathy with the 
natives . . . . 286 

Her attitude to her In- 
dian subjects . . 287 

Final form of the 
Queen's proclamation 288 

The Order of the Star 
of India . . . . 288 

The Queen's sense of 
imperial responsibility 289 



1858, J\'ov. 9. Majority of the 

Prince oi Wales . 291 
1858, Jan. 27. Birth of the 
Queen's eldest grand- 
child (afterwards the 
German Emperor, 
William II.) . . . 291 

Her appeal for peace to 
Napoleon III. . . 292 

Napoleon's intervention 
in Italy . . . . 292 

April. Austria declares 
war on Italy . . 293 

Napoleon at war with 
Austria . . . . 293 

The Queen's anxiety re- 
specting Prussia . 294 

Her efforts to localise 
the war . . . . 294 

April 1. Lord Derby's 
resignation . .295 

1859, June. She sends for 

Lord Granville . . 295 
Her confidence betrayed 

to ' The Times ' . .296 
Lord John's obstinacy . 297 
Palmerston again Prime 

Minister . . . 297 
Differences with Lord 

John on the Italian 

question . . 298 

The peace of Villafranca 298 
The Queen's quarrel 

with her ministry . . 298 
Struggle for Italian unity 299 
Anger with Napoleon . 300 
1860 Heated protests against 

her ministers . . 300 

The Queen and the 

Commauder-in-Chief . 301 






1859 Military ceremonials . 303 
May. The Volunteers . 303 
Domestic life . . 804 

1860 Engagement of Princess 

Alice . . . .305 
Feb.-Nov. Tour of the 
Prince of Wales in 
America . 305 


1860, Sept.-Oct. Second visit 

to Coburg . . . 305 
Oct. 1. Accident to 

Prince Albert . . SOB 
Relations with Prussia . 307 

1861, Jan. 2. Accession of 

King William I. of 
Prussia . . . . 307 



1861, Jan. Disraeli and the 
grant to Princess 
Alice . . . .309 
Feb. 10. The twenty- 
first anniversary of the 
Queen's marriage . . 810 
Marchl6. Death of the 

Queen's mother . . 310 
Disraeli's cor-dolence . 311 
The Queen and her 

mother's dependents . 311 
Minor troubles . . . 811 
Resumption of hospitali- 
ties . . . .312 
Aug, Third visit to 

Ireland . . . . 312 
At Killarney . . . 812 
Sept. The Prince Con- 
sort's last visit to 
Balmoral . . 313 

1861, Nov. At Windsor . . 313 

The Prince Consort's 
illness. . . . 313 

Dec. Affair of the 
1 Trent ' . . . . 314 

Federals' attack on the 
Southern envoys . 314 

Palmerston's peremp- 
tory tone . . . 314 

Prince Albert's inter- 
vention . . .315 

The gratitude of Ameri- 
can democrats . . 316 

Walt Whitman on the 
Queen's action . . 316 

Dec. 14. Prince Albert's 
death . 317 



1861 The Queen's widowhood 819 
Public sympathy . . 319 
Tennyson's elegy . . 320 
The Prince's reputation 320 
Permanence of the 

Queen's grief . . 321 
Her sympathy with 

others' distress . . 321 

1861, Dec. Her movements 

after bereavement 322 

1862, Jan. Her ministers' re- 

proof . . . . 322 
Her resolves for the 

future. . . . 82" 
The Prince's lasting in- 
fluence on her . 328 






1862 Her personal attendants 

in her widowhood . 325 
Friends in her house- 
hold . . . . 325 
Scottish sympathisers . 825 
John Brown . . . 826 
The Queen's private 

secretaries . . . 326 
Grey, Phipps, and Bid- 

dulph . . . . 327 
Dean Wellesley . 328 

Jan. Public business . 328 
Her signature to officers' 

commissions . . 329 
Prince of Wales in the 

Holy Land . . . 829 
July 1. Princess Alice's 
marriage . . . 329 


1862 Memorial to the Prince 

at Balmoral . . . 330 

Sept. Betrothal of the 
Prince of Wales . . 830 

The throne of Greece . 331 

Duke Ernest and the 
Greek throne . .331 

His appeal to the Queen 332 

Her replies . . . 382 
1863, March 30. Prince George 
of Denmark, King of 
Greece . . .383 

March 10. Marriage of 
the Prince of Wales . 333 

Hopes of the Queen's 
reappearance in public 
life . 334 



1863 Her views of foreign 

policy . . . . 835 
Disagreements with 

ministers . . . 335 
The Polish insurrection 336 
Visit to Coburg . . 337 
Depressed prospects of 

the Crown Prince . 887 
The Queen's despair of 

Prussia . . 338 

1863, Aug. 31. Visit of the 

King of Prussia . . 

Interview with the Em- 


peror of Austria . . 339 
The Queen's earnest ap- 

peal to him . . 339 
Sept. At Darmstadt and 

Balmoral . . . 340 
Oct. 13. Prince Con- 

sort's statue unveiled 

at Aberdeen . 340 



1868 The Schleswig-Holstein 

question . . . . 342 
Opinion in Germany . 342 
Duke Frederick's claim 348 

1868 Efforts of Duke Frede- 
rick's allies . . . 843 
Intentions of Prussia . 343 
The Queen's divided 
interests . . . 344 





186S Her sympathy with 

Germany . . . 344 
1864 England's treaty obliga- 
tions . . . . 345 

Differences in her family 
circle .... 845 

Her efforts for peace . 346 

Ministry's support of 
Denmark . . . 346 

Her rejection of Duke 
Frederick . . .348 

Feb. 4. Her declaration 
to Parliament . 349 

1864, April 20. The London 

conference . . . 350 
Her zeal for neutrality . 350 
Her tactful correspond- 
ence . . . . 351 
Her triumph . . . 351 
Jan. 8. Birth of the 

Prince of Wales's son 351 
Unveiling of the Prince 
Consort's statue at 
Perth . 352 



1864 Complaints of the 

Queen's seclusion 353 
Her interest in her sub 

jects' welfare . . 358 
Her neglect of cere 

monial duties . 854 

Vehement attacks . 355 
April 6. The Queen's 

reply .... 856 

1864 Explanation of her posi- 
tion . . . . 856 
Dec. 14. Severity of 
' The Times ' . . 857 

1865, Feb. Partial reaction 

in her favour . . . 358 

1866, Dec. 4. John Bright's 

defence of her . . 358 
Her refusal to leave her 
retirement . . . 358 



1865, Aug. Visit to Coburg . 860 

Betrothal of Princess 

Helena . . .860 
Aug. Dissolution of 

Parliament . . . 361 
Oct. 18. Death of Pal- 

merston . . . 361 
Lord Russell Prime 

Minister . . . 862 
Dec. 10. Death of the 

King of the Belgians 863 

1866. Feb. 10. The Queen 

opens Parliament . 364 
March-April. Visits to 

Aldershot . . . 365 
June 12. Marriage of 
Princess Maryof Cam- 
bridge . . . 865 
July 5. Marriage of 
Princess Helena . . 365 

Grants to Princess 
Helena and Prince 
Alfred . . .366 

War between Austria 
and Prussia . . . 366 

March. The Queen's 
offer of mediation . 367 

The Queen and the 
Reform Bill . . . 867 

Her defiance of Lord 
Russell . . .367 

June 19. His resigna- 
tion . . . . 368 

July 6. Lord Derby 
Prime Minister . . 869 

June 28. Prussia seizes 
Hanover . . . 370 

July 8. Battle of Sa- 
dowa and end of the 
Seven Weeks' War . 371 






1866, Oct. Rest at Balmoral 373 
Oct. 16. The Queen at 

Aberdeen . . . 373 
Nov. 30. At Wolver- 

hampton . . . 373 
1874-80 The biography of 

Prince Consort . . 374 
Choice of (Sir) Theodore 
Martin as biographer . 374 


1874-80 Character of the work 375 
Her faith in its utility . 376 
1874 Her dislike of the Gre- 

yille Memoirs . . 376 
1867 Publication of 'Leaves 

from a Journal ' . . 376 
Cordial relations with 
Lord Derby's ministry 377 



1867 Disraeli's Keform Bill . 378 
The Queen's distrust of 

Napoleon III. . . 378 
May. The Luxemburg 

affair . . . . 379 
June 20. Murder of 

Emperor Maximilian . 380 

1867 The Queen's horror . 381 
June. Foreign Sove- 
reigns at Court . . 381 
July. The Sultan's visit 382 
Aug.ZZ. AtAbbotsford 382 
Continued depression . 888 



1868, Feb. Disraeli Prime 

Minister . . . 384 

The Queen's growing 
respect for him . . 884 

May 1. Gladstone and 
the Irish Church . 385 

The Queen's dislike of 
Disestablishment . . 385 

Disraeli's offer of re- 
signation . . . 386 

Attitude of the Opposi- 
tion . . . . 386 

May 5. The Queen 
elects to dissolve 
Parliament . . 887 

Her constitutional rights 888 

Her respect for parlia- 
mentary powers . 388 

1868 Public functions . . 889 
Aug. First visit to 

Switzerland . . . 389 
Sept. Her retreat of 

Glassalt Shiel . . 390 
Nov. Disraeli's defeat . 891 
Nov. 30. Her special 

mark of favour to him 391 
Appointment of Arch- 
bishop Tait . . . 391 
Friendship with Tait . 892 
Her attitude to bishops 892 
Her view of Church 

patronage . - . 393 
Interference in Church 

appointments . . 898 
Her respect for the 

Scottish Church . 394 






1868, Dec. Gladstone Prime 

Minister . . . 396 
Divergent views of 

foreign policy . . 396 
The Government's legis- 
lative activity . .398 
Gladstone's colleagues . 399 
Feb.-M.ay. The Irish 

Church Bill . . 399 
The Queen's attitude . 400 
Her mediation with the 
Lords . . . . 400 


1868, June. Her appeal to 

the Lords . . .401 

1869, Mar. The Queen and 

sailors' beards . . 402 

Public activities . . 402 
Intercourse with men of 

letters . . . . 403 

Tennyson . . . 403 
May. Meeting with 

Carlyle . . . . 403 
George Eliot and 

Dickens . . . 404 

Dr. Samuel Smiles . . 405 



1870, July. Lord Clarendon's 

death . . . .406 
July. The Franco- Ger- 
man war . . . 406 
The Queen's sympathy 

with Germany . . 407 
Her pity for France . . 407 
Oct. Bismarck resents 

her interference . . 408 
Decline of British influ- 
ence . . . . 408 
French gratitude . . 408 
Her care of the Empress 
Eugenie and Napo- 
leon III. . . . 409 
Domestic politics . . 409 
Dislike of Cardwell's 

army reforms . . 409 
1871 Abolition of purchase in 

the army . . . 410 
1870 Continued complaints of 

her seclusion . . . 411 
Oct. Betrothal of Prin- 
cess Louise . . 412 

1871, Feb. 9. Queen opens 

Parliament . . . 412 

[ 1871 Grants to Princess 
Louise and Prince 
Arthur . . .412 

March 21. Princess 
Louise's marriage . . 413 

Sept. The Queen's ill- 
ness . . . .413 

Nov. -Dec. Illness of 

the Prince of Wales . 414 
1872, Feb. 27. Public thanks- 
giving . . . . 414 
1871 Display of Eepublican 

tendencies . . . 415 

Popular censure of the 
Sovereign . . 415 

Attacks on her income . 416 

Her reputed affluence . 417 

Nov. Falsity of public 
rumours . . . 417 

Official refutations . . 417 
1872, March 19. Debate on 
the Civil List 

Causes of her future 
popularity . . . 






1872, March-April. Visit to 

Germany . . . 420 
Feb. 12. Assassination 

of Lord Mayo . . 420 
June 16. Death of Nor- 
man Macleod . . 421 
Sept. 23. Death of the 
Queen's step-sister . 421 

1873, Jan. 9. Death of Napo- 

leon IIL . 421 


1873, Mar. 12. Disraeli de- 

clines office . . 422 
April 2. Visit to East 

London . . . . 423 
June-July. First visit 

of the Shah of Persia 423 
Eelations with Eussia . 424 

1874, Jan. 23. Marriage of the 

Duke of Edinburgh . 424 
Its small political signi- 
ficance . . -.425 



1874, Jan. Disraeli in power . 426 

Strength of his position 426 
The Queen's approval of 

his political views . . 427 
His personal fascination 427 
His recognition of his 

own responsibilities . 427 
Church legislation . 429 
Continued irritation with 

Gladstone . . . 480 

1875, Feb. Prince Leopold's 

illness . . .430 
Queen's fear of another 

Franco -German war . 480 
June. Her appeals to 

the King of Prussia . 431 
End of the correspond- 
ence . . . . 482 
New links with India . 432 
Sept -May 1876. Prince 
of Wales's tour . . 433 

1876, May 1. Empress of 

India . . . . 433 
Aug. 21. Disraeli be- 
comes Earl of Bea- 
consfield . . .434 
Public appearances, 

1874-6 . . . . 434 
London engagements . 435. 
April. Visit to Coburg 435 
At Balmoral and Os- 

borne . . . .436 
Crisis in Eastern Eu- 
rope . , . . 486 

1876 The Queen's efforts for 

peace . . . .437 
1877, Dec. 21. At Hughenden 438 

The history of the Cri- 
mean war . . . 439 

The third volume of the 
Prince Consort's bio- 
graphy . . .439 
1878 The Queen seeks to pro- 
tect Turkey . . . 440 

Her support of Beacons- 
field's policy . . 440 

June. The Congress of 
Berlin . . . . 441 

July. The Queen wel- 
comes Lord Beacons- 
field . . . .441 

Domestic incidents . . 442 

Dec. 14. Death of Prin- 
cess Alice . . .442 
1879, Mar. 13. Marriage of 
the Duke of Con- 
naught . . . . 44S 

April. First visit to 
Italy . . . .443 

June 19. The Prince 
Imperial's death . 443 

The ministry's difficul- 
ties . . . .444 

Indian wars . . 445 

Gladstone's Midlothian 
speeches . . . 445 

The Queen's devotion to 
Lord Beaconsfield . . 445 






1880, Mar. Visit to Germany 447 
Betrothal of Prince 

William of Prussia . 447 
The general election . 448 
April. The Queen's 

perplexity . . . 448 
April 23. Gladstone re- 
sumes office . . 449 
April 24. Marriage of 
the King of Hanover's 
daughter . . . 450 
July. Memorial to the 

Prince Imperial . . 451 
Queen's active control of 

ministers . . . 451 
Burials Act . . .451 
Distrust of ministerial 

measures . . . 452 

Afghanistan . . . 453 

July 27. Maiwand . . 453 

1881 The Transvaal . . 453 

Feb. 27. Majuba Hill . 453 

Sympathy with the 

troops . . . . 454 


! 1881, April 19. Death of 

Beaconsfield . . 454 
Marks of respect for his 

memory . . . . 455 
1882 Murders of Tsar Alex- 
ander IT. and Presi- 
dent Garfield . . 456 
War in Egypt . . . 456 
The Queen's activity . 457 
Her urgency . . . 458 
Sept. 13. The battle of 

Tel-el-Kebir . . . 458 
Reception of the troops 459 
Mar. 2. Fifth attempt 

on her life . . . 459 
Irish affairs . . . 459 
May 6. Murder of Lord 

Frederick Cavendish . 459 
First visit to the Riviera 460 
Mar. 23. Grant to 

Prince Leopold . . 460 
April 27. Prince Leo- 
pold's marriage . . 461 
Epping Forest and the 
new Law Courts . 461 


1883-5 Years of gloom . . 462 j 1884, 

1883, Jan. Appointment of 

Archbishop Benson . 463 ! 
March 27. Death of 

John Brown . . 463 
Publication of ' More 

Leaves' . . . 464 | 
The Queen's lameness 464 j 

1884, March 28. Prince Leo 

pold's death . . 464 
The Soudan . . 465 1885, 

General Gordon . 466 

1885, Jan. 26. The Queen's 

view of Gordon's death 467 

Feb. 17. Her letter to 
Miss Gordon . . 467 

March. The gift of Gor- 
don's Bible . . . 468 1886, 

Gordon's diary . . 469 

The affairs of the Soudan 469 

July. The Queen and 
the Franchise Bill . 470 

Oct. She mediates be- 
tween the two Houses 
of Parliament . . 471 

At Darmstadt . . . 472 

The Princes of Batten- 
berg . . . .472 

Nov. 29. Princess Bea- 
trice's betrothal . . 473 
July 23. Her marriage . 473 

The Queen and Prince 
Henry of Battenberg . 474 

June 8. Gladstone's fall 474 

Negotiations between 
Lord Salisbury and 
Gladstone . . .475 
June 24. Lord Salis- 
bury's first ministry . 476 






1886 The Session . . .478 

The Queen's hostility to 
Home Rule . . . 478 

June 7. Gladstone's de- 
feat . . . .479 

The Queen objects to 
dissolution . . . 480 

July. The general elec- 
tion . . . .480 

Lord Salisbury's second 
ministry . . . . 481 

The Queen and Lord 
Salisbury . . .482 


1886 The Jubilee of her acces- 

sion . . . . 482 
The growth of imperial- 
ism . . . .483 
Her imperialist zeal . . 484 

1887 She learns Hindustani . 485 
March. Long visit to 

London . . . . 485 
June 21. The Jubilee . 486 
The women's gift . . 487 
The ceremonials . . 487 
Historic significance of 

the celebration . 488 



1887 Illness of the Crown 

Prince . . .489 

1888 The Queen's sorrow . . 489 
March 9. Death of the 

Emperor William I. . 489 
April. Visits to Italy 

and Germany . . 490 
Family quarrel in Berlin 490 
Prince Alexander of 

Battenberg's betrothal 

to Princess Victoria of 

Prussia . . . . 491 
April 24. The Queen 

and Bismarck . . 492 
Eoyal banquet at Char- 

lottenburg . . . 492 
June 15. Death of the 

Emperor Frederick . 493 
Public engagements in 

Scotland . . . 493 
1889, March 27. The Queen 

in Spain . . .494 
April 6. Death of the 

Duchess of Cambridge 494 

1889 Renewed interest in the 

drama . . . . 494 
Public activity . . 495 
The Queen and her 

grandchildren . . 495 
Request for pecuniary 

provision . . . 496 
False reports of her 

wealth . . . . 496 
Parliamentary commit- 
tee of inquiry . . 497 
Government's proposal . 497 
Gladstone's intervention 498 
Grants to Prince of 
Wales's children 
adopted . . . . 498 
The Queen's savings . 499 
July. Visit of the Shah 

of Persia . . . 499 
Aug. Visit of the Ger- 
man Emperor, Wil- 
liam II. . . .499 
His later visits . . 500 






1889-1901 Mode of life . . 501 
1889, Aug. Visit to Wales . 501 
1889-96 Provincial engage- 
ments . . . 502 
1890-9 Foreign tours . . 503 
1890-5 Last visits to Ger- 
many .... 503 
Gratitude for foreign 

courtesy . . . 504 
1890-1900 Kevival of the 
drama and opera at 
court . . 504 


1891, Dec. Betrothal of the 

Duke of Clarence . . 505 

1892, Jan. 14. His death . 505 
1893 July 6. The Duke of 

York's marriage . . 506 
The Duchy of Saxe- 

Coburg-Gotha . . 506 
1894, Nov. 28. The marriage 
of the Tsar Nicho- 
las II 506 

June 23. Birth of Prince 
Edward of York (after- 
wards Wales). . . 507 



1892-4 Gladstone again in 

office .... 509 

1893, Sept. 8. The fate of the 

Home Rule Bill . . 510 

1894, Mar. 2. The Queen's 

farewell to Gladstone 510 
1898, May 19. His death . 511 
1894, March 3. Lord Rose- 

bery Prime Minister . 511 
1895 The Queen's want of 

enthusiasm for his 

Government . . 512 
June. His resignation 512 
Lord Salisbury's third 

Government . .513 

1895 The Queen and Mr. 

Chamberlain . . 513 
Her critical energy . .514 
Her signature to com- 
missions . . . 514 
1890-9 Her continued inte- 
rest in the army . . 515 
1896, Jan. 20. Death of Prince 

Henry of Battenberg 516 
April 21. The Victorian 

Order. . . .516 
Sept.-Oct. Visit of the 
Tsar Nicholas II. . . 517 



1897 The Diamond Jubilee . 518 
June 22. Service out- 
side St. Paul's Cathe- 
dral . . . . 519 
The beacons . . .519 

1897 The festivities . . . 519 
Naval review . . . 520 
The people's passionate 
loyalty . . . . 520 






1897-8 MiUtary expeditions . 521 

1898 The Queen's interest in 

Netley . . .522 
Reviews of troops . . 522 
1899, May 17. The Victoria 

and Albert Museum . 522 
1891 The Queen and Cecil 

Rhodes . . .523 

1899 Negotiations with the 

Transvaal . . . 523 
1899-1901 The Great Boer 

War . . . .524 

1899, Dec. The Queen and 

the reinforcements . 524 

Nov. The Emperor 
William II.'s visit . 525 

Cordiality of the Em- 
peror's welcome . . 525 

The Queen's sympathy 
with her soldiers . 526 

Her Christmas gift . . 526 

1900, Feb.-June. The suc- 

cesses in South Africa 526 
The Irish soldiers . . 527 
April 4-25. Fourth visit 

to Ireland . . . 527 
Lord Roberts in South 

Africa. . . .528 


1900, March. The Federation 

of Australia . . . 529 

1901, Jan. 1. The inaugura- 

tion of the Australian 
Commonwealth . . 580 
1900, Aug. -Dec. Distresses of 

the war . . . . 581 

July 29. King Hum- 
bert's murder . . 531 

The Due d'Orleans's in- 
sults . . . . 532 

Oct. The new Unionist 
House of Commons . 532 

Changes in the ministry 532 
1897-9 The Queen's latest be- 
reavements . . 533 
1900, July 80. Death of Alfred, 

Duke of Saxe-Coburg 534 

Oct. 29. Prince Chris- 
tian Victor's death . 534 

June. The Empress 
Frederick's malady . 534 

Nov. -Dec. Final mi- 
grations of the Court 534 

Dec. 12. The Queen's 
last public appearance 534 

Dec. 18. Last journey 
to Osborne . . 535 




The Queen's health in 
old age ... 536 

1895-1900 Her ailments 


1900 June-Dec. Physical 

decay .... 537 
Last days at Osborne . 587 
1901, Jan. 2 & 14. Lord Ro- 

berts' s audiences . 538 
Jan. 11. Mr. Chamber- 

lain's audience . . 538 
Jan. 22. The Queen's 
death . . 538 

1901 Her age and length of 

reign . . . . 539 
Jan. 24. Accession of 

Edward VII. . . 539 
Feb. 1-2. The Queen's 

funeral . . . . 539 
The universal sorrow . 540 
Causes of the loyalty to 

her person . . . 540 
The Queen and imperial 

unity . . . .541 






Her attitude to business of 


The benefits of her experience 

and detachment . . . 543 
Her loyalty to the constitution 544 
Increase of royal influence and 

decay of royal power . .545 
Her absence from Parliament . 545 
Foreign travels . . . 546 
The Queen and Ireland . . 547 
The Queen's foreign kindred . 547 
Her views of war . . . . 548 
Her temperament . . . 549 
Her wide sympathies . . . 549 

Her recreations 

Her attitude to art 

Her tastes in music . 

Her devotion to the drama . 

Her taste in literature 

Her dress and carriage 

Her dislike of obsequiousness 

Her sense of her public ser 

vices .... 
Her religion .... 
Her dislike of Women's Rights 554 
Her Stuart sympathies . . 555 
Her reliance on her personal 

sentiment . ... 555 

. 551 
, 552 
. 552 
. 552 
. 558 

, 554 

, 554 



The Queen's children . . 559 
Surviving children . . . 559 
Grandchildren and great- 
grandchildren . . . 560 
Her grandchildren and the 
reigning families of Europe . 560 

Marriages in England . . 560 
Marriages in Germany . . 560 
Marriage in the fourth genera- 
tion . . . .561 



Defects of the portraits . , 562 

Before accession . . . . 562 

After accession . . .562 

After marriage . . . . 562 

Pictures of ceremonials . . 563 

Sculptures . . . . 564 

National memorial . . 564 

The coinage 564 

Medals 565 

Postage-stamps and postcards . 565 







General authorities . . . 566 
Sir Theodore Martin's Bio- 
graphy of the Prince Consort 566 
The Greville Memoirs and 
Memoirs of Duke Ernest of 
Saxe-Coburg. . . .567 
German memoirs . . . . 567 
Relations with France . 568 


English memoirs of early days 568 
Domestic memoirs . . . 568 
Diplomatic affairs . . . 568 
Political memoirs . . . 569 
Personal reminiscences . . 569 
Minor notices . ... 569 
The royal household . . 569 



Extent of the acquisitions 
Population and area 

Asia outside India . 
India .... 
Africa .... 
West Africa . 
East Africa 

. 570 
. 570 
. 571 
. 571 
. 572 
. 572 
. 572 
. 573 

South Africa 
The Transvaal and 
Free State . 
Central Africa 
North America . 
Australasia . 
The Pacific Islands . 





. . 577 


EIGHT Frontispiece 

From the original painting by Baron H. von 
Angeli, now at Windsor Castle. 


From the original sketch by Sir Edroin 
Landseer, now at Windsor Castle. 


Reproduced in facsimile from the original at 
Windsor Castle. 


From a specimen kindly lent by Messrs. Spink 
& Son. 





VICTORIA, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Queen 
Britain and Ireland and Empress of India, was grand- ancestry. 8 
daughter of George III., who was King of Great 
Britain and Ireland from his accession on October 25, 
1760, until his death on January 29, 1820. George 
III.'s fourth son, Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent, 
was her father, and she was his only child. 

The Hanoverian dynasty, to which Queen Victoria Her 
belonged, traces authentic descent from Alfred the 
Great, who was in the ninth century King of the 
West Saxons and overlord of all the English. One 
female descendant of King Alfred in the direct 
line married William the Conqueror, the first 
Norman wearer of the English crown ; another 
female descendant was wife of the Conqueror's son 
and eventual successor, Henry I. Thus the blood of 
King Alfred flowed in no niggardly measure in the 



veins of the progeny of Henry L, whence sprang the 
occupants of the English throne through the sub- 
sequent eight-and-twenty generations. The royal 
generations did not always succeed one another on 
the throne in regular hereditary sequence ; some 
monarchs died without heirs, and the succession 
reverted to an elder generation. Many times, too, 
during the seven centuries that followed Henry I.'s 
death, there was matrimonial mingling of the English 
royal blood with new foreign strains, French, Spanish, 
Danish, and German. But save for the eleven years 
in the seventeenth century, when monarchy was tem- 
porarily exchanged for a republic, the ancient line 
knew no interruption. The enforced abdication of 
James II., Henry I.'s distant but direct heir, though it 
seemed to transmit the English crown to a foreigner, 
did not really divert the sovereignty from King 
Alfred's race, for James II.'s successor, William III., 
while hereditary Prince of the Dutch territory of 
Orange, was also son of James's sister, and Queen 
Mary, William's childless wife, was James's elder 

The Ha- On the death without living issue in 1714 of 
Q ueen Anne, the younger of James II.'s daughters, the 
crown passed to her second cousin, Prince George of 
Hanover, the first Hanoverian King of England. 
Both Prince George's parents were born and bred in 
Germany. But his mother, the Electress Sophia, 
was daughter of James I.'s child and Queen Mary 
Stuart's grandchild, Elizabeth, the ill-fated English 
wife of Frederick V., Elector Palatine of the Ehine 
and the 'Winter King' of Bohemia. And Prince 


George's father, who was Duke of Brunswick as well 
as Elector of Hanover and acknowledged the family 
surname of Welf or Guelph, boasted a direct ances- 
tress in a daughter of the great English King 
Henry II. Thus George I. of England, despite his 
German birth and breeding and surname, was lineally 
connected, through both father and mother, with 
King Alfred's stock. 

George I., George II., his heir, and Frederick, The mar- 
Prince of Wales, his eldest grandson (who died in [Dearly 
his father's lifetime), all sought wives in Germany, Hanover- 
the country in which each drew his first breath. 
George III., Queen Victoria's grandfather, as heir-ap- 
parent since the death in 1751 of his father, Frederick 
Prince of Wales, succeeded his grandfather George II. 
in 1760. He was the first of the Hanoverian line 
to be born in England, and he never set foot out of it. 
But, although he knew no other home than England, 
George III., like his immediate predecessors, chose a 
German wife. He married on September 8, 1761, the George 
German Princess, Charlotte Sophia, second daughter 
of Charles Louis Frederick, the reigning Duke of 
Mecklenburg- Strelitz. 

George III.'s marriage proved a prolific union. 
Fifteen children nine sons and six daughters 
were born to the King and Queen between 1762 and 
1783, and of these all but two survived infancy, 
and only one of the survivors died under thirty. Yet 
when George III.'s long reign the longest known 
to English history before that of Queen Victoria 
was Hearing its end, fate seemed to have decreed 
that the old King's large family should maintain the 

B 2 



The suc- 
to the 
Crown in 





succession to his throne through no more than a 
single generation. 

On May 2, 1810, Princess Charlotte Augusta of 
Wales, only child of the Prince Eegent (George III.'s 
heir), had married Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, 
and on November 6, 1817, she died after the birth of a 
stillborn son. The crown was thereby deprived of its 
only legitimate representative in the third generation. 

Of the seven sons of George III. who reached 
adult years, three, at the date of Princess Char- 
lotte's death, were bachelors, and the four who were 
married were either childless or without lawful issue. 1 
Of the five surviving daughters of the King, three 
were married but had no children living, and two 
were elderly spinsters. With a view to maintaining 
the succession it was deemed essential after Princess 
Charlotte's demise that the three unmarried sons, 
all of whom were middle-aged William, Duke of 
Clarence, the third son ; Edward, Duke of Kent, the 
fourth son ; and Adolphus Frederick, Duke of Cam- 
bridge, the seventh and youngest son should marry 
without delay. 

In each case the bride, in conformity with family 
tradition, was chosen from a princely family of Ger- 

1 The dead Princess Charlotte was the only child of the Prince 
Eegent by his wife, Princess Caroline. George III.'s second son, 
Frederick, Duke of York, had married in 171)1 the Princess Royal of 
Prussia, Frederick William II. 's daughter, by whom he had no issue. 
The fifth son, Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, had married in 
1815 his first cousin on the maternal side, Princess Frederica of 
Mecklenburg-Strelitz, and his only child by her, a son George, was 
not born till 1819 ; while the sixth son, Augustus Frederick, Duke of 
Sussex, had in 1793 contracted a marriage which violated the Royal 
Marriage Act and was declared null and void. 


many. The weddings followed one another with 
rapidity. On May 7, 1818, the Duke of Cambridge, 
who was residing in Hanover as the representa- 
tive of his father, George III., in the government 
there, married, at Gassel, Augusta, daughter of Fre- 
derick, Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, who was to live 
longer than any of her generation. On June 11, 1818, 
the Duke of Clarence wedded in his fifty-third year 
Adelaide, eldest daughter of George Frederick Charles, 
reigning Duke of Saxe-Meiningen. In the interval, 
on May 29, the Duke of Kent, who was in his fifty- 
first year, married a widowed sister of Prince Leo- 
pold of Saxe-Coburg, the premature death of whose 
wife, Princess Charlotte, had induced so much matri- 
monial activity in the English royal house. 

Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent, who was born at The 

Buckingham House, London, on November 2, 1767, 

had been sent to Hanover in boyhood to complete his 
education, and his German tutor, Baron Wangen- 
heim, a rigorous disciplinarian, kept him so short of 
pocket-money that he then contracted a fixed habit, 
which proved a lifelong embarrassment, of incurring 
debts that he could not discharge. His father, who 
showed the young prince little sympathy, destined him 
as a child for the military profession, to which, long 
before his marriage, he proved his devotion in trying 
circumstances. He filled many responsible military 
posts in the colonies, taking part in the reduction of 
St. Lucia in the Went Indies in 1794. In the spring of 
1799 he was granted an income of 12,000/. a year, 
and was created Duke of Kent. From May of that 
year till July of the next he was Commander-in-Chief 


of the forces in British North America, and during 
1802-3 he was Governor of Gibraltar. There he 
acquired undeservedly a bad reputation. A some- 
what tactless endeavour to suppress undoubted abuses 
which infected the garrison roused a mutiny among 
the troops. The result was that his military career 
ended in 1805, when he was gazetted a field-marshal. 
Small blame attached to him for the outbreak of 
insubordination which clouded his government of 
Gibraltar, but he had ruled his men with a harass- 
ing and pedantic rigour, and an almost superstitious 
regard for minutiae of etiquette and equipment 
rendered him unpopular even with the officers. He 
was a Liberal in politics and took an enlightened 
view of large questions affecting both military and 
civil policy ; bub after 1803 he had no active employ- 
ment and long lived in comparative retirement at 
Baling. Finally, in 1815, he sought asylum in 
Brussels from the importunities of an ever-growing 
army of creditors whose demands he was unable to 
meet. Pecuniary anxieties continued to depress him 
to the end of his life. 

The Duke of Kent's bride, who was commonly 

Duke of known by the Christian name of Victoria, although 

bride. her full Christian names were Mary Louisa Victoria, 

was nearly thirty-two years old. She was fourth 

daughter and youngest of the eight children of Francis 

Frederick Antony (1750 1800), reigning Duke of Saxe- 

Coburg and Saalfeld. 1 The day of her birth (Aug. 17, 

1 In 1825, the pleasant province of Saalfeld on the banks of the 
Saal was, by an awkward family arrangement, exchanged with the 
Duke of Saxe-Meiningen for the less attractive and more distant 


1786) was that of the death of Frederick the Great, 
whose wife was her great-aunt, and the coincidence 
implanted in her a dislike of the Prussians, because 
her family treated the anniversary of her birth as 
a season of mourning for the demise of their great 
kinsman and not as one of rejoicing for her arrival 
in the world. At a very youthful age she married. 
Her husband was Ernest Charles, reigning Prince 
of Leiningen, whose second wife she became on 
September 21, 1803, at the age of seventeen. This 
first experience of matrimony lasted less than eleven 
years. The Prince of Leiningen died on July 4, 
1814, leaving by her a son and a daughter. For the 
son, who was born on September 12, 1804, she 
was acting as regent and guardian when the Duke 
of Kent proposed marriage to her. Her responsi- 
bilities to her children and to the principality of 
Leiningen made her somewhat reluctant to accept 
the Duke's offer. But her father's family of Saxe- 
Coburg was unwilling for her to neglect an oppor- 
tunity of reinforcing those intimate relations with the 
English reigning house which the Princess Charlotte's 
marriage had no sooner brought into being than they 
were threatened with extinction by her premature 
death. The Dowager Princess of Leiningen conse- 
quently married the Duke of Kent, the ceremony 
taking place at the ducal palace of Coburg on May 29, 

The Princess was a cheerful woman of homely 

duchy oi' Gotha. The Dukes of Baze-Goburg-Saalfeld were thence- 
forth known as Dukes of Saxc-Coburg-Gotha. Cf. King Leopold's 
Reminiscences in Grey's Early Years of the Prince Consort, p. 393. 





of Kent. 



intellect and temperament, with a pronounced love of 
her family and her fatherland. Her kindred was 
exceptionally numerous ; she maintained close rela- 
tions with most of them, and domestic interests thus 
absorbed her attention through life. Besides the son 
and daughter of her first marriage, she had three 
surviving brothers and three sisters, all of whom 
married, and all but one of whom had issue. Fifteen 
nephews and three nieces reached maturity, and 
their marriages greatly extended her family connec- 
tions. Most of her near kindred allied themselves 
matrimonially, as she in the first instance had done, 
with the smaller German reigning families. Her eldest 
brother, Ernest, who succeeded to the duchy of 
Saxe-Coburg, and was father of Albert, Prince 
Consort of Queen Victoria, twice married princesses 
of small German Courts in the first instance of 
Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, in the second of Wiirtemberg. 
A sister, Antoinette Ernestina Amelia, married 
Alexander Frederick Charles, Duke of Wiirtemberg. 
At the same time some matrimonial unions were 
effected by the Saxe-Coburg family with the royal 
houses of two Latin countries France and Portugal. 
One of the Duchess of Kent's nephews married the 
Queen of Portugal, 1 while there were no fewer than 
four intermarriages on the part of her family with 
that of King Louis Philippe. A brother and two 

1 Queen Victoria's first cousin, Ferdinand (1816-1853), eldest 
son of the Duchess of Kent's second brother, Ferdinand (1785-1851), 
married in 1836, as his second wife, Maria da Gloria, Queen of Portugal; 
he was father by her of two successive Kings of Portugal (Pedro V. 
and Luis), and was grandfather of Carlos the present King, the son 
of King Luis. 


of her nephews married respectively the French Relations 
king's eldest, second, and third daughters, and a p^nce 
niece married his second son, the Due de Nemours. 1 and 
Members of the Hanoverian family on the English 
throne had long been accustomed to seek husbands 
or wives at the minor Courts of Germany, but the 
private relations of the English royal house with 
those Courts became far closer than before through 
the strong family sentiment which the Duchess of 
Kent not merely cherished personally, but instilled 
in her daughter, the future Queen of England. For 
the first time since the seventeenth century, too, the 
private ties of kinship and family feeling linked the 
sovereign of England with rulers of France and 

The Duke of Kent brought his bride to England 
for the first time in July 1818, and the marriage 
ceremony was repeated at Kew Palace on the llth 
of that month. The Duke received on his marriage 
an annuity of 6,000^. from Parliament, in addition 
to the earlier annuity of 12,0002. ; but his pecuniary 
position was irremediable, and his income, which 
was mortgaged to his creditors and was adrninis- 

1 The Duchess of Kent's third brother, and Queen Victoria's 
uncle, Prince Leopold, married in 1832, after he became King of 
the Belgians, Louis Philippe's eldest daughter, Princess Louise Marie 
of Orleans ; Queen Victoria's first cousin, Prince Augustus, younger 
son of the Duchess of Kent's second brother, Ferdinand, married in 
1843 Princess Marie Clementine, Louis Philippe's third daughter, 
while Prince Augustus's sister, Victoria, married in 1840 Louis 
Philippe's second son, the Due de Nemours ; Duke Friedrich 
Wilhelm, son of the Duchess of Kent's second sister, the Duchess o!' 
Wiirtemberg, married in 1837 Louis Philippe's second daughter, 
Princess Marie Christine. 


tered by trustees on their behalf, was wholly in- 
adequate to his needs. His brothers and sisters 
showed no disposition either to assist him or to treat 
his Duchess, who was not congenial to them, with 
much personal courtesy. He therefore left the country 
for Germany soon after the second marriage ceremony, 
and accepted the hospitality of his wife, with whom 
and with whose children by her former marriage he 
settled at her dower-house at Amorbach in her son's 
principality of Leiningen. 

Queen ^ I n the spring of 1819 the birth of a child became 

birth, r S imminent. There was a likelihood, although at the 
May 24, moment it looked remote, that it might prove the 
heir to the English crown ; the Duke and Duchess 
hurried to England so that the birth might take 
place on English soil. Alderman Matthew Wood, a 
trustee of the Duke's encumbered estate, encouraged 
the plan, and made some urgent pecuniary provision. 
The Prince Kegent allotted the Duke and Duchess 
apartments in the palace at Kensington, in the 
south-east wing, and there, on Monday, May 24, 1819, 
at 4.15 in the morning, was born to them the girl 
who was the future Queen Victoria. 1 

The The Duke of Kent, while describing his daughter 

and'the as ' a ^ ne nea ^hy child,' modestly deprecated con- 
crown, gratulations which anticipated her succession to the 
throne, ' for while (he wrote) I have three brothers 
senior to myself, and one (i.e. the Duke of Clarence) 
possessing every reasonable prospect of having a 
family, I should deem it the height of presumption to 

1 A gilt plate above the mantelpiece of the room still attests the 


believe it probable that a future heir to the crown of 
England would spring from me.' The child's maternal 
grandmother, the Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, 
wrote of her as ' a Charlotte destined perhaps to play 
a great part one day.' ' The English like queens,' she 
added, ' and the niece [she was both niece through 
her mother, and first cousin through her father] of 
the ever-lamented beloved Charlotte will be most 
dear to them.' Her father remarked that the infant 
was too healthy to satisfy the members of his own 
family, who regarded her as an unwelcome intruder. 

The child held, in fact, the fifth place in the sue- Her place 
cession. Between her and the crown there stood her succes- 
three uncles, the Prince Kegent, the Duke of York, si on- 
and the Duke of Clarence, besides her father the 
Duke of Kent. 

Formal honours were accorded the newly born 
Princess as one in the direct line. The privy coun- 
cillors who were summoned to Kensington on her 
birth included her uncle the Duke of Sussex, the 
Duke of Wellington, and the Marquis of Lansdowne, 
together with George Canning, the president of the 
Board of Control, and Nicholas Vansittart, the Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer, two leading members of 
Lord Liverpool's long-lived Tory ministry, which had 
already been seven years in office. On June 24 the Baptism, 
infant's baptism took place in the grand saloon at J" ne 2 4> 
Kensington Palace. The gold font, which was part 
of the regalia of the kingdom, was brought from the 
Tower, and crimson velvet curtains from the chapel 
at St. James's. There were three sponsors, of whom 
the most interesting was the Tsar, Alexander I., the 


head of the Holy Alliance, and the most powerful 
monarch on the continent of Europe. The Eegent 
and the Tory prime minister, Lord Liverpool, desired 
to maintain friendly relations with Kussia, and the 
offer of Prince Lieven, Eussian Ambassador in London, 
that his master should act as sponsor was accepted 
with alacrity. The second sponsor was the child's 
eldest aunt, the widowed Queen of Wiirtemberg 
(George III.'s eldest daughter and the Princess Eoyal 
of England). The third sponsor was the infant's 
maternal grandmother, the Duchess of Saxe-Coburg- 
Saalfeld, eldest daughter of Count Eeuss von Elbers- 
dorf XXIV. None of the three sponsors were present 
at the christening in person. They were represented 
respectively by the child's uncle, the Duke of York, 
and by her aunts, the Princess Augusta and the 
Duchess of Gloucester. 

He The rite was performed by Dr. Manners Button, 

names" 1 * 1 Archbishop of Canterbury, assisted by William Howley , 
Bishop of London. The Prince Eegent, who was 
present, declared that the one name of ' Alexandrina,' 
after the Tsar, was sufficient. The Duke of Kent 
requested that a second name should be added. The 
Prince Eegent suggested ' Georgina.' The Duke of Kent 
urged ' Elizabeth.' Thereupon the Eegent brusquely 
insisted on the mother's name of Victoria, at the 
same time stipulating that it should follow that of 
Alexandrina. The Princess was therefore named at 
baptism Alexandrina Victoria, and for several years 
was known in the family circle as ' Drina.' But her 
mother was desirous from the first to give public and 
official prominence to her second name of Victoria. 


When only four the child signed her name as Vic- 
toria, and the autograph is now in the British Museum. 1 
The appellation, although it was not unknown in 
England, had a foreign sound to English ears, and 
its bestowal on the Princess excited no little insular 
prejudice. 2 

When the child was a month old her parents At Clare- 
removed with her to Claremont, the residence, near g^" 1 
Esher in Surrey, which had been granted for life to mouth, 
her uncle, Prince Leopold, the widowed husband of islfljan. 
the Princess Charlotte, and remained his property till l820 - 
his death in 1865. In August 1819 the Princess was 
vaccinated, and the royal sanction, which was thus for 
the first time conferred upon the operation, greatly ex- 
tended its popularity. Before the end of the month the 
Duchess of Kent learned from her mother of the birth 
on the 26th, at the ducal summer palace of Kosenau in 
Coburg, of the second son (Albert) of her eldest brother, 
the reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (afterwards 
Gotha). Madame Siebold, the German accoucheuse, 
who had attended Princess Victoria's birth, was also 

1 Addit. MS. 18204, fol. 12. 

2 The name was well known in the Roman Empire. It was 
borne by a Gaulish princess, who claimed in the third century A.D. 
imperial power over Gaul and the western provinces of the empire 
(cf. Gibbon, vol. i. ch. xi.). Subsequently under the italianised form 
of Vittoria it was widely used in mediaeval and modern Italy. The 
Duchess of Kent seems to have been the first of the Saxe-Coburg 
family to bear it, but it was soon conferred, in compliment to her, 
on several of her nieces. It was found in at least one Anglo-Italian 
family before it achieved royal prestige in England. Vincent 
Novello, the music publisher of London, named his daughter (who 
became well known as Mrs. Cowden Clarke) Mary Victoria ; born 
ten years before the future Queen, she was in infancy and girlhood 
known solely as Victoria in her family circle. 




Deaths of 
Duke of 
Kent and 
III., Jan. 

of the 
of Kent. 

present at Prince Albert's, and in the Saxe-Coburg circle 
the names of the two children were at once linked 
together. In December 1819 the Duke and Duchess 
of Kent went with their daughter to Sidmouth, where 
they rented a small house called Woolbrook Cottage. 
The sojourn there did not lack incident. The dis- 
charge of an arrow by a mischievous boy at the 
window of the room which the infant was occupying 
went very near ending her career before it was well 

After a few weeks at Sidmouth the child's 
position in the State underwent momentous change. 
On January 20, 1820, her father, the Duke of 
Kent, fell ill of a cold contracted while walking in 
wet weather ; inflammation of the lungs set in, and 
on the 23rd he died. Six days later, on January 29, 
1820, her grandfather, King George III., who had 
long been blind and imbecile, passed away, and her 
eldest uncle, the Prince Eegent, became King at the 
age of fifty-eight. Thus the four lives that had 
intervened between the Princess and the highest 
place in the State were suddenly reduced to two 
those of her uncles, the Duke of York, who was 
fifty-seven, and the Duke of Clarence, who was fifty- 
five. Neither Duke had a lawful heir, or seemed 
likely to have one. A great future for the child of 
the Duchess of Kent thus seemed assured. 

The immediate position of mother and daughter 
was not, however, enviable. The Duke of Kent 
appointed his widow sole guardian of their child, 
with his friends General Wetherall and Sir John 
Conroy as executors of his will. Conroy, who had 


been ten years equerry to the Duke, and greatly in 
his confidence, thenceforth acted as major-domo for 
the Duchess, was constantly consulted by her, and 
lived under the same roof until the accession of the 
Princess, by whom he came to be cordially disliked. 
The Duchess was obnoxious to her husband's brothers, 
especially to the new King, and to her younger brothers- 
in-law, the Duke of Clarence, now heir-presumptive 
to the crown, and the Duke of Cumberland, who was 
the next heir to the throne after her daughter. 
Speaking later of her relations with the heads of 
the royal family, she said that on her husband's 
death she stood with her daughter * friendless and 
alone, in a country that was not her own.' Not 
the least of her trials was her inability to speak 

Although the Duke had made a will, he left no Her pecu- 
property to which his creditors had not a first claim. 
He had made a vain effort shortly before his death to 
reduce his embarrassments by applying to Parliament 
for permission to sell, by lottery, for the benefit of his 
estate, the property at Baling which he had acquired 
in 1805. But the requisite permission was refused. 
In the result, he only bequeathed a heavy mass of 
debts, which the Princess, to her lasting credit, took 
in course of time on her own shoulders and discharged 
to the last penny. 1 Parliament had directed that 
the annuity of 6,OOOZ. granted to the Duke on his 
marriage in 1818 should in the event of his death 
pass to his widow for her lifetime ; apartments 

1 See p. 81. 




thy of her 

and his 

of Kent's 

in Kensington Palace, which had been allotted to 
the Duke and Duchess on their arrival in England 
in 1819, remained at the Duchess's disposal ; but 
she and her daughter had no other acknowledged 

The Duchess's desolate lot was not without miti- 
gation. She had the sympathy of her late husband's 
unmarried sisters, Sophia and Augusta, who admired 
her self-possession at this critical period ; and the 
kindly Duchess of Clarence, a German Princess, like 
herself, who could converse with her in her mother- 
tongue, paid her constant visits. 

But her main source of consolation was her brother 
Leopold, who proved an invaluable adviser and a 
generous benefactor. As soon as the gravity of the 
Duke's illness declared itself he had hurried to Sid- 
mouth to console and counsel her. Deprived by death 
some four years before of wife and child, he had since 
led an aimless career of travel in England and Scot- 
land, without any recognised position or influence. 
It was congenial to him to assume informally the 
place of a father to the Duke's child. Although, owing 
to his German education, he was never quite at home 
in English politics, he was cautious and far-seeing 
and was qualified for the roles of guardian of his 
niece and counsellor of his sister, which he at once 

It was Prince Leopold who impressed on the 
Duchess of Kent the destiny in store for her youngest 
child. Her responsibilities as Regent of the principality 
of Leiningen in behalf of her son by her first marriage 
weighed heavily upon her. But, strong as was her 


affection for her German kindred, anxious as she was 
to maintain close relations with them, and sensitive 
as she was to the indifference manifested to her at 
the English Court, she, under Leopold's influence, 
resigned the regency of Leiningen, and resolved to 
reside permanently in England. After deliberating 
with her brother, she chose as ' the whole object of 
her future life ' the education of her younger daughter 
in view of the likelihood of her accession to the 
English throne. Until the Princess's marriage, when 
she was in her twenty-first year, mother and daughter 
were never parted for a day. 

Of her father the Princess had no personal re- The 
membrance, but her mother taught her to honour his 
memory. She cherished, from childhood to old age, influence, 
stories of his active career in the West Indies, in 
Canada, and at Gibraltar. When, as Queen Victoria, 
she presented new colours to his old regiment, the 
Royal Scots, at Ballater on September 26, 1876, she 
said of him : ' He was proud of his profession, and I 
was always told to consider myself a soldier's child.' 
Strong sympathy with the army was a main charac- 
teristic of her career. Nor were her father's strong 
liberal, even radical, sympathies concealed from her. 
At the time of his death he was arranging to visit New 
Lanark with his wife as the guests of the socialist, 
Eobert Owen, with whose principles he had already 
declared his agreement. 1 The Princess's whiggish 

1 Owen, Autobiography, 1857, p. 237. On June 2o, 1819 (a month 
after Queen Victoria's birth), the Duke of Kent took the chair at a 
meeting held in the Freemasons' Hall for the purpose of appointing 
a committee to investigate and report on Mr. Owen's plan for pro- 



predilections in early life were not the least note- 
worthy part of her paternal inheritance. 

viding for the poor, and ameliorating the condition of the^vorking 
classes. The Duke commented on the anomalous condition of the 
country arising from the deficiency of productive employment for 
those who without it must be poor, in consequence of the excess to 
which manufactures had been extended by the late increase of 
machinery. He expressed his belief in Owen's competency to devise 
measures to rectify the evil, drawing attention to the success of 
Owen's great experiment at New Lanark. 




IT was in the spring of 1820 that the Duchess of Settle- 
Kent took up her permanent abode in Kensington KensinV 
Palace, and there, in comparative seclusion, the Prin- ton. 
cess spent most of her first eighteen years of life. 
Kensington was then effectually cut off from London 
by market gardens and country lanes, and formed a 
quiet rural retreat from the bustling activity of the 
capital. Besides her infant daughter the Duchess 
had another companion in her child by her first 
husband, Princess Feodore of Leiningen, 1 who was 
twelve years Princess Victoria's senior, and inspired 
her with deep and lasting affection. Prince Charles 
of Leiningen, Princess Victoria's stepbrother, was 
a frequent visitor, and to him also she was much 

Chief among the permanent members of the Ken- Fraulein 
sington household was Louise Lehzen, the daughter Lehzen - 
of a Lutheran clergyman of Hanover, who had acted 
as governess of the Princess Feodore from 1818. 
Princess Victoria's education was begun in 1824, 
when Friiulein Lehzen transferred her services from 
the elder to the younger daughter. Voluble in talk, 

1 Born December 7, 1807 ; died September 23. 1872. 

c 2 




ment of a 

severe in manner, restricted in information, conven- 
tional in opinion, she was never popular in English 
society ; but she was shrewd in judgment and whole- 
hearted in her devotion to her charge, whom she 
at once inspired with affection and fear, memory of 
which never wholly left her pupil. Long after the 
Princess's girlhood close intimacy continued between 
the two, and, as long as Lehzen lived, they corre- 
sponded with each other and exchanged gifts with 
regularity. At Lehzen's death in 1870 the Queen 
wrote of her : ' She knew me from six months old, 
and from my fifth to my eighteenth years devoted 
all her care and energies to me with most wonderful 
abnegation of self, never even taking one day's holi- 
day. I adored, though I was greatly in awe of her. 
She really seemed to have no thought but for me.' 

The need of fittingly providing for the Princess's 
education first brought the child to the formal notice 
of Parliament. In 1825 Parliament unanimously 
resolved to allow the Duchess of Kent an additional 
6,0002. a year ' for the purpose of making an adequate 
provision for the honourable support and education of 
her Highness Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent.' ] 
English instruction was needful, and Fraulein Lehzen, 
who was never officially recognised to fill any posi- 
tion except that of ' lady attendant on Princess Vic- 
toria,' was hardly qualified for the whole of the 
teaching. On the advice of the Kev. Thomas Kussell, 
vicar of Kensington, the Eev. George Davys, a 
country clergyman in middle life, became the Prin- 
cess's preceptor. He was at the time vicar of a 

Hansard, new ser. xiii. 909-27. 

1827] CHILDHOOD 21 

small Lincolnshire parish, but was soon transferred 
to the Crown living of St. Hallows-on-the-Wall, in 
the City of London. In 1827 he was formally ap- 
pointed director of the Princess's education, and 
took up his residence at Kensington Palace. To 
reconcile Friiulein Lehzen to the new situation, 
George IV. in the same year, at the friendly sugges- 
tion of his sister, Princess Sophia, made her a Hano- 
verian baroness. 

Davys did his work discreetly. He gathered round Her 
him a band of efficient masters in special subjects of teac ' 
study, mainly reserving for himself religious know- 
ledge and history. Although his personal religious 
views were decidedly evangelical, he was liberal in 
his attitude to all religious opinions, and he en- 
couraged in his pupil a singularly tolerant temper, 
which served her in good stead in after life. Thomas 
Steward, the writing-master of Westminster School, 
taught her penmanship and arithmetic. She rapidly 
acquired great ease and speed in writing, although 
at the sacrifice of elegance. As a girl she corre- 
sponded volubly with her numerous kinsfolk, and she 
maintained the practice till the end of her life. 
Although during her girlhood the Duchess conscien- Study 
tiously caused her daughter to converse almost en- gu ages. 
tirely in English, German was the earliest language 
she learned, and she always knew it as a mother- 
tongue. She studied it grammatically, together with 
German literature, under M. Barez. At first she spoke 
English with a slight German accent ; but this was 
soon mended, and in mature years her pronunciation 
of English was thoroughly natural, although refined. 


As a young woman she liked to be regarded as an 
authority on English accent. 1 She was instructed in 
French by M. Grandineau, and came to speak it excep- 
tionally well and fluently. At a later period, when she 
was fascinated by Italian opera, she studied Italian 
assiduously, and rarely lost an opportunity of speak- 
ing it. Although she was naturally a good linguist, 
she showed no marked aptitude or liking for literary 
subjects of study. She was not permitted in youth 
to read novels. First-rate literature never greatly 
appealed to her. 

Her Although the Princess applied herself as a girl with 

devotion persistency and delight to the practical pursuit of the 
to music arts, she was not conspicuously endowed with artistic 
taste. Music occupied much of her time. John Bernard 
Sale, organist of St. Margaret's, Westminster, and 
subsequently organist of the Chapel Eoyal, gave her 
her first lessons in singing in 1826. She developed 
a sweet soprano voice, and soon both sang and played 
the piano with good effect. Drawing was first taught 
her by Kichard Westall, the Academician, who in 1829 
painted one of the earliest portraits of her ; she after- 
wards studied under Edwin (afterwards Sir Edwin) 
Landseer. Sketching in pencil or water-colours was a 
lifelong amusement, and after her marriage she at- 
tempted etching. In both music and the pictorial arts 
she continued to seek instruction till comparatively 
dancing late in life. To dancing, which she was first taught by 
games. Mile. Bourdin, she was, like her mother, devoted ; 
and, like the Duchess, danced with exceptional grace 
and energy until middle age. She was fond of 

1 Lady Lyttelton, Letters, 

1827] CHILDHOOD 23 

learning and of arranging country dances, and was 
an enthusiastic adept at dancing games, of which her 
favourites were called respectively 'Young and old 
come out to play ' and ' The Grandfather.' She 
was also from childhood a skilful horsewoman, and 
enjoyed physical exercise, taking part in all manner 
of indoor a^d outdoor pastimes. Battledore and 
shuttlecock remained a frequent recreation when she 
was well advanced in womanhood. 

The Princess grew up an amiable, merry, affec- Homely 
tionate, simple-hearted child very considerate for 
others' comfort, scrupulously regardful of truth, and ton - 
easily pleased by homely amusement. At the same 
time she was self-willed and impatient of restraint. 
Her memory was from the first singularly reten- 
tive. Great simplicity was encouraged in her 
general mode of life. She dressed without osten- 
tation. Lord Albemarle watched her watering, at 
Kensington, a little garden of her own, wearing ' a 
large straw hat and a suit of white cotton,' her only 
ornament being ' a coloured fichu round the neck.' l 
Charles Knight watched her breakfasting in the open 
air, well in sight of Kensington Gardens, when she 
was nine years old, enjoying all the freedom of her 
years, and suddenly darting from the breakfast-table 
' to gather a flower in an adjoining pasture.' Leigh 
Hunt often met her walking at her ease in Kensington 
Gardens, and although he was chilled by the gorgeous 
raiment of the footman who followed her, he noticed 
the unaffected playfulness with which she treated a 
companion of her own age. 

Earl of Albemarle, Fifty Years of my Life, 1876, ii. 227. 



to Ken- 





ledge of 
her rank. 

The Duchess of Kent was fond of presenting her 
daughter to her visitors at Kensington, who included 
men of distinction in all ranks of life. William Wilber- 
force describes how he received an invitation to visit 
the Duel] oss at Kensington Palace in July 1820, and 
how the Duchess received him ' with her fine animated 
child on the floor by her side with its playthings, of 
which I soon became one.' l On May 19, 1828, Sir 
Walter Scott ' dined with the Duchess ' and was 
' presented to the little Princess Victoria I hope they 
will change her name (he added) the heir-apparent 
to the crown as things now stand. . . . This little 
lady is educating with much care, and watched so 
closely, that no busy maid has a moment to whisper, 
" You are heir of England." ' But Sir Walter sug- 
gested ' I suspect, if we could dissect the little heart, 
we should find that some pigeon or other bird of the 
air had carried the matter.' 2 

According to a story recorded many years after- 
wards by Baroness Lehzen, the fact of the Princess's 
rank was carefully concealed from her until her 
twelfth year, when, after much consultation, it was 
solemnly revealed to her by the Baroness, who cun- 
ningly inserted in the child's book of English history 
a royal genealogical tree in which her place was 
prominently indicated. The Princess, the Baroness 
stated, received the information, of which she knew 
nothing before, with an ecstatic assurance that she 
would be ' good ' thenceforth. But there were many 

1 It. I. Wilberforee and S. Wilbcrforce, Life of William Wilier 
orce, 1838, v. 71-72. 

2 J. G. Lockhart, Memoirs of Sir Walter Scott, 1900, v. 200. 

1829] CHILDHOOD 25 

opportunities open to her previously of learning the 
truth about her position, and on the story in the 
precise form that it took in the Baroness Lehzen's 
reminiscence the Queen herself threw doubt. Among 
the Princess's companions were the daughters of 
Heinrich von Biilow, the Prussian Ambassador in 
London, whose wife was daughter of Humboldt. 
When, on May 28, 1829, they and some other chil- 
dren spent an afternoon at Kensington at play with 
the Princess, each of them on leaving was presented 
by her with her portrait an act which does not 
harmonise well with the ignorance of her rank with 
which the Baroness Lehzen was anxious to credit 
her. 1 

The most fondly remembered of the Princess's re- Country 
creations were summer and autumn excursions to the 
country or to the seaside. Visits to her uncle Leopold's 
house at Claremont, near Esher, were repeated many 
times a year. There, she said, the happiest days of 
her youth were spent. 2 In the autumn of 1824 she 
was introduced at Claremont to Leopold's mother, who 
was her own godmother and grandmother, the Duchess 
Dowager of Saxe-Coburg, who stayed at Claremont 
for more than two months. The old Duchess was 
enthusiastic in praise of her granddaughter ' the 
sweet blossom of May ' she called her and she 
favoured the notion, which her son Leopold seems 
first to have suggested to her, that the girl might do 
worse than marry into the Saxe-Coburg family, 
Albert, the younger of the two sons of her eldest son 

1 GdbrieU von Billow, a Memoir, English transl. 1897, p. 163, 

2 Grey, Early Years of the Prince Consort, p. 392, 

26 QUEEN VICTORIA [1826-7 

the reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg a boy of Victoria's 
own age was seriously considered as a suitor. Thence- 
forth the Princess's uncle Leopold was as solicitous 
about the well-being of his nephew Albert as about 
that of his niece Victoria. A little later in the same 
year (1824) the child and her mother paid the first 
of many visits to Ramsgate, staying at Albion House. 
Broadstairs was also in early days a favourite resort 
of the Duchess and her daughter, and on returning 
thence on one occasion they paid a first visit to a 
nobleman, the Earl of Winchilsea, at Eastwell Park, 
Visit to In 1826 the Princess and her mother were invited 

rtri. IV> ' for the first time to visit the Kin S> Geor S e IV -> at 
Windsor. He was then residing at the royal lodge in 

the park while the castle was undergoing restoration, 
and his guests were allotted quarters at Cumberland 
Lodge. The King was gracious to his niece, and gave 
her the badge worn by members of the royal family. 
Her good spirits and frankness completely won the 
monarch's heart. On one occasion she especially 
pleased him by bidding a band play * God save the 
King ' after he had invited her to choose the tune. 
On August 17, 1826, she went with him on Virginia 
Water, and afterwards he drove her out in his 
Death of Next year died without issue the Princess's uncle, 

ofYoJk 6 the r)uke of York of whom she knew little > although 

Jan. 5, ' just before his death, while he was living in the King's 

Road, Chelsea, he had invited her to pay him a visit, 

and had provided a punch- and -judy show for her 

amusement. His death left only her uncle the Duke 

1829] CHILDHOOD 27 

of Clarence between herself and the throne, and her 
ultimate succession to the crown was now recog- 
nised to be almost certain. 1 On May 28, 1829, she 
attended a Court function for the first time'. It was 
at St. James's Palace. The ten-year-old Queen of The 
Portugal, Maria II. (da Gloria), a protegee of the an d the 

English Government, was on a visit to England, 
and a children's ball was given in her honour by 
George IV. ' It was pretty enough,' wrote the 
gossip Greville, who was to record many later im- 
pressions of the Princess, ' and I saw for the first 
time the Queen of Portugal and our little Victoria. 
. . . The Queen is good-looking and has a sensible 
Austrian countenance. Our Princess is a short, plain- 
looking child, and not near so good-looking as the 
Portuguese. However, if nature has not done so 
much, fortune is likely to do a good deal more for 
her.' 2 

Queen Maria, who was only a month older than Queen 
the Princess, had already worn her crown three years ; sympathy 
by the efforts of the constitutional party in Portugal, with 
and under the virtual protection of England, she had 
ascended her throne in 1826, at the age of seven, 
when her father, the absolutist King Pedro L, was 
forced to surrender his European crown for the un- 
easy independent sovereignty of Brazil. Afterwards 

1 The Duke of Clarence had had by his wife two daughters, but 
neither long survived her birth ; the elder, Charlotte Augusta Louisa, 
was born and died the same day, March 29, 1819, and the younger, 
Elizabeth Georgina Adelaide, born December 10, 1820, died March 4, 
1821. No legitimate child had been born to the Duke for nearly ten 
years when he ascended the throne in 1830, 

2 Greville Memoirs^ 1st ser. i. 209, 


(April 9, 1836) Queen Maria entered the family circle 
of the Saxe-Coburg house by marrying Princess 
Victoria's first cousin, Prince Ferdinand Augustus 
of Saxe-Coburg. The Portuguese Queen's dynastic 
and matrimonial fortunes ran parallel to some extent 
with those of the English Princess, and Queen Vic- 
toria always took an extremely sympathetic interest 
in Queen Maria's career, her descendants, and her 




IN June 1830 the last stage but one in the Heir-pre 
Princess's progress towards the crown was reached. to^ lve 
Her uncle George IV. died on June 26, and was crown, 
succeeded by his brother William, Duke of Clarence, x 3 ' 
who had no legitimate children alive. The girl thus 
became heir-presumptive. The public was roused 
to interest itself in her, and in November 1830 her 
status was brought to the notice of Parliament. A 
Bill was introduced by the Lord Chancellor, Lord 
Lyndhurst, and was duly passed, which conferred 
the regency on the Duchess of Kent, in case the new 
King died before the Princess came of age. This 
mark of confidence was a source of great satisfaction 
to the Duchess. Next year William IV. invited 
Parliament to make further ' provision for Princess 
Alexandrina Victoria of Kent, in view of recent events.' 
The Government recommended that 10,OOOZ. should 
be added to the Duchess of Kent's allowance on 
behalf of the Princess. Two influential members, Sir 
Matthew White Ridley and Sir Eobert Inglis, while 
supporting the proposal, urged that the Princess 
should as Queen assume the style of Elizabeth II., 
and repeated the old complaint that the name Victoria 




ment of a 


at Court. 

did not accord with the feelings of the English people. 
The speakers were representative country gentlemen 
of insular breeding, who resented whatever savoured 
of foreign origin. The Princess had, however, 
already taken a violent antipathy to Queen Elizabeth, 
and always deprecated any association with her. 
Happily for her peace of mind, the opposition to her 
baptismal names was not pressed. A hostile amend- 
ment to reduce the new allowance by one half was 
lost, and the Government's recommendation was ulti- 
mately adopted without qualification. 1 

The Duchess of Kent regarded the addition to 
her income as inadequate to the needs of her 
position, but greater dignity was at once secured 
for her household. The Duchess of Northumber- 
land (a granddaughter of the great Lord Clive) 
was formally appointed governess of the Princess, 2 
and her preceptor Davys was made Dean of Chester. 
The King requested her to attend Court functions. On 
July 20, 1830, dressed in deep mourning with a long 
Court train and veil reaching to the ground, 3 she 
followed Queen Adelaide at a chapter of the Order of 
the Garter held at St. James's Palace. A few months 
later she was present at the prorogation of Parlia- 

1 Hansard, 3rd ser. v. 591, 654 seq. 

2 The Duchess of Northumberland was second daughter of 
Edward Clive, Earl of Powis (Lord Clive's heir) ; she married in 
1817 Hugh Percy, third Duke of Northumberland, a very moderate 
Tory, who was Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland under the Duke of Welling- 
ton in 1825-6. Greville describes her as ' sensible, amiable, and 
good-humoured, ruling her husband in all things.' She died child- 
less on July 27, 1866. 

3 Billow, p. 191. 


ment. On February 24, 1831, she attended her first 
drawing-room, in honour of Queen Adelaide's birth- 
day. The King, who studied her closely, complained 
that she looked at him stonily. 

No love was lost between the King and the Prin- Her 
cess's mother, and the Duchess contrived to make f r b s ^ nc ' 
the Princess's future attendances at his Court as Wm.lV's 
few as possible. The King made the irregularity t { on> * 
of her appearances a serious grievance. She and Sept- 8 
her mother were naturally expected to attend his 
coronation on September 8, 1831, but they did not 
come. Inquiries as to the cause of their absence were 
made in Parliament, and ministers gave the evasive 
answer that the King was satisfied with the situa- 
tion ; they declined to give specific reasons. The 
facts were that the King, whose view of the Princess's 
dynastic position was somewhat ambiguous, insisted 
that she should follow instead of precede his brothers 
in the royal procession through Westminster Abbey. 
The Duchess of Kent retorted that the Princess as 
heir-presumptive must take her place next the Sove- 
reign. Neither William nor the Duchess would give 
way, and the Duchess declined to suffer her daughter 
to be present at the ceremony. The Queen often told 
her children how deeply she felt the disappointment, 
and how copious were her tears on learning her 
mother's decision. ' Nothing could console me,' she 
said, ' not even my dolls.' 

V* ith the apparent access of prosperity went indeed Youthful 
many griefs and annoyances which caused more nefs - 
than passing tears, and permanently impressed the 
Princess's mind with a sense of the ' sadness ' and 


* unhappiness ' of her youth. In January 1828 her 
constant companion, the Princess Feodore of Lei 
ningen, left England for good, on her marriage to 
Prince von Hohenlohe-Langenburg, and the separa- 
Prince tion deeply pained Victoria. In 1830 alarm was felt 
accept- S a * Kensington at the prospect of Prince Leopold's 
ance permanent removal to the continent. Both mother 
Belgian an( ^ daughter trusted to his guidance implicitly. The 
throne. Princess was almost as deeply attached to him as to 
her mother. But separation from him was immi- 
nent. Although he declined the offer of the throne 
of Greece in 1830, his acceptance next year, at the 
suggestion of the English Government, of the throne 
of Belgium grieved the Princess acutely. As King 
of the Belgians he watched her interests with no 
less devotion than before, and he was an assiduous 
correspondent ; but his absence from the country 
and his subsequent marriage in 1832 with Louis 
Philippe's daughter withdrew him from that constant 
supervision of her affairs to which she and her mother 
had grown accustomed. Two deaths which followed 
in the Saxe-Coburg family increased the sense of de- 
pression. The earlier loss did not justify deep regrets. 
The Duchess of Kent's sister-in-law, the mother of 
Prince Albert, who soon after his birth had been 
divorced, died in August 1831. But the death on 
November 16 of the Duchess Dowager of Saxe- 
Coburg, the Duchess - of Kent's mother and the 
Princess's godmother and grandmother, who took the 
warmest interest in the child's future, was a lasting 

The main cause, however, of the Duchess of Kent's 


anxieties, which her daughter shared, was the hostile Wm.IV.' 
attitude that William IV. assumed towards the 
Duchess. There was no reason to complain of the 
unconventional geniality with which the King wel- 
comed her daughter on her private visits to him, nor 
would it be easy to exaggerate the maternal solicitude 
which the homely Duchess of Clarence, now become 
Queen Adelaide, showed the Princess. But the King 
resented the payment to the Duchess or to her 
daughter of that public consideration which the 
Princess's station clearly warranted. The King seems 
to have been moved by a senile jealousy of the 
Duchess's influence with the heiress-presumptive to 
the crown, and by a fear that his position was com- 
promised by the Princess's intrusions on public notice. 
He repeatedly threatened to remove the girl from her 
mother's care, with a view to increasing her seclusion. 
When the two ladies received, in August 1831, a royal 
salute from the ships at Portsmouth on proceeding 
for their autumn holiday to a hired residence, Norris 
Castle, Isle of Wight, William IV. requested the 
Duchess voluntarily to forego such honours in the 
future, and, when she protested, he prohibited them 
from being offered. Incessant wrangling between 
him and the Duchess continued throughout the reign. 

Although the Duchess's alleged dependence on Early 
the counsels of Sir John Conroy, her major-domo, 
exposed her to some ill-conditioned criticism from 
general society and gossiping newspapers, her conduct 
from a maternal point of view continued unexception- 
able. She did all she could to impress her daughter 
with the eminence of her future responsibilities. 



With that end in view she sought to make her 
acquainted with places of historic interest or com- 
mercial importance in the country over which she 
was to reign. On October 23, 1830, the Princess 
opened at Bath the Koyal Victoria Park, and after- 
wards inaugurated the Victoria Drive at Malvern. 
These were the first instances in which the name of 
Victoria was associated with English topography. 
From 1832 onwards the Duchess accompanied her 
daughter year by year on extended tours, during which 
they were the guests of the nobility, or visited public 
works and manufacturing centres, so that the Princess 
might acquire practical knowledge of the industrial 
and social conditions of the people. The arrange- 
ments were made by Sir John Conroy, who was 
always of the party. William IV. made impotent 
protests against these ' royal progresses,' as he deri- 
sively called them, and the Princess was herself often 
tried by the strictness of behaviour which was enjoined 
on her in order to lend them adequate dignity. 

Despite the open avowal in some quarters of a 
hope that she might never rise above the position 
of ' plain Miss Guelph,' l the royal heiress was 
everywhere well received, and when she took part in 
public functions she invariably left a favourable im- 
pression. Municipal corporations always offered her 
addresses of welcome ; and the Duchess of Kent, in 
varying phraseology, replied in the Princess's be- 
half that it was ' the object of her life to render her 
daughter deserving of the affectionate solicitude she 
so universally inspires, and to make her worthy of 

' Crolter Papers, ii. 176. 


the attachment and respect of a free and loyal 

The first tour, which took place in the autumn of The Tour 
1832, introduced the Princess to the principality of of l832 ' 
Wales. Leaving Kensington in August, the party 
drove rapidly through Birmingham, Wolverhampton, 
and Shrewsbury to Powis Castle, the early home of 
her governess, the Duchess of Northumberland. 
Thence the Princess crossed the Menai Bridge to a 
house at Beaumaris, which she rented for a month. 
She presented prizes at the Eisteddfod there ; but In 
an outbreak of cholera shortened her stay, and she aes ' 
removed to Plas Newydd, which was lent to her 
mother by the Marquis of Anglesey. She laid the first 
stone of a boys' school in the neighbourhood on 
October 13, and made so good an impression that ' the 
Princess Victoria ' was the theme set for a poetic com- 
petition in 1834 at the Cardiff Bardic Festival. 1 Pass- 
ing on to Eaton Hall, the seat of Lord Grosvenor, she 
visited Chester on October 17, and opened a new 
bridge over the Dee, which was called Victoria Bridge. 
From October 17 to 24 she stayed with the Duke of 
Devonshire 2 at Chatsworth, and made many excur- 
sions in the neighbourhood, including a visit to 
Strutt's cotton mills at Belper. 

Subsequently the Princess and her mother stayed visits 
at a long series of noblemen's houses an experience 

1 The candidates were two hundred, and the prize was won by 
Mrs. Cornwell Baron Wilson. 

2 The sixth Duke of Devonshire was at the time Lord Chamber- 
lain under Lord Grey's Whig ministry. He was a great collector of 
books and pictures. He died unmarried in 1858. 

D 2 


of which the Princess always retained vivid memories. 
Among her noble hosts of 1832 the third Earl of 
Liverpool, half-brother of the late Tory Prime Minister, 
impressed her most deeply. He invited her to his 
seat, Pitchford, 1 in Staffordshire. The invitation 
was probably due to the fact that the Earl's daughter, 
Lady Catherine Jenkinson, now a young lady of 
twenty-one, had lately joined the Duchess of Kent's 
household as lady-in-waiting. Lord Liverpool, who 
was known to Tory circles as a politician of ability 
and insight, was a man of great natural kindliness, and 
the Princess at once formed for him an almost filial 
affection. She also visited during the same autumn 
Shugborough, 2 Lord Lichfield's house, also in Stafford- 
shire ; Oakley Court, near Windsor, the seat of Mr. 
Clive ; Hewell Grange, near Bromsgrove, the seat of 
Lord Plymouth ; and Wytham Abbey, the seat of the 
Earl of Abingdon. 

At From Wytham she and her mother twice went 

Oxford. over to Oxford (November 8-9), where they received 
addresses from both town and university ; Dean 
Gaisford conducted them over Christ Church ; they 
spent some time at the Bodleian Library and at the 
buildings of the University Press, and they lunched 
with Vice-Chancellor Eowley at University College. 
Eobert Lowe (afterwards Viscount Sherbrooke), then 
an undergraduate, described the incidents of the visit 

1 She revisited Pitchford, an old house dating from the fourteenth 
century, in 1833, 1834, and 1835, always occupying the same small 
plainly furnished bedroom, which had no fireplace. In 1836 she 
visited Lord Liverpool at his residence at Buxted. 

2 Cf. Mrs. Bagot's Links with the Past, 1901, pp. 9, 10. 


in a brilliant macaronic poem. 1 Leaving Oxford the 
royal party journeyed by way of High Wycombe and 
Uxbridge to Kensington. Throughout the tour the 
Princess dined with her mother and her hosts at 
seven o'clock each evening. 

Henceforth social engagements multiplied rapidly. Hospi- 
Much hospitality was practised at Kensington, and ^Ken- 
visitors of all kinds grew numerous. In Novem- sington. 
ber 1832 Captain Back came to explain his pro- 
jected expedition to the North Pole. In January 
1833 the portrait painters David Wilkie and George 
Hayter arrived to paint the Princess's portrait. On 
April 24 the Duchess of Kent, with a view to 
mollifying the King, entertained him at a large 
dinner party ; the Princess was present only before 
and after dinner. In June, two of her first cousins, 
Princes Alexander and Ernest of Wiirtemberg, and 
her half-brother, the Prince of Leiningen, were her 
mother's guests. On May 24, 1833, the Princess's 
fourteenth birthday was celebrated at St. James's 
Palace by a juvenile ball given by the King in a 
rare burst of amiability. 

Another tour was arranged for the summer and The tour 
autumn of 1833. The southern coast was the district of l833 ' 

1 The poem is printed in Patchett Martin's Life of Lord Slier- 
broolte, i. 86-90. The opening lines run 

Dicite praeclaram, Musae, mihi dicite Kentae 
Duchessam, Princessque simul Victoria nostro 
Singatur versu, Conroianusque triumphus, 
Et quam shoutarunt Undergraduates atque Magistri, 
Et quantum dederit Vice-Chancellor ipse refreshment. 

' Conroianus triumphus ' in the third line is a derisive reference 
to the presence of Sir John Conroy. 


chosen. The royal party went a second time to Norris 
Castle, Isle of Wight, and made personal acquaintance 
with those parts of the island with which an important 
part of the Princess's after life was identified. She 
visited the energetic director of her mother's house- 
hold, Sir John Conroy,at his residence, Osborne Lodge, 
on the site of which at a later date Queen Victoria built 
Osborne Cottage, and near which she erected Osborne 
House. 1 She explored Whippingham Church and 
East Cowes ; but the main object of her present 
sojourn in the island was to visit national objects 
of interest on the neighbouring coast. At Ports- 
mouth she went over the ' Victory,' Nelson's flag- 
ship. Crossing to Weymouth, on July 29, she spent 
some time at Melbury, Lord Ilchester's seat. On 
At Ply- August 2 she and her mother arrived at Plymouth 
1 ' to inspect the dockyards. Next day the Princess 
presented on Plymouth Hoe new colours to the 89th 
regiment (Royal Irish Fusiliers), which was then 
stationed at Devonport. Lord Hill, the Commander - 
in-Chief, who happened to be at the barracks, took 
part in the ceremony. The Duchess of Kent on 
behalf of her daughter addressed the troops, declaring 
that her daughter's study of English history had 
inspired her with martial ardour. With the fortunes 
of the regiment the Princess always identified herself 
thenceforth. It was at a later date named the 
Princess Victoria's Royal Irish Fusiliers, 2 and twice 
again, in 1866 and 1889, she presented it with new 

1 See pp. 365 and 495. 

2 Cf. Rowland Brinckman's Hist. Records of the Eiglity-ninlh 
(Princess Victoria's) Regiment, 1888, pp. 83-4. 


colours. The Princess afterwards made a cruise in 
the yacht ' Emerald' to Eddystone lighthouse, put in 
at Torquay, whence she visited Exeter, and thence 
sailed to Swanage. 

The calls of public duty, to which she was loyally Her 

, , ,, delight 

responding, at times caused her a sense ot oppression, - m mus i c 

but she was enjoying at the same time enlarged oppor- 
tunities of recreation. She frequently visited the 
theatre, in which she always delighted. But it was 
the Italian opera that roused her highest enthusiasm. 
She never forgot the deep impression that the great 
singers, Pasta, Malibran, and Grisi, Tamburini and 
Eubini, made on her girlhood. Grisi was her ideal 
vocalist, by whom she judged all others. All forms 
of music of the simpler melodic kinds, when artisti- 
cally rendered, fascinated her. Her reverence for the 
violinist Paganini, after she had once heard him, never 
waned. In June 1834 she was an auditor at the royal 
musical festival that was given in Westminster Abbey. 
But of elaborate sacred oratorios she heard more than 
she approved, and she attributed to a surfeit in girl- 
hood of that form of musical entertainment her dis- 
taste for Bach and Handel in later life. During her 
autumn holiday of 1833, when she stayed both at 
Tunbridge Wells and St. Leonards-on-Sea, she spent 
much of her time in playing and singing, and her in- 
strument was then the harp. 1 In 1836 Lablache became 
her singing master, and he gave her lessons for nearly 
twenty years, long after her accession to the throne. - 

1 Cf. Memoirs of Georgiana Lady Chatterton, by E. H. Bering, 
1901, p. 29. 

2 Luigi Lablache, a native of Naples, though the son of a French 
father, achieved the highest reputation on the continent of Europe 


At Ascot, Early in 1835, when she completed her sixteenth 
year, she suffered serious illness, happily a rare occur- 
rence in her life. She had an attack of typhoid fever, 
but fortunately her recovery was rapid and complete. 
New and agreeable experiences were now crowding 
on her. In June she went for the first time to Ascot, 
and joined in the royal procession. The American 
observer, N. P. Willis, watched her listening with 
unaffected delight to an itinerant ballad singer, and 
thought her ' quite unnecessarily pretty and interest- 
ing,' but he regretfully anticipated that it would be 
the fate of ' the heir to such a crown as that of Eng- 
land ' to be sold in marriage for political purposes 
without regard to her personal character or wishes. 1 
Her con- On July 30, 1835, the Princess was confirmed at the 

Ju^so?' Chapel Eoyal, St. James's. The address of the Arch- 
1835- bishop of Canterbury (William Howley) on her future 
responsibilities affected her. She k was drowned in 
tears and frightened to death.' Next Sunday, at the 
chapel of Kensington Palace, the Princess received 
the Holy Sacrament for the first time. The formi- 
dable Archbishop (Howley) again officiated, together 
with her preceptor, Davys, the Dean of Chester. In 
subsequent years she always fully appreciated the 
solemnity of the ceremony, though she was never a 
communicant on more than two occasions in each 
year and strongly objected to others taking the Sacra- 

as an opera singer before he was first heard in London during the 
season of 1830. Thenceforth he was annually a leading performer 
in opera in London until his death at Naples in 1858, at the age of 

1 Willis, Penclllincjs by the Way, 1835, iii. 115. 


ment more often. Until the end of her life, on the 
evening preceding the celebration she dined quietly 
with her family and ladies-in-waiting, and afterwards 
read with them religious books. 

After a second visit in 1835 to Tunbridge Wells, The tour 
where she stayed at Avoyne House, she made a pro- of l8 35- 
gress through the north-east of England, which bore 
some resemblance to a triumphal procession. At 
York she remained a week at Bishopsthorp with 
Archbishop Harcourt, whose younger son, Colonel 
Francis Vernon Harcourt, was equerry to her mother. 1 
She afterwards visited Lord Fitzwilliam at Went- 
worth House ; thence she went over to Doncaster to 
witness the races which attracted ' vast crowds of 
people.' She was next the guest of the Duke of 
Eutland at Belvoir Castle, and then, passing on to 
the Marquis of Exeter's at Burghley, was enthusiasti- 
cally received by the people of Stamford on the 
road. Despite heavy rain, the civic authorities and 
crowds of the townsfolk met her and her mother out- 
side the town and escorted them through it. An ad- 
dress was presented to the Duchess in behalf of the 
Princess, who was greeted as one ' destined to mount 
the throne of this realm.' Sir John Conroy handed 
a written answer to the Duchess ' just as the Prime 
Minister does to the King,' it was noted at the time. 2 
A great ball at Burghley was opened by a dance in 
which the Princess's partner was her host the Marquis. 

1 Col. Francis Vernon Harcourt married in 1837, after the Queen's 
accession, the Queen's close Mend, Lady Catherine Jenkinson, Lord 
Liverpool's daughter, who was one of her mother's ladies-in-waiting. 

'- Greville Memoirs, 1st ser. i. 315-6. 


The following day she reached Lynn on her way to 
Holkham, the Earl of Leicester's seat. The reception 
there was almost warmer than at Stamford. Navvies 
yoked themselves to the royal carriage and drew it 
round the town. Her last sojourn on this tour was at 
Euston Hall, the residence of the Duke of Grafton. 
After returning to Kensington, she spent the month 
of September .at Eamsgate, making excursions to 
Walmer Castle and to Dover. 

In 1836, when the Princess was seventeen, her 
uncle Leopold deemed that the time had arrived to 
apply a practical test to his scheme of uniting her 
in marriage with her first cousin, Prince Albert of 
Saxe-Coburg. The Prince had been carefully edu- 
cated, and had grown into an intelligent, serious- 
minded youth. The Duchess of Kent was quite 
ready to second her brother's plan. Accordingly, 
King Leopold arranged with her that Albert and his 
elder brother Ernest, the heir-apparent to the duchy, 
should in the spring pay a visit of some weeks' dura- 
tion to their aunt and her daughter at Kensington 

First In May the two youths reached England, and 

meeting p rnicess Victoria met Prince Albert for the first time. 

Prince Varied hospitalities were offered him and his brother. 

1836. ' William IV. and Queen Adelaide received them 

courteously, and they were frequently at Court. 

They saw the chief sights of London, and lunched 

with the Lord Mayor at the Mansion House. 

Other But William IV. was not likely to approve with 

suitorsf warmth any scheme in regard to the Princess which 

his sister-in-law had adopted. Naturally he looked 


with small favour on Prince Albert as a suitor for his 
niece's hand. At any rate, he was resolved to pro- 
vide her with a wider field of choice, and he there- 
fore invited the Prince of Orange and his two sons 
as well as the young Duke William of Brunswick to be 
his guests at St. James's Palace during the same period 
that the Saxe-Coburg princes were with the Duchess 
and her daughter at Kensington. He somewhat 
maliciously gave the Princess every opportunity of 
meeting all the young men together. His own choice 
finally fell on Alexander, the younger son of the Prince 
of Orange. On May 30 the Duchess of Kent gave a 
brilliant ball at Kensington Palace, and found her- 
self under the necessity of inviting Duke William of 
Brunswick and the Prince of Orange with his two 
sons, as well as her own proteges. 1 Among the 
general guests was the old Duke of Wellington, who 
paid the Princess every courtesy. She thus found 
herself the centre of an admiring throng, and be- 
trayed no preference for any one of her admirers 
over another. 

Some days later the Saxe-Coburg princes left 

1 Thomas Eaikes wrote in his Journal, 1858, vol. i. p. 419, under 
the date May 30, 1836 : ' In England there are already arrived the 
Prince of Orange and his two sons, the Duke of Brunswick, and two 
Princes of Saxe-Coburg. They all attended a grand ball on Monday 
evening, given by the Duchess of Kent at Kensington Palace, per- 
haps with the hope of interesting our future Queen, the Princess 
Victoria. Indeed, as the Prince of Orange himself was formerly a 
candidate for the hand of the Princess Charlotte, it is not impro- 
bable that he has brought over his sons to England with that view ; 
but here again he meets with the two nephews of the hated Leopold, 
of whom he used to say, " Voila un homme qui a pris ma femme et 
mon royaume." ' 


England. Albert had constantly sketched and 
played the piano with his cousin ; but her ordinary 
language, like that of those about her, was English, 
which placed him at a disadvantage, for he had but 
recently begun to learn it. The result of their visit 
was vague and indecisive. Prince Albert wrote of 
his cousin as ' very amiable,' and astonishingly self- 
possessed, but parted with her heart-whole. The 
Princess, however, had learned the suggested plan 
from her uncle Leopold, whose wishes were law to 
her, and on June 7, after Albert had left England, 
she wrote ingenuously to Leopold that she com- 
mended the youth to her uncle's special protection, 
adding, ' I hope and trust that all will go on prosper- 
ously and well on this subject, now of so much im- 
portance to me.' Her views were uncoloured by 
sentiment. Her personal inclinations hardly entered 
into her estimate of the position of affairs. It was 
natural and congenial to her to obey her uncle. 1 
Widen- In the early autumn of 1836 she paid another 

brfach the v ^ * ner fri en d, Lord Liverpool, who was then 

with living at Buxted Park, near Uckfield, and after- 
wards spent a quiet month at Eamsgate. The old 
King was at the moment causing the Duchess of 
Kent renewed disquietude. The Princess had alto- 
gether absented herself of late from Court, and the 
King complained that he saw too little of her. At 
the same time he neglected no occasion, however 
inopportune, of advertising his growing dislike of her 

1 Cf. Raikes's Journal, i. 42G, June 18, 1836 : ' I hear to-day that 
the young Prince of Saxe-Coburg is the destined husband of our 
Princess Victoria." 


mother. In August 1836 he invited mother and 
daughter to Windsor to stay from the 12th for 
eleven or twelve days ; during the period both his 
and the Queen's birthdays were to be celebrated. 
The Duchess incensed the King by declining to come 
before the 20th. On the arrival of the Duchess 
and the Princess, the King greeted the Princess cor- 
dially, but angrily upbraided her mother with occupy- 
ing, contrary to his orders, an excessive number of 
rooms seventeen in all at Kensington Palace. 
He neither understood, nor would, he said, ' endure 
conduct so disrespectful to him.' 

Next day, at the state banquet which he gave in The 
honour of his birthday, he publicly expressed the hope 

that he might live till his niece came of age, so that the 
the kingdom might be spared the regency which Par- O f Kent at 
liament had designed for the Duchess of Kent. He Windsor, 
described his sister-in-law, who sat beside him, as a 1836. 
' person ' * surrounded by evil advisers and incom- 
petent to act with propriety.' ' I have no hesitation in 
saying,' he proceeded, ' that I have been insulted 
grossly and continually insulted by that person, but 
I am determined to endure no longer a course of 
behaviour so disrespectful to me. Amongst many 
other things I have particularly to complain of the 
manner in which that young lady [i.e. the Princess 
Victoria, who was seated opposite the speaker] has 
been kept away from my Court ; she has been re- 
peatedly kept from my drawing-rooms, at which 
she ought always to have been present; but I am 
fully resolved that this shall not happen again. I 
would have her know that I am King, and I am 






A state 
ball in 


determined to make my authority respected, and for 
the future I shall insist and command that the Prin- 
cess do upon all occasions appear at my Court, as it 
is her duty to do.' ' The Queen,' added Greville, who 
reported the singular oration, ' looked in deep distress, 
the Princess burst into tears, and the whole company 
were aghast. The Duchess of Kent said not a word.' l 
The breach between the King and the Princess's 
mother was complete. 

William IV.'s hope of living long enough to pre- 
ven ^ a re enc y was fulfilled. Although his health 
was feeble, no serious crisis was feared when, on 
May 24, 1837, the Princess celebrated her eighteenth 
birthday, and thus came of age. At Kensington the 
occasion was worthily celebrated, and the hamlet 
kept holiday. The Princess was awakened by an 
aubade, and received many costly gifts. Addresses 
from public bodies were presented to her mother. To 
one from the Corporation of London the Duchess 
made, on behalf of her daughter, an elaborate 
reply. She pointed out that the Princess was in 
intercourse with all classes of society, and, after 
an indiscreet reference to the slights put on her- 
self by the royal family, spoke volubly of the 
diffusion of religious knowledge, the preservation 
of the constitutional prerogatives of the Crown, and 
the protection of popular liberties as the proper aims 
of a sovereign. The King was loth to withdraw him- 
se lf from the public rejoicing. He sent his niece a 
grand piano, and in the evening gave a state ball in 
her honour at St. James's Palace. Neither he nor 

Greville Memoirs, 1st ser. iii. 366 seq. 


the Queen attended it, owing, it was stated, to illness. 
The Princess opened the entertainment in a quadrille 
with Lord FitzAlan, grandson of the Duke of Norfolk, 
and afterwards danced with Nicholas Esterhazy, son 
of the Austrian Ambassador. 

The Princess's interests widened with her years, Visit to 
and with the prospect of independence that her 
coming of age brought with it. While her birthday 
was still in process of celebration, she paid two visits 
to the Koyal Academy, which then for the first time 
held its exhibition in what is now the National 
Gallery, Trafalgar Square. She was the centre of 
attraction. On the first visit she shook hands and 
talked with Kogers the poet, and, hearing that the 
actor, Charles Kemble, was in the room, desired that 
he should be introduced to her. 

A few days after the Princess's eighteenth birth- 
day the King, in a letter addressed to the Duchess of 
Kent, proposed to form an independent household for 
the Princess. This the Duchess peremptorily declined 
' in very unsatisfactory terms.' Thereupon the King The 
sent directly to his niece an offer of 10,0002. a year 
to be at her disposal, independently of her mother, munica- 
She accepted the proposal to her mother's chagrin. 
But the King's health was fast failing, and the 
project went no further, 




Death of No sooner had the celebrations of the Princess's 

TmJe'Io^' majority ended than death put her in possession of 

1837. the fullest rights that it could confer. Early in June 

it was announced that the King's health was breaking. 

On Tuesday, June 20, 1837, at twelve minutes past 

two in the morning, he died at Windsor Castle. The 

last barrier between Princess Victoria and the crown 

was thus removed. 

Acces- Howley, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who had 

performed the last religious rites at the bedside of 

June 2o> * 

1837. the dying monarch, at once took leave of Queen 
Adelaide, and with Lord Conyngham, the Lord 
Chamberlain, rode through the early morning to 
Kensington to break the news to the new Sovereign. 
The distinguished messengers arrived there before 
5 A.M. and found difficulty in obtaining admission. 
The porter refused to rouse the Princess. At length 
the Baroness Lehzen was sent for, and she reluctantly 
agreed to warn the Princess of their presence. The 
girl came into the room with a shawl thrown over 
her dressing-gown, her feet in slippers, and her hair 
falling down her back. Lord Conyngham dropped on 
his knee, saluted her as Queen, and kissed the hand 


she held towards him. The Archbishop did the like, 
addressing to her * a sort of pastoral charge.' At the 
same time she was informed of the King's peaceful 
end. The Princess clasped her hands and anxiously 
asked for news of her aunt. 1 

The Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, arrived Lord 
before nine o'clock, and was at once received in bourne's 

audience. The Queen's uncle, the Duke of Sussex, firs f 

and the Duke of Wellington, the most popular man 

in the State, also visited her. But it was from the 
Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, alone that the con- 
stitution permitted her to receive counsel as to her 
official duties and conduct. 

The Privy Council was hastily summoned to meet The first 
at Kensington at 11 A.M. on the day of the King's 
death. On entering the room the Queen was met by 
her uncles, the Dukes of Cumberland and Sussex, and, 
having taken her seat, at once read the speech which 
Lord Melbourne had written for her some days before 
in consultation with Lord Lansdowne, the veteran 
President of the Council. She was dressed very plainly 
in black and wore no ornaments. She was already 
in mourning for the death of Queen Adelaide's 
mother. 2 After a reference to ' this awful responsi- 
bility imposed on me so suddenly and at so early a 
period of my life,' she spoke of herself as ' educated 
in England under the tender and enlightened care of 
a most affectionate mother ; she had learned from 
her infancy to respect and love the constitution of 
her native country.' She would aim at securing the 

1 Bunsen, i. 272. 

2 Louise, Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen, who died on April 30, 1837. 



enjoyment of religious liberty and would protect the 
rights of all her subjects. She then took the oath, 
guaranteeing the security of the Church of Scotland. 
The ministers, including Lord Melbourne, First Lord 
of the Treasury, Lord John Kussell, Home Secre- 
tary, and Lord Palmerston, Foreign Secretary, both 
of whom were to be among her future Prime Ministers, 
gave up their seals to her and she returned them to 
them. They then kissed her hand on reappointment, 
and the privy councillors took the oaths. 
The Although she was unusually short in stature 

bearing, (below five feet), and with no pretensions to beauty, 
her manner and movement were singularly unem- 
barrassed, modest, graceful, and dignified, while her 
distinct and perfectly modulated elocution thrilled 
her auditors. ' I cannot describe to you,' wrote the 
Tory privy councillor Croker, by no means a lenient 
critic, 'with what a mixture of self-possession and 
feminine delicacy she read the paper. Her voice, 
which is naturally beautiful, was clear and un- 
troubled, and her eye was bright and calm, neither 
bold nor downcast, but firm and soft. There was a 
blush on her cheek which made her look both hand- 
somer and more interesting ; and certainly she did 
look as interesting and handsome as any young lady 
I ever saw.' l ( She not merely filled her chair,' said 
the Duke of Wellington a few hours later, ' she filled 
the room.' Throughout the ceremony she conducted 
herself as though she had long been familiar with 
her part in it. 2 

Croker Papers, ii. 359. 

- Cf. Lane-Poole, Life of Stratford Canning, 1888, ii. 45 ; Croker 
Papers, ii. 359 ; Ashley, Life of Palmerston, i. 340. Disraeli gave in 


The admirable impression her composure created The 
in the Council on her first public appearance as 
Queen was fully confirmed in the weeks that fol- 
lowed. Next day she drove to St. James's Palace 
to attend the formal proclamation of her accession 
to the throne. While the heralds recited their 
announcement she stood in full view of the public 
between Lord Melbourne and Lord Lansdowne, at 
the open window of the Privy Council chamber, 
looking on the quadrangle nearest Marlborough 
House. The crowd cheered vociferously, and pro- 
minent in the throng was Daniel O'Connell, who 
waved his hat with conspicuous energy. ' At the 
sound of the first shouts the colour faded from the 
Queen's cheeks,' wrote Lord Albemarle, her first 
Master of the Horse, who was also an onlooker, ' and 
her eyes filled with tears. The emotion thus called 
forth imparted an additional charm to the winning 
courtesy with which the girl-sovereign accepted the 
proffered homage.' 1 

After the proclamation the Queen saw Lord Hill, The 
the Commander-in-Chief, the Lord Chancellor, and council, 
other great officers of State. At noon her second 
Council was held at St. James's Palace, and all 
the cabinet ministers were present. Later in the 
day the Proclamation was repeated at Trafalgar 
Square, Temple Bar, Wood Street, and the Eoyal 

his novel Sybil (Book I., chapter vi.) a somewhat grandiloquent 
description of the scene from information supplied him by Lord 

1 Albemarle, Fifty Years of my Life, p. 378. 

E 2 




as Sove- 

of the 

Although the Queen signed the Privy Council 
register at her first Council in the name of Victoria 
only, in all the official documents which were prepared 
on the first day of her reign her name figured with 
the prefix of Alexandrina. In the Proclamation she 
was called ' Her Pioyal Majesty Alexandrina Victoria, 
Queen of the United Kingdom.' But, despite the 
sentiment that had been excited against the name 
Victoria, it was contrary to her wish to be known by 
any other. Papers omitting the prefix * Alexandrina ' 
were hastily substituted for those in which that prefix 
had been introduced, and from the second day of the 
new reign the Sovereign was known solely as Queen 

Thenceforth that name was accepted without 
cavil as of the worthiest English significance. It 
has since spread far among her subjects. It was con- 
ferred on one of the most prosperous colonies of the 
British Empire in 1851, and since on many smaller 
settlements or cities, while few municipalities in the 
United Kingdom or the empire have failed to employ 
it in the nomenclature of streets, parks, railway 
stations, or places of public assembly. 1 

Abroad, and even in some well-informed quarters 

1 Very early in the reign there was invented the light carriage on 
which the name Victoria was conferred. The London terminus of the 
London Chatham and Dover, and London Brighton and South Coast 
Railways was christened Victoria in 1846. The like cognomen 
Victoria regia was conferred on the great water-lily (of the order 
NymphceacecB and tribe Nympliceece) which was brought from Guiana 
to this country in 1838, and bloomed for the first time on English 
soil in 1849 when the flower was presented to the Queen. 


at home, surprise was manifested at the tranquillity Public 
with which the nation saw the change of monarch regard- n 
effected. But the general enthusiasm that Queen ing her. 
Victoria's accession evoked was partly due to the 
contrast she presented with those who had lately 
occupied the throne. Since the century began there 
had been three kings of England men all advanced 
in years of whom the first was long an imbecile, the 
second won the reputation of a profligate, and the 
third was regarded as little better than a buffoon. 
The principle of monarchy was an article of faith 
with the British people which defects in the per- 
sonal character of the monarch seemed unable to 
touch. But the substitution for kings whose per- 
sonalities inspired no respect of an innocent girl, 
with what promised to be a long and virtuous life 
before her, evoked at the outset in the large mass 
of the people a new sentiment a sentiment of 
chivalric devotion to the monarchy which gave it 
new stability and deprived revolution of all foot- 
hold. Although the play of party politics failed to 
render the sentiment universal, and some impolitic 
actions of the Queen herself, in the early and 
middle years of the reign, severely strained it, it 
was a plant that, once taking root, could not readily 

Politicians of the high rank of Lord Palmerston, Peel on 
the Foreign Secretary in the Whig ministry, and Sir Qu een ' s 
Kobert Peel, leader of the Tories in the House of inexperi- 
Commons deplored the young Queen's inexperience July's, 
and ignorance of the world. ' The personal character l8 37- 





hopes of 



and Lord 



of a really constitutional king,' wrote Peel on July 5, 
1837, ' of mature age, of experience in public affairs, 
and knowledge of men, manners, and customs, is, 
practically, so much ballast, keeping the vessel of 
State steady in her course, counteracting the levity of 
popular ministers, of orators forced by oratory into 
public councils, the blasts of democratic passions, the 
ground-swell of discontent, and the ignorant impa- 
tience for the relaxation of taxation. . . . But at 
this crisis of our fate we are deprived of this aid.' L 
Such dangers, however, as Peel associated at the 
moment with the immature age and character of his 
girlish Sovereign were, in a firmly established con- 
stitutional monarchy, more specious than real, and, 
as far as they were real, were capable of remedy by 

Sydney Smith echoed more faithfully the national 
feeling, when, preaching in St. Paul's Cathedral on 
the first Sunday of her reign, he described the new 
Sovereign as ' a patriot Queen,' who might be expected 
to live to a ripe old age and to contribute to the hap- 
piness and prosperity of her people. ' We have had 
glorious female reigns,' said Lord John Russell, the 
Home Secretary under Melbourne, a few weeks later. 
' Those of Elizabeth and Anne led us to great vic- 
tories. Let us now hope that we are going to have a 
female reign illustrious in its deeds of peace an 
Elizabeth without her tj^ranny, an Anne without her 
weakness.' The Whig leader added an earnest hope 
that in three ways at least by the total abolition of 

CroJeer Papers, ii. 317. 


slavery, by a more enlightened method of punishing 
crime, by the improved education of the people -' the 
reign of Victoria might prove celebrated among the 
nations of the earth and to our posterity.' [ 

Walpole, Life of Lord John Bussell, i. 284. 



The QUEEN VICTORIA'S status at her accession was not in 

all respects identical with that of her predecessors. 

Hanover. Owing to her sex, some changes in the position 
and duties of a British sovereign were inevitable. 
The Salic law rendered her incompetent to succeed to 
the throne of Hanover, which British sovereigns had 
filled since George the Elector of Hanover became 
George I. of England in 1714. Hanover had been 
elevated from an electorate to a kingdom by the con- 
gress of Vienna in 1814, and the kingdom now passed 
to the Queen's uncle, the next heir after her to the 
English throne, Ernest, Duke of Cumberland. The 
dissolution of the union between England and Han- 
over was acquiesced in readily by both countries. 
They had long drifted apart in political sentiments 
and aspirations. 1 The new King of Hanover was 

1 The severance of Hanover from England was, in the eyes of 
George III.'s surviving sons and daughters, one of the least agreeable 
results of their brother William's death, and of the succession of 
their youthful niece. Adolphus Frederick, Duke of Cambridge, 
George III.'s youngest surviving son, who had been Viceroy of 
Hanover for twenty-one years, was recalled, and Ernest, the new King 
of Hanover, was no favourite in his domestic circle. His sister, Princess 
Elizabeth (one of Queen Victoria's aunts), widow of Frederick, Land- 
grave of Hesse-Homburg, wrote dejectedly from Homburg July 1 




altogether out of sympathy with his royal niece. 
A man of violent temper and forbidding manner, he 
proved an illiberal and reactionary ruler. But Queen 
Victoria, in whom domestic feeling was always strong, 
took a lively and sympathetic interest, despite her 
uncle's surliness, in his personal affairs and in the 
fortunes of his family, and showed especial kindness 
to them in the trials that awaited them. 1 

At home the main alteration in Queen Victoria's The 
duty as Sovereign related to the criminal law. Death ^d the 
had been the punishment awarded to every manner criminal 
of felony until William IV.'s Parliament humanely 
reduced the number of capital offences to four or five. 
But capital sentences pronounced in London at the 
Old Bailey were still numerous, and it remained the 
custom for the Sovereign personally to revise these. 
At the close of each session they were reported to 
the Sovereign by the Kecorder for final judgment. 
A girl was obviously unfitted to perform this repug- 
nant task. Accordingly the Queen was promptly 
relieved of it by Act of Parliament (7 William IV. 

1837, of the recent events : ' To me, dear Adolphus [Duke of Cam- 
bridge], leaving Hanover nearly kills me. I have not a doubt that 
my brother Ernest will do all in his power to do what is right 
and kind, but the whole thing is so changed, one's mind is quite 
overset.' Correspondence of Princess Elizabeth of England, edited 
by P. C. Yorke, 1898, p. 320. A subordinate effect of the separation 
of Hanover from England was the extinction of the Royal Guelphic 
Hanoverian Order, a decoration which had long been at the personal 
disposal of the British Sovereign as a reward of meritorious military 
or civil services. 

1 Some anecdotes illustrating King Ernest's repellent disposition 
and his jealousy of his royal niece are tactfully related by a daughter 
of his English equerry in Tales of -my Father, by A. M. F., London 


and 1 Viet. cap. 77). Outside London the order of 
the Court to the Sheriff had long been sufficient 
to insure the execution of the death penalty. To 
that practice London now conformed, while the Home 
Secretary dealt henceforth by his sole authority 
with petitions affecting offenders capitally convicted, 
and was alone responsible for the grant of pardons, 
reprieves, or respites. Whenever capital sentences 
were modified by the Home Secretary, he made a 
report to that effect to the Queen, and occasionally it 
evoked comment from her ; but his decision was 
always acted on as soon as it was formed. Thus, 
although the statute of 1837 formally reserved ' the 
royal prerogative of mercy,' the accession of a woman 
to the throne had the paradoxical effect of practically 
annulling almost all that survived of it. 

Lord But, while the Queen was not called on to do 

bourne's everything that her predecessors had done, she studied 
instruc- with ardour the routine duties of her station and 
was immersed from the moment of her accession in 
pressing business. The Prime Minister, Melbourne, 
approached his task of giving her political instruction 
with exceptional tact and consideration, and she 
proved on the whole an apt pupil, although from the 
outset she showed a wilfulness and a precocious self- 
reliance which at times embarrassed her tutor. 
Lord Lord Melbourne, who was fifty-eight years old 

bourne's a ^ ^ e Q ueen ' s accession, had had more than thirty 
career. years' active experience of politics. From 1806 to 1829 
he had sat in the House of Commons. Thenceforth 
he filled his father's place in the House of Lords. 
He began his political career as a Whig, but joined 


Canning's Tory administration as Irish Secretary in 
1827, resigning the office after eleven months' trial of 
it. He subsequently identified himself exclusively with 
the Whig party, and rapidly became its leader. He 
was Home Secretary in Lord Grey's Reform ministry 
of 1830, and succeeded Lord Grey as Prime Minister 
on his resignation in 1834. At the end of that year 
he was the somewhat passive victim of the final 
encroachment which the wearer of an English crown 
ventured to make on the rights and independence of 
his chief minister. Melbourne and his colleagues, in 
November 1834, were dismissed by the personal act 
of Queen Victoria's predecessor, William IV., in con- 
sequence of an unreasoning fear on the Sovereign's 
part that the ministry designed an attack on the 
Established Church. This was the last occasion on 
which an English monarch shortened of his own 
motion the life of an administration. It proved in 
this instance of greater peril to the Crown than to its 
servants, and remained in permanence a deterrent 
example in the royal circle. Sir Robert Peel, who 
at the King's order replaced Lord Melbourne, at 
once dissolved Parliament, and the country expressed 
its view of the situation by returning a gigantic 
Whig majority. Peel hastily retired, and Melbourne 
resumed power in a far fuller measure than he had 
enjoyed it before. He retained it for six years con- 
tinuously two preceding and four succeeding Queen 
Victoria's accession. 

Although Melbourne was a genuine Liberal, a Mel- 
firm believer in the virtues of the constitution, and a opinions 
generous advocate of the great principle of religious and cha - 


equality, he supported without conspicuous enthu- 
siasm the recent legislation for electoral reform, 
and viewed with something like indifference some 
measures aiming at social amelioration which he 
helped to carry through Parliament. He was a 
champion of the Corn Laws and regarded the Eadical 
programme of the day as the frothy chatter of trouble- 
some agitators. Unconventional in manner and prone 
to use strong language, he was reckoned of cynical 
temperament, but his habitual tone of flippancy was 
probably assumed. 1 He found his main recreation 
in literature, and, despite his impatience of social 
restraint, was popular in ladies' society. 

The But Lord Melbourne was not merely the Queen's 

secretary- P rulie Minister at the opening of her reign. Grave 
ship. perplexities attached to the question of the appoint- 
ment of a private secretary to the new Sovereign. 
Although former occupants of the throne had found 
such an officer absolutely essential to the due per- 
formance of their duties, the ministers feared the 
influence that one occupying so confidential a rela- 
tion with a young untried girl might gain over her. 
With admirable self-denial Melbourne solved the 
difficulty by taking the post on himself for all public 
business. As both her Prime Minister and private 
secretary it was necessary for him to be always with 
the Court. For the first two years of her reign he 
was her constant companion, spending most of the 

1 His domestic affairs were unhappy. He had married in 1805 
Lady Caroline Ponsonby, the only daughter of the third Earl of 
Bessborough ; but soon after marriage his wife fell under the in- 
fatuation of Byron, and a separation followed some years later. 


morning at work with her, riding with her of an 
afternoon, and dining with her of an evening. The 
readiness with which he adapted himself to the routine 
of the Court excited the surprise of his friends, but the 
paternal interest he obviously took in the Queen's 
welfare was acknowledged with gratitude alike by poli- 
tical allies and foes. He always treated the youthful 
Queen with a familiar, unembarrassed courtesy, which 
perfectly fitted his years and his confidential position. 

As the Whig leader who had recently suffered , 

humiliation through his Sovereign's imperfect appre- pr efer- 
hension of the royal place and power in the consti- ^ e for 
tution, Melbourne was not backward in impressing Whigs, 
on his royal pupil's attention those constitutional 
principles which denied the Sovereign genuine inde- 
pendence. It was with the Whigs that Queen 
Victoria's father had associated himself, and her 
mother had courted their favour at Kensington, while 
the bitter quarrel with William IV., an avowed patron 
of the Tories, was in progress. Association with the 
Whigs was personally congenial to her, and she made 
no secret of her preference for them over the Tories. 
None the less, her imperious and somewhat impatient 
temperament discouraged her from accepting too 
literally any political theories which trespassed on 
her sense of dignity or authority. She was naturally 
proud of her elevation and of the dignified responsi- 
bilities which nominally adhered to the Crown. 
While, therefore, receiving, for the most part without 
demur, her Whiggish instructor's warnings of the 
dependent place of a sovereign in a constitutional 
monarchy, she soon set her own interpretation on 





tation of 
of mon- 

The for- 
of her 


ladies of 
the house- 

the practical working of his doctrine. She was 
shrewdly conscious of her inexperience. She knew 
instinctively the ultimate need of trusting those who 
were older and better versed in affairs than herself. 
But she never unreservedly admitted, in word or 
thought, her subjection in any sense to her ministers. 
From almost the first to the last day of her reign 
she did not hesitate closely to interrogate her officers 
of state, to ask for time for consideration before 
accepting their decisions, and to express her own 
wishes and views frankly and ingenuously in all 
affairs of government that came before her. If her 
ministers expressed doubt as to what course to pur- 
sue, she rarely hesitated to point out that which she 
was prepared to follow. After giving voice to her 
opinion, she left the final choice of action or policy 
to her official advisers' discretion ; but if she dis- 
approved of their choice, or it failed of its effect, she 
exercised unsparingly the right of private rebuke. 

The first duty of her ministers and herself was 
to create a royal household. The principles to be 
followed differed from those which had recently 
prevailed. It was necessary for a female sovereign 
to have women and not men as her personal atten- 
dants. She deprecated an establishment on the 
vast scale that was adopted by the last female 
sovereign in England Queen Anne. A mistress of 
the robes, eight ladies of the bedchamber, eight 
women of the bedchamber, and eight maids of 
honour, she regarded as adequate. Her uncle 
Leopold wisely urged her to ignore political con- 
siderations in choosing her attendants. But she 


was without any close personal friends of the rank 
needed for the household offices ; she had met some 
of the wives and daughters of the Whig ministers, 
and she accepted Lord Melbourne's injudicious advice 
to choose their first holders exclusively from them. 
She asked the Marchioness of Lansdowne to become 
mistress of the robes, and, although her health did not 
permit her to accept that post, the Marchioness agreed 
to act as principal lady of the bedchamber. The 
higher household dignity was filled (July 1, 1837) by 
the Duchess of Sutherland, who was soon one of the 
Queen's most intimate associates. Others of her first 
ladies-in-waiting were the Marchioness of Tavistock, 
the Countess of Charlemont, the Countess of Mulgrave, 
afterwards Marchioness of Normanby, and Lady 
Lyttelton. The Countess of Eosebery was invited, 
but declined to join them. 1 

In accordance with better established precedent, The 
the gentlemen of her household were also chosen exclu- 
sively from orthodox supporters of the Whig ministry, of the 
The Queen only asserted herself by requesting that 
Sir John Conroy, the master of her mother's and 

1 Cf. Melbourne Papers, 1889, p. 366; Peel Papers, ii. 460. 
The female portion of the Queen's household was finally constituted 
thus : Mistress of the Robes : Duchess of Sutherland. Principal 
Lady of the Bedchamber : Marchioness of Lansdowne. Ladies of 
the Bedchamber: Marchioness of Tavistock, Countess of Charle- 
mont, Countess of Mulgrave, Lady Portman, Lady Lyttelton, Lady 
Barham, Countess of Durham. Bedchamber Women : Lady Caroline 
Barrington, Lady Harriet Clive, Lady Charlotte Copley, Viscountess 
Forbes, Hon. Mrs. Brand, Lady Gardiner, Hon. Mrs. G. Campbell. 
Resident Woman of the Bedchamber : Miss Davys. Maids of 
Honour: Hon. Harriet Pitt, Hon. Margaret Dillon, Hon. Caroline 
Cocks, Hon. Miss Cavendish, Hon. Matilda Paget, Miss Amelia 
Murray, Miss Harriet Lester, Miss Mary Spring-Rice. 


her own household, whom she never liked, should 
retire from her service ; she gave him a pension of 
3,000?. a year, but refused his request for an order 
and an Irish peerage. 

Foreign Melbourne's acceptance of the office of private 

advisers. secre t a ry best guaranteed the Queen's course against 
pitfalls which might have involved disaster. Members 
of the family circle in which she had grown up 
claimed the right and duty of taking part in her 
guidance when she began the labour of her life. 
Owing to their foreign birth, it was in her own 
interest that their influence should be permanently 
counterbalanced by native counsel. King Leopold, 
the Queen's foster-father, who had hitherto con- 
trolled her career, and remained a trusted adviser 
till his death, had, as soon as she reached her 
majority, sent his confidential friend and former secre- 
tary, Baron Stockmar, to direct her political educa- 
tion. The Baron remained in continuous attendance 
on her, without official recognition, for the first fifteen 
months of her reign, and when the question of a 
choice of private secretary was first raised, the 
Queen expressed an infelicitous anxiety to appoint 
him. She felt genuine affection for him, and in later 
life often spoke of him as ' her dear old Baron,' whose 
worth was never, to her regret, adequately appreciated. 
Baron A native of Coburg, who originally came to 

Stock- England with Leopold in 1816 as his medical atten- 
dant, Stockmar was now fifty years old. Sincerely 
devoted to his master and to the Saxe-Coburg family, 
he sought no personal advantage from his association 
with them. Even Lord Palmerston, who bore him 


no affection, admitted that he was the most dis- 
interested man he ever met. Intelligently read in 
English history, he studied with zeal the theory of 
the British constitution. There was genuine virtue 
in the substance of his reiterated advice that the 
Queen should endeavour to maintain a position 
above party and above intrigue. But, although 
sagacious, Stockmar was a pedant and a doctrinaire, 
and as a critic of English politics he cherished some 
perilous heresies. The internal working of the British 
government was never quite understood by him. 
His opinion that the Sovereign was no * nodding 
mandarin ' was arguable, but his contention that a 
monarch, if of competent ability, might act as his 
own minister was wholly fallacious. It was a 
dangerous doctrine to be instilled in Queen Victoria's 

The constant intercourse which Stockmar sought Suspi 
with her and her ministers was consequently felt by 
them to be embarrassing, and to be disadvantageous mar. 
to the Queen. The English public generally resented 
his presence on the scene, and a hostile feeling against 
him quickly manifested itself. An impression got 
abroad that * the German Baron ' exerted on the 
Queen a mysterious anti-national influence ' behind 
the throne.' Abercromby, the Whig Speaker of the 
House of Commons, threatened in very early days 
of the reign to bring the subject to the notice of 
Parliament a threat which Melbourne contemptu- 
ously ignored. But, when it was rumoured that 
Stockmar was acting as the Queen's private secre- 
tary, Melbourne circulated a peremptory denial, 









of Kent. 

Public attention was for the time diverted from 
Stockmar. But he long remained a member of the 
royal circle, and never divested himself of the jealous 
suspicion which first attached to him in England. 

The Queen's openly displayed fidelity to her old 
governess, the Baroness Lehzen, did not tend to 
dissipate the fear that she was in the hands of 
foreign advisers. But the Baroness's relations with 
her mistress were above reproach, and did credit to 
both. She had acted as her old pupil's secretary in 
private matters before she came to the throne, and 
she continued to perform the same functions after 
the Queen's accession. But public affairs were never 
brought by the Queen to her cognisance, and the 
Baroness loyally accepted the situation. 

With the Duchess of Kent, who continued to 
reside with her daughter, although she was now 
given a separate suite of apartments, the Queen's 
relation was no less discreet far more discreet than 
the Duchess approved. She was excluded from all 
share in public business, an exclusion in which she 
did not readily acquiesce. For a long time she 
treated her daughter's emancipation from her direc- 
tion as a personal grievance. 1 There was never any 
ground for the insinuation which Lord Brougham 
conveyed when he spoke in the House of Lords of the 
Duchess of Kent as ' the Queen-mother.' Melbourne 
protested with just indignation against applying such 
a misnomer to ' the mother of the Queen,' who was 
wholly outside the political sphere. 

Public ceremonials meanwhile claimed much of 

1 Greville Memoirs, 2nd ser. 


the Queen's attention. On June 27 she held her Public 
first levee at Kensington to receive the credentials of l^afs"" 
the ambassadors and envoys. She was dressed in 
black, but, as Sovereign of the Order of the Garter, 
wore all its brilliant insignia ribbon, star, and a 
band bearing the motto, in place of the garter, 
buckled on the left arm. 1 There followed a long 
series of deputations from public bodies, bearing 
addresses of condolence and congratulation, to all of 
which she replied with characteristic composure. On 
July 17 she went in state to dissolve Parliament in 
accordance with the law which required a general 
election to take place within six months of the demise 
of the Crown, and in conformity with the then un- 
questioned practice which called for the Sovereign's 
presence at the closing as well as at the opening of 
each session of Parliament. For the first time she 
appeared in apparel of state a mantle of crimson 
velvet lined with ermine, an ermine cape, a dress of 
white satin embroidered with gold, a tiara and 
stomacher of diamonds, and the insignia of the 

In a somewhat colourless speech from the throne First 
she expressed her thanks for the congratulations j^f^th 
that Parliament had offered her on her accession. Throne 
The only Bill of importance that was submitted for 
her assent was one for the amendment of the criminal 
code and the further restriction of capital punishment. 
In that merciful aim she professed ' a peculiar interest.' 
'It will be my care,' she said in conclusion, 'to 
strengthen our institutions, civil and ecclesiastical, 

1 Bunsen, ii. 273. 

F 2 


by discreet improvement, wherever improvement is 
required, and to do all in my power to compose and 
allay animosity and discord.' She read the unpre- 
tending words with splendid effect. Fanny Kemble, 
who was present, wrote : ' The Queen's voice was 
exquisite. . . . The enunciation was as perfect as 
the intonation was melodious, and I think it is 
impossible to hear a more excellent utterance than 
that of the Queen's English by the English Queen.' l 
On July 19 the Queen held her first levee at St. 
James's Palace, and next day her first drawing-room. 
On both occasions the attendance was enormous. 

1 Fanny Kemble's Letters. 




ON July 13, four days before her first appearance in Removal 
Parliament, and within three weeks of her accession, " 

the Queen left the home of her girlhood at Kensing- Palace. 
ton for Buckingham Palace, the new official residence 
in London appointed for the Sovereign. The build- 
ing had been begun by the architect John Nash for 
George IV., but was not completed until William IV. 
became King. He, however, disliked it, and pre- 
ferred to remain at St. James's Palace. No monarch 
occupied Buckingham Palace before Queen Victoria, 
for whom it was for the first time put in order. A 
contemporary wag in ' The Times ' newspaper declared 
it was the cheapest house ever erected, having been 
built for one sovereign and furnished for another. But 
the inconvenience with which William IV. credited the 
edifice proved real, and it underwent radical alterations 
and additions at the instance of the Queen and Prince 
Albert before it was deemed to be adapted for its 
purpose. An east front was erected to form a 
quadrangle ; the ground behind the house, to the 
extent of forty acres, was laid out as a pleasure- 
garden ; a conservatory was converted into a chapel, 
and a ballroom was added as late as 1856. 


The con- One of the first entertainments which were given 

Aug. I7, 6 ' a ^ Buckingham Palace was a grand concert com- 

l8 37' manded by Queen Victoria on August 17, 1837, under 

the direction of Signer Costa. In honour of the 

occasion the Queen ordered the Court to go out of 

mourning for the day. The vocalists were Madame 

Grisi, Madame Albertazzi, Signer Lablache, and 

Signer Tamburini. 

Opening The Queen's first official appearance out of doors 

Victoria took place on August 21, when she opened the new 7 

Gate, g a t e O f Hyde Park on the Bayswater Road, and 

Park, conferred on it the name of Victoria Gate. On 

Aug. 21. AU g US t 22 she drove to Windsor to assume residence 

at the Castle for the first time. On September 28 

she had her earliest experience of a military review 7 , 

when the Guards in Windsor garrison marched before 

her in the Home Park. 

At the After remaining at Windsor till October 4 she 

Brighton, uiade acquaintance with the third and last of the 
royal palaces then in occupation, the pretentious 
Pavilion at Brighton, which George IV. had caused 
to be erected in a strange freak of fancy from the 
designs of his favourite architect, John Nash. Lord 
John Russell, the Home Secretary, together with 
his wife, stayed with her there. On November 4 she 
returned to Buckingham Palace. 

Private The Queen took a girlish delight in the sense of 

proprietorship. She actively directed her domestic 
establishments ; the mode of life she adopted in 
her palaces was of her own devising. She exercised 
a constant and wide hospitality which had been long 
unknown in the royal circle, and was fond of con- 


ducting a visitor over all parts of her houses, even 
the kitchens. The entertainments were somewhat for- 
mal and monotonous ; but, although she was zealous 
for rules of etiquette, she was never indisposed to 
modify them if she was thereby the better able to 
indulge the kindly feeling that she invariably ex- 
tended to her guests. Most of her mornings were 
spent at work with Melbourne. In the early afternoon 
when at Windsor she rode in the park or neighbour- 
ing country, with a large cavalcade often numbering 
thirty persons. Later she romped with children, 
some of whom she usually contrived to include 
among her visitors, or played at ball or battledore and 
shuttlecock with ladies of the Court an exercise 
which she continued till middle age or practised 
singing and pianoforte playing. Dining at half-past 
seven, she usually devoted the evening to round 
games of cards, chess, or draughts, while the Duchess 
of Kent invariably played whist. 

One of the Queen's innovations was the insti- Innova- 
tution of a Court band, which played music during 

and after dinner. When she was settled at Bucking- ham 
ham Palace she gave a small dance every Monday. 
She found time for a little serious historical reading, 
one of the earliest books through which she persevered 
as Queen being Coxe's ' Life of Sir Eobert Walpole,' 1 
and for the first time in her life she attempted novel- 
reading, making trial of three books by Sir Walter 
Scott, Fenimore Cooper, and Bulwer Lytton respec- 
tively. 2 A little later she struggled through Hallam's 
' Constitutional History' and Saint-Simon's ' Memoirs.' 

1 Lady Lyttelton. - Bunsen, i. 290. 


Foreign Relatives from the continent of Europe were in 


the first days of her reign very frequent companions. 

With them she always seemed most at ease, and she 
showed them marked attention. Vacant garters were 
bestowed on two of her German kinsmen who came 
on early visits to her the first on her half-brother, 
the Prince of Leiningen, in July 1837, the next on 
her uncle, Prince Albert's father, in the year follow- 
ing. The King of the Belgians and his gentle Queen 
Louise spent three weeks with her at Windsor 
(August-September 1837), and the visit was repeated 
for years every autumn. Her first cousin Victoria, 
daughter of Duke Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg, who in 
1840 married the Due de Nemours, was also often 
with her, and shared in her afternoon games. 
Attitude Queen Victoria was not at the same time neglect- 

kinsfolk, frd f Qer kinsfolk at home. Nothing could exceed 
the tenderness with which she treated the Dowager 
Queen Adelaide. On the day of her accession she 
wrote a letter of condolence, addressing it to ' the 
Queen ' and not to ' the Dowager Queen,' for fear of 
adding to her grief. A very few days later, before the 
late King's funeral, she visited the widowed lady at 
Windsor, and she forbade, of her own motion, the lifting 
of the royal standard, then at half-mast, to mast- 
high, as was customary on the arrival of the Sove- 
reign. When Queen Adelaide removed from Windsor 
Castle ultimately to settle at Marlborough House, 
her royal niece bade her take from the castle any 
furniture that her residence there had specially en- 
deared to her, and until the old Queen's death the 
young Queen never relaxed any of her attentions. 


To all her uncles and aunts she showed like con- Con- 
sideration. She corresponded with them, entertained 
them, visited them, read to them, sang to them, and 

and bore with little murmuring their recurrent 

displays of jealousy or ill- temper. 1 The Duchess of 
Cambridge, the last survivor of that generation, died 
as late as 1889, and no cares of family or state 
were ever permitted by the Queen to interfere with 
the due rendering of those acts of personal devotion 
to which she accustomed the aged Duchess from her 
youth. Even to the welfare of the FitzClarences, 
William IV. 's illegitimate children by Mrs. Jordan, 
she was not indifferent, and often exerted her in- 
fluence in their interests. 

But the Queen was well able to repress domestic Court 
sentiment when points of Court etiquette to which and" 6 

1 The following simple autograph letter, addressed by her to her sen tj_ 
uncle, the Duke of Sussex, when he was unwell, is characteristic : ment. 
' Buckingham Palace : December 29, 1837. 

' My DEAR UNCLE, I grieve much to see by your kind letter, 
which I got yesterday, that you are still on crutches, and suffering. 
Under these circumstances, fearing that you might still be unable to 
leave the house at the end of this week, I wish to know if Tuesday, 
12th, would suit you to drive with me. I trust then, dear uncle, that 
I shall find you quite recovered. Believe me always, my dear uncle, 
your affectionate niece, VICTOBIA K.' 

On July 19, 1837, the Duke of Sussex, who was President of the 
Royal Society, formally introduced, according to custom, a deputation 
of the Fellows to present the Statutes to her, as Sovereign, and 
obtain her signature to them. ' She received the Duke of Sussex,' 
wrote Adam Sedgwick, a member of the deputation, ' without any of 
the formality of a Court, and seemed only to remember that he was 
her uncle. ... He offered to bend his knee and kiss her hand (which 
is the regular form on such occasions), but she immediately stopped 
him, put her arm round his neck, and kissed his cheek.' Life and 
Letters of Sedgu'ick, by Clark and Hughes, i. 511. 


she attached importance seemed to her to require 
it. At her own table the Queen deemed it politic to 
give, for the first time, precedence to foreign ambas- 
sadors even to the American envoy, Mr. Stephenson 
over all guests of whatever rank, excepting only 
Lord Melbourne, who always sat at her left hand. 
For years she declined to alter the practice in favour 
of the dukes and duchesses of the royal family, 
although she ultimately made some exceptions. 
The Meanwhile the first general election of the new 

flection re ig n > an ^ the third since the wide extension of the 
of 1837. franchise under- the Reform Bill of 1832, had taken 
place. The Whig leaders somewhat vaguely announced 
a moderate programme of domestic reform the 
abolition of compulsory church rates and a further 
alleviation of Irish grievances. But the battle of the 
rival parties mainly raged round the position and 
Tory prospects of the Queen. The Tories, who were the 
onthe 8 attacking force, and had been in a hopeless minority 
Queen's in the House of Commons for six years, bitterly 
tionfto complained that Melbourne and the Whigs in power 
Whigs, identified the Queen with themselves, and that they 
used her and her name as party weapons of offence. 
Croker, a Tory spokesman, in an article in the 
' Quarterly Eeview ' (July 1837), denounced the 
policy of surrounding her with female relatives of 
the Whig leaders. Sir Eobert Peel argued that the 
monarchy was endangered by the rigour with which 
she was ruled by Melbourne, the chief of one poli- 
tical party. Stress was laid on a letter sent by Lord 
John Eussell to Lord Mulgrave, Lord-Lieutenant of 
Ireland, in which her personal sympathy was claimed 


for the Whig policy in Ireland. Eelease of the Sove- 
reign from Whig tyranny consequently became a Tory 
cry, and it gave rise to the epigram : 

' The Queen is with us,' Whigs insulting say ; 

' For when she found us in she let us stay.' 

It may be so, but give me leave to doubt 

How long she'll keep you when she finds you out.* 

Whig wire-pullers, on the other hand, made the Whigs' 
most of the recent conduct of the next heir to the 
throne, the new King of Hanover, the Queen's uncle of a 
Ernest, who had signalised his accession to the 
Hanoverian crown by revoking constitutional govern- 
ment in his dominions. A report was spread that 
the new King of Hanover was plotting to dethrone 
his niece in order to destroy constitutional govern- 
ment in England as well as in Hanover. A cartoon 
entitled * The Contrast,' which was widely circulated 
by Whig election agents, represented side by side 
portraits of the Queen and her uncle, the Queen 
being depicted as a charming ingenue, and her uncle 
as a grey-haired beetle-browed villain. 

The final result of the elections was not satisfac- Whigs' 
tory to either side. The Tories gained on the balance sm ^ u .. 

J majority. 

thirty-seven seats, and thus reduced their opponents' 
majority. But the estimated strength of parties at 
the close of the contest was Liberals 348 and Con- 
servatives 310. In the new House of Commons the 
Whigs still led by thirty-eight, and Melbourne and his 
colleagues retained office. Their power, however, was 
small. They were in a clear minority in the House 
of Lords a difficulty which was a chronic experience 

Annual Register, 1837, p. 239. 


of the Liberal party throughout the reign. The Op- 
position in the House of Commons, under the experi- 
enced leadership of Sir Robert Peel, was alert and 
bellicose, and had been reinforced during the election, 
not merely by numbers, but by much enlightened 
ability and energy. The most notable of the recruits 
in the Tory army was Benjamin Disraeli, then widely 
known as a brilliant novelist, who was to play a com- 
manding part in a later act of the drama of the Queen's 
public career. He had now, after two failures, won 
at Maidstone a seat in Parliament for the first time. 1 
His future rival, with whom the Queen was also to be 
very closely associated, William Ewart Gladstone, 
was then also a promising member of the Tory party. 
He was for the third time returned in the Conserva- 
tive interest for Newark, for which he had sat since 
1832. 2 An opposition, whose rank and file included 
men of the energy and intellect of Disraeli and 
Gladstone, was not one to be lightly disregarded. 

1 Born in London, December 21, 1804, of Jewish parents (his 
father being a laborious man of letters), Disraeli made a wide repu- 
tation as a novelist at the precocious age of twenty-two, and was 
thenceforth a familiar figure in London society, which he fascinated 
by his brilliant wit and foppish affectation. Literature was still his 
main occupation when he entered the House of Commons, and his 
reputation as a novelist was steadily growing. In the House 
of Commons he joined the Young England party, which sought to 
combine social reform with the unimpaired maintenance of ancient 
institutions. He rapidly became a leader of that clique. 

2 Gladstone, who was five years Disraeli's junior, was son of a 
substantial Liverpool merchant, had been educated at Eton and 
Christchurch, where he greatly distinguished himself, and had 
greatly impressed the House of Commons since he entered it in 1832 
by his power of impressive oratory and the apparent strength of his 
convictions. Macaulay, in 1839, described him as the ' rising hope 
of the stern and unbending Tories.' 


Before the new Parliament opened, the Queen At the 
made a formal progress through London, going from j^iie^ 1 
Buckingham Palace to the Guildhall to dine in state Nov. 9, ' 
with the Lord Mayor. Her passage through the 
streets evoked an imposing demonstration of loyalty. 
Fifty-eight carriages formed the procession, in which 
rode many of the foreign ambassadors. The Lord 
Mayor, Sir John Cowan, with the Sheriffs, George 
Carroll and Moses Montefiore, and members of the 
Corporation of London, received the Queen at Temple 
Bar. The banquet lasted from 3.30 in the afternoon 
till 8.30 in the evening, when the City was ablaze with 
illuminations. 1 

On November 20 the Queen opened her first Par- opening 
liament, reading her own speech, as was her custom j-[ s t e p ar _ 
until her widowhood whenever she attended in person, liament, 
Reference was made to difficulties that were appre- 
hended in Spain, which was torn by civil war, in 
Canada, where the French settlers were in revolt 
against English rule, and in Ireland, where agitators, 
under O'Connell's leadership, were loudly manifest- 
ing normal signs of discontent. But the leading 
business of the opening session was a settlement of 
the Royal Civil List. 

Financially the Queen's position since her acces- The Civil 
sion had been a source of anxiety. She inherited Llst 
nothing, and the Crown had lost the royal revenues 
of Hanover. She had complained to Melbourne of 

1 A fine medal was struck from a design by William Wyon. 
The Queen's arrival at Temple Bar was pictured in a bas-relief on the 
monument that was erected on the site of the old gate after it was 
removed in 1878. 

78 QUEEN V1CTOKIA [1837 

her lack of money for immediate private expenses. 
He had done little but listen sympathetically ; but 
Messrs. Coutts, who had been bankers to various 
members of the royal family, came to her rescue with 
temporary advances. 

The here- In approaching the question of the Queen's in- 
Crown come > the main question for the Government to con- 
lands. sider was not merely the amount necessary to main- 
tain the throne in fitting dignity, but the proportion 
of her income which might prudently be derived from 
the hereditary revenues of the Crown, i.e. revenues 
from the Crown lands. In return for a fixed annuity 
George III. had surrendered a large portion of these 
revenues, and George IV. yielded a further portion, 
while William IV. surrendered all but those proceed- 
ing from the duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster, 
which were held to belong to a different category. 
At the same time it was arranged, on the accession of 
William IV., that the general expenses of civil govern- 
ment, which had been previously defrayed out of the 
Wm IV 's K m g' s Civil List, should henceforth be discharged by 
income. the Consolidated Fund, and that of the income allotted 
to King William only a very small proportion should 
be applied to aught outside his household and per- 
sonal expenses ; the sole external calls were 75,OOOZ. 
for pensions and 10,OOOZ. for the Secret Service Fund. 
On these conditions King William was content to ac- 
cept 460,000?. instead of 850,0007. which had been 
paid his predecessor, while an annuity of 50,000/. 
was bestowed on his Queen Consort. His net per- 
sonal parliamentary income (excluding pensions and 
the Secret Service Fund) was thus 375,000/., with 


some 25,000?. from the duchies of Lancaster and 

Eadical members of Parliament now urged Mel- The 

bourne to bring the whole of the Crown lands under ^ ^^ s _ 

parliamentary control, to deprive the Crown of the caster 
control and income of the duchies of Lancaster and 

Cornwall, and to supply the Sovereign with a revenue 
which should be exclusively applied to her own pur- 
poses, and not to any part of the civil government. 
Treasury officials drew out a scheme with these ends 
in view, but Melbourne rejected most of it from a 
fear of rousing against his somewhat unstable 
Government the cry of tampering with the royal pre- 
rogative. In the result the precedent of William IV.'s 
case was followed, with certain modifications. 

The Queen resigned all the hereditary revenues The first 
of the Crown, but was left in possession of the 
revenues of the duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall, 
of which the latter was the legal appanage of the 
heir-apparent. The duchy of Cornwall therefore 
ceased to be the Sovereign's property as soon as a 
lawful heir to the throne was born. It and the 
duchy of Lancaster produced during the first years 
of the reign about 27,500?. annually, but the revenues 
from both rose rapidly, and the duchy of Lancaster, 
which was a permanent source of income to the 
Queen, ultimately produced above 60,000?. a year. 1 
Parliament now granted her, apart from these he- 
reditary revenues, an annuity of 385,000?., being 
10,000/. in excess of the net personal income 

1 The duchy of Cornwall, which passed to the Prince of Wales 
at his birth in 1841, ultimately produced more than 66,000?. 





Civil List 


granted by Parliament to her predecessor. Of this 
sum 60,OOOZ. was appropriated to her privy purse, 
131,260/. to the salaries of the household, 172,500Z. 
to the expenses of the household, 13,2002. to the 
royal bounty, while 8,040Z. was unappropriated. 
Eepairs to the Sovereign's official residences and the 
maintenance of the royal yachts were provided for 
by the Treasury apart from the Civil List revenues. 

The annual payment from the Civil List of 75,OOOZ. 
in pensions and of 10,OOOZ. secret service money was 
cancelled, but permission was given the Crown to 
create Civil List pensions to the amount of 1,200Z. 
annually, a sum which the Treasury undertook to 
defray independently of the royal income. This 
arrangement ultimately meant the yearly expendi- 
ture of some 23,000/., but the pensions were only 
nominally associated with the Sovereign's expenditure, 
were wholly removed from the Sovereign's control, 
and were bestowed exclusively on persons in more 
or less needy circumstances who had distinguished 
themselves in literature, art, or the public service 
outside the sphere of politics. 

The Eadicals, who steadfastly advocated rigorous 
economy in all departments of the State, resisted 
the arrangement on the score of its needless muni- 
ficence. Joseph Hume, one of the leading Radicals in 
the House of Commons, moved, on the third reading 
of the Civil List Bill, a reduction of 50,OOOZ., which 
was rejected by 199 votes against 19. Benjamin 
Hawes, another member of the Radical section, 
vainly moved on like grounds a reduction of 10,000/., 
which was supported by 41 members and opposed by 


173. Lord Brougham severely criticised the settle- 
ment in the Radical sense on the second reading of 
the Bill in the House of Lords. He made searching 
inquiries respecting the incomes from the Crown 
duchies, and objected to the arrangement being made 
for the Queen's life. But no modification was accepted 
by the Government, and the Bill quickly became law. 
Although numerous additional grants, approaching a 
total of 200,000. a year, were afterwards allotted to 
the Queen's children, the annual sum allowed her by 
Parliament on her accession was never altered during 
her reign of nearly sixty-four years, and proved 
amply sufficient for her needs. 

At the same time as the Civil List Bill passed Provision 
through Parliament, the Queen's mother, at the Duchess 
Sovereign's instance, was granted an annuity of of Kent. 
30,OOOZ. ; she formerly received 22,000. a year, of 
which 10,000/. was appropriated to the care of her 
daughter while Princess. The Queen was well con- 
tented with the settlement. On December 23, 1837, 
the Queen went to Parliament to return thanks in 
person for what had been done. Christmas was spent 
merrily at Buckingham Palace, and next day the 
Court withdrew to Windsor. 

The liberal allowance enabled the Queen to fulfil The 
at once her resolve to pay off her father's debts. By s her 

the autumn of next year she had transferred to the father's 
late Duke's creditors from her privy purse nearly 
50,000/., and on October 7, 1839, she received their 
formal thanks. 

Meanwhile the Queen's sympathy with her 
ministers increased. Difficulties beset them at every 


step. Through 1838-9 she followed their parlia- 
mentary movements with keen anxiety lest their 
narrow majority might prove inadequate to maintain 
them in office. Disturbances in Canada during the 
early months of 1838 roused differences of opinion in 
the House of Commons, which imperilled their posi- 
tion, and the crisis was prolonged. * The Queen is as 
steady to us as ever,' wrote Palmerston on April 14, 
1838, * and was in the depth of despair when she 
thought we were in danger of being turned out. She 
keeps well in health, and even in London takes long 
rides into the country, which have done her great 
good.' l Under Melbourne's guidance, and in agree- 
ment with her own wish, she daily perused masses of 
despatches and official correspondence with exemplary 

The first great political question to which the 
Empire Queen's ministers were compelled to direct her 
m 1837. attention had a prophetic likeness to the last great 
political question which was to occupy her mind at 
the close of her long reign. It concerned her empire 
beyond the seas. The Queen's dominions outside 
the British Isles were to undergo vast extension and 
conspicuous consolidation in the course of her career. 
None the less the colonial inheritance to which she 
succeeded was of great dimensions. In 1837 the 
British possessions outside the United Kingdom 
(including those portions of the peninsula of India 
which were ruled by a chartered company of mer- 
chants in alliance with the British Government) 
covered some eight million square miles, more than 

1 Ashley, Life of Palmerston, i. 344. 


six times the area of the mother country. But the 
future of this massive heritage looked doubtful when 
it first passed under her and her ministers' sway. 
Its past was sullied by the severance, some half a 
century before, owing largely to the impolitic conduct 
of the Queen's grandfather, George III., of the North 
American colonies, which had become the independent 
republic of the United States. From the shock of 
the American revolt the colonial empire of England 
took time to recover. The first signs of that renewal 
of colonial expansion, which was ultimately to convert 
the eight million square miles of colonial territory 
under Queen Victoria's sceptre into twelve millions, 
were plainly discernible during the last years of 
William IV.'s reign, especially in Australasia and the 
Southern Seas. 1 But Queen Victoria's Government 
had, when she ascended the throne, no considered 
policy which might be calculated to give lasting 
coherence to the constituent parts of a widely ex- 
tended colonial empire and avert further experience 
of disruption. 

The prestige of the mother country and of the The 
Crown required that the colonists now and hereafter 
should accept contentedly and of their own free will 
the British allegiance. Happily, within a year of the 

1 South Australia had been first formed into a settlement in 1836, 
and there had begun emigration to New Zealand, which was formed 
into a colony in 1840. New South Wales (of which the territories 
afterwards named Victoria and Queensland atao at first formed part), 
the Swan Kiver Settlement (afterwards called Western Australia), and 
Van Dienien's Land (afterwards Tasmania), were of older birth, and 
were mainly used as penal settlements for criminals sentenced to 

o 2 


Queen's accession, the question of the relations in 
which the Sovereign and her ministers were to stand 
to colonial settlements across the ocean claimed a 
prompt and definite answer. The imperial topic 
involved Lord Melbourne's Government, with which 
the Queen identified herself, in a momentous struggle 
with the parliamentary Opposition throughout 1838, 
The battle raged round the colony of Canada, then 
the widest in extent of any of England's colonial 
possessions. The future of the British Empire 
largely depended on the issue of the Canadian conflict. 
Canadian Canada was territory that had been colonised by 
ditions France and ceded to England by treaty in 1763. 
French settlers of old standing multiplied there ; 
English immigrants did not amalgamate with them, 
and the British Government imprudently added fuel 
to the mutual jealousy by consigning each race to a 
separate province. On each province a formal parlia- 
mentary constitution, which speciously resembled that 
of the United Kingdom, had been conferred, but 
executive power was exclusively in the hands of the 
governors representing the Crown. At the same time 
the United States watched with envious eyes the 
development of Canada, was prolific in threats of 
annexation, and encouraged disaffection among both 
French and English Canadians. 

Lord When the Queen's reign opened, the two races in 

mission*' 8 Canada were alike impatient of British domination, 
and we:-e at one in their desire for complete parlia- 
mentary self-government on an effective English 
pattern. They claimed that the governor should 
stand to freely elected colonial ministers and Parlia- 


ment in the same relations of nominal ruler as the 
British Sovereign stood to British ministers and 
Parliament. Lord Melbourne's weak ministry hesi- 
tated to make the requisite concession, but when 
rebellion broke out in both the French and English 
provinces of Canada they did the next best thing. 
They suspended the existing constitution and des- 
patched one of their supporters, Lord Durham, to 
report fully on the situation and to exercise in the 
meantime despotic authority. The rebellion was easily 
suppressed, but Lord Durham's autocratic procedure 
in re-establishing order gave the Opposition an 
excellent battle-cry, which was none the less effective 
because of its inconsistency with prescriptive Tory 

Yielding to agitation, the ministers recalled Lord Lord 
Durham. The Tory triumph was extremely discon- 
certing to the Queen. Lord Durham's wife, a 
daughter of the second Lord Grey, was one of the 
ladies-in-waiting, whom she had invited at her 
accession to join her household. On her hus- 
band's dismissal from Canada, Lady Durham, to the 
Queen's regret, retired from her service. The Queen 
greatly respected her and her husband, and she 
bitterly lamented their untoward fate. 

But Lord Durham had earned his Sovereign's sym- The 
pathy more richly than the Queen then knew. Before poi^* 1 
his humiliation he had solved the problem of the of self- 
future of the British Empire in the manner that best ment 
enhanced the prestige of the Crown. With the aid of 
his companions, Charles Buller and Gilbert Wakefield, 
he had drawn up an elaborate report which proved that 


the grant of self-government to British colonies was 
the sole safeguard of a permanent colonial empire, 
and that allegiance to the throne voluntarily resting 
on the natural patriotic sentiment of the colonists, 
and on no prescribed or compulsory obligations, was 
the strongest, if not the only practicable, link where- 
with to bind the distant dependencies of a monarchy 
to the mother country. This new principle of 
colonial policy Lord Durham offered his countrymen 
for their adoption at the outset of the Queen's 
reign, and they accepted it while they cashiered 
its author. Within two years Canada received 
practical autonomy at the hands of Lord Melbourne's 
ministry. That self-governing principle of colonial 
expansion which was to grow into the most distinctive 
characteristic of Queen Victoria's long reign was thus 
almost exactly of the same age as her own sovereignty. 




WHILE the Canadian difficulties were in process of The 
solution, the Queen's chief interest outside politics tion, 
lay in the preparations that were in progress for her J" n | 28 
coronation and for the festivities accompanying it. 
Three state balls one on June 18, the day of 
Waterloo, a choice of date which offended the French l 
two levees, a drawing-room, a state concert, a first 
state visit to Ascot, and attendance at Eton ' montem ' 
immediately preceded the elaborate ceremonial, which 
took place on June 28, 1838, eight days after the 
anniversary of her accession. 

The ministers had resolved to endow the ceremo- its splen- 
nial with exceptional splendour. For the expenses of dour ' 
William IV.'s coronation 50,OOOZ. had been allowed. 
No less a sum than 200,000/. was voted by Parliament 
for the expenses of Queen Victoria's coronation. West- 
minster Abbey was elaborately decorated in crimson 

1 Thomas Kaikes, then at Paris, wrote of this episode : ' As the 
Queen gave a concert on that evening [of Waterloo day] to all the 
foreigners [who were in London for the coronation], the French con- 
strue it into an affront. Louis Philippe is in a peck of troubles about 
it, and, wishing to keep well with all parties, i.e. with England and 
with his ambassadors, ne sail pas a qitel saint se vouer ' ! Journal, ii, 


and gold. The royal procession to the Abbey was 
revived for the first time since the coronation of 
George III. in 1761, and four hundred thousand per- 
sons came to London to witness it, many bivouacking 
in the streets the night before. 

At 10 A.M. on the appointed day, under a sunny 

proces- sky, the Queen left Buckingham Palace in full 
panoply of state, passing up Constitution Hill, along 
Piccadilly, down St. James's Street, and across Tra- 
falgar Square, which had just been laid out in Nelson's 
memory. The Abbey was reached by way of Parlia- 
ment Street at 11.30. Among the numerous foreign 
visitors, who went thither in brilliant array in advance 
of the Queen, was Marshal Soult, the old rival of 
Wellington in the Spanish Peninsula and at Waterloo, 
now the special representative of France. The French 
general was received by the crowd with hardly less 
enthusiasm than her Majesty, and was greatly im- 
pressed by the generous warmth of his reception. 1 
The great company of the Queen's German relatives 
included her uncle the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and her 
half-brother arid half-sister of Leiningen. 2 

The When the Queen entered the Abbey, ' with eight 

in the " 7 ladies all in white floating about her like a silvery 


1 Raikes's Journal, ii. 107 : ' Soult was so much cheered, both in 
and out of the Abbey, that he was completely overcome. He has 
since publicly said, " C'est le plus beau jour de ma vie, il prouve que 
les Anglois pensent que j'ai toujours fait la guerre en loyal homme." 
When in the Abbey he seized the arm of his aide-de-camp, quite 
overpowered, and said, " Ah ! vraiment, c'est un brave peuple." ' 

a An amusing and spirited account of the great company of officials, 
relatives, and foreign guests was given by the Rev. Richard Barharu, 
author of the Tngoldsly Legends, in his burlesque ' Account of the 
Coronation by Barney Maguire.' 


cloud, she paused, as if for breath, and clasped her 
hands.' ' A ray of sunlight fell on her head as she 
knelt to receive the crown, and the Duchess of Kent 
burst into tears. The brilliance of the scene im- 
pressed every one. 

There were, however, some drawbacks to the The want 
successful completion of the coronation rite. Harriet hearsal. 
Martineau, who was present, wrote : * The brightness, 
vastness, and dreamy magnificence produced a strange 
effect of exhaustion and sleepiness.' The Queen, too, 
suffered not only from natural emotion and fatigue, 
but from the hesitation of the officiating clergy as to 
the exact part she was to play at many points in the 
long ritual, and from the insufficient training that 
had been accorded her. Dr. John Ireland, the Dean 
of Westminster, 2 who had conducted the two preceding 
coronations of George IV. and William IV., was too 
infirm to attend (he had nearly completed his seventy- 
eighth year). His place was filled by the Sub-dean, 
Lord John Thynne. ' Pray tell me what I am to do, 
for they [i.e. the clergy] don't know,' she said at one 
solemn point to Lord John Thynne who stood near 
her. She complained that the orb which was unex- 
pectedly put into her hand was too heavy for her to 
hold ; and when the ruby ring, which had been made 
for her little finger, was forced by the Archbishop 
on to her fourth, she nearly cried out with the pain. 
The fear of betraying her nervousness intensified her 

1 Prothero and Bradley's Life of Dean Stanley.- 

2 Dr. Ireland, who had been Dean since 1816, remained in office 
despite his feeble health, till his death on September 2, 1842. He 
was succeeded by Thomas Turton, who left Westminster after two 
and a half years to become Bishop of Ely. 







discomfort, but she never seemed to spectators to 
lose her composure, although the awkwardness of the 
other actors in the scene was patent to all. 'The 
Queen,' wrote the observant Disraeli, who attended 
with the other members of the House of Commons, 
' performed her part with great grace and complete- 
ness, which cannot in general be said of the other 
performers ; they were always in doubt as to what 
came next, and you saw the want of rehearsal.' l 

For the first time at a coronation, the Commons 
were allowed to acclaim their Sovereign after the 
Peers. The latter had enjoyed the privilege from 
time immemorial. The Commons now cheered their 
Sovereign nine times, among them Daniel O'Connell, 
the Irish leader ; 2 but Dean Stanley, who, then a boy, 
sat in a gallery, thought all the responses and accla- 
mations were feebly given. Towards the close of the 
ceremony a singular accident befell Lord Eolle, a peer, 
eighty years old, as he was endeavouring to offer his 
homage. He ' fell down as he was getting up the steps 
of the throne.' The Queen's ' first impulse was to rise, 
and when afterwards he came again to do homage 
she said, " May I not get up and meet him ? " and 
then rose from the throne and advanced down one or 
two of the steps to prevent his coming up, an act of 
graciousness and kindness which made a great sensa- 
tion.' 3 ' Nothing could be more effective,' wrote 
Disraeli of this incident. 4 While the peers were 
doing homage, the Lord Chamberlain and his officers 
flung medals, specially designed by Pistrucci, for the 

1 Lord Beaconsfield's Letters to his Sister (June 29, 1838), p. 130. 
Gent. Mag. 1838, ii. 198. J Greville Memoirs, 2nd ser. i. 107- 

4 Lord Beaconsfield's Letters, p. 139. 


spectators to scramble for, and the confusion was not 

At length the ceremonial, which lasted more than The 
five hours, ended. At four the Queen set out for Bucking- 

Buckingham Palace. She drove through the streets 
wearing her crown and all her apparel of state, and 
looked to spectators pale and tremulous. Carlyle, 
who was in the throng, breathed a blessing on her : 
' Poor little Queen ! ' he added, ' she is at an age at 
which a girl can hardly be trusted to choose a bonnet 
for herself ; yet a task is laid upon her from which an 
archangel might shrink.' 

But, despite her consciousness of the responsibilities Youthful 
of her station, the Queen still had much of the child's elatlon - 
lightness and simplicity of heart. On returning to 
the palace she hastily doffed her splendours in order 
to give her pet spaniel, Dash, its afternoon bath. 1 
She then dined quietly with her relatives who 
were her guests, and, after sending a message of 
inquiry to the unfortunate Lord Rolle, concluded the 
day by witnessing from the roof of the palace the 
public illuminations and fireworks in the Green and 
Hyde Parks. Next morning a great ' coronation ' 
fair was opened by permission of the Government for 
four days in Hyde Park ; and on the second day the 
Queen paid it a long visit. The coronation festivities Close of 
concluded with a review by her of five thousand men ^rations". 
in Hyde Park (July 9), when she again shared the 
popular applause with Marshal Soult, in whose honour 
the display was mainly devised. 2 

1 Recollections, by C. R. Leslie, R.A., ed. Tom Taylor. 

2 The coronation attracted popular interest throughout Europe, 
and accounts of it were published in foreign languages. An Italian 


The A month later, on August 16, the Queen prorogued 

speeches Parliament in person, and, after listening to the 
in Parlia- usual harangue on the work of the session from the 
1838-9. Speaker of the House of Commons, read her speech 
with customary clearness. Her grace of utterance 
grew with practice. When she performed the like 
ceremony at the opening of the next session in 
February 1839, Charles Sumner, the future American 
orator and statesman, happened to be among her 
auditors, and he paid singular testimony to the excel- 
lence of her elocution. ' I had no predisposition to 
admire the Queen,' he wrote with republican candour, 
' but her reading has conquered my judgment. I was 
astonished and delighted. . . . She pronounced every 
word slowly and distinctly with a great regard to 
its meaning. I think I have never heard anything 
better read in my life than her speech.' * Another 
stranger, who obtained a prominent place on the same 
occasion near the throne, was Prince Louis Bona- 
parte, at the moment an exile from France, who was, 
as Napoleon III., to play a disturbing part in two 
later decades of Queen Victoria's history. 

Crises No sooner was Parliament opened in February 1839 

of 1839. ^ an ^ ne p eace an( j contentment which had hitherto 

chapbook, entitled Descrizione della soknue incoronazione di S. M. 
Vittoria /, regina d'Inghilterra, seguita il di 28 giugno 1888, includes 
an appendix giving by way of contrast (che potrid servire di con- 
fronto) a full account of the coronation of Queen Mary Tudor in 
1553. I owe my knowledge of this little volume, which was published 
in Foligno, to a friend, who presented it to me on obtaining it from 
an Umbrian contadino of Amelia, whom he chanced to meet read- 
ing it in the summer of 1902. 

1 Memoirs and Letters of Charles Summer, by Edward L. Fierce, 


encircled the Court were rudely menaced. The Queen 
was to realise that her popularity was not invulner- 
able, and that, despite Melbourne's parental care, her 
position was fraught with difficulty and danger, with 
which she was as yet hardly fitted to cope. Both the 
crises through which the Queen and her Court passed 
in the first half of 1839 were attributable to her youth 
and inexperience. Problems arose which needed for 
their due solution greater self-mastery and know- 
ledge of the world than she yet possessed. 

The first crisis was the result of a train of cir- The 
cumstances which it was extremely embarrassing 
for a young girl to be confronted with. In January 
1839 Lady Flora Hastings, daughter of the Marquis 
of Hastings, was lady-in-waiting to the Duchess of 
Kent at Buckingham Palace. On account of her 
appearance, she was most improperly suspected by 
some of the Queen's attendants of immoral conduct. 
Neither the Queen nor her mother put any faith 
in the imputation, but Lady Tavistock, a Lady of 
the Bedchamber, informed Melbourne of the matter, 
and the Queen assented to his proposal that the 
unfortunate lady should be subjected by the royal 
physician, Sir James Clark, to a medical examination. 
Clark made the examination and signed a certificate 
denying all allegations against Lady Flora (Febru- 
ary 17, 1839). 

The incident was soon noised abroad. The lady's Her 
family appealed directly to the Queen to make fitting ^efis to 
reparation. Lady Flora's brother, the Marquis of the 
Hastings, obtained an interview with her. Lady Q ueen - 
Flora's mother wrote her impassioned letters and 




Outcry in 
the press. 



begged for the dismissal of Sir James Clark. The 
Queen made no reply. Melbourne, writing in his own 
name, stated that the Queen had seized the earliest 
opportunity of personally acknowledging to Lady Flora 
the unhappy error, and that it was not intended to 
take any other step. ' I am sure the Queen does not 
understand what they betrayed her into,' wrote the 
injured lady to her uncle, Hamilton Fitzgerald. 
' She has endeavoured to show her regret by her 
civility to me, and expressed it handsomely with 
tears in her eyes.' But the lady's relatives held that 
the Queen and the Court had done Lady Flora a 
wrong which should be publicly admitted and apolo- 
gised for. 

The 'Morning Post,' the organ of the aristo- 
cratic section of the Conservative party, to which 
the Hastings family belonged, took the unpleasing 
topic in hand and greatly disturbed the public 
mind by its bold presentment of the case. Lady 
Flora was hailed as * the victim of a depraved 

Lady Hastings published in the newspapers her 
correspondence with the Queen and Melbourne, and 
Clark circulated, through the columns of the London 
press, a defence of his own conduct. A general 
feeling of disgust was roused, and the reputation 
of the Court suffered severely. The situation was 
rendered worse by the tragic ending of the episode. 
Lady Flora was suffering from a fatal internal 
disease enlargement of the liver. On July 4 she 
was announced to be dying at Buckingham Palace. 
A royal banquet which was to take place that evening 


was countermanded. 1 The lady died next day. The 
Queen was gravely troubled. Society throughout the 
land was depressed and shocked. 

The Queen's advisers had committed a serious Hostility 
blunder and one bad enough to warrant an unmis- c our t. 
takable expression of her personal regret, whatever 
the rules of Court etiquette might urge against any 
admission of error by a royal personage. But nothing 
followed. The Queen did not break silence. Blame 
for her apparent supineness was currently laid on 
the Baroness Lehzen. Her attitude was doubtless 
the fruit of innocence and inexperience ; but, however 
cogently it might be explained, it came near proving 
a national calamity, through the widespread hostility 
which it provoked against the Court. The Queen 
looked back on the incident in after years with 
natural abhorrence. 

The second Court crisis of 1839 was due to pre- The 
cisely opposite causes to the Queen's peremptory 
and unprompted exercise of her personal authority 
and to her active interposition in business of the 
State without seeking advice. 

During the session of 1839 the Whig ministry Her first 
finally lost its hold on the House of Commons, 
Colonial questions of moment to the future continued May 
to embarrass them. They were under the obligation 
of putting into force the great measures for abolishing 
slavery in the British colonies which had been passed 
in 1833 -4, and their efforts encountered a determined 
resistance. The emancipation of the slaves in the 

1 Malmesbury's Memoirs, p. 77 


Crown colony of Jamaica led the planters, who owned 
the slaves, into rebellion, and the Government was now 
driven to the disagreeable necessity of inviting Parlia- 
ment to suspend the constitution of that island. The 
proposal was carried by a majority of only five (May 7). 
Melbourne felt the position to be hopeless, and placed 
the resignation of himself and his colleagues in the 
Queen's hands. The Queen was deeply distressed. 
When Lord John, leader of the House of Commons, 
visited her to discuss the situation, she burst into 

Mel- But she soon nerved herself fully to exert for the 

resignl- first tmie ^ e Sovereign's traditional power of choosing 
tion, a successor to the outgoing Prime Minister. Her 
grief at parting with Melbourne was quickly checked. 
She asked him for no advice, but, after consulting Lord 
Spencer, she sent for the Duke of Wellington, and 
startled him by her self-possession (May 8). He 
declined her offer to form a ministry on the ground 
of his age and of the desirability of the Prime 
Minister being in the House of Commons. Accord- 
Peel ingly she summoned Sir Eobert Peel, the leader of 
t<f take ^ e Conservative Opposition in the Lower House, 
office. who had already filled the office of Prime Minister 
at the arbitrary bidding of her uncle, William IV., for 
a few months in 1835. She feared his coldness and 
severity of demeanour ' after the open and affectionate 
manner ' to which Lord Melbourne had accustomed 
her, but she was well alive to the obligation that the 
constitution imposed on her when Parliament trans- 
ferred power from one party to another. 1 
1 Cf. Peel Papers, ii. 391. 


The Queen's personal demeanour at Peel's first 
interview with her was dignified, although very frank. 
The conversation began with some discussion of the 
question whether Parliament should be dissolved or the 
Tory party should accept office in the existing House 
of Commons. The Queen said * she had parted with 
her late Government with great regret,' but depre- 
cated a dissolution of Parliament at so early a 
date in the life of the existing Parliament. Peel 
vaguely expressed sympathy with her view, but he 
declined to pledge himself to forego a dissolution. 
Finally he agreed to form a Government, and, on 
leaving the Queen, set about selecting members of his 

There was already a strong feeling among the The 
Tories that the Queen, who had hitherto shrunk 

from association with Conservatives, and viewed Laelies of 
them, with the sole exception of her old friend chamber. 
Lord Liverpool, with frankly expressed dislike, was 
hedged in on all sides of her household by the 
female relatives of her Whig ministers. Peel, 
in consultation with his friends, decided that the 
ladies holding the higher posts in the household 
must be displaced if Conservative ministers were to 
receive adequate support from the Crown. He had 
no intention of interfering with the subordinate 
offices, but deemed it essential to remove some at 
least of the ladies about the Queen the Mistress of 
the Robes and two or three ladies-in-waiting. 

Peel formed a high conception of his personal The 
responsibility in all directions. But he was quite J^." 
willing to consult the Queen's wishes in filling such change 



in her appointments as might fall vacant. Unfortunately 
hold?" h e did not define at the outset the precise posts or 
the number of them which were affected by his pro- 
posals. The subject was broached in another per- 
sonal interview with the Queen on May 9. The Queen 
was at once alarmed. She feared that she was 
to be deprived of the companionship of her closest 
friends, and suspected quite incorrectly that the 
Baroness Lehzen was aimed at. Her mind was 
made up at once. She declined point blank to 
entertain any suggestion of change in the female 
constitution of her household. All her queenly spirit 
was roused, and she put no curb on her passionate 
indignation. Peel left her hastily. Thereupon she 
wrote to Melbourne that the Tories wanted to de- 
prive her of her ladies ; they would rob her next 
of her dressers and housemaids ; they thought to 
treat her as a girl ; she would show them she was 
Queen of England. Finally, she requested her old 
minister to draft a reply of refusal to Peel's 

The Melbourne, who feared that Peel had treated the 

Stter^o S n *l nars hly> an d was chiefly moved by a parental 
Peel, kind of sympathy, expressed no opinion on the merits 
1839^ I0 ' ^ *^ e case ' k u * did as he was asked without further 
inquiry. The Queen's letter to Peel ran : ' Bucking- 
ham Palace, May 10, 1889. The Queen, having con- 
sidered the proposal made to her yesterday by Sir 
Robert Peel to remove the ladies of her bedchamber, 
cannot consent to adopt a course which she conceives 
to be contrary to usage, and which is repugnant to 
her feelings.' Peel answered that he feared there 


was some misunderstanding, and declined to proceed 
to the formation of a Government. 

Peel's decision was received by the Queen with Mel- 
immense relief, and she made no endeavour to con- cabinet 
ceal her elation at a state ball that took place the re ^ on ". 
same evening. With every sign of satisfaction she position, 
appealed to Melbourne to resume power. Although 
her action was her own, Melbourne had given it a 
tacit approval by not resisting it when she first in- 
formed him of her intention. The old cabinet met 
on May 11 to reconsider its position ; some members 
argued for advising the Queen to withdraw from the 
attitude that she had assumed. Lord Grey, Mel- 
bourne's former chief, whose son, Lord Howick, was 
Melbourne's colleague as Secretary at War, thought 
Peel's attitude not unreasonable, and he told Mel- 
bourne that on becoming Prime Minister in 1830 he 
had made similar changes in the household of the 
Queen-Consort, but he admitted that there was ' a 
considerable difference between the situation of a 
Queen-Consort and a Queen-Eegnant.' With some 
hesitation he advised Melbourne to support the 
Queen in her struggle with Peel. 1 Lord Spencer 
insisted that as gentlemen they must stand by her. 
Palmerston declared that her youth and isolation 
should have protected her from the odious conditions 
that Peel sought to impose. 

At length the good-natured Melbourne acquiesced Mel- 
in that opinion. The Whigs returned to office, but 
they recognised their weakness, and some endeavour 
was made, with the Queen's willing assent, to 

1 Melbourne Papers, p. 397. 

H 2 





sion of 
her error. 

strengthen the ministry's personnel. Spring-Eice, 
the Chancellor of the Exchequer, was replaced by 
Francis Baring. Lord Glenelg, the very inefficient 
War and Colonial Minister, was excluded, and his office 
was transferred to Lord John Bussell, formerly the 
Home Secretary, who was succeeded at the Home 
Office by the Earl of Mulgrave, afterwards Marquis of 
Normanby, the old Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. The 
most interesting newcomer was Thomas Babington 
Macaulay, in whose favour Lord Howick retired from 
the Secretaryship at War. 

The circumstances in which the reconstructed 
ministry resumed power quickly formed the topic of 
animated debate in both Houses of Parliament. Peel 
effectively defended his action in making his assump- 
tion of office conditional on permission to change the 
constitution of the Queen's household. Lord John 
Eussell somewhat lamely endeavoured to prove his 
demands to be without precedent. Melbourne chival- 
rously identified himself with the Queen, and was 
severely handled from different points of view for 
his alleged pusillanimity by both the Duke of Wel- 
lington, who stood by Peel, and Lord Brougham, who 
deemed Peel and Melbourne equally blameworthy in 
admitting the Sovereign's personal responsibility ; 
but the debate passed off without seriously damaging 
the old ministry's position. 

In point of fact Peel's conduct was amply war- 
ranted, and subsequently Melbourne, Lord John 
Eussell, and the Queen herself admitted as much. 
In 1853 she confided to Lord John that she had taken 
no advice in the matter. 'No,' she said, 'it was 


entirely my own foolishness ! ' Melbourne afterwards 
remarked characteristically : ' You should take care 
to give people who are cross time to come round. 
Peel's fault in that business, when he failed to form 
a Government, was not giving the Queen time to 
come round.' But at heart Melbourne seems to have 
cherished graver misgivings of the significance to be 
attached to the Queen's display of wilful temper on 
the occasion. 1 The character and fate of the Queen's 
ancestress, and one of her historical heroines, Mary 
Queen of Scots, seems indeed for an instant to have 
flashed across his mind. It was an involuntary and 
uncourtier-like association of ideas. But Melbourne, 
with a sardonic touch of irony, which was familiar to 
his friends, and was only manifested in the royal 
presence under much provocation, casually remarked 
to the Queen a little later across her own dinner- 
table, that there were words which Mary Queen of 
Scots spoke on the scaffold that might not prove on 
occasion unfitted to her own lips. 2 

The immediate effect of the Queen's act was to Tory 
extend by more than two years the duration of 

1 Letters from Sarah Lady Lyttelton, 1873 (privately printed). 

2 Melbourne's curious passing comparison of the Queen with 
Mary Queen of Scots was made in conversation with the Queen on 
the evening that the session closed. When the Queen was disrobing 
after the ceremony of prorogation in the House of Lords, Lady 
Lyttelton, who was waiting on her, found difficulty in detaching the 
crown from her hair. At dinner in the evening the Queen told 
Melbourne the story, adding : ' To be sure it was very nervous for 
poor Lady Lyttelton to do it before so many people, all looking at 
her, and never having done such a thing before.' Melbourne made 
the strange reply, ' Your Majesty might have said as Mary Queen 
of Scots did 011 the scaffold, " I am not accustomed to be undressed 
before so many people nor by such attendants." ' 


Melbourne's ministry, and to embitter the personal 
hostility of the Tories towards her. James Brad- 
shaw, the Tory M.P. for Canterbury, made at a Con- 
servative meeting in July so caustic a comment on her 
reputed feeling of repugnance to his party that the 
Whig M.P. for Cockermouth, Edward Horsman, 
challenged him to a duel, which was duly fought. For 
the time her antipathy to the Tories certainly re- 
doubled. ' The Tories do all in their power to make 
themselves odious to me,' she openly remarked at 
Court on reading some acrid remarks on her conduct 
in a Tory journal. 1 

General The permanent outcome of the crisis was bene- 

of the ficial. The Queen never repeated her obduracy, and 
b ^ d " . although she often afterwards asserted her personal 
crisis. predilections when a new ministry was in course of 
creation, the nineteen changes of government that 
followed during her reign were effected with com- 
paratively little friction. The ' household ' difficulty 
never recurred. Ladies-in-waiting at once ceased 
to be drawn from the families of any one political 
party, and as early as July 1839 the Queen invited 
Lady Sandwich, the wife of a Tory peer, to join the 
household. It became the settled practice for the 
office of Mistress of the Piobes alone to bear a political 
complexion, and for its holder to retire from office 
with the party to which she owed her appointment. 
Politics ceased to affect the tenure of office by the 
other ladies of the royal household, and no serious 
inquiry was made as to their political predilections. 
On the whole, the two crises of 1839, although 

Peel Papers, ii. 405. 


they were not without salutary effect on the Queen's itstesti- 
developing character, are chiefly interesting as illus- 

trations of traits of her disposition which time and a Queen's 
new environment were alone competent to hold in racter. 
check. Increase of years and the good counsel of a 
wise husband were needed to teach the Queen to 
exercise with greater tact those habits of imperious 
command and of self-reliance which were natural to 
her, and to bring under firmer control the impatience 
and quickness of her temper. 




Adoption MELBOURNE signalised his return to power by passing 
of penny j n ^ j aw ag p ar t o f ^he Budget proposals a reform which 
profoundly affected the future prosperity of the Queen's 
subjects and in a sense brought herself into closer 
personal relations with all of them. Eowland Hill's 
scheme for the conveyance and delivery of letters at 
a uniform minimum rate of one penny throughout 
the United Kingdom was adopted by Parliament in 
July 1839. The Post Office had long enjoyed a 
monopoly as letter-carriers, but the charges had 
varied, according to the distance to be traversed, from 
fourpence to one-and-eightpence for each sheet of 
letter-paper. The reduction of the charge to the 
uniform rate of one penny gave an enormous im- 
petus to communication among various parts of Great 
Britain and Ireland for commercial and all other 
purposes. The usefulness of the new arrangement 
was greatly increased by the invention at the same 
time of the adhesive postage-stamp. That device, 
which was soon afterwards adopted by the Govern- 
ment, bore as its distinguishing mark the Queen's 
portrait-head, and this rendered her likeness familiar 
throughout the globe. Improvement in means of com- 

1839] MARRIAGE 105 

munication was perhaps the most striking charac- 
teristic of the social history of the country while the 
Queen reigned over it. All the improvements were the 
fruit of British ingenuity and originality, and foreign 
countries were content to follow at a respectful dis- 
tance in the wake of British invention. But it is 
doubtful if any legislation of the Queen's reign 
exerted more beneficial influence on the social pro- 
gress not merely of England but of the world than 
the postal reform, which carried as its ensign her 
own picture and was passed into law by her first 
Government just after her own obstinate will had 
given it a new lease of life. 

Absorption in the Sovereign's work, the elation of Unreadi- 
spirit which accompanied the major part of her new IHsury 
experiences, the change from dependence to inde- 
pendence in her private affairs, put marriage out of 
the Queen's thoughts during the first two years of her 
reign. But the question was always present to the 
minds of her kinsfolk. Her official advisers were 
prudently willing to allow her to follow her own incli- 
nation in a matter of so much concern to herself, but 
they were fully conscious of the momentous conse- 
quences to themselves and to the State which 
marriage in her case involved. 

The Queen's uncle, King Leopold, regarded a King 
settlement of the question as within his peculiar choice of 
province, and he had already resolved on his course 
of action. He had chosen her first cousin, Albert of 
Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, for her husband soon after her 
birth. He had brought his decision to his niece's 
notice shortly before her accession to the throne, 


and he had no intention of quietly letting his choice 
be thwarted, now that she was Sovereign. 

Early in 1838 King Leopold reminded his niece 
of his matrimonial plan. Her acknowledgment of his 
reminder was disconcerting. She replied that she 
and the Prince, who was of her own age lacking a 
month, were too young to think of marriage yet, and 
she claimed permission to defer a decision till the end 
of three years. 

Stock- King Leopold summoned Prince Albert to Brus- 

operation. sels in March 1838, and explained the situation to 
him. Albert assented with some hesitation to the 
Queen's proposal of delay. He assumed that in her 
proud elevation she would ultimately seek in marriage 
a partner of more exalted rank than a younger son 
of a poor and undistinguished German duke. He 
somewhat supinely assumed the projected alliance to 
be beyond his scope. But Albert's cause had in King 
Leopold's confidential counsellor, Baron Stockmar, a 
champion as zealous as the King himself, and one 
probably more astute. He had left the Queen's side 
at the end of 1838 for the first time since her acces- 
sion. During the disturbing crises of 1839 he was 
out of England, and for the Queen's action and inac- 
tion of that period he was in no way responsible. 
He was employing himself to her ultimate advan- 
tage abroad. Early in 1839 he accompanied Prince 
Albert on a tour in Italy with a view to keeping him 
faithful to King Leopold's matrimonial scheme and to 
instructing him betimes, in case of need, in the duties 
of the consort of a reigning English monarch. 

Among the English courtiers doubts of the success 

1839] MARRIAGE 107 

of the innocent conspiracy, hints of which quickly English 
spread abroad, were freely entertained. Such mem- and^"* 
bers of the large Coburg family as visited the Queen German 
at this period were too ' simple ' and too ' deutsch ' 
in manner to recommend themselves to her English 
attendants. 1 * How unlike an English youth ! ' re- 
marked Lady Lyttelton, somewhat contemptuously, 
of the Queen's cousin, Prince Augustus of Coburg, 
on his visiting Windsor in August 1839. ' After 
being used to agreeable and well-informed English- 
men, I fear she will not easily find a foreign prince to 
her liking,' Lord Palmerston wrote in April 1838. 
Several names besides Prince Albert's were, too, 
freely canvassed, from the first days of her reign, as 
those of suitable candidates for her hand. 2 Another 
first cousin, Prince George of Cambridge (now Duke Reputed 
of Cambridge), was often in her society. A younger sultors - 
son of the Prussian reigning family, and the Due de 
Nemours (brother of the Queen of the Belgians and 
second son of Louis Philippe), who had been one of her 
guests during the coronation festivities, were believed 
to possess attractions both in her sight and in that of 
some of her advisers. In May 1839 she entertained at 
Windsor the Tsarevitch of Kussia (afterwards Tsar 
Alexander II.), the nephew of her godfather, Tsar 
Alexander I., together with Prince William Henry, 

1 Lady Lyttelton. 

2 The Duchess of Sutherland, the Queen's first Mistress of the 
Eobes, writing as early as July 29, 1837, of the Queen's possible suitors, 
remarked : ' There is a young Danish prince come over for a few 
days, rather genteel, only nineteen. I suppose he has been sent to 
see and be seen, but I should not think with any chance.' Stafford 
House Letters, ed. Lord Ronald Gower, p. 223. 


younger son of King William II. of the Netherlands 
the latter had been encouraged by William IV. to re- 
gard marriage with her as a fit object of ambition, 
and his claims were now widely reported to be under 
her consideration. 

Her sense The solution of the problem was not long delayed, 
tfonh?" Tlie social and political embarrassments of the first 
1839- half of 1839 gave the Queen a sense of isolation, 
which rendered the prospect of marriage more con- 
genial to her than it was before. At the same time 
she suffered much annoyance from a number of offers 
of marriage made to her by weak-minded subjects, 
several of whom forced themselves personally on her 
notice when she was riding out, or even gained en- 
trance to her palaces. King Leopold, who was her 
guest at Windsor in September 1839, was not slow to 
use the opportunity that the varied accidents of the 
eventful year presented. 

Arrival of The King, on returning to the Continent, directed 
Albert that Evince Albert and his elder brother Ernest 
Oct. 10, should present themselves at the English Court a 
month later. Nothing was said to the Queen in 
the meantime of the objects of the mission. On 
October 10 the young men arrived at Windsor, bear- 
ing a letter from King Leopold commending them to 
her notice. Many guests were there, besides Lord 
Melbourne, who was a permanent member of the 
royal circle. 

Engage- For four days the princes joined the Queen and a 

ttfhim crowded retinue in the ordinary routine of afternoon 

Oct. 15. rides, evening banquets, and dances ; but during the 

entertainments she contrived to have much talk with 

1839] MAEKIAGE 109 

Albert, and suddenly a genuine and overpowering 
affection between them declared itself . On October 15 
she summoned the Prince to her room, and, taking 
full advantage of her royal station, abruptly offered 
him marriage. It was ' a nervous thing ' to do, she 
afterwards told her aunt, the Duchess of Gloucester ; 
but, she added, it would not have been possible for 
him to propose to the Queen of England ; 'he would 
never have presumed to take such a liberty.' 1 Mel- 
bourne, who had already committed himself to the 
wise view that in the choice of a husband it was 
best for the Queen to please herself, seems to have 
been taken by surprise. His first impression was 
that Prince Albert was too young and untrained for 
the position of royal consort. But he complacently 
hoped for the best and was warm in his congratula- 

The Queen at once sent the information to King The 
Leopold, by whom it was enthusiastically welcomed, 
but the public announcement was delayed for more 
than a month. During that interval the Queen 
and her affianced lover were rarely separated either 
in public or private. The Prince was conspicuous 
at her side at a review of the rifle brigade which she 
held in the Home Park on November 1, when she 
wore, on her own initiative, a military cap trimmed 
with gold. 

On the 14th the visit of Albert and his brother The 
came to an end. Next day the Queen wrote with 
delightful naivete to all members of the royal family 
announcing her engagement. Sir Eobert Peel saw 

1 Peel Papers, ii. 414. 


the communication she sent to Queen Adelaide, and, 
although he regarded the match with little enthu- 
siasm, said she was ' as full of love as Juliet.' l On 
November 20 she left Windsor for Buckingham 
Palace, where on the 23rd she made the official 
declaration, which Melbourne had drawn up, to an 
extraordinary meeting of the Privy Council. No less 
than eighty-three members were present. The 
Queen wore on her arm a bracelet enclosing the 
Prince's miniature ; although her hand shook, she 
read her short and simple speech without hesitation. 
' It is my intention.' she said, ' to ally myself in 
marriage with the Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and 
Gotha. Deeply impressed with the solemnity of the 
engagement which I am about to contract, I have 
not come to this decision without mature considera- 
tion, nor without feeling a strong assurance that, 
with the blessing of Almighty Grod, it will at once 
secure my domestic felicity, and serve the interests 
of my country.' She subsequently accepted the con- 
gratulations of her councillors with great composure. 
Recep- The news was received by the public with mixed 

the" news. f ee l m g s - Daniel O'Connell, who was in temporary 
Daniel alliance with the Whigs, described the coming mar- 
CD' Con- riage at a meeting at Bandon in ludicrous hyperboles 
congratu- ^ J ov ' ^ e nienaced the Tories with violent reprisals 
lations. from Irish swords if they caused the Queen any 
renewal of anxiety in this happy crisis of her life. 2 

1 Croker Papers. 

2 The contemporary report of O'Connell's oration at Bandon, 
October 5, 1839, runs thus : ' We must we are loyal to our young 
and lovely Queen God bless her ! [Tumultuous cheers.} We must 

1839] MARRIAGE 111 

O'Connell's anticipations were not unjustified. There 
were ominous murmurs amid the popular applause. 
Little was definitely known of the Prince, excepting 
that he was German and very young. Neither fact 
was a strong recommendation with the British public. 
Absurdly erroneous views were hastily formed of him. 
Some argued that he owed his good fortune to his 
distaste for affairs of state and his fondness for empty 
amusement. Others credited him with perilously stir- 
ring ambitions. The Tories took for granted that he 
was of ' liberal ' opinions an assumption which did 
not please them. 1 Baseless objection, too, was taken to 
him on religious grounds. Although it was notorious Public 
that the Saxe-Coburg house was staunchly Lutheran, cntlclsm - 
two of its members, King Leopold and Prince Ferdi- 
nand, had lately married Eoman Catholics, and a 

be we are attached to the throne, and to the lovely being by whom it 
is filled. She is going to be married ! [Tremendous applause.'] I wish 
she may have as many children as my grandmother had two-and- 
twenty ! {Immense cheering and laughter.] God bless the Queen ! 
I am a father, and a grandfather ; and in the face of heaven I pray 
with as much honesty and fervency for Queen Victoria as I do for 
any one of my own progeny. The moment I heard of the daring 
and audacious menaces of the Tories towards the Sovereign, I pro- 
mulgated, through the press, my feelings of detestation and my 
determination on the matter. Oh ! if I be not greatly mistaken, I'd 
get in one day 500,000 brave Irishmen to defend the life, the honour, 
and the person of the beloved young lady by whom England's throne 
is now filled ! [Exulting and protracted cheers.] Let every man in 
the vast and multitudinous assembly stretched out before me, who io 
loyal to the Queen and would defend her to the last, lift up his right 
hand ! [The entire assembly responded to the appeal.'} There are 
hearts in those hands. I tell you that, if necessity required, there 
would be swords in them ! {Awful cheering.] ' Annual Register, 
1839, p. 314. 

1 Peel Papers, ii. 408-9. 


foolish rumour circulated that Prince Albert was a 
papist. Abroad the match was regarded as anything 
but brilliant for the Queen. At foreign Courts, and 
even in his own domestic circle at Coburg, it was 
felt that the prize the Prince had won was above his 

The The Queen, who saw the situation through the 

demands. naze f ^ rue womanly affection, treated all criticisms 
with disdain. She especially scorned the foreign 
point of view. She deplored the sacrifice of family 
and country which she regarded the Prince as making 
for her sake. She held that an imperative obliga- 
tion rested on her to offer him substantial recompense 
for his expatriation. She pressed her ministers to 
secure for him wellnigh every honour which she 
enjoyed, in order to compensate him for what he was 
surrendering. Like Queen Mary Tudor, she entreated 
that her husband should be created a king-consort. 
The ministers hesitated. Melbourne bluntly reminded 
the Queen that to acknowledge power in the legislature 
to make a king was to admit its power of ' unmaking ' 
a sovereign. ' For God's sake, madam,' he is reported 
to have brusquely added, ' let's hear no more of it.' He 
pointed out that Prince Albert's rank, as well as his 
household and emoluments, must conform with esta- 
blished precedent. They must correspond with the 
position accorded the last prince consort, Prince 
George of Denmark. The Queen was galled by the 
comparison of her lover with ' the stupid and in- 
significant husband of Queen Anne,' as she called 
him, and was ill-disposed to let the matter rest there. 
The final decision rested neither with herself nor 

1840] MARRIAGE 113 

with the Prime Minister, but with Parliament, and Mel- 
Melbourne, who somewhat pusillanimously declined 
to invite a preliminary exchange of views with his 
political opponents, made no effort to force the hand 
of either House. The session opened on January 16, 
1840, and the Queen, in the speech which she read 
from the throne, spoke in appropriately simple terms 
of her approaching marriage and requested the Legis- 
lature to make suitable provision. As soon as busi- 
ness began, Melbourne found himself in a difficult 
situation. While the Queen continued to demand 
in private intercourse with him a far higher status 
for her future husband than precedent warranted, 
a majority in both Houses of Parliament showed 
plain signs of a resolve to grant far less. Stockmar 
had just resumed residence with the Queen in order 
to give her private advice and to watch the position 
of affairs in the interests of King Leopold and 
his nephew, Prince Albert. He strenuously urged 
on Melbourne at the eleventh hour a private con- 
sultation between Whigs and Tories so as to avoid 
the disagreeable consequences of a public wrangle on 
matters of delicacy which personally affected the 
Queen. But he gained no hearing and his worst 
fears were realised. 

The ministers confined themselves to a proposal Minis 
to grant Prince Albert an annuity of 50,OOOZ., the 
sum granted to the Queen Consorts of George II., 
George III., and William IV. Objection was taken 
to the amount on both sides of the House. It was 
deemed needlessly extravagant by Tories and Radicals 
alike. Joseph Hume, the Piadical spokesman, moved 



an amendment to reduce the sum to 21,0002. on his 
habitual ground of economy. This was negatived by 
305 to 88. Thereupon Colonel Sibthorp, the veteran 
M.P. for Lincoln, a Tory of a very pronounced kind, 
who warmly championed every insular prejudice, 
moved another amendment to reduce the sum to 
30,000/. He received powerful support. Sir Eobert 
Peel, the Tory leader, spoke in his favour. Sir James 
Graham, who had lately deserted the Whigs for 
the Tories, denied that the parallel with the position 
of the Queen Consorts could be sustained ; the inde- 
pendent status of the Queen Consort, he said, not 
very logically, was recognised by the constitution, but 
the Prince Consort stood in no need of a separate 
establishment. On a division the reduction was 
carried against the ministiy by the large majority of 
104, the votes being 262 to 158. 

Obduracy An obvious slight had been passed by the 
House of House of Commons not merely on the ministry, but 
Com- on the Queen and her future husband. Sir Eobert 
Peel and his friends made emphatic protests against 
insinuations of disloyalty, and denied that the Tories 
were ' acting from a spiteful recollection of the events 
of last May.' But Lord John Eussell insisted with 
some justice that the vote was an insult to the 
Sovereign. Colonel Sibthorp further proposed, as 
soon as the Bill making provision for the Prince 
reached the committee stage, that the Prince, in the 
event of his survival of the Queen, should forfeit the 
annuity if he remarried a Catholic, or failed to 
reside in the United Kingdom for at least six months 
a year. This motion was disavowed by Peel, who 

1840] MARRIAGE 115 

allowed that it implied a want of confidence in the 
Prince, and it was rejected. But the blow that had 
been struck in the earlier proceedings could not be 
recalled. The whole episode deeply incensed the The 
Queen, and her uncle, King Leopold, wrote from irritation. 
Brussels that the action of the Commons was in- 

The House of Lords was in no more amiable Difficul- 
mood. There the attack was led by no less a person- Jjf| * 

age than the Duke of Wellington. The Duke carried 
an amendment to the address censuring ministers for 
having failed to make a public declaration that the 
Prince was a Protestant and able to take the Holy 
Communion in the form prescribed by the Church of 
England. On this point Stockmar had already 
given the ministers in private satisfactory assurances 
which they had neglected to divulge. But the Lords 
were not content with this measure of triumph. 
When, on January 27, the Bill for the naturalisation The 
of the Prince was introduced into the upper chamber, 
it contained a clause giving him precedence next after dence - 
the Queen. The royal Dukes of gussex and Cambridge 
had agreed to accept a position below the Queen's 
husband; but the irreconcilable King of Hanover, 
who despite his foreign sovereignty was still Duke of 
Cumberland in the peerage of the United Kingdom, 
and still cherished the jealous belief that he had 
been supplanted by his niece on the English 
throne, bluntly declined to give way to any 'paper 
royal highness.' His protest found much sympathy 
in the Lords. Melbourne argued that he was following 
the precedent set in the case of Philip and Mary, but 

I 2 


was willing to modify the clause so as to give the 
heir-apparent, when he should arrive, precedence 
his father. The concession was deemed inadequate, 
and the clause was withdrawn. 

The Thereupon the Naturalisation Bill passed without 

warrant, further opposition, and for the moment the question 
of the Prince's precedence was suffered to drop. 
But a few months later Greville, the Clerk of the 
Council, prepared a paper proving that the Queen 
could grant her husband by royal warrant what prece- 
dence she chose without any appeal to Parliament. 
On this she acted, giving him under her own signa- 
ture the next place to herself in all public functions. 
But the warrant carried no weight outside the Queen's 
dominions. To her chagrin foreign Courts declined 
to recognise in the Prince any rank above that of his 
hereditary honours, and insisted on distinguishing 
his status from hers with an emphasis that wounded 
her wifely sentiment. 

The ^ Another difficulty arose with regard to the choice of 

atten- the Prince's personal attendants. It was deemed in- 
dants. advisable to allow him to appoint a private secretary 
for himself. A German was not reckoned desirable 
for the post. The Prince deprecated the appoint- 
ment of an Englishman. Melbourne solved the 
problem by nominating his own private secretary, 
George Anson. Happily, neither the Queen nor the 
Prince had cause to regret the choice. 

Meanwhile the marriage was fixed for February 10. 
Before the parliamentary wrangle ended, Lord Tor- 

1 Greville's paper on the subject is printed in the Appendix to 
Greville Memoirs, 2nd ser. vol. i. 

1840] MAKKIAGE 117 

rington and Colonel Grey had been sent to Coburg to Mar 
invest the Prince with the insignia of the Garter and pef e 
to conduct him to England. On January 28 the 1840. 
Prince with his father and brother left Coburg. 1 At 
Brussels he met his uncle Leopold. On February 7 
he was at Dover. Next day he was received with 
much outward enthusiasm in London, and on reach- 
ing Buckingham Palace the oaths of naturalisation 
were administered to him by Lord Cottenham, the 
Lord Chancellor. On the 10th the wedding took 
place in the chapel of St. James's Palace. Lord 
Liverpool was reputed to be the only Tory to whom 
the Queen sent a personal invitation to attend. After 
an elaborate breakfast at Buckingham Palace the 
bride and bridegroom drove to Windsor amid voci- 
ferous acclamations. Two days later they were 
visited by the Duchess of Kent, the Duke of Coburg, 
and others, and on February 14 returned to London. 
On February 19 the Queen held a levee, and the 
Prince stood at her left hand. Despite all tempo- 
rary annoyance, a period of difficulty and danger in 
the Queen's career had been brought to a triumphant 

1 The Prince's departure caused deep grief to many of his 
relatives, who had some misgivings of his future. Caroline, the 
Dowager Duchess of Gotha (Prince Albert's step-grandmother) wrote 
to a friend (in an unpublished letter in private hands) on February 3, 
1840 : ' The high position he goes to occupy cannot console me for 
his leaving, and that position will certainly not be without thorns, 
although the young Queen's love is for him a most comforting gift. 
He, too, is sincerely devoted to her, and will ever stand loyally and 
lovingly by her side.' 




and his 

His cha- 
and in- 
fluence on 



WITH her marriage a new era in the Queen's life and 
reign began. From a personal point of view the 
union realised the highest ideal of which matrimony 
is capable. The Queen's love for her husband was 
without alloy, and invested him in her sight with 
every perfection. He, on his part, reciprocated her 
affection, and he made her happiness the main object 
of his life. 

Intellectually and morally the Prince was worthy 
of his position. He was admirably educated ; his 
interests were wide ; he was devoted to art, science, 
and literature ; he was a first-rate musician ; his life 
was scrupulously well ordered ; he was sagacious, 
philanthropic, conscientious, and unselfish. His ex- 
ample and influence gave new weight and stability 
to the Queen's character and temperament, and her 
knowledge and experience grew. She always regarded 
the two years and eight months that intervened be- 
tween her accession and her marriage as, in her own 
words, ' the least sensible and satisfactory time in 
her whole life. . . . That life of constant amuse- 
ment, flattery, excitement, and mere politics had 
a bad effect (as it must have upon any one) on her 


naturally simple and serious nature.' All changed, 
she added, with her marriage in 1840. ' Lord Mel- 
bourne was very useful to me,' she told another 
friend in later life, * but I can never be sufficiently 
thankful that I passed safely through those two years 
to my marriage. Then I was in a safe haven, and 
there I remained for twenty[-one] years.' l 

But the situation was not wholly free from anxie- Popular 
ties. Outside the domestic circle the Prince was not jjj^ e 
liked. He was cold and distant in manner, and his Prince, 
bearing, both mental and physical, was held to be too 
characteristically German to render it acceptable to 
Englishmen. His temperament was out of harmony 
with the habitual ease and levity of the English 
aristocracy. He had no active sense of humour, no 
enthusiasm for field sports, no vices ; his habits were 
exceptionally regular, he abhorred late hours, 2 and did 
not conceal his disdain for many of the recreations in 
which the English leisured classes indulged. 

From a more serious point of view his position was His em- 
fraught with embarrassment. His place in public position! 
affairs was undefined. He himself conscientiously 
believed it his duty to play a prominent part in them. 
The public held the view that he had no title to 
associate himself with them at any point. There 

1 Prothero, Life of Dean Stanley, ii. 127. 

2 Lady Willoughby de Eresby, describing to a correspondent a 
musical party at Lady Normanby's London house in honour of the 
Queen and Prince Albert in June 1840, notes : ' Lady Williamson, 
Lady Barring-ton, and Lady Hardwicke all sang divinely, supported 
by Lablache and Eubini. The Queen was charm'd and Cousin 
Albert looked beautiful, and slept as quietly as usual, sitting by Lady 
Normanby.' C. K. Sharpc's Correspondence, ii. 524. 


was indeed a jealous fear abroad that his private 
influence with the Queen and his foreign prejudices 
might affect her public action to the national injury. 
Kesentment at any possible interference by him in 
affairs of state quickly spread. At the Queen's re- 
quest Melbourne gave her permission to show him 
official papers, but that concession marked at the 
outset the limit of his connection with matters of 
public business. During the first two years of his 
settlement in England he was deliberately excluded 
from her interviews with ministers. The Prince con- 
sequently felt his position to be one of humiliation. 
He was ' the husband, not the master of the house,' 
he wrote in May 1840 to his friend, Prince William of 
Lowenstein, and his powerlessness to improve his 
position filled him with deep depression. 
His The Queen was in complete sympathy with her 

gradual husband's aspirations. It was never with her con- 
pation, currence that he filled a rank in her kingdom or her 

household subordinate to herself. On December 28, 
1841, she wrote in her journal : ' He ought to be, and 
is, above me in everything really, and therefore I wish 
that he should be equal in rank with me.' Happily 
time wrought a welcome cure. By slow degrees the 
Prince's undoubted abilities and prudence came to be 
recognised by ministers, and they gradually yielded 
to the Queen's persuasion to take him into their coun- 
sels. His permanent exclusion was clearly impos- 
sible. Lord Melbourne, who had hitherto filled the 
office of her private secretary, prepared the way to his 
full participation in them : he ceded that important 
post to the Prince. The cares of maternity were soon 


to distract the Queen on occasion from the details of 
public duty, and her dependence on her husband in 
all relations naturally increased with the widening 
experience of married life. Ultimately Prince Albert 
assumed in behalf of his wife in reality, although not 
in form, most of her responsibilities, and his share 
in the rule of the country through most of the twenty- 
one years of their married life is indistinguishable 
from hers. 

As soon as the Prince finally settled down to his The 
new life he regarded it as his province (he wrote in 
1850 to the Duke of Wellington) to ' fill up every gap position, 
which, as a woman, the Queen would naturally leave 
in the exercise of her regal functions, continually and 
anxiously to watch every part of the public business, 
in order to be able to advise and assist her at any 
moment in any of the multifarious and difficult ques- 
tions or duties brought before her, sometimes inter- 
national, sometimes political, or social, or personal.' 
He claimed to be of right the natural head of her 
family, superintendent of her household, manager of 
her private affairs, sole confidential adviser in politics, 
and only assistant in the communications with the 
officers of the Government.' At the same time he 
was, he pointed out, * the husband of the Queen, the 
tutor of the royal children, the private secretary of 
the Sovereign, and her permanent minister.' The 
defect and danger of such a claim lay, according to 
the constitution of the country, in the fact that the 
Prince was under no parliamentary control, and his 
description of himself as the Queen's ' permanent 
minister ' was inexact. Substantially, however, the 




of the 

in the 

of the 
of Kent. 

statement truthfully represented the Prince's func- 
tions and occupation during his career as Queen 
Victoria's consort. 

None the less a large section of the public 
never conquered their first suspicions of him and 
never willingly acquiesced in his exercise of the 
authority which he gradually absorbed. Until his 
death he had to run the gauntlet of a galling and 
unceasing public criticism, and the Queen, despite 
her wealth of domestic happiness, was rarely free 
from the sense of discomfort and anxiety which was 
bred of a consciousness that many of her subjects 
viewed her husband with dislike or suspicion. But 
from 1841 to 1861, the date of his death, the fact is 
unassailable that Prince Albert's position gave him 
as good a right as the Queen to be regarded as the 
ruler of the British realm. 

Within the palace a complete revolution in the 
Queen's personal and domestic entourage followed 
hard on her marriage. Her mother, the Duchess of 
Kent, at once removed from her daughter's roof. The 
Duchess's influence in the royal circle had long been 
declining, and now came to an end. No less impor- 
tant was the retirement soon afterwards of the 
Baroness Lehzen from the Queen's service. These 
changes in the royal household disposed of checks 
which might have seriously limited the development 
of Prince Albert's power. 

The supersession of both mother and gouvernante 
was effected without friction. The curmudgeonly 
King of Hanover declined the Queen's request to 
give up to the Duchess of Kent his apartments in 


St. James's Palace which he never occupied, and 
thereupon the Queen rented for her mother Ingestre 
House, Belgrave Square, at 2,000/. a year ; but on 
the death of the Princess Augusta in September, 
Clarence House, St. James's Palace, was made over 
to her, together with Frogmore Lodge at Windsor. 
Hardly a day passed without the exchange of visits. 
As a rule, the Duchess both lunched and dined 
with her daughter. The Baroness Lehzen left Depar- 
England in October 1842 for her native country of B^one 
Hanover, finally settling with a sister at Biickeburg. 1 Lehzen 
For many years the Queen found time to write her a 
letter once a week, an interval which was subsequently 
lengthened to a month at the Baroness's own con- 
siderate request ; the correspondence was maintained 
until the Baroness's death in 1870. 2 

Stockmar alone of the Queen's early confidential Stock- 
attendants retained his position after her marriage ; mainsfa 
until 1857 he spent the autumn, winter, and spring Court, 
of each year with the Queen and Prince Albert, and 
occupied rooms in their palaces. On every domestic 
or public question that arose both the Queen and 
Prince looked to him for private guidance. 

Amid the festivities which celebrated the early First 
days of married life general alarm was caused by an j^*^? 4 
attack on the Queen's life. The outrage had no Queen's 
political significance. On June 10 a brainless potboy, 
Edward Oxford, fired two shots at her from a pistol 

1 Cf. Bloomfield, Reminiscences, i. 215. 

2 As late as 1867 the Queen wrote to Sir Theodore Martin, after 
reading his translation of Oehlenschlager's play ' Correggio,' saying 
that the Baroness had often spoken to her of the original work, and 
asking for a copy of the translation to send to he '. 




The con- 
cert at 
June 12, 

as she was driving through the Green Park from 
Buckingham Palace to Hyde Park Corner. She was 
unhurt, and to all appearance unmoved, and after 
making a call at her mother's house to assure her of 
her safety, she composedly continued her customary 
drive in Hyde Park. The lad was arrested and was 
mercifully pronounced to be insane. Addresses of 
congratulation were presented by both Houses of 

The incident served to increase the Queen's popu- 
larity, and in no way affected her health or spirits. 
On June 12, 1840 two days after a concert was 
given at Buckingham Palace under Costa's direction, 
and the Queen herself took part in no less than five 
numbers, singing in a duet with Prince Albert, and in 
a trio with Signers Eubini and Lablache, and in 
three choruses. 1 A week or two later a magnificent 
reception was accorded her at Ascot. 

1 The numbers in which the Queen performed were thus entered 
in the printed programme : 

Duo, ' Non funestar crudele ' (II Disertore) : 

Her Majesty and Prince Albert . . . Ricci 

CORO PASTORALE, ' Felice Eta : ' 

Her Majesty, Lady Sandwich, Lady Wil- 
liamson, Lady Normanby, Lady Norreys, 
Misses Liddell and Anson ; Signor 
Kubini and Signor Costa ; Prince Albert, 
Lord C. Paget, and Signor Lablache . Costa 
TRIO, ' Dunque il mio bene ' (Flauto Magico) : 

Her Majesty, Signori Eubini and Lablache Mozart 
QUARTETTO, con Coro, ' Tu di grazia : ' 

Her Majesty, Lady Williamson, Lady 
Sandwich, Lady Norreys, Lady Nor- 
manby, Misses Liddell and Anson 


Next month there was promulgated intelligence Ap- 
of great importance to the future of the monarchy 
and to the happiness of the Queen's life. The an heir, 
approaching birth of an heir to the throne was formally 
announced. In such circumstances ministers were 
anxious to treat any request on the Queen's part in a 
conciliatory spirit. Consequently, in accordance with 
her wish, a Bill was presented by the Government 
to Parliament constituting Prince Albert Eegent 
in the contingency of her death, provided that he did 
not remarry a Catholic and that he resided in the 

The fear that such a proposal would be resisted The 
by public opinion was quickly dissipated. The pru- B {jf ency 
dence which had distinguished the recent conduct 
of the Prince and the Queen was well calculated to 
silence the opposition that might have been expected 
from the Tories and from the Queen's uncles. Prince Royal 
Albert, by the advice of Stockmar, and with the full ^he C6S 
concurrence of Melbourne, had given ample proofs Tories, 
of an anxiety to relieve the strained relations 
between the Court and the Tories. Their leaders had 

Signer Rubini and Signer Costa ; Prince 
Albert, Lord C. Paget, and Signor 
Lablache Haydn 

CORO, ' Oh come lieto giunge ' (St. Paul) : 

Her Majesty, Lady Sandwich, Lady Wil- 
liamson, Lady Normanby, Lady Norreys, 
Misses Liddell and Anson ; Signor 
Rubini and Signor Costa ; Prince Albert, 
Lord C. Paget, and Signor Lablache 

Felix Mendelssohn 


been entertained by the Queen, and she had shown 
them marked civility. With the Duke of Wellington 
every effort was made to maintain cordial relations, 
and he reciprocated the advances with alacrity. 
To the Queen's discomfort her uncle, the Duke of 
Sussex, maintained a critical attitude, despite the filial 
civilities she invariably paid him, but he had been 
partially conciliated by the bestowal, on April 10, 
1840, of the title of Duchess of Inverness on his 
second morganatic wife, 1 and in the same month, when 
the Queen and Prince Albert attended a great ball 
at Lansdowne House, the new Duchess was permitted 
to sup at the royal table. 

The The pacific atmosphere which was thus engendered 

tion^o?" k a( ^ ^ ie a g reea ble effect of commending to public 
Prince approval the nomination of Prince Albert to the con- 
e * tingent regency. The Duke of Sussex alone proved 
refractory. He resisted the Bill in the House of 
Lords on the ground that the rights of ' the family ' 
were ignored. But the measure became law amid 
signs of general complacency. On August 11, when 
the Queen, according to custom, prorogued Parlia- 
ment in person, the Prince sat for the first time in 
an armchair next the throne, and, although objec- 
tion was again feared, none was raised. His pre- 
dominance was treated as inevitable and was accepted 
with as good a grace as could be hoped for. On 
August 28 he received the freedom of the City of 
London. On September 11 he was admitted to the 

1 Lady Cecilia Letitia Underwood, daughter of Arthur, second 
Earl of Arran, and widow of Sir George Buggin, Knt. She died without 
issue August 1, 1873. 


Privy Council. On February 5, 1841, the Queen 
ordered his name to be inserted in the Liturgy. His 
right to share the Queen's ceremonial dignities was 
not again openly contested. 

Meanwhile, on November 21, 1840, the Queen's Birth of 
first child, a daughter, was born at Buckingham Palace. Royaf 53 
All passed off so well and the Queen's recovery from Nov. 21, 
the confinement was so rapid that the Eegency Bill 
seemed destined to lie dormant. She was able to 
remove to Windsor for the Christmas holidays. On 
February 10, the anniversary of her marriage, the 
child, the Princess Eoyal of England, was baptised at The 
Buckingham Palace in the names of Victoria Adelaide p^jf 18 ' 
Mary Louisa. The sponsors were the Prince's father, 1841. 
the Queen's mother, and her uncle, King Leopold, 
besides her aunts, the Dowager Queen Adelaide and 
the Duchess of Gloucester, and her uncle, the sour 
Duke of Sussex whom the Queen treated with irre- 
pressible charity. The Duke of Saxe-Coburg, the 
Prince's father, was unable to attend in person, and 
the Queen by her own motion chose the Duke of 
Wellington to represent him. The last trace of 
animosity on account of Wellington's open objec- 
tions to the Queen's marriage was now removed. 
' He is,' the Queen wrote in her journal, ' the best 
friend we have.' 

Meanwhile politics were casting clouds on the joys Political 
of domestic life. The Queen's lively interest in the anxieties - 
fortunes of her foreign kindred brought the business 
of the Foreign Office, almost to a larger extent than 
that of any other department of the State, within 
the range of her personal sympathies, and she 


was now to suffer, for the first of many times, a con- 
flict of feeling between her private obligations to 
her foreign kindred and her public obligations to her 
country. Such conflict, despite her instinctive repug- 
nance to unworthy concessions in the sphere of 
foreign diplomacy, was naturally liable to involve 
her in difficulties with her advisers. 

The Questions of foreign policy strongly appealed, too, 

and 6 " to Prince Albert, and he studied them closely and 
foreign with intelligence. Melbourne had already assented 
to the Queen's proposal, which private sentiment 
rather than public considerations prompted, that her 
The husband should enjoy free access to all the Foreign 

and" Office despatches. But the tacit perusal of the papers 
foreign Wa8 k are ly possible to the Prince's active, well- 
informed mind, and he soon claimed in behalf of the 
Queen the full right to a voice in consultation before 
any action was taken by the Government abroad. 
Under his guidance the Queen came to regard the 
supervision of foreign affairs as peculiarly within the 
Sovereign's province. 

Palmer- The pretension on the part of the Queen or 

Foretgn 16 * ner hiisoand to influence ministerial decisions 
Office. required tactful assertion in view of the general 
constitutional principle which gave Parliament sole 
supremacy of control in all departments of govern- 
ment. In the existing juncture of foreign affairs it 
was especially difficult to press the claim without 
generating friction between the Sovereign and her 
ministers. Palmerston, the Foreign Secretary in 
Melbourne's ministry, had held his office (with only 
four months' interval in 1835, during which the 


Tories, under Peel, had a fleeting taste of power) 
for the long period of ten years. 1 He joined Lord 
Grey's ministry as Foreign Secretary at the end of 
1830. In that post he won his main reputation, and 
was ambitious to wield in it unquestioned authority. 
His Liberalism in domestic matters was of a vague 
pattern, which never wholly lost the colour of his 
early political associations with the Tories, but his 
views of foreign policy were firmly and confidently 
held. They were formed under the influence of 
Canning, and were impregnated by a genuine enthu- 
siasm for popular liberty, by a hatred of political 
despotism, and by an assertive faith in England's 
power and right to impose at will on foreign monar- 
chies the political principles that she had herself 
adopted. Of a masterful temperament, he treated all His 

who offered him counsel with a breezy air of scornful frank " 

s ness oi 

superiority. Carelessly frank in conversation, he was address, 
no respecter of persons ; his unreadiness to conciliate 
their idiosyncrasies had earned him the cordial dis- 
like of Queen Victoria's two predecessors on the throne, 
George IV. and William IV. He always affected to 
ignore the natural and inevitable sympathy which 
English sovereigns felt with the occupants of foreign 

Personally, Palmerston had in the first years of His im- 
her reign made himself agreeable to the Queen, who P* ^" ce 


1 Palmerston had first entered the House of Commons as a Tory counsel> 
at the youthful age of three-and-twenty, thirty years before the Queen 
came to the throne, and he had filled a subordinate post in no less 
than five Tory administrations between 1809 and 1828, before he 
transferred his allegiance in the latter year to the Whigs. 





and the 

AH and 



was his junior by thirty-five years. In 1839 he 
married Lord Melbourne's sister, the widow of Lord 
Cowper, a union which the Queen thoroughly ap- 
proved. But in all the circumstances of the case 
it could only be on sufferance that the Prince, or 
indeed the Queen herself, could expect to share 
in Palmerston's management of foreign affairs. 
Palmerston, at the first entrance of the Prince on the 
scene, avowed conscientious reluctance to recognise 
the existence outside Parliament of any check on his 
independence. His attitude at once caused vexation 
in the royal circle. None the less he persisted in it 
unmoved. Prolonged heartburnings followed, and 
they ultimately led to an open rupture between the 
Crown and one of the most influential of its consti- 
tutional advisers. But much was to happen before 
that point was reached in the relations of Queen 
Victoria and Lord Palmerston. 

The earliest immediate cause of divergence (in 
1840) between the Queen and her Foreign Minister 
was due to affairs in the east of Europe, which threat- 
ened a breach in the friendly relations of France and 
England. Egypt under her Viceroy, Mehemefc Ali, 
was seeking to cast off her allegiance to the Sultan of 
Turkey. France encouraged the act of rebellion, 
while England and the rest of the Great Powers took 
Turkey under their protection. The Queen and 
Prince Albert loathed the prospect of war with 
France, with whose sovereign, Louis Philippe, they 
had, through repeated intermarriages, close domestic 
relations ; and the added likelihood that the domi- 
nions of her uncle and political ally, King Leopold, 


which were under England's protection, would, in 
case of war between England and France, be invaded 
by a French army, filled the Queen with alarm. 

Divisions in the cabinet encouraged intervention Divisions 
on the part of the Queen and Prince. Lord John JJabinet. 
Eussell seldom took Palmerston's view of foreign 
complications, and he raised his voice for the preser- 
vation of peace at all hazards. Palmerston, however, 
peremptorily decided that the best way of dissipating 
all risk of French predominance in Egypt was to 
crush Mehemet Ali at once by force of English arms. 
The Queen appealed with energy to Melbourne. She 
entreated him to reconcile his divided colleagues, to 
use his influence against Palmerston, and to seek a 
pacific settlement with France. But Palmerston 
stood firm. He summarily issued orders to the 
British fleet to apply force to Mehemet Ali and com- 
pel him to return to his allegiance to the Sultan 
(November 1840). To all appearance the French 
King was under an obligation to retaliate by bringing 
material support to Mehemet Ali's aid. War between 
France and England seemed to be inevitable. How 
deeply the episode impressed itself on the Queen's 
mind is evident from her half-playful remark to 
her uncle, King Leopold, when she was considering 
amid the crisis the names to be bestowed on her 
newly born infant : ' I think our child/ she wrote, 
' ought to have, besides its other names, those of 
Turko-Egypto, for we think of nothing else.' 

The victory remained with Palmerston. The p a imer- 
minister's triumph was indeed more rapid and com- stpn's 

plete than even he anticipated. Louis Philippe, to phant 

K 2 action. 


the general surprise, proved too pusillanimous to take 
the offensive in behalf of his friend in Egypt, who 
quickly yielded to English coercion. The French King 
finally joined the concert of the Powers, who in July 
1841 pledged themselves by treaty to maintain Turkey 
and Egypt in statu quo. But the incident evoked in 
Louis Philippe, in his ministers, and in King Leopold 
a feeling of bitterness against Palmerston which, 
despite the preservation of European peace, found a 
ready echo in the minds of Queen Victoria and the 

Weak- The foreign crisis was not the only political 

nessof trouble that confronted the Queen at this season, 
bourne's There were sources of anxiety nearer home. The 
stry ' Government was losing its hold on the House of 
Commons, and the retirement of Melbourne's minis- 
try, which the Queen had long dreaded, was clearly a 
question of weeks. The prospect of parting with 
Melbourne, her tried councillor, caused her pain. 
But, in anticipation of the inevitable event, hints had 
been given at Prince Albert's instance by the Court 
officials to the Tory leaders that the Queen would 
interpose no obstacle to a change of government when 
it became inevitable, and would not resist such recon- 
struction of her household as might be needful. The 
Defeat blow fell in May. The agitation for free trade was 
bourne" g row i n g i n ^ ne country, through the energetic efforts 
May of Cobden, and the Whig ministers introduced a 
budget which gently tended in the popular direction. 
For radical changes in the fiscal system of the 
country Parliament was not prepared, and on the 
ministry's proposal to reduce the duty on sugar they 


were defeated by a majority of thirty-six. Sir Robert 
Peel thereupon carried a vote of confidence against 
them by one vote. It was open to Melbourne to 
resign and to advise the Queen to entrust Peel with 
the duty of forming a government. But, moved 
by the Queen's .feelings, Melbourne forbore to take 
that step. Instead of resigning, he recommended the 
Queen to appeal to the country. Parliament was 
dissolved on June 29. 

The Queen hoped against hope that the country The 
might decide the trial at issue in favour of her old oxford* 
friend Melbourne. But the signs were not propitious. June. 
In June, amid the political excitement, the Queen 
paid a visit to Archbishop Harcourt at Nuneham, and 
thence she and Prince Albert proceeded to Oxford to 
attend Commemoration. The Duke of Wellington, 
the Chancellor of the University, presided, and con- 
ferred on the Prince an honorary degree. The Queen 
was disturbed by the hisses which were levelled at 
the Whig ministers who were present. But their 
threatened loss of popular favour incited her to give 
further proof of her attachment to them. She seized The 
the opportunity to pay a series of visits among the sympathy 
Whig nobility. After spending a day or two with the ^j* 
Duke of Devonshire at Chatsworth, the royal party ministers 
was entertained next month by the Duke of Bedford 
at Woburn Abbey and by Lord Cowper, Melbourne's 
nephew, at Panshanger. From Panshanger they 
went to lunch with Melbourne himself at his country 
residence, Brocket Park. 

The general election was proceeding at the time, 
and the Whigs made the most out of the Queen's 


Defeat known sympathy with them and of her alleged anti- 
Whigs pathy to their opponents. But, to the Queen's dismay, 

at the a large Tory majority was returned, and she recog- 

nised that she was face to face with that party in the 

State which she had hitherto viewed with dislike 
and distrust 



THE new Parliament assembled on August 19, 1841. The 
The Queen made no secret of her disappointment 
at the results of the recent electoral battle. For the 
first time in her reign she was absent at the open- 
ing of the session, and her speech was read by the 
Lord Chancellor, an indication that the constitution 
of the House of Commons was not to her liking. 
Melbourne's ministry remained in office till the last 
possible moment, but on August 28 a vote of confidence 
was refused it by both Houses of Parliament. The 
same evening Melbourne saw the Queen at Windsor 
and resigned his trust. She accepted his resignation in 
a spirit of deep dejection, which he did something to 
moderate by assuring her of the high opinion he had 
formed of her husband. On August 30 Melbourne 
took leave of Prince Albert. The Prince wrote to 
him later in the day of ' the real grief with which 
he said farewell.' 

In conformity with Lord Melbourne's advice the Accept- 
Queen at once summoned Sir Robert Peel, and in- pS's 
vited him to form a government. The lesson she min istry. 
had learnt in 1839 bore good fruit, and she raised 
no objection to any of his proposals. Although she 


spoke freely to him of her grief in separating from 
her late ministers, she discussed the business in 
hand with a composure and correctness of manner 
which aroused Peel's admiration. He promised to 
consult her comfort in all household appointments, 
and changes were made with the Queen's full ap- 
proval. Peel wrote (September 18, 1841) that he 
was ' met by her Majesty in a very fair and con- 
siderate spirit.' The Duchess of Buccleuch replaced 
the Duchess of Sutherland as Mistress of the Eobes, 
and the Duchess of Bedford and Lady Normanby 
voluntarily made way for other ladies-in-waiting. 
By September the new Government was formed, 
and the Queen had the tact to treat her new ministers 
with every appearance of amiability. 

Cordial- Prophecies of evil were summarily confuted, and 

tween'the ^ e ma i n credit for the aversion of disaster must be 
Queen divided between Prince Albert and Peel. The Prince's 
influence induced in the Queen's attitude to the 
machinery of politics a prudent complacency of which 
her earlier conduct had given no sign. Peel adapted 
himself to the situation with admirable tact. In the 
result he and the Queen were soon the best of friends. 
Accepting Melbourne's hint, he fully yet briefly ex- 
plained to her every detail of affairs. He strictly 
obeyed the request which she made him as soon as 
he took up the reins of government to send regularly 
and promptly a daily report of proceedings of interest 
that took place in both the Houses of Parliament. 
Melbourne was thenceforth an occasional and always 
an honoured guest at Court, but the Queen accus- 
tiomed herself withput delay to seek political guidance 


exclusively from Peel, and the confidence she reposed 
in him soon equalled that which she had reposed in 
his predecessor. 

Closer acquaintance with Peel's leading colleagues Change 
finally dissipated, too, her early antipathy to the J?o the 
Tory party and to Tory principles. The Duke of Tories. 
Wellington joined Peel's cabinet without office, and 
her relations with him increased in cordiality now 
that he was in official association with her. With Lord 
Lyndhurst, the Lord Chancellor, with Lord Aberdeen, 
the Foreign Secretary, and with Sir James Graham, 
the Home Secretary, she came in frequent contact, 
and all treated her with that respectful kindliness and 
courteous frankness which always won her regard. 
Lord Stanley (afterwards Earl of Derby), the War 
and Colonial Secretary, who was thrice to act as her 
Prime Minister hereafter, also impressed her favour- 
ably. 1 Among the new officers of her household she 
warmly welcomed her early friend, Lord Liverpool, 
who filled the post of Lord Steward. 

A short autumn session closed on October 7. 2": th of 

Prince or 
The Queen was absent from the ceremony of proroga- Wales, 

tion, but her absence was due to personal affairs and JJ^* 9 
to no want of confidence in her new advisers. On 
November 9, 1841, her second child, a son and heir, 

1 The other members of Peel's cabinet, as first constituted, were : 
Henry Goulburn, Chancellor of the Exchequer ; Lord Ripon, Presi- 
dent of the Board of Trade ; Sir Henry Hardinge, Secretary at War ; 
Lord Wharncliffe, President of the Council ; the Duke of Buckingham, 
Lord Privy Seal. Gladstone became Vice-President of the Board of 
Trade without a seat in the cabinet, but he entered the cabinet in 
1843 as President of the Board of Trade. Disraeli was bitterly dis- 
appointed by Peel's failure to confer any office on him. (Cf. Peel 
Papers, ii.) 






King oi 

was born at Buckingham Palace. The confinement 
was imminent for several weeks, and, though she 
hesitated to appear in public, she, with characteristic 
spirit, continued ' to write notes, sign her name, and 
declare her pleasure up to the last moment, as if 
nothing serious were at hand.' l Sir Eobert Peel had 
accepted an invitation to dine with her on the night 
of the child's birth. 

Much public and private rejoicing followed the 
arrival of an heir to the throne. Christmas festivi- 
ties were kept with great brilliance at Windsor, and on 
January 25 the christening took place in St. George's 
Chapel with exceptional pomp. The boy was named 
Albert Edward, and more than fifty-nine years later 
succeeded his mother as King Edward VII. Vague 
political reasons induced the Government to invite 
Frederick William, King of Prussia, to be the chief 
sponsor ; the others were the Queen's uncle, the Duke 
of Cambridge, her aunt, Princess Sophia, and three 
members of the Saxe-Coburg family. To the King of 
Prussia, who stayed with the Queen for the christen- 
ing ceremony from January 22 to February 4, she 
paid every honour, 2 and her personal intimacy with 
the Prussian royal house was thus inaugurated. 
Subsequently the King of Prussia, who was not gifted 
with much political insight or strength of purpose, 
took advantage of the good personal relations he had 
formed with the Queen to correspond with her 
confidentially on political affairs with somewhat 
embarrassing results. 

1 Sir James Graham, ap. Croker Papers, ii. 408, 
Bunsen, ii. 7. 


The preponderance of German guests at the Popular 
christening of the Prince of Wales caused some German 
unamiable comment. Adverse criticism, too, was prepon- 
excited by the formal bestowal on the little Prince of 
his father's hereditary title of Duke of Saxony, and 
by the quartering of his father's hereditary arms of 
Saxony on his shield with those of England. Such 
procedure was regretted as a concession by the Queen 
to her husband's German predilections, but it was in 
conventional accord with heraldic law. On Febru- 
ary 3, 1842, when the Queen opened Parliament, the 
King of Prussia accompanied her. There was no 
great display of loyalty in the streets, 1 but she im- 
pressed her auditors in the House of Lords by referring 
in the speech from the throne to the birth of her son 
as ' an event which has completed the measure of my 
domestic happiness.' The words appealed to the 
homely instincts which were strong in her people. 
When a week later she went with her young family to Inconve- 
stay a month at the Pavilion, the royal residence at display of 
Brighton, her presence excited more public demon - loyalty at 
stration of goodwill than was convenient. 2 Privacy 
was sought in vain. The Queen and Prince Albert 
conceived, in consequence, a dislike for the place, and 
soon sought a more sequestered seaside retreat. 

The following season of 1842 combined agreeable The 
with distasteful incidents. The first of a brilliant season of 
series of fancy dress balls took place to the Queen's l8 4 2 - 
great contentment at Buckingham Palace on May 12 ; 
the Prince appeared as Edward III. and the Queen 

1 Fanny Kemble's Records, ii. 181. 

2 Lady Bloomfield's Reminiscences, 


as Queen Philippa. Some feeling was shown in 
France at what was foolishly interpreted as the cele- 
bration of ancient victories won by the English over 
French arms. The entertainment was charitably 
designed to give work to the Spitalfields weavers, 
who were then in distress. A fortnight later the 
Queen and Court went in state to a ball at Covent 
Garden Theatre, which was organised in the interest 
of the same sufferers. But French sensitiveness was 
too acute to be easily appeased. 

The In June the Queen first associated herself publicly 

tiono? C " w ^ n * na t improved mode of locomotion which was 
railways, revolutionising the social economy of the country. 
It was in 1825 that the first railway between Stockton 
and Darlington had been opened, and in 1830 
was inaugurated the line between Manchester and 
Liverpool. During the reign of William IV. the new 
system of travelling had been steadily growing in all 
parts of the country, but it still provoked almost as 
much hostility as approval. The superiority of 
horse-power to steam-power for purposes of haulage 
had many loud-voiced advocates when the Queen 
ascended the throne. It was not till the year after 
her accession that London was first entered by a 
railway by the North Western company's line from 
Birmingham. Subsequently lines to London multi- 
plied quickly. The battle of the railway was not, 
however, altogether won till seven years of the Queen's 
reign had passed, when the last stage-coaches were 
driven off the southern roads. 

The Queen's first experience of railway travelling 
was an event of no little interest to herself and of no 


small encouragement to the pioneers of the new The 
mechanical invention. The journey was made on the 
new Great Western line from Windsor to Paddington. travels 
Court etiquette required that the Master of the Horse June" ' 
and the co?chmen under his control should actively l8 4 2 - 
direct the Queen's travels by land, and it was difficult 
to adapt the old forms to the new conditions of 
locomotion. But satisfactory arrangements were 
made, and the Queen thoroughly enjoyed the novel 
experience. Thenceforth she utilised to the fullest 
extent the growing railway systems of the kingdom, 
and especially interested herself in improvements 
which should secure the safety and comfort of the 
poorer passengers. 

Unhappily two further senseless attempts on her Second 
life, which took place at the same time, marred her 
sense of security, although they offered her oppor- life, 
tunity of proving anew her intrepidity of spirit. In 
her attitude to the first attempt the Queen and Prince 
Albert indeed showed a courage which bordered on 
imprudence. On Sunday* May 29, Prince Albert 
noticed that a man pointed a pistol at the Queen as 
she drove past him in her carriage through the 
Green Park. She and the Prince resolved to pass 
the same spot on the following afternoon in order to 
secure the arrest of the assailant, if, as they sur- 
mised, he should put in a second appearance. The 
bold device succeeded. ' She would much rather,' 
the Queen explained at the moment, 'run the im- 
mediate risk at any time than have the presentiment 
of danger constantly hovering over her.' The man, 
who proved to be a destitute carpenter named John 


Francis, fired at her as she passed him for the second 
time, happily without result, and, being easily cap- 
tured, was condemned to death, a sentence which 
was commuted to transportation for life. On the 
evening following the outrage, the Queen visited the 
opera to hear the ' Prophete,' and was cheered rap- 

Third g u t the danger was, unfortunately, not past. A 

on her new attempt on the Queen's life followed almost 
immediately. On July 3, when she was driving in 
the Mall with the King of the Belgians, who 
happened to be her guest, a crippled lad, John 
William Bean, sought in an aimless, half-hearted 
way to emulate the misdeeds of Francis and Oxford. 
There was no endeavour in this instance to inflict 
actual injury, and the offender received only eighteen 
months' imprisonment ; but some new steps were 
clearly needed to prevent the repetition of cowardly 
offences so damaging to the repute of the nation. 
According to the strict interpretation of the existing 
law, these contemptible outrages could be treated 
solely as acts of high treason, and the offenders won 
through their misdeeds a notoriety and a specious 
importance which were gratifying to their vanity. 
Peel, immediately after the date of Bean's offence, 
New hastily passed through Parliament a ' Bill for pro- 
legisla- yiding for the further protection and security of her 
for her Majesty's person.' The terms of the measure made 
an ^ a ^ em P* * ^ ur * ^ e Q ueen a criminal offence far 
below the dignity of treason ; it was reduced to the 
rank of a misdemeanour punishable by either trans- 
portation for seven years or imprisonment for three, 


with or without personal chastisement at the discre- 
tion of the judge. On the whole the new law worked 
with good effect. 

Signs of unrest were numerous in , the country. Chartist 
Chartist riots had long been distracting the nation. a ltatlon - 
The Chartist movement was an outcome of political 
and social discontent on the part of the working 
classes. The reformed House of Commons had failed 
to grapple with social questions so as to relieve the 
economic distress which had prevailed among the 
poorer classes of the community since the great war, 
and the disappointment bred an agitation for a 
further change in the constitution of the Legislature. 
The people's charter, which had been drawn up by 
the leaders of the working men in 1838, demanded 
manhood suffrage, equal electoral districts, vote by 
ballot, abolition of property qualification for members 
of Parliament, and payment of members of the House 
of Commons for their services. Whig and Tory 
Governments alike declined to treat such proposals 
seriously. A powerful section among the agitators 
advocated violent reprisals. Kiotous attacks on the 
police and on wealthy representatives of the middle 
classes who were especially obnoxious to the Chartists 
were made, in the Northern and Midland counties 
especially, during the winter and spring of 1842. 
The Queen pressed her ministers to employ decisive 
measures for the preservation of peace, but did not 
take an unduly serious view of the danger. 

During the summer the Queen directed Peel to 
arrange for her an autumn holiday in Scotland. 
To her surprise the prudence of a royal progress 




visit to 
Aug. to 





for Scot- 

through the disturbed districts of the north of Eng- 
land was gravely doubted by her ministers. But 
Peel was anxious to forward the Queen's wish, and 
after consulting Sir James Graham, the Home Secre- 
tary, he came to the conclusion that the expedition 
to Scotland might be safely and wisely made by sea. 

It was the first visit that the Queen paid to North 
Britain, and in the event greatly added to her future 
happiness. It inspired her with a lifelong regard 
for Scotland and its inhabitants, and as her years 
increased, her heart (in her own words) ' yearned to 
that part of her dominions more and more.' The 
first portion of the journey, on her first expedition 
across the border that from Windsor to Paddington 
was again made by rail. At Woolwich the royal 
party embarked on the 'Eoyal George' yacht on 
August 29, and on September 1 they arrived at 
Granton pier. 

There Sir Eobert Peel, at the Queen's request, met 
them. Passing through Edinburgh they stayed with 
the Duke of Buccleuch at Dalkeith, where on Septem- 
ber 5 the Queen held a drawing-room and received 
addresses* Next day the royal party left for the 
highlands, and, after paying a visit to Lord Mansfield 
at Scone, were accorded a princely reception by Lord 
Breadalbane at Taymouth. A brief stay with Lord 
Willoughby at Drummond Castle was followed by 
their return to Dalkeith, and they left Scotland by 
sea for the return journey on the 15th. 

Not only was the Queen enchanted with the scenery 
through which she passed, but the historic associa- 
tions, especially those connected with Mary Stuart 


her ' unfortunate ancestress ' as she called her and 
with her son, James I., deeply interested her, and she 
read on the voyage with a new zest Sir Walter Scott's 
poems, ' The Lady of the Lake ' and ' The Lay of the 
Last Minstrel.' ' Before embarking she instructed 
Lord Aberdeen to write to the Lord Advocate an 
expression of her regret that her visit was so brief, 
and of her admiration of the devotion and enthusiasm 
which had been 'evinced in every quarter and by 
all ranks ' of her Scottish subjects. 2 On September 17 
she was again at Windsor. 3 

The experience left so pleasant an impression that Second 
it was soon repeated. Two years later, in 1844, another Scotland, 
peaceful autumn holiday was spent in Scotland. On 
that occasion the Queen and the Prince proceeded 
by sea from Woolwich to Dundee. Thence they 
drove to Blair Athol to visit Lord and Lady Glen- 
lyon, afterwards the Duke and Duchess of Athol, to 
both of whom the Queen became deeply attached. 
Prince Albert engaged in deerstalking, and the Queen 
did much sketching. The ' life of quiet and liberty ' 
proved even more enjoyable than before, and bred a 
resolve to revisit Scotland as often as was practicable. 
With regret they set out on the return voyage to 
Woolwich on October 3, when their second Scottish 
sojourn ended. 4 

With Peel the Queen's good relations remained The 


1 Leaves from the Queen's Journal, 1867, pp. 1-28. and Peel< 

2 Greville Memoirs. 

3 In November the Duke of Wellington placed Walmer Castle at 
her disposal, and she and her family were there from November 10 to 
December 3. 

4 Journal, pp. 29-42. 



uninterrupted. On April 6, 1842, after six months' 
experience of office, he described his position thus : 
' My relations with her Majesty are most satisfac- 
tory. The Queen has acted towards me not merely 
(as every one who knew her Majesty's character must 
have anticipated) with perfect fidelity and honour, 
but with great kindness and consideration. There is 
every facility for the despatch of public business, a 
scrupulous and most punctual discharge of every 
public duty, and an exact understanding of the rela- 
tion of a constitutional sovereign to her advisers.' l 
Thedis- With the domestic policy of her ministers the 

etfthe 11 Q^en thoroughly identified herself. During the 
Scottish autumn of 1842 the schism in the Scottish Church 
c ' on the question of the right of the local presbytery 
to reject in certain circumstances the minister whom 
the lay patron presented to the benefice led to the 
disruption of the Scottish Establishment and the for- 
mation of the Free Church. The Queen, in a letter to 
Peel, described ' the demands and assertions ' of those 
members of the General Assembly who sought to limit 
the exercise of lay patronage as ' extraordinary and 
inadmissible.' She manifested full sympathy with her 
Government's declaration against interference with 
the patron's ancient and hitherto unrestricted rights. 2 
In January 1843 the Queen was deeply concerned 
at the assassination of Peel's secretary, Edward 
The mur- Drummond, in mistake for himself, and she shrewdly 
Edward criticised in private the jury's verdict of insanity at 

Drum- the trial of MacNaughten, the assassin. 3 With 

1 Peel Papers, ii. 544. 2 Ibid. ii. 568. 

3 Martin, i. 27 ; Peel Papers, ii. 553. 


common -sense wisdom the Queen wrote to Peel, 
January 25 : ' The proofs of the wretch MacNaughten's 
madness seem to the Queen very slight, and indeed 
there is and should be a difference between that mad- 
ness which is such that a man knows not what he 
does, and madness which does not prevent a man 
from purposely buying pistols, and then with deter- 
mined purpose watching and shooting a person.' 

Among Peel's colleagues, Lord Aberdeen, Minister The 
of Foreign Affairs, came after Peel himself into 
closest personal relations with the Queen and the Aberdeen. 
Prince, and with him she found herself in hardly less 
complete accord. But elements of difficulty still 
lurked in her attitude to foreign affairs. She never 
concealed even from Lord Aberdeen her wish to bring 
the Foreign Office under the active influence of the 
Crown. She bade Aberdeen observe ' the rule that 
all drafts not mere matters of course should be sent 
to her before the despatches had left the office.' 
Aberdeen guardedly replied that ' this should be done 
in all cases in which the exigencies of the situation did 
not require another course.' She found no practical 
difficulty in acquiescing in the reservation. Lord 
Aberdeen's general policy developed no principle from 
which the Queen or the Prince dissented, and the 
harmony of their intercourse was undisturbed. 1 

Peel greatly strengthened the cordiality of his Prince 
relations with the Sovereign by a full acknowledg- growing 
ment of Prince Albert's position. He permitted the influence. 
Prince to attend the audiences of ministers with the 
Queen. He nominated him president of a royal com- 

Walpole, Life of Lvrd John Russell, ii. 54. 


mission to promote the fine arts of the United King- 
dom in connection with the rebuilding of the Houses 
of Parliament which had been burnt down in 1834, 
and he encouraged the Prince to reform the confused 
administration of the royal palaces. The Prince's 
authority consequently increased. From 1843 on- 
wards the Queen, in announcing her decision on 
public questions to her ministers, substituted for 
the singular personal pronoun ' I ' the plural ' we,' 
and thus entirely identified her own judgment with 
her husband's. The growth of his authority was 
indicated in the spring of 1843 by his holding levees 
in the Queen's behalf in her absence an apparent 
assumption of fresh power which was none too well 
received by the press or by the public. 
Domestic Domestic incidents occupied much of the Queen's 
attention. The death of her uncle, the Duke of 
Sussex, on April 21, 1843, preceded by four days the 
birth of a third child, the Princess Alice. The coin- 
cidence of the two events impelled her, mainly from 
domestic sentiment, to make some new advances to 
her unfriendly uncle, Ernest, the King of Hanover, 
who was now one of the only two surviving sons of 
George III., the Duke of Cambridge being the other. 
The bap- The Queen asked King Ernest to be a sponsor of her 
Process secon( i daughter Alice, together with her half-sister, 
Alice. Countess Feodore, Prince Albert's brother, and Princess 
Sophia. The King accepted the invitation, but with 
characteristic awkwardness arrived too late for the 
christening (June 5). He came soon afterwards, and 
remained in England for several weeks, apparently 
to prove that he still regarded his niece as an obstacle 


in the path of his obsolete ambition of succeeding to 
his father's crown. A large family gathering followed 
his arrival, for there was a wedding to be celebrated 
in the royal circle in July. The Queen's first cousin 
Augusta, elder daughter of the Duke of Cambridge, 
married at Buckingham Palace, on the 28th, Friedrich, 
Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg- Strelitz. 

King Ernest, who attended the ceremony in a Thesur- 
surly mood, improved the occasion by an unusually t h e 

brusque effort to disturb the equanimity of his of Han- 
hostess. When the register was to be signed after 
the wedding, the King made a bold endeavour, by 
furtively taking up a position next the Queen, to set 
his autograph in the book immediately after hers 
and before that of Prince Albert whom he especially 
disliked. The Queen herself perceived the manosuvre 
and foiled it. Suddenly moving to that part of the 
table where the Prince was standing, she had the 
book hurriedly passed to her, and, having appended 
her own signature, at once handed the pon to her 
husband before the King had time to change his 
place at the table. By way of marking her resent- 
ment of her uncle's unconciliatory demeanour, she 
gave King Leopold precedence of him at Court. She 
first consulted the Duke of Wellington as to how 
she might justify such procedure, and the Duke 
advised her to follow the example of the Congress 
of Vienna, at which representatives were arranged in 
the alphabetical order of the countries whence they 
came : ' B [i.e. Belgium] comes before H [i.e. Hanover],' 
he quietly explained. 1 In August two of Louis 

1 Raikes, Journal 




visit to 

of the 

Philippe's sons, brothers of the Queen of the Bel- 
gians, the Prince de Joinville and the Due d'Aumale, 
joined the Queen's party, and she extended to them 
all the solicitous courtesy which she reserved for 
connections of the Saxe-Coburg House. 

A month later, after proroguing Parliament in 
person (August 24) and making a short yachting tour 
on the south coast, the Queen carried out an intention 
that had long been present in her mind of paying a 
visit to the King of the French, with whose family 
her own was so closely connected by marriage. It 
was not a scheme which the Queen's ministers sug- 
gested or even regarded at the first glance with 
favour. It was the fruit of the Queen's personal inti- 
macy with the Queen of the Belgians, Louis Philippe's 
daughter, who during her frequent sojourns at Wind- 
sor had long urged a visit to France on the English 

The resolve of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert 
to cross the English Channel was an event of much 
interest, historic, political, and constitutional. In 
the first place it was the first occasion on which the 
Queen had trodden foreign soil. In the second place 
it was the first occasion on which an English sove- 
reign had visited a French sovereign since Henry VIII. 
appeared on the Field of the Cloth of Gold at the 
invitation of Francis I. in 1520. In the third place 
it was the first time for nearly a century that an 
English monarch had left his own dominions, and 
the old procedure of nominating in his absence a 
Eegent or Lords-Justices was now first dropped. 

The question of forming a regency according to 


precedent during the Queen's projected absence much The 
exercised the minds of the ministers. Neither ^^ i( 
George III. nor William IV. ever quitted Great regency 
Britain while they filled the throne. But George I. 
and George II. had frequently visited their dominion 
of Hanover, while George IV. went thither once. It 
was a settled custom in Georgian days to confer on 
duly appointed deputies the main executive power of 
sovereignty so long as the King was absent. The 
practice was now reconsidered. The Duke of Wel- 
lington was emphatic in the opinion that ' the 
Queen could not quit this country without an Act 
of Eegency,' and to the argument that Henry VIII. 
had crossed to Calais without any such formality he 
replied that Calais was then an English possession 
and was comparable to an English county. The pro- 
blem was finally submitted to the Crown lawyers, 
who reported that the nomination of a regency might 
be safely dispensed with. The ministers adopted 
their view, and thereby relieved the Sovereign of a 
somewhat harassing restriction of her personal liberty. 1 
Of this relief the Queen in future years took full 
advantage, and the frequency of her visits to the 
continent often in an informal way was one of 
the points in which her practice as Sovereign differed 
from that of her predecessors. 

Although the French expedition was the outcome At the 
of domestic sentiment rather than of political design, Jf 
Peel and Aberdeen offered no opposition on its first 
proposal, and ultimately encouraged it in the belief 
that the maintenance of good personal relations be- 

1 Raikes, Journal, ii. 368. 


tween the English Sovereign and her continental 
colleagues was a guarantee of peace and goodwill 
among the nations. The view was also held strongly 
by Lord Brougham, who differed from contemporary 
statesmen on almost all other subjects. Louis 
Philippe and his Queen were staying at the Cha- 
teau d'Eu, a private domain near Treport. The 
Queen, accompanied by Lord Aberdeen, arrived 
there on September 2 in her new yacht ' Victoria 
and Albert,' which had been launched on April 25, 
and of which Lord Adolphus FitzClarence, a na- 
tural son of William IV., had been appointed 

Louis Her host met the Queen in his barge off the coast, 

hosp PC ' S an( * a magnificent reception was accorded her. The 
tality. happy domestic life of the French royal family 
strongly impressed her, and she appreciated ' the 
parental air ' with which Louis Philippe treated her. 1 
She greeted with enthusiasm, among the French 
King's guests, the French musician, Auber, with 
whose works she was very well acquainted, and she 
was charmed by two fetes champetres and a military 
review. Lord Aberdeen and M. Guizot, Louis Phi- 
lippe's minister, discussed political questions with 
apparent cordiality, and although their conversations 
led later to misunderstanding, everything passed off 
at the moment agreeably. The visit lasted five days, 

1 Peel wrote jestingly to Aberdeen of Louis Philippe's alleged 
bourgeois notions of hospitality on August 31: 'I see that for the 
purpose of doing honour to his royal visitors and their companions, 
he [i.e. Louis Philippe] sent a very large order to England for cheese 
and bottled beer. I hope you will have had calm weather so that 
you may all enjoy these delicacies.' Peel Papers, iii. 393. 


from September 2 to 7, and the Queen's spirit fell 
when it was over. 1 

On leaving Treport the Queen spent another four The 
days with her children at Brighton, and paid her last 
visit to George IV.'s inconvenient Pavilion. But her 
foreign tour was not yet ended. From Brighton she 
sailed in her yacht to Ostend to pay a long-promised 
visit to her uncle, the King of the Belgians, at the 
palace of Laeken, near Brussels. ' It was such a joy 
for me,' she wrote after parting with him, ' to be 
once again under the roof of one who has ever been a 
father to me.' The novelist, Charlotte Bronte, who 
was in Brussels, saw her ' laughing and talking very 
gaily' when driving through the Eue Royale, and 
noticed how plainly and unpretentiously she was 
dressed. 2 Her vivacity brought unwonted sunshine 
to King Leopold's habitually sombre Court. 

The Queen reached Woolwich, on her return from 
Antwerp, on September 21, and the concluding months 
of the year (1843) were agreeably spent in visits at College, 
home. In October she went by road to pay a first 
visit to Cambridge. Dr. Whewell, the Master of 
Trinity, who was at the time Vice-Chancellor of the 

1 A year later Louis Philippe sent to the Queen at Windsor a 
char-a-bancs, which he had caused to be built on the model of one of his, 
which she had admired while at the Chateau d'Eu. The Queen wrote, 
on September G, 1844, to the Queen of the French a long autograph 
letter of thanks, in French, which is now in the British Museum 
(MS. Addit. 24023) : ' Je ne saurais vous dire (she remarked) combien 
nous pensions ce jour-la, ainsi que tous ces jours, aux doux moments 
quo nous avons passes a Eu, au milieu de vous tous.' A postscript 
acknowledged the gift of ' le curieux et beau tableau de Franpois II., 
qui est d'une grande valeur pour notre collection.' 

2 Gaslcell, Life of Charlotte Bronte, 1900, p. 270, 



University, had written, on first learning of the 
Queen and Prince Albert's wish to come to Cambridge, 
that Trinity claimed on all occasions the honour of 
receiving the Sovereign or her representatives, and 
invited the royal party to stay at the Master's Lodge. 
It is questionable whether the common notion that 
Trinity Lodge is actually a royal residence rests on 
firm foundations. But the form of the reception 
which Whewell accorded the Queen suggests that he 
acknowledged her authority to be superior to his own 
within his own college. As Vice-Chancellor he met 
her outside the College gates and delivered to her 
his mace. As Master of Trinity he handed to 
her in the middle of the court all his keys of office. 1 
While staying at the Lodge of Trinity College, she 
held a levee in Trinity Hall. She visited the Senate- 
house to witness Prince Albert's reception of a 
doctor's degree from the University. The under- 
graduates offered her a thoroughly enthusiastic 

At Next month she gave public proof of her regard for 

Manor -^ ee ^ ^ v visiting nmi a ^ Drayton Manor (November 28 

to December 1). Thence she passed once more to 

At Chats- Chatsworth, where, to her gratification, Melbourne 

worth ' and the Duke of Wellington were fellow-guests. The 

presence of Lord and Lady Palmerston, although the 

latter was Melbourne's sister, was less congenial. At 

a great ball one evening her partners included Lord 

Morpeth (afterwards Earl of Carlisle) and Lord Leve- 

1 Life and Selections from the Correspondence of William Whewell, 
by Mrs. Stair Douglas, 1881, p. 302. Cf. Adam Sedgwick's full narra- 
tive of the Queen's visit to Cambridge in 1843 in his Life and 
Letters, by Clark and Hughes, ii. 57-64. 


son (better known later as Earl Granville), who was 
subsequently to be one of her most trusted ministers. 
Another night there was a vast series of illuminations 
in the grounds, of which all traces were cleared away 
before the morning by two hundred men, working under 
the direction of the Duke's gardener, Joseph (after- 
wards Sir) Paxton. 1 The royal progress was continued 
to Belvoir Castle, the home of the Duke of Eutland, 
where she again met Peel and Wellington, and it was 
not till December 7 that she returned to Windsor. 

On January 29, 1844, Prince Albert's father died, Death ot 
and in the spring the Prince paid a visit to his native Albert's 
land (March 28 to April 11). It was the first time fathen 
the Queen had been separated from her husband, and 
she felt the severance keenly. In her husband's 
absence the King and Queen of the Belgians, of whom 
she often said that ' next to her husband she loved 
them best in the world,' came over to console her. 

On June 1 two other continental sovereigns arrived Visit of 
in the country to pay her their respects, the King of c ^Q\ as j" 
Saxony and the Tsar Nicholas I. of Eussia. The King 1844. 

1 This story recalls, mutatis mutandis, one which is reported of 
Queen Victoria's great predecessor, Queen Elizabeth, when on a visit 
to another distinguished subject. In 1576, when Queen Elizabeth 
paid a visit to Sir Thomas Gresham at Osterley Park, ' her Majesty 
found fault with the court of this house as too great, affirming " that 
it would appear more handsome if divided with a wall in the middle." 
What doth Sir Thomas, but in the night-time sends for workmen to 
London (money commands' all things), who so speedily and silently 
apply their business, that the next morning disclosed that court 
double, which the night had left single before. It is questionable 
whether the Queen next day was more contented with the confor- 
mity to her fancy, or more pleased with the surprise and sudden per- 
formance thereof.' Fuller's Worthies, ed. P. A. Nuttall, 1840, ii. 313. 


of Saxony was a family acquaintance. To the Tsar, 
who came uninvited at very short notice, it was 
needful to pay elaborate attentions. His elder half- 
brother, the Tsar Alexander, had been the Queen's 
godfather, and political interests made the strengthen- 
ing of the personal tie desirable. The Tsar attended 
a great review at Windsor Park with the Queen, and 
went with her to Ascot and to the opera. At a grand 
concert given in his honour at Buckingham Palace, 
Joseph Joachim, then on a visit to England as a boy, 
was engaged to perform. A rough soldier in appear- 
ance and manner, the Tsar treated his hostess with a 
courtesy which seemed to her pathetic, and, although 
preoccupied by public affairs, civilly deprecated all 
likelihood of a divergence of political interests between 
England and his own country. 1 

Political At this time domestic politics were agitating the 

affairs. Queen to a greater degree than foreign affairs. 

The spread of disaffection in Ireland during the 

repeal agitation distressed her, and, although she 

was in favour of a policy of tolerance and forbearance 

in matters affecting religion and land legislation in 

Ireland, she was always insistent on the strong-handed 

The suppression of violence and disorder. Nor did she 

and the regard as justifiable the cry for the repeal of the 

Irish Union. In the controversy over that question her 

name was made more prominent than was prudent. 

The Irish Lord Chancellor, Sir Edward Sugden, 

asserted in a published letter that the Queen was 

personally determined to prevent repeal (May 1843). 

1 Sir Herbert Maxwell's Memoir of Sir Charles Murray ; Lady 
Lyttelton's Letters. 


The repeal leader, O'Connell, a chivalric admirer 
of the Queen, promptly denied the statement. Peel 
mildly reprimanded Sugden, but truth forced him to 
admit at the same time that the Queen ' would do all 
in her power to maintain the Union as the bond of 
connection between the two countries.' l To that 
aspiration she remained faithful till death. 

The obstructive policy of the Irish and other The 
members of the Opposition in Parliament at the same ^J. on 
time caused her concern. She wrote to Peel on mentary 
August 15 of ' her indignation at the very unjustifiable tion. 
manner in which the minority were obstructing the 
order of business ; ' she hoped that every attempt 
would be made ' to put an end to what is really in- 
decent conduct,' and that Sir Eobert Peel would 
' make no kind of concession to these gentlemen 
which could encourage them to go on in the same 
way.' 2 

Worse followed in the month of the Tsar's visit. Peel 
On June 14 the Government were defeated on a 
proposal to reduce the sugar duties. The cause of tion. 
free trade was rapidly gaining ground in the country, 
although not apparently in the House of Com- 
mons. Peel's fidelity to the opposing cause of pro- 
tection was waning, and he foresaw that his change 
of view might force him into a position that his 
followers would repudiate. To the Queen's conster- 
nation, he consequently expressed an intention of 
resigning at once. Great uncertainty as to the result 
of his threat prevailed. But happily, four days later, 
a vote of confidence was proposed and carried, and 

1 Peel Papers, iii. 52, 2 Ibid. iii. 568. 





Birth of 
August 6, 

visit to 

the crisis passed. The Queen wrote at once to 
express her relief (June 18). ' Last night,' she said, 
'every one thought that the Government would be 
beat, and therefore the surprise was the more un- 
expected and gratifying.' l 

Foreign affairs, despite the hospitalities of the 
English Court to royal visitors, were soon again 
menacing the Queen's peace of mind. The jealousy 
between the English and French peoples might be 
restrained, but could not be stifled, by the friendliness 
subsisting between the two Courts, and in the autumn 
of 1844 the maltreatment by French officials of an 
English consul, George Pritchard, in the island of 
Tahiti, which the French had lately occupied, caused in 
England an explosion of popular wrath against France, 
which the Queen and her Government at one time 
feared must end in war. Amid this excitement a 
second son, Prince Alfred, was born to the Queen at 
Windsor on August 6, 1844. 

Hospitalities to foreign monarchs were not long 
interrupted. At the end of the month of August the 
Queen entertained yet another royal personage from 
Germany, the Prince of Prussia, brother of the King, 
and eventually first Emperor of Germany. The in- 
troduction was fertile in results. There sprang up 
between the Queen and her new guest a warm friend- 
ship which lasted for more than forty years, and was 
finally cemented by a marriage between the Queen's 
eldest daughter and the Prince's eldest son. 

Later in the same year, with bold impartiality, an 
equally hospitable reception was given the ruler of 

1 Peel Papers, iii. 153. 


the great nation that was the traditional rival of 
Prussia on the European continent. Louis Philippe 
returned the Queen's visit. He arrived on October 8, 
1844. For the first time a French monarch voluntarily 
landed on English shores. The event seemed to fore- 
shadow more decisively than any other recent Court 
entertainment a new reign of peace in Western Europe. 
The Tahiti quarrel had been composed, and the 
interchange of hospitable amenities was unclouded. 
On October 9 the King, vastly to his delight, was 
invested at Windsor with the Order of the Garter. 
On the 14th the visit ended, and the Queen and 
Prince Albert accompanied their well-satisfied visitor 
to Portsmouth, though the stormy weather ultimately 
compelled him to proceed to Dover to take the short 
sea trip to Calais. 

The Queen's activity led to a manifest growth in The 
her general popularity a sentiment which she of theT^ 
liked to trace to public sympathy with her happy Royal 
domestic life. An elaborate ceremony in London change, 
evoked a magnificent display of loyalty. The Queen Oct. 28, 
went in state to the City, on October 28, to open the 
new Royal Exchange. 1 Of her reception Peel wrote 
to Sir Henry Hardinge (November 6, 1844) : ' As 
usual she had a fine day, and uninterrupted suc- 
cess. It was a glorious spectacle. But she saw 
a sight which few sovereigns have ever seen, and 
perhaps none may see again, a million human 
faces with a smile on each. She did not hear one 

A finely coloured panoramic plate of the elaborate procession 
was published at the time and is now rare. 




visits to 





discordant sound.' 1 On November 12 the Eadical 
town of Northampton gave her a hardly less enthu- 
siastic greeting when she passed through it on her 
way to visit the Marquis of Exeter at Burghley House 
the historic mansion near Stamford where she had 
before stayed in girlhood with her mother. 

It was always congenial to the Queen to repeat in 
the company of her husband the experiences of her 
early life, and she constantly encouraged invitations 
from the nobility, which recalled episodes in the 
maiden progresses that she had undertaken as Prin- 
cess under her mother's control. She always requested 
that the lists of the guests who were invited to meet her 
should be submitted beforehand for her approval, but 
rarely suggested change. She did not wish to restrict 
the parties to old friends, but preferred that she and 
the Prince should enjoy the opportunity of suitably 
extending their circle of acquaintance. 

Besides the Marquis of Exeter, noble hosts of this 
winter season included the Duke of Wellington at 
Strathfieldsaye (January 20-22, 1845). He mani- 
fested some unwillingness to invite preliminary royal 
criticism on the constitution of his house-party. But 
the Queen was in the humour to yield to his objec- 
tions, for she had just enjoyed the hospitality of a 
singularly facile host, the Duke of Buckingham, at 
Stowe. The Duke, a staunch protectionist, commonly 
known as ' the Farmer's Friend,' had lately resigned 
the office of Lord Privy Seal in Peel's Government 
by way of indicating his dislike of the Prime Minister's 
benevolent attitude to the agitation for free trade. 

1 Peel Papers, iii. 264. 


None the less Peel and Aberdeen were, at the Queen's 
special request, of the Duke's party. The enter- 
tainment at Stowe was of interest in varied ways. 
The visitors included Disraeli, the brilliant member 
of the Tory rank and file who was to excite in the 
Queen hereafter a conflicting succession of emotions 
curiosity, distrust, and finally affectionate admiration. 
At Stowe, in January 1845, the Queen met him in First 
private for the first time. He was smarting at the ^jf^ 
moment under Peel's indifference to his rare abilities, Disraeli, 
and was about to retaliate with stinging effect. But 
a somewhat treacherous peace reigned in the royal 
presence among all who were gathered at the Duke 
of Buckingham's table. Disraeli wrote with enthu- 
siasm of the sumptuous scene and of the triumphal 
splendour of the ducal hospitality. 'Her Majesty, 
Peel, Aberdeen, and all,' he added, when writing to 
his sister of the treatment accorded to him and 
to his unconventional wife who accompanied him, 
' equally distinguished us by their courtesy.' l By 
a curious coincidence, within a few days of the 
Queen's meeting Disraeli at Stowe, she entertained 
Gladstone at Windsor, and was agreeably impressed, 
as it seemed to observers, by his copious conversa- 
tion. 2 

1 Lord Beaconsfield's Letters, ed. Ralph Disraeli, 1887, p. 204. 
There were other ironical features in the protectionist Duke's 
reception of the Queen besides his inclusion of both Peel and Dis- 
raeli among the company. The lavish hospitality that the Duke ex- 
tended to his Sovereign precipitated a distressing crisis in his own 
fortunes. He was already deep in debt, and two years later the 
whole of his vast property was for ever alienated to his creditors, to 
whom he stood indebted for more than a million pounds. 

2 Lady Lyttelton's Letters. 




The BEFORE January 1845 ended the Queen was deeply 

session immersed once more in urgent public affairs. A 
stormy session of Parliament was on the point of 
opening. But the Queen had the satisfaction of 
knowing that in the opinion of her ministers she had 
by her own tactful influence helped to promote peace 
in the foreign sphere of politics. When the Queen 
read her speech at the opening of Parliament, Febru- 
ary 4, 1845, she referred with great satisfaction to 
the visits to her Court of the Tsar Nicholas and of 
the King of the French, and Peel took an early 
opportunity of pointing out that the munificent re- 
ceptions accorded those sovereigns and other royal 
visitors were paid for by the Queen out of her per- 
sonal income without incurring any debt. 
The The session was largely occupied with the affairs 

amfthe of Ireland. Tne repeal agitation was subsiding and 
Ma y- the Government were considering an important mea- 
agitation. sure of conciliation. It was proposed to endow the 
training college for Catholic priests at Maynooth. 
Gladstone deemed the proposal inconsistent with the 
principles to which he had publicly committed himself 
and withdrew from the Government. The Queen 


regretted the secession of so promising a supporter 
of the Prime Minister. But she encouraged Peel to 
press on with the measure, which she regarded as a 
wise and tolerant concession to the dominant reli- 
gion in Ireland. The Protestant bigotry which the 
scheme roused in the country excited her disdain. 
On April 15, 1845, she wrote to Peel : ' It is not 
honourable to Protestantism to see the bad and vio- 
lent and bigoted passions displayed at this moment.' 

Through the session there was much activity at Court 
Court. Another bal costume at Buckingham Palace 
on June 6, when the period chosen for illustration 
was the reign of George II., was the chief entertain- 
ment of the year ; and in the same month (June 21) 
there was a review of the fleet, which was assembled 
at Spithead in greater strength than was known 
before. Next month the Queen gave a new proof of 
her friendly feeling for continental rulers by re- 
ceiving the King of the Netherlands at Osborne. 

In the autumn the Queen for the second time Queen's 
defied precedent by leaving England for travel in a 
foreign country. No question of providing a regency many, 
in her absence was raised. She was absent for 
a month. The Minister for Foreign Affairs again 
bore the royal party company. The chief object of 
the journey was to visit Coburg and other scenes 
of her mother's and her husband's youth. A 
subsidiary object was to pay on their outward road a 
return visit to the King of Prussia, their elder son's 

Landing at Antwerp (August 6), the Queen and 
the Prince were met at Malines by the King and 

M 2 





The Queen of the Belgians, and at Aix-la-Chapelle by the 

Prufsia f 's King f Prussia '> tnence tnev journeyed through 
welcome. Cologne to the King of Prussia's palace at Briihl. 
Much pleasurable recreation was offered them. They 
visited Bonn to attend the unveiling of the statue of 
Beethoven, and a great Beethoven festival concert, 
while at a concert at Briihl, which Meyerbeer con- 
ducted, the artists included Jenny Lind, Liszt, and 
Vieuxtemps. The regal entertainment was continued 
at the King's castle of Stolzenfels, near Coblenz on 
the Ehine, which they left on August 16. 

Although the Queen was received with much 
enthusiasm, and she was deeply interested in the 
experience, the visit was not without painful inci- 
dent. The question of the Prince's rank amid the 
great company caused the Queen deep annoyance. 
Archduke Frederick of Austria, the uncle of the Em- 
peror of Austria, who was also a guest, claimed and, to 
the Queen's chagrin, was awarded precedence of the 
Prince in the King of Prussia's palace. The refusal 
of Court officials to give her husband at Stolzenfels, 
in 1845, the place of honour next herself rankled 
in her memory, and made her long reluctant to 
accept future offers of hospitality from the Prussian 

On August 19 the Queen reached the palace of 
Rosenau, Prince Albert's birthplace, which was the 
main goal of her journey. Thence they passed through 
Coburg, finally making their way to Gotha. At 
Gotha the Queen was gratified by a visit from her 
old governess Lehzen, and many pleasant excursions 
were made in the Thuringian forest. On Septem- 



her 3 they left for Frankfort, stopping a night at 
Weimar on the way. 

Thus ended the Queen's first expedition to Ger- A second 
many, the country to which she was linked by ties of Louis 
blood and wifely affection. Antwerp was reached on Philippe. 
September 6, but the Queen and Prince did not come 
straight to England. On their way to Osborne l they 
paid a flying visit to Treport to pay their respects 
anew to Louis Philippe. The state of the tide did 
not allow them to land from the yacht, and Louis 
Philippe's homely wit suggested a debarkation in 
bathing machines, which excited the ridicule of 
London wits. 

Next day (September 9) the Queen settled once The 
again at Osborne. Writing thence (September 14, ^fgh^at 
1845) to her aunt, the Duchess of Gloucester, she visiting 
said : ' I am enchanted with Germany, and in urg ' 
particular with dear Coburg and Gotha, which I left 
with the very greatest regret. The realisation of 
this delightful visit, which I had wished for so many 
years, will be a constant and lasting satisfaction.' 
To her uncle Leopold she wrote to the same effect. 

Before the close of 1845 the Queen was involved Peel and 
in the always dreaded anxiety of a ministerial crisis. 
The potato crop had completely failed in Ireland, 
and the harvest in England and Scotland was very 
bad. Great distress was certain throughout the 
United Kingdom during the winter. Thereupon Peel 
made up his mind that the situation demanded the 
repeal of the corn laws a step which he and his 
party, it was generally assumed, were pledged to 

See p. 198. 

M 3 


oppose, although he had himself already shown a plain 
inclination to accept the main principles of the free- 
traders. Most of his colleagues were startled by his 
change of view, many threatened resistance, but all 
except Lord Stanley ultimately agreed to stand by 

The The rank and file of the party showed fewer 

supports si 8 ns of complacence. The Young England party, 
under the leadership of Disraeli, had already be- 
trayed signs of restiveness beneath Peel's sway, 
and Disraeli had in the session of 1845 inaugu- 
rated that long series of scathing invectives against 
Peel on the ostensible ground of the minister's 
indifference to the agricultural interests of the 
country. The Conservative Government had become, 
he declared, 'an organised hypocrisy.' The Queen 
was gravely disturbed. She now threw the whole 
weight of her influence into the Prime Minister's 
scale. On November 5, 1845, she wrote to Peel 
of the anxiety occasioned her by his report of 
' disagreement in the cabinet at this moment, 
when every one should be united, and co-operate 
to remedy the alarming state of scarceness which 
is threatening.' On November 28, 1845, the Queen 
wrote again from Osborne : ' The Queen is very 
sorry to hear that Sir Eobert apprehends further 
differences of opinion in the cabinet. At a moment 
of impending calamity it is more than ever neces- 
sary that the Government should be united. The 
Queen thinks the time is come when a removal of 
the restrictions on the importation of food cannot be 
successfully resisted. Should this be Sir Kobert's 


own opinion, the Queen very much hopes that none 
of his colleagues will prevent him from doing what 
it is right to do.' l 

But Peel, although greatly heartened by the Peel's 
Queen's support, deemed it just both to his supporters 

and to his opponents to let the opposite party, which >ec !r m ~ 
had lately advocated the reform, carry it out. On 1845.' 
December 6, 1845, he resigned. The Queen was as 
loth to part with him as she had formerly been 
to part with Melbourne. The day before she had 
written to him, 'Whatever should be the cause of 
these differences, the Queen feels certain that Sir 
Robert Peel will not leave her at a moment of such 
difficulty, and when a crisis is impending.' But 
Peel was resolute. 

While regretting his decision, the Queen rose to Lord 
the situation and prepared to exercise, according to R U3 s e ii 

her wont, all the influence that was possible to her sum - . 

in the formation of a new Government. By Peel's 

desire she sent for Lord John Russell, who was at 
the moment at Edinburgh, and did not reach Windsor 
till the llth. In the meantime she asked Melbourne 
to come and give her counsel, but his health was 
failing, and on every ground prudence urged him to 
refuse interference. 

The Queen's chief fear of a Whig cabinet was due Negotia- 
te her and her foreign kinsmen's distrust of Pal- 
nierston as Foreign Minister. She feared that no J ohn - 
Whig ministry could exclude him, but she did what 
she could to interpose obstacles to his admission to 
his old place in the cabinet. At her first interview 

1 Peel Papers, iii. 237-8. 


with Lord John, she promptly requested him to 
give Palmerston the Colonial Office. Lord John 
naturally demurred, and asked for time before pro- 
ceeding further. 

The ^ In the extremity of her fear the Queen flung her- 

dreacTof se ^ w ^ n energy into a larger and more intricate 
Palmer- series of diplomatic negotiations than she had yet ven- 
tured on. She begged Lord Aberdeen, the Foreign 
Minister in Peel's cabinet, to support in political 
circles her objections to Palmerston ; but since it was 
notorious in political circles that Palmerston would 
accept no post but that of Foreign Secretary, Aber- 
deen could give her little comfort. He merely 
advised her to make the best of what was inevitable. 
She might impress Palmerston with her desire of peace 
with France, and bid him consult her regularly on 
matters of foreign policy. But it was impossible to 
exclude him from the post to which long service 
entitled him. The Queen acquiesced in the advice 
with grave reluctance. 

Lord On December 13 the Queen had a second inter- 

John's v ew a \v mc l s or with Lord John, who was now 
clous accompanied by the veteran Whig leader, Lord 
appeals. Lansdowne. Prince Albert sat beside her, and she 
let her visitors understand that she spoke for him as 
well as for herself. Lord John addressed her with 
great frankness. He asked her to obtain assurances 
from Peel that the dissentient rtmbers of his cabinet 
were not in a position to form a new Government. 
If he undertook to repeal the corn laws, it was right, 
Lord John added, that the Queen should secure for 
him the full support of Peel and his followers. The 


Queen consulted Peel, who gave her a vague and 
guarded answer. Lord John was dissatisfied, and he 
urged her with characteristic pertinacity to obtain 
more specific promise of co-operation. The Queen 
deemed the request unreasonable, but civilly appealed 
anew to Peel without result. Thereupon she stood 
aside to await the turn of events. 

At length, on December 18, Lord John accepted Lord 
the Queen's command to form a Government. But faf s 
his difficulties were only begun. There were members culties. 
of his party who distrusted Palmerston as thoroughly 
as the Queen distrusted him. Lord Grey declined 
to join the Government if Palmerston took the 
Foreign Office, and he at the same time demanded a 
place in the cabinet for Cobden, the leader of the 
free-trade agitation. Lord John felt unable either 
to accept Lord Grey's proposals or to forego his 
presence in the administration ; and greatly to the 
Queen's surprise he, on December 29, suddenly in- 
formed her that he was unable to serve her. 

For a moment it looked as if the Queen were to Peel's 
be left without any Government, but she turned once 
more to Peel, who, at her earnest request, resumed 
power. To this result she had more or less passively 
contributed throughout the intricate negotiation. 
She had tacitly triumphed all along the line, and the 
issue was completely satisfactory to her. The next 
day, December 30, she wrote to Peel of his return to 
office : ' The Queen cannot sufficiently express how 
much we feel Sir Eobert Peel's high-minded conduct, 
courage, and loyalty, which can only add to the 
Queen's confidence in him,' Some changes were made 


in the restored ministry. Gladstone, to whom the 
Queen felt grateful for his consistent and efficient sup- 
port of Peel, succeeded, much to her satisfaction, the 
dissentient Lord Stanley in the office of Colonial and 
War Secretary. 

The Thenceforth the Queen identified herself almost 

Queen's recklessly with Peel's policy of corn-law repeal. Mel- 
Peel, bourne, when dining at Windsor, told her that Peel's 
conduct was ' damned dishonest,' but she declined to 
discuss the topic and bade him keep silence. She lost 
no opportunity of urging Peel to persevere. On Janu- 
ary 12, 1846, she wrote of her satisfaction at learning 
of the drastic character of his proposed measures, 
' feeling certain,' she added, ' that what was so just 
and wise must succeed.' On January 27 Prince Albert 
attended the House of Commons to hear Peel announce 
his plan of abolishing the corn laws in the course of 
the next three years. Strong objection was raised to 
the Prince's presence by protectionists, who argued 
that it showed partisanship on the part of the Crown. 
The Queen ridiculed the protest, but it offended her, 
and the Prince never went to the Lower House again. 
On February 4 she told Peel that he would be re- 
warded with the gratitude of the country, which 
1 would make up for the abuse he has to endure from 
so many of his party.' On February 18 she not only 
sent a lettter to congratulate Peel on his speech in 
introducing the Bill, but forwarded to him a note 
from the Dowager-Queen Adelaide which expressed an 
equally flattering opinion. 

Gladstone and Lord Lincoln, although they ac- 
cepted Peel's policy, withdrew from the House of 


Commons at the opening of the session because, as Regrets 
parliamentary nominees of the Duke of Newcastle, ^ifficul- 
who was a staunch protectionist, they could not ties, 
honourably vote against his opinions. The Queen 
expressed sympathy with Peel in his loss of such 
powerful lieutenants. She pressed Peel to secure 
other seats for them. ' Where is a seat to be found 
for Mr. Gladstone and Lord Lincoln ? ' she wrote 
hurriedly on March 4. Every speech during the 
corn-law debates she read with minute attention, and 
she closely studied the division lists. ' The proceed- 
ings of each night/ she wrote, ' are of the greatest 
interest to us.' 

The birth of the Princess Helena on May 25 was Peel's 

not suffered to distract the royal attention, and the 

Queen watched with delight the safe passage of 

the Bill through both Houses of Parliament. The 

sequel, however, disconcerted her. On June 26, the 

night that the Corn-law Bill passed its third reading 

in the Lords, the Protectionists and Whigs voted 

together against the Government on the second reading 

of a Coercion Bill for Ireland, and Peel was defeated 

by seventy-three votes. His resignation followed of 

necessity, and, at a moment when his services seemed 

most valuable to her, the Queen saw herself deprived 

of them, as it proved for ever. She wrote of ' her 

deep concern ' at parting with him. ' In whatever 

position Sir Eobert Peel may be,' she concluded, ' we 

shall ever look on him as a kind and true friend.' 

Hardly less did she regret the retirement of Lord 

Aberdeen. * We felt so safe with them,' she wrote of 

the two men to her uncle Leopold, who agreed that 


Peel, almost alone among contemporary English 
statesmen, could be trusted ' never to let monarchy be 
robbed of the little strength and power it still may 
possess.' l 

The Although Peel had not suffered the Queen to exer- 

enthusi- c * se more power than the constitution allowed, he had 

asm for increased her sense of influence by the fulness and 


trade. frequency of his communications with her on political 

business. He had thereby created a mutual confi- 
dence between Sovereign and minister which stimulated 
the Queen's interest in the affairs of her people, and 
induced in her genuine enthusiasm for a reform like 
the abolition of the corn laws which, her minister 
readily convinced her, w T ould alleviate her people's 
sufferings and add to their prosperity. Difficult as 
Peel's position was when he resolved to give practical 
effect to the principle of free trade, it would have been 
almost unendurable had the Queen done other than 
identify herself with his enlightened action. 

1 Peel Papers, iii. 172. 




SIR EGBERT PEEL'S defeat in Parliament was so em- Lord 
phatic that the Queen had no alternative but to invite ^ t n s 
the leader of the Opposition to take his place. At ministry, 
her request Lord John Eussell formed a new Govern- * 
ment. He insisted on Palmerston's return to the 
Foreign Office, and with misgivings the Queen as- 
sented. It was understood that a general election 
should take place next year, and decide the length of 
the new ministry's life. In the event the ministry 
lasted nearly five years, although the voice of the 
country at the polls in November 1847 did not de- 
clare itself very strongly in its favour. The Liberals 
in the new House of Commons numbered 325 against 
105 Conservative followers of Peel, and 226 Conserva- 
tive Protectionists, under the leadership of Peel's 
rival, Disraeli. The numbers failed to establish the 
Government on very firm foundations, and the Queen 
marked her indifference to its welfare by absenting 
herself from the opening ceremony in the newly sum- 
moned Parliament. 

The Queen's third Prime Minister, Lord John, The 
although awkward and unattractive in manner, and a 
wedded to a narrow view of the Queen's constitutional J hn - 


powers, set himself to emulate the example of his 
predecessors in conciliating the royal favour. She had 
come into frequent personal intercourse with him at 
the opening of her reign. He was Home Secretary 
and leader of the House of Commons in Melbourne's 
ministry, and he knew all that had passed between 
her and Melbourne. Closer acquaintance improved 
his relations with the Queen, and she marked the in- 
crease of cordiality by giving him for life Pembroke 
Lodge in Eichmond Park in March 1847, on the death 
of the Earl of Erroll, husband of a natural daughter 
of William IV. 

Lord Some of Lord John's colleagues greatly in- 

terested the Queen. Lord Clarendon, who had been 

leagues. Lord Privy Seal under Melbourne, was at first 
President of the Board of Trade under Lord John, 
and in 1847 became Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. He 
was out of sympathy with Palmerston's high-handed 
foreign policy, and, like his brother, Charles Pelham 
Villiers, was an enthusiastic free-trader. In their 
views on both home and foreign affairs he and the 
Queen (and Prince) were at one. Thoroughly dis- 
interested in public life, and in private most con- 
siderate and courteous, he gained the Queen's entire 
confidence and became an intimate friend. Of equally 
high character was Sir George Grey, who now first 
took the office of Home Secretary, and filled it almost 
continuously for nearly twenty years. With him the 
Queen's relations were uniformly cordial. 

Macau- She took pleasure at the same time in the society 

Court. of Macaulay, who joined Lord John's ministry as 
Paymaster-General. His brilliant conversation, after 


he had overcome a feeling of shyness in addressing 
her, interested and amused her, and he, on his side, 
formed a high opinion of her general intelligence and 
amiability. On March 9, 1850, when Macaulay dined 
at Buckingham Palace, he talked freely of his ' His- 
tory of England.' ' The Queen owned that she had 
nothing to say for her poor ancestor, James II.' 
' Not your Majesty's ancestor, your Majesty's prede- 
cessor,' Macaulay returned ; and the remark, which 
was intended as a compliment, was well received. 1 
On January 14, 1851, when he stayed at Windsor, 
he ' made her laugh heartily,' he said. ' She talked 
on for some time most courteously and pleasantly. 
Nothing could be more sensible than her remarks on 
German affairs.' 2 

But, in spite of her respect for many of its Difficui- 
mernbers, the Queen's relations with her third ministry 
were less amicable than with her first or second, ston. 
owing to the unaccommodating temper of the most 
prominent and self-assertive member of it Palmer - 
ston, the Foreign Secretary. Between him and the 
Crown a continual struggle was in progress for the 
effective supervision of foreign affairs. The constitu- 
tion did not provide for the regular control by the 
monarch of the minister's work in that or any other 
department of the State. The minister had it in his 
power to work quite independently of the Crown, and 
it practically lay with him to admit or reject a claim 
on the Crown's part to suggest even points of pro- 
cedure, still less points of policy. For the Crown to 
challenge the fact in dealing with a strong-willed and 

1 Trevelyan's Life of Macaulay, pp. 537-8. 2 Ibid. p. 549. 


popular minister was to invite, as the Queen and 
Prince were to find, a tormenting sense of impotence. 
The At the outset monarch and minister found them- 

marfi 1 - 5 selves in agreement. Although Palmerston realised 
ages. anticipations by embroiling France and England, the 
breach was deemed, in the peculiar circumstances, 
inevitable even by the Queen and the Prince. A 
difference had for some years existed between the two 
countries in regard to the affairs of Spain. The 
Spanish throne was occupied by a child of sixteen, 
Queen Isabella, whose position sufficiently resembled 
that of the Queen of England at her accession to 
excite interest in her future at the English Court. It 
was the known ambition of Louis Philippe or of his 
ministers to bring the Spanish kingdom under French 
sway. English politicians of all parties were agreed, 
on the other hand, that an extension of French influ- 
ence in the Spanish peninsula was undesirable. Per- 
fectly conscious of the strength with which this view 
was held, Louis Philippe walked warily. There were 
rumours that he was ambitious to ally the little 
Spanish Queen in matrimony with his own family 
with his fourth son, the Due d'Aumale but he did 
what he could to allay excitement on that score. In 
1843 he announced that the Spanish Queen's matri- 
monial fortunes were no concern of his. He admitted, 
however, that his younger son, the Due de Mont- 
pensier, was to be affianced, not to the little Spanish 
Queen herself, but to her younger sister. 
The Queen Victoria received the announcement with 

equanimity. Lord Aberdeen, then Foreign Minister, 
saw no objection to such a match provided that the 




marriage should be delayed till the Spanish Queen had 
herself both married and had issue, and that it should 
be clearly understood that no member of the French 
Bourbon house should become the royal consort of 
Spain. During each of the visits of Queen Victoria 
to the Chateau d'Eu the King of the French gave her 
a distinct verbal assent to these conditions. 

The Spanish Queen had many suitors, but she Prince 
was slow in making a choice, and her hesitation kept ^ ert 
the Spanish question open. Unluckily for the good Prince 
relations of France and England, the personal posi- f C saxe 
tion of Prince Albert in England and his connec- Coburg. 
tion with Germany introduced a curious complica- 
tion into the process of selecting a consort for the 
Spanish Queen. The Kegent Christina, the mother 
of the Spanish Queen, had no wish to facilitate French 
ambition. With a view to foiling it she urged her 
daughter to follow the example alike of the English 
Queen and of the Queen of Portugal, and marry into 
the Saxe-Coburg family. In 1841, when the notion 
was first put forward, Prince Albert's elder brother 
Ernest, who was as yet unmarried, was suggested as 
a desirable suitor ; but on his marriage to another in 
1842, Queen Christina designated for her son-in-law 
Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, Ernest and Albert's 
first cousin, whose brother Ferdinand was already 
Prince Consort of Portugal. Prince Albert, who 
had entertained the young man at Windsor, was 
consulted. He felt that his cousin should not be 
lightly deprived of the opportunity of securing a 
throne, but recognised a delicacy in urging English 
statesmen to serve Saxe-Coburg interests, and he 






ence at 

and the Queen stood aside to await the passage of 

France, however, showed at once passionate hos- 
tility to the scheme. Guizot, Louis Philippe's Prime 
Minister, brusquely declared that he would at all 
hazards preserve Spain from England's and Portu- 
gal's fate of a Saxe-Coburg ruler. Accordingly, in 
the interests of peace, the Saxe-Coburg suit was 
avowedly dropped by consent both in Spain and 
England. Yet on May 2, 1846, it was covertly re- 
vived by Queen Christina. That lady wrote to Duke 
Ernest of Saxe-Coburg, who was on a visit to his 
relatives in Portugal, bidding him seek the personal 
aid of Queen Victoria in marrying her daughter to 
his cousin and Queen Victoria's cousin, Prince Leopold. 
With the embarrassing ignorance which prevailed in 
continental Courts of English constitutional usages, 
Queen Christina desired her letter to reach Queen 
Victoria's hand alone, and not that of any of her 
ministers. Duke Ernest forwarded it to King Leopold, 
who communicated it to his niece. 

Both Duke Ernest and King Leopold came to 
England in August, and they discussed the Saxe- 
Coburg aspect of the question with the Queen and 
Prince Albert. The matter was thoroughly threshed 
out anew, and the royal conclave reluctantly reached a 
decision adverse to the Saxe-Coburg prince, on the 
adequate ground that both English and French mini- 
sters had virtually rejected him. Duke Ernest at once 
wrote to that effect to the Queen-mother Christina, 
and advised the young Queen to marry a Spaniard. 1 

Duke Ernest of Saxe-Coburg, Memoirs, i. 190 seq. 


Almost at the same moment as the royal family Palmer- 
had arrived at this understanding, Palmerston re- j^sh 3 
turned to the Foreign Office, and in a despatch to the despatch. 
Spanish Government which he wrote in haste and 
with half knowledge only of the result of the recent 
Saxe-Coburg conclave, he pressed the Spanish Queen 
to choose without delay one of three suitors, among 
whom he included Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg 
The despatch was communicated to the French 
ministers, who saw in Pahnerston's resuscitation of 
the Saxe-Coburg offer of marriage a breach of a 
specific agreement. The renewed mention of Prince 
Leopold constituted in French eyes a serious griev- 
ance against the English Court. 

Eetaliation was at once attempted by France. French 
Without seeking further negotiation, the French [ion/ 3 
ministers arranged at Madrid that the young Queen 
should marry at once, that the bridegroom should be 
a Spanish suitor, the Duke of Cadiz, and that on the 
same day the Due de Montpensier should marry the 
young Queen's only sister. On September 8 the 
Queen of the French, in a private letter to Queen 
Victoria, announced the approaching date of the two 
marriages. The Queen, in reply (September 10), 
expressed surprise and regret. Louis Philippe sent 
an apologetic explanation to his daughter, the Queen 
of the Belgians, who forwarded it to Queen Victoria. 
She replied that Louis Philippe had broken his word. 

Bitter charges of breach of faith abounded on both French 
sides, and the war of vituperation involved not merely ' 

both Courts but both countries. The sinister rumour 
ran in England that the French ministers knew the 

N 2 


Duke of Cadiz to be unfit for matrimony, and had 
selected him as husband of the Spanish Queen so 
that the succession to the Spanish crown might be 
secured to the offspring of Montpensier. In any case, 
that hope was thwarted ; for although the marriage 
of the Spanish Queen Isabella proved unhappy, she 
was mother of five children, who were ostensibly born 
in wedlock. The indignation of the Queen and Prince 
Albert was intensified by the contempt which was 
showered by the French ministers and the French 
press on the Saxe-Coburg family ; its endeavours 
after aggrandisement were alleged to be insatiable. 
The efforts of Louis Philippe and his family at a 
domestic reconciliation proved for the time vain. 
The Palmerston, after his wont, conducted the official 

iodio-na- ne g^ a tion without any endeavour to consult the 
tion. views or respect the wishes of the Queen or Prince 
Albert. In one despatch to Sir Henry Bulwer, the 
English minister at Madrid, he reinserted, to the 
Queen's annoyance, a paragraph which Prince Albert 
had deleted in the first draft touching the relation of 
the issue of the Due de Montpensier to the Spanish 
succession ; the royal rights of the Due's heirs should, 
he argued, be cancelled. King Leopold held Palmer- 
ston responsible for the whole imbroglio. 1 But the 
Queen's public and private sentiments were in this 
case identical with those of Palmerston and of the 
English public, and, in the absence of any genuine 
difference of opinion, the minister's independent 
action won from the Queen reluctant acquiescence. 
With the Queen's tacit but uninvited assent, the 

1 Duke Ernest's Memoirs, L 199. 


English Government formally protested against the Popular 
two Spanish marriages. But they duly took place on 
October 10. English execrations were loud. ' There 
is but one voice here on the subject,' the Queen 
wrote (October 13) to King Leopold, ' and I am, alas ! 
unable to say a word in defence of one [i.e. Louis 
Philippe] whom I had esteemed and respected. You 
may imagine what the whole of this makes me 
suffer. . . . You cannot represent too strongly to the 
King and Queen [of the French] my indignation, and 
my sorrow, at what has been done.' Then the 
hubbub, which seemed to threaten war, gradually 
subsided. The effect of the incident on English 
prestige proved small, but it cost Louis Philippe the 
moral support of England, and his tottering throne 
fell an easy prey to revolution. 




AT the opening of 1847 the political horizon was 
season clouded on every side ; but despite the anxieties at 
home threats of civil war in Ireland, and so great a 
rise in the price of wheat in England that the Queen 
diminished the supply of bread to her own household 
the ' season ' of that year was exceptionally lively. 
Numerous foreign visitors were entertained, includ- 
ing the Grand Duke Constantine of Eussia (the Tsar 
Nicholas's younger son), Prince Oscar of Sweden 
(afterwards King of Sweden and Norway), and many 
German princes. On June 15 a state visit was paid 
to Her Majesty's Theatre in the Haymarket, during 
the first season of Jenny Lind, who appeared as 
Norma in Bellini's opera. 1 The Queen applauded 
eagerly, and wrote to her uncle Leopold : ' Jenny 
Lind is quite a remarkable phenomenon.' 
Prince In the spring the Queen had been much grati- 

Ch^n- fied bv the election of Prince Albert to the dignified 
cellor of office of Chancellor of Cambridge University. The 
bridge. choice was not made without a contest 'the un- 
seemly contest ' the Queen called it and the Prince 
won by a majority of only 117 votes over those cast 

1 Holland and Rockstro, Jenny Lind, ii. 113 seq. 

1847] THE YEAR OF REVOLUTION, 1848 183 

for his opponent, the Earl of Powis. But the Queen 
wisely concentrated her attention on the result, which 
she represented to herself and her friends as no gift 
of hers, but an honour that the Prince had earned 
independently on his merits. 

In July the Queen accompanied her husband to At Cam- 
the Cambridge Commencement, over which he pre- j u i y 1847. 
sided as Chancellor. From Tottenham she travelled 
on the Eastern Counties Eailway, under the personal 
guidance of the railway king, George Hudson, and 
thereby proved anew her interest in the amazing 
growth of railway enterprise. As on the occasion of 
her former visit, she was the guest of Trinity College. 
On July 5, 1847, in the hall of Trinity College, she 
received from her husband in his official capacity an 
address of welcome to the University. In reply she 
smilingly congratulated the graduates on their wise 
selection of a Chancellor. 1 Her old friend Melbourne, 
together with three German princes, who were royal 
guests Prince Waldemar of Prussia, Prince Peter of 
Oldenburg, and the hereditary Grand Duke of Saxe- 
Weirnar received honorary degrees from Prince 
Albert's hands. 2 On the evening of the 6th there 
was a levee at the lodge of Trinity College, and next 

1 Life of Wilberforce, i. 398 ; Dean Merivale, Letters ; Cooper, 
Annals of Cambridge. 

2 An installation ode, set to music by T. A. Walmisley, was 
published in the newspapers of July 7, 1847, as ' written for the 
occasion by the Poet Laureate, by royal command,' but there is no 
likelihood that Wordsworth, then Poet Laureate, was its author. It 
seems to have been written by Edward Quillinan at Wordsworth's 
request, after the Laureate had failed in a reluctant attempt to pre- 
pare an ode. Cf. Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, edited 
by William Knight, 1896, viii. 320. 


morning the Queen attended a public ' breakfast ' or 
afternoon party in Nevill's Court. 

Third For the third time the Queen spent her autumn 

Scotland, nol iday in Scotland, where she had now taken a high- 
1847. land residence at Ardverikie, a lodge on Loch Laggan, 
in the occupation of the Marquis of Abercorn. She 
and her family travelled thither by the west coast 
from the Isle of Wight (August 11-14). Pausing at 
the outset for a night on the Scilly Isles, the Queen 
and Prince made for the Menai Straits, where they 
transferred themselves from their yacht ' Victoria and 
Albert ' to the smaller yacht ' Fairy.' Passing up the 
Clyde they visited Loch Fyne. On the 18th they 
arrived at Inverary Castle, the seat of the Duke of 
Argyll, and afterwards reached their destination by 
way of Fort William. Palmerston was for the most 
part the minister in attendance, and, amid the deer- 
stalking, walks, and drives, there was found time for 
political discussion between him and Prince Albert, 
in which their views did not prove more reconcilable 
than hitherto. The sojourn in Scotland lasted three 
weeks, till September 17, and intensified the Queen's 
enthusiasm for that country. On the return journey 
the royal party went by sea only as far as Fleetwood. 
Thence they proceeded by rail from Liverpool to 
London. 1 

Louis ^ In the months that followed, public affairs, espe- 
dethrone- cially abroad, abounded in causes of alarm for the 
ment Queen. The year 1848 was one of revolution in Europe, 
and the cause of monarchy seemed threatened through- 
out the world. The period passed without serious 

1 Journal, pp. 43 01. 

1848] THE YEAK OF REVOLUTION, 1848 185 

disturbance in England, but the Queen's equanimity 
was rudely shaken by the rebellions that wrought 
havoc in foreign lands. The dethronement of Louis 
Philippe in February proved as severe a shock to her 
as any that she had yet suffered. It wounded her 
tenderest feelings, and stimulated her liveliest sym- The 
pathies. Ignoring recent political differences with emotion, 
the King of the French, she thought only of the dis- 
tress of a fellow sovereign who was bound to her by 
domestic ties. When his sons and daughters hurried 
to England, nothing for a time was known of the fate 
of Louis and his Queen. On March 2 they arrived in 
disguise at Newhaven, and Louis immediately wrote 
to the Queen, throwing himself on her protection. 

Everything that the Queen could do for his com- Her 
fort she did with prompt energy. She at once obtained 
her uncle Leopold's consent to offer the refugee King exiled 
and Queen his own royal residence at Claremont, and 
there the exiles found an asylum for the rest of their 
lives. Prince Albert visited them as soon as they 
arrived, and on March 6 ex-King Louis came to 
Windsor to express his gratitude for the protection 
that the Queen had vouchsafed him. The contrast 
between the conditions of his present and of his 
previous visit deeply impressed her. ' If it were not 
for the generosity of the Queen of England,' remarked 
the exiled King to a guest shortly afterwards at dinner 
at Claremont, ' I should not have either this house 
to cover my head or the plate or anything which is 
on the table.' l 

1 Memoirs of Sir Edward Blount, K.C.B., edited by Stuart J. 
Reid, 1902, p. 127. 




to his 

tion in 

Birth of 
March 18, 

But it was not only in behalf of the ex-King and the 
ex-Queen of the French that Queen Victoria exerted her- 
self. To all members of the French royal family the 
Queen showed unremitting attention. To the Due de 
Nemours she allotted another royal residence at 
Bushey. She frequently entertained him together 
with his brothers, the accomplished Due d'Aumale, 
Comte de Paris, and Prince de Joinville. She 
always treated them with the respect which was due 
to members of reigning families. 

But it was not only in France that the Eevolution 
dealt hardly with the Queen's circle of royal acquaint- 
ances and kindred. Her half-brother of Leiningen, 
who had been in Scotland with her the year before, 
her half-sister, Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, 
the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (Prince Albert's 
brother), and their friend, the King of Prussia, 
suffered severely in the revolutionary movements of 
Germany, and although their thrones survived they 
endured much tribulation. In Italy and Austria, 
too, the safety of kings and princes was rudely 

Happily, in England, threats of revolution came 
to nothing. The Queen faced the possibilities of the 
situation with great boldness. During the crisis she 
was temporarily disabled by the birth, on March 18, 
of the Princess Louise ; but at the end of her con- 
finement she wrote to her uncle, King Leopold, with 
admirable spirit, ' My only thoughts and talk were 
politics, and I never was calmer or quieter or more 
earnest. Great events make me calm ; it is only 
trifles that irritate my nerves ' (April 4). 

1848] THE YEAR OF REVOLUTION, 1848 187 

The great Chartist meeting on Kennington chartist 
Common, on April 10, proved abortive. It had been menaces - 
announced that on that day half a million of persons 
were determined, in spite of the army or the police, 
to carry to the Houses of Parliament a petition bear- 
ing five million signatures and demanding the adop- 
tion by the Legislature of all the points of the Charter. 
London was placed under military protection, and 
expectations of a serious riot were general. 1 By the 
advice of ministers the Queen and her family removed 
from Windsor to Osborne a few days before, but the 
agitators had exaggerated their power. The meeting 
at Kennington was thinly attended and dispersed 
peacefully. The Court returned to London on 
May 2 to find all prophecies of disaster confuted. 
Chartism did not long survive the farcical denouement 
at Kennington. 

When the infant Princess Louise, to whom the Quiet 
Queen of the Belgians stood godmother, was chris- restored - 
tened at Buckingham Palace on May 13, the strain of 
anxiety was at an end. But no sooner was quiet 
completely re-established in London than the Queen 
was faced by a new perplexity in the sphere of 
party politics. In June 1848 Lord John feared 
defeat in the House of Commons on the old ques- 
tion of a further reduction of the sugar duties. 
That proposal had already nearly wrecked two 
Governments, and it was widely assumed that it was 
about to wreck a third. Although the Queen's con- 
fidence in the ministry was chequered by Palmer- 
ston's conduct of the Foreign Office, she declared any 

1 Lady Lyttelton's Letters. 


change inopportune while the social atmosphere was 
still charged with menaces of revolution. It was 
therefore unwillingly that she approached the con- 
sideration of the choice of Lord John's successor. 
Demurring to Lord John's own suggestion of Lord 
Stanley, the Protectionist leader in the Lords, who 
as a seceder from Peel was not congenial to her, she 
took counsel for the last time with Melbourne. He 
advised her to summon Peel. No step could have 
been more agreeable to her. But the alarm of Lord 
John proved delusive. The Government was stronger 
than was anticipated. A small majority in the House 
of Commons remained faithful to Lord John, and 
for three years longer he continued in office. 
Parlia- On September 5, 1848, the Queen prorogued 

pj- _ Parliament in person, and peace once more reigned 

rogued. j n the Parliament and in the country. The cere- 
mony took place for the first time in the Peers' 
Chamber in the new Houses of Parliament, which had 
been rebuilt after the fire of 1834. Her French kins- 
men, the Due de Nemours and the Prince de Joinville, 
England were present with her. Popular enthusiasm ran high, 
hitionf V ' " an( ^ sne was * n thorough accord with the congratula- 
tory words which her ministers put into her mouth 
on the steadfastness with which the bulk of her people 
had resisted incitements to disorder. 




ON the same afternoon she embarked at Woolwich First stay 
for Aberdeen in order to spend three weeks at Bal- ^ofa! " 
moral House, then little more than a shooting lodge, 1848. 
which she now hired for the first time of Lord Aber- 
deen's brother, Sir Kobert Gordon. The climate of 
the place proved invigorating, her affection for the 
Highlands redoubled, and it was in tears that she 
left for the South after the brief sojourn. But the 
plan which had long been in contemplation, of se- 
curing a permanent residence in Scotland, was then 
finally formed. The main railway systems of Scot- 
land and England were now completed, and rendered 
communication between the two countries rapid and 
easy. Owing to bad weather the Queen tried the new 
experiment of making practically the whole of the 
return journey to London by rail, travelling from 
Perth by way of Crewe. The experiment was suc- 
cessful, and thenceforth she travelled to and from 
Scotland in no other way. 1 

1 Later in the year a distressing accident caused the Queen deep 
depression (October 9). While she was crossing from Osborne to 
Portsmouth, her yacht, the ' Fairy,' ran down a boat belonging to the 
1 Grampus ' frigate, and three women were drowned. ' It is a terrible 
thing, and haunts me continually,' the Queen wrote. 




and the 
drama at 



The Queen, when in London or at Windsor, 
sought recreation more and more frequently each 
year in music and the drama. Elaborate concerts, 
oratorios, or musical recitations were repeatedly given 
both at Windsor and at Buckingham Palace. On Febru- 
ary 10, 1846, Charles Kemble read the words of the 
' Antigone ' when Mendelssohn's music was rendered, 
and there followed like renderings of ' Athalie ' 
(January 1, 1847), again of ' Antigone ' (January 1, 
1848), and subsequently of ' (Edipus at Colonos ' 
(February 10, 1848, and January 1, 1852). 

During 1842 and 1844 the composer Mendelssohn 
was many times at Court, and the Queen received 
him with a delightful cordiality. Of a visit to 
Buckingham Palace in July 1842 he wrote at length 
to his mother, and the description presents an idyllic 
picture of the Queen's private life : 

1 Prince Albert had asked me (Mendelssohn wrote 
on July 19) to go to him on Saturday at two o'clock, 
so that I might try his organ before I left England ; 
I found him alone, and as we were talking away the 
Queen came in, also alone, in a simple morning dress. 
She said she was obliged to leave for Claremont in an 
hour, and then, suddenly interrupting herself, ex- 
claimed, " But goodness, what a confusion ! " for the 
wind had littered the whole room, and even the 
pedals of the organ (which, by the way, made a 
very pretty feature in the room), with leaves of music 
from a large portfolio that lay open. As she spoke 
she knelt down and began picking up the music; 
Prince Albert helped, and I too was not idle. Then 
Prince Albert proceeded to explain the stops to me, 


and she said that she would meanwhile put things 

' I begged that the Prince would first play me Prince 
something, so that, as I said, I might boast about it an( j ert 
in Germany ; and he played a Chorale, by heart ; Mendels- 
and the Queen, having finished her work, came and 
sat 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 got to the end of the first verse they both joined in 
the chorus. . . . Then the young Prince of Gotha [i.e. 
Prince Albert's brother Ernest] came in, and there 
was more chatting ; and the Queen asked if I had 
written any new songs, and said she was very fond of 
singing my published ones. " You should sing one to 
him," said Prince Albert ; and, after a little begging, 
she said she would try the " Friihlingslied " in B flat 
" If it is still here," she added, " for all my music is 
packed up for Claremont." Prince Albert went to 
look for it, but came back, saying it was already 
packed. " But one might perhaps unpack it," said I. 
' We must send for Lady - ," she said. (I did 
not catch the name.) So the bell was rung, and the 
servants were sent after it, but without success ; and 
at last the Queen went herself, and while she was 
gone Prince Albert said to me, " She begs you will 
accept this present as a remembrance," and gave 
me a little case with a beautiful ring, on which is 
engraved "V.K. 1842." 

' Then the Queen came back, and said, "Lady - The 
is gone, and has taken all my things with her. It 

really is most annoying." (You can't think how that Mendels- 


amused me.) I then begged that I might not be 
made to suffer for the accident, and hoped she would 
sing another song. After some consultation with 
her husband, he said, " She will sing you some- 
thing of Gluck's." Meantime the Princess of Gotha 
[i.e. Prince Ernest's wife] had come in, and we 
five proceeded through various corridors and rooms 
to the Queen's sitting-room. The Duchess of Kent 
came in too, and while they were all talking 
I rummaged about amongst the music, and soon 
discovered my first set of songs. So, of course, I 
begged her rather to sing one of those than the 
Gluck, to which she very kindly consented ; and 
which did she choose ? " Schoner und schoner 
schmiickt sich ! " sang it quite charmingly, in strict 
time and tune, and with very good execution. . . . Then 
I was obliged to confess that Fanny [i.e. the musician's 
sister] had written the song (which I found very hard, 
but pride must have a fall), and to beg her to sing 
one of mine also. Tf I would give her plenty of help, 
she would gladly try, she said, and then she sang the 
Pilgerspruch " Lass dich nur " really quite faultlessly, 
and with charming feeling and expression. I thought 
to myself, one must not pay too many compliments on 
such an occasion, so I merely thanked her a great 
many times ; upon which she said, " Oh, if only I had 
not been so frightened ! generally I have such long 
breath." Then I praised her heartily, and with the 
best conscience in the world ; for just that part with 
the long C at the close she had done so well, taking 
it and the three notes next to it all in the same 
breath, as one seldom hears it done, and therefore it 


amused me doubly that she herself should have begun 
about it. 

' After this Prince Albert sang the Aerndtelied, Mendels- 
" Es ist ein Schnitter ; " and then he said I must fa^eli 
improvise something before I went, and they fol- 
lowed me with so much intelligence and attention 
that I felt more at my ease than I ever did in impro- 
vising to an audience. The Queen said several times 
she hoped I would soon come to England again 
and pay them a visit, and then I took leave ; and 
down below I saw the beautiful carriages waiting, 
with their scarlet outriders, and in a quarter of an 
hour the flag was lowered, and the " Court Circular '' 
announced, " Her Majesty left the Palace at twenty 
minutes past three." ' 

Great actors and actresses were welcomed by the Actors 
Queen with hardly less enthusiasm than musicians, actresses 
The great French actress Eachel was invited to recite at Court. 
at Buckingham Palace on more than one occasion, 
and on February 26, 1851, when the popular actor 
Macready, the chief of his profession, took farewell of 
the stage at Drury Lane, the Queen was present. 

Meanwhile, to give greater variety to the Christ- The 
mas festivities, the Queen organised at the end of 
1848 dramatic performances at Windsor. Charles 
Kean was appointed director, and until Prince Albert's 
death, except during three years in 1850 owing to 
the Queen Dowager's death, in 1855 during the gloom 
of the Crimean war, and in 1858 owing to the dis- 
traction of the Princess Eoyal's marriage dramatic 
representations were repeated in the Rubens room 
at the Castle during each Christmas season On 


194 QUEEN VICTORIA [1848-54 

December 28, 1848, at the first performance, 'The 
Merchant of Venice ' was presented, with Mr. and 
Mrs. Kean and Mr. and Mrs. Keeley in the cast. 
Thirteen other plays of Shakespeare and nineteen 
lighter pieces followed in the course of the next thir- 
teen years, and the actors included Macready, Phelps, 
Charles Mathews, Ben Webster, and Buckstone. 
The To the director, Charles Kean, and his wife, Mrs. 

Chades" Charles Kean, also an actress of note, the Queen showed 
Kean. constant attention. When Kean died, in June 1868, 
the Queen at once wrote in her own hand to his widow : 
' I recall most vividly to my mind the many hours 
of great intellectual enjoyment which your lamented 
and talented husband (who did so much for his pro- 
fession) and you afforded to my dear husband and 
myself in bygone happy days. They will never be 
forgotten, and I shall dwell with melancholy pleasure 
on the recollection of them.' 1 In 1857 William Bod- 
ham Donne succeeded Kean as director ; but the last 
performance under Donne's management took place 
on January 31, 1861, some eleven months before the 
Prince's death. More than thirty years then elapsed 
before the Queen suffered another professional dramatic 
entertainment to take place in a royal palace. 
Patron- The most conspicuous encouragement which the 

art! C Queen and her husband bestowed on art during this 
period was their commission to eight artists (Eastlake, 
Maclise, Landseer, Dyce, Stanfield, Uwins, Leslie, and 
Eoss) to decorate with frescoes the Queen's summer 
house in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. The 
subjects were drawn from Milton's ' Comus.' The 

This letter is now in the Victoria and Albeit Museum. 


work was completed in 1845. But the Queen was also 
at the same period generous in commissions to Sir 
Edwin Landseer and other well-known artists for 
scenes in which she and her family played promi- 
nent parts. Occasionally they painted portraits for 
her, but her favourite portrait painter in the middle 
years of her reign was Winterhalter, a German 
artist, who undertook not only numerous single 
portraits but many groups of the Queen and mem- 
bers of her family. 1 

Under Prince Albert's guidance, the Queen's Educa- 
domestic life was now very systematically ordered, 
The education of the growing family occupied their 
parents' minds almost from the children's birth. 
Prince Albert frequently took counsel on the subject 
with Stockmar and Bunsen, and the Queen consulted 
Melbourne (March 24, 1842) even after he had ceased 
to be her minister. In the result Lady Lyttelton, 
widow of the third Baron Lyttelton, and sister of the 
second Earl Spencer (who formerly led the Liberal 
party in the House of Commons as Lord Al thorp), 
was in 1842 appointed governess of the royal children. 
She had been a lady-in-waiting since 1838, and 
enjoyed the Queen's full confidence. On Lady Lyttel- 
ton's retirement in January 1851, she was succeeded 
by Lady Caroline Barrington, widow of Captain the 
Hon. George Barrington, K.N., and daughter of the 
second Earl Grey, the Prime Minister ; she held the 
office till her death on April 28, 1875. The office of 
royal governess was thus filled during the Queen's 
reign by only two holders. 

1 See Appendix II. 


196 QUEEN VICTOKIA [1848-54 

The To the royal governess was entrusted complete 

establish con ^ ro ^ * ^ ne 'nursery establishment,' which soon 
ment.' included German and French as well as English 
attendants. All the children spoke German fluently 
from infancy. The Queen sensibly insisted that 
they should be brought up as simply, naturally, 
and domestically as possible, and that no obsequious 
deference should be paid to their rank. The need 
of cultivating perfect trust between parents and 
children, the value of a sincere but liberal religious 
training from childhood, and the folly of child- 
worship or excessive laudation were constantly 
in her mind. She spent with her children all the 
time that her public engagements permitted, and 
delighted in teaching them youthful amusements. 
She interested herself in their friends and in their pets, 
and looked after their health with assiduity. As 
they grew older she and the Prince encouraged them 
to recite poetry and to act little plays, or to arrange 
tableaux vivants, of which the parents were always 
gratified spectators. 

Educa- To the education of the Prince of Wales as the 

sonsand heir-apparent the Queen and her husband naturally 
daugh- devoted special attention, and in every way they pro- 
tected his interests. Very soon after his birth the 
Queen appointed a commission to receive and accumu- 
late the revenues of the Duchy of Cornwall, the 
appanage of the heir-apparent, in their son's behalf, 
until he should come of age, and the estate was 
administered admirably. For the methods adopted 
in educating her sons, after their childhood was 
passed, she disclaimed any personal credit ; she 


assigned it all to the Prince, and declared that public 
commendation of herself on this score caused her 
pain. In the matter of the education of her 
daughters she admitted that she exerted greater 
responsibility. Although she abhorred advanced 
views on the position of woman in social life, and 
vehemently denounced the champions of women's 
rights, she sought to make her daughters, in what 
she deemed their fitting sphere, as useful to society 
as her sons. While causing them to be instructed in 
all domestic arts, she repudiated the notion that 
marriage was the only object which they should be 
brought up to attain. 1 She often expressed regret 
that, among the upper classes in England, girls were 
taught to aim at little else in life than matrimony. 

The Queen and Prince Albert regulated their own The 
habits and pursuits with much care for their idiosyn- ^sHke'o 
crasies. Although public business compelled them London, 
to spend much time in London, the Prince rapidly 
acquired a distaste for it, which he soon communi- 
cated to the Queen. As a young woman she was, 
she said, wretched to leave London ; but, though 
she never despised or disliked London amusements, 
she came to adopt her husband's view, that peace 
and quiet were most readily to be secured at a 
distance from the capital. The sentiment grew, and 
she reached the conclusion that ' the extreme weight 
and thickness of the atmosphere ' injured her health, 
and in consequence her sojourns at Buckingham 
Palace became less frequent and briefer ; in later 
life she did not visit it more than twice or thrice a 

1 Letters of Princess Alice, 1874, p. 320. 




Her love 
of the 

tion of 

year, staying on each occasion not more than two 
days. Windsor came in course of time to be hardly 
more agreeable to her, but it was never open to such 
strong objections as London. It was near enough to 
the capital to enable her to transact business there 
without inconvenience, and in early married life she 
resided there for the greater part of the year. 

But the Queen's happiest hours were spent beyond 
the walls of her official palaces, or indeed beyond 
the reach of towns. The Pavilion at Brighton, 
George IV.'s favourite home, she soon abandoned 
altogether, and, after being dismantled in 1846, it 
was sold to the Corporation of Brighton in 1850 to 
form a place of public assembly. She had already 
decided to secure residences in districts of her own 
choosing, which should be personal property and free 
from the restraints of supervision by public officials. 
Her resolve was ,to acquire private abodes in those 
parts of her dominions which were peculiarly con- 
genial to her the Isle of Wight and the highlands of 

The Queen's residence in the south was secured 
first. Late in 1844 she purchased of Lady Isabella 
Blachford the estate of Osborne, consisting of 
about eight hundred acres, near East Cowes. She 
had known the spot in very early life, when her 
mother's friend and counsellor, Sir John Conroy, had 
lived at Osborne Cottage. Subsequent purchases 
increased the land which the Queen owned in the 
Isle of Wight to about two thousand acres. The 
existing house, Osborne House, proved inconvenient, 
and the foundation-stone of a new one was laid on 


June 23, 1845. A portion of it was occupied in 
September 1846, but the whole was not completed 
until 1851. In the designing of the new Osborne 
House and in laying out the gardens Prince Albert 
took a very active part. In the grounds was set 
up in 1854 a Swiss cottage as a workshop and 
playhouse for the children. The Queen interested 
herself in the neighbourhood, and rebuilt the parish 
church at Whippingham. 1 

But greater interest attached in the Queen's eyes Acquisi- 
to her choice of a private residence in Scotland. In Balmoral, 
1848 the Queen leased of the Fife trustees Balmoral l8 4 8 &< ' 
House, a small and unpretending building near 
Braemar, Aberdeenshire. This she visited each year 
till 1852, when she purchased it of the owner and 
resolved to replace it by an elaborate edifice of 
granite. The new Balmoral Castle was completed in 
the autumn of 1854, and large additions were sub- 
sequently made to the estate, so that it finally extended 
to 25,000 acres. The Duchess of Kent rented in the 
neighbourhood Abergeldie Castle, which was sub- 
sequently leased from time to time by the Queen and 
was frequently occupied in the autumn by the Prince 
of Wales. Balmoral was henceforth identified with 
the Queen's most cherished memories. 

After 1854 a part of every spring and autumn was Modes of 
spent at her highland residence during the rest of the Qsborne 

Queen's life, while three or four annual visits were an<J Bal- 

1 In July 1902 the Queen's eldest son and successor, Edward VII., 
made over, with certain reservations, Osborne House and grounds to 
the nation, and suggested that it should be employed as a convalescent 
home for invalid officers of the army and navy. 

200 QUEEN VICTORIA [1848-54 

paid regularly to Osborne. At both Osborne and Bal- 
moral very homely modes of life were adopted, and, 
at Balmoral especially, ministers and foreign friends 
were surprised at the simplicity which characterised 
the Queen's domestic arrangements. Before the larger 
house was built only two sitting-rooms were occu- 
pied by the royal family. Of an evening billiards 
were played in the one, under such cramped con- 
ditions that the Queen, who usually looked on, had 
constantly to move her seat in order to give the 
players elbow-space. In the other room the Queen 
at times would take lessons in the Scotch reel. The 
minister in attendance did all his work in his small 
bedroom, and the Queen would run carelessly in and 
out of the house all day long, walking alone, visiting 
neighbouring cottages, and chatting unreservedly 
with their occupants. Cottage visiting at Balmoral 
became a fixed practice with her, and she was desirous 
that the ladies in attendance on her should emulate 
her example. She usually personally introduced her 
ladies-in-waiting, on their first arrival at Balmoral, 
to the cottagers. One of her subsequent complaints 
of Windsor as contrasted with Balmoral was her in- 
ability to go among the poor there with the freedom 
that was habitual to her on her Scottish estate. 



AFTER identifying herself thus closely with Scotland, First visit 
it was right for her to make the acquaintance of 
Ireland, the only portion of the United Kingdom 
which she had not visited during the first decade of 
her reign. Peel had entertained a suggestion that 
the Queen should visit the country in 1844, when she 
received an invitation from the Lord Mayor of 
Dublin, and a conditional promise of future accept- 
ance was given. In the early autumn of 1849 the 
plan was carried out with good results. 

The social and political condition of the country state 
was not promising. The effects of the famine were { Q ^ 
still acute. Civil war had broken out in 1848, and, 
although it was easily repressed, disaffection was 
widespread. In June 1849 the Queen's attention was 
disagreeably drawn to the unsatisfactory condition of 
the country by a difficulty which arose in regard to 
recent convictions of Irish agitators for high treason ; 
commutation of capital sentences was resolved upon, 
but it was found to be impossible to substitute terms 
of imprisonment for the penalty of death until a new 
statute had been devised, giving the Crown specific 
authority to that effect. This was accordingly ac- 


complished in haste, and the Sovereign, for the first 
time in English history, was placed in a position to 
abrogate (on the advice of the Home Secretary or 
Lord- Lieutenant of Ireland) the penalty of death for 
crimes against the State. 

Arrival at Personal loyalty to the Sovereign was still 
town! 18 believed to prevail in Ireland, and the event proved 
the belief to be true. But the general distress and 
the political temper of the country precluded a 
state visit. The Queen went by sea from Cowes 
to the Cove of Cork, upon which she bestowed the 
new name of Queenstown in honour of her first 
landing there on Irish soil. 1 She was respectfully 
received. Thence she proceeded in her yacht to 
Kingstown, and took up her residence for four days 
at the Viceregal Lodge in Phoanix Park, Dublin. 
She held a levee one evening in Dublin Castle ; 
she received addresses and visited public institutions, 
and met with a welcome that was all that could 
be wished. It was 'idolatrous,' ironically wrote 
Monckton Milnes (Lord Houghton), ' and utterly 
unworthy of a free, not to say ill-used, nation.' 2 
Everything she saw delighted her, and she com- 
memorated her satisfaction by creating the Prince 
of Wales Earl of Dublin (September 10, 1849). 
From the Irish capital she went by sea to Belfast 
where her reception was equally enthusiastic. Thence 
she crossed to the Scottish coast, and after a public 

1 In this matter the Queen was following the precedent set by 
George IV., who on his visit to Ireland in September 1821 caused the 
port of Dunleary, near Dublin, where he landed, to be renamed 

2 Reid, Lord Houghtcm, i. 485-6, 


visit to Glasgow she sought the grateful seclusion 
of Balmoral. 

On October 30, 1849, an attack of chicken-pox Last 
prevented the Queen from fulfilling a promise to ^ater 
open the new Coal Exchange in Lower Thames pageant, 
Street, and she was represented by her husband. In 
two ways the incident proved of interest. The Queen's 
two eldest children there first appeared at a public 
ceremonial, while the royal barge, which bore the 
royal party from Westminster to St. Paul's wharf, 
made its last state journey on the Thames during the 
Queen's reign. 

In the large circle of the Queen's family and Deaths 
Court it was inevitable that death should be often J^Sis* 1 
busy and should constantly break valued links with 1848-50. 
the Queen's youth. During 1848 and 1850 few 
months passed without giving her cause for mourning. 
Her aunt, Princess Sophia, died on May 27, 1848, 
and her old minister and mentor, Melbourne, on 
November 24, 1848, while a year later George Anson, 
the Prince's former secretary and now his keeper of 
the privy purse, passed suddenly away. Anson's loss 
was severely felt by the Queen, who described it as 
' irreparable.' But Melbourne's removal severed a tie 
of older and firmer standing. ' Truly and sincerely,' Mel- 
the Queen wrote in her Journal on hearing the death 6 ' 8 
news, ' do I deplore the loss of one who was a Nov. 24, 
most kind and disinterested friend of mine, and 
most sincerely attached to me. He was indeed, for 
the first two years and a half of my reign, almost the 
only friend I had except Stockmar and Lehzen, and 
I used to see him constantly, daily. I thought much 

204 QUEEN VICTOKIA [1849-50 

and talked much of him all day.' Two days later she 
recorded with her customary simplicity of phrase : 
' I received a pretty and touching letter from Lady 
Palmerston [i.e. Lord Melbourne's sister], saying 
that my last letter to poor Lord Melbourne had been 
a great comfort and relief to him, and that during the 
last melancholy years of his life we had often been 
the chief means of cheering him up. This is a great 
satisfaction to me to hear.' Another grief was the 
death, on December 2, 1849, at Stanmore Priory, of 
the old Queen Adelaide, who was buried in St. George's 
Chapel, Windsor, beside William IV. on December 13. 
The old Queen had always treated her young suc- 
cessor with motherly tenderness. 

Peel's The summer of the following year (1850) was still 

July 3 more fruitful in episodes of mourning. On July 3 

1850. p ee i succumbed to an accidental fall from his horse. 

In him the Queen said she lost not merely a friend, 

but a father. To her uncle, King Leopold, she wrote : 

' The sorrow and grief at his death are most touching, 

and the country mourns over him as over a father. 

Every one seems to have lost a personal friend.' 

Louis Five days after Peel died, too, the Queen's uncle, 

deat! Pe S ^ ne Duke of Cambridge, whose widow survived him, 

Aug. 26, to a patriarchal age, and was always carefully tended 

by the Queen. Subsequently death struck down in 

quick succession both Louis Philippe, the ex-King 

of the French, whose fate of exile roused the 

Queen's abiding sympathy (August 26), and the 

French King's gentle daughter, the Queen of the 

Belgians, wife of King Leopold (October 10). Every 

fresh blow that Louis Philippe's family suffered 


seemed to tighten the bonds that united them with 
the Queen. 

Minor anxieties were caused the Queen by two Two 
brutal attacks upon her person : on May 19, 1849, 
when she was returning from a drive near Constitu- Queen, 
tion Hill, a blank charge was fired at her from a 
pistol by an Irishman, William Hamilton, of Adare ; 
and on May 27, 1850, one Eobert Pate, a retired 
officer, hit her on the head with a cane as she was 
leaving Cambridge House in Piccadilly, where the 
Duke of Cambridge was lying ill. Offences so dis- 
graceful excited universal sympathy, and in spite of 
the courage with which she faced them, they caused 
the Queen much suffering. 1 

The last outrage was the more brutal, seeing that Prince 
the Queen was just recovering from her confinement. an( j Uie 

Her third son, Arthur, was born on May 1, 1850. ^e of 
The date was the Duke of Wellington's eighty-first ton, 
birthday. A few weeks before the Duke had delighted 
the Queen by the injudicious suggestion that Prince 
Albert should become Commander-in-Chief of the 
Army in succession to himself. The Prince wisely 
declined the honour. Apart from other considera- 
tions his hands were over-full already, and his health 
was giving evidence of undue mental strain. But, by 
way of showing her appreciation of the Duke's pro- 
posal, the Queen made him godfather to her new-born 
son. A second sponsor was the Prince of Prussia, 
brother of the King. The christening took place on 

1 Both Hamilton and Pate were sentenced to seven years' trans- 
portation under the Act for securing the Queen's safety passed in 


June 22. The infant's third name, Patrick, com- 
memorated the Queen's recent Irish visit. 
The , At the time, despite family and political cares, the 

robust Queen's health was exceptionally robust. On going 
health. n0 rth in the autumn, after inaugurating the high- 
level bridge at Newcastle and the Eoyal Border Bridge 
on the Scottish boundary at Berwick two notable 
feats of engineering she stopped two days in Edin- 
burgh at Holyrood Palace, where she closely inves- 
tigated scenes of past history. ' Every step,' she 
wrote, * is full of historical recollections, and our 
living here is quite an epoch in the annals of this old 
pile, which has seen so many deeds, more bad, I 
fear, than good.' She was especially interested in 
the spot where Rizzio was killed and the rooms that 
Queen Mary Stuart had occupied. On the second 
day of the visit she climbed Arthur's Seat, the noble 
hill overlooking Edinburgh. The exploit, although 
she found it (she wrote), 'after a year's disuse of climb- 
ing in England, hard work,' exhilarated her, and cost 
her little fatigue. 1 When she settled down to her 
holiday at Balmoral she took energetic walking 
exercise every day, and showed exceptional physical 
briskness. It was well that her health was growing 
in vigour, for annoyances in official life, far graver 
than any she had yet experienced, were within sight. 
No little physical strength was needed to enable her 
to face her coming trials with equanimity. 

1 Leaves from the Queen's Journal, pp. 81 seq. 




THE habitual attitude to the Crown of Lord Palmer- Differ- 
ston, who was the Foreign Minister, first in Lord ^if 
Melbourne's and now in Lord John Eussell's adminis- Palmer- 
tration, always implied a risk of open warfare between 
the Queen and her ministers. Of late the breach 
between her and Palmerston had been widening each 
year. Foreign affairs interested the Queen and her 
husband with increasing intensity as their years and 
experience grew. The more complex the foreign pro- 
blems became, the more closely the Prince studied them. 
He conscientiously prepared ever-growing sheaves of 
memoranda with a view to counselling the Foreign 
Minister. But Palmerston was unmoved by his 
efforts or interests. He viewed the Prince's industry 
with undisguised contempt, and rendered his offers 
of advice abortive by going his own way, without 
consulting the Court, or, at times, even his colleagues. 

The antagonism between Prince Albert's views, p r ince 

with which the Queen identified herself, and those of AI J> ert ' s 

Palmerston was based largely on principle. Palmer- nistic 

ston consistently supported the Liberal movements, v 
which were steadily gathering force abroad, even 
at the risk of exposing himself to the charge of 

208 QUEEN VICTOKIA [1847-50 

encouraging ' revolution.' Although the Queen and 
the Prince fully recognised the value of constitutional 
methods of government in England, and were by no 
means averse to their spread on the continent of 
Europe, their personal relations with foreign dynas- 
ties evoked strong sympathy with reigning monarchs. 
They cherished an active repugnance to revolution, 
which Palmerston seemed to them to view with a 
perilous complaisance. 

Through 1848, the year of revolution in Europe, 
the differences between the Prince and the minister 
were steadily widening. Palmerston treated with un- 
ruffled equanimity all the revolutionary riots at Berlin, 
Vienna, and Baden in 1848-9, and affected to be at a 
loss to understand why they should stir any active 
emotion in his royal mistress. He failed to recognise 
- her poignant compassion for those crowned kins- 
men or acquaintances whose lives and fortunes were 

Their Palmerston and the Prince were probably in 

attitudes 6 disagreement as to the past history and future destiny 
to Italy, of every country of Europe. In their attitudes to 
both Italy and Prussia the two countries whose 
affairs now commanded most attention they were 
as far removed from each other as well could be. 
When efforts were first made in Italy to secure national 
unity and to throw off the yoke of Austria, Palmer- 
ston spoke with benevolence of the endeavours of the 
Italian patriots, and was always sanguine of their 
chances of success. Although the Prince strongly 
deprecated the cruelties which the Austrian rulers 
and the smaller native despots practised on their 


Italian subjects, he and the Queen cherished a warm 
sympathy with the Austrian Emperor, and regarded 
with dismay the efforts of the North Italians to 
cast off Austrian rule. The revolutionary endeavour 
to unite Italy under a single ruler meant for them 
primarily the suppression of many thrones whose 
occupants were entitled to their sympathetic regard. 

In regard to Germany, on the other hand, the op- Their 
position between royal and ministerial opinions was attitudes 6 
assignable to another train of considerations. The to Prus- 
Prince was well disposed to the movement for na- 
tional unity under Prussia's leadership. His and 
the Queen's social relations both with the King of 
Prussia, who was the Prince of Wales's godfather, and 
with his brother, the Prince of Prussia, who was god- 
father to Prince Arthur, were growing in intimacy, 
and whatever tended to improve Prussia's position in 
Germany and Europe was agreeable to the English 
Court. Palmerston saw in the Prussian King only a 
weak man and a reactionary politician. He regarded 
the Prussian King's allies among the German Princes 
as deserving of no greater respect than that Sovereign. 
He consequently looked with suspicion on German 
nationalist aspirations to which effect must be given, 
if at all, under such unpromising auspices. 

Distrust of the reigning houses both of Prussia 
and Austria coloured all Palmerston's view of German 
politics. In the intricate struggle for the possession 
of the duchies of Schleswig-Holstein, which opened 
in 1848, he inclined to the claim of Denmark against 
that of the confederation of German States, whether 
Prussia or Austria should ultimately be at its head. 

210 QUEEN VICTOKIA [1847-50 

Meanwhile the English royal family hopefully antici- 
pated the triumph of Prussia in the final settlement 
of German rivalries or pretensions in Central Europe. 
Palmer- In point of practice Palmerston was as offensive 

offensive ^ ^ ne P 66 an( ^ the Queen as he was in point of 
practice, principle or policy. He lost no opportunity of indi- 
cating to them that their predilections were of no 
interest to him, and he deprecated their offers of 
counsel or of regular exchange of views. He fre- 
quently caused them intense irritation or alarm 
by involving the Government in acute international 
crises without warning the Queen of their approach. 
In 1848, before consulting her, he peremptorily 
ordered the reactionary Spanish Government to 
liberalise its institutions, with the result that the 
English Ambassador, Sir Henry Bulwer, who was 
directed to deliver the frank despatch to Queen 
Isabella's advisers, was promptly expelled from 
Madrid. Again, in January 1850, to the Queen's 
consternation, Palmerston, by despatching the British 
fleet to Grecian waters, coerced Greece into compli- 
ance with English demands for the compensation of 
Don Pacifico and other English subjects who had 
disputed claims against the Greek Government. 
France was at the moment embarked in an attempt to 
mediate in this quarrel, and that country regarded as 
insulting Palmerston's precipitate action, which prac- 
tically ignored the pacific tone of French intervention. 
The French Ambassador was withdrawn from London, 
and for the third time in the Queen's reign on this 
occasion almost before she had an opportunity of 
learning the cause Palmerston brought France and 


England to the brink of war. It was only very gradu- 
ally that the bitter and perilous controversy that was 
roused between the two countries lost its venomous 

The Queen's embarrassments were aggravated by The 
the personal intimacies which she cultivated with 
foreign sovereigns. They cherished a belief that her 
personal power was far greater than it was, and they ence. d " 
maintained with her a vast correspondence which was 
inspired by that misconception. It was their habit 
to address to her personally autograph appeals on 
political affairs, and they were under the impression 
that privately through her it was possible for them 
to influence in their own interests the foreign policy 
of her country. She was wise enough to avoid the 
snares that were thus laid for her, and she frankly 
consulted Palmerston, the Foreign Minister, before 
replying to communications made to her by con- 
tinental princes who were not her kinsmen. He in- 
variably derided her notion of conciliating the good 
opinion of foreign Courts. He knew that his name 
was a word of loathing to them, and he felt under no 
obligation to diminish their fear of England. 

The advice which Palmerston often offered the The ap- 
Queen when her foreign correspondence was sub- theQueen 
mitted to him involved her in many mortifying expe- of Portu- 
riences. In 1847, the Queen of Portugal, the Queen's ffa ' ' 47 ' 
early playmate, and the wife of her first cousin, 
Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg, was threatened by her re- 
volutionary subjects with the loss of her throne. She 
promptly appealed direct to Queen Victoria for protec- 
tion. Queen Victoria at once consulted Palmerston. 

'212 QUKKN VICTORIA [1847-50 

He treated the Portuguese difficulty as a ' Coburg 
family affair.' He breezily attributed the Portuguese 
Queen's peril to her reliance on the absolutist advice 
of one Dietz, a native of Coburg, who stood towards her 
and her husband, Prince Ferdinand, in a relation re- 
sembling that of Stockmar to Prince Albert and Queen 
Victoria. Palmerston insisted that the Portuguese 
Queen could only save the situation by assenting to 
Dietz's summary dismissal. Such counsel was highly 
offensive to Queen Victoria and to her Saxe-Coburg 
kinsmen. The latter relieved their feelings by apply- 
ing to the minister in conversation or correspond- 
ence with one another such epithets as * ill-tempered, 
coarse, and threatening. ' ' Palmerston, however, 
dictated a solemn letter, full of constitutional advice 
and warnings against the iniquities of Dietz, for his 
royal mistress to copy in her own reluctant hand and 
forward to her unhappy correspondent at Lisbon. 2 
Letter to Later in the same year 1847 the vacillating 
ofVrus-? an ^ pusillanimous King of Prussia emulated the 
sia, 1847. Portuguese Queen's example. He wrote Queen 
Victoria a private letter, and directed his ambassa- 
dor at St. James's, Baron Bunsen, to deliver it to her 
in private audience in the absence of her ministers. 
The monarch invited Queen Victoria's avowed en- 
couragement of the feeble efforts that Prussia was 
making to dominate the German federation. Palmer- 
ston was never to be safely ignored. He learned 
from Bunsen of the Prussian King's missive, and told 
him with great frankness that it was irregular for the 

1 Duke Ernest, Memoirs, i. 288 seq. 

2 Walpole, Life of Lord John Russell, 


English Sovereign to correspond with foreign mon- 
archs unless they were her relatives. The correspon- 
dence must pass through the ministers' hands. 1 
Queen Victoria felt her impotence acutely. In concert 
with Prince Albert Palmerston sketched a colourless 
draft reply to her royal correspondent. This Palmer- 
ston requested the Queen to copy out in her own hand ; 
it ' began and ended in German, though the body of 
it was in English.' The incident was exceptionally 
galling to the susceptibilities of both the Queen and 
her husband. Prince Albert, in frequent private 
correspondence with the King of Prussia, had already 
sought to stimulate him to more active assertion 
of Prussian power in Germany. The apparent dis- 
crepancy between the Prince's ardour in the cause of 
Prussia and the coolness in regard to it which Pal- 
merston imposed on his wife's epistle was peculiarly 
repugnant to both her and her husband. 

Bat the position of affairs appeared to the Queen Palmer 
and Prince quite incurable. Expostulation with 
Palmerston seemed vain. In June 1848 Prince 
Albert bade Lord John remind him that every one 
of the ten thousand despatches which were received 
annually at the Foreign Office was addressed to the 
Queen and to the Prime Minister as well as to 
himself, and that the replies involved them all. 
In the following autumn Palmerston apathetically 
remarked on a further protest made in the Queen's 
behalf by Lord John, the Prime Minister : * Unfortu- 
nately the Queen gives ear too easily to persons who 
are hostile to her government, and who wish to 

1 Bunsen, Memoirs, ii. 149. 




larity of 
Palm er- 
ston' s 


poison her mind with distrust of her ministers, and 
in this way she is constantly suffering under ground- 
less uneasiness.' To this challenge the Queen 
answered, through Lord John, October 1, 1848 : ' The 
Queen naturally, as I think, dreads that upon some 
occasion you may give her name to sanction proceed- 
ings which she may afterwards be compelled to 
disavow.' l Palmerston deemed such an anticipation 
unworthy of attention. 

Unfortunately, for the Queen the general lines of 
Palmerston' s foreign policy were vehemently applauded 
by a majority in Parliament and in the country. His 
elaborate defence of his action in regard to Greece in 
the Don Pacifico affair in June 1850, when he nearly 
involved England in a war with France, elicited the 
stirring enthusiasm of the House of Commons. There 
was nothing open for the Queen to do except to 
exclaim loudly against her humiliation in conversa- 
tion with political friends like Aberdeen and Claren- 
don. Lord John, the Prime Minister, offered her 
cold comfort. He was often as much out of sympathy 
with Palmerston as she in viewing his treatment of 
foreign affairs, but he knew the Government could 
not stand without its popular Foreign Secretary. 
Consequently the Queen, who was always averse to 
inviting the perplexities of a change of ministry, 
often despaired of the situation. But she had no 
intention of submitting to it meekly. 

In March 1850 she and the Prince made some 
effort to modify Palmerston's pretensions. They 
drafted a full statement of their grievance, which 

1 Walpole, Lord John Russell, ii. 47. 


they proposed to forward to the offending minister. 
They delayed its actual despatch for three months, 
and, when in June the statesman appealed with 
triumphant effect to the House of Commons for an 
endorsement of the administration of his office, the 
royal protest seemed inopportune, and it was laid 
aside for a further period. In the summer Lord 
John recalled Palmerston's attention to the Queen's 
irritation, and the Foreign Minister disavowed any 
intention of treating her with disrespect. But his 
general conduct remained unchanged. 

At length, on August 12, 1850, the Queen sent Her two 
Palmerston, through Lord John, two carefully worded 
requests in regard to his future behaviour : ' She 
requires,' her words ran, ' (1) that the Foreign Secre- 
tary will distinctly state what he proposes in a given 
case, in order that the Queen may know as distinctly 
to what she has given her royal sanction. (2) Having 
once given her sanction to a measure, that it be not 
arbitrarily altered or modified by the minister. Such 
an act she must consider as failure in sincerity to- 
wards the Crown, and justly to be visited by the 
exercise of her constitutional right of dismissing that 
minister. She expects to be kept informed of what 
passes between him and the foreign ministers before 
important decisions are taken, based upon that inter- 
course ; to receive the foreign despatches in good 
time, and to have the drafts for her approval sent to 
her in sufficient time to make herself acquainted with 
their contents before they must be sent off.' l 

Two days afterwards Prince Albert explained 

1 Martin, Biography of Prince Consort, ii. 51. 





Prince more fully to Palmerston, in a personal interview, 
Palmer-" ^he Queen's grounds of complaint. ' The Queen had 
often,' the Prince said, ' latterly almost invariably, 
differed from the line of policy pursued by Lord 
Palmerston. She had always openly stated her 
objections ; but when overruled by the cabinet, or 
convinced that it would, from political reasons, be 
more prudent to waive her objections, she knew her 
constitutional position too well not to give her full 
support to whatever was done on the part of the 
Government. She knew that they were going to 
battle together, and that she was going to receive the 
blows which were aimed at the Government ; and she 
had these last years received several [blows], such as no 
sovereign of England had before been obliged to put 
up with, and which had been most painful to her. 
But what she had a right to require in return was, 
that before a line of policy was adopted or brought 
before her for her sanction, she should be in full 
possession of all the facts and all the motives operat- 
ing ; she felt that in this respect she was not dealt 
with as she ought to be. She never found a matter 
" intact," nor a question, in which we were not 
already compromised, when it was submitted to her ; 
she had no means of knowing what passed in the 
cabinet, nor what passed between Lord Palmerston 
and the foreign ministers in their conferences, but 
what Lord Palmerston chose to tell her, or what she 
found in the newspapers.' 

Palmerston affected pained surprise and solemnly 
promised amendment. But he remained in office and 
his course of action underwent no permanent alteration. 



A few months later he committed the Queen, without 
her assent, to new dissensions with the Austrian 
Government and to new encouragement of Denmark 
in that country's claims to Schleswig-Holstein. In the 
first case Palmerston answered the Queen's protest by 
threatening Lord John with resignation, but he ulti- 
mately endeavoured to modify his action in accord- 
ance with the royal wish, and gave vague expression 
to a show of sympathy with Austria in her harassing 
struggle with her Italian subjects. In regard to Den- 
mark's pretensions to Schleswig-Holstein, Palmerston 
declined to recant his faith in their justice. At no 
point did he give plain proof of penitence. 

In the winter of 1850 a distasteful domestic ques- ' Papal 
tion distracted the Queen's mind from foreign affairs, 
Lord John had identified the Government with the 
strong Protestant feeling which was roused by Car- 
dinal Wiseman's announcement of the Pope's revival of 
the Eoman Catholic hierarchy in England. Hundreds 
of protests from public bodies were addressed to the 
Queen in person, and she received them patiently. 
But she detested the controversy and regretted ' the 
unchristian and intolerant spirit ' exhibited by the 
Protestant agitators. ' I cannot bear,' she wrote pri- 
vately, ' to hear the violent abuse of the Catholic 
religion, which is so painful and so cruel towards the 
many innocent and good Eoman Catholics.' When 
she opened Parliament on February 4, 1851, she 
resented the cries of ' no popery ' with which she was 
greeted ; but the ministry was pledged actively to 
resist the ' papal aggression.' A bill was introduced 
making it illegal for Eoman Catholic priests to bear 


in England ecclesiastical titles. The Queen had no 
choice but to acquiesce. 

Minis- It was consequently with comparatively small 

crises and concern that she saw Lord John's Government 
deadlock, partly through intestine differences on the religious 
question outvoted in the House of Commons in 
February 1851. The immediate question at issue 
was electoral reform a topic which the Government 
was indisposed seriously to entertain. They declined 
to accept a motion for the assimilation of the borough 
and county franchise, and it was carried by their 
supporters against them. Lord John at once resigned, 
and much difficulty followed. The Queen sent for 
the Conservative leader, Lord Stanley, afterwards 
Lord Derby, the leader of the Conservative party in 
the House of Lords. He declined to assume office in 
the absence of adequate support in the House of 
Commons, and strongly advised a reconstruction of 
the existing ministry on a more comprehensive basis. 
That course was entirely congenial to the Queen, and 
she employed her influence in abetting it. On Febru- 
ary 22 she consulted Lord Aberdeen with a view to 
a fusion between Whigs and Peelites, who had now 
practically broken with the Conservatives, but the 
combination at the moment proved impracticable. 
Recall of Perplexed by the deadlock which the refusals of 
John. Derby and Aberdeen created, the Queen turned for 
advice to the old Duke of Wellington. In agreement 
with the Duke's counsel, she recalled Lord John 
Eussell ; Prince Albert had already sent him a 
memorandum of the recent negotiations with Lord 
Stanley. Lord John consented with some hesitation 


to resume his post, and managed to get through the 
session in safety. He secured the passage of his anti- 
papal Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, although he found it 
needful completely to emasculate it. It received the 
royal assent on July 29, 1851, but it was never put 
into force, and was, to the Queen's satisfaction, 
repealed in 1870. 







MEANWHILE the attention of the Court and country 
turned from party polemics to a demonstration of 
tion, 1851. peace and goodwill among the nations which excited 
the Queen's highest hopes. It was the inauguration 
of the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace which 
was erected in Hyde Park. In origin and execution 
that design was due to Prince Albert ; and it had 
consequently encountered abundant opposition from 
high Tories and all sections of society who disliked 
the Prince. Abroad it was condemned by absolute 
monarchs and their ministers on unexpected grounds. 
It was the wish of the Queen and her husband that 
rulers of all countries of the world or their representa- 
tives should be their guests on the auspicious occa- 
sion, and invitations were issued with a liberal hand. 
But many foreign sovereigns regarded an assembly 
of crowned heads in any one place as an incite- 
ment to revolutionary conspiracy to organise at- 
tempts on their lives. Such a reunion offered the 
suggestion, it was urged, to revolutionary agents 
in Europe to gather together in London on a spe- 
ciously innocent pretext, and hatch nefarious designs. 
The Queen was especially desirous that the Prince 


of Prussia and his son should be among their 
visitors at the opening of the Exhibition. The 
Prussian minister, Freiherr von Manteuffel, argued 
with vehemence against the presence of any prominent 
member of the Prussian royal family. He wrote to 
the Prince of Prussia that a number of madmen had 
collected in London, who were bent on destroying 
the existing order of affairs ; Prussia was especially 
obnoxious to these revolutionary spirits, and the 
assassination of the Prince and his son in London, 
which was well within the limits of possibility, would, 
by interrupting the succession to the Prussian throne, 
work the country irretrievable disaster. 1 

The result belied all prophecy of evil. The Its 
Queen flung herself with spirit into the enterprise. a ccom- 
She interested herself in every detail, and she was P lish ~ 
re warded for her energy by the knowledge that the 
realised scheme powerfully appealed to the imagina- 
tion of the mass of her people. In spite of their 
censorious fears foreign Courts were well represented, 
and among the Queen's guests were the Prince a* d 
Princess of Prussia and their eldest son. The bril- 
liant opening ceremony, over which she presided on 
May 1, 1851, evoked a marvellous outburst of loyalty. 
Her bearing was described on all hands as ' thoroughly 
regal.' 2 Besides twenty-five thousand people in the 
building, seven hundred thousand cheered her out- 
side as she passed them on her way from Bucking- 

1 Unter Friedrich Wilhelm IV. : Denkwiirdigkeiten des Minister- 
prdsidenten Otto Freiherrn v. Manteuffel, herausgegeben von Hcin- 
rich von Poschingen (Berlin, 1901), vol. iii. p. 420. 

a Life of Stanley, i. 424. 


ham Palace. It was, she said, the proudest and 
happiest day of her happy life. Her feelings were 
gratified both as Queen and wife. ' The great event 
has taken place,' she wrote in her diary (May 1), 
' a complete and beautiful triumph a glorious and 
touching sight, one which I shall ever be proud of 
for my beloved Albert and my country. . . . Yes ! 
it is a day which makes my heart swell with pride 
and glory and thankfulness ! ' In her eyes the 
great festival of peace was a thousand times more 
memorable than the thrilling scene of her corona- 

Tennyson, who had been appointed Poet Laureate 
in November 1850, in succession to Wordsworth, in 
the noble address ' To the Queen,' which he prefixed 
to the seventh edition of his ' Poems ' (March 1851), 
wrote of the Great Exhibition : 

She brought a vast design to pass 
When Europe and the scatter'd ends 
Of our fierce world did meet as friends 

And brethren in her halls of glass. 

The stanza was not reprinted. 

Court The season of the Great Exhibition was excep- 

tfes iV1 " tionally brilliant. On June 13 another bal costume 
at Buckingham Palace illustrated the reign of 
Charles II. On July 9 the Queen attended a ball at 
the Guildhall, which celebrated the success of the 
Exhibition. Everywhere her reception was admirably 
cordial. When at length she temporarily left London 
for Osborne, she expressed pain that ' this brilliant 
and for ever memorable season should be past.' Of 


the continuous display of devotion to her in London 
she wrote to Stockmar : ' All this will be of a use not 
to be described : it identifies us with the people and 
gives them an additional cause for loyalty and 

Early in August the Queen came to Westminster The 
to prorogue Parliament, and she visited the Exhibition ! 
for the last time. Throughout the country the people pool and 
gave new proofs of their devotion to her which she c hester 
actively reciprocated. In October, on her customary 
removal to Balmoral, she made a formal progress 
through Liverpool and Manchester, and stayed for a 
few days with the Earl of Ellesmere at Worsley Hall. 
She manifested intelligent interest in the improve- 
ments which manufacturing processes were making 
in these great centres of industry, and the tour 
was a triumphal progress. Her visit to Peel Park, 
Salford, on October 10, was commemorated by a statue 
of her, the cost of which was mainly defrayed by 
80,000 Sunday-school teachers and scholars ; it was 
unveiled by Prince Albert, May 5, 1857. 

A month after the closing of the Exhibition the Palmer- 
dream of happiness was fading. The death of her Kossuth. 
sour-tempered uncle, King Ernest of Hanover (No- 
vember 18, 1851), was not a heavy blow, but 
Palmerston was still disturbing her equanimity. 
Kossuth, the leader of the Hungarian revolution, had 
just arrived in England ; Palmerston openly avowed 
sympathy with him, and his attitude threatened Eng- 
land's good relations with Austria. Both the Queen 
and Lord John remonstrated. The Queen prepared 
a note for the perusal of the cabinet, in which 


the ministers were requested to censure Palmerston's 
attitude unequivocally ; but her appeal was vain. 
Palmer- Relief from the tormenting conduct of Palmerston 

Napo- was > however, at hand. It came at a moment when 
Icon III. the Queen had almost abandoned hope of alleviating 
her lot, and it was due to causes in which she had 
no hand. On December 2, 1851, Prince Louis Napo- 
leon, President of that French Republic which was 
created on the expulsion of Louis Philippe, made 
himself, by a coup d'etat, absolute head of the 
French Government, with the avowed intention of 
re-establishing the imperial Napoleonic dynasty. 
Palmerston believed in Napoleon's ability, and a day 
or two later, in casual conversation with the French 
Ambassador, Walewski, expressed of his own initiative 
approbation of the new form of government in France. 
This was the reverse of the sentiment with which 
recent events in Paris had inspired the Queen. Both she 
and Lord John viewed Napoleon's accession to despotic 
power, and the means whereby it had been accom- 
plished, with detestation. Palmerston's precipitate 
committal of England to a friendly recognition of the 
new regime before he had communicated with the 
Queen or his colleagues placed her and them alike in 
a position of intolerable difficulty. 

Palmer- Happily Palmerston's own inconsiderate talk 

fa?/ 1 ' 3 untied the Gordian knot that bound him to the 
Queen. The Foreign Minister's careless display of 
self-sufficiency roused the temper of Lord John, 
who had simultaneously assured the Queen that for 
the present England would extend to Napoleon the 
coldest neutrality. To the Queen's astonishment, 


but to her unconcealed delight, Lord John, before 
consulting her, summarily made Palmerston's de- 
claration to Walewski a ground for demanding his 
resignation (December 19). Palmer ston was taken 
by surprise. He feebly defended himself by claim- 
ing that in his intercourse with Walewski he had 
only expressed his personal views, and that he 
was entitled to converse at will with ambassadors. 
Lord John offered to rearrange the Government so as 
to give him another office, but this proposal Pal- 
merston declined. The seals of the Foreign Office 
were without delay transferred to Lord Granville, 
who had been on friendly terms with the Queen 
since her girlhood, and was of her own generation. 

The Queen and the Prince made no secret of their Prince 
joy at the turn of events. They gave full vent to that elation, 
bitterness of feeling which Palmerston's complacent 
attitude to revolutionary activity had stirred in 
them, and they freely betrayed, in their elation at his 
removal, the torture they had mentally suffered from 
his supercilious scorn of their natural prejudices. 
To his brother Ernest, Prince Albert wrote without 
reserve in a little-known letter of remarkable interest : 
' And now the year closes with the happy circum- 
stance for us, that the man who embittered our 
whole life, by continually placing before us the 
shameful alternative of either sanctioning his mis- 
deeds throughout Europe and rearing up the Eadical 
party here to a power under his leadership, or of bring- 
ing about an open conflict with the Crown and thus 
plunging the only country where liberty, order, and 
lawfulness exist together into the general chaos 





The peril 
of dis- 
missing a 

that this man has, as it were, cut his own throat. 
" Give a rogue rope enough and he will hang him- 
self " is an old English adage with which we have 
sometimes tried to console ourselves, and which has 
proved true again here.' ' 

The judgment that the Queen and the Prince 
passed at the moment on Palmerston's conduct and 
on the circumstances of his removal from office has 
not stood the test of time. As a matter of fact, 
Palmerston's dismissal was from the outset a doubtful 
triumph for the Crown. It was, in the first place, 
not the Queen's act ; it was the act of the Prime 
Minister, Lord John, who was not greatly influenced 
by Court feeling, and it was an act that Lord John 
lived to regret. Furthermore, Palmerston's popularity 
in the country grew in proportion to his unpopularity 
at Court, and, in the decade that followed, his power, 
and ministerial power generally, increased steadily 
at the expense of the Crown's influence in both home 
and foreign affairs. The substantive victory lay with 
the minister. The principle of ministerial responsi- 
bility, unfettered and uninfluenced by the Sovereign's 
will, was too firmly rooted in the country's constitu- 
tion to be affected seriously by any personal disagree- 
ment between minister and monarch. 

Duke Ernest's Memoirs. 




PALMERSTON'S removal did not, in fact, dimmish Palmer- 
anxiety in the sphere either of domestic or foreign 
politics at Court for more than a few weeks. The year 
1852 opened ominously. The intentions of France 
under her new and untried Government were doubtful. 
The old tradition of hostility between the two coun- 
tries was always liable suddenly to light the torch of 
war. The need of increasing the naval and military 
forces was successfully urged on Lord John Eussell's 
Government ; but no sooner had the discussions on 
that subject opened in the House of Commons than 
Palmerston descended once more into the arena. He 
warmly condemned as inadequate the earliest pro- 
posals of the Government which were embodied in a 
Militia Bill. The majority of the House of Commons 
came to his aid and enabled him to inflict a defeat 
on his former colleagues on February 20, 1852. 
He carried an amendment against the ministry 
by 136 to 125. Lord John, recognising that the 
feeling of Parliament was hostile to the Government, 
straightway resigned. Within two months of his own 
dismissal, Palmerston had driven his former col- 
leagues from office. ' I have had my tit-for-tat with 

Q 2 






of its 


sion of 

John Eussell,' wrote the elated victor on the 24th, 
' and I turned him out on Friday last.' 1 

The Queen had no affection for Lord John's minis- 
try, but neither had she much confidence in the Oppo- 
sition. She now, however, acted strictly according to 
precedent, and summoned the leader of the Conserva- 
tive party, who, hitherto known as Lord Stanley, had 
just succeeded to the earldom of Derby on his father's 
death. She bade Lord Derby form a Conservative 
Government. He consented after deliberating with 
his friends. His acceptance of office meant that his 
ally, Disraeli, who was the acknowledged chief of the 
main body of Conservatives in the House of Commons, 
should enter official life for the first time at almost 
its apex. Lord Derby nominated Disraeli Chancellor 
of the Exchequer and leader of the House of Com- 

The new ministry was not strong, despite the 
ability of its two joint-leaders. With none of its 
members did the Queen feel real sympathy. Almost 
all were new to official life, all belonged to the party 
of protection ; but protection seemed to the Queen to 
have vanished from practical politics, and she was 
disposed to reproach her new advisers with their 
delay in discerning the impracticability of the obsolete 
policy. ' A little more haste,' she said of their past 
attitude to the question, ' would have saved so much 
annoyance, so much difficulty.' 

Personal intercourse rapidly overcame her preju- 
dices against Lord Derby and his friends. Lord 
Derby proved extremely courteous. Lord Malmes- 

1 Evelyn Ashley's Life of Palmerston, i. 334. 


bury, the Foreign Minister, kept her thoroughly well 
informed of the affairs of his office, and was always 
ready to take her advice. What she knew of Disraeli 
did not prepossess her in his favour, but the personal 
difficulty that she and her friends had anticipated 
from his presence in the cabinet was quietly dispelled. 
Disraeli had won his prominence in Parliament by 
his caustic denunciations of the Queen's friend, Peel, 
whose associates represented him to her as an un- 
principled adventurer. Disraeli was perfectly aware 
of the Queen's suspicions of him, and during the 
ministerial crisis that preceded his entry into office 
he expressed himself quite ready to accept a post 
that should not bring him into frequent relations 
with the Court. But personal acquaintance with him 
at once diminished the Queen's distrust ; his clever 
conversation amused her. She afterwards gave 
signal proof of a dispassionate spirit by dismissing 
every trace of early hostility, and by extending to 
him in course of time a confidence and a devotion 
far exceeding that which she showed to any other 
minister of her reign. 

But her present experience of Disraeli and his Defeat of 
colleagues was brief. A general election in July, five Govenf- 
months after they had taken office, left the Conser- ment 
vatives in a minority. Only 299 Conservatives were 
returned, against 315 Liberals and 40 Peelites, whose 
votes were usually at the command of the Liberal 

In the same month the Queen made a cruise in Second 
the royal yacht on the south coast, and a few weeks Belgium 
later paid a second private visit to King Leopold, 





Death of 
the Duke 
of Wel- 

now a widower for the second time, at his summer 
palace at Laeken. The weather was bad, but on 
returning she visited the chief objects of interest in 
Antwerp, and steered close to Calais, so that she 
might see the place. 

When at Balmoral later in the autumn, informa- 
tion reached her of the generous bequest to her by 
an eccentric subject, John Camden Neild, of all his 
fortune, amounting to half a million. He had in- 
herited from his father, James Neild, a well-known 
philanthropist, about half that sum, and the last 
thirty years of his life had been devoted exclusively 
to the miserly accumulation of the other half. He 
was unmarried and had no relations. The Queen 
accepted the large sum with gratitude. She did not 
spend the legacy, but suffered it to swell her savings. 
She increased Neild's bequests to the three executors 
from 100?. to 1,000?., provided for her benefactor's 
servants, gave an annuity of 100?. to a woman who 
had once frustrated his attempt at suicide, and 
finally, in 1855, rebuilt the chancel of North Marston 
Church, Buckinghamshire, in the neighbourhood of 
which Neild had much property ; she also placed a 
window in the church to his memory. 

The elation of spirit which this munificent addition 
to her private fortune caused her was succeeded by 
depression on hearing of the death of the Duke of 
Wellington on September 14. ' One cannot think of 
this country without " the Duke," our immortal hero,' 
she wrote in her Journal. ' The Crown never possessed 
and I fear never will so devoted, loyal, and faithful 
a subject, so staunch a supporter ! To us (who, alas ! 


have lost, now, so many of our valued and experi- 
enced friends) his loss is irreparable, for his readi- 
ness to aid and advise, if it could be of use to us, 
and to overcome any and every difficulty, was 
unequalled. ... He was a link which connected us 
with bygone times, with the last century.' l ' He was 
to us a true friend,' she wrote to her uncle Leopold, 
' and most valuable adviser ... we shall soon stand 
sadly alone. Aberdeen is almost the only personal 
friend of that kind left to us. Melbourne, Peel, 
Liverpool, 2 now the Duke all gone.' 

The Queen issued a general order of regret to The 
the army, and she put her household into mourning 
a mark of regard very rarely accorded by a sovereign 
to a subject. She went to the lying-in-state in 
Chelsea Hospital, and witnessed the funeral proces- 
sion to St. Paul's from the balcony of Buckingham 
Palace on November 18. 

On November 11 the Queen opened the new Par- Lord 
liament. Lord Derby was still Prime Minister, but 
the position of the Government was hopeless. On tion. 
December 3 Disraeli's budget was introduced. Sus- 
picion was entertained that it embodied relics of 
the heresy of protection, and on the 17th it was 
thrown out by a majority of nineteen. Lord Derby 
promptly resigned. 

For six years the Queen's Government had been Queen's 
extraordinarily weak. Parties were disorganised, ^ r sl | e 
and no leader enjoyed the full confidence of any coalition 


1 Leaves from the Queen's Journal, p. 99. 

2 The Queen's early friend, the third Earl of Liverpool, had died 
October 3, 1851. 


large section of the House of Commons. A recon- 
struction of party seemed essential to the Queen and 
the Prince. In November she had discussed with 
Lord Derby a possible coalition of Whigs and Tories. 
The chief condition she then imposed was that 
Palmerston should not lead the House of Commons. 
Derby judged the plan chimerical, but when he re- 
signed the Queen made up her mind to a strenuous 
personal effort whereby she might give her views 

Queen's The Queen sent for veteran statesmen on the Whig 

Aber^ ' an( ^ Peelite sides, Lord Aberdeen and Lord Lans- 
deen downe, both of whom she had known long and fully 
trusted. The Whig leader, Lord Lansdowne, had 
been Lord President in the Council under Lord John 
Eussell, had endeavoured to curb, before the great 
crisis, the independence of Palmerston, and had 
lately committed himself to the view that the con- 
tinuance in office of a weakly supported Govern- 
ment injured the country. But he was now seventy- 
two years old and crippled with gout, so that he was 
unable to obey the Queen's commands. The Peelite 
leader Lord Aberdeen came alone. He lent a willing 
ear to the Queen's proposals. Immediately after 
and to her interview with him, on December 19, the Queen 

wrote to Lord John Eussell : ' The Queen thinks the 

moment to have arrived when a popular, efficient, 
and durable Government could be formed by the 
sincere and united efforts of all parties professing 
Conservative and Liberal opinions.' ' Lord John 
was complaisant ; other friends were sounded with 

1 Walpole, Life, ii. 101. 


satisfactory results. Finally Aberdeen undertook 
to form a coalition Government, with the Queen's 

The task was, after a fashion, easier of accom- Coalition 
plishment than the Queen contemplated. Lord Aber- -j. es ![<[ 
deen had little hope of assistance from the Conserva- Liberals 
tive leaders, who still looked coldly on Peel's followers, 
and were altogether out of sympathy with professed 
Liberals. If the Queen acquiesced in the exclusion 
of Conservatives from the projected administration, 
there was little reason why the scheme should fail. 
Differences of opinion on domestic questions between 
Peel's friends, whom Lord Aberdeen led, and the 
Whigs had been gradually diminishing. Ultimately 
Aberdeen confined his endeavours to combining in his 
cabinet the chiefs of the Peelite party with the chiefs 
of the Liberal party. Four Peelites accepted Aberdeen's 
invitation to join his Government. Gladstone became 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Duke of Newcastle 
Colonial Secretary, Sir James Graham First Lord 
of the Admiralty, and Sidney Herbert Secretary at 
War. The left wing or Radical section of the Liberal 
party was conciliatory, and a strong representative of 
it, Sir William Molesworth, entered the cabinet as 
First Commissioner of Works. The seven remaining 
members were Whigs who had served in the last 
administration . 

Of Lord Aberdeen's Whig coadjutors the most Aber- 
important was Palmerston, whose presence was rightly whig 
deemed essential to the stability of the Government ; col- 
and the Queen, fully recognising the distasteful fact, 
raised no objection to his appointment to the Home 


Office. The Foreign Office was bestowed on Lord 
John, but he soon withdrew from it in favour of the 
Queen's firm friend, Lord Clarendon. Lord Lans- 
downe joined the cabinet without office, Lord Granville 
became President of the Council, Lord Cranworth 
Lord Chancellor, the Duke of Argyll Lord Privy Seal, 
and Sir Charles Wood (afterwards Viscount Halifax) 
President of the Board of Control (of India). 
The All the members of the cabinet were men of high 

Xtisfac- ability, and the Queen was well content with the 
tion. outcome of her suggestion, even though the Con- 
servatives had declined to enter the fold. On 
December 28 Aberdeen had completed his task, and 
the Queen wrote with sanguine satisfaction to her 
uncle Leopold of ' our excellent Aberdeen's success,' 
and of the ' realisation of the country's and of our 
own most ardent wishes.' 

Birth of Thus the next year opened promisingly, but it 

Leopold P rove d a calm before a great storm. On April 7, 
April 7, 1853, the Queen's fourth and youngest son was born, 
and was named Leopold, after the Queen's uncle, 
King Leopold, who was his godfather. George, the new 
blind King of Hanover, was also a sponsor, and the 
infant's third name of Duncan celebrated the Queen's 
affection for Scotland. The child, to whom the Queen 
was deeply attached, proved very delicate, and during 
his life of thirty-one years was a frequent source of 
anxiety to his mother. 

Military The Queen was not long in retirement on her 

y un g es t son's birth, and public calls were numerous. 
Military training, in view of possible warlike compli- 
cations on the continent, was proceeding actively 


with the Queen's concurrence. Twice June 21 and 
August 5, 1853 she visited, the first time with her 
guests, the new King and Queen of Hanover, a camp 
newly formed on Chobham Common. 1 In the interval 
between the two visits the Queen, Prince Albert, the 
Prince of Wales, Princess Eoyal, and Princess Alice 
were all disabled by an attack of measles, and Prince 
Albert, to the Queen's alarm, suffered severely from 
nervous prostration. But recovery was not long de- 
layed. On August 11 the navy was encouraged by a 
great naval review which the Queen held at Spithead. 

Before the month ended the Queen paid a second Second 
visit to Dublin, in order to inspect an exhibition of Dublin, 
Irish industries, which was framed on the model of l8 53- 
the Great Exhibition of 1851. A million Irish men 
and women are said to have met her on her landing 
at Kingstown. The royal party stayed in Dublin 
from August 30 to September 3, and attended many 
public functions. As on the former occasion, the 
Queen spent, she said, ' a pleasant, gay, and inte- 
resting time.' 

Throughout 1852 the Queen persisted in her frank Napoleon 
avowals of repugnance to personal intercourse with vances. 
Napoleon III., Emperor of the French, who had 
supplanted Louis Philippe on the French throne. 
Her relations with the exiled royal family of France 
rendered the usurper an object of suspicion and dislike, 
and the benevolence with which Palmerston regarded 
him did not soften her animosity. But she gradually 
acknowledged the danger of allowing her personal 

1 On August 5, 1901, a granite cross was unveiled on Chobham 
Common to commemorate the first of these visits. 


feeling to compromise peaceful relations with France. 
Lord Malmesbury, the Foreign Minister under Lord 
Derby, had known Napoleon in earlier days, and had 
formed an opinion of him which differed little from 
Lord Palmerston's. One of the late Conservative 
Government's last acts was to join the European Powers 
in formally recognising the new Napoleonic empire 
(December 2, 1852). At the same time the Emperor 
was making advances to England of a kind which it 
involved peril to repel. 

Napo- The French Ambassador in London had sounded 

matrf- Malmesbury, the Foreign Minister, at the date of the 
monial British Government's formal recognition of the em- 
pire, as to whether a marriage between the Emperor 
and Princess Adelaide of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, 
daughter of the Queen's half-sister, would be accept- 
able. The Queen was startled by the suggestion. 
She spoke with horror of the Emperor's religion and 
morals, and of the fate of consorts of French rulers 
since the Kevolution. She was therefore not sorry 
that the discussion should be summarily ended by 
the Emperor's marriage in the following January 
with Mile. Eugenie de Montijo. With that lady the 
irony of fate was soon to connect the Queen in a 
lasting friendship. 

King Meanwhile the Queen's uncle, King Leopold, 

medfa- S realised the wisdom of promoting better relations 

tion between her and the Emperor, whose openly expressed 

between ; * 

the Queen anxiety to secure her countenance was likely to be- 

Na*o- COTne a source of embarrassment were it hastily 

icon. ignored. In the early months of 1853 Duke Ernest, 

Prince Albert's brother, after consultation with King 


Leopold, privately visited Paris and accepted the 
hospitality of the Tuileries, which was eagerly offered 
him. The opportunity of conciliating the brother- 
in-law of the Queen of England was not lost. 
Emperor and Empress outbid each other in their 
laudation of Queen Victoria's domestic life. The 
Empress quite sincerely expressed a longing for close 
acquaintance with her, her husband, and children. 
A revolution had been worked, she said, in the con- 
ditions of Court life throughout Europe by the virtuous 
examples of Queen Victoria and of her kinswoman 
and ally, the Queen of Portugal. Such assurances 
had their effect. Duke Ernest promptly reported the 
conversation of the Tuileries to his brother and sister- 
in-law. The Queen, always sensitive to sympathy 
with her domestic experiences, was greatly mollified. 
Her initial prejudices were shaken, and the political 
situation soon opened a road, which could not be 
readily avoided, to perfect amity. 

Napoleon was quick to seize every opportunity of Napo- 
improving the situation. At the end of 1853 he importu- 
boldly suggested for the second time a matrimonial mties - 
alliance between the two families, and one of a more 
practical sort than his contingent offer of his hand 
to the Queen's niece. With the approval of King 
Leopold and of Palmerston he proposed a marriage 
between his cousin, Prince Jerome, who ultimately 
became the political head of the Bonaparte family, 
and the Queen's first cousin, Princess Mary of Cam- 
bridge, afterwards Duchess of Teck. Princess Mary 
was a frequent guest at Windsor, and constantly 
shared in the Queen's recreations. The Queen had 


no faith in forced political marriages, and at once 
consulted the Princess, whose buoyant, cheerful dis- 
position endeared her to all the royal family. The 
Princess rejected the proposal without hesitation, and 
the Queen would hear no more of it. Palmerston 
characteristically expressed astonishment at the hasty 
rejection of the Emperor's plan. He coolly remarked 
that Prince Jerome was at any rate preferable to a 
German princeling. 




BUT although Napoleon's first moves led to nothing, Quarrel 
an alliance between France and England was at 
hand. For the first and only time England, under the 
Queen's sway, was about to engage in war in Europe. 
It was not France that she was to meet in battle. It 
was with Eussia that she was, beneath Palmerston's 
spell, to drift into conflict, and it was in alliance 
with France that she was to draw the sword. In the 
autumn of 1853 Eussia pushed her claims to protect 
the Christians of the Turkish empire with such 
violence as to extort from Turkey a declaration of 
war (October 23). The mass of the British nation 
held that England was under an imperative and an 
immediate obligation to intervene by force of arms in 
behalf of Turkey, her protege and ally. The English 
cabinet had to decide the issue on which the peace of 
Europe hung. 

Lord Aberdeen's Government was unfortunately Palmer- 
divided in opinion, and the hope of firm and decisive resolute 
action that had been formed of the coalition was not views, 
realised. The Prime Minister regarded the conduct 
of Eussia as indefensible, but hoped to avert war by 
negotiation with the European Powers. Palmer ston, 


then Home Secretary, took, as was only to be ex- 
pected, a clearer and more popular view. Turkey, he 
urged, was far too weak to meet Kussia single-handed ; 
the maintenance of the integrity of the Turkish 
empire was a British interest, and no delay in inter- 
vention on England's part was justifiable. Aberdeen 
was not disposed hastily to abandon the cause of 
peace. On December 16 Palmerston suddenly re- 
signed, on the ostensible ground that he differed from 
proposals of electoral reform which his colleagues had 
adopted. The true reason was his attitude to the 
foreign crisis. Signs that he interpreted the voice of 
the country aright abounded. An agitation for his 
readmission to the cabinet menaced the life of the 
ministry. Lord Aberdeen and his colleagues bowed 
to the storm. Palmerston was recalled. His resump- 
tion of office meant the destruction of the peace of 

Queen's To the Court the course of events was from every 

war. d f P* nt of v * ew distressing. The Queen placed im- 
plicit trust in Aberdeen, and like him she hoped to 
avoid war. But Palmerston' s restored predominance 
alarmed her. A sense of the futility of her recent 
struggles with him, in which she thought for a season 
that she had come forth victorious, humiliated her. 
A dread of war oppressed her. 

Attitude In no direction could she find a gleam of hope. 

sove- 61 ^ n Abroad the situation was not more reassuring than at 

reigns. home. The Emperor Napoleon had promptly offered 

to join his army with that of England, and the King of 

Sardinia also promised to follow the Emperor's example 

if England would straightway attack Eussia. But other 

1863-4] THE CKIMEAN 241 

foreign sovereigns with whom the Queen was in fuller 
sympathy privately entreated her with the utmost 
solemnity and persistency to thwart the bellicose 
designs which they identified with her most popular 
minister's name. The Tsar Nicholas stoutly pro- 
tested to her the innocence of his designs (November 
1858). The nervous King of Prussia anxiously 
petitioned her at all hazards to keep the peace, and 
even sent her an autograph note by the hand of a 
special messenger, General von Groben, adjuring her 
that any forward step on her part would embarrass 
his own position in Central Europe. Lord Clarendon, 
the Foreign Minister, was happily sympathetic, and 
gave her wise advice regarding the tenor of her 
replies. She reproached the King of Prussia with 
his weakness, and told him it was his duty to aid 
her in the vindication of international law and order, 
not to persuade her to shirk her duty ; were the 
Great Powers of Europe united with her, Kussia 
would yield to diplomatic pressure (March 17, 1854). 

To all her continental correspondents the Queen's Popular 
attitude was irreproachable. But the country was su 
growing impatient, and soon the rumour spread that Albert, 
she and her husband were employing their foreign 
intimacies against the country's interest. Aberdeen's 
hesitation to proceed to extremities, the known dis- 
sensions between Palmerston and the Court, the 
natural jealousy of foreign influences in the sphere of 
government, fed the suspicion that the Crown at the 
instance of a foreign prince-consort was obstructing 
the due assertion of the country's rights, and was 
playing into the hands of the country's foes. 


242 QUEEN VICTORIA [1853-4 

The The winter of 1853-4 progressed without any 

Prince On s ig ns of decisive action on the part of the English 
Albert. Government. Thereupon popular indignation re- 
doubled and burst in its fullest fury on the head of 
Prince Albert and the Queen. The Prince was 
denounced as a chief agent of an Austro-Belgian- 
Coburg-Orleans clique on the European continent. 
He was held up to obloquy as an avowed enemy of 
England, and a subservient tool of Eussian ambition. 
The Tsar, it was seriously alleged, communicated his 
pleasure to the Prince through the Prince's kinsmen 
at Gotha and Brussels. ' It is pretended,' the Prince 
told his brother (January 7, 1854), ' that I whisper 
[the Tsar's orders] in Victoria's ear, she gets round 
old Aberdeen, and the voice of the only English 
minister, Palmerston, is not listened to ay, he is 
always intrigued against, at the Court and by the 
Court.' l The Queen's husband, in fact, served as 
scapegoat for the ministry's vacillation. Honest men 
believed that he had exposed himself to the penalties 
of high treason, and they gravely doubted if the 
Queen herself were wholly guiltless. 

The The Queen took the calumnies deeply to heart, and 

resent' 3 Aberdeen, who was, she told Stockmar, ' all kindness, 
ment. sought vainly for a time to console her. ' In attack- 
ing the Prince,' she pointed out to Aberdeen (January 4, 
1854), ' who is one and the same with the Queen her- 
self, the throne is assailed, and she must say she 
little expected that any portion of her subjects would 
thus requite the unceasing labours of the Prince.' The 
Prime Minister in reply spoke with disdain of ' these 

1 Duke Ernest's Memoirs, ii. 46. 

1854] THE CRIMEAN WAR 243 

contemptible exhibitions of malevolence and faction,' 
but he admitted that the Prince held an anomalous 
position which the constitution had not provided for. 

Pity for the Queen's sufferings was soon awakened War 
by the unscrupulous violence of her detractors. When 
she opened Parliament on January 31, she was Russia, 
respectfully received, and the leaders of both sides 
Lord Aberdeen and Lord Derby in the Upper House 
and Lord John Kussell and Spencer Walpole in the 
Commons emphatically repudiated the slanders on 
her and her husband. The tide of abuse thereupon 
flowed more sluggishly, and it was temporarily checked 
on February 27, 1854, when the Queen sent a message 
to the House of Lords announcing the breakdown of 
negotiations with Kussia. War was formally declared 
next day, and France and Sardinia affirmed their 
readiness to fight at England's side. 

The popular criticism of the Queen was unwar- The 
ranted. Her attitude was characterised alike by dignity JjU ^ 
and common sense. She hated war but never shrank troops, 
from it when it was inevitable, nor did she believe 
in pursuing it half-heartedly. Eepulsive as the 
incidents of war were to her, and active as was her 
sympathy with the suffering that it entailed, she 
never ceased to urge her ministers and her generals, 
when war was actually in being, to press forward 
with dogged resolution and not to ahu-ken their efforts 
until the final goal of victory was reached. As soon 
as the fatal word was spoken on February 27, 1854, 
she spared no effort to give encouragement to all 
ranks of the army and navy. For months she 
watched in person the departure of troops. On 

244 QtlEEN VICTORIA [1854 

March 10 she inspected at Spithead the great fleet 
which was destined for the Baltic under Sir Charles 
Napier. She faced the situation with cool resolution 
and discretion. At the opening of the conflict the 
Government proposed a day of humiliation for the 
success of the British arms. The Queen was not 
enthusiastic for the proposal. She warned Aberdeen 
of the hypocrisy of self-abasement in the form of 
prayers. At the same time she deprecated abuse of 
the enemy. 

Hospi- Some alleviation of anxiety was sought in the 

Court* at ordinary incidents of Court life. On May 12 the 
Queen, by way of acknowledging the alliance into 
which she had entered with the Emperor, paid 
the French Ambassador, Count Walewski, the high 
compliment of attending a bal costume at the French 
Embassy at Albert Gate. The Queen alone wore 
ordinary evening dress. Next day she went to 
Woolwich to christen in her husband's honour a new 
battleship of enormous dimensions, the ' Koyal Albert.' 
In June the Queen entertained for a month her 
cousin, the new King of Portugal, Pedro V., and his 
brother the Duke of Oporto, who afterwards succeeded 
to the throne as King Luis. Their mother, Queen 
Maria da Gloria, in whom she was from childhood 
deeply interested, had died in childbed seven months 
before (November 20, 1853). The Queen showed the 
young men every attention, taking them with her to 
the opera, the theatre, and Ascot. An injudicious 
suggestion made to them by some courtiers that 
Portugal should join England in the Crimean war 
w r as reasonably rejected by their advisers, but did not 

18-54] THE CRIMEAN AVAR 245 

affect their relations with their hostess. The chief 
spectacular event of the season was the opening by 
the Queen at Sydenham, on June 10, of the Crystal 
Palace, which had, much to the Prince's satisfaction, 
been transferred, under his auspices, from Hyde Park 
after the Great Exhibition. 

In the summer the Queen confuted signally Queen 
the slanderous accusations of pusillanimity. She 

now shared with a large section of the public a fear luke ~ 
that the Government was not pursuing the war n ess 
with requisite energy. When Lord Aberdeen, in a aboutthe 
speech in the House of Lords on June 20, argumenta- 
tively defended Piussia against the violent assaults 
of the English press, the Queen promptly reminded 
him of the misapprehensions that the appearance in 
him of lukewarmness must create in the public mind. 
Whatever were the misrepresentations of the Tsar's 
policy, she said, it was at the moment incumbent on 
her ministers to remember that * there is enough in 
that policy to make us fight with all our might 
against it.' 

Incessantly did she and the Prince appeal to the Prince 
ministers to hasten their deliberations and to improve s t Omer. 
the organisation of the Crimean army. The most 
hopeful feature of the situation was Napoleon III.'s 
zeal. In July the Prince accepted the Emperor's 
pressing invitation to inspect with him the camp at 
St. Omer, where an army was fitting out for the 
Crimea. The meeting was completely successful. 
The Queen was grateful for the attentions shown her 
husband, and the good relations of the rulers of the 
two countries were placed on a surer foundation. 


The On August 12 the Queen took part for the last 

time in a ceremony, participation in which had 

tongues hitherto formed one of the Sovereign's constitutional 

tne bove- . 

reign for functions. For the last time she attended Parlia- 

tSme*on ment to command its prorogation. From time 
Aug. 12, immemorial it had been customary for the Sovereign 
to meet members of the House of Commons at 
the close of each session and to listen to an harangue 
on the session's work of the House from the lips of 
the Speaker. The Speaker, Charles Shaw Lefevre, 
who had performed the office many times during the 
fifteen years that he had filled the chair of the lower 
chamber, now reviewed for her benefit the past labours 
of 'her faithful Commons.' The outbreak of war, 
he told her, had interrupted the progress of legisla- 
tion. ' Notwithstanding your Majesty's unremitting 
endeavour to maintain peace,' he said, ' war has 
been forced upon us by the unwarrantable aggression 
of Eussia on the Turkish empire.' He proceeded 
at some length to justify the struggle, and he con- 
gratulated the Queen upon sending forth ' fleets and 
armies complete beyond all former precedent in 
discipline and equipment.' Although the address 
was on this as on former occasions quite respectful in 
tone and comparatively brief, the Queen disliked 
receiving instruction in public, and being never un- 
willing to break with precedent which oppressed her, 
she omitted to prorogue Parliament in person again. 
The absence of the Sovereign from the ceremony 
relieved the Speaker henceforward of the obligation 
of delivering his formal lecture, and the Queen thus 
condemned an ancient custom to desuetude, 

1854-5] THE CKIMEAN WAE 247 

The Crimean war remained the Queen's absorbing Anxieties 
anxiety. While at Balmoral in September she was about the 
elated to receive ' all the most interesting and grati- 
fying details of the splendid and decisive victory of 
the Alma.' On leaving Balmoral she visited the 
docks at Grimsby and Hull, but her mind was else- 
where. From Hull she wrote to her uncle Leopold, At Hull, 
' We are, and indeed the whole country is, entirely Oct * I3 ' 
engrossed with one idea, one anxious thought the 
Crimea.' News of the victories of Inkermann and inker- 
Balaclava did not entirely remove her apprehen- Sct"^ 
sions. ' Such a time of suspense,' she wrote on Ba j a _ 

November 7, ' I never expected to see, much less clava, 

, 7 , Nov. 5. 

to feel. 

During the winter the cruel hardships which The 
climate, disease, and failure of the commissariat 
inflicted on the troops strongly stirred public feeling. 
The Queen was fully alive to the sorrowful situa- 
tion. She initiated or supported all manner of 
voluntary measures of relief. With her own hands 
she made woollen comforters and mittens for the 
men. On New Year's day, 1855, she wrote to the 
Commander-in-Chief in the Crimea, Lord Kaglan, 
expressing her sympathy with the army in its ' sad 
privations and constant sickness,' and entreated him 
to make the camps ' as comfortable as circumstances 
can admit of.' No details escaped her, and she 
especially called his attention to the rumour ' that 
the soldiers' coffee was given them green instead of 
roasted.' Although the Queen and the Prince grew 
every day more convinced of the defective adminis- 
tration of the War Office, they were unflinchingly 


loyal to the Prime Minister, Lord Aberdeen, who was 
the target of much public censure. Before the 
opening of Parliament in January 1855, by way of 
proof of their personal sympathy, the Queen made 
him a Knight of the Garter. 

Lord But it was beyond her power, had it been her 

deen's ultimate wish, to prop the falling Government. The 
defeat. session no sooner opened than Lord John insisted on 
seceding in face of the outcry in the country against 
the management of the war. The blow was serious, 
and Lord Aberdeen was with difficulty persuaded by 
the Queen to hold on. Complete shipwreck was 
not long delayed. On January 29 the Government 
was hopelessly defeated on a hostile motion for an 
inquiry into the management of the war. Only 148 
votes were cast in favour of Lord Aberdeen ; 305 
were given against him. Aberdeen's retirementwas in- 
evitable. On February 7 the Queen addressed him an 
affectionate letter of farewell, generously acknowledg- 
ing his past services to her. ' She wishes to say,' she 
wrote, ' what a pang it is for her to separate from so 
kind and dear and valued a friend as Lord Aberdeen 
has ever been to her since she has known him. The 
day he became her Prime Minister was a very liappy 
one for her, and throughout his ministry he has ever 
been the kindest and wisest adviser, one to whom she 
could apply for advice on all and trifling occasions 
even. This she is sure he will still ever be but 
the losing him as her first adviser in her Government 
is very painful.'' l 

1 Lord Aberdeen, by the Hon. Sir Arthur Gordon (Lord Stan- 
ii;on), 1893, pp. 291-2. 




IT was obvious that Lord Aberdeen's retirement left The 
the Queen face to face with a most distasteful obliga- 
tion. Destiny had ordained that she should confer dread of 
the supreme power in the State on her old enemy, ^li" 6 
Palmerston. The situation called for all her forti- 
tude. She took time before submitting. A study of 
the division lists taught her that Lord Derby's sup- 
porters formed the greater number of the voters who 
had destroyed Lord Aberdeen's ministry. She there- 
fore, despite Aberdeen's warning, invited Lord Derby 
to assume the government. Derby explained to her 
that he could not accept the commission without aid 
from other parties, and a day later he announced his 
failure to secure extraneous assistance. Disraeli urged 
Lord Derby to make a more strenuous effort to help 
the Queen, but he declined to take further part in the 

The Queen then turned to the veteran Whig, Her ap- 
Lord Lansdowne, and bade him privately seek ? ea r l d to 
advice for her from all the party leaders. The forth- John, 
coming counsel was not encouraging. In the result 
the Queen summoned Lord John Russell, who had 
contributed largely to Lord Aberdeen's defeat. His 






followers were in number and compactness second to 
Lord Derby's, and the Queen pointed out that, in 
view of Lord Derby's inability to act, it was incum- 
bent on Lord John to form an administration. She 
could not blind herself to the inevitable course of the 
discussion, and, suppressing her private feeling, she 
assured Lord John that she hoped Palmerston would 
join him. But she had not gone far enough in her 
approach to Palmerston. Lord John declared that he 
was not strong enough to accept her commands. 

The business of the country was at a standstill. 
A continuance of the deadlock was perilous. The 
Queen confided to her sympathetic friend Lord Claren- 
don her reluctance to take the next step the only 
one she now feared that would end the dangerous 
crisis. Clarendon convinced her that the dreaded 
course was alone open to her to follow. He assured 
her that Palmerston would prove conciliatory if 
frankly treated, and that none other could take the 
helm. With grave reluctance she yielded to necessity ; 
she sent for Palmerston, and bade him form an 

Palmerston's popular strength was undoubted, and 
longer resistance on the part of the Crown was idle if 
not unsafe. As soon as the die was cast, the Queen 
with characteristic good sense made the best of a 
bad situation. She indicated that she would extend 
to her new Prime Minister the confidence she had 
extended to his predecessors. On February 15 
Palmerston wrote to his brother : ' I am backed by 
the general opinion of the whole country, and I have 
no reason to complain of the least want of cordiality 


or confidence on the part of the Court.' Greatly 
to the Queen's relief and satisfaction Lord Clarendon 
remained at the Foreign Office, Earl Granville retained 
the presidency of the Council, and Sir George Grey, 
formerly the Colonial Secretary, succeeded Palrner- 
ston at the Home Office. Lord Aberdeen had per- 
suaded others of his colleagues to serve temporarily 
at least under his successor. * The pain [of parting 
with Aberdeen],' she wrote, ' has been to a certain 
extent lessened by the knowledge of all he has done 
to further the formation of this Government in so 
loyal, noble, and disinterested a manner, and by his 
friends retaining their posts, which is a great security 
against any possible dangers.' But within a few days 
the Peelite members of the old Government Glad- 
stone, Sir James Graham, and Sidney Herbert went 
out. Lord John Eussell and friends of his came in 
to fill their places. Thereby the unity of the Govern- 
ment was, as far as was practicable, assured, and 
Palmerston's power was freed of restraint. 

Baseless rumours of the malign influence exerted Wounded 
by Prince Albert on the country's destinies were still soldlers - 
alive, but no doubt was permissible of the devoted 
energy with which the Queen was promoting the relief 
of the wounded. In March she visited the military 
hospitals at Chatham and Woolwich, and encouraged 
the invalids by simple words of sympathy. She 
complained privately that she was not kept informed 
in sufficient detail by the War Office of the condition 
and prospects of disabled soldiers on their return 
home. She was resolved to use all her influence to 
alleviate their lot. 




offers to 
go to the 

of her 

Visit of 
III., April 

A new difficulty arose with the announcement on 
the part of Napoleon that he intended to proceed to 
the Crimea to take command of the French army 
there. His presence was certain to provoke compli- 
cations in the command of the allied forces in the 
field. Gentle objections were raised by the English 
Foreign Office. Thereupon the Emperor hinted that 
it might be well for him to discuss the project in 
person with the Queen. The hint was taken by the 
Queen and her advisers. The Queen invited the 
Emperor and Empress to pay her a state visit. 

On all sides the Queen was thrown into association 
with men who had inspired her with distrust. Pal- 
merston, ' the man who,' in Prince Albert's words, 
' embittered our whole life,' was her Prime Minister. 
Her closest ally in Europe, whom public obligations 
compelled her to conciliate and honour, was Napo- 
leon III., whose past history was, in her opinion, 
infamous. But she yielded her private sentiments 
at the call of a national crisis with all the cheerfulness 
and alacrity she could command. 

The Queen made every effort to give her imperial 
guests a brilliant reception. She personally super- 
vised each detail of the programme of the entertain- 
ments that were organised in their honour. She drew 
up with her own hands the lists of guests who were 
commanded to meet them. On April 16 the Emperor 
and Empress reached Dover and proceeded through 
London to Windsor. No elaborate formality that at 
any time distinguished the reception of sovereigns in 
England was suffered to lapse, and the Emperor was 
at once favourably impressed. 


The ordeal proved far less trying than the Queen His 
feared. At a great banquet in St. George's Hall on 
the evening of his arrival, the Emperor won the 
Queen's heart by his adroit flattery and respectful 
familiarity. She found him ' very quiet and amiable 
and easy to get on with.' He reminded her of an early 
meeting with her, when he was a refugee in London, 
and affected a deep interest in her domestic concerns. 
Next day, when a review of the household troops in 
Windsor Park was followed by a state ball, the har- 
mony was confirmed. On the 18th the Queen raised 
her guest's spirits to the highest pitch of elation by 
bestowing on him the knighthood of the Garter. 
Time was not standing still. Louis Philippe, the 
victim of Napoleon's triumph, had been no less 
cheered by the gift of the same high distinction from 
the Queen's hand a short eleven years before. 

The public warmly seconded the Queen's endea- His wel- 
vours to render her hospitality attractive to Louis e y 
Philippe's successor. A visit of the royal party to people. 
Her Majesty's opera house in the Haymarket on the 
19th evoked a great display of popular enthusiasm? 
and amid similar manifestations the royal party went 
on the 20th to the Crystal Palace. On the 21st the 
visit ended, and with every sign of mutual goodwill 
the Emperor left Buckingham Palace for Dover. Of 
' the great event ' the Queen wrote : ' On all it has 
left a pleasant satisfactory impression.' The royal 
party had talked much of the war with the result that 
was desired. On April 25 the Emperor wrote to the 
Queen that he had abandoned his intention of going 
to the Crimea. 


The But, throughout the hospitable gaieties, the ironies 

thlHrony 1 ^ ^ a * e ^ai dog the steps of sovereigns were rarely far 
ofroy- from the Queen's mind. Three days before the 
Emperor arrived, the widowed ex-Queen of the French, 
who had fallen far from her high estate, visited her 
at Windsor, whence she drove away unnoticed in the 
humblest of equipages, and the contrast between her 
present and past fortunes deeply impressed her 
hostess. After the great ball in the Waterloo room 
at Windsor, when the Queen danced a quadrille with 
the Emperor on the 17th, she noted in her diary, 
' How strange to think that I, the granddaughter of 
George III., should dance with the Emperor Napoleon, 
nephew of England's great enemy, and now my 
nearest and most intimate ally, in the Waterloo 
room, and this ally, only six years ago, living in 
this country an exile, poor and unthought of ! ' 
Queen Meanwhile proposals for peace between the com- 

Lord VCS batants in the Crimea were under the consideration 
John. of a conference of the Powers at Vienna. The con- 
sultation proved abortive. The Queen was resolved 
that, in view of the sacrifices that the war had entailed, 
none but the best possible terms should be entertained 
by her ministers. At Vienna Lord John represented 
England and M. Drouyn de Lhuys represented 
France. Lord John seemed willing to accept con- 
ditions that were to the Queen unduly favourable to 
Eussia. He deemed it needless to insist on the 
assignment by Eussia of material guarantees for 
the future immunity of Turkey from invasion. The 
Queen resented her envoy's pusillanimity. She 
wrote peremptorily on April 25, 1855, to Palmerston, 


' How Lord John Eussell and M. Drouyn can re- 
commend such proposals for our acceptance is 
beyond her [our] comprehension.' The conference 
was dissolved without result. In the months that 
followed the Queen and Prince were indefatigable 
in exerting their influence on the cabinet against 
what they deemed unworthy concessions to Eussia. 
From their point of view the resignation of Lord 
John on July 16, owing to discontent with his recent 
diplomatic exploits, rendered the situation more 

In May the Queen identified herself conspicuously First dis- 
with the national feeling by distributing war medals ^war " 
to the returned soldiers on the Horse Guards' medals, 
Parade. It was the Queen's own suggestion, and 
it was the first time that the Sovereign had per- 
formed such a function with her own hands. Lord 
Panmure, Secretary at War, was at her side to 
assist her through the ceremony, and was not very 
adroit in the aid he gave her. 1 But of the new 
experience the Queen wrote in all seriousness : 
' The rough hand of the brave and honest private 
soldier came for the first time in contact with 
that of their [his] Sovereign and their [his] Queen.' 
Later in the day she visited the riding school in 

1 Panmure was distinguished by an abnormal slowness of wit. 
The amusing story is told that at the conclusion of the distribution 
of medals, when the War Secretary was asked by the Hon. Mrs. 
Norton, the brilliant authoress, whether the Queen was ' touched,' he 
replied : ' Bless my soul, no ! She had a brass railing before her, 
and no one could touch her.' Mrs. Norton then said : ' I mean, was 
she moved ? ' ' Moved ! ' answered Lord Panmure ; ' she had no 
occasion to move.' Memories of an Ex-Minister (Lord Malmesbury), 
p. 363. 


Wellington Barracks while the men were assembled 
at dinner. 

Domestic distress was occasioned the Queen in 
mvita- the summer by an outbreak of scarlet fever in the 
royal household, which attacked the four younger 
children. But on their recovery the Queen and 
Prince redoubled their energies in the public service. 
The maintenance of the French alliance was now, in 
their sight, a cause worthy of exertion. With a view 
strengthening it, they accepted the Emperor's to 
invitation to pay him a return visit to Paris. Follow- 
ing the example of Prince Albert, the Emperor had 
organised a great ' Exposition,' and it was his desire 
that his royal friends should compare it with their 
own ' Great Exhibition.' No time was lost in acceding 
to his wish. 

Queen in On August 20, after Parliament had been pro- 
August I'ogued by commission (as now was to be the settled 
l8 55- custom), the Queen travelled, with the Prince and 
her two eldest children, the Prince of Wales and the 
Princess Koyal, from Osborne to Boulogne. There 
the Emperor offered them a cordial welcome. By an 
accident they reached Paris rather late, but they passed 
through it in elaborate procession to the palace of 
St. Cloud 1 on the outskirts of the city. Although this 
want of punctuality in the arrival of the royal party 
caused the Parisians passing annoyance, they were 
loud in their acclamations of the English Queen when 
she appeared in their streets. Marshal Magnan de- 
clared that the great Napoleon was not so warmly 
received on his return from Austerlitz. 

1 The palace was destroyed by the German invaders in October 
1870 : only ruins survive. 


The occasion was worthy of enthusiasm. It was Her 
the first time that an English sovereign had entered the welcome 
French capital since the infant Henry VI. went there 
to be crowned in 1422. It proved the most imposing 
reception that had been yet offered Queen Victoria 
either within or without her own country. Splendid 
festivities were devised for her daily entertainment. 
The opportunity was also allowed her for private visits, 
not merely to the Exposition, but to the public 
buildings of Paris, St. Germain and Versailles. 
Their historical associations greatly stirred her, espe- 
cially those which recalled the sad regal tragedies 
always fascinating to her of Marie Antoinette l or 
James II. When she saw the dilapidated monument 
above James II.'s grave in the church of St. Germain, 
she caused it to be restored, and added to the old 
inscription the pathetic exordium : * Kegio Cineri 
Pietas Piegia.' Napoleon I.'s fate likewise moved her 
to compassion, and she bade the Prince of Wales, 
who, clad in Highland costume, had accompanied his 
mother to the Hotel des Invalides, kneel at the hero's 
tomb. A thunderstorm broke out at the moment, 
and the impressive scene moved to tears the French 
generals who were present. 2 

1 The Queen was fond of recalling that she had come into 
indirect association with Marie Antoinette through 'the old Lord 
Huntly ' (i.e. the ninth Marquis of Huntly, who died in 1853 at the 
age of ninety-two). Lord Huntly had as a young man danced a 
minuet with the ill-fated Queen of France at the Tuileries before the 
Eevolution. In his old age he joined in a square dance with Queen 
Victoria. Lord Konald Gower's Old Diaries, p. 116. 

2 'Journal du Marechal Canrobert,' in Revue Hebdomadaire, 
November 1901. A picture of the scene, now at Windsor, was 
painted for the Queen by E. M. Ward, R.A. 



First Among the official celebrations were a review on 

with 1 " 2 * the Champ de Mars of 45,000 troops, a state visit to 
Bis- the Opera, and balls of dazzling magnificence at the 
Hotel de Ville and at Versailles. At the Versailles 
fete, on August 25, the Queen made a fateful addition 
to her circle of acquaintance. She was introduced 
by the Emperor for the first time to Count (afterwards 
Prince) Bismarck, then Prussian Minister at Frank- 
fort, from whose iron will her host, and afterwards 
her daughter, and to a smaller extent herself, were 
in course of time to suffer much. The Queen con- 
versed with the resolute statesman in German with 
great civility. He thought that she was interested 
in him, but that she lacked sympathy with him. 
The impression was correct, and her want of sym- 
pathy with Bismarck never wore away. Among the 
eminent Frenchmen she met was Marshal Canrobert, 
Commander-in-Chief of the French army in the 
Crimea during the late campaigns ; he was impressed 
by her amiability in greeting him without the for- 
malities of a presentation. 1 

Success The French visit ended on August 27. On 

r>aris reaching Boulogne on her way to Osborne, she was 

visit. accorded a great military farewell by the Emperor, 

who exchanged with her the warmest assurances of 

attachment to herself, her husband, and her children. 

1 The Queen's costume somewhat amazed the Marshal. ' She 
wore,' he wrote in his diary, ' a massive hat of white silk, in spite of 
the great heat. Her dress was white, and she had a mantilla and a 
parasol of downright green, which seemed to me to be out of harmony 
with the rest of the costume. In the evening she was in a white 
toilette ddcolletde, with quantities of geranium blooms all over her.' 
Revue Hebdomadaire, November 1901. 


The immediate effect of the experience was excellent. 
The anticipations of a permanent alliance between 
the two countries seemed at the moment assured. 

These happy prognostications proved too san- Relations 
guine. The political relations between Napoleon III. JJapo- 
and the Queen were soon to be severely strained, leon - 
and her faith in his sincerity to be rudely shaken. 
Yet his personal courtesies both at Windsor and 
Paris left an indelible impression on her. Despite 
her political distrust she constantly corresponded 
with the Emperor until his death in autograph letters 
of dignified cordiality ; and the sympathetic affection 
which had arisen between the Queen and the Empress 
Eugenie steadily grew with time and the vicissitudes 
of fortune. 






fall of 









THE early autumn of 1855 which was spent at Bal- 
moral was brightened by two gratifying incidents. 
On September 10 there reached the Queen news of 
the fall of Sebastopol, after a siege of nearly a year 
a decisive triumph for British arms, which brought 
honourable peace in sight. Prince Albert himself 
superintended the lighting of a bonfire on the top of 
a neighbouring cairn. 

The other episode appealed directly to the Queen's 
maternal feeling. The eldest son of the Prince of 
Prussia (afterwards the Emperor Frederick I.), who, 
attended by Count von Moltke, was at the time a 
guest at Balmoral, requested permission to propose 
marriage to the Princess Eoyal. She was barely 
sixteen, and he was twenty-four, but there were 
indications of a mutual affection. The manly good- 
ness of the Prince strongly appealed to the Queen, 
and an engagement was privately made on Septem- 
ber 29. The public announcement was to be deferred 
till after the Princess's confirmation next year. 

From the politician's point of view the betrothal 
had little to recommend it, and Prince Albert at once 


denied that it had any political significance. A close 
union between the royal families of London and 
Berlin was not likely to approve itself to the Queen's 
late host of Paris. Nor was it specially congenial to 
the English ministry. To most English statesmen 
Prussia appeared to be on the downward grade under 
a Government which was incurably infected with re- 
actionary stolidity. Although Prince Albert and the 
Queen had faith in its future, they were themselves 
disappointed by the inability of its present ruler, 
Frederick William IV., the uncle of their future son- 
in-law, to maintain its supremacy in the councils of 
Central Europe, or to overcome internal dissensions. 
The Prussian King had cravenly deserted them in the 
recent war, but was still weakly seeking their diplo- 
matic influence in private letters to the Queen, which 
he conjured her not to divulge either in Downing 
Street or at the Tuileries. His pertinacity had grown 
so troublesome of late that, to avoid friction, she 
deemed it wisest to suppress his correspondence 
unanswered. 1 

It was not, therefore, surprising that, when the Views of 
news of the betrothal leaked out in England, the 
public comments should be unpleasing to the Court. m en. 
The ' Times ' on October 3 denounced the arrange- 
ment with heat as an act of truckling ' to a paltry 
German dynasty.' Nor was it more warmly welcomed 
by statesmen at the Prussian Court. On March 26, 
1856, the minister Gerlach wrote to his chief, Man- 
teuffel, ' What do you think of the English match ? 
Bismarck is strongly against it, and so am I. It will 

1 Duke Ernest's Memoirs, vol. iii. 


involve us in many things without helping us, and is, 
besides, very dear.' l Russia, too, looked with dis- 
favour on the union. But the King of Prussia was 
ebullient in enthusiasm, and although his ministers 
continued to argue that the heir to the Prussian throne 
ought to have 'preferred a German princess,' they 
acquiesced in the alliance when they learned that 
both the English and the Prussian royal families 
were unalterably pledged to its accomplishment. 
Victor In November, when the Court was again at 

Emanuel Windsor, the Queen extended her acquaintance 
Queen. among great kings and statesmen by receiving a visit 
from her second ally in the Crimea, Victor Emanuel, 
King of Sardinia, and his minister, Count Cavour. 
The internal affairs of one more country of Europe were 
thus closely pressed upon her attention. The King's 
brother, the Duke of Genoa, had been her guest in 
1852, and she had presented him with a riding-horse in 
words that he interpreted to imply sympathy with the 
efforts of Cavour and his master to unite Italy under 
a single king, and to purge the separate States 
of native tyranny or foreign domination. 2 Victor 
Emanuel had come to Windsor to seek confirmation 
of his brother's version of the Queen's sentiment, and 
to test its practical value. He had just been at the 
Tuileries, where Napoleon was encouraging, while 
Palmerston, now Queen Victoria's Prime Minister, 
was known to sympathise with the Italian aspiration 
for Italian unity. 

1 Otto Freiherr v. Manteuffel, Unter Friedricli Wilhelm IV. iii 
115-6, 267. 

2 Duke Ernest's Memoirs, iii. 22-23. 


It was not opportune at the moment for Palmer- Queen 
ston to promise King Victor Emanuel material courages 
aid ; while Prince Albert, however deeply he de- him. 
plored the misgovernment which it was sought to 
annul in Italy, deprecated any breach with Austria, 
the power responsible for rule in North Italy. He 
and the Queen, moreover, dreaded the kindling of 
further war in Europe, in whatever cause. Victor 
Emanuel and Cavour therefore received from the 
Queen cold comfort, but she paid the Italian monarch 
every formal honour. His brusque and unrefined de- 
meanour rendered much cordiality impossible. But 
he was invested with the Garter on December 5, and 
a great banquet was given him in St. George's Hall in 
the evening. Prince Albert personally introduced him 
to both Lord Aberdeen, the present Foreign Secretary, 
and to Lord Malmesbury, the past Foreign Secretary. 
When the King left Windsor the Queen put herself 
to the trouble of rising at four o'clock in the morning 
to bid him farewell. 

Meanwhile satisfactory terms of peace with Kussia The 
were arranged in Paris on the part of England and ^f^| ris 
her allies, Turkey, France, and Sardinia. The chief March 30, 
provision declared the Black Sea to be neutral waters, I 5 ' 
to which the merchantmen of all nations, but at 
the same time no ships of war, were to be granted 
access ; Turkey was admitted to the advantages of the 
European concert, and future disputes between the 
Porte and any of the great Powers were to be 
settled jointly by them all ; all conquered territory 
was to be restored and the boundaries of certain 
provinces under Turkish suzerainty were to ba defined 


anew ; Christians in Turkey were secured due protec- 

General Amid great rejoicing, in view of the happy 

joltings. en( iing of the war, the Queen opened Parliament 
on January 31, 1856. On March 30 the treaty 
was signed and the encroachment of Russia on 
Turkey was believed to have been effectively checked. 
Napoleon had shown a rather suspicious supineness 
in the negotiations and seemed to be developing 
a tendency to conciliate the common enemy, Russia. 
But the Queen exchanged hearty congratulations 
with him on the settlement, and on April 11 she 
celebrated the general harmony by conferring the 
knighthood of the Garter on Palmerston, to whom, 
with some natural qualifications, she acknowledged 
the successful issue to be mainly due. 

First Henceforth the army, with which she regarded 

Afdershot nerse ^ as identified by descent, was the Queen's care 
1856. to a far larger extent than before. Military engage- 
ments she henceforth treated as more binding than any 
others. A visit to the military hospital at Chatham 
on April 16 was immediately followed by a first visit 
to the newly formed camp at Aldershot. There the 
Queen, for the first of many times, slept the night in 
the royal pavilion, and next day she reviewed 18,000 
men. She was on horseback, and wore the uniform 
of a field-marshal with the star and ribbon of the 
Garter. Shortly after she laid two foundation-stones 
of a new military (the Royal Victoria) hospital at 
Netley on May 19, and of Wellington College, Sand- 
hurst, for the sons of officers on June 2. Much of the 
summer she spent in welcoming troops on their return 


from the Crimea. On June 7 and 8 the Queen, accom- 
panied by her guests, the King of the Belgians and 
Prince Oscar of Sweden, inspected a great body of 
them at Aldershot, and addressed to them stirring 
words of thanks and sympathy. Thoroughly identi- The 
fying herself with the heroism of her soldiers and 
sailors, she instituted a decoration for acts of con- 
spicuous valour in war, to be known as the Victoria 
Cross (V.C.) ; the decoration carried with it a pension 
of 101. a year. A list of the earliest recipients of the 
honour was soon drawn up, and the crosses were 
pinned by the Queen herself on the breasts of sixty - 
two men at a great review in Hyde Park next year 
(June 26, 1857). 

A melancholy incident had marked her visit to The 
Aldershot on June 8, 1856. While the Commander- 

in-Chief, Lord Hardinge, who had succeeded on the bridge 
Duke of Wellington's death to that high office, was man der- 
speaking to her, he was seized by incurable paralysis, 
and had to vacate his post. 1 An opportunity seemed 
thus presented to the Queen of tightening the tradi- 
tional bond between the Crown and the army, on 
which recent events had led her to set an enhanced 
value. Of no prerogative of the Crown was the Queen 
more tenacious than that which gave her a nominal 
control of the army through the Commander-in- 
Chief . It was a control that was in name independent 
of Parliament, although that body claimed a con- 
current authority over the military forces through 
the Secretary of State for War. Parliament was in 
course of time, to the Queen's dismay, to make its 

1 He died September 24 following, in his 72nd year. 


authority over the army sole and supreme, to the 
injury of her prerogative. But her immediate am- 
bition was to confirm the personal connection between 
the army and herself. She therefore induced Palmer- 
ston to sanction the appointment of her cousin, 
George, Duke of Cambridge, as Commander-in-Chief, 
in succession to Lord Hardinge (July 14, 1856). The 
Duke had held a command in the Crimea, and the 
Queen's recent displaj^s of attachment to the army 
rendered it difficult for her advisers to oppose her 
wish. But the choice was not in accord with public 
policy, and, through the public criticisms which it 
constantly provoked, had the ultimate effect of weaken- 
ing the military prerogative of the Crown which the 
Queen sought to strengthen. 

Court Public and private affairs justified a season of 

ties!" exceptional gaiety. The Princess Royal had been 
confirmed on March 20, and her betrothal became 
generally known in May, when Prince Frederick 
William, again accompanied by Von Moltke, paid the 
Court another visit. The Queen's spirits ran high. 
On May 7 she gave a great banquet to the leaders of 
both parties and their wives. She arranged that 
Whig ministers should have for their partners the 
wives of Tory ex-ministers, and Tory ex-ministers the 
wives of the Whig ministers ; and she was amused at 
the signs of discomfort which made themselves appa- 
rent. Lord Derby told the Prince that the guests 
constituted ' a happy family.' l Balls were incessant, 
and at them all the Queen danced indefatigably. 

1 Malmesbury, Memoirs, p. 380. 


On May 9 the new ball-room and concert-room at Bali at 
Buckingham Palace, which Prince Albert had devised, 

were brought into use for the first time on the occasion Palace, 
of a ball in honour of the Princess Koyal's debut. 1856. 9 ' 
On May 27 the Queen attended a ball at the Turkish 
Ambassador's, and, to the Ambassador's embarrass- 
ment, chose him for her partner in the first country- 
dance. She was still regarded as one of the most 
graceful performers of the day in minuets and country- 
dances. At a ball in the Waterloo Gallery at Windsor 
on June 10 she danced every dance, and finally per- 
formed a Scottish reel to the bagpipes. 1 On June 26 
the Duke of Westminster gave a great ball in her 
honour at Grosvenor House, where she equally 
distinguished herself. 

All who had won renown in the recent war could Reception 
reckon on a hospitable welcome from her. On p f e f^ ick 
June 20 she entertained Sir Fenwick Williams of Williams 
Ears 2 at Buckingham Palace. On July 9 she gave Florence 

a state reception to the Guards on their home- 
coming from the Crimea. In the autumn she received 
at Balmoral Miss Florence Nightingale, who had 
reorganised the nursing in the military hospitals 
of the Crimea ; she had sent her in the previous 
January a valuable jewel as a memento. 

The round of domestic hospitalities knew no cessa- Domestic 
tion. From August 10 to 28 the Prince and Princess t aiiti e " s 

1 Moltke, Letters, vol. i. passim ; Malmesbury, Memoirs, pp. 380 sqq. 

2 He was British Military Commissioner with the Turkish army 
during the Crimean war, and had heroically defended Ears when it 
was besieged by the Russians (June-November 1855). 


of Prussia, the father and mother of her future son- 
in-law, were her guests. But in November 1856 the 
family were plunged in mourning by the death of 
Prince Leiningen, the Queen's half-brother. It was 
the first gap in the circle of the younger companions 
of her youth. 




THE next year 1857 involved the Queen in a new Approach 
and great public anxiety, and the serious side of life J^ian 
oppressed her. Parliament was opened by commis- mutiny, 
sion on February 3, and before the end of the month 
the country heard the first bitter cry of the Indian 
mutiny. Disaffection among the native Indian troops 
was spreading rapidly through Central India; little 
groups of English officials, isolated in scattered rural 
stations, were soon to be at the mercy of masses of 
the fanatically stirred native peoples. 

A month after the earliest news of the coming Palmer- 
danger reached the Queen's ears, she was gravely dis- f^ t on 
quieted by the confusion which suddenly involved the China 
political world at home, owing to a conflict which had March"' 
broken out in another quarter of Asia. Palmerston I8 57- 
was defeated in the House of Commons on Cobden's 
motion condemning his warlike policy in China. The 
crew of a Chinese ship sailing from Hong Kong 
under the British flag had been captured and im- 
prisoned by the Chinese authorities at Canton on a 
charge of suspected piracy. The English consul had 
demanded their release and had been refused. The 
English fleet had thereupon been directed to force a 


passage up the Canton river, and a severe encounter 
followed. Palmerston, on his defeat in the House of 
Commons, refused to resign. He demanded a disso- 
lution, to which the Queen assented with characteristic 
reluctance. The self-confident minister had full faith 
that the majority of the people approved his action, 
and the faith was justified. His appeal to the country 
received a triumphant answer, and the new Parlia- 
ment assembled with a majority of seventy-nine in 
his favour. It was a signal tribute to his personal 
popularity, which the Queen acknowledged with 
mingled feelings. 

Birth of In the Queen's sphere the interest attaching to 

Beatrice, public affairs was always in urgent competition with 
that attaching to domestic affairs. The calls of 
motherhood had not yet ceased. On April 14 the 
Queen's youngest child, Princess Beatrice, was born 
at Buckingham Palace. The youngest-born of her 
nine children proved, in her view, ' the flower of the 
flock.' Sixteen days after Princess Beatrice's birth, 
the last personal link that united the Queen to her 
predecessor, George III., was severed. On the 30th 
April died her aunt, Mary, the Duchess of Gloucester, 
the last surviving child of George III. ; ' we all looked 
upon her,' wrote the Queen, ' as a sort of grand- 

Grant to But domestic interests of another kind were soon 
Royal 88 to a k sor b h er attention. The marriage of her eldest 
daughter was approaching. On May 16 the betrothal 
was formally announced at Berlin, and on the 25th 
the Queen sent a message to Parliament asking for a 
provision for the Princess. It was her first appeal 


to the nation for the pecuniary support of her children, 
and she felt some anxiety as to the reception with which 
it would meet. But her fears proved groundless. The 
Government proposed a dowry of 40,000. and an 
annuity of 8,000. Eoebuck, then a very outspoken 
Kadical member of Parliament, raised the objection 
that the forthcoming marriage was an ' entangling 
alliance,' and opposed the grant of any annuity. 
Sir George Cornewall Lewis, the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, called attention to the fact that the 
Queen's recent expenses in connection with the French 
visits were defrayed out of her income, and that the 
eldest daughters of George II. and George III. each 
received a dowry of 80,000/. and an annuity of 5,000/. 
All parties finally combined to support the Govern- 
ment's proposal, which found in its last stages only 
eighteen dissentients. 

The royal betrothal continued to be celebrated by Brilliant 
brilliant and prolonged festivities. In June and July 
Prince Frederick William once more stayed at Court, 
and Von Moltke, who was again his companion, de- 
clared the succession of gaieties to be overpowering. 1 
One day (June 15) there was a state visit to the Prin- 
cess's Theatre to see Charles Kean's spectacular pro- 
duction of Shakespeare's ' Eichard II.' Next day the 
infant Princess Beatrice was baptised. On June 11 the 
Ascot ceremonies were conducted in full state, and 
among the royal guests was M. Achille Fould, the 
Paris banker and Napoleon III.'s Minister of Finance. 
On the 17th the whole Court attended the first 
Handel Festival at the Crystal Palace, when ' Judas 

Cf. Von Moltke's Letters to his wife and friends. 


Maccabeus ' was performed ; the royal company 
drove to and fro in nine four-in-hands. On the 18th 
a levee was followed by a State ball, in which the 
Queen danced with unabated energy. 

Public Hardly a day passed without an elaborate cere- 

functions. mon ial. Q n June 26 a military review took place in 
Hyde Park amid extraordinary signs of popular en- 
thusiasm, and the first batch of Victoria crosses was 
distributed. From June 29 to July 2 the Queen 
stayed with the Earl of Ellesmere at Worsley Hall to 
inspect the Art Treasures Exhibition at Manchester. 
Next month she laid the foundation at Wandsworth 
Common of the Eoyal Victoria Patriotic Asylum for 
daughters of soldiers, sailors, and marines, and before 
the end of the month time was found for a visit to 

Royal Eoyal personages from the continent thronged 

guests. the Q ueen ' s p a i ac es. The King of the Belgians 
brought his daughter, the Princess Charlotte, and her 
fiance the Archduke Maximilian of Austria, who was 
later to lay down his life in Mexico under heart- 
rending circumstances. The Prince of Hohenzollern, 
the Queen of the Netherlands, and the Duke and 
Duchess of Montpensier arrived in quick succession, 
and all interested their royal hostess. She was 
gratified, too, on both personal and political grounds, 
by a short visit to Osborne of the Grand Duke Con- 
stantine of Eussia, brother of the reigning Tsar 
Alexander II. He had been invited to the Tuileries 
by Napoleon, who was ominously seeking every op- 
portunity of manifesting goodwill to Eussia, and the 
Queen did not wish to be behind her ally in showing 


courtesies to her recent foes. There was no lack of 
cordiality on either side. 

The constant intercourse of the Queen and the Title of 
Prince at this moment with the royal families of consort. 
Europe led her to define her husband's rank more 
accurately than had been done before. On June 25, 
1857, by royal letters patent, she conferred on him 
the title of Prince Consort. ' It was always a source 
of weakness,' the Prince wrote, ' for the Crown that 
the Queen always appeared before the people with her 
foreign husband.' Of that fact there was no room 
for doubt. Even the closest friends of the Court never 
overlooked his German proclivities or temperament. 1 
But it was doubtful whether this bestowal of a new 
name effectively removed the embarrassment. The 
1 Times ' wrote sneeringly that the new title guaran- 
teed increased homage to its bearer on the banks of 
the Spree and the Danube, but made no difference in 
his position anywhere else. But abroad it achieved 
the desired result. When, on July 29, the Prince 
attended at Brussels the marriage of the ill-fated 
Archduke Maximilian with the Princess Charlotte of 
Belgium, he was accorded precedence before the 
Austrian Archdukes and immediately after the King 
of the Belgians. 

The English Government still deemed it prudent Relations 
to cultivate the French alliance, but the Emperor's Napoleon 
policy was growing enigmatic, and in the diplomatic In - 
skirmishes among the Powers which attended the 
final adjustment, in accordance with the provisions 
of the treaty of Paris, of the affairs of the Balkan 

Cf. Lord Malmesbury's Memoirs of an ex-Minister, p. 323. 




peninsula, he and the English Government took 
opposite sides. The anxiety of the Emperor to main- 
tain good personal relations with the Queen was the 
talisman which restored harmony. A few informal 
words with the Queen, the Emperor assured her 
ministers, would dissolve all difficulties. Accordingly 
he and the Empress were invited to pay a private 
visit to Osborne, and they stayed there from August 6 
to 10. The French ministers, Walewski and Persigny, 
accompanied their master, and the Queen was at- 
tended by Palmerston and Clarendon. 

Differ- The blandest amiability characterised the discus- 

about the ^ on > ^ u ^ ^ rom ^ ne point of view of practical diplomacy 
Balkan ultimate advantage lay with the Emperor. He had 
sula"" supported the contention of Eussia and Sardinia that 
it was desirable to unite under one ruler the two semi- 
independent principalities of Wallachia and Molda- 
via in the Balkan peninsula, which were under the 
suzerainty of Turkey. The English Government 
supported Austria's desire to keep the two apart. 
Napoleon agreed at Osborne to the continued separa- 
tion of the principalities. At the close of the Osborne 
visit affectionate compliments passed between the 
Emperor and the Queen in autograph letters, and the 
agreement was regarded as final. But two years 
later the two principalities, by their own efforts, 
joined together and founded the dominion which was 
afterwards named Eoumania. Napoleon insisted on 
maintaining the union, and England found it futile 
to press objection. 

No effort was meanwhile spared by either Court to 
maintain their friendly relations. The Queen and 


Napoleon continued to profess the completest mutual Prince 
amity. The Queen, after parting from him in 1857, 

wrote with ingenuous confidence of the isolation that Queen 
characterised the position of a sovereign, but added cher- 
that fortunately her ally, no less than herself, en- bour 
joyed the compensation of a happy marriage. The 
ostentatious activity with which the Emperor was 
strengthening his armaments at Cherbourg hardly 
seemed promising for the continuance of such personal 
harmony, but the Emperor paradoxically converted 
the warlike preparations, which were going forward 
almost within hail of the English shore, into new 
links of the chain of friendship which was binding 
the two royal families together. At his suggestion, 
within a fortnight of his leaving Osborne, the Queen 
and the Prince crossed in her yacht 'Victoria and 
Albert ' to Cherbourg on August 19 in order to 
inspect the new dockyard, arsenal, and fortifications. 
Every facility of examination was given them, 
although the Emperor was absent ; but amid the 
civilities of the welcome the Queen did not ignore 
the use to which those gigantic works might be put if 
England and France came to blows. From first to 
last the relations of the Queen and Emperor abounded 
in poignant irony. 

Meanwhile the nation was in the throes of the The 
Indian mutiny a crisis more trying and harrowing 
than the recent Crimean war. Having smouldered 
since February, it burst into flame in June, and 
was in August at its cruel height. The Queen, 
in common with all her subjects, suffered acute 
mental torture. She eagerly scanned the news from 


the disturbed districts, and showered upon her 
ministers, according to her wont, entreaties to do 
this and that in order to suppress the rebellion 
with all available speed. Palmerston resented the 
Queen's urgency of counsel, and wrote (July 18) with 
unbecoming sarcasm, to which she was happily blind, 
how fortunate it was for him that she was not on the 
Opposition side of the House of Commons. At the 
same time he reminded her that ' measures are 
sometimes best calculated to succeed which follow 
each other step by step.' 

Queen's The minister's cavils only stimulated the activity 

f h er P en< But the public was ignorant of her 
energy and greatly under-estimated her vigilance. 
She left Osborne for her autumn holiday at Balmoral 
on August 28. Parliament was still sitting. Her 
withdrawal to the north before the prorogation, in the 
midst of the Indian peril, excited adverse criticism. 
The affairs of the nation had to yield, it was bluntly 
argued neither for the first nor for the last time, to 
the convenience of her private affairs. There was 
small justification for the reproach. Throughout her 
sojourn at Balmoral little else except India occupied 
her mind. She vividly felt the added anxieties due 
to the distance from the seat of danger and the 
difficulty of communication. She warned Palmerston 
against his habitually sanguine temper. ' While we 
are putting off decisions,' she wrote to him on Sep- 
tember 18, ' in the vain hope that matters will mend, 
and in discussing the objections to different measures, 
the mischief is rapidly progressing, and the time 
difficult to catch up again.' 


Happily, just after the Court left Scotland (on Fall 
September 16), events took a more favourable turn. 
On September 30, Delhi, the stronghold of the relief of 
mutineers, was captured, and the relief of Lucknow, 

which was also in their hands, was at length in view. 
One of the earliest congratulations on the improved 
prospect came from Napoleon III. It reached the 
Queen by way of the newly invented telegraph wire. 
' L'Imperatrice et moi,' were the Emperor's words, 
' nous felicitons cordialement sa Majeste de la prise 
de Delhi.' On December 3, when the Queen silenced 
her censors by opening Parliament in person, the 
mutiny was nearing extinction. 

The sudden death at Claremont of the Queen's Death 01 
cousin, Victoria, Duchess de Nemours, in November Duchess 
increased at the time the Queen's depression. A first de 
cousin on the Saxe-Coburg side of both the Queen and 
Prince Albert, the Duchess had been driven with her 
husband from France to England on the overthrow of 
Louis Philippe, her father-in-law. 'We were like 
sisters,' the Queen wrote ; ' bore the same name, 
married the same year, our children of the same age.' 

But the need of arranging for the celebration JJj e iage 
of her eldest daughter's marriage soon diverted the Princess 
Queen's attention from all else. The ceremony was R y al - 
devised on a large scale. As many as seventeen 
German princes and princesses accepted invitations 
to be present. The festivities were varied and pro- 
longed. They opened on January 19, 1858, with a 
state performance at Her Majesty's Theatre, when 
' Macbeth ' was performed, with Phelps and Miss 
Faucit in the chief parts, and it was followed by Mr. 


and Mrs. Keeley's rendering of the farce of * Twice 
Killed.' At length the wedding took place at St. 
James's Palace on the 25th, amid appropriate splen- 
dour. ' It was the second most eventful day of my 
life as regards feelings,' wrote the Queen in her 
Journal. 'I felt as if I were being married over 
again myself, only much more nervous.' Eight days 
later the bride and bridegroom left England. The 
Queen felt severely the parting with her eldest 
daughter, and dwelt upon her mixed feelings of joy 
and sorrow in her replies to the addresses of con- 
gratulation which poured in upon her. Henceforth 
the fortunes of Germany, and especially of Prussia, 
became one of her urgent domestic concerns. 
Palmer- Before the Queen quite reconciled herself to the 
the Orsini separation from her daughter, she was suddenly in- 
volved in the perplexities of a more than usually 
embarrassing ministerial crisis. The French alliance 
which Palmerston had initiated, and had done all 
that in him lay to confirm, proved a boomerang 
and destroyed his Government. The Emperor's 
position in France was never secure, and early in 
1858 a desperate attempt was made on his life. 
On January 15 an explosive bomb was thrown by 
one Orsini, an Italian refugee, at the Emperor and 
Empress of the French while they were entering the 
Opera House in Paris. Though they escaped unhurt, 
ten persons were killed and 150 wounded. The out- 
rage seemed at first sight in no way to touch the 
relations between France and England, but it was 
soon discovered that the plot had been hatched by 
conspirators in England, and that the bomb had been 


manufactured there. A strongly worded despatch 
from the French minister Walewski to Palmerston 
demanded that he should take steps to restrict the right 
of asylum which England had hitherto freely accorded 
to foreign political malcontents. Addresses of con- 
gratulation from the French army to the Emperor on 
his escape, which were published in the official ' Moni- 
teur,' threw the blame of the crime on England, and 
threatened reprisals. Palmerston ignored Walewski's 
despatch. No reply was sent to it. But, with a view 
to conciliating the Emperor Napoleon, he introduced a 
mild Bill making conspiracy to murder, hitherto a 
misdemeanour, a felony. The step was approved by 
the Queen, but it was denounced by the Liberals and 
by the public generally as a weak truckling to 
Palmerston's old friend Napoleon. 1 Hostility to the 
minister was raised, and the Bill was defeated on 
being submitted to a second reading in the House of 
Commons on February 19 by nineteen votes. There- 
upon Palmerston resigned. 

The Queen, who had a natural horror of Orsini's Palmer- 
crime, deemed it needlessly punctilious in her Parlia- February' 
inent to hesitate about what she regarded as a dis- 
avowal of sympathy with the assassin's confederates. 
For once she found herself in full sympathy with 
Palmerston, and had no wish at the moment to dis- 
pense with his services. She begged him to recon- 

1 By direction of Palmerston's Government Dr. Simon Bernard, a 
friend of Orsini, had been arrested in London on a charge of com- 
plicity in the conspiracy against the Emperor's life. He was brought 
to trial on April 12, and was acquitted, to the annoyance alike of the 
Queen and the Emperor, but to the offensively expressed satisfaction 
of the greater portion of the English public and press. 


sider the situation and remain in office. There was 
another ground for her anxiety to retain the existing 
ministry for some time longer. If she could seldom 
expect to derive much comfort from her association 
with Palmerston, she had great faith in his colleague 
Clarendon, the Foreign Minister, and it was her fear 
that a less congenial and a less able statesman might 
fill his important place in a new ministry which added 
force to her appeal to Palmerston to hold on. But 
Palmerston was never desirous of conciliating his 
Sovereign, and persisted in resigning. 




THE Queen had no other course open to her than Lord ^ 
to summon the Conservative leader, Lord Derby. sec ond 
Although both he and the Queen recognised the cabinet. 
parliamentary weakness of a Conservative Govern- 
ment in a House of Commons which was dominated 
by a large Liberal majority, she was successful in 
urging him to assume power. Lord Derby found no 
difficulty in forming a cabinet. Most of the ministers 
had served in the Conservative Government of 1852, 
and the Queen was personally acquainted with them. 
Lord Malmesbury resumed the Foreign Office, and 
Disraeli was once more Chancellor of the Exchequer 
and leader of the House of Commons. The newcomer 
to cabinet office who most interested the Queen was 
Sir Robert Peel's brother, General Jonathan Peel. 
It gratified her that he should become Secretary for 
War. ' His likeness to his deceased brother,' she 
wrote, 'in manner, in his way of thinking, and in 
patriotic feeling, is quite touching.' At the end of her 
life she declared with much deliberation that General 
Jonathan Peel was the best War Minister she ever 

Friendly relations with France were easily re- 


established by the new ministry, and the Queen was 
delighted by the Emperor's choice of the eminent 
General Pelissier, Due de Malakoff, to represent 
France at her Court in place of Persigny, who was no 
favourite. General Pelissier was constantly at Court, 
often played with the royal children, and was much 
liked by all the royal family. When he withdrew, 
on March 5, 1859, tears were shed on all sides. 1 
Second Public and domestic affairs soon again impelled 

Cher- ner to foreign travel. The need of maintaining at 

August ful1 k eat the French alliance called her and the 
1858. Prince to France in August 1858, when they paid a 
second visit to Cherbourg. The meeting of the 
Sovereigns characteristically bore a somewhat equivo- 
cal aspect. The Queen in her royal yacht was accom- 
panied by a great escort of men-of-war, while nearly 
all the ships of the French navy stood by to welcome 
her. On landing at Cherbourg the Emperor met her, 
and she joined him in witnessing the formal opening 
of the new arsenal. Afterwards she climbed up the 
steep fort La Eoule in order to survey the whole 
extent of the fortifications. The Emperor plea- 
santly reminded his guest that a century before the 
English fleet had bombarded Cherbourg, but the 
cordiality between the two appeared unchanged, and 
the Emperor repeated, with emotion, his confidence 

1 Amable Jean Jacques Pelissier was a veteran French soldier, 
who had acquired notoriety by his violence in subduing Algiers, and 
had subsequently distinguished himself in the Crimea in command 
of the First French Army Corps. He succeeded Marshal Canrobert 
in the chief command before Sebastopol, and, in recognition of his 
success in storming the Malakoff (September 8, 1855), was created 
by Napoleon a Marshal of France and Due de Malakoff. 


in the permanence of the Anglo-French alliance. The 
Prince, however, thought the imperial ardour cooler 
than of old. 

From France the Queen passed to Germany on a Tour in 
visit to her married daughter, whose fortunes were erman y- 
rarely absent from her parents' minds. The Prince 
Consort had already spent a few days with her in the 
previous June, but now he paid her a longer visit in 
company with the Queen. It was an extended and 
an interesting expedition, and the Queen renewed 
personal intercourse with many friends and kinsmen. 
She and the Prince landed at Antwerp, and at Malines 
met King Leopold, who travelled with them to Verviers. 
At Aix-la-Chapellethe Prince of Prussia, her daughter's 
father-in-law, joined them. Thence they travelled 
to Hanover to visit the blind King George and his 
queen at Herrenhausen, and the Queen delighted in 
the various memorials of her Hanoverian predecessors 
which she saw for the first time. Her daughter was 
residing at the castle of Babelsberg, about three miles 
from Potsdam, and there she arrived on August 13. 
The family gathering filled the Queen with joy, and 
the time passed rapidly. In the course of the next 
few days many visits were paid to Berlin. The Queen 
inspected the public buildings ; spent much time at the 
tomb of Frederick the Great, in the shadow of whose 
death her mother had resented being born ; and ex- 
plored the royal palaces of Sans-Souci and Charlotten- 
burg, and the Neues Palais. On the 27th she left for 
Cologne, and, after a brief visit to places of interest 
there, arrived at Osborne by way of Antwerp and 
Dover on the 31st. 




At Bir- 

The first 

The re- 
ment of 

The Queen and the Prince spent their annual 
rest in the north, but they paused on the journey at 
Leeds to open the new town-hall. They still faith- 
fully performed each year many arduous engage- 
ments in the provinces. Three months earlier the 
Queen, during exceptionally hot weather, which inter- 
fered with her comfort, had made a royal progress 
to Birmingham in order to open the Aston Park. 
She and the Prince then stayed with Lord Leigh at 
Stoneleigh Abbey. 

Nor had the foreign tour in any way withdrawn 
the Queen from business of great moment at home. 
When she was setting out the country's interest was 
excited by the completion of the laying of the first 
submarine cable between America and the United 
Kingdom the most effective bond of union between 
the two countries that science could devise. The 
Queen sent an elaborate message of congratulation 
over the wires to the President of the United States, 
James Buchanan. She described the enterprise as 
an additional link between nations whose friendship 
was founded upon common interest and reciprocal 
esteem. Unfortunately the cable soon ceased to work, 
and the permanent connection was not established 
till 1861. But at that date the experiment proved 
thoroughly successful, and the benefit that the Queen 
had anticipated from the invention was fully realised. 

During her stay in Germany, Indian affairs 
mainly occupied her Government's attention. While 
the mutiny was in course of suppression, Parliament 
decided to abolish the old East India Company, which 
had governed the greater part of the peninsula in 


qualified partnership with the British Government 
since its incorporation by charter of Queen Elizabeth 
on the last day of the sixteenth century. It was 
resolved to transfer the whole of the Company's 
territories and administrative powers to the Crown. 
India was thenceforth to be administered by a Secre- 
tary of State in London assisted by a council of 
fifteen. The Queen naturally set a high value on the 
new and direct connection which the measure created 
between India and herself. She justly felt that it 
added dignity to the prestige of the British monarchy. 

But the Queen was anxious that the royal power Queen's 
over India should be something more than a mere to "the 101 

shadow. She argued that the royal prerogative 
should not be refined away by legislative enactments. Bill. 
In two details the Queen deemed the Bill for incor- 
porating India with the dominions of the Crown to 
menace the free exercise of the royal power. In the 
first place the introduction of competitive examina- 
tions for appointments in the new Indian Civil Service 
cancelled the Crown's power of nomination to posts 
which carried with them a delegation of royal 
authority. In the second place the Indian army was 
to be put under the authority of the Indian Council. 
She insisted that she, as Sovereign, enjoyed supreme 
control of all military forces of the Crown through 
the Commander-in-Chief exclusively. To the first 
objection she attached less w r eight than to the second. 
But she laid her views on both points before Lord 
Derby with her usual frankness. The Government 
had pledged itself to the proposed arrangements, 
and Lord Derby informed the Queen that he could 


give way on neither point. He threatened to resign 
if the Queen pursued the argument further. Con- 
scious of her powerlessness, she prudently dropped 
the first objection, and awaited a more opportune 
moment for renewing discussion on the second. In 
the event she was, nominally at any rate, victor in 
the controversy as far as the Indian army was con- 
cerned. In 1860 it was decided to amalgamate the 
European forces in India with the home army, which 
remained under the ancient nominal control of the 

Queen's The Act for the reorganisation of the Indian 

mt^resUn Government received the royal assent on August 2, 
India. 1858. Thereupon Lord Derby's cabinet drafted a 
proclamation to the people of India defining the 
principles which would henceforth determine the 
Crown's relations with them. The Queen was re- 
solved that her first address to the native population 
should plainly set forth her personal interest in its 
Her The Queen had already avowed her sympathy 

S P the 7 with the P e P le of India " She had tlirown the whole 
natives, weight of her influence against those who defended 

indiscriminate retaliatory punishment of the native 
population for the misdeeds of the mutiny. The 
Governor-General, Lord Canning, who pursued a 
policy of conciliation, had no more sympathising 
adherent than the Queen. ' The Indian people should 
know,' she had written to him in December 1857, 
' that there is no hatred to a brown skin, none ; but 
the greatest wish on their Queen's part to see them 
happy, contented, and flourishing.' 


The draft proclamation of her new Indian sove- Her 
reignty was forwarded by Lord Derby to her at Babels- to h er 
berg. She disapproved of its wording. It seemed to 
assert England's power with needless brusqueness, and 
was not, in her opinion, calculated to conciliate native 
sentiment. Undeterred by the ill-success which had 
attended her previous efforts to modify those provi- 
sions in the India Government Bill which offended 
her, she now spoke out again. She reminded the Prime 
Minister ' that it is a female sovereign who speaks to 
more than a hundred millions of Eastern people on 
assuming the direct government over them, and after 
a bloody civil war, giving them pledges which her 
future reign is to redeem, and explaining the prin- 
ciples of her government. Such a document should 
breathe feelings of generosity, benevolence, and reli- 
gious toleration, and point out the privilege which 
the Indians will receive in being placed on an equality 
with the subjects of the British Crown, and the 
prosperity following in the train of civilisation.' l 

The Queen especially resented her ministers' failure 
to refer with sympathy to native religion and customs. 
The deep attachment which she felt to her own religion 
imposed on her, she said, the obligation of protecting 
all her subjects in their adherence to their own 
religious faith. She desired to give expression to 
her feelings of horror and regret at the mutiny, and 
her gratitude to God at its approaching end. Finally 
she desired Lord Derby to rewrite the proclamation 
in what she described as ' his excellent language,' 
and give due prominence to her personal regard for 

Martin, Prince Consort, iv. 49. 




form of 


Order of 
the Star 
of India. 

the enlightened principles of toleration and concilia- 

The Queen never brought her influence to bear 
on an executive act of government with nobler effect. 
Lord Derby accepted the Queen's criticism with a 
good grace, and his second draft, which was warmly 
approved by the Queen, breathed throughout that 
wise spirit of humanity which was the best guarantee 
of the future prosperity of English rule in India. 
Her suggestion was especially responsible for this 
magnificent passage in the proclamation, the effect 
of which, from the point of view of both literature 
and politics, it would be difficult to exaggerate : 
' Firmly relying ourselves on the truth of Chris- 
tianity, and acknowledging with gratitude the solace 
of religion, we disclaim alike the right and the 
desire to impose our convictions on any of our 
subjects. We declare it to be our royal will and 
pleasure that none be in any wise favoured, none 
molested or disquieted by reason of their religious 
faith or observances, but that all shall alike enjoy 
the equal and impartial protection of the law ; and 
we do strictly charge and enjoin all those who may 
be in authority under us that they abstain from all 
interference with the religious belief or worship of 
any of our subjects on pain of our highest dis- 

By way of completing ceremonially the connection 
between the Crown and India, the Queen recom- 
mended the establishment of a new Order of the 
Star of India as a decorative reward for those native 
princes who were loyal to hor rule, and for such of 


her officials in the Indian Government as rendered 
conspicuous service. The first investiture was held 
with due elaboration on November 1, 1861, and was 
regarded as worthily closing the first chapter in the 

historv of India under the Queen's immediate sway. 1 Queen's 

sense of 
The reorganisation of the Indian Government imperial 

reflected lasting honour on Sovereign and country. 

1 The Queen wrote in her own hand, at the close of the mutiny, 
on the subject of the new Order to Lord Canning, the Governor- 
General of India, and, although all her proposals were not finally 
adopted, the letter is of great interest : 

1 Buckingham Palace : May 18, 1859. 

' The Queen must begin her letter to Lord Canning by expressing 
her joy and gratitude at the termination of this sad mutiny, which 
caused her such grief, and so much misery to so many. 

' The Queen must also express again her high sense of Lord 
Canning's services during these most trying times. 

' Lord Canning will hear from Lord Derby on a subject in which 
she takes a personal interest. It is the means of gratifying the per- 
sonal feelings of the chief number of the native princes, binding 
them together in a confraternity, and attaching them by a personal 
tie to the Sovereign. 

' These results the Queen looks for in the foundation of a high 
order of chivalry. The statutes might be similar to those of the 
Garter, the Thistle, and the St. Patrick. The number of its mem- 
bers to be few, perhaps twenty or twenty-four, the Viceroy to be 
Grand Master, the Queen the Sovereign of the Order. The members 
to be invested by the Viceroy in person, and thus do personal homage 
to him. All existing members to be summoned for the admission 
of a new one. The day for the investiture to be the anniversary of 
the assumption of the government of India by the Crown of 

' The Queen would wish also to obtain the means of conferring 
honorary Knighthoods (making honorary members) of the Order on 
Eastern potentates, like the Shah of Persia, the sovereigns of Nepaul, 
Burmah, &c., as a means of extending influence over them. 

' The Queen has entered into all these details in order to give 
Lord Canning a notion of her ideas on the subject, and to elicit his 
opinion and views as to whether they will be feasible.' (Cf Martin, iv.) 



The absorption by the Crown of the territories and 
administrative powers of the old East India Com- 
pany added nearly two hundred million human 
beings to those who already owed direct allegiance 
to Queen Victoria, and more than eight hundred 
thousand square miles to the existing area of the 
British dominions. It was an imposing increase of 
empire. By the noble spirit of justice which the 
Queen infused into her proclamation of sovereignty 
over her new subjects and her new territories, she 
proved, more conspicuously than before, her con- 
sciousness of the high responsibilities that imperial 
rule involved. 




IN the closing months of 1858 and the opening Majority 
months of 1859 time forcibly reminded the Queen of [ Wales, 
its passage. On November 9, 1858, the Prince of 
Wales, the heir to the throne, who had been con- 
firmed on April 1, 1858, entered on his eighteenth 
year. That age in the royal family was equivalent 
to a majority, and the Queen in an admirable letter 
to her eldest son, while acknowledging that, in the 
interest of his own welfare, his discipline had been 
severe, now bade him consider himself his own 
master; she would always be ready to offer him 
advice if he wished it, but she would not obtrude it. 

No sooner had she set her eldest son on the road Her 
to independence than she welcomed the first birth gr and- 
of that second generation of her family which before child - 
her death was to grow to great dimensions. On 
January 27, 1859, a son and heir was born at Berlin 
to the Princess Eoyal. The child ' dear little 
William ' as he was long called by the Queen 
ultimately became the present German Emperor, 
William II. For some time the Princess's condition 
caused grave anxiety to her family. < The doctors 
despaired at the first,' the Queen wrote, 'of the child's 

u 2 


life,' but the crisis happily passed. The Queen thus 
became a grandmother at the age of thirty-nine. 
Congratulations poured in from every quarter. 
Queen's Among the earliest and the warmest greetings 

peace to came one from Napoleon III., and the Queen in her 
Napo- acknowledgment took occasion solemnly and frankly 
to urge him to abide in the paths of peace. ' Your 
Majesty,' she wrote, * has now an opportunity, either 
by listening to the dictates of humanity and justice, 
and by showing to the world your intention to adhere 
strictly to the faithful observance of treaties, of calm- 
ing the apprehensions of Europe, and of restoring its 
confidence in the pacific policy of your Majesty, or, 
on the other hand, by lending an ear to those who 
have an interest in creating confusion, of involving 
Europe in a war, whose extent and duration it is 
scarcely possible to foresee, and which, whatever 
glory it may add to the arms of France, cannot but 
interfere materially with her internal prosperity and 
financial credit. I am satisfied your Majesty will not 
doubt the sincerity of the friendship which alone 
induces me to write thus unreservedly to your 
Majesty ; and if anything could add to the sorrow 
with which I should view the renewal of war in 
Europe, it would be to see your Majesty entering upon 
a course with which it would be impossible for 
England to associate herself.' 

Napo- There was good ground for the Queen's appeal, 

interven- The persistency with which Napoleon continued 
tion in to increase his armaments had roused a wide- 
spread belief that he was preparing to emulate 
the example of his great predecessor. For a 


time it seemed doubtful in which direction the 
Emperor would aim his first blow. But when the 
Queen's first grandson was born, she knew that her 
smooth-spoken ally was about to challenge the peace 
of Europe by joining the King of Sardinia in an 
endeavour to expel Austria from Lombardy and 
Venetia. He was about to promote by force of arms 
the unification of Italy under the kingship of the royal 
house of Sardinia. The Emperor accepted the Queen's 
pacific counsel in good part, but at the same time wrote 
to her to announce and to defend the projected war. 

The Queen was in no complacent mood, but she Austria 
cherished the notion that Napoleon was not likely to waVc^ 5 
persist in his turbulent purpose. On February 3 she Ital y- 
opened Parliament in person, and read with emphasis 
those passages hi her speech which declared that 
England would be no party to the Emperor Napoleon's 
ambitious designs. Before the end of April the 
Queen's hopes of peace were defeated by the unexpected 
action of Austria, which, grasping its nettle, declared 
war on Sardinia. There was no delay in the opening 
of hostilities. Napoleon at once took the field with 
his ally of Italy. 

The Queen and the Prince were harassed by Napoleon 
fear of a universal war, and they had the added 

mortification of knowing that popular feeling in Eng- Austria. 
land in respect of the Italian struggle was entirely 
antagonistic to their own. English public sentiment 
regarded Sardinia as the courageous challenger of the 
absolutist tyranny of Austria. Napoleon was applauded 
for disinterestedly rendering Sardinia assistance. The 
Queen and the Prince, on the other hand, while they 






efforts to 
the war. 

deplored Austria's precipitancy, cherished sympathy 
with her as a German power, whose fortunes might 
be expected to affect immediately those of her neigh- 
bour, Prussia. If Austria fell before French aggres- 
sion, would Prussia be able to resist a like fate ? 

Solicitude for her newly married daughter re- 
doubled the Queen's desire for the safety of Prussia. 
Her son-in law had risen a step nearer the Prussian 
throne in 1858, when the incapable King, his uncle, 
had, owing to failing health, been superseded by his 
father, the Prince of Prussia, who became Prince 
Eegent. The change seemed to bring the affairs of 
Prussia more fully than before within the Queen's 
sphere of influence. The new ruler of Prussia was a 
most intimate friend of Prince Albert and of the 
Queen. 1 He had much faith in Prince Albert's judg- 
ment, and had long been in the habit of freely appeal- 
ing to them for confidential counsel. 

It was now for the Prince Regent of Prussia to 
decide whether the safety of his dominions required 
him to throw in his lot with Austria. The Eng- 
lish Court, mainly moved by a desire to protect a 
daughter from the consequences of strife, besought 
him to stand aside. He assented, and the Queen 
straightway turned again to Napoleon. In the hope 
of completely safeguarding Prussia, she appealed to 
him to keep hostilities within a narrow compass. 
When the Empress of the French sent the Queen 

1 When he had been their guest at his son's marriage with their 
daughter in 1858, the Queen, according to her Journal, had 
petitioned him thenceforth to call her ' du,' a usage in German 
society which attests the closest intimacy. 


birthday congratulations on May 25, the Queen in 
reply entreated her to persuade her husband to 
localise the war. The prompt triumph of the French 
arms achieved that result. To the Queen's relief, 
although not without continued anxiety, she learned 
in June that the end of the war was in sight, and 
that the two Emperors were to meet at Villafranca 
to negotiate terms of peace. 

The Queen's fears of the sequel were greatly in- Lord ^ 
creased by the change of Government which took res jgna- 
place at home during the progress of the Austro- tlon - 
Italian war. On April 1 Lord Derby's Government, 
which in the main agreed with her views of the 
foreign situation, was defeated on its Keform Bill. 
The Bill had been introduced by Disraeli, but failed to 
provide for the extension of the franchise on the scale 
that the Liberal majority of the House desired. The 
Queen declined to accept the ministers' resignation. 
She suspected that the sympathy avowed by Palmer- 
ston, Lord John Kussell, Gladstone, and others of their 
colleagues with the aspirations of Italy might bring 
England, if they came into power, into conflict with 
Austria. With some imprudence the Queen conse- 
quently assented to the only alternative to Lord 
Derby's resignation a dissolution of Parliament. 
The elections passed off quietly, but they left the 
Conservatives in a minority of forty-three. 

On June 10 the old Conservative ministers were The 
attacked and defeated in the new House of Commons, ^dTfor 
and, to the Queen's disappointment, she found her- Lord 
self compelled to accept Lord Derby's retirement. 
Again Palmerston was the Conservative leader's only 


practicable successor. But it was repugnant to the 
Queen to recall him to power at the existing juncture 
in foreign politics. She had convinced herself that 
his sympathy with Italy and his antipathy to Austria 
were irrepressible. Lord John Eussell, too, had 
identified himself with Italian interests beyond all 
chance of misconception abroad. His return to the 
post of Prime Minister she dreaded almost as greatly 
as Lord Palmerston's return. She therefore invited 
Lord Granville, a comparatively subordinate member 
of the party, to extricate her from her difficulties by 
forming a Government on his own account (June 11). 
To him she was personally attached, and, although 
his views were not known to differ materially from 
those of his older colleagues, he was calculated to 
prove more pliable than they. She was aware that 
no Liberal Government could be formed without the 
admission to it of both Palmerston and Lord John, 
but she met that fact in her own fashion. In auto- 
graph letters addressed to Palmerston and Lord John, 
which Granville was charged to deliver, she requested 
those veterans to serve under him. 

Her con- Naturally her action was mortifying to both 

betrayed statesmen, and by accident it involved her and them 

to the ^ in even more embarrassment than might have been 

anticipated. Owing to some indiscreet talk of Lord 

Granville with a friend, a correct report of the Queen's 

conversation with him appeared in the ' Times ' next 

morning (June 12). The Queen was in despair at this 

betrayal of her confidence. ' Whom am I to trust ? ' 

she said as she read the statement in the newspaper : 

' these were my own very words.' 


In the result Palmerston proved more amiable Lord 
than Lord John. Palmerston genially agreed to O b s ti_ s 
accept Lord Granville's leadership, but Lord John nac 7- 
brusquely refused to entertain it. Thereupon Lord 
Granville withdrew from the negotiation, for which 
he never felt much heart. The Queen was compelled 
to take the uncongenial step, against which she 
rebelled. Nothing remained for her but to appeal to 
Palmerston, and to accept him as her Prime Minister 
for the second time. 

The Queen's trials were only beginning. Before Palmer- 
Palmerston's ministry was constituted she suffered 
yet another disappointment. Lord John insisted on 
taking the Foreign Office. As a consequence, Lord 
Clarendon, whom she now regarded as her only 
sure friend in the Liberal party and who had 
good claims to the post, was excluded from the 
Government. 1 

1 Palmerston's cabinet was finally constituted thus : 

First Lord of the Treasury . . . Viscount Palmerston. 

Lord Chancellor Lord Campbell. 

President of the Council . . . Earl Granville. 

Lord Privy Seal The Duke of Argyll. 

Home Secretary Sir Geo, Cornewall Lewis, 


Foreign Secretary Lord John Russell. 

Secretary of State for Colonies . . The Duke of Newcastle. 

Secretary of State for War . . . Sidney Herbert. 

Secretary of State for India . . . Sir Charles Wood, Bt. 

Chancellor of the Exchequer . . . William Ewart Gladstone. 

First Lord of the Admiralty . . . The Duke of Somerset. 

President of the Board of Trade . . Thomas Milner Gibson. 

Postmaster-General .... Earl of Elgin. 

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster . Sir George Grey. 

Chief Commissioner of Poor Law Board. Charles Pelham Villiers. 

Chief Secretary for Ireland . . . Edward Cardwell. 




with Lord 
on the 


peace of 


with her 

The Queen's forebodings of difficulty with her new 
ministers were amply justified. At the hands of Lord 
John, as Foreign Minister, she endured hardly fewer 
torments than Palmerston had inflicted on her when 
he held that office. Lord John and his chief at once 
avowed a resolve to serve the interests of Italy at the 
expense of Austria, and won, in the inner circle of 
the Court, the sobriquet of ' the old Italian masters.' 

Meanwhile the course of the negotiations between 
Napoleon and the Emperor of Austria was perplexing 
alike to the Queen and to her ministers. Napoleon 
at Villafranca arranged mysterious terms with the 
Emperor of Austria which seemed to the friends of 
Italy far too favourable to Austria, although they 
gave France no advantage. Austria was to lose 
Lombardy, but was to retain Venetia. France pro- 
tested unwillingness to take further part in the 
matter. Sardinia was recommended to rely on her 
own efforts to obtain whatever other changes she 
sought in the adjustment of Italy. So barren a result 
was unsatisfactory to all Italian Liberals, and was 
deemed by Palmerston and Lord John to be grossly 
unjust to them. The English ministry opened diplo- 
matic negotiations with a view to a modification of the 
proposed treaty, and frankly encouraged the Italians 
to fight their battle out to the end. 

The Queen, who was relieved by the cessation of 
hostilities and by the easy terms offered to Austria, 
stoutly objected to her ministers' intervention. ' We 
did not protest against the war,' she told Lord John ; 
' we cannot protest against the peace.' She insisted 
that the cry ' Italy for the Italians,' if once raised 


by the Government, would compel this country to join 
Sardinia in war. But Palmerston and Lord John 
were unmoved by her appeals. They refused to stand 
aside and allow Italy to forfeit all the advantage of 
her recent efforts. Palmerston declared that, if the 
Queen rejected her ministers' advice on foreign ques- 
tions, they must resign. The Queen retorted that the 
Prime Minister did not speak for all his colleagues. In 
August, when the vacation had scattered the ministers, 
she insisted on the whole cabinet being summoned to 
London, so that they might learn her unconquerable 
resolve to observe a strict neutrality on England's 
part during the progress of what she called ' the 
Italian Be volution/ Palmerston affected indifference 
to her persistency, but it had some effect. It helped 
to cool his ardour and to lend greater caution to his 
utterances. In the event, Italian affairs were suffered 
to take their own course without English interference. 

Yet the outcome was not agreeable to the Queen, struggle 
As soon as the treaty of Villafranca was signed in Dalian 
July 1859, Sardinia, aided by Garibaldi, sought at the unity. 
sword's point, without foreign aid, full control of the 
independent states of the peninsula outside Rome and 
Venetia. Although she was aware of the weakness of 
their cause, the Queen could not resist sympathy with 
the petty Italian rulers who were driven by the armies 
of Garibaldi and Victor Emanuel from their princi- 
palities. The Duchess of Parma, one of the dis- 
crowned sovereigns, appealed to the Queen for 
protection. Lord John, whose stolidity in such 
matters widened the breach betYv'een him and the 
Queen, drew up a cold and bald refusal of help, which 








she declined to send. Lord Clarendon, however, was 
at the moment on a visit to her at Windsor. By his 
advice she contrived to impart a more sympathetic 
tone to her reply, which better accorded with her 
private sentiment, yet fell short of openly defying the 
counsel of her ministers. 

But it was not her ministers alone who exasperated 
her. While she was still in conflict with them she 
was startled to learn that, with Sardinia's reluc- 
tant assent, Napoleon had annexed to France the 
provinces of Savoy and Nice as the price of his 
benevolent service to Italy in the past, and by way 
of a warning that he would tolerate no intrusion in 
Italian affairs from any foreign power, whether Eng- 
land or Germany, so long as the internal struggle for 
Italian unity was proceeding. The Queen viewed this 
episode with especial disgust. That Napoleon should 
benefit from the confusion into which, in her eyes, 
he had wantonly thrown Southern Europe roused 
her indignation to its full height. She bitterly 
reproached her ministers, whom she suspected of 
secret sympathy with him, with playing into his 
hands. Her complaint was hardly logical, for she 
had herself urged on them the strictest neutrality, 
and the need of abstaining from any sort of inter- 
ference in the affairs of the Italian peninsula. 

None the less, on February 5, 1860, she wrote to 
Lord John, ' We have been made regular dupes, 
which the Queen apprehended and warned against 
all along.' Europe ought to stand together to pre- 
vent the annexation ; but if that were not to be hoped 
for, then at least sympathy with France should be 


openly disclaimed by England. ' It is a belief in this 
[active sympathy between France and England],' she 
wrote to Lord John on March 27, ' which makes the rest 
of Europe powerless and helpless [to protest against 
Napoleon's unprincipled conduct].' 'All Europe was 
paralysed by a fear of England's full acquiescence 
in the various schemes of the Emperor.' The other 
continental Powers distrusted England and declined 
to aid her in diplomatic repression of the wild 
ambition of Napoleon, because 'the English press 
and general public ' encouraged disorder and revolt 
everywhere. ' They were favourable,' she said, with 
sarcastic allusion to the personal prejudices of Lord 
John, her correspondent, ' to the Italian Kevolution 
and the loss of the Italian provinces by Austria, and 
were supposed to be so with regard to the separation 
of Hungary from Austria and Poland from Kussia.' 
In letters to her family she exclaimed with greater 
vehemence against France. ' France,' she wrote to 
her uncle Leopold (May 8, 1860), ' must needs 
disturb every quarter of the globe, and try to make 
mischief, and set every one by the ears. Of course 
this will end some day in a general crusade against 
the universal disturber of the world.' 

Outspoken as was the Queen's language to her The 
ministers throughout this session, she ultimately JjS? the 
accepted what was inevitable with comparative com- Com- 
posure. Nor did her attitude to France and to 
Napoleon take in permanence the openly hostile 
colour which her passing indignation lent it. With 
her ministers her relations naturally remained cool, 
but she endeavoured to exert greater control over 


her feelings, and her criticisms proved none the 
less effective on that account. Later in the year 
Palmerston and his colleagues gave her further 
ground for annoyance. They proposed to abolish the 
post of Commander-in-Chief, and to bring the army 
entirely under the control of Parliament through 
the Secretary of State. She protested with deliberate 
emphasis against the change ; she regarded it as an 
infringement of her prerogative. Her protest was 
respectfully heard, and for the moment the scheme 
was dropped. 




APART from politics the Queen's life still knew no cloud Military 
Her public duties continued to bring her into personal Denials, 
intercourse with the army which was always con- 
genial to her. On January 29, 1859, she opened 
Wellington College for the sons of officers, an insti- 
tution of which she had already laid the foundation- 
stone. 1 On June 6 she once more distributed Victoria 
crosses, which had been earned in the Indian mutiny. 
On August 26 she inspected at Portsmouth the 32nd 
Eegiment, whence the heroes of Lucknow had been 

The suspicions aroused by the Emperor Napoleon The 
had in 1859 provoked great military enthusiasm 
through the country a feeling with which the Queen 
eagerly identified herself. To meet surprises of in- 
vasion from France a volunteer force was called into 
existence by royal command in May 1859, and to 
this new branch of the service the Queen showed 
every favour. She held a special levee of 2,500 
volunteer officers at St. James's Palace on March 7, 
1860, and she reviewed twenty thousand men in 
Hyde Park on June 23. Her brother-in-law, Duke 

See p. 264 supra. 


Ernest, who accompanied her on the occasion, did 
not conceal his contempt for the evolutions of her 
citizen soldiers, but she was earnest in her commen- 
dation of their zeal. On July 2, 1860, she personally 
inaugurated the National Eifle Association, which 
was a needful complement of the volunteer move- 
ment, and in opening its first annual meeting on 
Wimbledon Common she fired the first shot at the 
targets from a Whitworth rifle. She at once insti- 
tuted the Queen's prize of the value of 250Z., which 
was awarded annually till the end of her reign, and 
was continued by her successor. When on the way 
to Balmoral in August 1860, she stayed at Holyrood 
in order to review the volunteer forces of Scotland. 
Domestic Domestic life proceeded agreeably. Twice in 1859 
her daughter, the Princess Eoyal, visited her, on the 
second occasion with her husband. During the autumn 
sojourn at Balmoral of that year the Queen was ex- 
ceptionally vigorous, making many mountaineering 
expeditions with her children. The Prince Consort 
presided over the meeting of the British Association 
at Aberdeen in September 1859, and afterwards in- 
vited 200 of the members to be the Queen's guests at 
a highland gathering on Deeside. On her way south, 
at the close of her northern holiday, she opened the 
Glasgow Waterworks at Loch Katrine, and made a 
tour through the Trossachs. She also paid a visit to 
Colonel Douglas Pennant, M.P., at Penrhyn Castle, 
near Bangor, and was well received by the workmen 
at the Penrhyn slate quarries. 

Another marriage in the Queen's family was 
now on her horizon. Soon after she had opened 


Parliament in person on January 24, 1860, she enter- Engage- 
tamed a large party at Windsor, including the King princess 
of the Belgians and the young German Princes, Alice. 
Louis of Hesse-Darmstadt and his brother. Prince 
Louis paid the Queen's second daughter, Princess 
Alice, attentions on which she looked with silent 
favour. The Princess was barely seventeen, and, 
although the Queen deprecated marriage at so early 
an age, she awaited the result with interest. 

At the same time the Queen and Prince were Tour of 
organising for the Prince of Wales a tour through wales in 
Canada and the United States, which promised America, 
well for the good relations of England and the Ameri- NOV. 
can commonwealth. President Buchanan, in a letter I 
to the Queen, invited the Prince to Washington, an 
invitation which she herself accepted in his behalf in 
an autograph reply. At the conclusion of the Prince's 
tour, the President wrote again to inform the Queen 
of the warm welcome that had been extended to her 
son, and of the good impression that he had personally 
made. The Queen acknowledged the compliment 
with friendly cordiality. In the letter, which Prince 
Albert drafted, and she copied out, she expressed 
anxiety to maintain the best possible relations between 
England and the United States, 'two nations of 
kindred origin and character ' (November 19, 1860). 

In the late autumn of 1860 the royal family paid Second 
a second visit to Coburg. A main inducement was to coburg, 
converse once more with Stockmar, who had since 1860 
1857 lived there in retirement, in advanced age and 
failing health. The Queen and the Prince were still 
actively corresponding with him, and were as cle- 





and her 

to Prince 

pendent as ever on his counsel. On September 22, 
accompanied by Princess Alice and attended by Lord 
John Eussell, the Foreign Secretary, they embarked 
at Gravesend for Antwerp. During the journey they 
were distressed by the intelligence of the death of the 
Prince Consort's stepmother, with whom they had 
both cherished sympathetic intimacy. 1 But they 
were cheered while passing through Germany by a 
meeting with members of the Prussian royal family, 
including their son-in-law. 

At Coburg they met their daughter and her first- 
born son, William, with whom his grandmother then 
first made acquaintance. On September 29 they 
removed to Eosenau. Among the guests there was 
Gustav Freytag, the German novelist, who greatly 
interested the Queen. In his ' Keminiscences ' Freytag 
described her 'march-like gait ' and affable demeanour. 2 

On October 1 the Prince met with an alarming 
carriage accident. 3 The Queen, though she suppressed 
her emotion, was gravely perturbed, and by way of a 
thank-offering instituted at Coburg, after her return 
home, a Victoria- Stift (i.e. foundation), endowing it with 
1,OOOZ. for the assistance of young men and women 
beginning life. Happily the Prince sustained slight 
injury, but the nervous depression which followed led 
his friend Stockmar to remark that he would fall an 
easy prey to illness. When walking with his brother 
on the day of his departure (October 10), he com- 

1 Princess Antoinette Fredcrica, daughter of Alexander Friedrich 
Carl, Duke of Wiirtemberg. Rhc died September 24, 1860. 

2 Gustav Freytag, Reminiscences, Engl. trans. 1890, vol. ii. 
Cf. Lord Augustus Loftus, Reminiscences, 1st ser. ii. 89. 


pletely broke down, and sobbed out that he would 
never see his native land again. 1 

On the return journey the Prince and Princess of Relations 
Prussia entertained the Queen and the Prince at their 
palace of Coblenz, where slight illness detained the 
Queen for a few days. Lord John Kussell and Baron 
von Schleinitz, the German minister, spent the time 
in political discussion, partly in regard to a trifling 
incident which was at the moment causing friction 
between the two countries. An English traveller, 
Captain Macdonald, had been imprisoned by the 
mistake of an over-zealous policeman at Bonn. No 
settlement was reached by Lord John in the interview 
at Coblenz. Palmerston afterwards used characteris- 
tically strong language in a demand for reparation. 
A vexatious dispute followed between the two Govern- 
ments, and the Queen and the Prince were displeased 
by the manner in which the English ministers handled 
the matter. The Queen wisely avoided all open ex- 
pression of opinion, but shrewdly observed that, 
' although foreign governments were often violent and 
arbitrary, our people are apt to give offence and to 
pay no regard to the laws of the country.' 

The discussion gradually dropped, and foreign Acces- 
politics took a brighter hue in the Queen's eyes. K?n8- f 
On January 2, 1861, the death of the paralysed Wm. I. 
Frederick William IV. placed the Queen's friend, p russ i a . 
the Prince Regent, finally on the throne of Prus- 
sia as King William I. Her son-in-law and her 
daughter at the same time became Crown Prince and 
Princess of Prussia. At the moment the Queen 

Duke Ernest's Memoirs, iv. 55. 

x 2 


cherished the belief that frendship between the two 
countries, as between the two Courts, was perma- 
nently assured. Her wrath with Napoleon, too, was 
waning. A private visit to Windsor and Osborne 
on the part of the Empress Eugenie, who had come 
in search of health, revived the tie of personal affec- 
tion that bound her to the Queen, and the new year 
saw the customary interchange of amicable letters 
between the Queen and Napoleon III. English and 
French armies had been engaged together in China. 
But the main burden of the Queen's greeting to the 
Emperor was an appeal for peace. A further source 
of satisfaction sprang from the second visit which 
Prince Louis of Hesse paid to Windsor in November 
1860. On the last day of that month he formally 
betrothed himself to Princess Alice. 




CHRISTMAS and New Year 1860-1 were kept at Disraeli 
Windsor with unusual spirit, although the death of ^Jfto 
Lord Aberdeen on December 14 was a cause of grief. Princess 
Among the many guests were both Lord Palmerston lce ' 
and Mr. Disraeli with his wife. The Queen and Prince 
had much talk with Disraeli, of whose growing 
influence they took due account. Their early pre- 
judice against him was fading on closer acquaintance, 
and they were gratified by his assurance that in foreign 
affairs his followers might be relied on to support any 
policy that gave due weight to national interests and 
national reputation. On more personal questions 
Disraeli was equally complacent. The Queen was 
about to appeal to Parliament for the endowment of 
her second daughter Alice on her marriage. There 
was always ground for apprehending public censure 
of grants to the royal family. Disraeli's approval 
of the appeal was of importance. He delighted his 
royal hosts by expressing full concurrence with them. 
He readily agreed to support the Government in 
granting a dowry of 30,000. and an annuity of 
6,000?. to Princess Alice on her approaching marriage. 
On February 4, 1861, the Queen opened Parlia- 





first anni 
of her 

Death of 


ment, and herself announced the happy event. It 
. was the last occasion on which she delivered with 
her own voice the speech from the throne, for the 
tenor of her life was to undergo, before the year 
was out, a terrible disruption. On February 10 she 
kept quietly at Buckingham Palace the twenty-first 
anniversary of her marriage. ' Very few,' she wrote 
to her uncle Leopold, ' can say with me that their 
husband at the end of twenty-one years is not only 
full of the friendship, kindness, and affection which 
a truly happy marriage brings with it, but of the same 
tender love as in the very first days of our marriage.' 
Death was to destroy the mainspring of her happiness 
within the year. 

The Queen passed to the crowning sorrow of her 
life through a lesser grief, which on its coming tried 
her severely. On March 16 her mother, the Duchess 
of Kent, who kept her youthful spirit and cheerfulness 
to the last, and especially delighted in her grand- 
children, died at Frogmore after a brief illness of a 
painful kind. It was the Queen's first experience of 
death in the inmost circle of her family, and for the 
time it overwhelmed her. Although she was much 
broken, the Queen at once sent the sad news in her 
own hand to her half-sister, to the Princess Eoyal, 
and to King Leopold. To her uncle Leopold she 
wrote : ' On this, the most dreadful day of my life, 
does your poor broken-hearted child write one line of 
love and devotion. She is gone that precious, dearly 
beloved, tender mother, whom I never parted from but 
for a few months without whom I cannot imagine 
life has been taken from us ! It is too dreadful 


but she is at peace her fearful sufferings at an end ! ' 
Princess Alice, who was with the Queen at the moment 
of the Duchess of Kent's death, first gave proof of 
that capacity of consolation which she was often 
afterwards to display in her mother's trials. ' Good 
Alice was with us all through,' the Queen wrote. 

Expressions of sympathy abounded, and the Disraeli's 
general sentiment was well interpreted by Disraeli, J^^" 
who said in his speech in the House of Commons, in 
seconding a vote of condolence : ' She who reigns 
over us has elected, amid all the splendours of empire, 
to establish her life on the principle of domestic love.' 
The words fell gratefully on the Queen's ear. 

The Duchess's body was laid to rest on March 25 in The 
St. George's Chapel, Windsor, but the Queen resolved ^id^er 
that a special mausoleum should be built at Frogmore mother's 
for a permanent burial-place, and the remains were dents, 
removed thither on August 17. The Queen's behaviour 
to all who were in any way dependent on her mother 
was exemplary. She pensioned her servants ; she 
continued allowances that the Duchess of Kent had 
made to her elder daughter, the Princess Hohenlohe, 
and to her grandsons, Prince Victor and Prince Edward 
of Leiningen (sons of the Duchess's son, Prince 
Charles of Leiningen). To the Duchess's lady-in- 
waiting, Lady Augusta Bruce, sister of Lord Elgin, 
who had shown great devotion, the Queen was herself 
much attached, and she at once made her her own bed- 
chamber woman in permanent attendance upon her. 

The mourning at Court put an end for the time to Minor 
festivities, and some minor troubles added to the trouble 
Queen's depression. In May, when Prince Louis of 


Hesse visited Osborne, he fell ill of measles. On 
July 14 the Queen was greatly shocked by news of 
the attempted assassination at Baden of her friend 
the new King of Prussia. 

Resump- But she gradually resumed the hospitalities and 

hospf- activities of public life. Before the end of the season 

talities. sh e entertained the King of the Belgians and the 

Crown Prince and Princess of Prussia, the King and 

Prince Oscar of Sweden, and the ill-fated Archduke 

and Archduchess Maximilian. 

Third On August 21 the Queen, with the Prince Con- 

Ireland sor *' the Princesses Alice and Helena, and Prince 
1861. Arthur, set out from Osborne to pay Ireland a third 
visit. The immediate inducement was to see the 
Prince of Wales, who was learning regimental duties 
at the Curragh camp. The royal party travelled by 
railway from Southampton to Holy head, and crossed 
to Kingstown in the royal yacht. The Queen took up 
her residence in the Viceregal Lodge in Phoanix Park 
on the 22nd. On Saturday the 24th she went to the 
Curragh to review a force of 10,000 men, among 
whom her eldest son held a place. 

At Kil- The Queen was wisely desirous of conciliating her 

ney> Irish subjects outside Dublin, and she extended her 
journey to districts far from the capital. On the 
26th she and her family went south, travelling to 
Killarney and taking up their residence at Kenmare 
House. They were received by the people of the 
countryside with every mark of enthusiasm. Next 
day they explored the lakes of Killarney, and removed 
in the evening to Muckross Abbey, the residence of 
Mr. Herbert. Among the Queen's guests there was 


James O'Connell, brother of Daniel O'Connell the 
agitator, with other members of the agitator's family. 
A stag hunt was organised for the royal party, and it 
proved enjoyable, although no stag was found. On the 
29th the Queen left Killarney for Dublin and Holyhead 
on her way to Balmoral. Nearly thirty-nine years 
were to pass before the Queen visited Ireland 

At Balmoral the Queen occupied herself mainly Prince 
with outdoor pursuits. On September 4, to her 

delight, she was joined by her half-sister, the Princess to Bal- 
Hohenlohe, who came on a long visit. Near the end 
of October, on the journey south, a short halt was 
made at Edinburgh to enable the Prince Consort to 
lay the foundation-stones of a new post office and the 
industrial museum of Scotland (October 22). Windsor 
Castle was reached the next morning. This was the 
last migration of the Court which the Prince Consort 
was destined to share. 

As usual, guests were numerous at Windsor in At 
November, but the deaths of Sir James Graham, who Windsor, 

had served under both Peel and Aberdeen, as well as 

of the Queen's two cousins, Pedro V., King of Portugal, 
and his brother Ferdinand, damped the spirits of 
host and hostess. 

In the middle of November signs that the Prince's Prince 
health was failing became obvious. A year before he 
had had an attack of English cholera, and he suffered 
habitually from low fever ; he had shown much 
nervous depression on his last visit to Coburg. 
Though the Queen was solicitous on his account, she, 
like most persons in robust health, was inclined to 




of the 

attack on 


tory tone. 

take a hopeful view of his condition, and not until the 
last did she realise that a fatal issue was impending. 

A serious political crisis suddenly arose to absorb 
her attention, and for the last time she, by her 
husband's advice, brought personal influence to bear 
on her ministers in the interests of the country's 
peace. In April the civil war in America had 
broken out, and the Queen's Government had issued 
a proclamation of neutrality. Public opinion in Eng- 
land was divided on the merits of the two antagonists, 
but the mass of the people favoured the Confederation 
of the South. Palmerston, the Prime Minister, 
Gladstone, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and many 
of their colleagues made no secret of their faith in 
the justice of the cause of the South. The Queen and 
Prince Consort inclined to the opposite side. 

In November the prevailing English sentiment of 
sympathy with the South seemed on the point of 
translating itself into actual war with the North. 
Two Southern envoys, named respectively Mason and 
Slidell, had been despatched by the Southern Con- 
federates to plead their cause at the English and 
French Courts. They had run the Northern Federals' 
blockade of the American coast, and, embarking on the 
' Trent,' an English steamer, at Havana, set sail in 
her on November 8. Next day a Federal ship-of-war 
fired at the ' Trent.' The Federal captain (Wilkes) 
boarded her after threatening violence, and captured 
the Confederate envoys with their secretaries. 

On November 27 the ' Trent ' arrived at South- 
ampton, and the news was divulged in England. The 
spirit of the Government and the country was roused. 


On November 30 Palmerston forwarded to the Queen 
the draft of a despatch to be forwarded to Washington. 
In peremptory and uncompromising terms the Eng- 
lish Government demanded of the Northern Federals 
immediate reparation and redress for a wanton breach 
of international law. The strength of Palmerston's 
language seemed to place any likelihood of an accom- 
modation out of question. 

The Prince Consort realised the perils of the si- Prince 
tuation. He did not share the Prime Minister's ^erven- 
veneration of the Southerners, and war with any tion. 
party in the United States was abhorrent to him. 
He at once suggested, in behalf of the Queen, gentler 
phraseology, and, in spite of his rapidly developing 
illness, wrote to Lord Palmerston for the Queen 
(December 1) urging him to recast the despatch. 
All belief that the assault on the ' Trent ' was 
the deliberate act of the Government of the United 
States should be disavowed. Let the Prime Minister 
assume that an over-zealous officer of the Federal 
fleet had made an unfortunate error which could 
easily be repaired by 'the restoration of the unfor- 
tunate passengers and a suitable apology.' 

This note to Palmerston ' was the last thing ' the Prince 
Prince ' ever wrote,' the Queen said afterwards, and it J^^ 1 s 
had the effect its author desired. The English accepted. 
Government had a strong case. The Emperor of the 
French, the Emperor of Austria, the King of Prussia, 
and the Emperor of Eussia had at once expressed 
themselves in full sympathy with England. But 
happily the Prince Consort's wiser counsels prevailed. 
Palmerston and Eussell accepted the Prince's cor- 


rection. They substituted his moderation for their 
own virulence, with the result that the Government 
of Washington assented cheerfully to their demands. 
The risk of war between England and the United 
States was averted by the despatch which the Prince 
Consort had drafted in the name of the Queen and 
with her enthusiastic assent. 

Thegra- Both in England and America it was acknow- 
American ledged that a grave disaster had been averted by the 
Prince's tact. Leaders of the Northern States after- 
wards admitted a conviction that the outbreak of war 
with England in 1861 would have brought in its train 
the formal recognition of the Southern Confederacy 
by the great European States. The most earnest 
democrats among the Northern Federals gratefully 
recognised that they owed preservation from an 
imminent calamity to the personal intervention of 
royalty. Walt Whitman, the poet, in whom the 
democratic spirit of the United States burnt with 
full force, wrote some years later of the successful 
intervention of the Queen and Prince Albert in the 
' Trent ' affair in such exuberant terms as these : 
Walt ' Very little, as we Americans stand this day, with 

on the 1 * 11 our sixty-five or seventy millions of population, an 

Queen's immense surplus in the treasury, and all that actual 

power or reserve power (land and sea) so dear to 

nations very little, I say, do we realise that curious 
crawling national shudder when the " Trent affair " 
promis'd to bring upon us a war with Great Britain 
f ollow'd unquestionably, as that war would have been, 
by recognition of the Southern Confederacy from all the 
leading European nations. It is now certain that all 


this then inevitable train of calamity hung on arrogant 
and peremptory phrases in the prepared and written 
missive of the British Minister, to America, which 
the Queen (and Prince Albert latent) positively and 
promptly cancell'd ; and which her firm attitude did 
alone actually erase and leave out, against all the 
other official prestige and Court of St. James's. On 
such minor and personal incidents (so to call them) 
often depend the great growths and turns of civilisa- 
tion. This moment of a woman and a queen surely 
swung the grandest oscillation of modern history's 
pendulum. Many sayings and doings of that period, 
from foreign potentates and powers, might well be 
dropt in oblivion by America but never this, if I 
could have my way.' l 

But Prince Albert was never to witness the fruits of ?f/ nce , 
his successful intervention in the affair of the ' Trent.' death. 
The beneficent result of the action to which his pru- 
dence had prompted the Queen and her ministers was 
never known to him. Before the critical despatch had 
been finally corrected he had a presentiment that he 
was going to die, and the presentiment proved true. 
The Prince did not cling to life. He had none of the 

1 These words form a note which Walt Whitman appended to the 
following poetic greeting to the Queen : 

' For Queen Victoria's Birthday. An American arbutus branch 
to be put in a little vase on the royal breakfast table, May 24, 1890. 

Lady, accept a birthday thought haply an idle gift and token, 
Bight from the scented soil's May-utterance here, 
(Smelling of countless blessings, prayers, and old time thanks,) 
A bunch of white and pink arbutus, silent, spicy, shy, 
From Hudson's, Delaware's, or Potomac's woody banks.' 

(Walt Whitman's Complete Prose Works, Boston, Mass. 1898.) 


Queen's sanguineness or elasticity of temperament, 
and of late irremovable gloom had oppressed him. 
During the early days of December his weakness 
grew, but good hope was entertained of his recovery, 
when on the 14th he passed away unexpectedly 
at Windsor in the Queen's presence. He was little 
more than forty-two years old. The Queen was only 
his senior by a month. Almost without warning the 
romance of the Queen's life was at its meridian 
changed into a tragedy. 




No heavier blow than the Prince's removal could The 
have fallen on the Queen. Earely was a wife more 
dependent on a husband. More than fifteen years hood - 
before she had written to Stockniar (July 30, 1846) 
in reference to a few days' separation from the 
Prince : ' Without him everything loses its interest 
... it will always be a terrible pang for me to 
separate from him even for two days, and I pray God 
never to let me survive him.' Now that the per- 
manent separation had come, the future for her spelt 
desolation. As she wrote on a photograph of a 
family group, consisting of herself, her children, and 
a bust of the Prince Consort, ' day for her was turned 
into night.' l 

Her tragic fate appealed strongly to the sym- Public 
pathies of her people, who mourned with her through sy f?~ 
every rank. ' They cannot tell what I have lost,' she 
said ; but she was not indifferent to the mighty out- 
burst of compassion. Personal sympathy with her in 
her bereavement was not, however, all that she 
asked. She knew that the exalted estimate she had 
formed of her husband was not shared by her sub- 

' Lady Bloomfield, ii. 148. 


jects, and as in his lifetime, so to a greater degree 
after his death, she yearned for signs that he had 
won her countrymen's and countrywomen's highest 
esteem. ' Will they do him justice now ? ' she cried, 
as, in company with her friend, the Duchess of 
Sutherland, she looked for the last time on his dead 

Tenny- Praise of the Prince was the Queen's fullest con- 

elegy, solation, and happily it was not denied her. The 
elegiac eulogy with which Tennyson prefaced his 
' Idylls of the King,' within a month of the Prince's 
death, was the manner of salve (she said) that best 
soothed ' her aching, bleeding heart : ' 

' We know him now : all narrow jealousies 
Are silent ; and we see him as he moved, 
How modest, kindly, all accomplished, wise, 
With what sublime repression of himself, 
And in what limits, and how tenderly ; 
Not swaying to this faction or to that ; 
Not making his high place the lawless perch 
Of wing'd ambitions, nor a vantage ground 
For pleasure ; but thro' all this tract of years 
Wearing the white flower of a blameless life, 
Before a thousand peering littlenesses, 
In that fierce light which beats upon a throne 
And blackens every blot : for where is he, 
Who dares foreshadow for an only son 
A lovelier life, a more unstain'd than his ? ' 

The The memorials and statues that sprang up in 

repute- 8 profusion over the land served to illumine the gloom 

tion - that encircled her, and in course of years she found 

in the task of supervising the compilation of his 

biography a potent mitigation of her grief. Public 

opinion proved tractable, and ultimately she enjoyed 

the satisfaction of an almost universal acknowledg- 

1861] THE QUEEN'S GRIEF 321 

ment that the Prince had worked zealously and 
honestly for the good of his adopted country. 

Few parallels can be found in history to the length Perma- 
of time during which the actively vivid sense of loss her'grief. 
clung to the Queen's heart. ' Here I and sorrows 
sit,' the words of the bereaved Constance in Shake- 
speare's play of ' King John,' fitted her lips not for a 
year but for a generation. No act of hers nor of her 
children's, however trivial, did she during that period 
dissociate from the Prince's memory. 1 Nothing that 
reminded her of him was ever disturbed no room 
that he inhabited, scarcely a paper that he had 
handled. She never ceased to wear mourning for 
him; she long lived in seclusion, and took no part 
in Court festivities or ceremonial pageantry. The 
anniversary of the Prince's death was, until her own 
death, kept as a solemn day of rest and prayer, 
and the days of his birth, betrothal, and marriage 
were held in religious veneration. 

But, despite the poignancy of her sorrow, and the Queen's 
sense of isolation which thenceforth abode with her, ^JJi pathy 
her nerve was never wholly shattered. Naturally others' 
and freely as she gave vent to her grief, her woe 
did not degenerate into morbid wailing. One of 
its most lasting results was to sharpen her sense 
of sympathy, which had always been keen, with 
the distresses of others, especially with distresses 
resembling her own ; no widow in the land, in what- 

1 Three years after her husband's death she was still signing her 
letters to her younger children ' your unhappy mama,' and never re- 
ferred to their present experiences without adding a reminiscence of 
' your darling papa.' 









ever rank of life, had henceforth a more tender 
sympathiser than the Queen. 1 

At the time of the Prince's death, her daughter 
Alice and her stepsister the Princess Hohenlohe were 
with the Queen at Windsor, and all the comfort that 
kindred could offer they gave her in full measure. 
Four days after the tragic event she drove with 
Princess Alice to the gardens at Frogmore, and chose 
a site for a mausoleum, where she and her husband 
might both be buried together. Her uncle Leopold, 
in letters forwarded in haste from Brussels, took con- 
trol of her immediate action, and at his bidding she 
reluctantly removed to Osborne next day. In the 
course of December 20 she mechanically signed some 
papers of State. At midnight her brother-in-law, 
Duke Ernest, reached Osborne, and, dissolved in 
tears, she at once met him on the staircase. On 
December 23, in all the panoply of state, the Prince's 
remains were temporarily laid to rest in St. George's 
Chapel, Windsor. The Prince of Wales represented 
her as chief mourner. Early in January her uncle 
Leopold came to Osborne to console and counsel 

During the following weeks the Princess Alice 
and Sir Charles Phipps, keeper of her privy purse, 
acted as intermediaries between her and her ministers, 
but before the end of the first month of bereavement 
her ministers reminded her that she was bound to 

1 As early as January 10, 1862, twenty-seven days after the 
Prince's death, she sent a touching message of sympathy with a gift 
of 200Z. to the widows of the victims of a great colliery explosion in 

1861] THE QUEEN'S GRIEF 323 

communicate with them directly. Palmerston at the 
moment was disabled by gout, and the cabinet was 
under the somewhat severe and pedantic control of 
Lord John Eussell. The reproof awoke the Queen to 
a sense of her position. 

Gradually she controlled her anguish, and delibe- Her 
rately resigned herself to her fate. She had lost half 
her existence. Nothing hereafter could be to her what future, 
it had once been. No child could fill the place that was 
vacant. But she did not seek to ease herself of her 
burden. She steeled herself to bear it alone. Hitherto 
the Prince, she said, had thought for her. Now she 
would think for herself. His example was to be her 
guide. The minute care that he had bestowed with 
her on affairs of State she would bestow. Her de- 
cisions would be those that she believed he would 
have taken. She would seek every advantage 
that she could derive from the memory of his 
counsel. 1 

Now that the grave had closed over the Queen's The 
sole companion and oracle of one-and-twenty years, 
she felt that a new reign had begun, and must in influence 
outward aspect in perpetual signs of mourning and 
in suppression of ceremonial pomp be distinguished 
from the reign that had closed. But the lessons that 
the Prince had taught the Queen left so deep an 

1 Most of the expressions employed in this and earlier paragraphs 
of this chapter are drawn from letters of the Queen sent to friends 
soon after the Prince's death, or from records of her early interviews 
with them. There is a remarkable unanimity as to the simple sin- 
cerity with which she spoke of her sorrow, her self-possession, and 
the earnestness with which she faced her future responsibilities. 
Cf. Clark and Hughes, Life of Adam Sedgwick, ii. 382. 

Y 2 


impression on her, she clung so tenaciously to his 
spirit, that her attitude to the business of State 
and her action in it during the forty years that 
followed his death bore little outward sign of 
change from the days when he was perpetually at 
her side. 




IN the ' two dreadful first years of loneliness ' that Her per- 
followed the Prince's death the Queen lived in com- tendants 
plete seclusion, dining often by herself or with her in.her 
half-sister, and seeing for any length of time only hood, 
members of her own family. But her widowhood 
rendered her more dependent than before on her 
personal attendants, and her intimacy with them 
grew greater. 

Of the female members of her household on whose Friends 
support she rested, the chief was Lady Augusta Bruce. house- 
On Lady Augusta's marriage to Dean Stanley on hold- 
December 23, 1863, congenial successors to her were 
found in Jane Marchioness of Ely, who had been a 
lady of the bedchamber since 1857, and filled that 
office till April 30, 1889, and in Jane Lady Churchill, 
who was a lady of the bedchamber from July 4, 1854. 
Till her sudden death on Christmas day 1900 -less 
than a month before the Queen herself died Lady 
Churchill remained in constant attendance on her. 

Even from the lower ranks of her household she Scottish 
welcomed sympathy and proofs of personal attach- 
ment. She found Scotsmen and Scotswomen of all 
classes, but especially of the humbler, readier in the 


expression of kindly feeling than Englishmen and 
Englishwomen. When she paid, in May 1862, the 
first painful visit of her widowhood to Balmoral, her 
reception was a real solace to her. Her Scottish chap- 
lain, Dr. Norman Macleod, gave her, she said, more 
real consolation than any clergyman of the south. 
John The Queen consequently found a satisfaction in 


employing Scots men and women in her domestic 
service. John Brown, a son of a farmer on her high- 
land estate, had been an outdoor servant or gillie at 
Balmoral since 1849, and had won the regard of the 
Prince and herself. She soon made him a personal 
retainer, to be in constant attendance upon her in all 
the migrations of the Court. He was of rugged exterior 
and uncourtly manners, but she believed in his devo- 
tion to her and in his strong common sense, and she 
willingly pardoned in him the familiarity of speech 
and manner which old servants are in the habit of 
acquiring. She came to regard him as one of her 
trustiest friends. 1 

The ^ In official business the Queen derived invaluable 

private* 5 assistance in the early years of her widowhood from 

secre- those who were filling more dignified positions in her 

1 The Queen wrote of him in 1866, in her Journal of the High- 
lands, p. 93, note : ' His attention, care, and faithfulness cannot be 
exceeded; and the state of my health, which of late years has been 
sorely tried and weakened, renders such qualifications most valuable, 
and indeed most needful in a constant attendant upon all occa- 
sions. ... He has all the independence and elevated feeling peculiar 
to the Highland race, and is singularly straightforward, simple- 
minded, kind-hearted, and disinterested ; always ready to oblige ; 
and of a discretion rarely to be met with. He is now in his fortieth 
year.' Archibald, a brother of John Brown, was valet to the Queen's 
youngest son, Prince Leopold. 


household. The old objections to the appointment of 
a private secretary to the Queen, now that the Prince 
who had acted in that capacity was no more, were 
not revived, and it was at once conferred without 
debate on General the Hon. Charles Grey, a younger 
son of the second Earl Grey, who had been since 1846 
private secretary to the Prince, and whose sister, 
Lady Caroline Barrington, was since 1851 the gover- 
ness of the royal children. Some differences of 
opinion were held outside Court circles as to his tact 
and judgment, but until his death in 1870 his devo- 
tion to his work relieved the Queen of much pressing 
anxiety. ' In many, many ways he was most valu- 
able to the Queen,' she wrote, ' and a very devoted, 
zealous, and very able adviser and friend.' 

The Queen also reposed full ^confidence in Sir Grey, 
Charles Phipps, Keeper of the Privy Purse, who an< j P Bid- 
diecl in 1866, and in Sir Thomas Biddulph, who was dulph. 
Master of her Household from 1851, and after 1867 
sole Keeper of the Privy Purse until his death in 
1878. No three men could have served her more 
single-mindedly than Grey, Phipps, and Biddulph. 
She was especially fortunate, too, in General Sir 
Henry Ponsonby, Grey's successor as private secre- 
tary, who had been equerry to the Prince Consort, 
and had been brought within the sphere of influence 
which the Queen deemed the best inspiration for her 
advisers. Like Grey, he was personally of Liberal 
politics, but he treated party questions officially with 
great width of view. Sir Henry remained her secre- 
tary for the long period of a quarter of a century 
April 8, 1870, to May 1895, when he was succeeded 




by her last private secretary, Colonel Sir Arthur 

Outside her household she derived much benefit 
from the counsel of Gerald Wellesley, son of Lord 
Cowley, and nephew of the Duke of Wellington, who 
had been her domestic chaplain since 1849, and was 
Dean of Windsor from 1854 until his death in 1882. 
She was often in consultation with him, particularly 
in regard to the Church appointments which her 
ministers suggested to her. Sir Arthur Helps, who 
had become Clerk of the Council in 1860, and was an 
author of repute, was also much in her confidence, 
and aided and advised her in her private and personal 
affairs until his death in 1875. 

Public business, in accordance with her resolve, 
occupied her almost as soon as her husband was 
buried. On January 9, 1862, she received the wel- 
come news that the authorities at Washington had 
solved the difficulty of the ' Trent ' by acceding to the 
requests of the English Government. She reminded 
Lord Palmerston that ' this peaceful issue of the 
American quarrel was greatly owing to her beloved 
Prince,' and Palmerston considerately replied that 
the alterations in the despatch were only one of 
innumerable instances ' of the tact and judgment and 
the power of nice discrimination which excited Lord 
Palmerston's constant and unbounded admiration.' 
A day or two later she assented to Palmerston's pro- 
posal to confer the Garter on Lord Kussell, though 
she would not hear of a chapter of the Order being 
held, and insisted, contrary to precedent, on con- 
ferring the distinction by warrant. On January 11 


she presided over a meeting of her Privy Council, and 
a month later (February 10) she formally instituted 
the ' Eoyal Order of Victoria and Albert ' a com- 
memorative decoration to be conferred on ladies of 
her family and household. 

In one direction only did the Queen relieve herself Her sig- 
of any of her official work on the Prince's death. It officers^ 
had been her custom to sign (in three places) every cpmmis- 
commission issued to officers in all branches of the 
military service, but she had fallen into arrears with 
the labour of late years, and 16,000 documents now 
awaited her signature. In March 1862 a Bill was 
introduced into Parliament enabling commissions to 
be issued without bearing her autograph, though her 
right of signing was reserved in case she wished to 
resume the practice and this she subsequently did. 

Two plans of domestic interest which the Prince Prince of 
had initiated she at once carried to completion. It 
had been arranged that the Prince of Wales should Land, 
make a tour to the Holy Land with Dr. Arthur Pen- 
rhyn Stanley, the late Prince's chaplain. In January 
1862 the Queen finally settled the tour with Stanley, 
who visited her at Osborne for the purpose, and from 
February 6 till June 14 her eldest son was absent 
from her on the expedition. There was some inevi- Princess 
table delay, too, in the solemnisation of the marriage 
of Princess Alice, but it was quietly celebrated at 
Osborne on July 1. The Queen was present in deep 
mourning. Her brother-in-law, the Duke of Saxe- 
Coburg, gave the Princess away. The Queen felt 
acutely the separation from the daughter who had 
chiefly stood by her in her recent trial. 


Memo- During the autumn visit to Balmoral (August 21, 

Prince *& 1862 ) the Q ueen began that long series of memorials 

Balmoral, to her dead husband which she encouraged almost to 

her own death. She laid near Balmoral Castle the 

foundations of a cairn ' to the beloved memory of 

Albert the Great and Good, Prince Consort, raised by 

his broken-hearted widow.' She and the six children 

who were with her placed on it stones on which their 

initials were to be carved. 

Betrothal Despite her grief, the Queen directed with eager 
of Wales i n ^ eres ^ the fortunes of her children. Next month 
(September 1862) negotiations were in progress for 
the betrothal of the Prince of Wales, the heir to the 
throne. His choice had fallen on Princess Alexandra, 
daughter of Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein- 
Sonderburg-Glucksburg, the next heir to the throne 
of Denmark, to which he ascended shortly afterwards 
on November 15, 1863, as King Christian IX. The 
Princess's mother, Princess Louise of Hesse-Cassel, 
was niece of Christian VIII. of Denmark, and sole 
heiress of the old Danish royal family. Princess 
Alexandra was thus already a distant connection of 
the Queen by marriage, for the Queen's aunt, the old 
Duchess of Cambridge, a member of the princely 
house of Hesse-Cassel, was also aunt of the Princess's 
father. The Queen readily assented to the match, 
and the Princess was her guest at Osborne in 
November. Her grace and beauty fascinated from 
the first the Queen as well as the people of England. 
The Princess's connection with Denmark did not 
recommend the alliance to the Prussian Government, 
which anticipated complications with its little northern 


neighbour, but the betrothal had little political signifi- 
cance or influence, and was universally welcomed in 

More perplexing was the consideration which it The 
was needful for the Queen to devote in December 1862 
to a question affecting the future of her second son, 
Alfred, who, under the Prince Consort's careful super- 
vision, had been educated for the navy. A sudden 
offer came to him from the extreme end of Europe. 
The popular assembly of the kingdom of Greece had 
driven their King, Otho, a scion of the royal house of 
Bavaria, from the throne, and they abruptly resolved 
to confer the vacant crown on Prince Alfred, as a 
representative of the country which had helped to 
restore to Greece her independence in 1828. The 
Queen at first regarded the proposal with unconcealed 
favour, but her ministers declared its acceptance to 
be impracticable and to be contrary to the country's 
treaty obligations with the Powers. 

Unhappily for the Queen's peace of mind, the Duke 
ministers' rejection of the invitation to her second ^JJ 
son, in which she soon acquiesced, did not relieve her Greek 
of further debate on the subject. A substitute for r< 
Alfred as a candidate for the Greek throne was 
suggested in the person of her brother-in-law, Duke 
Ernest of Saxe-Coburg. He at once came to England 
to take the Queen's advice, and his conduct greatly 
harassed her. The Duke had no children, and his 
throne of Saxe-Coburg would naturally devolve, should 
he die childless, on his only brother's eldest son, the 
Prince of Wales ; but it had already been agreed that, 
in view of the Prince of Wales 's heir ship to the 


English throne, he should transfer to his next brother 
Alfred his claim to the German duchy. Duke Ernest 
was quite willing * to ascend the Greek throne, but 
made it a condition that he should be at liberty to 
retain for an indefinite period after his accession to it 
his ducal position in Coburg. 

His Such a condition was treated as impossible of 

to the acceptance, alike by English ministers and by Greek 
Queen. leaders, but the Duke obstinately urged the Queen to 
forward his impracticable scheme. From the first 
she summarily rejected it. It had nothing to recom- 
mend it in her eyes. For the Duke to abandon 
Coburg meant its immediate assignment to Prince 
Alfred. That event was congenial to the Queen, who 
was deeply attached to the principality, and was 
always solicitous of the future fortunes of her younger 
children. But Duke Ernest was not easily silenced. 
He querulously complained that his sister-in-law's 
attitude was ambiguous ; she was insufficiently con- 
siderate of his interests. Their uncle, King Leopold, 
added to her perplexities by coming to Duke Ernest's 
support. The King was also indisposed to sanction 
the premature transference of the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha 
duchies to the third generation of the family. 
Her The Queen was embarrassed and displeased. She 

endeavoured to soothe her brother-in-law with civil 
phrases, but she resented his querulous pertinacity. 
On January 29, 1863, she begged him to spare her 
further reproaches. ' What I can do to remove diffi- 
culties, without prejudicing the rights of our children 
and the welfare of the beloved little country, you may 
rely upon. You are sure of my sisterly love, as well 


as my immense love for Coburg and the whole 
country. ... I am not at all well, and this whole 
Greek matter has affected me fearfully. Much too 
much rests upon me, poor woman, standing alone as 
I do with so many children, and every day, every 
hour, I feel more and more the horrible void that is 
ever growing greater and more fearful.' l 

Finally, the Duke realised that the union of Coburg Prince 
and Greece under a single ruler was impossible of 
attainment, and his candidature for the Greek throne King of 
was withdrawn. He made the Queen what reparation March 30, 
he could for the trouble he had caused her. He l86 3- 
admitted that he was wrong in questioning her solici- 
tude for the welfare of his small country, and de- 
clared himself reconciled to the ultimate succession 
of Prince Alfred to his throne. The Greek crown 
was thereupon placed by England, in concert with 
the Powers, on the head of George, brother of the 
Princess Alexandra, who was the affianced bride of 
the Prince of Wales. The settlement freed the Queen 
from the worry of family bickerings, and Greece was 
well contented with her new sovereign. 

Through all ranks of the nation the marriage Marriage 
of the Queen's eldest son, the heir to the throne, p r i n c e of 
aroused abundant enthusiasm. At the Queen's request Wales, 
Parliament readily granted an annuity of 40,000?. for 1863. 
the Prince, which, added to the revenues of the Duchy 
of Cornwall, brought his income to over 100,000?. a 
year, while his bride was assigned an immediate 
annuity of 10,000?. and a prospective one of 30,000?. 
in case of widowhood. In accordance with the 

1 Duke Ernest, iv. 99-100. 


marriage treaty, which was signed at Copenhagen 
on January 15, 1863, the marriage took place on 
March 10, 1863, at St. George's Chapel, Windsor. 
The Queen played no part in the ceremony, but 
witnessed it from a gallery overlooking the chancel. 
The sadness of her situation impressed so unsenti- 
mental a spectator as Lord Palmerston, who shed 
tears as he gazed on her. 

Hopes The Queen's protracted withdrawal from public 

reappear- l^ e was beginning to excite censure among the people, 
ancein This trend of public feeling was well within her 
life. knowledge, but she had no intention of conciliating 

it. There was an anticipation that she would make 
her son's wedding the occasion of ending the period of 
gloomy seclusion in which she had chosen to encircle 
the Court. But the hope was very imperfectly realised. 
After the Prince's marriage the Court resumed some- 
thing of its old routine ; state balls and concerts 
were revived to a small extent, but the Queen dis- 
appointed expectation by refusing to attend Court 
entertainments herself. She entrusted her place in 
them to her eldest son and his bride, and to others of 
her children. 




BUT while ignoring the pleasures of the Court, the Her views 
Queen did not relax her devotion to the business of JJolicy^f 11 
State. Her main energy was applied to foreign politics. l86 3- 
While anxious that the prestige of England should 
be maintained abroad, she was desirous to keep the 
peace, and to impress other sovereigns with her 
pacific example. Her dislike of war in Europe was 
fostered to a growing extent by family considerations 
by her concern for the interests of her married 
daughters at Berlin and Darmstadt, and in a smaller 
degree for those of her ungrateful brother-in-law at 
Coburg. The fortunes of all, and especially those of 
the Crown Princess of Prussia, seemed to her to be 
involved in every menace of the tranquillity of Europe. 
Into the precise merits of the difficulties which arose 
among the nations she did not enter with quite the 
same fulness as her husband. But the safety of 
existing dynasties was a principle that had appealed 
to him, and by that she stood firm. 

Consequently, the points of view from which the Disagree- 
Queen and her ministers, Lord Palmerston and Lord ^f t ^ ts 
John Russell, approached the foreign questions that ministers, 
engrossed the attention of Europe from 1863 to 1866 


were invariably divergent. She made no endeavour 
to study her ministers' idiosyncrasies or make allow- 
ance for their personal convictions. She pressed her 
own counsel on them with unfailing pertinacity, and 
was often heard with ill-concealed impatience. Con- 
stantly she had to acquiesce, however unwillingly, 
in the rejection of her advice. Nevertheless, she 
largely fulfilled her purpose of keeping her country free 
from such European complications as were likely to 
issue in war. And though she was unable to give 
effective political aid to her German relatives, she was 
often successful in checking the activity of her 
ministers' or of her people's sympathies with their 

The The different mental attitudes in which the Queen 

insurrec- an ^ ^ er mm isters stood to current foreign events are 
tion. W ell illustrated by the sentiments which the Polish 
insurrection excited in them respectively in 1863. 
Palmerston and his colleague, Lord John, sympa- 
thised with the efforts of Poland to release itself from 
the grip of Kussia, and their abhorrence of the perse- 
cution of a small race by a great reflected popular 
English feeling. The Queen's views of the situation 
altogether ignored the grievances of the Poles. In 
1859 she had taunted Lord John Eussell with the 
distrust that was inspired in her and her Government 
at foreign Courts by the favour which the Liberal 
press bestowed on Polish insubordination. She now 
tacitly identified herself with the oppressors of Poland. 
The Grand Duke Constantine, who was Governor- 
General of Poland when the insurrection broke out, 
had been her guest after the Crimean war. His life 


was menaced by the Polish rebels, and his modes 
of tyranny, however repugnant in other circum- 
stances, became in her sight inevitable weapons of self- 
defence. The question had, moreover, driven France 
and Prussia into opposite camps. France, affecting 
horror at Eussia's cruelty, invited English co-opera- 
tion in opposing her. The Queen sternly warned 
her Government against any manner of interference. 
Prussia, where Bismarck now ruled, declared that 
the Poles were meeting their deserts. Maternal duty 
prompted the Queen to endorse the view of Prussia, 
her eldest daughter's adopted country and future 

Early in the autumn of 1863 the Queen visited Visit to 
Germany and examined the foreign situation for her- 
self at close quarters. The main object of her tour 
was to revive her memories of the scenes of her 
late husband's youth. After staying a night with her 
uncle Leopold at the summer palace of Laeken, 
she proceeded to Kosenau, Prince Albert's birthplace, 
and thence passed on to Coburg. The recent death 
(on July 9, 1863) of her husband's constant coun- 
sellor, Stockmar, at Coburg, intensified the depression 
in which public and private anxieties involved her, 
but she took pleasure in the society of the Crown 
Prince and Princess, who joined her at Eosenau. 

The political prospects of the Prince and Princess, De- 
however, filled her with fresh alarms. The sovereigns 

of Germany were meeting at Frankfort to consider a of the 
reform of the confederation of the German States. Prince. 
For reasons that were to appear later, Prussia declined 
to join the meeting, and Austria assumed the leading 



place in the conference. It looked probable that an 
empire of Germany would come into being under the 
headship of the Emperor of Austria, that Prussia 
would be excluded from it, and would be ruined by its 
helpless isolation. The jealousy with which not only 
Austria, but the smaller German States, regarded 
Prussia seemed to the Queen to render imminent its 
decay and fall. 

Queen's Maternal instincts spurred her to exert all her 

Prussia. personal influence in Germany to set the future of 
Prussia and her daughter's fortunes on a securer 
basis. Her brother-in-law, Duke Ernest, was attend- 
ing the German Diet of Sovereigns at Frankfort. 
From Kosenau she addressed to him constant appeals 
to help to protect Prussia from the disasters with which 
the Frankfort meeting threatened it. On August 29, 
after drawing a dismal picture of Prussia's rapid 
decline, she wrote : * All the more would I beg you, 
as much as lies in your power, to prevent a weaken- 
ing of Prussia, which not only my own feeling 
resists on accoupt of the future of our children 
but which would surely also be contrary to the 
interest of Germany ; and I know that our dear 
angel Albert always regarded a strong Prussia as a 
necessity, for which therefore it is a sacred duty for 
me to work.' 

Visitof Two clays later, on August 81, the King of 

Kmg- of p russ i a> at her request, paid her a visit at Coburg. 
Bismarck, who had a year before assumed control of 
the policy of Prussia, and understood the situation 
better than the Queen, was in his master's retinue. 
He was not present at the interview, and, by cynically 


hinting to King William that the ulterior motive of 
the Queen's intrigue was t6 make the interests of 
England predominant in Germany, did what was neces- 
sary to render her negotiation abortive. The King's 
tone was kindly, but he failed to reassure the Queen. 
He civilly deprecated her interference. She thought he 
failed to realise his country's and his family's danger. 

But the King of Prussia's apparent pusillanimity Interview- 
did not check the Queen's energies. A personal ex- Empercfr 
planation with the ruler from whom Prussia had, in her of Aus- 
view, everything to fear, became in her mind essential. 
Early in September Francis Joseph, the Emperor of 
Austria, was returning to Vienna from the Diet at 
Frankfort. She invited him to visit her on the way 
at the castle of Coburg. On September 3 he arrived 
there. It was her first meeting with him. She had 
been interested in him since his accession to the 
throne in the eventful year 1848. Ten years later, 
in August 1858, he had sent to her when at Babels- 
berg a letter regretting his inability to make her 
personal acquaintance while she was in the neigh- 
bourhood of his dominions ; and when his son and 
heir was born a day or two later, on August 22, 1858, 
she at once wrote a cordial note of congratulation. 
She had sympathised with him in the indignities 
which the Emperor of the French had put on him 
by aiding Sardinia to deprive him of his territory in 
North Italy. 

The Queen met the Emperor of Austria in an The 
earnest spirit, and her interview with him lasted 
three hours. Only Duke Ernest was present with appeal 
them. The Queen prudently deprecated the notion *' 




At Darm- 
stadt and 

at Aber- 
Oct. 13, 

that she desired to enter in detail into political 
questions, but her maternal anxiety for her children 
at Berlin impelled her, she said, to leave no stone 
unturned to stave off the dangers that threatened 
Prussia. She knew how greatly Prussia would 
benefit if she won a sympathetic hearing from the 
Emperor. He heard her respectfully, but committed 
himself to nothing, and the interview left the situa- 
tion unchanged. 1 It had as little effect as her con- 
versation with the King of Prussia. But the interest 
of the episode cannot be measured by its material 
result. It is a signal proof of the Queen's courageous 
will and passionate devotion to her family. 

Soon after parting with Emperor Francis Joseph, 
the Queen set her face homewards, only pausing at 
Darmstadt to see her daughter Alice under her own 
roof. Arrived in England, she paid her customary 
autumn visit to Balmoral, and spent some days in 
September with her friends the Duke and Duchess 
of Athol at Blair Athol. 

The second year of her widowhood was ending, and 
she had relaxed none of the strict etiquette of mourning. 
But before the two years reached their final close she 
temporarily issued from her seclusion in order to unveil 
publicly at Aberdeen, on October 13, 1863, a bronze 
statue of the Prince Consort. It was designed at the 
expense of the city and county by Baron Marochetti, 
an Italian sculptor high in the Queen's favour, who 
had been patronised by Louis Philippe, and had fled 
from France to England on his patron's fall. In 
reply to the address from the subscribers the Queen 

Duke Ernest, Memoirs, iv. 134. 


declared through Sir George Grey, the Home Secre- 
tary, that she had come ' to proclaim in public the 
unbounded reverence and admiration, the devoted 
love that fills my heart for him whose loss must 
throw a lasting gloom over all my future life.' The 
occasion was one of severe and painful trial to her ; 
but it proved the first of numerous occasions on 
which she presided over a like ceremony. The warmth 
with which she welcomed the multiplication of statues 
of the late Prince was such that by degrees, as Glad- 
stone said, they ' covered the land.' 




wig- Hoi- 

in Ger- 



BEFORE the end of the year 1863 there broke out 
in Central Europe the struggle which had long been 
threatened by the conflicting claims of Germany 
and Denmark to the duchies of Schleswig-Holstein. 
English ministers and the Queen had always kept the 
question well in view, and knew that at some time or 
other it would call for the arbitrament of the sword. 
In 1852 a conference in London of representatives of 
the various parties had arranged, under the English 
Government's guidance, a compromise, whereby the 
relation of the duchies to Germany and Denmark 
was so defined as to preserve peace for eleven years. 
The Danes held them under German supervision. 
But in the course of 1863 Frederick VII. of Denmark 
asserted new and independent claims on the dis- 
puted territory. Although he died just before he 
gave effect to his intentions, his successor, the Princess 
of Wales's father, Christian IX., fully accepted his 

Opinion in Germany, while at one in its hostility 
to Denmark, and in its deliberate resolve henceforth 
to exclude her from the duchies, ran in two sharply 
divided currents in regard to their future status anc[ 


relation to Germany. One German party was desirous 
that the duchies should form an independent State of 
the German Confederation ; another party was re- 
solved to absorb them altogether in existing German 

In 1852 Denmark had bought off a German Duke 
claimant to the duchies in the person of Duke nek's" 
Christian of Schleswig-Holstein -Sender burg- Augus- claim. 
tenburg, but his son Duke Frederick declined to be 
bound by the bargain, and had, also in 1863, re- 
asserted an alleged hereditary right to the territory, 
with the enthusiastic concurrence of the smaller 
German States, who were congenitally jealous of the 
Prussian kingdom, and of a minority in Prussia, 
mainly formed of Liberal politicians who were re- 
senting Bismarck's high-handed and illiberal methods 
of rule. Duke Frederick's claim was sincerely be- 
lieved by its champions to rest on right and justice. 

Before the end of 1863 an abortive endeavour was Efforts 
made by those who urged the formation of the duchies 

into an independent unit of the German Confederation, rick>s 
to give effect to their views by force. Two of Duke 
Frederick's adherents, the Kings of Saxony and 
Hanover, actually sent troops to drive the Danes from 
Kiel, the chief city of Holstein, in December 1863, 
and to put him in possession. But the attempt failed 
and the situation was not appreciably affected. 

The Government of Prussia was hostile to Duke Inten- 
Frederick's pretensions, and was proposing to settle 
the Schleswig-Holstein problem in its own fashion. 
Anticipating embarrassments from co-operation with 
the small German States, most of which cherished 


aims antagonistic to its own, it took the matter 
entirely out of their hands. The King of Prussia 
induced the Emperor of Austria to join him exclu- 
sively in expelling the Danes from the two duchies. 
It was agreed at the same time that the two Powers, 
having overcome the Danes, should hold the terri- 
tories jointly until some final arrangement was 

The ^ There were thus three parties to the Schleswig- 

Svided S Holstein dispute the King of Denmark, Duke Frede- 

interests. r j c k of Augustenburg with his German champions, 

and the rulers of Prussia and Austria. With all of 

these Queen Victoria had more or less close personal 

relations. Two of the three litigants, the King of 

Denmark and Duke Frederick, each clamoured for 

her support and begged without concealment for 

the intervention of English arms. 

Her sym- The Queen, who narrowly watched the progress of 
witl/Ger- even ^ s > an( i surprised ministers at home and envoys 
many. from abroad by the minuteness and accuracy of her 
knowledge, was gravely disturbed. Her sympathies 
were naturally German and anti-Danish ; but between 
the two sections of German opinion she hesitated. 
Family considerations gave each a claim to her active 
sympathy. Duke Frederick of Augustenburg was the 
husband of the daughter of her half-sister Feodore ; 
she had entertained him at Windsor and regarded 
him with affection. The Crown Prince of Prussia 
was his close friend, and his cause was also espoused 
by the Queen's daughter Alice and her husband, 
Prince Louis of Hesse, as well as by her brother-in- 
law, Duke Ernest of Saxe-Coburg, who was loud in 


his appeals to the Queen to declare herself on Duke 
Frederick's side. But while regarding with benevo- 
lence and sympathy the pretensions of Duke Frederick 
of Augustenburg, and pitying the misfortunes of his 
family, she could not repress the thought that the 
policy of Prussia, although hostile to Duke Frederick's 
interests, was calculated, if successful, to increase 
materially that kingdom's strength and prestige, the 
promotion of which was for her ' a sacred duty.' 

Nor was England at liberty to ignore the arrange- 
ments made at the conference of London in 1852, 
when the claim of Duke Frederick's father to the 
duchies had been abrogated with his assent. 'You 
seem quite to overlook the fact,' she wrote to Duke 
Ernest on January 8, 1864, ' that England is bound by 
the treaty of 1852, and, greatly as I may deplore the 
manner in which the treaty was concluded, the 
Government here has no other choice but to adhere 
to it. Our beloved Albert could not have acted other- 

There were other grounds which impelled her to Differ- 
restrain her impulse to identify herself completely f^ s 
with any one party to the strife. Eadical divergences family 
of opinion were alive in her own domestic circle. The 
Princess of Wales, the daughter of the King of 
Denmark, naturally felt acutely her father's position, 
and when, in December 1863, she and her husband 
were fellow-guests at Windsor with the Crown Prince 
and Princess of Prussia, who were the friends of Duke 
Frederick, the Queen treated Schleswig-Holstein as a 
forbidden subject at her table. To her ministers and 
to the mass of her subjects, moreover, the cause of 


Denmark made a strong appeal. The threats of 
Prussia and Austria against a small power like 
Denmark seemed to them another instance of brutal 
oppression of the weak by the strong, far worse than 
Russia's oppression of Poland, or Austria's oppression 
of Hungary. Duke Frederick's position was deemed 
futile. The popularity of the Princess of Wales, the 
King of Denmark's daughter, tended to strengthen 
the prevailing popular sentiment in favour of the 

Queen's In view of interests and opinions so widely divided, 

peace! * ^ ne Queen hoped against hope that peace might be 
preserved. To that end she directed all her energies. 
In private letters to German friends and relations 
she frankly denounced as ' rash and precipitate ' the 
action of the small German States even that of Saxe- 
Coburg-Gotha in identifying themselves past recall 
with Duke Frederick's cause. She declared that 
they were setting Germany on the road to ' revolu- 
tion and civil war.' ' Every one must show a dis- 
position to be conciliatory,' she told the querulous 
Duke Ernest. At any rate she was resolved that 
England should not directly engage in the strife. 
If the conflict could not be restrained altogether, she 
wished to see it restricted to the narrowest possible 
limits of time and space. 

Minis- It was therefore with deep indignation that she 

support of Darned that active interference in behalf of Denmark 

Denmark was contemplated by her cabinet. Napoleon III. was 

sounded as to whether he would lend his aid, but he 

had grown estranged from Palrnerston, and answered 

coldly. The ministers' ardour in behalf of Denmark 


was not diminished by this rebuff. But the Queen's 
repugnance to their Danish feeling was strength- 
ened. She made no endeavour to conceal her German 
sympathies, although they became, to her regret, the 
subject of reproachful comment in the press. To be 
attacked on account of her German sympathies, she 
wrote to Duke Ernest, was all that was needed to 
make her sad position unbearable. But her un- 
conquerable frankness was responsible for the public 
censure. Theodor von Bernhardi, the Prussian his- 
torian and diplomatist, had an interview with her at 
Osborne on January 8, 1864. She openly deplored 
the strength of the Danish party in England, which 
had won, she said, the leading journalistic organs. 
She thought that Germany might exert more influence 
in the same direction. She was dissatisfied, she 
added, with the position of the Crown Prince, and 
lamented the depressed condition of the Liberal party 
in Prussia. 1 

1 The writer's full account of the interview is of interest. It runs 
as follows : 

' I found the Queen very cheerful one might almost say happy 
and she welcomed me in the most friendly manner. 

' She spoke German the language of the royal family when 
alone and told me that she knew me by name and reputation ; the 
Prince Consort, "who to my desolation is no more," had often spoken 
of me, and always with great approbation ; he had read to her many 
passages from my works. 

' Then she turned the conversation on to the Prince's brother, the 
Duke of Coburg ; asked in what humour and state of mind I had left 
him, and soon let it be clearly seen that she gave the conversation 
this turn, and dwelt on it, in order to show me that she thought little 
of the Duke, that he could achieve nothing with her, that she 
attached no sort of importance to his advice or views. With womanly 
wit and womanly penetration she made unsparing merriment over 
the Duke, his variable quixotic disposition. 


Her At the same time she gave a final and direct 

of Duke refusal to the urgent petitions of Duke Frederick's 

Frede- friends for material assistance or outward show of her 

friendship. Within a few hours of her interview with 

Bernhardi she wrote to her brother-in-law at Coburg 

' It was so managed as to convey to me that if I wished to keep 
my post I must take care not to be identified with good Duke Ernest ; 
I must show that I in no way belonged to his party, and knew 
perfectly well how to estimate him. 

' The Queen then asked with interest after Duke Friedrich von 
Augustenburg, and regretted that public opinion the prevailing 
opinion in England was so decidedly for Denmark and against 
Germany. The Danish party had set itself for many years to win 
the leading organs of the daily press ; in this they had succeeded and 
influenced public opinion. On the side of Germany that was un- 
fortunately wanting. She thought that German effort should be 
directed to win weighty support in Parliament and in the press, and 
to enlighten the public and public opinion on the particular nature 
and importance of the German-Danish dispute. In short, she said 
enough to let it be recognised most definitely that she personally 
stood upon the side of Germany in this dispute, and, so far as she 
could, took part with Germany. 

' I merely followed, allowed myself to be instructed, let it be 
recognised through a few remarks that I knew how to value the 
worth of the hint, and naturally made no attempt to go deeper into 
the subject, or to lead the conversation farther than the Queen 
wished. There was, indeed, no necessity ; we did not need to win 

' The Queen then spoke of the present disagreeable state of things 
in Prussia ; of the unpleasant and difficult position of the Crown 
Prince. Under those conditions, under the dominion of the present 
system, the Crown Prince would naturally wish to hold aloof from 
the centre of government. His particular desire was to receive a 
military command in the provinces, that would permit him to settle 
in some place far from the capital ; the general command in Breslau 
was, he considered, most suitable. 

' Here I held it necessary to speak the truth. I said that the 
Crown Prince's position was undoubtedly a very difficult one, and 
there was a good deal to say for the provincial command which he 
desired. But there were also many things to be considered. The 


that she had come to see with her Government that 
Duke Frederick's claim was hopeless. She was re- 
solved to work with her Government for peace alone. 
Her German relatives were aggravating her difficulties 
by circulating reports of her differences with her 
Government. ' The sad tension ' between Germany 
and England ' which is really to nobody's advan- 
tage ' could only be reduced by tactful reticence and 
moderate courses on all sides. 

None the less her ministers' words and acts re- The 
mained, in their defiance of Germany, hardly more con- 
sonant with her own views than the German Princes' tion to 
tactless outcry. When her ministers introduced, at m ent. a " 
the opening of Parliament (February 4, 1864), expres- 
sions into the Queen's speech which she regarded as 
committing England to active interference on behalf 
of Denmark, she insisted on their removal. She 
substituted for their ambiguous menaces of Germany 
the following colourless paragraph: 'Her Majesty 
has been unremitting in her endeavours to bring about 
a peaceful settlement of the differences which have 
arisen between Germany and Denmark, and to ward 
off the dangers which might follow from a begin- 
ning of warfare in the north of Europe, and her 

general situation might possibly become worse if he remained away 
for a long time from the centre of things and renounced all influence. 
The most intelligent of our Liberals, the personal friends of the 
Crown Prince, had already regretted that the Queen and the Prince 
had so long stayed away from Berlin ; that all had kept away from 
whom the King might have heard something else than the views of 
the reactionary party. 

' The Queen listened in kindly fashion and with interest to those 
remarks, and after some talk on trivial matters I was dismissed.' 
Bernhardi, Aus dent, Leben, 1895, pt. v. 276-81. 




ference 1 " 

Majesty will continue her efforts in the interest of 

The Lon- A more critical stage in the eventful history of 
^ e duchies was reached a few weeks later, when 
hostilities actually broke out between Austria and 
Prussia on the one hand, and Denmark on the 
other. German troops invaded the disputed terri- 
tories. Although the Danes fought bravely, they were 
soon defeated, and the English Government, with the 
assent of the Queen, urged on the belligerents not 
merely an armistice, but a conference in London, so 
that an accommodation might be reached and the 
war abridged. The conference met on April 20. 
The Queen saw many of the envoys, and talked to 
them with freedom. She energetically recommended 
mutual concessions. But it was soon seen that the 
conference would prove abortive. In May it broke 
up without arriving at any decision. 

To the Queen's annoyance, before the conference 
dissolved, her Government championed with new 
vehemence the cause of the Danes, and warlike ope- 
rations in their behalf were again openly threatened. 
Palmerston told the Austrian Ambassador, Count 
Apponyi, that if the Austrian fleet went to the Baltic 
it would meet the British fleet there. The Queen, 
through Lord Granville, expressed grave dissatisfac- 
tion with the threat, and roused herself to greater 
efforts. As on a former occasion while Palmerston was 
Prime Minister, she appealed to the cabinet to aid her 
against the Prime Minister. She invited, too, in the 
service of peace, the private support of the leader of 
the Opposition, Lord Derby. She hinted that, if 

zeal for 


Parliament did not adopt a pacific and neutral policy, 
she would have resort to a dissolution, and let the 
country decide between her and her ministry. 

In the Queen's foreign correspondence, as the Her 
situation developed, she grew more and more scrupu- 
lous. Her German relatives continued to complain to pondence 
her of the encouragement that her ministers and 
subjects were giving the Danes. She deprecated the 
notion that she had it in her power to take any 
course to which her Government was adverse. 

The war in Schleswig-Holstein was resumed in The 
June with triumphant results to the German allies, 
who quickly routed the Danes and occupied the 
whole of the disputed duchies. Throughout these 
further operations England maintained the strictest 
neutrality, despite the occasional threats of public 
speakers. The credit of upholding in England a 
neutral policy was laid with justice, in diplomatic 
circles, at the Queen's door. 1 

Much of this agitation waged round the Princess Birth of 
of Wales, and while it was at its height a new interest 
was aroused in her. On January 8, 1864, she became, son. 

1 Cf. Duke Ernest's Memoirs; Count von Beust's Memoirs; 
Count Vitzthum von Eckstadt's Memoirs. The Queen's ministry, 
although it abstained from active interference, never affected ac- 
quiescence in the result of the struggle. At the close of the war, 
when the Prussian Government formally announced to the Eng- 
lish Government the joint occupation of Schleswig-Holstein, and 
attempted to justify its action, Lord Kussell informed Bismarck that 
the war was an act of unjust aggression and perfectly needless, that 
the British Government lamented the advantages that Austria and 
Prussia had gained by their success in hostilities, and urged that the 
people of the disputed duchies should still be allowed to choose 
their own ruler and enjoy 'free constitutional institutions.' Cf. 
PolitiscJie Briefe von Bismarcks, 1849-89, iii. 144-9. 




ing of 
statue at 

at Frogmore, the mother of a son (Albert Victor), who 
was in the direct line of succession to the throne. 
The happy event gave the Queen, in the heat of the 
political anxiety, immense gratification. It was soon 
followed by her first public appearance in London 
since her bereavement. On March 30 she attended a 
flower show at the Horticultural Gardens in London. 
She also permitted her birthday on May 24 to be 
celebrated for the first time since her widowhood with 
state formalities. 

In the autumn Duke Ernest and his wife were her 
guests at Balmoral, and German politics continued to 
be warmly debated. But she mainly devoted her 
time in the North to well-earned recreation. She 
made, as of old, many excursions in the neighbour- 
hood of her highland home. But her thoughts still 
reverted to the past. For the second time in Scotland 
she unveiled a statue of the Prince Consort, on this 
occasion at Perth ; and on her return to Windsor 
she paid a private visit to her late husband's founda- 
tion of Wellington College. 




A HEAVY addition to her trials was now awaiting the Com- 
Queen. A feeling was growing throughout the country 

that her seclusion was unduly prolonged, and was Queen's 

,-, , , , -n o -,. seclusion. 

contrary to the nation s interest. Expressions of dis- 

content were growing ominous. 

It was not within the knowledge of the majority Her 
of her subjects that she was performing the routine 

business of her station with all her ancient perti- subjects' 
nacity, in spite of her withdrawal from public cere- 
monials. She had never failed to give public signs 
of interest in social and non-political questions aftect- 
ing the people's welfare. On December 27, 1864, she, 
on her own responsibility, addressed a letter to the 
railway companies, calling their attention to the fre- 
quency of accidents, and to their responsibilities for 
the safety of their passengers. 1 In London, in March 

1 The letter contained the following passages : 
' It is not for her own safety that the Queen has wished to provide 
in thus calling the attention of the Company to the late disasters. 
Her Majesty is aware that when she travels extraordinary precautions 
are taken, but it is on account of her family, of those travelling upon 
her service, and of her people generally, that she expresses the hope 

A A 


1865, she visited the Consumption Hospital at 
Brompton. She watched with active interest all 
that passed, not merely on the continent of Europe, 
but in more distant parts of the globe. The assas- 
sination of President Lincoln on April 14 called forth 
all her sympathy, and she at once sent to the Presi- 
dent's widow an autograph letter of condolence, which 
excited enthusiasm on both sides of the Atlantic, and 
did much to relieve the tension that English sympathy 
with the Southern Confederates had introduced into 
the relations of the Governments of London and 

Her But at the same time her neglect of the cere- 

of cere- nionial functions of her office was patent, and it was 
monial held to diminish the dignity of Government. On three 
occasions she had failed to open Parliament in person. 
That ceremony most effectually brought into promi- 
nence the place of the Sovereign in the constitution ; 
it was greatly valued by ministers, and had in the 
past been rarely omitted. William IV., who had 
excused his attendance at the opening of Parliament 
in 1837 on the ground of the illness of his sister, the 
Duchess of Gloucester, had been warned that his 
absence contravened a principle of the constitution ; 
and Lord Melbourne, the Prime Minister, wrote to 
Lord John Eussell that that was the first occasion in 

that the same security may be insured for all as is so carefully pro- 
vided for herself. . . . The Queen hopes it is unnecessary for her 
to recall to the recollection of the railway directors the heavy re- 
sponsibility which they have assumed since they succeeded in secur- 
ing the monopoly of the means of travelling of almost the entire 
population of the country.' 


the history of the country on which a Sovereign had 
failed to present himself at the opening of Parlia- 
ment, except in cases of personal illness or infirmity. 1 
The Queen was known to be in the enjoyment of 
good health, and, despite her sorrow, had regained 
some of her native cheerfulness. Her absence from 
Parliament seemed to lack adequate justification. 
When, therefore, early in 1864 the rumour spread 
that she would resume her place on the throne at 
the opening of the new session, signs of popular 
satisfaction abounded. But she did not come, 
and the disappointment emphasised the popular dis- 

Eadicals, who had no enthusiasm for the monar- Vehe- 
chical principle, began to argue that the cost of the 
crown was out of all proportion to its practical uses. 
The press almost unanimously declared her attitude 
to the public to be a breach of public duty. The 
Queen, although pained from the first by the outcry, 
had no intention of yielding to popular clamour. She 
frankly defied the criticism of her conduct. On 
April 1, 1864, the ' Times ' newspaper in a leading 
article, after referring to a revived rumour ' that the 
Sovereign is about to break her protracted seclusion,' 
declared it to be futile on her part to attempt to exert 
' an abiding influence on public affairs without ap- 
pearing as a factor of them.' ' They who would 
isolate themselves from the world and its duties must 
cease to know and to care, as well as to act, and be 
content to let things take their course. This in effect 

1 Walpole's Russell, i. 275. 

A A 2 


they cannot do ; this they never do ; and the only 
result is a struggle in which they neither live nor 
die neither live, as they wish, in the past, nor do 
their duty in the " working world." ' 

The f On April 6, 1864, five days later, the Queen 

repfy. replied to the ' Times ' newspaper by a peremptory 
denial of the current report that she ' is about to 
resume the place in society which she occupied before 
her great affliction ; that is, that she is about again 
to hold levees and drawing-rooms in person, and to 
appear as before at Court balls, concerts, &c. This 
idea cannot be too explicitly contradicted.' 
Explana- ' She would not shrink,' she boldly proceeded, 
tion of < f rom anv personal sacrifice or exertion, however pain- 
tion. f ul. But there are other and higher duties than those 
of mere representation which are now thrown upon the 
Queen, alone and unassisted duties which she cannot 
neglect without injury to the public service, which 
weigh unceasingly upon her, overwhelming her with 
work and anxiety.' She had worked hard in the public 
service to the injury of her health and strength. 
The fatigue of mere state ceremonies, which could 
be equally well performed by other members of the 
royal family, she was unable to undergo. ' She would 
do what she could in the manner least trying to 
her health, strength, and spirits to meet the loyal 
wishes of her subjects ; to afford that support and 
countenance to society, and to give that encourage- 
ment to trade which was desired of her. More the 
Queen could not do, and more the kindness and good 
feeling of her people would surely not exact of her.' 


The Queen remained steadfast to her resolve, but Severity 
public opinion was not diverted from the channel in 
which it had begun to flow, and throughout the year 
the tide of censure continued to rise. On the third 
anniversary (December 14, 1864) of the Prince Consort's 
death, the ' Times ' newspaper renewed its attack. 

' The living (the Queen was reminded) have their 
claims as well as the dead ; and what claims can be 
more imperative than those of a great nation, and the 
society of one of the first European capitals? . . . 
It is impossible for a recluse to occupy the British 
throne without a gradual weakening of that authority 
which the Sovereign has been accustomed to exert. . . . 
For the sake of the Crown as well as of the public 
we would, therefore, beseech her Majesty to return 
to the personal exercise of her exalted functions. 
It may be that in time London may accustom itself 
to do without the Palace, but it is not desirable 
that we should attain that point of Republican sim- 
plicity. For every reason we trust that now that three 
years have elapsed, and every honour that affection 
and gratitude could pay to the memory of the Prince 
Consort has been offered, her Majesty will think of her 
subjects' claims and the duties of her high station, 
and not postpone them longer to the indulgence of an 
unavailing grief.' On September 28, 1865, a car- 
toon in ' Punch ' portrayed the Queen as the statue 
of Hermione in Shakespeare's ' Winter's Tale,' while 
Britannia figuring as Paulina was represented as 
addressing to her the words : ' 'Tis time ; descend ; 
be stone no more ' (v. iii. 99). 


Partial The violence and persistence of the denunciations 

irfher n Brought with them a partial reaction ; chivalrous defen- 

favour. ders pointed to the natural womanly sentiment which 

explained if it did not justify the Queen's retirement. 

In the first number of the ' Pall Mall Gazette,' which 

appeared on February 7, 1865, the day of the opening 

of a new Parliament, the first article, headed ' The 

Queen's Seclusion,' sympathetically sought to modify 

public hostility. 

John A more influential voice came to her support some 

defence S of mon ths later. At a great Liberal meeting at St. 
her. James's Hall on December 4, 1866, after Mr. A. S. 

Ayrton, member of Parliament for the Tower Ham- 
lets, had denounced the Queen's neglect of public duty 
in no sparing terms, John Bright, the Eadical orator, 
who was present, brought his eloquence to her defence 
and said with fine feeling : ' I am not accustomed to 
stand up in defence of those who are the possessors 
of crowns. But I think there has been, by many 
persons, a great injustice done to the Queen in refer- 
ence to her desolate and widowed position ; and I 
venture to say this, that a woman, be she the Queen 
of a great realm, or be she the wife of one of your 
labouring men, who can keep alive in her heart a 
great sorrow for the lost object of her life and affec- 
tion, is not at all likely to be wanting in a great 
and generous sympathy with you.' Mr. Ayrton en- 
deavoured to explain his words, but was refused a 

Her re- Nevertheless the agitation was unrepressed, and 

to a small extent the Queen gave way. In 1866 she 


opened Parliament in person once again, but she leave her 
declined formally to resume her place in public life, men t." 
and grew to regard the complaint of her seclusion as 
unmerited persecution. But her confidential advisers 
deprecated public notice of the journalistic invec- 




Visit to 

of the 



THERE was force in the Queen's contention that she 
was always hard at work. Apart from public ques- 
tions, which were rarely absent from her mind, the 
individual fortunes of her numerous kindred con- 
stantly filled her thoughts. In the autumn of 1865 
domestic matters largely occupied her. Accompanied 
by her family, she paid another visit to her husband's 
native country, in order to unveil, in the presence of 
his relatives, a statue to him at Coburg (August 26). 
Twenty-four of her near kinsmen and kinswomen 
attended the ceremony. 

While at Coburg the Queen approved a matri- 
monial project affecting her third and eldest un- 
married daughter, Helena, who had of late years been 
her constant companion. Largely at the instance 
of her brother-in-law, Duke Ernest, the Princess 
was betrothed to Prince Christian of Schleswig- 
Holstein - Sonderburg - Augustenburg, the younger 
brother of that Duke Frederick whose claim to the 
duchies of Schleswig and Holstein had been pressed 
by the smaller German States on Denmark and on 
the Prussian-Austrian alliance with results disastrous 


to himself. After the recent Schleswig-Holstein war 
Bismarck had deprived Duke Frederick and his family 
of their property and standing, and the claimant's 
younger brother, Prince Christian, who had pre- 
viously been an officer in the Prussian army, had 
been compelled to retire. In view of recent events 
the match was calculated strongly to excite political 
feeling in Germany. The sympathy felt by the 
Crown Prince and Princess for the injured house of 
Augustenburg rendered the match congenial to them ; 
but it was viewed with no favour at Berlin, and the 
Queen was freely reproached there with a wanton 
interference in the domestic affairs of Germany. She 
unmistakably identified herself with the arrange- 
ment, and by her private munificence met the diffi- 
culty incident to the narrow pecuniary resources of 
the young Prince. 

The Queen returned to England in good health Dissolu- 
and spirits, meeting at Ostend her uncle Leopold fParlia- 

for what proved to be the last time. Events in ent 

the autumn unfortunately intensified her sense of 1865. 

isolation. In the summer of 1865 a dissolution of 
Parliament had become necessary ; it was in its seventh 
year, and the ministry's hold on the House of Commons 
was slackening. In the result the Liberals slightly 
increased their majority in the new House of Commons ; 
they numbered 361 to 294 Conservatives. But, before 
the new Parliament met, it was faced by disaster. 
Palmerston, the Prime Minister, died on October 18, Death of 
two days before his eighty-first birthday. ston^Oct. 

The Queen had known Palmerston as a minister of l8 l86 5 


the Crown from almost the hour of her accession, 
twenty-eight years before, and although she never 
was in genuine sympathy with him, and had suffered 
bitter anguish from his conduct towards her, his 
removal broke for her a strong link with the past. 
In the presence of death the Queen magnanimously 
forgot all the trials that the minister had caused her. 
She only felt, she said, how one by one her servants 
and ministers were taken from her. She acknowledged 
the admiration which Lord Pahnerston's acts, even 
those that met with her own disapproval, had roused in 
his fellow-countrymen, and, justly interpreting public 
sentiment, she directed that a public funeral in West- 
minster Abbey should be accorded him. She after- 
wards paid Lady Palmerston a touching visit of con- 

Lord Without hesitation the Queen turned to Lord John, 

Prime the oldest minister in her service, who in 1861 had 
Minister. gone to tne House of Lords as Earl Russell. She bade 
Lord Russell take Palmerston's place. The change 
was rendered grateful to her, not by any special con- 
fidence in the value of Lord John's political views or 
experience, but because his promotion enabled her to 
bestow the office of Foreign Secretary, which he had 
hitherto held, on her trusted friend, Lord Clarendon. 
Another necessary change in the constitution of the 
ministry caused her anxiety. Gladstone, the Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer, became leader of the House 
of Commons in succession to Palmerston. She had 
admired Gladstone when he was the active lieutenant 
of Peel, but his opinions had since inclined towards 


democratic liberalism, a direction which was obnoxious 
to her. Although she had long known him personally, 
his new and dignified position brought her for the 
first time into close personal relations with him, and 
on nearer acquaintance his manner failed to be con- 
genial to her. In subsequent years Gladstone was to 
play a part in the drama of her life not wholly unlike 
that which Palmerston had abandoned only with his 

On December 10 the Queen s-uffered another loss, Death 
which brought her acute sorrow the death of King K ^ s O f 
Leopold. She had depended on him almost since theBel- 
her birth for advice on both public and private 
questions. Since the Prince Consort's death her 
reliance on him in her private affairs had steadily 
increased. In St. George's Chapel, Windsor, she at 
once placed a monument to his memory, beside the 
tomb of his first wife, Princess Charlotte, George IV.'s 
only lawful child, and in the inscription she recorded 
that he held the place of a father in her affections. 1 
There was no member of the Saxe-Coburg family, of 
which henceforth she was herself the head, who could 
take her uncle's place. None of her relatives were 
qualified to fill the position in her circle of advisers 
which his death left vacant. Her brother-in-law 
Ernest, who was vain and quixotic, looked up to her 
for counsel, and in his judgment she put no faith. 
Of her children she was the mentor who offered 
advice and sought none in return. In her family 

1 Cf. Saint-Ren Tallandier's Le Roi Leopold et La Eeine 
Victoria. 2 vols. Paris, 1878. 


circle it was now, more than before, on herself alone 
that she had to rely. 

The But she recognised that the future had calls upon 

her as well as the past. The forthcoming marriage 
Parlia- of Princess Helena coincided with the coming of age 
Feb.*' 10 ^ ner secon d son > Prince Alfred. For her son and 
1866. daughter the Queen was anxious that due pecuniary 
provision should be made by Parliament, and the 
public temper did not give her confidence in the issue. 
This circumstance, coupled with the fact that a new 
Parliament was assembling, led her to yield to the 
pressure of her ministers, and once more, after an 
interval of five years, open the Legislature in person 
(February 10, 1866). She came to London from 
Windsor only for the day, and she deprived the 
ceremony of its ancient splendour. No flourish of 
trumpets announced her entrance. The gilded state 
carriage was replaced by one of more modern build, 
though it was drawn as of old by the eight cream- 
coloured horses. The Queen, instead of wearing the 
royal robes of state, had them laid on a chair at her 
side, and her speech was read not by herself, as had 
been her habit hitherto, but by the Lord Chancellor. 
The old procedure was never restored by the Queen, 
and on the six subsequent occasions that she opened 
Parliament before the close of her reign the formali- 
ties followed the new precedent of 1866. She was 
dressed in black, wearing a Marie Stuart cap and the 
blue ribbon of the Garter. During the ceremony she 
sat perfectly motionless, and manifested little con- 
sciousness of what was proceeding. A month later 


she showed the direction that her thoughts were 
still taking by instituting the Albert medal, a new 
decoration for those endangering their lives in 
seeking to rescue others from perils of the sea 
(March 7, 1866). 

Later in the year she again forsook her seclusion, Visits to 
and, for the first time after the Prince's death, revisited sho r " 
Aldershot. She went there twice to review troops 
on March 13 and on April 5. On the second occasion 
she gave new colours to the 89th Eegiment, which she 
had first honoured thus in 1833, and she now bestowed 
on the regiment the title ' The Princess Victoria's 
Eegiment,' permitting the officers to wear on their 
forage-caps the badge of a princess's coronet. 

The summer perceptibly illumined her gloom. It Two 
was brightened by two marriages in her immediate a g es ." 
circle. Not only her daughter Helena, but her cousin 
and friend, Princess Mary of Cambridge, had recently 
become engaged. The latter was betrothed to the 
Duke of Teck, who was congenial to the Queen by 
reason of his Saxe-Coburg connections. He was her 
second cousin, being the son, by a morganatic mar- 
riage, of Duke Alexander Constantine of Wiirtemberg, 
whose mother, of the Saxe-Coburg family, was elder 
sister of the Duchess of Kent, and thus the Queen's 
aunt. On June 12, dressed in deep black, she was 
present at Princess Mary's wedding, which took place 
at Kew. On July 5 she attended the solemnisation 
of marriage at Windsor of her third daughter, Helena, 
with Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein. 

Parliament had been conciliatory in the matter 




Grants to 











offer of 

of grants to her children. Princess Helena received 
a dowry of 30,000?. and an annuity of 6,OOOZ., while 
Prince Alfred received an annuity of 15,OOOZ., to be 
raised to 25,OOOZ. in case of his marriage. There 
was, contrary to expectation, no opposition to either 

But throughout the session the position of the 
Government and the course of public affairs in 
Germany filled the Queen with alarm. It was clear 
that the disputes between Prussia and Austria in 
regard to the final settlement of the conquered duchies 
of Schleswig-Holstein were to issue in a desperate 
conflict between the two Powers. Not otherwise 
could their long rivalry for the headship of the 
German States be finally decided. The prospect of 
war caused the Queen acute distress. The merits of 
the quarrel were blurred in her eyes by domestic 
preoccupations. The struggle hopelessly divided her 
family in Germany. The Crown Prince was iden- 
tified with Prussia ; but her son-in-law of Hesse, 
her cousin of Hanover, and her brother-in-law of 
Saxe-Coburg were supporters of Austria. The likeli- 
hood that her two sons-in-law of Prussia and Hesse 
would fight against each other was especially terrify- 
ing to her. Her former desire to see Prussia strong 
and self-reliant was now in conflict with her fear that 
Prussian predominance meant ruin for all the smaller 
States of Germany, to which she was personally 

In the early months of 1866 the Queen eagerly 
inquired of Lord Clarendon how best to direct her 


influence to the maintenance of peace. She bade 
Lord Eussell, the Prime Minister, take every step to 
prevent war ; and in March 1866 her ministry, with 
her assent, proposed to the King of Prussia that she 
should act as mediator. Bismarck, however, brusquely 
declined her advances. In letters to the King of 
Prussia he heaped terms of contumely on the head 
of the Queen, whom he regarded as seeking to foil 
for selfish domestic reasons his policy of humiliat- 
ing Austria and giving Prussia the supremacy of 
Central Europe. He declaimed against the baneful in- 
fluence she exerted in Prussian affairs. Through 
her daughter, she dominated the Crown Prince. She 
prompted the Duke of Saxe-Coburg, who shared (Bis- 
marck asserted) in every intrigue that was likely to 
undermine Prussian power. 1 

The Queen's perplexities were increased in May Q uee n 
by her Government's domestic difficulties. Lord and the 
Eussell warned her of the probable defeat of the Bill. 
Government on the Eeform Bill, which they had 
lately introduced into the House of Commons. The 
Queen had already acknowledged the desirability of 
a prompt settlement of the long-debated extension of 
the franchise. She had even told Lord Eussell that 
vacillation or indifference respecting it on the Govern- 
ment's part, now that the question was in the air, 
weakened the power of the Crown. 

But the continental complication reduced home Herdefi- 
politics to small dimensions in the Queen's eye. She Lord 
declined to recognise a Eeform Bill to be a matter Russell. 

1 Bismarck's PolitiscJie Briefe. 


of the first importance, and she wrote with heat to 
the Prime Minister, Lord Eussell, that, whatever hap- 
pened to his franchise proposals in the Commons, she 
would permit no resignation of the ministers until the 
foreign peril was averted. Her ministers begged her 
to remain at Windsor in May instead of paying her 
usual spring visit to Balmoral, so that she might be 
at hand in case they were unable to carry on the 
government. She declined, with the remark that they 
were bound at all hazards to avert a ministerial 

Lord In June the worst happened, alike at home and 

resigna- 8 abroad. War was declared between Prussia and 
tion. Austria, and Lord Russell's Government was defeated 
while its Eeform Bill was in committee in the House 
of Commons. On June 19 Lord Russell forwarded 
his resignation to Balmoral ; he deprecated a dissolu- 
tion at so early a date after the general election. 
The Queen was filled with anger. She wrote protest- 
ing that she was taken completely by surprise. ' In 
the present state of Europe,' she said, * and the apathy 
which Lord Russell himself admits to exist in the 
country on the subject of Reform, the Queen cannot 
think it consistent with the duty which the ministers 
owe to herself and the country that they should 
abandon their posts in consequence of their defeat on 
a matter of detail (not of principle) in a question 
which can never be settled unless all sides are pre- 
pared to make concessions ; and she must therefore 
ask them to reconsider their decision.' 1 Lord Russell 
quickly retorted that his continuance in office was 

1 Walpole, Lord John Eussell, ii. 415. 


impracticable. He declined to retract his resignation, 
and with his retirement and that of his ministry ended 
his long public life. 

The Queen regarded his withdrawal as amounting Lord 
to desertion, and her anger did not readily cool. Failing p^e 
to hasten her departure from Balmoral, she suffered Minister, 
the Government for some days to lie in abeyance. At 
length the Conservative leader, Lord Derby, 1 accepted 
her request to form a new ministry, with Disraeli as 
Chancellor of the Exchequer and leader of the House 
of Commons (July 6, 1866). Disraeli was called anew 
to the captaincy of a House of Commons which was 
less than one year old, and in which the party majority 
against him numbered nearly seventy. The perils of 
the new Government were consequently great, but the 
Queen was hopeful of its ability to defend itself. She 
welcomed back to office with especial warmth Lord 
Malmesbury, who became Lord Privy Seal, and General 
Peel, who was again Minister of War. Lord Stanley, 
the Prime Minister's son, became Foreign Secretary, 
and of him she always cherished grateful recollection. 

1 The members of the cabinet were as follows : 

First Lord of the Treasury . Lord Derby. 
Lord Chancellor . . . Lord Chelmsford. 
President of Council . . . Duke of Buckingham. 
Privy Seal .... Lord Malmesbury. 
Chancellor of the Exchequer Mr. Disraeli. 
Home Secretary . . . Mr. Spencer Walpole. 
Foreign Secretary . . . Lord Stanley (son of 

the Prime Minister). 

Secretary for the Colonies . Lord Carnarvon. 
Secretary for War . . . GeneralJonathan Peel. 

B B 


Prussia Meanwhile the Austro-Prussian war was waging in 

Hanover Germany, and many of the Queen's relatives were in 
the field. The Crown Prince was alone fighting for 
Prussia, the rest were standing by Austria. She was 
in constant communication with her kindred on the 
two sides, and her anxiety was intense. She took 
charge of the children of Princess Alice of Hesse- 
Darmstadt at Osborne, and she sent their mother at 
Darmstadt much linen for the wounded. The result 
of the conflict was not long in doubt. At the outset, 
the rapid invasion of Hanover by Prussian troops 
drove the Queen's cousin, the blind King George, 
from his throne, and summarily blotted out the 
kingdom, converting it into a Prussian province. 
' It is too dreadful,' she telegraphed to Duke Ernest 
in reply to his announcement of the distressing news, 
June 28, 1866 ; ' where is the poor King and his son ? ' 
The Queen bitterly felt the humiliation involved in 
the extinction of a kingdom which had long been iden- 

Secretary for India . . . Lord Cranborne (who 

succeeded as Marquis 
of Salisbury, 1868). 

President of the Board of Trade Sir Stafford Northcote 

(afterwards Earl of 

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lan- 
caster Lord Devon. 

First Commissioner of Works . Lord John Manners 

(afterwards the Duke 
of Eutland). 

First Lord of the Admiralty . Sir John Pakington 

(afterwards Lord 

President of the Poor Law Board Mr. Gathorne Hardy 

(afterwards Vis- 
count Cranbrook). 


tified with England. She was deeply interested in 
arrangements for the future safety of the expelled 
royal family of Hanover, but came to agree with 
Disraeli and the King of Prussia that their settlement 
in England might provoke further tension between 
England and Prussia. 1 The King of Hanover finally, 
with the Queen's full assent, made his residence at 
Paris. But in the welfare of him and of his family, 
especially of his daughter Frederica, whom she called 
' the poor lily of Hanover,' her affectionate interest 
never waned. 

Elsewhere Prussia's triumph in the war was as End of 
quickly assured. The Austrians were decisively de- ^J| s 
feated at the battle of Sadowa near Koniggratz on war. 
July 3, 1866, and the conflict was at an end seven 
weeks after it had begun. Meanwhile the Queen 
suffered more disappointments. Italy had joined 
Prussia against Austria. Austria was summarily de- 
prived of Venetia, her last hold on the Italian penin- 
sula, and the union of Italy under Victor Emanuel 
a project with which the Queen had no sympathy- 
was virtually accomplished. 

Thus Prussia was finally placed at the head of the 
whole of Western Germany ; its accession to the impe- 
rial crown of Germany was in sight, and Austria was 
compelled to retire from the German Confederation. 
It was with mixed feelings and with more misgiving 
than gratification that the Queen saw her early hopes 
of a strong Prussia realised. The price of the victory 

1 Appendix to Bismarck's Gedanken u. Erinnerungen, i. 169-170 
Letter 193. 

B B 2 


was abolition of the kingdom of Hanover, loss of 
territory for her son-in-law of Hesse-Darmstadt, and 
reduction of power and dignity for the other small 
German States with which she was lineally associated. 
Moreover, the undisguised contempt with which Bis- 
marck, who was the minister mainly responsible for 
Prussia's triumph, treated her daughter and son-in- 
law, the Crown Prince and Princess, checked in her 
the elation of spirit that she had thought in earlier 
days to derive from every conspicuously forward step 
in the career of Prussian power. 




THE Queen's withdrawal to the quiet of Balmoral Rest at 
in October gave welcome relief after such severe Balmoral - 
political strains. She repeated at Dunkeld a short 
sojourn, which she had made the year before, with 
the lately widowed Duchess of Athol, a favourite lady 
of the bedchamber, with whom her sympathy was 

The Queen was persuaded to take part in two The 
public ceremonials before the end of the year. She Aber" &t 
opened the Aberdeen Waterworks at Invercannie deen. 
(October 16, 1866), when for the first time in her 
widowhood she herself read the answer to the address 
of the Lord Provost. Another public ceremonial in 
which she took part after her return south revealed 
the vast store of loyalty which, despite detraction and 
criticism, the Queen still had at her command. On 
November 30 she visited Wolverhampton to unveil a The 
statue of the Prince Consort in the market-place. It $*iver- 
was the earliest mark of respect that any English hampton. 
municipality had paid his memory. She expressed 
a desire that her route should be so arranged as to 
give the inhabitants, both poor and rich, full oppor- 
tunities of showing her respect. A network of streets 


measuring a course of nearly three miles was traversed. 
The Queen acknowledged that ' the heartiness and 
cordiality of the reception ' left nothing to be desired, 
and her spirits rose. 
The bio- The perpetuation of her husband's memory 

grapty of was s ^i a mani endeavour of her life, and she now 


Consort enlisted biography in her service. At her wish Sir 

Arthur Helps edited for her a collection of the Prince's 
' Speeches and Addresses ' in 1862. She inscribed 
copies, which she sent to friends, with the words 
'from his broken-hearted widow, Victoria.' Subse- 
quently, under her direction her private secretary, 
General Grey, who had served the Prince in the same 
position, set to work on a minute account of the early 
years of the Prince Consort. The Queen designed the 
volume, which was based on confidential and intimate 
family correspondence, for private distribution among 
friends and relatives. It was sent to press in 1866. 
It brought the Prince's life only to the date of his 
marriage, but interest was manifested in it, and in 
1867 the Queen placed the book at the disposal of 
the wider audience of the general public. The work, 
when it was published in the ordinary way, was well 
received. At the Queen's request Bishop Wilberforce 
reviewed it in the ' Quarterly.' He described it as a 
cry from the Queen's heart for her people's sympathy, 
and he said that her cry was answered. 1 

Choice The Queen at once resolved that the biography 

Theodore snou ^ be continued, but General Grey's heavy occu- 
Martin as pations did not permit him to proceed further with 
phef. ra " the task. Thereupon, in August 1866, the Queen 

1 Life of Wilberforce, in. 236. 


consulted Sir Arthur Helps respecting the choice of 
a successor. She wished the biography of the Prince's 
later life, which so nearly concerned her own, to be, 
she wrote, ' as faithful a representation as it possibly 
can be.' Sir Arthur recommended Mr. (afterwards 
Sir Theodore) Martin, a distinguished man of letters, 
who had two very marked qualifications for the work 
he was a German scholar and was free from political 
bias. Sir Theodore Martin was offered, and with 
some hesitation undertook, the great work. He 
fully justified the choice, and the Queen soon came 
to regard him as one of her most trusted personal 
friends. Much of her time was thenceforth devoted 
to the sorting of her and her husband's private 
papers and correspondence, and to the selection of 
extracts for publication. Every chapter as it was 
completed was carefully read and criticised by the 
Queen. She was quick to detect and correct errors 
in dates and names, and to suggest at times tactful 
modifications of language. But she left the bio- 
grapher free to map out and develop his narrative 
as seemed best to him. She was always insistent 
that at all points the facts should be fully told. 

The work was designed on an ample scale, the Character 
first volume appearing in 1874, and the fifth and last 
in 1880. Amazement was felt even by her own 
children at the want of reserve which characterised 
their father's biography. The whole truth best 
vindicated him, she explained, and it was unde- 
sirable to wait before telling it till those who had 
known him had passed away. The German side 
of his character, which alienated sympathy in his 




Her faith 
in its 

Her dis- 
like of the 
' Greville 

tion of 

' Leaves 
from a 

lifetime, could only be apprehended in a full expo- 
sition. Both she and he would suffer, she said, were 
the work not carried through. 1 As the work pro- 
gressed her conviction of the wisdom of her plan 
steadily grew upon her. 

At the same time she deprecated indiscretion or 
levity in writing of the royal family, and in 1874 she 
was greatly irritated by the publication of the first 
part of the ' Greville Memoirs.' She judged the work, 
by its freedom of comment on her predecessors, to 
be disrespectful to the monarchy. Henry Eeeve, the 
editor, was informed of her displeasure, and she was 
not convinced by his defence that monarchy had been 
injured by George IV.'s depravity and William IV.'s 
absurdity, and had only been placed on a sure footing 
by her own virtues. 2 

The Queen was not content to leave the whole of the 
burden of setting the true facts of her life before her 
people in the hands of others. She herself attempted 
authorship in order to help forward that design. To 
illustrate the happy character of her married life, she 
in 1867 privately issued for circulation among friends 
some extracts from her own regularly kept diary under 
the title of ' Leaves from a Journal of our Life in the 
Highlands from 1848 to 1861.' This she was induced 
to publish at the beginning of the following year 
(1868). She derived aid in preparing the manuscript 
for press from Sir Arthur Helps, and the unaffected 
simplicity and naivete of her narrative greatly at- 
tracted the public, who saw in the book, with its 

1 Princess Alice's Letters, pp. 333-5. 
- Laugbton, Memoir of Henry Reeve. 


frank descriptions of her private doings, proof of her 
wish to share her joys and sorrows with her people. 

The year 1867 abounded in political incidents Cordial 
which distracted the Queen's attention amid her 

literary occupations. With her new Conservative Lord ^ 
ministers her relations were invariably cordial. Their ministry. 
views on foreign politics were mainly identical with 
her own, and there was none of the friction which had 
marked her relations with Palmer ston and Lord 
Eussell. The new ministers' sympathetic tone led her 
to modify still further her habits of seclusion. She 
bore public testimony to the harmony existing between 
them and herself by consenting once more to open 
Parliament in person on February 5. In May she 
again appeared in public, when she laid the foundation 
of the Eoyal Albert Hall, which was erected in her 
husband's memory. Her voice, in replying to the 
address of welcome, was scarcely audible. It had been 
with a struggle, she said, that she had nerved herself 
to take part in the proceedings. The mental strain 
which public ceremonials imposed on her was evident 
to all. 







Her dis- 
trust of 



THE chief event of the year in domestic politics 
was the passage of Disraeli's Eeform Bill through 
Parliament. The Queen encouraged the Government 
to settle the question, which had been more or less 
agitating the country for sixteen years. Although 
she had no enthusiasm for sweeping reforms, and 
regarded domestic legislation as of small importance 
compared with movements in foreign diplomacy, her 
old Whig training inclined her to regard extensions of 
the franchise with favour. She deemed the widening 
of the electorate of advantage to the monarchy and to 
the foundations of her government. 

But now, as always, foreign affairs were her main 
concern. The European sky had not grown clear, 
despite the storms of the previous year. The Queen 
was particularly perturbed in the early months of 
1867 by renewed fear of her former ally, Napoleon III. 
Although her personal correspondence with him was 
still as amiable as of old, her distrust of his political 
intentions was greater than ever, and she employed 
all her influence to foil what she believed to be his 
dangerous purposes. It was long generally recognised 
that he was seeking an opportunity to annex to France 

1867] FOREIGN AFFAIES IN 1867 379 

the eastern bank of the Ehine, and the Queen in 1863 
had plainly warned him against so serious a menace 
to the peace of Europe. The success of her first 
remonstrance was generally admitted. King Leopold 
in 1863 pointed out to the Crown Prince of Germany 
that the Queen's emphatically expressed disapproval 
of Napoleon's ambitious design on the integrity of 
German territory had deterred him from pursuing it. 
The King of Prussia at the same time assured the 
sceptical Bismarck that the Queen's calm and prudent 
conduct had, in the opinion of all her relatives, 
preserved Germany from French invasion. 

In 1867 Napoleon was again fomenting disquiet. The Lux- 
He professed to detect danger to France in the affair!^ 
semi-independence of the frontier state the duchy of 
Luxemburg which lay between France and Germany. 
The new conditions which Prussian predominance 
created in North Germany had given that Power the 
right at will to fortify the duchy on its French border, 
which had hitherto been unprotected. Napoleon 
objected to the establishment of any new German 
armaments on the boundaries of France. He there- 
fore negotiated with the King of Holland, the suzerain 
of the duchy of Luxemburg, for the annexation of the 
duchy to the King's dominions, or he was willing to 
see it annexed to Belgium if some small strip of 
Belgian territory were assigned to him. Prussia raised 
protests and Belgium declined to entertain Napoleon's 
suggestion. Both German and French susceptibilities 
were excited, and the shadow of war seemed to darken 
Central Europe. The Queen renewed her action of 
1863, and vehemently appealed to her Government to 


urge on all the Powers concerned the necessity of 
peace. Her appeal had its effect. A conference met 
in London (May 11 to 14, 1867), with the result that 
the independence of the duchy of Luxemburg was 
guaranteed by the Powers, though its fortresses were 
to be dismantled. Napoleon was disappointed by his 
failure to secure any material advantage from the 
settlement. He was inclined to credit the Queen with 
thwarting his ambition. 

Murder of His relations with her endured a further strain 
Maxi- r nex ^ month when his fatal abandonment in Mexico of 
milian, her friend and connection, the Archduke Maximilian, 
1867. became known. In 1864 Napoleon had managed to 
persuade the Archduke, the Austrian Emperor's 
brother, who had married the Queen's first cousin, 
Princess Charlotte of Belgium, and had frequently 
been a favoured guest at Windsor, to accept the im- 
perial throne which a French army was setting up in 
republican Mexico. Few of the inhabitants of the 
country acknowledged the title of the new Emperor, 
and in 1866, after the close of the American civil 
war, the Government at Washington warned Napoleon 
that, unless his troops were summarily withdrawn 
from the North American continent, force would be 
used to expel them. The Emperor pusillanimously 
offered no resistance to the demand, and the French 
army was withdrawn, but the Archduke declined to 
leave with it. His wife, Princess Charlotte of Bel- 
gium, as soon as she realised her husband's peril, 
came to Europe to beg protection for him, and to the 
Queen's lasting sorrow her anxieties permanently 
affected her intellect. She was thenceforth confined 

1867] FOREIGN AFFAIRS IN 1867 381 

in a lunatic asylum. Meanwhile the inhabitants of 
Mexico restored the Eepublic, and the Archduke 
Maximilian was shot in the city by order of a court- 
martial on June 20, 1867. 

The catastrophe appalled the Queen, whose per- The 
sonal attachment to its victims was great. She wrote {j^" s 
a frank letter of condolence to the Archduke's brother, 
the Emperor of Austria, and spoke of Napoleon as 
politically past redemption. But political disagree- 
ment with the Emperor and disgust at his reckless 
courses failed to dimmish the Queen's affection for 
the Empress of the French, and she privately enter- 
tained her as her guest at Osborne in July, while her 
sorrow for the fate of the Emperor Maximilian and 
Empress Charlotte was uppermost in her heart. Nor, 
when misfortune overtook the Emperor himself in 
1870, did she permit her repugnance to his political 
action or principles to repress her sense of com- 

While the Mexican tragedy was nearing its Foreign 
last scene the second Great Exhibition was taking reigns at 
place at Paris. Napoleon III., despite the universal Court, 
suspicion that he excited, succeeded in entertaining 
many royal personages, among them the Tsar 
Alexander II., the King of Prussia, Abdul Aziz, the 
Sultan of Turkey, Ismail Pasha, the Khedive of Egypt, 
and the Prince of Wales. The Queen's ministers 
recommended that she should renew the old hospitali- 
ties of her Court and invite the royal visitors in 
Paris to be her guests. The Queen of Prussia had 
spent several days with her in June before the arrival 
of the Empress Eugenie, but she demurred to acting 






Aug. 22, 

as hostess in state on a large scale, or to entertaining 
sovereigns who were not already her personal friends. 
She was, however, persuaded, with a view to con- 
firming her influence in Eastern Europe, which she 
always regarded as of importance to British interests, 
to entertain Abdul Aziz, the Sultan of Turkey, and to 
receive Ismail Pasha, the Khedive of Egypt. The 
Khedive had, uninvited, announced his intention of 
coming, and was in the country from July 6 to 18. 

No Sultan of Turkey had yet set foot on English 
soil, and the visit, which seemed to set the seal on 
the old political alliance between the two Govern- 
ments, evoked intense popular excitement. The Sultan 
was magnificently received on his arrival on July 12, 
and was lodged in Buckingham Palace. Though the 
Queen took as small a part as possible in the festivi- 
ties, she did not withdraw herself altogether from 
them. Princess Alice helped her in extending hospi- 
talities to her guest, who lunched with her in state 
at Windsor and greatly appreciated her attentions. 
A great naval review by the Queen at Spithead was 
arranged in his honour, and he accompanied his 
hostess on board her yacht, the * Victoria and Albert.' 
The weather was bad, and amid a howling storm the 
Queen invested the Sultan with the Order of the 
Garter on the yacht's deck. The general effect of 
her hospitality was all that was wished. When the 
Sultan left on July 23 he exchanged with her highly 
complimentary telegrams. 

At Balmoral, in the autumn, she showed more 
than her usual energy. On her way thither she 
made an excursion in the Scottish border country, 

1867] FOREIGN AFFAIES IN 1867 383 

staying for two days with the Duke and Duchess of 
Koxburgh at Floors Castle, near Kelso (August 21 
to 23). On the 22nd she visited Melrose Abbey, and 
thence proceeded to Abbotsford, where she was re- 
ceived by its tenant, Mr. Hope Scott, and was greatly 
interested in the memorials of Sir Walter Scott. In 
the study, at her host's request, she wrote her name 
in Scott's journal, an act of which she modestly wrote 
in her diary : ' I felt it to be a presumption in me to 
do.' Subsequently she unveiled with some formality 
a memorial to Prince Albert at Deeside, and in Sep- 
tember visited the Duke of Eichmond at Glenfiddich. 

Unfortunately, when she returned next month to Con- 
Windsor, all her old depression was renewed. The 
passion for seclusion and privacy which her husband's sion 
death had roused in her had lost little of its intensity 
at the close of the six years that had elapsed since 
her bereavement. 




Feb. 1868. 

for him. 



EAELY in 1868 the Queen accepted, for the seventh 
time in her experience, a new Prime Minister, and one 
with whom her intimacy was to be greater than with 
any of his six predecessors. In February Lord Derby 
resigned owing to failing health. The choice of a 
successor lay between Disraeli and Lord Derby's son, 
Lord Stanley. Disraeli's steady work for his party 
for nearly a quarter of a century seemed to entitle 
him to the great reward. Since 1850 he had been the 
chief of the Conservatives in the House of Commons, 
and by his gifts of speech and dexterous party manage- 
ment had done more than any of his colleagues to 
strengthen their position in the country. The Queen 
without any hesitation conferred the prize on 

As her Prime Minister Disraeli from the first 
confirmed her recent good opinion of him. Her rela- 
tions with him had been steadily improving. Though 
she acknowledged that he was eccentric, his efforts to 
please her convinced her of his devotion to the Crown. 
His bearing was invariably courteous, and, despite 
his cynicism and sardonic temperament, she believed 


in his genuine kindness of heart. His deepening 
enthusiasm for the monarchical principle of govern- 
ment and his growing faith in the imperial destiny of 
England strongly appealed to her, and by the adroit- 
ness of his counsel he increased her sense of power 
and dignity. His power in Parliament was insecure ; 
his own followers were in a minority, and the Queen 
was soon face to face with a new ministerial crisis. 
But in that crisis Disraeli contrived that she should 
play not unwillingly an unwontedly prominent part. 1 

In April Gladstone brought forward his first and Glad- 
main resolution in favour of the disestablishment of the Irish 
the Irish Protestant Church a measure which had Church, 
been long clamoured for by the Eoman Catholic popu- 
lation of Ireland and had been formally admitted into 
the official Liberal programme. The Government 
resisted Gladstone's motion, and on May 1 was sharply 
defeated by a majority of sixty-five. Next day 
Disraeli went to Windsor and tendered his resignation 
to the Queen. He had held the post of Prime 
Minister barely three months. 

Personally the Queen disliked Gladstone's pro- Queen's 
posal. She regarded the Established Church through- Sfsestatf- 
out her dominions as intimately associated with the lishment. 
Crown, and interference with it seemed to her to 
impair her prerogative. But as a constitutional 
sovereign she realised that the future of the Church 
Establishment in Ireland or elsewhere was no matter 
for her own decision, whatever were her convictions ; 

1 Almost all the members of Lord Derby's cabinet took office 
under Disraeli. The main change was the substitution of Lord 
Cairns for Lord Chelmsford in the office of Lord Chancellor. 


it was for the decision of her Parliament and people. 
In the present emergency she desired the people to 
have full time in which to make up their minds 
regarding the fate of the Irish Church. But the 
position of affairs was complex. 

Disraeli's The simplest course open to her was to accept 
reslgna- Disraeli's resignation, and to confer office on Glad- 
tion. stone. But in that event her Government would be 
committed instantly to Irish Disestablishment, and 
this result she resolved, if she could, to avoid. 
Disraeli pointed out that she could, if not escape, at 
least defer the evil moment by declining to accept his 
resignation and by dissolving Parliament. But that 
course involved especial difficulty. An immediate 
dissolution was for peculiar reasons undesirable, if 
not impossible. New constituencies had been created 
by the late Eeform Bill, and all parties wished that 
the electoral appeal should be made to these. The 
Scottish and Irish Eeform Bills and the Boundary 
Bills for the whole country which were required to 
complete the recent measure of electoral reform had 
yet to pass through their final stages. Consequently 
the Queen's refusal to accept the existing Govern- 
ment's resignation meant no early dissolution. It 
meant the continuance of Disraeli in office, in spite of 
his defeat, during the six months which were fully 
needed before all the arrangements for the appeal to 
the newly enfranchised electors could be accomplished. 
The The Opposition might decline to keep the Govern- 

tion S ment in power during that period, but in that case the 
Sovereign would not be the better disposed to offer 
them power. She would then in all probability, as 


she always could, insist on a dissolution before the 
new electoral reform was consummated. To such a 
step the Opposition had strong objection, for their 
chance of conspicuous victory in the country de- 
pended largely on their securing the suffrages of the 
new voters. 

Disraeli discussed the situation with the Queen in Queen 
great detail. Finally he left her to choose between ^dS- 
the only two possible alternatives which she or he soivePar- 
recognised the acceptance of his resignation or the iamen 
refusal of his resignation coupled with a resolve to 
appeal to the country six months later. After two 
days' consideration the Queen elected to take the 
second course. 

The Queen was prepared to accept full respon- 
sibility for her decision, and when Disraeli announced 
it to Parliament on May 5 he described, with her 
assent, the general drift of his negotiations with her, 
and made it plain that she had determined the 
issue for herself. Grave doubts were expressed in the 
House of Commons as to whether his conduct was 
consistent with that of the ministerial adviser of a 
constitutional sovereign. In his first conversation with 
the Queen he had acted on his own initiative, and had 
not consulted his colleagues. This self-reliance some- 
what damped enthusiasm for his action in the ranks 
of his own party. The leaders of the Opposition boldly 
argued that the minister was bound to offer the 
Sovereign definite advice, which it behoved her to 
adopt ; that the constitution recognised no power in 
the Sovereign to exercise personal volition, and that 
the minister was faithless to his trust in offering her 

c c 2 


two courses and abiding by her voluntary selection of 

Her con- The question of constitutional practice was one of 
tionai delicacy. But the argument against the minister was 
powers, pushed too far. The Queen had repeatedly exerted a 
personal choice between accepting a dissolution and a 
resignation of a ministry in face of an adverse vote in 
the House of Commons. The new features that the 
present situation offered were, first, the acceptance 
of a deferred, not of an immediate, dissolution ; and, 
secondly, Disraeli's open attribution to the Queen of 
responsibility for the final decision. The first point 
was accidental and relatively unimportant: the 
second was crucial. But Disraeli's procedure was no 
serious breach with precedent ; it served to bring into 
clearer relief than before the practical ascendency, 
within certain limits, which under the constitution a 
ministerial crisis assured the Crown, if its wearer cared 
to assert it. The revelation was in the main to the 
advantage of the prestige of the throne. It confuted 
the constitutional fallacy that the monarch was neces- 
sarily and invariably an automaton. 

Queen's But, despite the open assertion of her personal 

for P6C freedom of choice, the Queen had no intention of 
parlia- exceeding her constitutional power. When, imme- 
power! 7 diately after the settlement of the ministerial diffi- 
culty, the House of Commons, by an irresistible 
vote of the Opposition, petitioned her to suspend new 
appointments within the Crown's control in the Irish 
Church, and to place royal patronage at the Parlia- 
ment's disposal, she did not permit any personal pre- 


dilections to postpone her assent for a day. Alarmists, 
who affected to believe that she and her minister were 
hatching a plot against the independence of Parlia- 
ment, were thereby silenced. 

Disraeli's accession to office was distinguished Public 
by the Queen's occasional resumption of public func- t i ons> 
tions. On March 10, 1868, for the first time since 
her widowhood, she held a drawing-room at Bucking- 
ham Palace. On June 20 she reviewed 27,000 volun- 
teers in Windsor Park, and two days later gave a 
public ' breakfast,' or afternoon party, in the gardens 
of Buckingham Palace. 1 She appeared to observers 
to enjoy the entertainment. But these activities were 
not to be permanently exercised nor to grow in scope. 
She had no intention of introducing any permanent 
change into her habitually secluded mode of life. 

By way of illustrating her desire to escape from First visit 
Court restriction, she in August paid a first visit to 
Switzerland. She travelled incognito under the name 
of the Countess of Kent, and forbade any public demon- 
stration in her honour. But she accepted the Emperor 
Napoleon's courteous offer of his imperial train in which 

1 From the early years of the nineteenth century ' breakfasts ' 
were a very popular form of entertainment in fashionable society. 
Mrs. Bagot, in Links with the Past (1901, pp. 13, 286), writes of 
London society in 1840 : ' In those days garden parties were called 
" breakfasts," and most of the big houses gave them weekly during 
the summer months. The Duchess of Bedford's breakfasts at the 
house known later as Argyll Lodge, at Campden Hih 1 , were very 
popular entertainments. There was generally dancing after what 
was in reality a luncheon at those so-called breakfasts, and occa- 
sionally some of the male habitues not only remained to dinner, but 
also really breakfasted with their hosts the following morning.' 


to travel through France. On the outward journey 
she rested for a day at the English Embassy in Paris, 
where the Empress Eugenie paid her an informal visit 
(August 6). Next day she reached Lucerne, where she 
had rented the Villa Pension Wallace near the lake. 
She stayed there, engaged in the recreations of a 
private pleasure-seeker, till September 9, when she 
again passed through France in the Emperor's train. 
She paused at Paris on September 10 to revisit St. 
Cloud, which revived sad memories of her happy 
sojourn there thirteen years before. The Emperor 
was absent, but courteous greetings by telegraph 
passed between him and the Queen. 

Her Eemoving, on her arrival in England, to Balmoral, 

Gi rcat it f s ^ e ^ ere ave y e ^ additional proof of her anxiety to 
Shiel. shrink from publicity or Court formality. She took 
up her residence for the first time in a small house, 
called Glassalt Shiel, which she had built in a wild 
deserted spot in the hills overlooking the castle. She 
regarded the dwelling as in all ways in keeping with her 
condition. ' It was/ she wrote, ' the widow's first house, 
not built by him, or hallowed by his memory.' At the 
end of the year she attended a mournful ceremony 
which brought some relief to her inveterate sense of 
desolation. On December 14, 1868, a special service 
was held in her presence at the Frogmore mausoleum, 
where a permanent sarcophagus had now been placed 
over her husband's coffin. It was destined to hold 
her own remains as well as those of the Prince. 
The whole cost of the completed mausoleum was 


While she was still in Scotland the general elec- Disraeli's 
tion took place, under the new Electoral Act, and defeat - 
Disraeli's Government suffered a crushing defeat. 
The Liberals came in with a majority of 128, and Dis- 
raeli, contrary to precedent, resigned office without wait- 
ing for the meeting of Parliament. He had enjoyed 
the highest office in the State for only ten months. 

The Queen parted with Disraeli regretfully. She Her 
was anxious to show him a special mark of favour. mar k O f 
He declined her offer of a peerage because he judged ^vom- 
it right that he should remain in the House of Com- 
mons. But the Queen was aware of his chivalric 
devotion to his wife, and he welcomed her suggestion 
that Mrs. Disraeli should receive the distinction 
which he felt himself unable to accept. Accordingly 
Mrs. Disraeli became a peeress in her own right as 
Viscountess Beaconsfield on November 30, 1868. 

Despite the Queen's liking for Disraeli, his last P{J~ 
official act excited a passing difference of opinion Arch- 
with her. The incident showed how actively she 
asserted her authority even in her relations with a 
minister with whose general policy she was in 
agreement, and with whom her personal relations 
were unfailingly harmonious. The Archbishopric of 
Canterbury became vacant on October 28, 1868, owing 
to the death of Archbishop Longley. The Queen at 
her own instance recommended for the post Archibald 
Campbell Tait, Bishop of London since 1856, in whom 
she had long taken a personal interest. 1 Disraeli had 

1 Tait was a Scotsman, born in Edinburgh December 21, 1811. 
After a very successful career at Oxford, he was seven years tutor at 


another candidate. But the Queen persisted ; Dis- 
raeli yielded, and Tait received the primacy. 
Friend- Tait was the first Archbishop of Canterbury with 

Taft. Wltt wn m the Queen maintained a personal intimacy. 
Neither with Archbishop Howley, who held office at 
her accession, nor with his successors, Archbishops 
Sumner and Longley, had she sought close associa- 
tion. But with Tait and with his successor, Benson, 
she cultivated a close friendship. 

Queen's With bishops, as a class, she was not in personal 

to* 1 * 1 sympathy, and no ceremonial function in which she 
bishops, had to take part did she like less than that of 
receiving the homage of bishops, who were obliged to 
kiss her hand on their appointment. A feeling of 
shyness invariably overcame her on the occasion, and 
her manner often appeared, to the chief actors in it, 
brusque and indifferent. Nor as a rule did she appre- 
ciate, with a few conspicuous exceptions, the sermons 
of bishops. Their tone and manner were rarely simple 
or homely enough to harmonise with her predilection. 
Her attitude to bishops was possibly due in part to the 
Lutheran sympathies which she had derived from the 
Prince Consort. But to the principle of the episcopal 

Balliol, and was, from 1842 till 1850, head master of Rugby. While 
Dean of Carlisle, in 1856, he had the misfortune to lose five children 
from scarlet fever an experience which aroused the Queen's pity. 
Lord Palmerston made him Bishop of London in 1856, and in 1862 
offered him the Archbishopric of York, which he declined. In 1866 
he won the Queen's admiration by his energy in meeting the cholera 
epidemic in the East of London. A Whig by early conviction, he 
had resisted the Oxford movement, and given many proofs of an 
enlightened Protestantism, and a desire to make the Church of 
England national and comprehensive. 


form of Church government she was in no sense 
opposed. Her desire was that it should work with 
the highest spiritual advantage to her subjects. The 
misgivings with which many bishops inspired her 
were mainly attributable to the native simplicity of her 
religious faith, which made suspicion of worldly pride 
or parade in spiritual affairs distasteful to her. She 
was always an attentive hearer of sermons and a 
shrewd critic of them. She chiefly admired in them 
simplicity and brevity, and was better satisfied with 
unpretending language and style than with polish and 
eloquence. A failure on the part of a preacher to 
satisfy her sentiment sometimes proved a fatal bar to 
his preferment. 

Disraeli's experience in regard to the appointment Queen's 
of Tait was not uncommon with preceding or sue- church 
ceeding prime ministers. Throughout her reign the patron- 
Queen took a serious view of her personal respon- 
sibilities in the distribution of Church patronage ; 
and though she always received her ministers' advice 
with respect, she did not confine, herself to criticism 
of their favoured candidates for Church promotion ; 
she often insisted on quite other arrangements than 
they suggested. 

To the choice of bishops she attached an 'im- inter- 
mense importance,' and the principles that in her church 
view ought to govern their selection were sound appoint- 
and statesmanlike. She deprecated the influence n 
of religious or political partisanship in the matter. 
' The men to be chosen,' she wrote to Archbishop 
Benson, January 3, 1890, ' must not be taken with 


reference to satisfying one or the other party in 
the Church, or with reference to any political party, 
but for their real worth. We want people who can be 
firm and conciliatory, else the Church cannot be 
maintained. We want large broad views, or the 
difficulties will be insurmountable.' 

While holding such wise views, she was not un- 
affected by her personal likes or dislikes of indi- 
viduals, and she would rather fill an ecclesiastical 
office with one who was already agreeably known to 
her than with a stranger, especially if its holder were 
likely to be brought officially into relations with her. 
In 1845 she refused to accept Sir Eobert Peel's 
recommendation of Buckland for the Deanery of 
Westminster, and conferred the post on a personal 
acquaintance, Samuel Wilberforce. Subsequently 
Dean Stanley owed the same benefice to the Queen's 
great personal regard for him ; while she chose Dean 
Stanley's friend, Dean Bradley, to succeed Dean 
Stanley because the latter had himself expressed a 
dying wish to that effect. 

Her While watchful of the interests of her own Church 

for^he the Queen was tolerant of almost all religious opinions, 
Church* 1 an ^ res P ec ted those from which she differed ; only 
the extreme views and practices of Eitualists irritated 
her. Although never forgetful of her headship of the 
Anglican Church, she was at the same time proud of 
her connection with the Presbyterian establishment 
of Scotland. Without bestowing much attention on 
the theology peculiar to it, she gratefully recog- 
nised what she somewhat erroneously took to be its 


Lutheran tendencies, and she enjoyed its unadorned 
services and the homely exhortations of its ministers. 
To her Scottish chaplains she extended a cordiality 
which was rare in her attitude to her English 




Glad- O N Disraeli's resignation the Queen at once sent 
stone f or Gladstone, and he for the first time became her 
Minister Prime Minister in December 1868. Gladstone had 
been prominent in the highest walks of public life 
from almost the opening of her reign, and his loyalty 
to Peel through his long administration had excited in 
the Queen much interest in him. But he had gradually 
abandoned his Tory associations and transferred his 
allegiance to the Liberal party while Palmerston was 
its chief. He developed advanced opinions on ques- 
tions of domestic reform, with which Palmerston had 
little sympathy and the Queen still less. Her poli- 
tical intuitions were not illiberal, but the Liberalism 
to which she clung was confined to the old Whig 
principles of religious toleration and the personal 
liberty of the subject. She deprecated change in the 
great institutions of government, especially in the 
army ; the obliteration of class distinctions was for 
her an idle dream. Eadicalism she judged to be a 
dangerous compromise with the forces of revolution. 
Diver- Nor did Gladstone share the Queen's view that 

views of ^ ore i& n a ffairs were of greater practical moment 


than home affairs. His theory that England had foreign 
little or no concern with European politics, and P lic y- 
no title to exert influence on their course, conflicted 
with her training and the domestic sentiment that 
came of her foreign family connections. At the same 
time Gladstone cherished Palmerston's enthusiasm for 
the struggles for freedom of oppressed nationalities 
which the Queen was always averse from encouraging. 
The Queen fully recognised Gladstone's abilities, and 
he always treated her personally with a deferential 
courtesy to which Palmerston's temperament very 
often made him a stranger. But Gladstone failed 
from his first interview with her in his capacity of 
Prime Minister to inspire her with sympathy or con- 
fidence. She detected in his arguments a mutability 
of political principle and a tendency to move in 
directions which she regarded as unsafe. Her nerves 
were tried, and she showed an irritability of temper 
in her intercourse with him which sometimes tended 
to hinder despatch of public business. 1 

1 Gladstone's first cabinet was thus constituted : 

First Lord of the Treasury, Mr. Gladstone ; Lord Chancellor, 
Lord Hatheiiey (Page Wood) ; President of the Council, Lord de Grey 
and Ripon (created Marquis of Eipon, 1871) ; Lord Privy Seal, Earl 
of Kimberley (formerly Lord Wodehouse) ; Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer, Robert Lowe (created Viscount Sherbrooke, 1880) ; Home 
Secretary, Henry Austin Bruce (created Lord Aberdare, 1873) ; 
Foreign Secretary, Lord Clarendon ; Colonial Secretary, Lord Gran- 
ville ; War Secretary, Edward Cardwell (created Viscount Cardwell, 
1874) ; Indian Secretary, Duke of Argyll ; President of the Board of 
Trade, John Bright ; Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Lord 
Dufferin; Postmaster-General, Lord Hartington (afterwards Duke 
of Devonshire) ; First Lord of the Admiralty, H. C. E. Childers ; 





During Gladstone's first ministry he and his col- 
leagues undertook a larger number of legislative 
reforms than any Government had essayed during 
her reign, and the obligation which she felt to be 
imposed on her of studying the arguments in their 
favour overtaxed her mental strength. 1 New questions 
arose with such rapidity that she complained that she 
had not the time wherein to form a judgment. Glad- 
stone, although he was unwearied in his efforts to 
meet her protests or inquiries, had not the faculty of 
brevity in exposition. His intellectual energy, his 
vehemence in argument, the steady flow of his vigorous 
language, tormented her. With constitutional cor- 

President of the Poor Law Board, G. J. Goschen (now Viscount 

In 1870 W. E. Forster, Vice-President of the Privy Council, was 
given a seat in the cabinet. On Lord Clarendon's death in 1870 Lord 
Granville became Foreign Secretary ; Lord Kimberley, Colonial 
Secretary; Lord Halifax (Sir C. Wood), Lord Privy Seal. John 
Bright retired owing to illness in 1870, and was succeeded by 
Chichester Fortescue, afterwards Lord Carlingiord. In January 1871 
Goschen succeeded Childers at the Admiralty, and James Stansfeld 
became President of the Poor Law Board. In May 1872 Childers 
succeeded Lord Dufferin as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster ; 
and in October of this year, on the resignation of Lord Hatherley, 
Eoundell Palmer (created Lord Selborne) became Lord Chancellor. 
In 1873 Lord Eipon and Childers retired ; John Bright re-entered 
the ministry as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster ; Gladstone 
took the Chancellorship of the Exchequer in addition to the Treasury ; 
Bruce (created Lord Aberdare) was made President of the Council ; 
and Eobert Lowe, Home Secretary. 

1 The six chief legislative enactments for which Gladstone's 
ministry was responsible between 1869 and 1873 were : Irish Church 
Disestablishment Act (1869), Irish Land Act (1870), Elementary 
Education Act (1870), Army Eegulation Act (1871), Ballot Act (1872), 
and Supreme Court of Judicature Act (1873). 


rectness she acknowledged herself powerless to en- 
force her opinion against his ; but she made no 
secret of her personal hostility to many of his pro- 
posals. Gladstone's social accomplishments, more- 
over, were not of a kind calculated to conciliate the 
Queen in intercourse outside official business, or to 
compensate for the divergences between their political 
points of view. The topics which absorbed him in 
private life were far removed from the Queen's sphere 
of knowledge or interest. In her private affairs she 
often thought that he felt ' little interest ' or was 
' very helpless.' 

Some of Gladstone's colleagues in his first Glad- 
ministry were entirely congenial to the Queen, how- col" 6 ' 
ever much she felt herself out of harmony with their leagues, 
chief. She was already on friendly terms with Lord 
Granville, who became Colonial Secretary, and with 
the Duke of Argyll, who became Indian Secretary, 
and she had long placed implicit faith in Lord 
Clarendon, who now resumed the post of Foreign 
Secretary. From a ministry which included Lord 
Clarendon she could never withhold all her confidence. 
John Bright, who had chivalrously defended her 
for her persistence in her sorrow, now entered the 
ministry as President of the Board of Trade. To 
him she extended a warm welcome, and when illness 
compelled his retirement two years later, she sent him 
an autograph expression of sympathy and regret. 

The first measure which Gladstone as Prime The Irish 
Minister introduced was the long-threatened Bill for 
the disestablishment of the Irish Church. When she 


had perused the papers explanatory of the Bill, she 
avowed vehement dislike of it, and talked openly of 
her sorrow that Gladstone should have started ' this 
about the Irish Church.' l In correspondence with her 
daughter Alice she argued that the question would 
' be neither solved nor settled in this way. Injustice 
to Protestants might come of it. The settlement was 
not well considered.' She told Gladstone how deeply 
she ' deplored the necessity under which he con- 
ceived himself to be of raising the question as he 
had done,' and how unable she was to divest herself 
of apprehensions as to the possible consequences. 
The But the Queen was under no illusion as to Glad- 

Stitud' 8 Bone's resolve and power to pass the Bill through 
Parliament. She frankly admitted that the House of 
Commons had been ' chosen expressly to speak the 
feeling of the country on the question,' and that it 
had spoken in favour of Irish Disestablishment. She 
believed that if a second appeal were made to the 
electorate it would produce the same result. Common 
sense taught her that the quicker the inevitable trial 
were faced the better for the country's peace. 
Her The Queen rightly apprehended difficulty in a 

w?th 1 th n f rm idable quarter. She saw that a fruitless and 
Lords. perilous resistance was threatened by the House of 
Lords. In the previous session they had thrown out 
the Bill suspending further appointments in the Irish 
Church which Gladstone had carried through the 
House of Commons, and Tait, then Bishop of 
London, had voted with the majority. A sharp 

1 Wilberforce's Life, iii. 97. 


collision between the two Houses was now apparently 
inevitable unless special measures were taken to pre- 
vent it. Such a collision always seemed to the Queen 
to shake the constitution, and she knew that in a case 
like the present the Upper House must incur defeat 
in the conflict. She therefore, on her own initiative, 
proposed to mediate between the Government and the 
House of Lords. Gladstone welcomed her inter- 
vention, and was conciliatory. 

Accordingly, the day before Parliament opened, Her 
February 15, 1869, the Queen asked Tait whether Jfg^ 1 
the House of Lords could not be persuaded to give Lords. 
way. Gladstone, she said, ' seems really moderate.' 
The principle of Disestablishment must be conceded, 
but the details might well be the subject of future 
discussion and negotiation. At her request Tait and 
Gladstone met in consultation. After the Bill had 
passed through the House of Commons with enormous 
majorities (May 31), she importuned Tait to secure 
the second reading in the Lords. Her appeal was 
successful, and the second reading was carried by 33 
(June 18). But greater efforts on the Queen's part 
were required before the crisis was at an end. The 
numerous and crucial amendments adopted by the 
Lords were for the most part rejected by Gladstone. 
On June 11 the Queen pressed on both sides the 
need of concessions, and strongly deprecated a con- 
tinuance of the struggle. At length the Government 
gave way on certain subsidiary points, and the Bill 
passed safely its last stages. 1 How much of the 

1 Life of Tait, ii. pasaim. 

D D 












result was due to the Queen's interference, and how 
much to the stress of events, may be matter for 
argument ; but there is no disputing that throughout 
this episode she oiled the wheels of the constitutional 

While the Irish Church crisis was in progress the 
Queen did not neglect comparatively unimportant 
topics of government business. She showed her 
versatility of mind by discussing through the same 
months with as much earnestness as she discussed 
Disestablishment of the Irish Church a very trifling 
innovation in the navy. In March 1869 she was much 
moved by a proposal of her half-nephew, Prince 
Leiningen, captain of the royal yacht, to give sailors 
in the navy permission to wear beards. She raised 
objection to the concession, and bade Childers, the 
First Lord of the Admiralty, in whose control the deci- 
sion lay, commit himself to nothing without consulting 
a representative body of naval officers. When Childers 
agreed to the suggested change the Queen assented 
reluctantly, and added the proviso that moustaches 
without beards should be forbidden sailors on the 
ground that the personal appearance of sailors should 
be adequately distinguished from that of soldiers. 1 

During this busy period, when questions of the 
smallest and the largest importance equally taxed 
the Queen's thoughts, her public activities were 
mainly limited to a review of troops at Aldershot 
on April 17. On May 25 she celebrated quietly her 
fiftieth birthday, and at the end of June enter- 
tained for a second time the Khedive of Egypt. 

Childers's Life of Childers, i. 176 seq. 


On June 28 she gave a ' breakfast ' or afternoon 
party in his honour at Buckingham Palace. It was 
the main festivity in which she took part during 
the season. In the course of her autumn visit to 
Balmoral she went on a tour through the Trossachs 
and visited Loch Lomond. Towards the end of 
the year, November 6, she made one of her rare 
passages through London ; it was the first since her 
widowhood. She opened the new Blackfriars Bridge 
and Holborn Viaduct, but she came from Windsor only 
for the day. Her welcome was unexpectedly gratifying. 

The Queen now occasionally sought a new form Inter- 
of relaxation in intercourse with some of the men 

of letters whose fame contributed to the glory of m enof 
her reign. Her personal interest in literature was 
not strong, and it diminished in later years ; but 
she respected its producers and their influence. 

With Tennyson, whose work her husband had Tenny- 
admired, and whose ' In Memoriam ' gave her comfort son * 
in her grief, she was already in intimate correspond- 
ence. This she maintained till his death, and whenever 
he visited her at Windsor or Osborne she treated him 
with the utmost confidence. 

Through her friends, Sir Arthur Helps and Dean Carlyle. 
Stanley, she had come to hear much of other great 
living writers. Lady Augusta Stanley told her of 
Carlyle, and she sent him a message of condolence, of 
which he was duly appreciative, on the sudden death 
of his wife in 1866. In May 1869 the Queen visited 
the Westminster Deanery, mainly to make Carlyle's 
personal acquaintance. The Stanleys' guests also 
included Grote, the historian of Greece, and his wife, 

D O ( 4 


Sir Charles Lyell, the geologist, and Lady Lyell, and 
the poet Browning. The Queen was in a most gracious 
humour. Carlyle deemed it ' impossible to imagine a 
politer little woman ; nothing the least imperious ; all 
gentle, all sincere . . . makes you feel too (if you have 
any sense in you) that she is Queen.' l The impression 
Carlyle made on the Queen was far less agreeable than 
that which she produced on him. To her he appeared 
to be gruff-tempered, if not unmannerly. She told 
Browning that she admired his wife's poetry. 2 
George Among the novels she had lately read was George 

Dickens Eliot's ' Mill on the Floss,' and she afterwards read 
with close attention the same writer's ' Middlemarch,' 
which she criticised with shrewdness ; but Dickens's 
work was the only fiction of the day that really 
attracted her in the early and middle years of 
her reign. In him, too, she manifested personal 
interest. She had attended in 1857 a performance 
by Dickens and other amateurs of Wilkie Collins's 
' The Frozen Deep ' at the Gallery of Illustration, and 
some proposals, which came to nothing, had been 
made to him to read the ' Christmas Carol ' at Court 
in 1858. 3 In March 1870 Dickens, at Helps's request, 
lent her some photographs of scenes in the American 
civil war, and she took the opportunity that she had 
long sought of making his personal acquaintance. 
She summoned him to Buckingham Palace in order 
to thank him for his courtesy. On his departure she 

1 Froude, Carlyle in London, ii. 379-80. 

2 Eeid, Lord Houghton, ii. 200. 

3 At the sale of Thackeray's property in 1864 she purchased 
for 251. 10s. the copy of the ' Christmas Carol ' which Dickens had 
presented to Thackeray. 


asked him to present her with copies of his writings, 
and handed him a copy of her ' Leaves ' with the 
autograph inscription, ' From the humblest of writers 
to one of the greatest.' 

Other writers of whom she thought highly in- Dr. 
eluded Dr. Samuel Smiles, whose 'Lives of the Smiles 
Engineers ' she presented to her son-in-law of Hesse- 
Darmstadt in 1865. She was interested, too, in the 
work of Dr. George Macdonald, on whom she asked 
Lord Beaconsfield to confer a pension in 1877. 




IN 1870 European politics once more formed the 
Lord most serious topic of the Queen's thought, and the 
don's"" death in July of her old friend, Lord Clarendon, 
death. the Foreign Secretary, increased her anxieties. Despite 
her personal attachment to Lord Granville, who suc- 
ceeded to Clarendon's post, she had far smaller faith 
in his political judgment, and was inclined to regard 
her own experience as more than a match for his. 

Although she watched events with attention, the 
The Queen was hopeful until the last that the struggle 

German between France and Germany, which had long 
war- threatened, might be averted. In private letters to 
the rulers of both countries she constantly counselled 
peace ; but her efforts were vain, and in July 1870 
Napoleon declared war. She regarded his action as 
wholly unjustified, and her indignation grew when 
Bismarck revealed designs which he alleged Napoleon 
to have formed to destroy the independence of Bel- 
gium. In the fortunes of that country she was 
deeply concerned by reason of the domestic ties that 
linked her with its ruler. 

Her sym- In the opening stages of the conflict that followed 
wiS y Ger- her ruling instincts identified her fully with the cause 
many. of Germany. Both her sons-in-law, the Crown Prince 

1870] ANXIOUS YEARS, 1870-1 407 

and Prince Louis of Hesse-Darmstadt, were in the 
field, and through official bulletins and the general 
information that her daughters collected for her, she 
studied their movements with painful eagerness. She 
sent hospital stores to her daughter at Darmstadt, 
and encouraged her in her exertions in behalf of the 
wounded. When crushing disaster befell the French 
arms she regarded their defeat as a righteous judg- 
ment. She warmly approved a sermon preached 
before her by her friend, Dr. Norman Macleod, at 
Balmoral on October 2, 1870, in which he implicitly 
described France as 'reaping the reward of her 
wickedness and vanity and sensuality.' l 

But many of her subjects sympathised with Her pity 
France, and her own tenderness of heart evoked pity f?r ance 
for her French neighbours in the completeness of 
their overthrow. With a view to relieve their suffer- 
ings, she entreated her daughter, the Crown Princess, 
her son-in-law the Crown Prince, as well as her friend 
the Queen of Prussia, to avert the calamity of the 
bombardment of Paris. On October 2, 1870, the Crown 
Prince noted in his diary : ' Queen Victoria, who 
watches our actions with touching sympathy, has 
telegraphed to his Majesty [the King of Prussia] to 
urge him to be magnanimous in regard to the propo- 
sals of peace [for which the French were already suing], 
although she has no practical measures to propose.' 2 

Bismarck bitterly complained that ' the petticoat Bismarck 
sentimentality ' which the Queen communicated to J^n^r- 


1 More Leaves, p. 151. 

2 Diaries of Emperor Frederick, edited by Margaretha von 
Poschinger, 1902. 


the Prussian royal family hampered the fulfilment 
of German designs. The Crown Prince's unconcealed 
devotion to her, and the ready ear he lent to her 
counsel, wholly compromised him in the eyes of 
Bismarck. He cynically taunted her son-in-law with 
his innocent faith in her genuine attachment to Ger- 
man interests. 1 But Bismarck's scorn did not deter the 
Queen from pressing her ministers formally to offer her 
mediation with the object not merely of bringing the 
war to an early close, but of modifying the vindic- 
tive terms which Germany sought to impose on 

Decline of Her endeavours were of small avail. English 
influence, influence was declining in the councils of Europe. 
Eussia had made the preoccupation of France and 
Germany with their own quarrel the occasion for 
breaking the clause in the treaty of Paris which ex- 
cluded Kussian warships from the Black Sea. This 
defiant act was acquiesced in by Gladstone's Govern- 
ment, in spite of the Queen's indignant protest. 
French Yet the Queen's efforts for France were well 

e ' appreciated there. Some years later (December 3, 
1874) she accepted, with sympathetic grace, at 
Windsor, an address of thanks from representative 
Frenchmen for the charitable services rendered by 
English men and women during the war. She replied 
in French. The elaborate volumes of photographs 
illustrating the campaigns, which accompanied the 
address, she placed in the British Museum. 

Hatred of Napoleon's policy did not estrange her 
compassion from him in the ruin that overtook him 

1 See the Prince's 'Diary,' edited by Professor Geffcken, in 
Deutsche Rundschau, 1888. 

1870] ANXIOUS YEARS, 1870-1 409 

and his family. Very early in the conflict, the for- The 
tune of war turned against him; his empire was ^J^ 8 
brought to a violent end, and a republic was pro- the 
claimed in Paris. The Empress Eugenie fled to Eugenie 
England in September 1870, and took up her residence 
at Chislehurst. The Queen at once sent her a kindly m. 
welcome, and on November 30 paid her a long visit, 
which the exiled Empress returned at Windsor five 
days later. Thenceforth the friendship of Queen 
and Empress grew closer than before. When, too, 
Napoleon, on his release from a German prison, 
joined his wife in March 1871, the Queen lost no 
time in visiting him at Chislehurst, and until his 
death on January 9, 1873, openly showed her fellow- 
feeling with him in his melancholy fate. His mis- 
fortune dissipated every trace of her former distrust 
and animosity, and she fell anew under the spell of 
his charming courtesy, which had fascinated her at 
their first meeting in 1855. 

The course that domestic affairs were taking Domestic 
during 1870 was hardly more agreeable to her than P lltics - 
the course of foreign affairs. In April the attempt 
by a Fenian to assassinate Prince Alfred while on a 
visit at Port Jackson, New South Wales, greatly dis- 
turbed her, but happily the Prince recovered ; and 
she had no reason to doubt the genuineness of public 
sympathy which was given her in full measure. At 
home she was mainly troubled by the Government's Dislike of 
large scheme for the reorganisation of the army, Card- 
which had been long contemplated. The first step army re- 
taken by Cardwell, the Secretary of State for War, forms> 
was to subordinate the office of Commander-in-Chief 
to his own. Twice before the Queen had successfully 


resisted or postponed a like proposal. She regarded 
it as an encroachment on the royal prerogative. 
Through the Commander-in-Chief she claimed that 
the Crown directly controlled the army without the 
intervention of ministers or Parliament ; but her 
ministers now proved resolute, and she, on June 28, 
1870, with ill-concealed reluctance, signed an Order 
in Council which deposed the Commander-in-Chief 
from his place of sole and immediate dependence on 
the Crown. 1 

Abolition Next session the Government plan for reorganising 
chase'in ^ e arm y was pushed a step further in a Bill for the 
army, better regulation of the army, of which a main clause 
sought to abolish promotion by purchase. The mea- 
sure passed through the House of Commons by large 
majorities. In the House of Lords the Duke of Eich- 
mond carried resolutions which practically excluded 
the crucial clause for the abolition of purchase. 
Characteristically, the Queen deprecated a conflict 
between the houses, but the Government extricated 
her and themselves from that peril by a bold device 
which embarrassed her. They advised her to accom- 
plish their reform by exercise of her own authority 
without further endeavour to win the approval of the 
Upper House. The purchase of commissions had been 
legalised not by statute, but by royal warrant, which 
could be abrogated by the Sovereign on the advice of 
her ministers without express sanction of Parliament. 
The Queen was in a painful dilemma. She was, on 
the one hand, required to cancel a royal warrant, 
the terms of which did not to her judgment seem in 

1 Hansard, ccii, 10 sq. ; Parl. Papers, 1870, c. 164. 

1871] ANXIOUS YEARS, 1870-1 411 

need of change. On the other hand, she was ex- 
pected violently to strain the power of the prerogative 
against a branch of the Legislature with which she 
was at heart in sympathy. Lacking all enthusiasm 
for the proposed reform, she feared to estrange the 
House of Lords from the Crown by action on her part 
which circumvented its authority. But the minis- 
terial counsel was imperative, and the Queen accepted 
it with mixed feelings. At any rate, she had this much 
consolation. Despite her dislike of the manoeuvre, 
the assertion of the prerogative was never ungrateful 
to her, and it was well understood that the responsi- 
bility for her present exercise of it was her minister's. 

The Queen's industrious pursuit of public business Con- 
in private failed to reconcile the people to the con- j^ d 
tinued infrequency of her appearances in public. She plaints 
alienated sympathy, too, by occasional promises of seclusion, 
attendance at formal functions which she at the last 
moment failed to fulfil. Of the only two public cere- 
monies in which she engaged to take part in 1870, 
she figured in no more than one. She opened the new 
buildings of London University at Burlington House 
(May 11, 1870) ; but to the general disappointment, 
indisposition led her to delegate to the Prince of 
Wales the opening of so notable a London improve- 
ment as the Thames Embankment (July 13, 1870). 
Throughout the year the galling criticism continued 
in full force, and she appealed in vain to Gladstone, 
the Prime Minister, to make some declaration in her 

The feeling of discontent was somewhat checked 
by the announcement in October that she had assented 




of Prin- 

Feb. 9, 

Grants to 






to the betrothal of her fourth daughter, Princess 
Louise, to a subject, and one who was in the eye of 
the law a commoner. The Princess had given her 
hand at Balmoral to the Marquis of Lome, eldest son 
of the Duke of Argyll. It was the first time in Eng- 
lish history that the Sovereign sanctioned the union 
of a Princess with one who was not a member of a 
reigning house since Mary, youngest daughter of 
Henry VII. and sister of Henry VIII., married, in 
1515, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. 1 The Queen 
regarded the match merely from the point of view of 
her daughter's happiness, to which she believed it 
would signally contribute. 

Princess Louise's engagement rendered necessary 
an appeal to Parliament for her daughter's provision ; 
and as her third son Arthur was on the point of 
coming of age, and also needed an income from public 
sources, it seemed politic to conciliate popular feeling 
by opening Parliament in person. Accordingly, on 
February 9, 1871, she occupied her throne in West- 
minster for the third time since her bereavement. 
The ceremony was curtailed as on the two previous 

The Duke of Argyll, the Marquis of Lome's 
father, was Secretary of India, and Sir Kobert Peel, 
son of the former Prime Minister, denounced as im- 
politic the approaching marriage of a Princess with a 
' son of a member of her Majesty's Government.' 2 
But the proposed dowry of 30,000/. with an annuity 

1 James II. 's marriage to Anne Hyde in 1660 did not receive the 
same official recognition. 
2 Hansard, cciv. 359. 

1871] ANXIOUS YEAKS, 1870-1 418 

of 6,0002. was granted almost unanimously (350 to 1). 
Less satisfaction was manifested when the Queen 
requested Parliament to provide for Prince Arthur. 
An annuity of 15,OOOZ. was ultimately bestowed. But, 
although the minority on the final vote numbered 
only eleven, as many as fifty- one members voted in 
favour of an unsuccessful amendment to reduce the 
sum to lOjOOOZ. 1 

Meanwhile the Court cast off some of its gloom. Princess 
The marriage of Princess Louise took place at St. Loul ? e?s 


George's Chapel, Windsor, with much pomp, on 
March 21, 1871, in the presence of the Queen, who for 
the occasion lightened her usual mourning attire. With 
unaccustomed activity in the months that followed 
she opened the Albert Hall (March 29), inaugurated 
the new buildings of St. Thomas's Hospital, and on 
June 30 reviewed the household troops in Bushey 
Park. At the review the Emperor Napoleon's heir, 
the young Prince Imperial, joined the royal party. 

In the autumn the Queen entertained at Balmoral Queen's 
a large family party, including the Crown Prince and septem- 
Princess of Prussia and Princess Alice. But her ber 1871. 
health gave increased cause for anxiety. She suffered 
severely from rheumatic gout and neuralgia. Her 
illness caused her intense pain, and she attributed it 
to worry over public business. As the news of her 
suffering spread, a more friendly tone characterised 
the references to her in the press. But the Queen's illness of 
anxieties were not destined at present to know 
much diminution. The glimpse of increasing hap- 
piness in the royal circle was darkened at the 

1 Hansard, ccviii. 570-90. 


end of the year by a grief almost as great as that 
which befell it just ten years before. At the end 
of November the Prince of Wales, the heir to the 
throne, fell ill of typhoid fever, at his house at San- 
dringham, and as the illness reached its critical stage, 
the gravest fears were entertained. The Queen went 
to Sandringham on November 29, and news of a 
relapse brought her thither again on December 8 with 
her daughter Alice, who had been for many months 
her guest. Both remained for eleven days, during 
which the Prince's life hung in the balance. Happily, 
on the fateful December 14, the tenth anniversary of 
the Prince Consort's death, the first indications of 
recovery appeared, and on the 19th, when the Queen 
returned to Windsor, the danger was passed. A week 
later the Queen issued for the first time a letter to her 
people, thanking them for the touching sympathy 
they had displayed during ' those painful terrible days. 
Public As soon as her son's health was fully restored the 

giving" Q ueen temporarily abandoned her privacy to accom- 
pany him in a semi-state procession from Buckingham 
Palace to St. Paul's Cathedral, there to attend a 
special service of thanksgiving (February 27, 1872). 
She was dressed in black velvet, trimmed with white 
ermine. For the last time the sovereign was received 
by the Lord Mayor with the traditional ceremonies at 
Temple Bar, the gates of which were first shut against 
her and then opened. 1 On the following day the 

1 The Bar was removed in the winter of 1878-9, and was sold to 
Sir Henry Meux, who re-erected it as a lodge gate on his estate of 
Theobalds Park, Hertfordshire. Its site in Fleet Street was marked 
by a memorial which is adorned by statues of the Queen and the 
Prince of Wales, now Edward VII. 

1871] ANXIOUS YEARS, 1870-1 415 

Queen endured renewal of a disagreeable experience of 
earlier years. A lad, Arthur O'Connor, who pretended 
to be a Fenian emissary, pointed an unloaded pistol 
at her as she was entering Buckingham Palace. 
He was at once seized by her attendant, John Brown, 
to commemorate whose vigilance she instituted a gold 
medal as a reward for long and faithful domestic 
service. She conferred the first that was struck on 
Brown, together with an annuity of 25Z. On the day 
following O'Connor's senseless act the Queen addressed 
a second letter to the public, acknowledging the fer- 
vent demonstrations of loyalty which welcomed her 
and her son on the occasion of the public thanks- 

That celebration, combined with its anxious cause Display of 
and the general sympathy evoked by the Queen's own C an P ten-~ 
recent illness, strengthened immensely the bonds of dencies m 
sentiment between the Crown and the people. There 
was a peculiar need at the instant of strengthening 
these bonds. The formation of a republic in France 
had greatly stimulated that tendency to disparage Popular 
monarchical institutions which the alleged self-efface- 
ment of the Queen had done much to create. A reign, 
strong body of latent opinion even in educated society 
took a serious view of the situation. Lord Selborne, 
the Lord Chancellor, when the guest of the Queen at 
Windsor, was bold enough to tell her that if the French 
republic held its ground it would influence English 
public opinion in a republican direction. 1 An ad- 
vanced thinker like John Richard Green, the historian, 
wrote somewhat cynically on December 19, 1871, that 

1 Selborne, Memorials, vol. ii. 




on the 

the feeling of ' domestic loyalty ' engendered by the 
Prince of Wales's illness the constant repetition of 
the statement that ' the Queen is an admirable mother, 
and that her son has an attack of typhoid ' would 
not settle the * question of republicanism.' 1 Despite 
the modified renewal of the Queen's personal popu- 
larity, the cry against the monarchy threatened to 
become formidable. 

Mob orators prophesied that Queen Victoria 
would at any rate be the last monarch of England. 
The main argument of the noisier anti-royalists 
touched the expenses of the monarchy, which now 
included large provision for the Queen's children. 
Criticism of her income and expenditure was developed 
with a pertinacity which deeply wounded her. Pam- 
phlets, some of which were attributed to men of 
position, compared her income with the modest 10,000^. 
allowed to the President of the United States. A 
malignant tract, published in 1871, which enjoyed a 
great vogue, and was entitled ' Tracts for the Times, 
No. 1 : What does she do with it ? by Solomon 
Temple, builder,' professed to make a thoroughgoing 
examination of her private expenditure. The writer 
argued that while the Queen was constantly asking Par- 
liament for money for her children she was not spend- 
ing her official annuity on the purposes for which it 

1 ' I am sorry,' Green added, ' when any young fellow dies at 
thirty, and am far more sorry when any mother suffers ; but the 
sentiment of newspapers and town councils over " telegrams from the 
sick-bed " is simply ludicrous. However, one remembers that all 
France went mad with anxiety when Lewis the Well-Beloved fell sick 
in his earlier days, and yet somehow or other '89 came never the 
later.' Letters of John Richard Green, ed. Leslie Stephen, 1901. 

ANXIOUS YEARS, 1870-1 417 

was designed. A comparatively small proportion of 
it was applied, it was asserted, to the maintenance of 
the dignity of the Crown, the sole object with which 
it was granted ; the larger part of it went to form a 
gigantic private fortune which was in some quarters 
estimated to reach already 5,000,0002. To these 
savings the writer protested she had no right ; any 
portion of the Civil List income that at the end of 
the year remained unexpended ought to return to the 
public exchequer. 

Personally, it was said, the Queen was well off, The 
apart from her income from the Civil List. Besides 
Neild's bequest l she had derived more than half a affluence 
million from the estate of the Prince Consort, and the 
receipts from the Duchy of Lancaster were steadily 

These reports of the Queen's affluence were largely Falsity of 
founded on erroneous information. The Queen's rumours, 
savings in the Civil List were rarely 20,OOOZ. a year, 
and her opportunities of thrift were grossly misrepre- 
sented. But in the hands of the advocates of a re- 
publican form of government the pecuniary argument 
was valuable, and it was pressed to the uttermost. 
Sir Charles W. Dilke, M.P. for Chelsea, when speaking 
in favour of an English republic at Newcastle, on 
November 6, 1871, complained that the Queen paid 
no income tax, and the statement added fuel to the 
agitation throughout the land. 

Ministers at the Queen's request refuted in detail Official 
the damaging allegations. Sir Algernon West, one of 
the Treasury officials, was directed by the Prime Mini- 

1 See p. 230. 

E K 


ster to prepare an answer to the obnoxious pamphlet, 
' What does she do with it ? ' Eobert Lowe, the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced that income 
tax was paid by the Queen. Twice at the end of the 
Session of 1871 Gladstone, in the House of Commons, 
insisted that the whole of the Queen's income was 
justly at her personal disposal. 1 

Debate But the agitators were not readily silenced. Next 

SJalfct Session, on March 19, 1872, Sir Charles Dilke intro- 
J 872. duced a motion for a full inquiry into the Queen's 
expenditure with a view to a complete reform of the 
Civil List. His long and elaborate speech abounded in 
minute details, but he injured his case by avowing him- 
self a republican, and thus suggesting that he was 
moved by hostile prejudice. When the same avowal 
was made by Mr. Auberon Herbert, who seconded the 
motion, a scene of great disorder in the House of 
Commons followed. The Prime Minister, Gladstone, 
denied that the Queen's savings were on the alleged 
scale, or that the expenses of the Court had appre- 
ciably diminished since the Prince Consort's death. 2 
Only two members of the House, Mr. G. Anderson 
and Sir Wilfrid Lawson, voted with Sir Charles Dilke 
and Mr. Herbert, and their proposal was rejected by 
a majority of 274. 

Causes of In the event the wave of republican sentiment 

her future was soon spent, but the conviction that the people 

Jarity. paid an unduly high price for the advantages of the 

monarchy remained fully alive in the minds of large 

sections of the population, especially of the artisan 

1 Hansard, ccvii. 1124, ccviii. 158-9. 
3 Ibid. ccx. 253 sq. 

1872] ANXIOUS YEARS, 1870-1 419 

class, until the Queen conspicuously modified her 
habits of seclusion. The main solvent of the popular 
grievance, however, was the affectionate veneration 
for her personality which was roused in course of 
time throughout her dominions by the veteran 
endurance of her rule, and by the growth of the new 
and powerful faith that she symbolised in her own 
person the unity of the British Empire. 

K E 2 




Visit to FROM the flood of distasteful criticism in 1872 
Germany, the Queen escaped for a few weeks in the spring 
to the continent (March 23 to April 8). She crossed 
to Germany in order to visit at Baden-Baden her 
stepsister, whose health was failing. After her 
return home the German Empress was a welcome 
guest (May 2). With her the Queen was in thorough 
sympathy, especially in her dread of a renewal of war 
in Central Europe. In the same month the Queen 
sought unusual recreation by attending a concert 
which her favourite composer, Gounod, conducted at 
the newly opened Albert Hall. 

Assassi- But death was again busy in her circle and 

nation of rev i ve( } her grief. The assassination of Lord Mayo, 
Mayo. Viceroy of India, startled the world on February 12, 
1872. He was suddenly killed by a native Indian 
while inspecting the convict settlement at Port Blair, 
in the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. The 
Queen had known him as a member of Lord Derby's 
three administrations, in all of which he filled the 
office of Chief Secretary for Ireland. He had been 
nominated by Disraeli to the chief governorship of 
India on the eve of that minister's resignation in 


1868. The Queen bore public testimony to the ability 
of her murdered representative, and to his personal 
loyalty. Memories of the Indian mutiny crowded to 
her mind, but happily the crime proved an isolated 
manifestation of native rancour, and did not disturb 
the peace of the empire. 

Other incidents of the yea,? were equally sad, if Death of 
less tragic in their circumstance. The Queen had M^cieod 
derived immeasurable comfort from conversation with 
Dr. Norman Macleod, her Scottish chaplain. ' How 
I love to talk to him,' she said, ' to ask his advice, to 
speak to him of my sorrows, my anxieties ! ' l but on 
June 16, 1872, he passed away. Her first mistress 
of the robes and lifelong friend, the Duchess of 
Sutherland, had died in 1868, and she now visited 
the duchess's son and daughter-in-law at Dunrobin 
Castle (September 6 to 12, 1872), so that she might 
be present at the laying of the first stone of a 
memorial to her late companion. 

More trying than either of these bereavements Death^of 
was the loss, also in 1872, of her stepsister, the Prin- ep-" 
cess Feodore, the last surviving friend of her youth, sister, 
who died at Baden-Baden, September 23. There 
had been no slackening in recent years of the ties 
of affection that first united them in childhood. Yet Death of 
another death on the following January 9 intensified NaP leon 
the Queen's sense of desolation. On that day died, 
in his exile at Chislehurst, Napoleon III., ex- 
Emperor of the French. The amiability which 
characterised his personal relations with the Queen 
and her family was never conquered by disaster, 
1 More Leaves, pp. 143-161. 


and the Queen at once undertook the mournful task 
of consoling his widow. The sympathy and feeling 
shown by the nation on the occasion were grateful to 
the Queen, and she appreciated the 'very generous 
and kind ' terms in which the Empress Augusta wrote 
to her of the event from Berlin. Pity for Napo- 
leon's sufferings seems to have ultimately blotted out 
in the Queen's mind all his moral defects. Her final 
charitable judgment of him was unjustified by his 
deserts. She offered a public and practical proof 
of her regard by providing the sarcophagus which 
enclosed the ex-Emperor's remains in St. Mary's 
Church, Chislehurst. 

Disraeli The year that opened thus sadly witnessed several 

office. incidents in public affairs that stirred in the Queen 
more pleasurable sensations. In March Gladstone's 
Irish University Bill was rejected by the House of 
Commons, and he at once resigned (March 11). The 
Queen accepted his resignation with alacrity, and 
invited Disraeli to take his place ; but Disraeli de- 
clined the invitation in view of the normal balance of 
parties in the existing House of Commons, where the 
Conservatives were in a minority. Disraeli was 
vainly persuaded by the Queen to take another 
course. Gladstone pointed out to her that the refusal 
of Disraeli, who had brought about his defeat, to 
assume office amounted to an unconstitutional shirk- 
ing of his responsibilities. But Disraeli was awaiting 
with confidence an appeal to the constituencies ; and 
although that appeal could not be long delayed, he 
had no greater desire than Gladstone to invite it at 
the moment. In face of Disraeli's obduracy, and his 


own unreadiness to face a dissolution, Gladstone was 
compelled, however reluctantly, to return for a season 
at least to the Treasury bench (March 20). His 
Government was greatly shaken in reputation, but 
it succeeded in holding on till the beginning of next 
year. When the ministerial crisis ended the Queen visit to 
paid for the first time an official visit to the East London 
End of London in order to open the new Victoria Aprils' 
Park, and was received with remarkable enthusiasm. 

The summer saw her occupied in extending hos- First visit 
pitality to a political guest, the Shah of Persia, who, shah of 
like the Sultan of Turkey, was the first wearer of his Persia, 
crown to visit England. The Queen's regal position 
in India rendered it fitting for her to welcome 
Oriental potentates to her Court, and the rivalry in 
progress in Asia between Russia and England gave 
especial value to the friendship of Persia. The 
Queen was in full accord with the policy that 
brought the Persian monarch to her shores. The 
Shah stayed at Buckingham Palace from June 19 to 
July 4, and an imposing reception was accorded him. 
The Prince of Wales for the most part did assiduous 
duty as host in behalf of his mother, but she thrice 
entertained her guest at Windsor, and he wrote with 
enthusiasm of the cordiality of her demeanour. At 
their first meeting, on June 20, she invested him 
with the Order of the Garter ; at the second, on 
June 24, he accompanied her to a review in Windsor 
Park ; at the third, on July 2, he exchanged photo- 
graphs with her, and he visited the Prince Consort's 
mausoleum at Frogmore. 1 

1 Diary of the Shah, translated by Eedhouse, 1874, pp. 144 sq. 

424 QUEEN VICTORIA ' [1873 

Relations Meanwhile the governments of both Russia and 
Russia England were endeavouring to dimmish the friction 
and suspicion that habitually impeded friendly nego- 
tiations between them. At the opening of the year 
Count Schouvaloff was sent by the Tsar, Alexander II., 
on a secret mission to the Queen. He assured her 
that the Russians had no intention of making further 
advances in Central Asia. Events proved that assur- 
ance to be equivocal ; but there was another object 
of Schouvaloff's embassy which was of more im- 
mediate interest to the Queen, and accounted for the 
amiability that she extended to him. A matrimonial 
union between the English and Russian royal houses 
was suggested. The families were already slightly 
connected. The sister of the Princess of Wales 
had married the Tsarevitch (afterwards Tsar Alexan- 
der III.), Tsar Alexander II. 's eldest son. It was 
now proposed that Prince Alfred, the Queen's second 
son, should be betrothed to the Grand Duchess 
Marie Alexandrovna, the Tsar Alexander II. 's only 

Marriage At the date of the Shah's visit the Tsarevitch and 
Duke of n ^ s w ^ e came n a visit to the Prince and Princess of 
Edin- Wales at Marlborough House in order to facilitate the 
project. The match was regarded by the Queen as of 
political promise, and in July she formally assented 
to it. Subsequently the Queen chose her friend, Dean 
Stanley, to perform at St. Petersburg the wedding 
ceremony after the Anglican rite (January 23, 1874), 
and she struggled hard to read in the Dean's own 
illegible handwriting the full and vivid accounts he 
sent her of his experiences. 


The Queen welcomed the formation of this new tie Its small 
with the family of England's present rival in Asia 
and her old antagonist on the field of the Crimea ; 
but she did not exaggerate its power of allaying the 
turmoil of political dispute between the two Powers. 
In the following May the coping-stone seemed to be 
placed on the edifice of an Anglo-Eussian peace by the 
Queen's entertainment at Windsor of the Tsar Alex- 
ander II., her new daughter-in-law's father. But the 
political issues at stake between Kussia and England 
were not of the kind to be affected by social ameni- 
ties, and within three years the tw T o countries were 
on the verge of war. 






Disraeli THE Liberal Government had survived its defeat by 
1874!"' nearl y ten months, when, in January 1874, the Queen 
permitted Gladstone to dissolve Parliament. The result 
was a triumphant victory for the Conservatives. To 
the Queen's relief, Gladstone's term of office was ended, 
and she did not conceal the gratification with which 
she recalled Disraeli to power. 

Her new minister's position was exceptionally 
strong. He enjoyed the advantage, which no minister, 
since Peel took office in 1841, had enjoyed, of com- 
manding large majorities in both Houses of Parlia- 
ment. Despite a few grumblers, he exerted supreme 
authority over his party, and the Queen was prepared 
to extend to him the fullest confidence. She had 
reached the unalterable conviction that he was a man 
of high character and patriotic ambition. His private 
and public life now alike evoked her admiration. 
Since he had last been in office Lady Beaconsfield 
had died (December 15, 1872). Disraeli's devotion 
to his wife's memory especially appealed to the 

of his 



The more she came to consider Disraeli's political Queen's 
views the more strongly they commended themselves 

to her. His elastic Conservatism did not run political 

counter to her hereditary whiggish sentiment. His 
theory of the Constitution gave to the Crown a sem- 
blance of strength and dignity which she valued the 
more after her experience of her recent ministers, 
who had been loth to listen patiently to her advice. 
Moreover, his opinion of the Crown's relations to 
foreign affairs precisely coincided with the belief 
which her husband had taught her, that it was the 
duty of a sovereign of England to seek to influence 
the fortunes of Europe. 

In his social intercourse, of which the Queen was His 
now to enjoy much, Disraeli had the advantage 
of a personal fascination, which grew with closer tion. 
acquaintance, and developed in the Queen a genuine 
affection. He conciliated her idiosyncrasies. He 
affected interest in the topics which he knew to 
interest her. He showered upon her all his arts and 
graces of conversation. He did what no other 
minister in the reign succeeded in doing in private 
talk with her he amused her. His social charm 
lightened the routine of State business. He briefly 
informed her of the progress of affairs, but did not 
overwhelm her with details. 

Nevertheless, Disraeli well understood the practical His 
working of the Constitution, and, while magnifying 
the Queen's potential force of sovereignty, he did not his w " 
prejudice the supreme responsibilities of his own office, 
His general line of policy being congenial to her, pro- 


longed argument or explanation was rarely needful ; 
but in developing his policy he was not moved by her 
suggestions or criticism in a greater degree than his 
predecessors. Even in the matter of making important 
appointments he did not suffer her influence to go 
beyond previous limits. But by his exceptional tact 
and astuteness he reconciled her to almost every 
decision he took, whether or no it agreed with her 
inclination. When he failed to comply with her 
wishes he expressed regret with a felicity which 
never left a wound. In immaterial matters the 
grant of a Civil List pension or the bestowal of a 
subordinate post or title he not merely acceded to 
the Queen's requests, but saw that effect was given 
to them with promptness. Comparing his attitude 
to the Queen with Gladstone's, contrasting the har- 
mony of his relations with her with the tension that 
characterised his rival's, he was in the habit of 
saying, ' Gladstone treats the Queen like a public 
department ; I treat her like a woman.' 

Disraeli's Government began its work quietly. 1 

1 Disraeli constituted his Cabinet thus : 

First Lord of the Treasury . Mr. Disraeli (created Earl 

of Beaconsfield, August 

Lord Chancellor . . . Lord Cairns. 

Lord President of the Council . The Duke of Richmond. 

Lord Privy Seal . . . The Earl of Malmesbury. 

Foreign Secretary . . . The Earl of Derby. 

Secretary for India . . . The Marquis of Salisbury. 

Colonial Secretary . . . The Earl of Carnarvon. 

Secretary for War . . . Mr.GathorneHardy (created 

Viscount Cranbrook,1878). 


Its main business during its first session was ecclesi- Church 
astical legislation, with which the Queen was in full iHiS, 
sympathy. Both the Churches of Scotland and Eng- l8 74- 
land were affected. The Public Worship Kegulation 
Bill, which was introduced by Archbishop Tait, was 
an endeavour to check in England the growth of 
ritualism, which the Queen abhorred. The Scottish 
Church Patronage Bill substituted congregational 
election for lay patronage in the appointment of 
ministers in the Established Church of Scotland. This 
last measure was deemed essential to the prosperity 
of the Established Church of Scotland, which the 
Queen made a personal concern. She had at an 

Home Secretary . . . Mr. Eichard Cross (created 

Viscount Cross, 1886). 

First Lord of the Admiralty . Mr. Ward Hunt. 

Chancellor of the Exchequer . Sir Stafford Northcote 

(created Earl of Iddes- 
leigh, 1885). 

Postmaster- General . . . Lord John Manners (after- 
wards Duke of Eutland). 

In July 1876, on the resignation of Malmesbury, Lord Beacons- 
field took the Privy Seal in addition to the First Lordship of the 
Treasury. In August 1877, on the death of Ward Hunt, W. H. Smith, 
Secretary to the Treasury, became First Lord of the Admiralty. In 
February 1878, on the resignation of Lord Carnarvon, Sir Michael 
Hicks-Beach became Colonial Secretary, and Mr. James Lowther 
Secretary for Ireland, with a seat in the Cabinet ; at the same time 
the Duke of Northumberland became Lord Privy Seal. In April 
1878, on the resignation of Lord Derby, Lord Salisbury became 
Foreign Secretary; Mr. Gathorne Hardy (afterwards Viscount 
Cranbrook), Secretary for India ; and the Hon. Frederick Stanley 
(afterwards Lord Stanley of Preston and Earl of Derby), Wai- 


earlier date favoured resistance to this reform, but 
she had seen with regret the disruption of the 
Established Church of Scotland to which that resist- 
ance had led, and she was not now inclined to dispute 
the justice of the innovation. Scottish Dissenters, 
especially those who had left the Church, raised stout 
opposition to a concession which they regarded as too 
belated to be equitable. To the Queen's disgust, 
Con- Gladstone vehemently opposed the measure. His 
irritation s P eecn a gainst the Bill excited her warm displeasure, 
with She denounced his attitude as mere obstruction. ' He 
might so easily have stopped away,' she remarked to 
her friend, Principal Tulloch, when he spoke to her 
of the great orator's contribution to the debate. But 
the Bill was carried in spite of Gladstone's protest, 
and the Queen was content. 

Prince It was the Queen's full intention to have opened 

iflness Id ' S P arnam ent in person in February 1875, by way of 

indicating her sympathy with the new ministers ; but 

the serious illness of Prince Leopold, who was suffering 

from typhoid fever, kept her away. 

Queen's On her son's recovery, in conformity with the views 

another ^at slie an( * ner Pr i me Minister held of the obliga- 
Franco- tions of intervention in European politics that lay 
war. upon an English monarch, the Queen immersed her- 
self in delicate negotiations with foreign sovereigns. 
Eumour spread abroad that the Franco-German war 
was to be at once renewed. Kepublican France 
had been pushing forward new armaments. It was 
recognised that she was bent on avenging the humilia- 
tions of 1870-1. The Queen's relatives at Berlin and 


Darmstadt informed her in the spring of 1875 that 
Bismarck was resolved to avoid a possible surprise 
on the part of France by suddenly beginning the 
attack. Her recent friend, Tsar Alexander II., was 
travelling in Germany, and she wrote appealing to 
him to use his influence with the German Emperor 
(his uncle) to stay violence. 

On June 20, 1875, the Queen addressed herself Her 
directly to the German Emperor and offered her to the S 
mediation. She quoted expressions that she had King of 
been informed Field-Marshal von Moltke had used, 
and begged her old friend to preserve Europe from a 
great calamity. The King of Prussia replied by 
denying the truth of her allegations. He thanked 
her for her suggestion of mediation, but expressed 
pain that she regarded him as a disturber of the 
peace of Europe. Her knowledge of his character 
should have made such an assumption impossible. 
'No one is more thoroughly convinced than the 
writer that he who provokes a war in Europe will 
have the whole of public opinion against him and 
will accordingly have no ally, no neutrale bien- 
veillant, but rather adversaries. The expressions 
which the Queen attributes to Field-Marshal Moltke 
represent an opinion which every one would hold 
in case of a quarrel namely, de se mettre en avan- 
tage ; but no politician, including Moltke, would ever 
contemplate wantonly plunging Europe into war.' 
The Queen replied that her fears were not exagge- 
rated. Bismarck was informed of her action and 
wrote to his master with cynical resentment of her 


interference. He ridiculed her suspicions. But, in spite 
of Bismarck's and his master's scornful disclaimer, 
it is undoubted that there was a likelihood of an out- 
break of hostilities between France and Germany in 
the early months of 1875. An accommodation may 
have been in progress before the Queen intervened. 
Although Bismarck affected to ignore her appeals, 
they clearly helped to incline the political scales of 
Central Europe in the direction of peace, and the 
scare of war soon passed away. 1 

End of The Queen, in a subsequent letter to the Em- 

corre- peror, remarked that, apparently without his know- 
spond- ledge, the views that she had reported had been 
freely proclaimed in his ' entourage.' * She will, 
however, say no more about it (she wrote), as the 
whole affair is now consigned to oblivion.' The 
correspondence closed with the Emperor's assurance 
that as she did not give the names of her informants 
he would make no further inquiries. Bismarck 
maintained his attitude of scorn, and satirically ex- 
pressed sorrow that the matter was suffered to drop 
so inconclusively. 

New It was agreeable to the Queen to turn from Euro- 

P ean com P nca ^ ons t the plans whereby Disraeli pro- 
posed to enhance the prestige of her crown, and to 
strengthen the chain that, since the legislation of 
1858, personally linked her with the great empire of 
India. Her pride in her relations with India and her 

1 Bismarck, Recollections, ii. 191 sq. ; Appendix to Bismarck's 
Recollections, i. pp. 256-60 ; Busch, Conversations with Bismarck ; 
Princess Alice's Letters, p. 339. 


interest in the welfare of its inhabitants never waned. 
Disraeli's first suggestion regarding her personal con- 
nection with India was that the Prince of Wales Prince^of 
should, as her representative, make a state tour Indian 8 
through the whole territory, and should visit the *ur, 
native princes. To this she readily assented. The 1875, to 
needful arrangements were rapidly made, and the J?27 "' 
Queen took an affectionate leave of her son at Bal- 
moral on September 17, 1875. The expedition was 
completely successful. The Prince returned to Eng- 
land in the following May, when the Queen welcomed 
him in London. He brought her welcome proof 
of the loyalty of India to the Crown. 

Disraeli's Indian policy also included a measure Empress 
more directly affecting the Queen. He proposed to 
bestow on her a new title which would declare her 
Indian sovereignty. The Eoyal Titles Bill, which 
conferred on her the designation of Empress of India, 
was the chief business of the session of 1876, and she 
fittingly opened it in person amid much popular 
enthusiasm (February 8). The opposition warmly 
criticised Disraeli's proposal, but he assured the 
House of Commons that the new title would only be 
employed in India and in Indian affairs, and was 
designed to complete the connection between the 
Crown and the Indian Empire, which had been 
inaugurated after the Mutiny. The Bill passed 
through all its stages before May 1, when the Queen, 
to her immense satisfaction, was formally proclaimed 
Empress of India in London. 1 

1 On January 1, 1877, at Delhi, the Governor- General of India 
(Lord Lytton) officially announced the Queen's assumption of her 

F F 




Earl of 


She gloried in her new honour, and, despite 
Disraeli's assurances, soon recognised no restrictions 
in its use. She at once signed herself ' Victoria B. & I.' 
in documents relating to India, and early in 1878 she 
adopted the same form in English documents of State. 
In 1893 the words ' Indfiae] Imp[eratrix] ' were en- 
graved among her titles on the British coinage. 

After the close of the session of 1876 the Queen was 
glad of the opportunity of marking her sense of the de- 
votion that Disraeli had shown her by offering him a 
peerage (August 21, 1876) ; his health had suffered from 
his constant attendance in the House of Commons, and 
she was anxious that he should relieve himself, as far 
as was practicable, of the pressure of public business. 
He entered the House of Lords next year as Earl of 

The Queen's cheering relations with Lord Beacons- 
field stimulated her to appear somewhat more fre- 
quently in public, and she played prominent parts 
in several military ceremonials in the early days of 
Disraeli's government. She had narrowly watched 
the progress of the little Ashanti war on the West 
Coast of Africa, and at its successful conclusion 
she reviewed sailors, marines, and soldiers who 
had taken part in it in the Eoyal Clarence Vic- 
tualling Yard at Gosport on April 23, 1874. At the 

title of Empress to an imposing assembly of sixty-three ruling 
princes. Memory of the great ceremonial was perpetuated by the 
creation of a new Order of the Indian Empire, while a new Imperial 
Order of the Crown of India was established as a decoration for 
ladies whose male relatives were associated with the Indian Govern- 
ment. The Queen held the first investiture at Windsor on April 29, 


end of the year, too, she distributed medals to the 
men. 1 On May 2, 1876, she reviewed troops at 
Aldershot, and in the following September presented 
at Balmoral colours to her father's regiment, the 
Royal Scots. She reminded the men of her military 

During the early spring of 1876, too, she was more London 
active than usual in London. She attended a concert J^tf e 
given by her command at the Royal Albert Hall (Fe- l8 7 6 
bruary 25). She opened in semi-state a new wing of 
the London Hospital (March 7). Two days later she 
inspected in Kensington Gardens the gorgeous Albert 
Memorial, the most elaborate of the many monuments 
to her husband ; the central space in it is filled by a 
colossal gilded figure of the Prince. Thence, with 
her three younger daughters, she went to the funeral 
in Westminster Abbey of her old friend, Lady Augusta 
Stanley, whose death, after a thirty years' association, 
deeply moved her ; in memory of Lady Augusta she 
erected a monumental cross in the private grounds 
at Frogmore. 

Later in the season of 1876 the Queen left for a Visit to 
three weeks' vacation at Coburg (March 31 to April 20) ; g 
she travelled from Cherbourg through France, but 
avoided Paris, and on the return journey had an 
interview at La Villette station, in the neighbourhood 
of the capital, with the President of the Republic, 
Marshal MacMahon. The meeting was a graceful 

1 She suffered a severe shock in the autumn of 1875, when, while 
crossing to the Isle of Wight, her yacht, the ' Royal Albert,' ran down 
another yacht, the ' Mistletoe,' and thus caused three of its occupants 
to be drowned in her presence (August 18, 1875). 


recognition on her part of the new form of govern- 
ment, and every courtesy was paid her. 

At Bal- On her return to England the German Empress 

Osborne was once m o re her guest, and she debated anew the 
prospects of the Crown Prince and Princess, which 
continued to cause her anxiety. While going to 
Balmoral a few months later she unveiled at Edin- 
burgh yet another Albert Memorial, on August 17. 
For the first time since the Prince Consort's death, 
owing to illness in the Isle of Wight, she kept Christ- 
mas at Windsor instead of Osborne, and she trans- 
gressed what seemed to be her settled dislike of Court 
entertainments by giving a concert in St. George's 
Hall on December 26. 

Crisis in During the two years that followed, the Queen's 

Europe* mind was absorbed in the intricacies of European 
politics far more deeply than at any time since the 
Crimean War. She had now, she often said, more 
to do and think of than ever before, and bitterly 
complained of want of rest. A great coniiict among 
the Powers of Europe seemed imminent. The subject 
races of the Turkish Empire in the Balkans threatened 
the Porte with revolt in the autumn of 1875. The 
insurrection spread rapidly, and it was obvious that 
Russia, to serve her own ends, intended to come to 
the rescue of the insurgents after the manner of her 
action in 1854. Beaconsfield adopted Palmerston's 
policy of that year, and declared that British interests 
in India and elsewhere required the inviolate mainte- 
nance of the Sultan's authority. 

The course of events was not propitious for the 
peace of Europe. Turkey endeavoured to suppress 


the insurrection in the Balkans with great barbarity, The 
notably in Bulgaria; and in the autumn of 1876 ^fj^" s 
Gladstone, who had lately announced his retirement for peace, 
from public life, suddenly emerged from his seclusion 
in order to stir the people of the United Kingdom by 
the energy of his eloquence to resist the bestowal on 
Turkey of any English favour or support. Gladstone's 
interposition exasperated the Queen. One effect of 
his vehemence was to tighten the bond between her 
and Lord Beaconsfield. She accepted unhesitatingly 
Lord Beaconsfield's view that England was bound to 
protect Turkey from injury at Eussia's hands, and she 
bitterly resented the embarrassments that Gladstone 
caused her minister. But the Queen did not readily 
abandon hope that Eussia might be persuaded by 
diplomatic pressure to abstain from interference in 
the Balkans. The occupants of the thrones of Eussia 
and Germany were her personal friends, and she 
believed her private influence with them might keep 
the peace. Princess Alice met the Tsar at Darm- 
stadt in July 1876, and he assured the Queen through 
her daughter that he had no wish for a conflict 
with England. Thus encouraged, she wrote to him 
direct, and then appealed to the German Emperor 
to use his influence. She even twice addressed 
herself to Bismarck in the same sense. But Bis- 
marck disbelieved in her sincerity. He affected 
to credit her at heart with as rash a passion for 
active hostilities with Eussia as her friend Napo- 
leon III. had cherished for active hostilities with 
Germany in 1870. He had not forgiven her inter- 
ference in German affairs in 1875, and urged the 


Emperor and Empress of Germany to address her in 
much the same terms as she had addressed them 
when she denounced Germany's alleged designs on 
France. 1 Her efforts to restrain Bussia from attacking 
Turkey failed. Eussia declared war on Turkey on 
April 24, 1877, and before the end of the year won a 
decisive victory. 

At Hugh- As Eussia's triumph over Turkey became com- 
plete, the Queen did not dissemble her disgust and 
disappointment. Thereupon she identified herself 
with her minister's aggressive foreign policy as un- 
mistakably as she had identified herself with Peel's 
Free Trade policy more than thirty years before. 
She, no less than Lord Beaconsfield, resolved that Eng- 
land should regulate the fruits of Eussia's successes. 
Twice did she openly indicate her sympathy with her 
minister's anxieties in the course of 1877 first by 
opening Parliament in person in February, and 
secondly by paying him a visit in circumstances of 
much publicity at his country seat, Hughenden Manor, 
Buckinghamshire. She had honoured Melbourne and 
Peel in a similar way, but more than a quarter of a 
century had passed since she was the guest of a Prime 
Minister. She, with Princess Beatrice, travelled by 
rail on December 21, 1877, from Windsor to High 
Wycombe station,where Beaconsfield and his secretary, 
Mr. Montagu Corry (afterwards Lord Eowton), met 
her. The mayor presented an address of welcome. 
Driving with her host to Hughenden, she lunched 
with him, staying two hours, and on leaving planted 

1 Appendix to Bismarck s Gedanken u. Erinneritngen, ii. 488 ; 
Busch, Conversations with Bismarck, ii. 277. 


a tree on the lawn. 1 The incident created a powerful 
impression both in England and Europe. 

The situation revived at all stages the Queen's The his- 
memory of the earlier conflict with Eussia, the course Crunean 6 
of which had been largely guided by her husband's war. 
influence. She had lately re-studied the incidents of 
the Crimean war in connection with the ' Life of the 
Prince Consort,' on which Sir Theodore Martin was 
engaged under her supervision. At all events she 
desired the whole truth to be told without qualifica- 
tion. The Crimean period of the Prince's career was 
reached by his biographer before the great crisis of 
1877, and a suggestion was made that the marriage 
of her second son with a Eussian princess called for 
the modification of episodes in the narrative in order 
to conciliate the Eussian royal family. But the Queen 
scouted such considerations. Facts and documents 
must be followed at any cost. 

At the end of 1877 there appeared the third The third 
volume of the biography, which illustrated the inten- thePrince 
sity of Court and national feeling against Eussia when Consort's 
the Crimean war was in its critical stages. The 
' Spectator,' a journal supporting Gladstone, censured 

1 A poem in Punch on December 29, 1877, illustrating a sketch 
by Mr. Linley Sambourne, humorously suggested the continental 
alarm. One stanza runs : 

' Did the CZAR in far Bucharest shiver ? 

Did GOBTSCHAKOFF thrill with a dread ? 
Did the SULTAN in Stamboul feel less of 

The storms where he pillows his head ? 
As from luncheon in Hughenden Manor 

The Queen and my radiant Lord B. 
Walked out to the lawn and proceeded 

To plant a memorial tree ! ' 




seeks to 

Her sup- 
port of 

the volume as ' a party pamphlet ' in favour of Lord 
Beaconsfield, and Gladstone himself a member of 
Lord Aberdeen's cabinet which made the war re- 
viewed it in self-defence. The issue of the volume, 
for which the Queen was freely held responsible, 
added fuel to the bitter controversy at home and 

In 1878 the crisis reached its height, and the 
Queen's activities were incessant. At the beginning 
of the year the Sultan made a personal appeal to her 
to induce the Tsar to accept lenient terms of peace. 
She telegraphed to the Tsar an entreaty to accelerate 
negotiations ; but when the Tsar forced on Turkey 
conditions which gave Kussia a preponderating influ- 
ence within the Sultan's dominions, she supported 
Lord Beaconsfield in demanding that the whole 
settlement should be referred to a congress of the 
European Powers. 

Through the storms that succeeded no minister 
received stauncher support from his sovereign than 
Lord Beaconsfield from the Queen. The diplomatic 
struggle brought the two countries to the brink of 
war, but the Queen scorned the notion of retreat. A 
congress of the Powers was summoned to meet in 
Berlin in June 1878. The Queen recommended that 
Lord Beaconsfield should himself represent England, 
together with Lord Salisbury, the Foreign Secretary. 
The Prime Minister warned the Queen before he set 
out that his determination to prevent Eussia from 
getting a foothold south of the Danube might abruptly 
issue in active hostilities. The Queen declared her- 
self ready to face all risks. War preparations were 


set in motion with the Queen's full approval. On 
May 13, 1878, she held a review on a great scale at 
Aldershot in company with the Crown Prince of 
Prussia and the Princess, who were her guests. On 
August 13 she reviewed at Spithead in inauspicious 
weather a strong fleet for ' special service.' 

Meanwhile the Congress of Berlin had, in spite of The Con- 
obstacles, re-established peace. At an early session Berlin? 
a deadlock arose between Lord Beaconsfield, the 
English envoy, and Prince Gorfcschakoff, who acted 
as the Eussian envoy. Lord Beaconsfield refused 
to countenance any cession of territory or material 
influence to Eussia south of the great dividing river. 
Neither side would give way. Lord Beaconsfield 
threatened departure from Berlin so that the dispute 
might be settled by ' other means.' Therein he made 
no empty boast. He acted in accord with the under- 
standing which he had previously reached with the 
Queen. But Eussia yielded the specific point at Bis- 
marck's persuasion, and the pacific treaty of Berlin 
was soon formulated and signed. 

The material and moral advantages that England Queen 
derived from her intervention in the Eusso-Turkish 

war of 1877 were long questioned, but the Queen Beacons- 
entertained no doubt of the reality of the benefit in 
both kinds. When Lord Beaconsfield returned from 
Berlin, bringing, in his own phrase, ' peace with 
honour,' she welcomed him with unstinted honour. 
On July 22, 1878, she invested both him and his 
colleague, Lord Salisbury, at Osborne with the Order 
of the Garter. 

Domestic incident during 1878 was hardly less 







Death of 

abundant than public incident. On February 22 
there took place at Berlin the first marriage of a 
grandchild of the Queen. Charlotte, the eldest 
daughter of the Crown Prince and Princess, was then 
married to the hereditary Duke of Saxe-Meiningen- 
But it was mainly death in the Queen's circle that 
marked the year. Her former ally, Victor Emanuel, 
had died on January 9. Two attempts at Berlin to 
assassinate the old German Emperor (May 11 and 
June 2) gave her an alarming impression of the con- 
dition of Germany, where she specially feared the 
advance of socialism and atheism. On June 4 died 
her former Prime Minister, Lord Russell, and she at 
once offered his family, through Lord Beaconsfield, a 
public funeral in Westminster Abbey ; but the offer 
was declined, and he was buried at Chenies. A few 
days later (June 12) there passed away at Paris her 
first cousin, the dethroned and blind King of Hanover. 
She gave directions for his burial in St. George's 
Chapel, Windsor, and herself attended the funeral 
on June 25. 

But the heaviest blow that befell her in 1878 was the 
loss of her second daughter, Princess Alice, who had 
been her companion in her heaviest trials. The Prin- 
cess died of diphtheria at Darmstadt on December 14, 
the seventeenth anniversary of the Prince Consort's 
death. It was the first loss of a child that the Queen 
had experienced, and no element of sorrow was absent. 
The Princess was nursing her own children when she 
contracted the fatal illness. The people again shared 
their Sovereign's grief in full measure, and on the 
26th she addressed to them a simple letter of thanks 


describing the dead Princess as ' a bright example 
of loving tenderness, courageous devotion, and self- 
sacrifice to duty.' She erected a granite cross to her 
memory at Balmoral next year, and showed the 
tenderest interest in her motherless family. 

Fortunately 1879 brought more happiness in its Marriage 
train. Amid greater pomp than had characterised fcon- 6 
royal weddings since that of the Princess Koyal, naught, 
the Queen attended on March 13 the marriage at 
St. George's Chapel, Windsor, of her third son, the 
Duke of Connaught. The bride was third daughter 
of Prince Frederick Charles of Prussia (the Eed 
Prince), a nephew of the German Emperor, and first 
cousin of the Crown Prince. A new connection was 
thus formed with the Prussian House, and one that 
was thoroughly congenial to the Queen. 

Twelve days later the Queen enjoyed the new First 
experience of a visit to Italy. She stayed for nearly JJ^J* to 
a month, till April 23, at Baveno on Lago Maggiore. 1879. 
She delighted in the scenery, and was gratified by 
a visit from the new King Humbert and Queen 
Margherita of Italy. On her return to England she 
learned of the birth of her first great-grandchild, 
Feodora, the firstborn of the hereditary Princess of 
Saxe-Meiningen. 1 The Queen was herself just com- 
pleting her sixtieth year. It was an early age at which 
to welcome a third generation of descendants. 

Hardly had the congratulations ceased when she The 
suffered a severe shock. On June 19, 1879, the [^ a 

telegraph wires brought her news of the death, in the perial's 


1 The infant grew up to womanhood during the Queen's lifetime, 
nnd married, September 24, 1898, Prince Henry XXX. of Eeuss. 


Zulu war in South Africa, of the Prince Imperial, 
the only child of her friend the ex-Empress of the 
French. 1 He had gone to Africa as a volunteer 
in the English army, and was slain when riding 
almost alone in the enemy's country. He was 
regarded with much affection by the Queen and by 
the Princess Beatrice, and all the Queen's wealth of 
sympathy was bestowed on the young man's mother, 
the widowed Empress Eugenie. While the Prince's 
remains were being interred at Chislehurst, the 
Queen was the Empress's sole companion (July 12). 

Nowhere was the political situation promising at 
try's the time. The outlook alike in South Africa and 

ties India was a source of especially grave concern to 

the Queen. The Zulu war in which the Prince 
Imperial met his death was only one symptom of 
the unrest in South Africa which the Governor of 
the Cape, Sir Bartle Frere, had brought about in an 
endeavour to assert British supremacy over the 
whole of that territory. Sir Bartle Frere's policy 
was proved by after-events to be in principle wise and 
statesmanlike, but it was not attended at the moment 
by success. Lord Beaconsfield did not conceal his 
disapproval of the action of the Governor, but his 
preoccupation with Eastern Europe had not permitted 
him to control the situation, and he felt bound to 
defend the positions into which the Government had 

1 The Queen wrote in her Journal, June 20, 1879 : ' Had a bad 
restless night, haunted by this awful event, seeing those horrid 
Zulus constantly before me, and thinking of the poor Empress, who 
did not yet know it. ... My accession day, forty-two years ago : 
but no thought of it in presence of this frightful event.' (More 
Leaves, p. 258.) 


been led by its accredited representative, with the 
result that the pertinacious Opposition had often the 
best of the argument. 

Equal difficulties were encountered by Lord Indian 
Beaconsfield's Government in India, where the rival 
pretensions of England and Kussia to dominate the 
Amir of Afghanistan had involved the Indian Govern- 
ment, under Lord Lytton's viceroyalty, in two suc- 
cessive wars with the Afghans (November 1878 and 
December 1879). These wars were represented by 
the Government's enemies to be acts of wanton 

The strife of political parties at home greatly Glad- 
complicated the situation of affairs in distant parts of ^} e ' s 
the empire, and gave the Queen additional cause for lothian 
distress. Gladstone, during the autumn of 1879, in s P eeches> 
a series of passionate speeches delivered in Midlothian, 
charged the Government with recklessly fomenting 
disaster throughout the globe by their blustering 
imperialism. The Queen warmly resented Glad- 
stone's Midlothian campaign. His persistent attacks 
on Lord Beaconsneld as the author of every evil 
especially roused her wrath, and in private letters 
she invariably described his denunciations of her 
favourite Minister as shameless or disgraceful. 

The Queen's faith in Beaconsneld was now un- The 
quenchable. He acknowledged her sympathy in Q ueen ' s 
avowals of the strongest personal attachment to her. to Lord 
He was ambitious, he told her, of securing for her 
office greater glory than it had yet attained. He 
was anxious to make her the dicta tress of Europe. 
' Many things,' he wrote, ' are preparing, which for 


the sake of peace and civilisation render it most neces- 
sary that her Majesty should occupy that position.' 
But there were ominous signs that Beaconsfield's own 
lease of power was reaching its close, despite the 
Queen's anxiety to lengthen it. For the fourth time 
while he was Prime Minister she opened the last 
session of his Parliament, on February 5, 1880. 
The ceremonial was conducted with greater elabora- 
tion than at any time since the Prince's death. 
On March 24 Parliament was dissolved at the will 
of the Prime Minister, who believed the omens 
auspicious for his success at the polls. The future 
fortune of the Queen's favourite minister was thus 
put to the hazard of the people's vote. 




DEEPLY as the Queen was interested in the result of Visit to 
the coming election, she did not remain in England 
to watch its progress. Spring holidays had been 
arranged some weeks before, and, on the day after 
Parliament was dissolved, she left on a month's visit 
to Germany. She spent most of her time at her late 
half-sister's Villa Hohenlohe at Baden-Baden, but 
went thence to Darmstadt to attend the confirmation 
of two daughters of the late Princess Alice. At the 
palace at Darmstadt she lived in the rooms that her 
dead daughter had occupied. Her attention was 
diverted by intercourse with her grandchildren who 
gathered round her, and while she was still abroad 
a domestic incident in the family of her eldest 
daughter, the Crown Princess, gratified her highly. 
Her grandson, Prince William of Prussia (now Em- Betrothal 
peror William II.), in whom the Queen had delighted 

from his infancy, was just betrothed to Princess f 
Augusta Victoria of [Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg] 
Augustenburg, daughter of Duke Frederick, the 
claimant to the duchy of Holstein, who had fared so 
disastrously in the Schleswig-Holstein struggle. Duke 
Frederick had died in the previous January, crushed 


by Bismarck's Prussian policy. The Queen fully 
sympathised with the sentiment of young Prince 
William's parents, who remarked that poetic justice 
was rendered to Duke Frederick's memory by the 
entrance of his daughter into the direct line of suc- 
cession to the crown of the Prussian ruler's consort. 
The But, in spite of her joy at her grandson's betrothal 

flection an( ^ ner happy intimacy with Princess Alice's chil- 
ofi88o. dren, her keenest interests were absorbed in the 
vicissitudes of the general election in England. Tele- 
grams passed constantly between her and the Prime 
Minister, and her spirits sank when the completeness 
of the defeat of the Conservative party proved to 
her that he could serve her no longer. Liberals and 
Home Eulers had in the new House of Commons a 
majority over the Conservatives of no less than 166. 
Queen's On April 17 the Queen was back at Windsor, and 

pTexity nex * ^ av k a( ^ ^ wo hours' touching conversation with 
her vanquished minister. She felt bitterly her isola- 
tion. The least agreeable of her past experiences 
seemed to threaten her anew. As in 1855 and 1859, 
when a ministerial crisis brought her in view of the 
mortifying experience of making Prime Minister one 
whom she distrusted, she carefully and deliberately 
examined all possible alternatives. For five days she 
refrained from any overt action. On April 22 Lord 
Beaconsfield paid her a second visit at Windsor, and 
when he left, the Queen summoned by his advice Lord 
Hartington, who was nominal leader of the Liberal 
party in the House of Commons ; for, in spite of Glad- 
stone's activity in agitation through the country, he 
had never formally resumed the post of leader of the 


party since his retirement in 1875, when Lord Hart- 
ington had been chosen to fill his place. She invited 
Lord Hartington to form a ministry. He told her, 
to her own and Lord Beaconsfield's disappointment, 
that Gladstone alone had won the victory and that 
he alone must reap the rewards. Beaconsfield said 
that Lord Hartington showed want of courage in 
hesitating to take office ; he ' abandoned a woman in 
her hour of need.' 

On returning to London Lord Hartington called Glad- 
on Gladstone. Next morning (April 23) he went back 

to Windsor with the Queen's old friend, Lord Gran- office, 
ville, the Liberal leader of the House of Lords. 
Against her will they convinced her that Gladstone 
alone was entitled to power, and, making the best of 
the difficult situation, she entrusted them with a mes- 
sage to him requesting an interview. Gladstone 
hurried to Windsor the same evening, and after a few 
minutes' conversation he accepted the Queen's com- 
mission to assume power. The Queen took formal 
leave of Lord Beaconsfield at Windsor on April 27 in 
a spirit of deep dejection. She offered him as a mark 
of her esteem promotion to a higher rank in the 
peerage, but this he declined. 

Gladstone's second administration was soon in 
being, and, although some of its personnel was little 
to the Queen's taste, she received her new advisers 
with constitutional correctness of demeanour. 1 

1 Gladstone's second Cabinet was constituted thus : 

First Lord of the Treasury and W. E. Gladstone. 

Chancellor of the Exchequer 

Lord Chancellor .... Lord Selborne. 
President of the Council . . Earl Spencer, E.G. 

G G 




of King 
of Han- 

Two acts due to the Queen's native kindness of 
heart involved her in some public censure as soon as 
the new Liberal Government was installed. She felt 
lifelong compassion for the family of her exiled cousin, 
the King of Hanover, and showed great tenderness 
to his daughter Frederica, whom she called ' the poor 
lily of Hanover.' She not only countenanced her 
marriage with Baron von Pawell-Eammingen, who 
was formerly her father's equerry, but arranged for 
the wedding to take place in her presence in her 

Lord Privy Seal .... 

First Lord of the Admiralty 

Home Secretary .... 

Foreign Secretary 

War Secretary .... 

Colonial Secretary 

Secretary for India 

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lan- 

President of the Board of Trade . 

President of the Local Govern- 
ment Board. 

Chief Secretary for Ireland . 

Duke of Argyll, K.T. 
Earl of Northbrook. 
Sir W. Vernon Harcourt. 
Earl Granville, E.G. 
Hugh C. E. Childers. 
Earl of Kimberley. 
Marquis of Hartington. 
John Bright. 

Joseph Chamberlain. 

J. G. Dodson (afterwards Lord 

Monk Bretton) 
W. E. Forster. 

Changes were numerous later. Lord Carlingford, who succeeded 
Argyll as Privy Seal (May 1881), was also President of the Council 
from March 1883, in place of Lord Spencer, who succeeded Lord 
Cowper as Irish Lord Lieutenant (May 1882). Mr. Forster, Irish 
Secretary, gave way (May 1882) to Lord Frederick Cavendish, on whose 
murder Mr. (afterwards Sir) G. 0. Trevelyan succeeded. Dodson suc- 
ceeded Bright as Chancellor of the Duchy (July 1882), and Sir Charles 
Dilke Dodson at the Local Government Board. Gladstone yielded the 
Chancellorship of the Exchequer to Childers (Dec. 1882), when Lord 
Hartington became War Secretary, Lord Derby Colonial Secretary, and 
Lord Kimberley India Secretary. Mr. Trevelyan succeeded Dodson in 
the Duchy (Oct. 1884), Mr. Campbell-Bannerman becoming Irish Secre- 
tary. Lord Eosebery was First Commissioner of Works from 1884 
and Privy Seal also (in place of Carlingford) from February 1885. 


private chapel at Windsor (April 24, 1880). The 
match was deemed to be wanting in dignity, especially 
in Germany, and to be undeserving of the Queen's 
countenance, but she lost no opportunity of proving 
that it received her full sanction. 1 

A few months later she, as visitor of Westminster Memo- 
Abbey, urged the erection of a monument there in p^J^ 
memory of the late Prince Imperial. The scheme imperial, 
was brought to the notice of the House of Commons, 
where, in spite of Gladstone's support, it was em- 
phatically condemned on the ground alike of the 
Prince's nationality and of public policy (July 16, 
1880). Five days later the Queen reluctantly with- 
drew the proposal and at once appointed a site for 
the monument in St. George's Chapel, Windsor. 

The misgivings with which the Queen's new Active 
advisers inspired her stimulated her critical activity, SSnSers 
and during the five years that they held office there 
was no diminution in her energetic supervision of 
their conduct of public business. She informed Glad- 
stone and his colleagues at the outset that she insisted 
on a full exercise of her right of ' commenting on all 
proposals before they are matured.' Ministers must 
take no decision before their completed plans were 
before her. 

One of the new Government's first domestic mea- Burials 
sures the Burials Bill caused her disquietude. The Actt 
bill was designed to authorise the conduct of funerals 

1 The Queen published in the Court Circular, on April 26, a 
long list of the Princess's wedding presents, and on April 28 she 
announced that the Princess's wedding dress and veil, which were 
fully described, were her own gift. 

o G 2 


by Nonconformist ministers in parish churchyards, 
and the Queen sought the opinion of Lord Sel- 
borne, like herself a firm adherent of the Angli- 
can Establishment, respecting the forms of reli- 
gious service in churchyards that were to be 

Distrust More serious perturbation was caused the Queen 

teriai* 115 ^y the ministry's plans for the further reorganisation 
measures, of the army, the control of which, despite recent 
legislation, she persisted in treating as the Crown's 
peculiar province. No military reform escaped her 
censorious vigilance. In May she stoutly protested 
against the proposal for the complete abolition of 
flogging in the army. She hated the system, she 
wrote, but she saw no possible alternative ' in ex- 
treme cases of cowardice, treachery, plundering, or 
neglect of duty on sentry.' She objected to the sus- 
pension of the practice of giving honorary colonelcies 
with incomes attached as rewards for distinguished 
service ; any abuse in the method of distribution could 
be easily remedied. When Childers, the Secretary of 
War, in the winter of 1880 sketched out a scheme for 
linking battalions and for giving regiments territorial 
designations, she warmly condemned changes which 
were likely, in her opinion, to weaken the regimental 
esprit de corps. Childers, though he respectfully 
considered the Queen's suggestions, rarely adopted 
them, and in a speech at Pontefract on January 19, 
1882, he deemed it prudent openly to contest the view 
that the Crown still governed the army. 

During the first months of Gladstone's second 
Administration the Queen's main energies were devoted 


to urging on the ministers the duty of spirited and Afghan- 
sustained action in bringing to an end the wars in 
Afghanistan and South Africa, which their prede- 
cessors had left on their hands. The Afghan 
campaign of 1880 she watched with the closest atten- 
tion. After the defeat of the English troops at Mai- Mai- 
wand she wrote to Childers of her dread lest the 
Government should not adequately endeavour to 
retrieve the disaster. She had heard rumours, she 
said, of an intended reduction of the army by the 
Government. She thought there was need of increas- 
ing it. On August 22 she proved her anxiety by 
inspecting the troopship ' Jumna ' which was taking 
reinforcements to India. But, to her intense satis- 
faction and gratitude, Sir Frederick (now Earl) Eoberts, 
by a prompt march on Kandahar, reduced the Afghans 
to submission. The new Amir, Abdur-Rahman, was 
securely installed on the Afghan throne, and to the 
Queen's relief he maintained to the end of her reign 
friendly relations with her and her Government, fre- 
quently speaking to his family and court in praise 
of her character and rule. 1 

In like manner, after the outbreak of the Boer war The 
in December 1880, and the defeat and death of 
General Colley on February 27, 1881, at Majuba Hill, 
the Queen was unremitting in her admonitions to the 
Government to bestir themselves. She recommended 
General Roberts for the vacant chief command in 
the Transvaal a recommendation which the Govern- 
ment made independently at the same moment. Her 
ministers, however, decided to carry to a conclusion 

1 Amir Abdur-Eahman, Autobiography, 1900. 




with the 

Death of 
April 19, 

the peace negotiations which had previously been 
opened with the Boers, and before General Roberts 
landed in South Africa the war was ended by the 
apparent capitulation of the Queen's advisers to the 
enemy. The ministerial action conflicted with the 
Queen's views and wishes. She openly contemned it 
as weak and pusillanimous. The restoration to the 
Boers of practical autonomy served signally to in- 
crease her distrust of ministerial policy. 

But, whatever her opinion of her Government's 
diplomacy, she was not sparing in signs of sympathy 
with the sufferings of her troops in the recent hostili- 
ties. By her desire the colours of the 24th regiment, 
which were recovered after being temporarily lost 
during the Zulu war at the battle of Isandhlwana, 
were brought to Osborne ; while speaking to the officers 
who bore the flag of the bravery of the regiment 
and its trials in South Africa, she decorated the colours 
with a wreath (July 28, 1880). During 1882 she 
once more held a review at Aldershot (May 16), and 
on August 17, at Parkhurst, Isle of Wight, she pre- 
sented new colours to the second battalion of the 
Berkshire regiment (66th), which had lost its old 
colours at Maiwand in Afghanistan. 

Discontent with her present advisers intensified 
the grief with which she learned of the death of Lord 
Beaconsfield her ' dear great friend ' she called him 
on April 19, 1881. For the moment the blow over- 
whelmed her. She and all members of her family 
treated his loss as a personal bereavement. Two days 
after his death she wrote from Osborne to Dean 
Stanley : ' His devotion and kindness to me, his wise 


counsels, his great gentleness combined with firmness, 
his one thought of the honour and glory of the country, 
and his unswerving loyalty to the throne make the 
deatli of my dear Lord Beaconsfield a national 
calamity. My grief is great and lasting.' To another 
friend she described the dead statesman as ' my dear 
valued and devoted friend and counsellor whose loss 
is so great to the country and to me. . . . Every 
sympathetic recollection of him is a satisfaction to 
me.' When the question of a public funeral was 
raised the Queen said she knew that he would wish to 
be buried beside his wife at Hughenden, but she 
directed that a public monument should be placed to 
his memory in Westminster Abbey. 1 

At the funeral at Hughenden, on the 26th, she Marks of 
was represented by the Prince of Wales and Prince T fo^his 
Leopold. Of two wreaths which she sent, one, of memory, 
primroses, bore the inscription, ' His favourite flower. 
... A tribute of affection from Queen Victoria.' 
Thus was inaugurated the permanent association of 
the primrose with Lord Beaconsfield's memory. 

Such marks of regard did not, however, exhaust 
the Queen's public acts of mourning. Four days 
after the burial, she and the Princess Beatrice 
visited Lord Beaconsfield's house at Hughenden, and 
the Queen placed with her own hands a wreath of 
white camellias on the coffin, which lay in the still 
open vault in the churchyard. Next year, on the wall 
above the seat in the chancel of the church which Lord 
Beaconsfield was wont to occupy a position chosen 
by herself she caused to be set up an elaborate 

1 Life of Stanley, ii. 565. 




of Tsar 
der II. 
and Pre- 

War in 



memorial tablet a low-relief profile portrait of the 
minister with an inscription from her own pen : 
' To the dear and honoured memory of Benjamin, 
Earl of Beaconsfield, this memorial is placed by his 
grateful sovereign and friend Victoria E.I. (" Kings 
love him that speaketh right." Proverbs xvi. 13.) 
February 27, 1882.' l No sovereign in the course of 
English history had given equal proofs of attachment 
to or respect for a minister. 

The Queen's generous sympathies were never, 
however, wholly absorbed by her own subjects or her 
friends at home. A few weeks before Lord Beacons- 
field's death she was shocked by the assassination of 
the Tsar Alexander II., father of her daughter-in-law, 
the Duchess of Edinburgh (March 13), and a few 
months later the death by a like violence of President 
Garfield of the United States drew from her an auto- 
graph letter of condolence to the widow which the 
veteran politician Charles Pelham Villiers described 
as a ' masterpiece ' of womanly consideration and 
political tact. 

Before the end of 1881 the Government was 
involved in grave difficulties in Egypt. Arabi Pasha, 
the Khedive's war minister, fomented a rebellion 
against the Khedive's authority in the autumn, and 

1 The Queen also had a brass plate fixed to Lord Beaconsfield's 
seat in the church cut with words commemorating the fact. Further- 
more she paid his memory the unique distinction of claiming of 
Garter King-at-Arms the insignia banner, helmet, and sword 
belonging to him as Knight of the Garter, which hung in his lifetime 
in St. George's Chapel, Windsor. She ordered these insignia to be 
transferred to Hughenden Church and to be suspended on the wall of 
the chancel above her own memorial tablet. 


by the summer of 1882 he had gained complete control 
of the Egyptian Government. Grave disorders in 
the administration of Egyptian finance had led 
England and France in 1878 to form what was known 
as the dual control of the Egyptian revenue, and this 
arrangement imposed on them the responsibility of 
preserving order in the country. France now, how- 
ever, declined to join England in active defence of the 
Khedive's authority, and the Queen's Government 
undertook to repress the insurrection of Arabi single- 

The Queen was quickly convinced of the need of Queen's 
armed intervention, and she betrayed characteristic actlvlt y- 
solicitude for prompt and effectual action. On July 10, 
when hostilities were imminent, she inquired of the 
War Minister, Childers, what forces were in readiness, 
and deprecated the selection of a Commander-in-Chief 
until she had had time to consider the Government's 
suggestions. The condition of the transport and the 
supply of horses demanded, she pointed out, immediate 
consideration. On the 21st she approved the appoint- 
ment of Sir Garnet (afterwards Viscount) Wolseley as 
Commander-in-Chief, with Sir John Adye as Chief of 
the Staff. On July 28 she asked for information 
respecting the press regulations. The Queen's concern 
for the success of the expedition was increased by the 
appointment, with her full consent, of her son, the 
Duke of Connaught, to the command of the Guards 
Brigade in the first division of the army, while the 
Duke of Teck, husband of her first cousin, Princess 
Mary, filled a place on Sir Garnet Wolseley's staff. 

Until the whole of the expeditionary force was 








battle of 
Sept. 13, 

embarked the Queen never ceased to advise the War 
Office respecting practical points of equipment, and 
was peremptory in her warnings in regard to food 
supplies and hospital stores. The comfort as well 
as the health of the troops needed, in her view, 
attention. In a single day in August she forwarded 
no less than seventeen notes to the Minister of 

The opening of the campaign redoubled her zeal. 
On September 12 she wrote from Balmoral, ' My 
thoughts are entirely fixed on Egypt and the coming 
battle.' When the news of the decisive victory at 
Tel-el-Kebir reached her (September 13), she caused 
a bonfire to be lit on the top of Craig Gowan, thus 
celebrating the receipt of the news in the same way 
as that of the fall of Sebastopol in 1855. But her 
joy at the victory was dashed by the fear that the 
Government would not follow it up with resolution. 
She was aware of differences of opinion in the Cabinet, 
and she spared no exertion to stiffen the backs of her 
ministers. On September 19 she protested alike 
against any present diminution of troops in Egypt, and 
against the lenient treatment of the rebellious Arabi. 
On September 21, 1882, she wrote to her ministers : ' 
' If Arabi and the other principal rebels who are the 
cause of the deaths of thousands are not severely 
punished, revolution and rebellion will be greatly 
encouraged, and we may have to do all over again. 
The whole state of Egypt and its future are full of 
grave difficulties, and we must take great care that, 
short of annexation, our position is firmly established 

Childers's Life, ii. 33, 


there, and that we shall not have to shed precious 
blood and expend much money for nothing.' 

Finally Egypt was pacified, and English pre- Recep- 
dominance was secured, although disorder was suffered ^{J^ 
to spread in the subsidiary provinces of the Soudan, troops, 
with peril to the future. In the last months of the 
year the Queen turned to the grateful task of meting 
out rewards to those who had engaged in the recent 
operations. In October she devised a new decoration of 
the Eoyal Eed Cross for nurses who rendered efficient 
service in war. The final regulations were issued 
on April 7, 1883. On November 18 she reviewed in 
St. James's Park eight thousand troops who had just 
returned from Egypt ; and at Windsor, three days 
later, when she distributed war medals, she delivered 
to the men a stirring address of thanks. 

But it was not only abroad that anxieties con- Irish 
fronted the Queen and her Government during 1882. 
For the fifth time the Queen's life was threatened by 
assassination. A lunatic, one Eoderick Maclean, fired 
a pistol at her happily without hitting her on 
March 2 at Windsor railway station, as she was 
returning from London. 1 Soon afterwards disaffec- 
tion in Ireland reached a climax in the murder of 
Lord Frederick Cavendish, the Chief Secretary, and 
of Thomas Henry Burke, the Under- Secretary (May 6). 
She had watched the progress of the Nationalist 
agitation since 1879 with ' terrible anxiety.' ' What 

1 Sir Samuel Wilson, who at the time rented Hughenden Manor 
after Lord Beaconsfield's death, placed a stained-glass window in the 
church there : ' To the glory of God and in commemoration of His 
merciful protection of her Majesty Queen Victoria from great peril 
at Windsor on March 2, 1882.' 


a dreadful state that unhappy country is in ! ' she wrote 
on December 26, 1880. Kesolution in the suppression 
of disorder always won the Queen's admiration, and 
she had given every encouragement to W. E. Forster, 
Lord Frederick Cavendish's predecessor as Irish Secre- 
tary, in his strenuous efforts to uphold the law. She 
had made diligent inquiries respecting the personnel 
of the agitators, of whom she spoke with impatience, 
and had urged on every effort to protect the law- 
abiding landlords and tenants from outrage. The more 
conciliatory policy which ultimately prevailed with 
Forster's successors awoke in her no enthusiasm. 
. Happily the Queen found some compensation 

to the f r ner varied troubles at home in annual travel 
Riviera, abroad, and in other agreeable vicissitudes of private 
life. In the spring she spent a vacation abroad for 
the first time in the Eiviera, staying for a month at 
Mentone. Once more, too, a marriage in her family 
gladdened her. Her youngest son, Leopold, Duke of 
Albany, had become engaged to Princess Helen 
Frederica, a princess of the German house of 
Waldeck-Pyrmont, whose sister was second wife to 
the King of the Netherlands. The Queen had no pre- 
vious personal acquaintance with the young princess, 
and was doubtful of the stability of Prince Leopold's 
health, but she gave her consent to the union with 
good hope. 

Grant to The marriage compelled the Queen once more to 

Leopold approach Parliament for a financial settlement on 
behalf of the Prince. Precedent was on the Queen's 
side and Gladstone was amiable. He invited Parlia- 
ment on March 23 to increase the Prince's income, 


as in the case of his two next elder brothers, from 
15,000^., which he had enjoyed since he came of 
age, to 25,000. Gladstone pressed the proposal on 
the House of Commons with tact and zeal, but as 
many as forty-two members mainly from Ireland 
voted against the proposal. It was ultimately carried 
by a majority of 345. The customary corollary, that 
in case of the Prince's death 6,OOOZ. a year was to be 
allowed his widow, happily passed without dissent. 

Shortly after the Queen's return from Mentone Prince 
she attended the marriage of Prince Leopold and m |r^ag 
Princess Helen of Waldeck-Pyrmont, at St. George's April 27. 
Chapel, Windsor. She provided handsomely for her 
youngest son and his bride. She purchased in per- 
petuity the Crown property of Claremont, which had 
been granted her for life by Parliament in 1866 on 
the death of its former holder, King Leopold, and this 
estate she generously presented to the newly married 
pair for their residence. 

Twice during the year she took part in public 
ceremonies of interest. On May 6 she went to Epping 
Forest, which the Corporation of London had recently 
secured for a public recreation ground, and she dedi- Courts, 
cated it formally to public use. At the end of the 
year, on December 4, at the request of Lord Selborne, 
the Lord Chancellor, she inaugurated the new Law 
Courts in the Strand. 




Years of THE prevailing note of the Queen's life, owing 
1883! a like * public ai *d private causes, during the two 
years that followed was one of gloom. At the close 
of 1882 she had been deprived by death of another 
friend in whom she trusted Archbishop Tait. He 
gratified her by sending from his deathbed a message 
by way of ' a last memorial of twenty- six years of 
devoted service with earnest love and affectionate 
blessing ' for her and her family. An offer was made 
by the Dean and Chapter of a tomb for the dead 
prelate in Westminster Abbey, but his daughters 
preferred that he should lie with his relatives in 
Addington churchyard. The question of the Pri- 
mate's last resting-place was submitted by his 
daughters to the Queen's decision, and she promptly 
gave her voice for Addington. 

Choice The Queen was at one with the Prime Minister, 

Primate, Gladstone, in treating as a matter of the highest seri- 
1883. ousness the choice of a successor to Tait in the Arch- 
bishopric of Canterbury. Many names were discussed. 
' Never,' writes Dean Church, ' for hundreds of years 
has so much honest disinterested pains been taken to 
fill the Primacy such inquiry and trouble resolutely 

1883] GENERAL "GOBDON 463 

followed out to find the really fittest man, apart from 
every personal and political consideration, as in this 
case. Of that I can bear witness.' L Dr. Harold 
Browne, who had, on Gladstone's nomination, suc- 
ceeded Samuel Wilberforce as Bishop of Winchester in 
1873, suggested his own name for the vacant office, 
but he was past seventy years old, and the Queen had 
no hesitation in writing to him : ' The Queen feels it 
would be wrong to ask him to enter on new and 
arduous duties, which now more than ever tax the 
health and strength of him who has to undertake 
them, at his age, which, as the Bishop himself says, 
is the same as that of our dear late friend [Tait].' 2 

Fortunately she found Gladstone ultimately in Appoint- 
agreement with herself as to the fitness of Edward /Jrch_ 
White Benson to succeed to the Primacy. He had bishop 
been the first headmaster of her husband's foundation 
of Wellington College, and was afterwards first 
Bishop of Truro. Benson's acceptance of the office 
was, she said, ' a great support to herself,' and with 
him her relations were no less cordial than with his 

At the moment that Benson took the appoint- Death of 
ment, the Queen suffered a new sense of desolation B r o^ n 
from the death, on March 27, 1883, of her faithful Marchiy, 
attendant, John Brown. She placed a tombstone to x 
his memory in Crathie churchyard, and invited sug- 
gestions from Tennyson for the inscription, which she 
prepared herself. At Balmoral she caused a statue 
of her humble friend to be erected, and at Osborne a 

1 Life and Letters of Dean Church, 1895, p. 307. 

2 Kitchin's Life of Dr. Harold Browne, p. 456. 




tion of 

granite seat was inscribed with pathetic words to his 
memory. ' His loss to me (ill and helpless as I was at 
the time from an accident),' she wrote a few months 
later, ' is irreparable, for he deservedly possessed my 
entire confidence ; and to say that he is daily, nay, 
hourly, missed by me, whose lifelong gratitude he 
won by his constant care, attention, and devotion, is 
but a feeble expression of the truth : 

' A truer, nobler, trustier heart, 
More loyal and more loving, never beat 
Within a human breast.' 

An accidental fall on the staircase at Windsor, 
early in 1883, rendered the Queen unable to walk 
for many months, and increased her tendency to 
depression. Even in January, 1884, it was formally 
announced that she could not stand for more than a 
few minutes. 1 In the summer of 1883 she consoled 
herself in her loneliness by preparing for publication 
another selection from her journal 'More Leaves 
from a Journal of Life in the Highlands, 1862-1882,' 
and she dedicated it * To my loyal highlanders, and 
especially to the memory of my devoted personal 
attendant and faithful friend, John Brown.' She 
still took a justly modest view of the literary value 
of her work. When she sent a copy to Tennyson 
she described herself as ' a very humble and unpre- 
tending author, the only merit of whose writing was 
its simplicity and truth.' 

The public reception of the volume revived her 
Leopold's S pi r its, but they were quickly dashed by the second 
loss of a child. On March 28, 1884, the Duke of 


Court Circular, January 21. 


Albany, her youngest and her lately married son, 
died suddenly at Cannes. His health had caused her 
constant concern and intensified her affection for 
him. The trial of his death shook her severely. A 
great help and support had been taken from her, she 
said, in her declining years. But she met the blow 
with courage and with religious resignation. To one 
message of condolence she replied : ' Yes, God has 
taken most away who were my dearest, as well as 
those I most needed as helps and comforts. I am 
sorely stricken indeed. This is but a pilgrimage, a 
great struggle, and not our real home.' l ' Though 
all happiness is at an end for me in this world,' she 
wrote to Tennyson, ' I am ready to fight on.' In 
a letter to her people, dated from Windsor Castle 
April 14, she promised ' to labour on for the sake of 
my children, and for the good of the country I love so 
well, as long as I can ; ' and she tactfully expressed 
thanks to the people of France, in whose territory 
her son had died, for the respect and kindness that 
they had shown. Although the pacific temper and 
condition of the Prince's life rendered the ceremony 
hardly appropriate, the Queen directed a military 
funeral for him in St. George's Chapel, Windsor, on 
April 6. 

The conduct of the Government during the year The 
(1883-4) gave her small cause for satisfaction. Soudan< 
Egypt, which was now practically administered by 
England, was the centre of renewed anxiety. Since 
Arabi's insurrection, the inhabitants of the Soudan 
had, under a fanatical leader, the Mahdi, been in 

1 Lord Ronald Sutherland Gower, Old Diaries, p. 404. 

H H 


revolt against Egyptian rule, and they were now 
menacing the Egyptian frontier. During 1883 the 
English ministry had to decide whether to suppress 
by force the rebellion in the Soudan, or to abandon 
the territory to the insurgents and cut it off from 
Egypt altogether To the Queen's dismay, the policy 
of abandonment was adopted, with a single qualifica- 
tion. Some Egyptian garrisons still remained in the 
Soudan in positions of the gravest peril, and these 
the English Government undertook to rescue. The 
Queen recommended prompt and adequate action, but 
her words fell on deaf ears (January 1884). 
General The Government, yielding to journalistic clamour, 

Gordon< confined itself to sending General Gordon to Khar- 
toum, the capital of the disturbed districts, in order 
to negotiate with the rebels for the relief of the 
threatened garrisons. His influence with natives of 
the Soudan had in the past proved very great, but 
at once the Queen expressed doubts whether he could 
possibly execute his present difficult mission single- 
handed. She watched Gordon's advance towards his 
goal with the gravest concern, and constantly reminded 
the Government of the danger he was running. 

The Queen's forebodings proved well justified. 
Gordon's influence with the natives of the Soudan 
was of small avail, and he was soon himself besieged 
in Khartoum by the Mahdi's forces. Thereupon the 
Queen solemnly warned the Government of the obliga- 
tion it was under of despatching a British expe- 
dition to deliver him. The Government feared to 
involve itself further in war in Egypt, but the Queen 
was not to be silenced. Public opinion was clearly 

1885] GENE-KAL GOKDON 467 

with her, and in the autumn a British army was tardily 
sent out, under Lord Wolseley, to attempt Gordon's 
rescue. The Queen reproached the Government with 
the delay, which she brought herself to regard as a 
neglect of public duty. The worst followed. The ex- 
pedition failed to effect its purpose ; Khartoum was 
stormed, and Gordon was killed before the relieving 
force reached the city (January 26, 1885). 

No disaster of her reign caused the Queen more The 
pain and indignation. She expressed herself on the 

subject with unqualified frankness. In a letter, Gordon's 
penned with her own hand at Osborne, and addressed 
to Gordon's sister a very few weeks after the tragedy, 
she said that she ' keenly felt the stain left upon 
England ' by General Gordon's ' cruel but heroic fate.' 
She found it difficult to describe the poignancy of her 
grief at the remembrance that her urgent counsels 
had not been followed. 

' Dear Miss Gordon ' (the letter ran), The 


* How shall I write to you or how shall I attempt i*^^ 
to express what I feel ? To think of your dear, noble, Gordon, 
heroic brother, who served his country and his Queen ^^ x '* 
so truly, so heroicly, with a self-sacrifice so edifying 
to the world, ... is to me grief inexpressible. 
Indeed it has made me ill ! 

' My heart bleeds for you, his sister, who have gone 
through so many anxieties on his account, and who 
loved the dear brother as he deserved to be. You are 
all so good and trustful to have such strong faith that 
you will be sustained even now, when real absolute 

H H 2 


evidence of your dear brother's death does not exist, 
but I fear there cannot be much doubt of it. 

' Some day I hope to see you again, to tell you all 
I cannot express ! 

' My daughter Beatrice, who has felt quite as I do, 
wishes me to express her deepest sympathy with you. 
I have so many expressions of sorrow and sympathy 
from abroad from my eldest daughter the Crown 
Princess, and from my cousin the King of the 
Belgians the very warmest. 

' Would you express to your other sisters and your 
elder brother my true sympathy, and what I do BO 
keenly feel the stain left upon England for your 
dear brother's cruel, though heroic fate ? 
' Ever, dear Miss Gordon, 

'Yours sincerely and sympathisingly, 

'V.E.I.' 1 

The The diary which Gordon kept while he was besieged 

Gordon's a * Khartoum, as well as his Bible, was ultimately re- 
Bible, covered by the relieving force, and was forwarded to 
Miss Gordon. She at once presented her brother's 
Bible to the Queen. The Queen expressed her grati- 
tude in a letter dated Windsor Castle, March 16, 1885. 

' It is most kind and good of you to give me this 
precious Bible,' the Queen wrote, ' and I only hope that 
you are not depriving yourself and family of such a 
treasure, if you have no other. May I ask you during 
how many years your dear heroic brother had it with 

1 This and the letters quoted below were bequeathed by Miss 
Gordon to the British Museum, on her death in 1893, The second 
letter is on public exhibition there. 


him ? I shall have a case made for it with an inscrip- 
tion, and place it in the library here with your letter 
and the touching extract from his last to you. 

' I have ordered, as you know, a marble bust of 
your dear brother to be placed in the corridor here, 
where so many busts and pictures of our greatest 
generals and statesmen are, and hope that you will 
see it before it is finished to give your opinion as to 
the likeness. 

' Believe me, always yours very sincerely, 


Gordon's diary at Khartoum was sent by Gordon's 
Miss Gordon for the Queen's perusal in July. The diaf y- 
Queen acknowledged it without delay from Osborne 
on July 11, 1885. 

* I must myself thank you,' she wrote, ' for the 
volume of your dear brother's diary. Beatrice and I 
are reading it with the deepest and saddest interest.' 

She referred anew to her sense of mortification 
in having been unable to persuade her ministers in 
due time of Gordon's imminent peril. She signed 

' Ever yours most sincerely, 

'V. E. I.' 

The Queen duly placed the bust of Gordon in the The 
corridor at Windsor. His Bible she kept in a case in jfjjjj? 
the corridor near her private rooms, and often showed Soudan, 
it to her guests as one of her most valued treasures. 
Meanwhile the Queen keenly interested herself in the 


further efforts to rescue the Egyptian garrisons in the 
Soudan. In February 1885 the Grenadier Guards, 
who were ordered thither, paraded by her command 
before her at Windsor. She was gratified by offers 
of men from the Australian colonies, which she 
acknowledged with warm gratitude, and was not well 
pleased that the Government should decline them. 
At the end of the year she visited wounded soldiers 
from the Soudan at Netley, and she distributed medals 
to non-commissioned officers and men at Windsor. 

But the later operations in the Soudan brought 
the Queen cold comfort. They lacked the decisive 
success which she loved to associate with the achieve- 
ments of British arms, and she regretfully saw the 
Soudan relapse into barbarism. 

The Home politics had meanwhile kept the Queen 

Sufth closely occupied through the autumn of 1884. In the 
Fran- ordinary session of that year the Government had 
iSfy 6 1 ' P asse d through the House of Commons a bill for a 
wide extension of the franchise : this the House of 
Lords had rejected in the summer, whereupon the 
Government announced their intention of passing it a 
second time through the House of Commons in an 
autumn session. A severe struggle between the two 
Houses was thus imminent. The Queen had fully 
adopted Lord Beaconsfield's theory that the broader 
the basis of the constitution, the more secure the 
crown, and she viewed the fuller enfranchisement of 
the labouring classes with active benevolence. At the 
same time she always regarded a working harmony 
between the two Houses of Parliament as essential to 
the due stability of the monarchy, and in the existing 


crisis she was filled with a lively desire to settle the 
dispute between two estates of the realm with the least 
possible delay. Her action was modelled on that 
which she took in the dispute over the Irish Church 
Disestablishment in 1869. 

In her private secretary, Sir Henry Ponsonby, Queen 
the Queen had a tactful counsellor, and she did not between' 
hesitate through him to use her personal influence ^ u tw 
with the leaders of both parties to secure a settle- O f Par- 
ment. Luckily, it was soon apparent that the danger liament - 
of conflict looked greater than it was. Before her 
intervention had gone far, influential members of 
the Conservative party, including Lord Kandolph 
Churchill and Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, had inde- 
pendently reached the conclusion that the House of 
Lords might safely pass the Franchise Bill, if to it 
were joined a satisfactory Bill for the redistribution 
of seats. This view rapidly gained favour in the 
Conservative ranks, and was approved by some of 
Gladstone's colleagues, although he himself at first 
opposed it. The Queen urged on all sides a com- 
promise on these lines, and her influence with the 
Duke of Eichmond and leading Conservatives of the 
House of Lords removed what might have proved to 
be a strong obstacle to its accomplishment. Before 
the end of the year (1884) the Franchise Bill and a 
Eedistribution of Seats Bill were concurrently intro- 
duced into Parliament, and the Queen had the satis- 
faction of seeing averted, to some extent through her 
own influence, the kind of warfare that she most 
dreaded within the borders of the Constitution. 

The Queen still found the most effective relief from 


political anxiety in the frequent renewal of her inter- 
course with her German kindred in their own homes. 
Her devotion to the children of her dead daughter, 
Princess Alice, was an unfailing resource. In 1884, 
immediately after Prince Leopold's death, she went 
At Darm- on a visit to them at Darmstadt for three weeks. 
1884-5. There she attended, on April 26, 1884, the marriage 
of Princess Alice's eldest daughter, Princess Victoria 
of Hesse, to her relative, Prince Louis of Battenberg. 
Next spring was spent at Aix-les-Bains, but she re- 
visited Darmstadt on her return journey, and was 
present at the confirmation of Princess Irene of 
Hesse, Princess Alice's third daughter. 

The Prince Louis of Battenberg, who became by 

Ba?cn^ f marriage a member of the Queen's family, was one 
berg. of three brothers in whom she felt much interest. 
They were first cousins of the Grand-Duke of Hesse, 
and the Queen's care for the Hesse family led to 
her making their acquaintance. Their father, Prince 
Alexander of Hesse, was the grand-duke's uncle, and 
they were his sons by a morganatic marriage with 
the Countess von Hauke, who was created Countess 
of Battenberg in 1851. The eldest son, Prince Louis, 
who was now wedded to the Queen's granddaughter, 
Princess Victoria of Hesse, had long been a special jpro- 
tege of hers ; she had permitted him to join the British 
navy as a boy, and become a naturalised British 
subject. He rose to the rank of Commander in 1885. 
Prince Louis' next brother, Prince Alexander of 
Battenberg, had been appointed by the Powers of 
Europe, with the Queen's marked approval, Prince of 
the new State of Bulgaria in 1879. She had enter- 


taincd him at Windsor, and was attracted by his 
handsome bearing. 

The third brother, Prince Henry of Battenberg, Princess 
was first introduced to the Queen and Princess Beatrice 

at Darmstadt at the wedding of his brother, Prince betrothal, 
Louis, in the spring of 1884. The meeting had im- ber 29) 
portant consequences. Prince Henry then won the l88 4- 
affections of Princess Beatrice, and at the end of 
the year (November 29, 1884) their engagement was 
announced. The match was not popular in England, 
where nothing was known of Prince Henry except his 
German origin. Nor was it well received at the Court 
of Berlin, where the comparatively low rank of the 
Battenbergs was held to unfit them for close relations 
with the Queen. Nor, again, was it approved in Eussia, 
where Prince Henry's brother, the Prince of Bulgaria, 
was cordially disliked on account of his defiance of 
Piussian domination. The Queen, however, antici- 
pated much happiness from the projected union, and 
viewed with indifference the hostile comments which 
it provoked. In writing of the engagement to her 
friends, she spoke of Prince Henry's soldierly accom- 
plishment, although, she frankly added, he had not 
seen active service. The Princess had long been the 
Queen's constant companion, and it was agreed that the 
Princess with her husband should still reside with her. 

At the Queen's request Parliament, on Gladstone's The Prin- 
motion, voted the Princess the usual dowry of 30,000^., 

with an annuity of 6,0002. The minority numbered J uI 7 2 3> 
38, the majority 337. The marriage took place, in a 
simple fashion which delighted the Queen, at Whip- 
pingham Church, near Osborne, on July 23. 




Henry of 

fall, June 
8, 1885. 

All the Queen's nine children had thus entered 
the matrimonial state. The Queen's mode of life 
was in no way affected by the admission of Prince 
Henry into the royal circle. With him she was soon 
in confidential relations, and she was exhilarated by 
his gaiety and genial temper. She always enjoyed 
the society of the young, and in course of time she 
was cheered by the presence in her household of the 
children of Princess Beatrice. 

Much besides the Princess's marriage happened 
to brighten the Queen's horizon in the summer of 
1885. In the spring Gladstone had, to her satisfac- 
tion, shown unusual resolution in definitely warning 
Eussia against the encroachments that that country 
was making on the boundaries of Afghanistan. Kussia 
defied the admonition, and for some weeks the Queen 
believed another Anglo-Eussian war to be inevitable. 
She urged the ministers, whose competence to carry 
through a great war she gravely doubted, to hasten 
preparations, and reminded them of the old errors 
committed in the Crimea with a view to their avoidance 
should a war with Eussia recur. Ultimately Eussia 
agreed to submit the points in dispute to arbitration, 
and the peace remained unbroken. The result brought 
immediate relief of anxiety. But the Queen had no 
confidence in Gladstone's foreign diplomacy, and it 
was with unconcealed elation that she witnessed, soon 
after the Eussian crisis, the fall of his Government. 
The ministry had been too effectually discredited by 
its incoherent Egyptian policy to maintain its stability 
long, and it was defeated on its budget proposals on 
June 8, 1885. Gladstone at once resigned. The Queen 


frankly acknowledged her satisfaction, but she did 
not permit differences of opinion to restrain her from 
offering Gladstone, in accordance with prescriptive 
practice on the close of a minister's second adminis- 
tration, a reward for long service in the form of an 
earldom. This honour Gladstone declined. 

The Queen without hesitation invited Lord Salis- Negotia- 
bury, Lord Beaconsfield's successor in the leadership between 

of the Conservative party, to form a ministry. At g. b 
Lord Salisbury's request she endeavoured to obtain and 

from Gladstone, whose followers had still a nominal 


majority in the House of Commons, some definite 
promise of parliamentary support during the next 
few months. A dissolution of Parliament was fixed 
for November, in accordance with the provisions of 
the recent Keform Bill. The Queen's action closely 
resembled that which she had taken in 1845, when 
on Peel's retirement she had invited Lord John 
Eussell to take his place in a hostile House of 
Commons. Gladstone replied evasively to the Queen's 
inquiry as to the aid that he was ready to lend a Tory 
Government. But the Queen persuaded Lord Salis- 
bury to rest content with Gladstone's vague assur- 
ances. He accordingly took office on June 24. l 

1 Salisbury's Cabinet was constituted thus : 
Foreign Secretary . . . The Marquis of Salisbury. 
Lord Chancellor . . . Lord Halsbury. 
President of the Council . . Viscount Cranbrook. 
Lord Privy Seal . . . The Earl of Harrowby. 
Chancellor of the Exchequer and Sir Michael Hicks-Beach. 

leader of the House of Com- 


Home Secretary . . .Sir Richard Cross. 
Colonial Secretary . . .Sir Frederick Stanley (afterwards 

Earl of Derby). 
War Secretary . . . . W. H. Smith. 


Lord With Lord Salisbury the Queen was at once on 

bury's gd terms. She regarded him as the wearer of Lord 
fir . st . Beaconsfield's mantle. He took her own view of the 

importance of foreign politics, and she looked forward 
to a reign of peace in her political world. It was 
therefore disappointing to her that Lord Salisbury's 
first tenure of office should be threatened by the 
result of the general elections in November. Two 
hundred and fifty Conservative members were then 
returned against 334 Liberals and eighty-six Irish 
Nationalists. The Nationalists, by joining the Liberals, 
would leave the Government in a hopeless minority. 
The Queen gave public proof of her sympathy with 
her Conservative ministers by opening Parliament in 
person on January 21, 1886. It proved the last occa- 
sion on which she took part in the ceremony. Five 
days later Lord Salisbury's Government was out- 
voted. The Queen of necessity accepted his retire- 
ment, and faced with as much resignation as was pos- 
sible to her the inevitable invitation to Gladstone to 
assume power for the third time. 1 

Secretary for India . . . Lord Bandolph Churchill. 
Secretary for Scotland . . Duke of Richmond. 
First Lord of the Admiralty . Lord George Hamilton. 
First Lord of the Treasury . The Earl of Iddesleigh. 
Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland . The Earl of Carnarvon. 
Lord Chancellor of Ireland . Lord Ashbourne. 
President of the Board of Trade Edward Stanhope. 
Postmaster-General . . . Lord John Manners (afterwards 

Duke of Rutland). 

In January 1886, on the eve of the Government's retirement, 
Lord Carnarvon resigned the Lord-Lieutenancy of Ireland. W. H. 
Smith thereupon succeeded to the office of Chief Secretary in the 
place of Sir William Hart-Dyke, and Lord Cranbrook was nominated 
to take Smith's place at the War Office. 

1 Gladstone's Government was constituted thus on February 1 : 




First Lord of the Treasury and 
Privy Seal 

Lord Chancellor 

President of the Council . 

Chancellor of the Exchequer 

Home Secretary 

Foreign Secretary 

Colonial Secretary 

War Secretary .... 

Secretary for India . 

Secretary for Scotland 

First Lord of the Admiralty 

Chief Secretary for Ireland 

President of the Board of Trade 

President of the Local Govern- 
ment Board 

W. E. Gladstone. 

Lord Herschell. 

Earl Spencer. 

Sir William Vernon Harcourt. 

Hugh C. E. Childers. 

The Earl of Rosebery. 

Earl Granville. 

Mr. Henry Campbell-Bannerman. 

Earl of Kimberley. 

Sir George Trevelyan, Bt. 

The Marquis of Ripon. 

Mr. John Morley. 

Mr. A. J. Mundella. 

Mr. Joseph Chamberlain. 

In March 1886 James Stansfeld became President of the Local 
Government Board, and Lord Dalhousie Secretary of Scotland, Mr. 
Chamberlain and Sir George Trevelyan having resigned. 




of 1886. 

to Home 



THE session that followed Gladstone's third accession 
to the highest office in the State was the stormiest 
the Queen had watched since Peel abolished the Corn 
Laws in 1846. But her attitude to Gladstone through 
the crisis of 1886 was the antithesis of her attitude 
forty years earlier to Peel. Peel had changed front in 
1846 on the critical question of Protection, and the 
Queen had encouraged him with all her youthful en- 
thusiasm to persevere in his new path of Free Trade. 
Gladstone suddenly resolved to grant Home Kule to 
Ireland, after having, as it was generally understood, 
long treated the proposal as a dangerous chimera. 
To Gladstone's change of front she offered a strenuous 

To the bestowal of Home Eule on Ireland the 
Queen was uncompromisingly opposed from the early 
days of her reign. She now freely spoke to all who 
came into intercourse with her of her repugnance 
to any change in the principle of Irish govern- 
ment. The grant of Home Eule appeared to her to 
be a concession to the forces of disorder. It was to 
her mind a betrayal of the loyalists of Ulster. 1 But 

1 In the midst of the agitation caused by Gladstone's Home Eule 
Bill the Queen had occasion to write to Lord Tennyson to condole 

1886] THE JUBILEE OF 1887 479 

what she felt most strongly was that the grant of Home 
Eule amounted to a practical separation between 
England and Ireland, and that to sanction the dis- 
union was to break the oath that she had taken at 
her coronation to maintain the union of the two 
kingdoms. To Gladstone's arguments she turned a 
deaf ear. She complained that he had sprung the 
subject on her and on the country without giving 
either due notice. The voters, whom she believed to 
be opposed to it, had had no opportunity of expressing 
their opinion. Gladstone and his friends contended 
that the establishment of a Home Kule Parliament in 
Dublin increased rather than diminished the dignity 
of the Crown by making it the strongest link which 
would henceforth bind the two countries together. 
But the Queen remained unconvinced. 

To her immense relief, Gladstone was deserted by Glad- 
a large number of his followers, and the seceders defeat 8 
formed themselves into an independent party, which June 7, 
adopted the name of Liberal-Unionist. Through 
the junction of the Liberal-Unionists with the Con- 
servatives in the division lobby, Gladstone's Home 
Eule Bill was decisively rejected in the House of 
Commons by a majority of thirty. 

With the result of that vote the Queen was con- 

with him on the mortal illness of his son Lionel (April 26, 1886). 
Lord Tennyson shared the Queen's horror of Home Rule. ' I can- 
not in this letter allude to politics,' the Queen wrote, ' but I know 
what your feelings must be.' On this sentence Tennyson, to the 
Queen's satisfaction, commented thus : ' Since your Majesty touches 
upon the disastrous policy of the day, I may say that I wish I may 
be in my own grave, beyond sight and hearing, when an English 
army fires upon the loyalists of Ulster.' Lord Tennyson's Life of 
Tennyson, ii. 445-6. 


Queen tent. She desired the question to sleep. She did 
dissolu- no * f ear the i ssue f a fresh election ; but she 
tion. deprecated an immediate appeal to the country. She 
deemed it a needless disturbance of her own and of 
the country's peace to involve the people in the 
excitement of a general election twice within nine 
months. But Gladstone was resolute. The Parlia- 
ment, which was barely eight months old, was dis- 
solved without delay. 

The To the Queen's satisfaction the ministry was 

heavily defeated. Three hundred and sixteen Con- 
1886. servatives and seventy-eight Liberal-Unionists were 
returned to oppose one hundred and ninety-one Eng- 
lish Home Kulers or Gladstonians and eighty-five 
Irish Home Eulers. Gladstone resigned without 
meeting the new Parliament, and in July Lord Salis- 
bury for the second time was entrusted by the Queen 
with the formation of a Government. 1 

The Queen's political anxieties were at once 
diminished. Although the unexpected resignation on 

1 Lord Salisbury's second Cabinet was constituted thus : 

First Lord of the Treasury . The Marquis of Salisbury. 
Foreign Secretary . . . The Earl of Iddesleigh (who was 

almost immediately succeeded by 
the Prime Minister). 

Lord Chancellor . . . Lord Halsbury. 
President of the Council . . Viscount Cranbrook. 
Lord Privy Seal . . . Earl Cadogan. 
Chancellor of the Exchequer and Lord Eandolph Churchill, 
leader of the House of Com- 

Home Secretary . . . Mr. Henry Matthews (afterwards 

Viscount Llandaff). 

1886] THE JUBILEE OF 1887 481 

December 20, 1886, of the new leader of the House of Lord 
Commons (Lord Eandolph Churchill) roused in her Salis- 
doubts of the stability of the Government, and caused second 
her to scan the chances of yet another dissolution, mimstr y- 
the crisis passed, and Lord Salisbury's second mimstry 
retained office for a full term of years. Indeed, with 
an interval of less than three years (1892-5), Lord 
Salisbury now remained her Prime Minister until her 
death, fourteen and a half years later. His total length 
of service during her reign extended over twelve and 
a quarter years, 1 and almost equalled Gladstone's 
twelve and a half years' service, which, by the irony 
of fate, proved by far the longest of all her Prime 
Ministers' terms of office. 

Colonial Secretary . . . Edward Stanhope. 
War Secretary . . . . W. H. Smith. 
Secretary for India . . . Lord Cross. 
First Lord of the Admiralty . Lord George Hamilton. 
Lord Chancellor of Ireland . Lord Ashbourne. 
Chief Secretary for Ireland . Sir Michael Hicks-Beach. 
President of the Board of Trade Lord Stanley of Preston (after- 
wards Earl of Derby). 
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lan- Lord John Manners (afterwards 

caster Duke of Rutland). 

President of the Local Govern- Mr. C. T. Eitchie. 

ment Board 

In January 1887 Mr. Goschen became Chancellor of the Exchequer, 
Lord Randolph Churchill having resigned ; Mr. W. H. Smith became 
First Lord of the Treasury and leader of the House of Commons ; 
Mr. Edward Stanhope, War Secretary ; Sir Henry Holland (afterwards 
Viscount Knutsford), Colonial Secretary. In March Mr. A. J. Balfour 
became Secretary for Ireland (Sir M. Hicks-Beach having resigned) ; 
Lord Lothian became Secretary for Scotland. In April 1888 Sir Michael 
Hicks-Beach rejoined the Cabinet as President of the Board of Trade 
in place of Lord Stanley who became Governor-General of Canada. 

1 Lord Salisbury remained Prime Minister nearly eighteen 
months after the Queen's death, so that the ultimate length of his 
tenure of power exceeded Gladstone's by fifteen months. 

I I 


Queen The Queen's relations with Lord Salisbury were 

Salis- r< no l ess cordial during his second and third long 
bury. administrations than during his first brief experience 
of government. She continued to regard him as the 
former colleague of Lord Beaconsfield and the deposi- 
tary of her favourite minister's wisdom. With his 
general views of policy she remained in full accord. 
His deep interest in, and full knowledge of, foreign 
affairs assured her increasing appreciation as years 
went on. Her confidence in his judgment and her 
admiration of his sturdy common sense insensibly grew. 
Hence there was none of that tension between him 
and the Queen which was inevitable between her 
and Gladstone. Lord Salisbury's second and third 
Governments gave her a sense of security to which 
Gladstone had made her a stranger during the long 
periods of his supremacy. She soon placed a portrait 
of Lord Salisbury in the vestibule of her private 
apartments at Windsor, face to face with one of Lord 

The Within a few days of the laying of the spectre of 

Jnler 6 Home Eule, the Queen began the fiftieth year of her 
accession, reign. The entrance on her year of jubilee and the 
approaching close of a quarter of a century of widow- 
hood conquered some of her reluctance to figure in 
public life. At length she resumed much of her earlier 
public activity. It cost her no small effort of will to 
overcome her aversion to frequent meetings with her 
people in ceremonial functions. But she resolutely 
made the effort, and something of her old elation of 
spirit was roused by the invariable enthusiasm with 

1886] THE JUBILEE OF 1887 483 

which she was greeted in public by her subjects. On 
February 26, 1886, she had listened arnid a crowded 
company to Gounod's 'Mors et Vita ' at the Albert Hall. 
On May 11 she visited Liverpool to open an interna- 
tional exhibition of navigation and commerce. She 
drove through the city in drenching rain, but was 
so warmly received that her dread of such expe- 
riences was perceptibly weakened. The resumption 
in advanced life of those public duties which could 
alone bring her within view of her people, finally 
stemmed the tide of discontent which her seclusion had 
fostered. She won anew and in a larger measure 
than before the respect of her nation and empire. 

Yet the notable change of popular feeling towards The 
the throne which characterised the last years of the imperial- 
Queen's reign was not primarily attributable to any ism - 
alteration in the personal conduct of her life. There 
was a fundamental cause of greater historical signifi- 
cance. A potent imperialist sentiment, a new sense 
of imperial unity, was growing steadily throughout the 
whole British Dominion. It was strengthening the 
bonds between the colonies and India and the home 
country, and was deepening the sense of loyalty by 
making the crown the symbol of the unity of the 
Empire. To what source the rapid growth of the new 
imperialist sentiment is traceable is not easily defined. 
The Queen's renewed appearance in public was largely 
timed so as to indicate her sympathy with it. Her 
action encouraged its diffusion. But she did not 
inaugurate it. Its origin must be sought in a wider 
sphere of observation. 

i i 2 


With the increased speed of steamships and the 
spread to every ocean of the submarine electric tele- 
graph, the distance of the home country from India 
and her colonial settlements had sensibly diminished. 
Social and trading relations had become easier of 
maintenance. The unqualified acceptance by the home 
Government of the autonomous principle of colonial 
rule had reduced to the smallest dimensions the 
political friction between the British settlements and 
the mother-country. The closer intercourse and the 
improved political understanding dissipated ancient 
jealousies which had bred mutual disrespect and 
offence, and in the place of envious and unmannerly 
rivalry there was beginning to flourish a sense of 
kinship on the part of the mother-country and of 
filial affection on the part of the colonies. Such sen- 
timents touched the Queen's heart. But it was in- 
voluntarily that she became the central figure of the 
great imperialist movement. She owed that position 
to circumstances which lay beyond the scope of any 
individual control. 

The Whatever the Queen could do to cherish the spirit 

im"?-"' 3 ^ imperialism in the United Kingdom she henceforth 
riaiist did with conscientious zeal. In the early months 
of 1886 the Prince of Wales had actively engaged 
in organising a Colonial and Indian Exhibition at 
South Kensington. In this enterprise the Queen 
manifested great interest, and on May 1 she visited 
the exhibition, which drew numerous visitors to Eng- 
land from India and the colonies. On July 2 she 
attended a review at Aldershot held in honour of 
the Indian and colonial visitors, whom, three days 
later, she entertained at lunch at Windsor. On 

1887] THE JUBILEE OF 1887 485 

July 8 she received there Indian and other native 
workmen who had taken part in the exhibition, and 
she accepted gifts from them. In August, on her 
way to Balmoral, she visited another international 
exhibition at Edinburgh, and later in the year she 
approved the suggestion made by the Prince of Wales 
to the Lord Mayor of London to commemorate her 
fifty years of reign by inviting public subscriptions 
for the erection of an Imperial Institute which should 
be a meeting-place for visitors to England from India 
and the colonies, and should exhibit specimens of 
the products of every corner of her empire. 

During the next year her year of jubilee 1887, The 
the Queen more conspicuously illustrated her attach 

ment to India, that part of her empire w r hich always Hindu- 
moved her especial pride, by including native Indians 
among her personal attendants. From one of these, 
the Munshi Abdul Karirn, who served her as groom 
of the chamber, she began taking lessons in Hindu- 
stani. Although she did not make much progress 
in the study, the Munshi remained to instruct her till 
her death. 

Since the Prince Consort's death her visits to visit to 
London had been few and brief, rarely exceeding two ^arch"' 
nights. In order suitably to distinguish the jubilee 19-29, 
year, 1887, from those that preceded it, she spent in I 
the opening quarter the exceptional period of ten 
successive days in her capital. The following month 
was devoted to the Continent, where she divided the 
time between Cannes and Aix-les -Bains, but on 
returning to England she paid another visit to 
London, and on May 14 opened the People's Palace 
in the East End. The enthusiastic loyalty which 


was displayed on her long journey through the 
metropolis once more greatly elated her. 

The After her customary sojourn at Balmoral (May to 

J june C 2i June) she reached London on June 20 to play her 
1887. part in the celebration of her jubilee. She feared 
the ordeal of the demonstration, and she be- 
thought her of her losses and her sorrow. But the 
celebration proved more congenial than she antici- 
pated. On June 21 the chief ceremony took place, 
when she passed in procession to Westminster Abbey 
to attend a special thanksgiving service, which called 
up vivid memories of her coronation fifty years 
before. In front of her carriage rode, at her own 
suggestion, a cortege of princes of her own house, 
her sons, her sons-in-law, and grandsons, thirty-two 
in all. In other processions there figured represen- 
tatives of Europe, India, and the British colonies, all 
of whom brought her rich gifts. From India came a 
brilliant array of ruling princes. Europe sent among 
its envoys four kings : those of Saxony, of Belgium, 
of the Hellenes, and of Denmark, together with the 
Crown Princes of Prussia, Greece, Portugal, Sweden, 
and Austria. The Pope Leo XIII. sent a representa- 
tive, the courtesy of whose presence the Queen 
acknowledged next year by presenting the Pontiff at 
the papal jubilee with a rich golden basin and ewer. 
The streets through which she and her guests passed 
were elaborately decorated, and her reception almost 
overwhelmed her in its warmth. 1 

1 The Queen's route on the outward journey from Buckingham 
Palace lay through Constitution Hill, Piccadilly, Waterloo Place, and 
Parliament Street, and on her return she passed down Whitehall and 
Pall Mall. 

1887] THE JUBILEE OF 1887 487 

No accident dimmed the glory of the day, and, 
despite her forebodings, the Queen was never ' more 
cheerful.' The first message that the Queen received 
on reaching Buckingham Palace at the conclusion of 
her progress was an inquiry after her health from her 
aged aunt, the Duchess of Cambridge. The Queen 
replied at once that she was ' very tired but very 
happy.' In the evening there were illuminations on 
a lavish scale in all the chief cities of her dominions, 
and at a signal given from the Malvern Hills at 
10 P.M. beacon fires were lit on the principal promon- 
tories and inland heights of Great Britain from 
Shetland and Orkney to Land's End. 

Next day the Queen accepted a personal gift of The 
75,000. subscribed by nearly three million women of 
England. A small part of this sum she applied to a 
bronze equestrian statue of the Prince Consort a 
replica by Mr. (afterwards Sir) Edgar Boehm of a 
statue by Marochetti to be erected on Smith's Lawn, 
Windsor Park, where she laid the foundation-stone on 
July 15. 1 The bulk of the women's gift she devoted 
to the foundation of a sick nurses' institute on a great 
scale, which was to provide trained attendants for the 
sick poor in their own homes. The foundation proved 
of the highest benefit to the humbler classes through- 
out the country. 

Succeeding incidents in the celebration of the jubilee 
Queen's Jubilee, in which she took a foremost part, cerem - 
included, besides court dinners and receptions, a 
fete in Hyde Park on June 22 to twenty-six thousand 
poor school children ; a visit to Eton on her return 

1 She unveiled the statue May 12, 1800. 




cance of 
the cele- 

to Windsor the same evening ; the laying of the 
foundation-stone of the Imperial Institute on July 6 ; 
a review at Alder shot on July 9 ; and a naval review 
on July 29. The harmony subsisting between her and 
her Prime Minister she illustrated by attending a 
garden party given by him in honour of her jubilee 
at his house at Hatfield on July 13. The proces- 
sions, reviews, and receptions proved no transient 
demonstration. Permanent memorials of the jubilee 
were erected by public subscription in almost every 
town and village of the empire, taking the form of 
public halls, clock towers, fountains, or statues. The 
celebration was of historic import. The mighty out- 
burst of enthusiasm which greeted the Queen, as 
loudly in the colonies and India as in the United 
Kingdom, gave new strength to the monarchy. 
Thenceforth the Sovereign was definitely regarded as 
the living symbol of the unity not merely of the 
British nation but of the British Empire. 




UNHAPPILY amid the jubilee festivities a new cloud was Illness 
gathering over the royal house. Since the autumn crown 
of 1886 the Crown Prince, to whose future rule in Prince. 
Germany the Queen had for nearly thirty years been 
looking forward with intense hope, was attacked by a 
mysterious affection of the throat. Early in June 
1887 he and the Crown Princess came to England 
and settled in Upper Norwood in the hope of benefit- 
ing by change of environment. He was well enough 
to play a conspicuous part in the jubilee procession, 
when his handsome figure and his white uniform of 
the Pomeranian Cuirassiers attracted universal admi- 
ration. Subsequently he stayed in the Isle of Wight 
and at Braemar, and he did not return to Germany 
till September 14. The winter of 1887-8 he spent at 
San Eemo, and it there became apparent that he was 
suffering from cancer. 

The Queen, who completely identified herself with The 
the happiness of her eldest daughter, was constantly 
with her and her husband while they remained in 
England or Scotland, and she suffered greatly from 
the anxiety. Nor was it lessened when, on March 9, 
1888, the Queen's old friend, the Emperor William L, 
died, and the crown which she and her daughter had 


through earlier days longed to see on the Crown 
Prince's head was now at length placed there while 
he was sinking into the grave. But the Queen did 
not during this season altogether abstain from re- 
joicings in another of her children's households. On 
March 10 she dined with the Prince and Princess of 
Wales at Marlborough House to celebrate their silver 
wedding, and at night, on her return to Windsor, she 
drove through London to witness the illuminations. 
Visits to On March 22 she left England for a month's 

Germany. noli day at Florence. It was her first visit to the 
city, and it and its surroundings charmed her. 
King Humbert, son and successor of King Victor 
Emanuel, courteously paid her a visit on April 5, and 
the attention pleased her. On April 20 she started for 
Germany, where she had resolved to visit the dying 
Emperor Frederick. On the journey at Innsbruck 
she was gratified by meeting the Emperor of Aus- 
tria, who had come to cherish a warm personal regard 
for her. It was their second interview ; the first was 
now nearly a quarter of a century old. 1 

Family On April 21 she drove through Berlin to Charlot- 

Berlin. " tenburg, her son-in-law's palace. But it was not solely 
to bid farewell to the stricken Prince that she had come. 
It was to mediate in a quarrel in her daughter's 
family, which was causing grave embarrassment in 
political circles in Berlin, and for which she was 
herself freely held responsible. The source of the 
difficulty was the Queen's kindly interest in the young 
Princes of Battenberg a sentiment which was shared 
by her eldest daughter. 

1 See p. 839, ante. 


Of the three brothers of Battenberg, the eldest, Prince 
Louis, had married her granddaughter, Princess Vic- ^0?"" 
toria of Hesse, and the youngest, Henry, was husband Batten- 


of her daughter, Princess Beatrice. The second 
brother, Alexander, who was still unmarried, and was 
now no more than thirty-one years old, had had an 
adventurous career. For seven years he had been 
Prince of Bulgaria, but he had incurred the distrust 
of the Tsar, and in 1886, having been driven from his 
throne, retired to private life at Darmstadt. 

Prince Alexander of Battenberg, like his brothers, Hisbetro- 
was personally known to the Queen, whose guest he ^ncess 
was at Windsor in 1879. She sympathised with his Victoria 
misfortunes, and she played with the fancy that he ia 
also, like his brothers, might marry into her family. 
An opportunity was at hand. The second daughter 
of the Emperor Frederick, Victoria, fell in love with 
him, and a betrothal was arranged with the full 
approval of the young Princess's mother and grand- 
mother. But violent opposition was manifested at 
the German Court. Prince Bismarck, Chancellor of 
the Empire, who had always been on hostile terms 
with the Crown Princess, denounced the match as the 
sinister work of Queen Victoria, who had taken the 
Battenbergs under her protection. He declared that 
such a union was injurious to the interest of the 
German royal family. Not merely did it humiliate the 
imperial house by allying it with a prince of inferior 
social standing, but it compromised the good relations 
of Berlin with St. Petersburg, where Prince Alexander 
was heartily disliked. Bismarck even credited the 
Queen with a deliberate design of alienating Russia 


and Germany in the hope of bringing about an Anglo- 
German alliance against the Tsar. 

The When the Queen reached Charlottenburg this 

Sid Bis- aw kward dispute was at its height. The Empress 
marck. Frederick stood by her daughter, who was unwilling 
to abandon Prince Alexander. The dying Emperor 
and his son, the Crown Prince William, in vain 
endeavoured to move her. Prince Bismarck threat- 
ened resignation unless Prince Alexander was sum- 
marily dismissed. On April 24 the Queen, after much 
conversation with her daughter, boldly discussed the 
question in all its bearings with Prince Bismarck. 
The statesman forced her to realise the meaning of 
resistance to his will. She yielded to his power. 
After parting from him, she used her influence with 
her daughter and granddaughter to induce them to 
break off the engagement with Prince Alexander. 
Eeluctantly they gave way ; the Crown Prince 
William, who had stoutly opposed his mother through- 
out the episode, was by the Queen's persuasion now 
reconciled to her, and domestic harmony was restored. 
Royal On the night of her interview with Bismarck, the 

at Qmr- Q ueen attended a state banquet in the Charlottenburg 
lotten- Palace, and the reconciliation was ratified. None the 
less the Queen always cherished sympathy with Prince 
Alexander, whose humiliation she deplored ; and 
though she regretted his marriage next year (Febru- 
ary 6, 1889) to Friiulein Loisinger, a singer at the 
Dresden and Darmstadt court theatres, she used no 
harsh language, merely remarking pathetically, ' Per- 
haps they loved one another.' l 

1 The Prince survived his marriage barely four years ; he died on 
February 17, 1893. 


On June 15, 1888, the Emperor Frederick died, Death of 
and the Queen's hopes of thirty years were blighted f ^5e- r 
for ever. A week later she wrote from Windsor to her rick, 
friend, Archbishop Benson : ' The contrast between 1888. 
this year and the last jubilee one is most painful and 
remarkable. Who could have thought that that 
splendid, noble, knightly Prince as good as he was 
brave and noble who was the admiration of all, 
would on the very day year (yesterday) be no longer 
in this world ? His loss is indeed a very mysterious 
dispensation, for it is such a very dreadful public as 
well as private misfortune.' l 

Court mourning prevented any celebration of the Public 
fiftieth anniversary of the Queen's coronation on JjJJjjJJf ^ 
June 28. But on her visit to Balmoral in the autumn Scotland, 
she took part in several public ceremonials. She 
stayed with Sir Archibald Campbell at Blythswood in 
Renfrewshire in order to open new municipal buildings 
at Glasgow, and to visit the exhibition there. She 
also went to Paisley, which was celebrating the fourth 
centenary of its incorporation as a borough. In 
November the widowed Empress Frederick was her 
mother's guest at Windsor for the first of many times. 
The Queen suggested to friends that some public 
demonstration of sympathy with her ' poor dear 
persecuted daughter ' would be grateful to her, but 
nothing was done. The Queen, however, showed 
the Empress the unusual attention of meeting her 
on her landing in England at Port Victoria (Novem- 
ber 19). 

During 1889 the Queen's health was good and her 

1 Life of Archbishop Benson, ii. 211. 




in Spain, 
March 27, 

Death of 
of Cam- 
April 6, 

in the 

activity undiminished. Her spring holiday was spent 
for the first time at Biarritz, in former days the 
favoured health resort of the Queen's friend, the 
Empress Eugenie. On March 27 she made an excur- 
sion into Spain to visit the widowed Queen Regent at 
San Sebastian. This was another new experience 
for an English sovereign. None before had set foot 
on Spanish soil, although Charles I. and Charles II. 
went thither as princes. 

On her return to England she was distressed by 
the death of her aunt, the Duchess of Cambridge, at 
the age of ninety-one (April 6). The final link with 
her childhood was thus severed. To the Duchess the 
Queen had extended from earliest infancy the fullest 
measure of filial tenderness. She wished the Duchess 
to be buried at Windsor, but her aunt had left in- 
structions that she should be buried beside her 
husband at Kew. The Queen was present at her 
funeral on the 13th and placed a wreath on the 

At the end of the month she paid a visit to her 
eldest son at Sandringham, and on the 26th she 
witnessed there a performance by Mr. (afterwards Sir) 
Henry Irving and his company of ' The Bells ' and 
the trial scene from ' The Merchant of Venice.' It 
was the second time that the Queen had permitted 
herself to witness a dramatic performance since the 
Prince Consort's death. The first occasion, which 
was near the end of her twentieth year of widowhood, 
was also afforded by the Prince and Princess of Wales, 
who, when at Abergeldie Castle in 1881, induced the 
Queen to come there and see a London company of 


actors perform Mr. (afterwards Sir) Francis Burnand's 
comedy of ' The Colonel ' (October 11, 1881). 

Public activity continued to distinguish her life. Public 
In May 1889 she laid the foundation-stone of new actmt y* 
buildings at Eton (on the 18th), and she reviewed 
troops at Alder shot (on the 31st). On June 3 she 
presented at Windsor new colours to the regiment 
with which she had already closely identified herself, 
Princess Victoria's Royal Irish Fusiliers ; she had 
presented colours to it in 1833 and 1866. 1 Next day 
she witnessed at Eton for the first time the annual 
procession of boats which celebrated George III.'s 

In the summer came new difficulties which tried The 
her tact and temper. She turned to consider the 

pecuniary prospects of her numerous grandchildren. grand- 
Provision had already been made by Parliament for 
every one of her nine children, and for her three 
first cousins, the Duke of Cambridge and his sisters ; 
and although the deaths of Princess Alice and Prince 
Leopold had caused a net reduction of 25,OOOZ., the 
sum annually assigned to members of the royal 
family, apart from the Queen, amounted to 152,OOOZ. 
No responsibility for providing for the German royal 
family, the offspring of her eldest daughter, the 
Empress Frederick, or for the family of the Princess 
Alice of Hesse-Darmstadt, attached to her ; but she 
had twenty-two other grandchildren domiciled in 
England for whom she regarded it as her duty to 
make provision. 

In July, 1889, events seemed to her to render an 

1 See pp. 38 and 365, ante. 


Queen's appeal to Parliament in behalf of the third genera- 
for pecu- ti n f ner family appropriate. The elder son of the 

niary pro- Prince of Wales was coming of age, while his eldest 

daughter was about to marry, with the Queen's assent, 

the Earl (afterwards Duke) of Fife. She therefore sent 
two messages to the House of Commons requesting 
due provision for the two elder children of her eldest 
son. The manner in which her request was approached 
was not what she wished. New life was given to 
the old cry against the expenses of monarchy. 
False The Queen's financial position still from time to 

of P her S ^ me exc ^ e d jealous comments, not only among her 
wealth. subjects, but in foreign countries. Exaggerated re- 
ports of the extent of her fortune were widely current, 
and small heed was paid to her efforts to correct the 
false impression. In 1885 it was stated with some 
show of authority that she had lately invested a 
million pounds sterling in ground-rents in the City of 
London. Through Sir Henry Ponsonby she denied 
that she had any such sum at her disposal. At 
Berlin, Bismarck often joked coarsely over her re- 
puted affluence, to which he attributed the power she 
exerted in the Crown Prince's household. But while 
the best friends of the Crown deprecated or ignored 
such kind of criticism, they deemed it inexpedient for 
the country to undertake the maintenance indefi- 
nitely of the Queen's family beyond the second gene- 
ration. Both the extreme and the moderate opinions 
found free expression in the House of Commons, and 
calm observers like Lord Selborne perceived in the 
discussion ominous signs of a recrudescence of re- 
publican sentiment. 


The Government proposed to appoint a committee Pariia- 
representative of all sections of the House to "om-^ 7 
determine the principles which should govern the mittee of 
reply to the Queen's messages. A hostile amend- 
ment to refer the whole question of the revenues 
of the Crown to the committee was moved by Mr. 
Bradlaugh, 1 who had for thirty years been advo- 
cating republican principles and denouncing the 
wasteful extravagance of the nation in maintaining 
the throne. He argued that the Queen's savings on 
the Civil List enabled her unaided to provide for 
her grandchildren, and that the royal grants were an 
intolerable burden on the people. The amendment 
was rejected by a majority of 188, but 125 votes were 
cast in its favour. 

On the due appointment of the committee the Govern- 
Government recommended, with the Queen's approval, ment ' s 
the prospective allocation to the Prince of Wales's 
five children of annuities amounting, on their com- 
ing of age and marrying, to 49,0002., besides a sum 
of 30,0002. to be divided equally among the three 
daughters, by way of dowries. The eldest son was 
to receive an annuity of 10,0002., to be increased to 
15,0002. on his marriage ; and the second son was to 
receive, on coming of age, an annuity of 8,0002., to be 
increased on marriage to 15,0002. ; each daughter 
was to receive, on coming of age, an annuity of 3,0002. 
The grant immediately payable would thus be 13,0002. 
annually, together with 10,0002. for the dowry of the 
Princess Louise of Wales. Precedent, it was shown, 
justified public provision for all the children of the 

1 Member for Northampton. 

K K 


Sovereign's sons. The daughters of former sovereigns 
had invariably married foreign reigning princes, and 
their children, not being British subjects, were outside 
the purview of the British Parliament. The question 
whether the children of the Sovereign's daughters 
who were not married to foreign reigning princes 
were entitled to public provision had not previously 

Glad- The Queen and the Government perceived that 

?ntea> S public opinion was not in the mood to permit lavish 
vention. or unconditional grants, and it was soon apparent 
that a compromise on the submitted proposals would 
be needful. The Queen disliked the debate, but 
showed a wish to be conciliatory. She at once agreed 
to forego any demand on behalf of her daughters' 
children, for whom she undertook to provide herself. 
She demurred to a formal withdrawal of her claim on 
behalf of her younger sons' children, but she stated 
that she would not press it. Gladstone, whose faith 
in the monarchy was strong, and who respected the 
royal family as its symbol, was anxious to ward off 
agitation, and he induced the Government to modify 
its original proposal by granting to the Prince of 
Wales a fixed annual sum of 36,000/., to be paid 
quarterly, for his children's support. 

Grants to This proposal was accepted by a majority of 
Waies's the committee ; but when it was presented to Parlia- 
c jj ildre d 1 men ^> although Gladstone induced Parnell and the 
Irish Nationalists to support it, it met with op- 
position from the Eadical side of the House. Mr. 
Labouchere invited the House to refuse peremptorily 
any grant to the Queen's grandchildren. The invi- 


tation was rejected by 398 votes against 116. Mr. 
John Morley then moved an amendment to the effect 
that the manner of granting the 36,000. to the 
Prince of Wales left room for future applications from 
the Crown for further grants, and that it was neces- 
sary to give finality to the present arrangement. 
Most of Gladstone's colleagues in the late Govern- 
ment supported Mr. Morley, but his amendment was 
defeated by 355 votes against 134, and the grant of 
36,OOOZ. a year was secured. 1 

In the course of the debate and inquiry it was The 
officially stated that the Queen's total savings from 
the Civil List amounted to 824,025?., but that out of 
this sum much had been spent on special entertain- 
ments to foreign visitors. In all the circumstances 
of the case the Queen accepted the arrangement 
gratefully, and she was not unmindful of the value of 
Gladstone's intervention. For a season she displayed 
unusual cordiality towards him. On July 25, while 
the negotiation was proceeding, she sent to him and 
Mrs. Gladstone warm congratulations on their golden 
wedding. Meanwhile, on June 27, she attended the 
marriage of her granddaughter, Princess Louise of 
Wales, to the Duke of Fife in the private chapel of 
Buckingham Palace. 

After the thorny pecuniary question was settled, Visit of 
hospitalities to foreign sovereigns absorbed the German 
Queen's attention. In July 1889 she entertained, for Emperor 
a second time, the Shah of Persia, and in August n. 
she welcomed her grandson, the German Emperor 
William II., on his first visit to this country since his 

1 Hansard, 3rd ser. cccxxxvii. cols. 1840 sq. 

K K 2 


accession to his throne. The incident greatly inter- 
ested her, and she arranged every detail of her eldest 
grandson's reception. The Queen had been deeply in- 
terested in him from his birth. She always showed him 
marked affection, which he fully reciprocated, but at 
the same time she freely asserted her authority in her 
intercourse with him, and frankly expressed disap- 
proval of his action when she felt it needful. The 
Emperor came to Cowes on his way to Osborne in 
his yacht ' Hohenzollern,' accompanied by twelve 
warships. The Queen held a naval review in 
his honour at Spithead, August 8, and next day 
reviewed the seamen and marines of the German 
fleet at Osborne. All passed off happily, and she 
congratulated herself on the cordial relations which 
the visit established between the two countries. The 
young Emperor gave proof of private and public 
friendship by causing the Queen to be gazetted hono- 
rary colonel of his first regiment of Horseguards, on 
which he bestowed the title of Queen of England's 
Own (August 12). 
The The Emperor repeated his visit to Osborne next 

peror's year ' wnen a sbam naval n g nt took place in his 
later presence, and he came back in 1891, when he was 
officially received in London, as well as in 1893, 1894, 
and 1895. At the opening of the following year the 
Queen saw ground in the Emperor's conduct for 
reproof, and there was three years' interval before he 
saw her again. 




DURING the last eleven years (1889-1901) of her long Mode of 
career the Queen's mode of life followed in all 
essentials the fixed routine. Three visits to Osborne, 
two to Balmoral, a few days in London or in Alder- 
shot, alternated with her spring vacation abroad and 
her longer sojourns at Windsor. Occasionally, in 
going to or returning from Balmoral or Osborne, 
she modified her route to fulfil a public or private 

In August 1889, on her way to Scotland, she Visit to 
made a short tour in Wales, which she had been W ales i 


contemplating for some ten years. Sir Theodore 1889. 
Martin, who lived near Llangollen, suggested the 
details of the expedition, and Henry Cecil Raikes, the 
Postmaster-General, who was a resident in Denbigh- 
shire, was nominated, contrary to precedent, minister 
in attendance, although he was not a member of the 
cabinet. The Queen reached Pale Hall, near Lake 
Bala, which Mr. (afterwards Sir) Henry Robertson 
lent her, on August 23, and stayed there four days. 
On her arrival she spoke a few words of Welsh to a 
party of tenants of the district who presented her with 

KK 3 

502 QUEEN VICTOKIA [1889-96 

a walking-stick of native wood. She listened to much 
choral singing which interested her, and on the 26th 
she paid a visit to Bryntysilio near Llangollen, the 
residence of Sir Theodore and Lady Martin, both of 
whom had long been on terms of friendliest intimacy 
with her. 1 

Provin- In later years the Queen carried out at least six 

gaie"" somewhat arduous engagements in the great pro- 
ments. vincial cities of England which illustrated her varied 
sympathies. On July 26, 1890, she opened the 
deep-water dock at Southampton. On February 26, 
1891, at Portsmouth, she christened and launched the 
' Eoyal Sovereign,' the largest ironclad in her fleet, 
as well as the * Eoyal Arthur,' an unarmoured cruiser 
of new design. On May 21, 1891, she laid the 
foundation-stone of the new royal infirmary at 
Derby. On May 21, 1894, she revisited Manchester, 
after an interval of thirty-seven years, in order to 
inaugurate officially the great ship canal. On May 21, 
1897, she went to Sheffield to open the new town hall, 
and on November 15, 1899, she performed a last 
function in the English provinces, when she went to 
Bristol to open the convalescent home which had 
been erected to commemorate her length of rule. 
Foreign But although a sense of duty impelled her to these 

t g urs exertions, it was only in her foreign tours that she 
sought change of scene with any ardour. For the 
most part she confined her visits to the south of 

1 Next year she visited another of her subjects. On May 14, 
1890, she spent a day at Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild's beautiful 
Chateau at Waddesdon Manor. 

1889-96] DOMESTIC AFFAIKS, 1889-96 503 

France, 1 but she twice in her latest years renewed her 
pleasing experience of Italy. On returning from 
Nice in March 1897, while passing round Paris, she 
was met at the station of Noisy -le-Sec by M. Faure, 
the President of the French Eepublic, who greeted 
her with every courtesy. Her Italian sojourns be- 
longed to 1893 and 1894. In each of these years 
she again passed the spring at Florence. Her delight 
in the city and neighbourhood grew with closer ac- 
quaintance. She constantly inspected the chief sights 
in Florence and its neighbourhood, and her interest 
was always fresh and keen. 2 Each year King Hum- 
bert paid her a visit ; and in 1894 Queen Margherita 
accompanied him. 

On her homeward journey from the south she Last 
usually continued to pay brief visits to Germany. 
Thrice in 1890, 1892, and 1895 she revisited Darm- 
stadt. On her return journey in 1894 she paid a 
last visit to Coburg, the city and duchy which were 
identified with her happiest memories. There she 
was present, on April 19, 1894, at the intermarriage 

1 In 1890 her destination was Aix-les-Bains ; in 1891, Grasse ; in 
1892, Costebelle, near Hyeres ; in 1895, Cannes ; both in 1896 and 
1897, Nice; and during the two successive years, 1898 and 1899, 

2 On April 19, 1893, she spent an hour in the monastery of 
San Marco. ' The Queen arrived at five o'clock. She was wheeled 
in her chair through the church and the cloisters, but could not, 
unluckily, inspect the cells on the first floor ; but the Queen saw 
what is most worth seeing in San Marco namely, ' The Last Supper,' 
by Ghirlandaio, and Fra Angelico's great ' Crucifixion 'also 
Sogliani's great fresco, the so-called ' Providenza,' before which the 
Queen remained a long time.' Lord Eonald Gower, Old Diaries, 
p. 196. 






of drama 
and opera 
at Court. 

of two of her grandchildren the Princess Victoria 
Melita of Coburg, the second daughter of her 
second son, Alfred, with the Grand Duke of Hesse, 
the only surviving son of her second daughter, 
Alice. 1 

On May 5, 1899, the Queen touched foreign 
soil for the last time when she embarked at Cher- 
bourg on her home-coming from Cimiez. She fre- 
quently acknowledged with gratitude the amenities 
which were extended to her abroad, and sought to 
reciprocate them. On August 19, 1891, she welcomed 
the officers of the French squadron, which was in the 
Channel under Admiral Gervais, and on July 11, 
1895, she entertained the officers of an Italian 
squadron which was off Spithead under the Duke 
of Genoa. 

The Queen's Court in her last years regained a 
part of its pristine gaiety. Music and the drama 
were again among its recognised recreations. In 
February, 1890, there were private theatricals and 
tableaux at Osborne, in which the Queen's daughters 
took part, and in their preparation the Queen found 
much amusement. Next year, for the first time since 
the Prince Consort's death, a dramatic perform- 
ance was commanded at Windsor Castle (March 6, 
1891), when Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan's comic 
opera of ' The Gondoliers ' was performed. In 1894 
the Italian actress, Signora Eleanora Duse, per- 

1 This marriage was unhappily dissolved by the Supreme Court 
of the Grand-Duchy of Darmstadt on December 21, 1901, eleven 
months after the Queen's death. The ground for the divorce as- 
signed by the Court was ' irreconcileable natural antipathy.' The only 
child of the marriage, a daughter Elizabeth, was born March 11, 1898. 

1889-96 DOMESTIC AFFAIKS, 1889-96 505 

formed Goldoni's ' La Locandiera ' before the Queen 
at Windsor, and Mr. Tree acted ' The Eed Lamp ' at 
Balmoral. Her birthday in 1895 she celebrated by a 
performance there of Verdi's opera of ' II Trovatore ' 
in the Waterloo chamber. On June 26, 1900, Mas- 
cagni's ' Cavalleria Eusticana,' with a selection from 
' Carmen,' was given there; and on July 16, 1900, the 
whole of her favourite opera of ' Faust.' 

Domestic incidents continued to bring the Queen Betrothal 
alternations of joy and grief in abundant measure Jf the** 

until almost the day of her death. In December, Duke of 
1891, she was gratified by the betrothal of Princess 
Mary (May), daughter of her first cousin the Duchess of 
Teck, to the Duke of Clarence, elder son of the Prince 
of Wales, who was in the direct line of succession to 
the throne. But death stepped in to forbid this 
union. On January 14, 1892, the Duke died. The 
tragedy for a time overwhelmed the Queen. ' Was 
there ever a more terrible contrast ? ' she wrote to 
Tennyson ; ' a wedding with bright hopes turned into 
a funeral ! ' In an address to her people she de- 
scribed the occasion as ' one more sad and tragical 
than any but one that had befallen her.' The nation 
fully shared her sorrow. Gladstone wrote to Sir 
William Harcourt : ' The national grief resembles 
that on the death of Princess Charlotte, and is a 
remarkable evidence of national attachment to the 
Queen and Eoyal Family ' (February 6, 1892). Lord 
Selborne foresaw in the good feeling thus evoked a 
new bond of affection between the Queen and the 
masses of her people. 

On the Duke of Clarence's death, his brother 




Duke of 



Duchy of 


of the 
las II., 
Nov. 23, 

George, Duke of York, became next heir to the 
crown after his father ; and on May 3, 1893, the 
Queen assented to his betrothal to the Princess 
May of Teck. Sorrow was thus succeeded by glad- 
ness. The Duke of York's marriage in the Chapel 
Eoyal at St. James's Palace on July 6, 1893, which 
the Queen attended, revived her spirits. She made 
the event the occasion of a published address to her 
people, which breathed a joyful spirit of hope and 
gratitude for her subjects' sympathy. 

Another change in her domestic environment 
followed within the year. On August 22, 1893, her 
brother-in-law, Duke Ernest of Saxe-Coburg, died. 
The cordiality of her early relations with him had 
not been maintained. She had never thought highly 
of his judgment, and his mode of life in his old age did 
not commend itself to her. When he passed away, 
many years had elapsed since they met. His death 
gave effect to the old-standing arrangement by which 
the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha passed to her 
second son, Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh. Duke Alfred 
and his family thenceforth made Coburg their chief 
home. Thus the German principality, which was 
endeared to the Queen through her mother's and 
her husband's association with it, was brought per- 
manently under the sway of her descendants. 

The matrimonial fortunes of her grandchildren 
occupied an increasing share of her attention. At the 
time of the Grand Duke of Hesse's marriage with a 
daughter of the new Duke of Saxe-Coburg, which she 
herself attended at Coburg (April 19, 1894), l she had 

1 See p. 503. 

1889-96] DOMESTIC AFFAIRS, 1889-96 507 

given warm approval to the betrothal of another 
granddaughter Alix, sister of the Grand Duke of 
Hesse with the Tsarevitch Nicholas. This was the 
most imposing match that any of her grandchildren 
made, or indeed any of her children save her eldest 
daughter. Her second son was already the husband 
of a Tsar's daughter. But this union of her grand- 
daughter with the Tsarevitch brought the head of the 
Eussian royal family into far closer relations with 
her own. Before the marriage took place the bride- 
groom was elevated by the death of his father, Tsar 
Alexander III., on November 1, 1894, to the Eussian 
throne. The marriage followed on November 23. 
The Queen gave an elaborate banquet at Windsor in 
honour of the event, and made the new Tsar Nicho- 
las II. now the husband of her granddaughter an 
honorary officer of her army, Colonel-in-Chief of the 
second Dragoons (Eoyal Scots Greys). 

Meanwhile, on June 23, 1894, the birth of a first Birth of 
son (Edward) to the Duke and Duchess of York added E^rd 
a new heir in the fourth generation to the direct of Wales, 
succession to her throne. The Queen was present 1894. 
at the christening at White Lodge, Eichmond, on 
July 16. 

The Queen preserved her active interest not only 
in the growing army of her own direct descendants, 
but in the children and grandchildren of early 
friends and kinsmen who occupied foreign thrones. 
In 1895 she gave a hearty welcome to a foreign 
kinsman in the third generation, Carlos, King of 
Portugal, friendship with whose father, King Luis, 
and with whose grandparents (Queen Maria II. and 




her consort, Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg), she 
had warmly cherished for more than half a cen- 
tury. She celebrated King Carlos's visit by confer- 
ring on him the Order of the Garter on November 9, 




POLITICS at home had once more drifted in the direc- Glad- 
tion which the Queen dreaded. At the end of June ^ n in 
1892, the twelfth Parliament of the reign was dis- office > 
solved after a life of just six years, and a majority 
of English Liberals and Irish Home Eulers pledged 
to support Gladstone's scheme of Irish Home Kule 
was returned (355 to 315). Lord Salisbury, at the 
Queen's request, and contrary to recent precedents, 
waited for the meeting of Parliament before resign- 
ing, but a vote of want of confidence was at once 
carried against him, and he retired on August 12. 
The Queen defied custom by giving public expression 
to her disappointment at this turn of events. The 
' Court Circular ' next day contained the unusual 
announcement that the Queen had accepted Lord 
Salisbury's resignation ' with much regret.' 

No choice was left her but to summon Gladstone T 

1 Gladstone's fourth Ministry was constituted thus on August 1C, 

First Lord of the Treasury and W. E. Gladstone. 

Privy Seal 

Lord Chancellor . . . Lord Herschell. 
Lord President of Council and Earl of Kimberley. 

Secretary of State for India 




The fate 
of the 
Rule Bill, 
Sept. 8, 

to Glad- 
March 2, 

for a fourth time to fill the post of Prime Minister. 
With the legislation which his new Government pro- 
jected the Queen found herself in no greater sym- 
pathy than on former occasions. Her objections to 
Home Eule for Ireland were rooted and permanent, 
and she was greatly depressed by the passage of 
Gladstone's second Home Eule Bill through the House 
of Commons (July 27, 1893). But relief was not far 
distant. The Queen rejoiced at the rejection of the 
measure by the House of Lords on September 8 by 
the decisive majority of 378. As far as her reign 
was concerned, the scheme then received its death- 
blow. She suffered no further anxieties in regard 
to it. 

In 1894 her political horizon brightened. On 
March 2 of that year Gladstone went to Windsor 
to resign his office owing to his age and failing 
health. His relations with the Queen had not grown 

Chancellor of the Exchequer . 

Home Secretary 

Foreign Secretary . 

Colonial Secretary . 

War Secretary .... 

Secretary for Scotland 
First Lord of the Admiralty 
Chief Secretary for Ireland 
Postmaster-General . 
President of the Board of Trade 
President of the Local Govern- 
ment Board 
Chancellor of the Duchy of 


First Commissioner of Works . 
Vice-President of the Council . 

Sir William Vernon Harcourt. 

Mr. H. H. Asquith. 

Earl of Rosebery. 

Marquis of Eipon. 

Mr. Henry Campbell- 

Sir G. 0. Trevelyan. 
Earl Spencer. 
Mr. John Morley. 
Mr. Arnold Morley. 
Mr. Mundella. 
Mr. Henry Fowler. 

Mr. James Bryce. 

Mr. Shaw-Lefevre. 
Mr. A. H. D. Acland. 

1894] POLITICAL SITUATION, 1892-6 511 

of late in cordiality, and she accepted his resignation 
with a coldness that distressed him and his friends. 
She did not meet him again. On May 19, 1898, he 
died. She felt sympathy with his relatives, and was 
grateful for the proofs he had given of attachment to 
the monarchy. In late years she rarely spoke harshly 
of him in private. If his name happened to be 
mentioned to her, she was wont to confine herself 
to the remark, ' He was always most considerate to 
me and my family.' When he lay dead, she honestly 
refrained from any larger avowal of admiration for 
his public labours. Yet she was fully alive to the 
exalted view of his achievements which was cherished 
by a large number of her subjects, and in a telegram 
to Mrs. Gladstone on the day of her late husband's 
funeral in Westminster Abbey she wrote with much 
adroitness of the gratification with which his widow 
must ' see the respect and regret evinced by the nation 
for the memory of one whose character and intellec- 
tual abilities marked him as one of the most distin- 
guished statesmen of my reign.' The Queen did not 
commit herself to any personal appreciation beyond 
the concluding sentence : ' I shall ever gratefully 
remember his devotion and zeal in all that concerned 
my personal welfare and that of my family.' 

On Gladstone's resignation in 1894 the Queen, Lord 
by her own authority, and without seeking any 
advice, promptly chose the Earl of Kosebery to succeed Minister, 
him. She had long known him and his family; March 3 ' 
his grandmother had been invited to join the Queen's 
household on her accession, and his mother had been 
one of the Queen's bridesmaids. She admired his 




want of 
for his 

abilities, and she appreciated the deferential con- 
sideration which he invariably paid her. 1 

But the Government's policy underwent small 
change on Lord Eosebery's acceptance of the highest 
office in the State, and with it the Queen remained out 
of sympathy. The Welsh Disestablishment Bill, which 
was read a second time in the House of Commons on 
April 1, 1895, ran directly counter to the Queen's con- 
victions in favour of Church establishments. Although 
she came to recognise the necessity of the changes at 
the War Office, which relieved her cousin, the Duke 
of Cambridge, of the Commandership-in-Chief of the 
Army, she did not welcome them. By strictly limit- 
ing the future tenure of the post to a period of five 
years, the cabinet in their reorganisation of the War 
Office gave the death-blow to the cherished fiction that 
the Commander-in-Chief was the permanent personal 
deputy of the Sovereign. But Lord Eosebery's Govern- 
ment was not firmly established. His leadership was 
not acquiesced in with a good grace by many prominent 
members of the party. Enthusiasm for him in the 
rank and file was wanting. The ministers were con- 
sequently defeated in June in the House of Commons, 
and Lord Eosebery at once resigned, after only four- 
teen months' tenure of office. 

Lord Salisbury, to the Queen's satisfaction, 

1 Lord Eosebery made little change in the existing constitution 
of the Cabinet. He resigned the seals of Foreign Secretary, which 
he bestowed on Lord Kimberley. Mr. Henry Fowler succeeded 
Lord Kimberley at the India Office ; Mr. Shaw-Lefevre succeeded 
Mr. Fowler at the Local Government Board, and Mr. Herbert 
Gladstone took Mr. Shaw-Lefevre's place as First Commissioner of 
Works, without a seat in the Cabinet. 




resumed power for the third time on the under- 
standing that he would be permitted an early appeal 
to the country. In the new ministry the Conserva- 
tive leaders coalesced with the leaders of the Liberal 
Unionists, and the dissolution of Parliament was 
followed by the return of the Unionists in a strong 
majority. The Unionist party under Lord Salis- 
bury's leadership retained power till her death. 

With Lord Salisbury and his Unionist colleagues 
the Queen's relations were to the last harmonious. 1 
Her sympathy with the imperialist sentiments, which 
Mr. Chamberlain's control of the Colonial Office con- 
spicuously fostered, was whole-hearted. As in the 

1 Lord Salisbury's third Cabinet was constituted thus : 
Foreign Secretary 
Lord Chancellor 
Lord President of the Council . 
Lord Privy Seal .... 
First Lord of the Treasury 
Chancellor of the Exchequer 
Home Secretary 

Colonial Secretary . 
Secretary for India . 
Secretary of War 
First Lord of the Admiralty 

Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 

Lord Chancellor of Ireland 

Secretary for Scotland 

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lan- 

President of the Board of Trade 

President of the Local Govern- 
ment Board 

President of the Board of Agri- 

First Commissioner of Works . 

The Marquis of Salisbury. 

Earl Halsbury. 

The Duke of Devonshire. 

Viscount Cross. 

Mr. A. J. Balfour. 

Sir Michael Hicks-Beach. 

Sir M. W. (afterwards Viscount) 


Mr. Joseph Chamberlain. 
Lord George Hamilton. 
Marquis of Lansdowne. 
Mr. G. J. (afterwards Viscount) 

Earl Cadogan. 
Lord Ashbourne. 
Lord Balfour of Burleigh 
Lord James of Hereford. 

Mr. C. T. Ritchie. 

Mr. Henry Chaplin. 

Mr. W. H. Long. 

Mr. Akers Douglas. 

L L 


and Mr. 


case of Peel and Disraeli, her first knowledge of him 
had not prepossessed her in his favour. When he 
was a leader of a Eadical section of the Liberal party 
she regarded him with active distrust. He had been 
President of the Board of Trade in Gladstone's second 
ministry, but he had then rarely come in contact with 
her, and her conversation with him in his few visits 
to Windsor rarely passed beyond an inquiry on her 
part as to the efforts that his department was making 
with a view to diminishing the risk of railway acci- 
dents. But Mr. Chamberlain's steady and strenuous 
resistance to the policy of Home Eule, and his 
secession from the ranks of Gladstone's followers, 
dissipated her fears, and his imperialist administra- 
tion of colonial affairs from 1895 till her death was 
in complete accord with her sentiment. She showed 
him to the end numerous marks of respect, and 
encouraged him in all his efforts to consolidate her 
colonial empire. 

Her But, despite the Queen's confidence in her advisers, 

energy, her energy in criticising their counsel never slackened. 
She still required all papers of State to be regularly 
submitted to her ; she was impatient of any sign of 
carelessness in the conduct of public business, and she 
pertinaciously demanded full time for the considera- 
tion of ministers' proposals. She read most of her 
ministers' speeches in the country, and when these 
specially pleased her would send an autograph note 
of congratulation. All appointments to high public 
offices continued to be submitted to her by the respon- 
sible ministers, and she would frankly criticise the 
qualifications of the selected candidate. At times 

1895] POLITICAL SITUATION, 1892-6 515 

the minister would admit the justice of her criticism 
and explain that his choice was the best to be made out 
of the material available. But she would shrewdly 
declare herself unconvinced by the apology. She had 
lately resumed her early practice of signing com- 
missions in the army, and when in 1895 the work fell 
into arrears and an appeal was made to her to forego 
the labour, she declined the suggestion. To diplo- 
matic and other commissions she appended her 
signature to the last. In no case would she counte- 
nance the proposal that she should employ a stamp. 
She would often travel to Osborne or Balmoral with 
hundreds of boxes filled with documents that required 
her sign-manual ; she would work on them con- 
tinuously for two or three hours a day, and would 
sign two or three hundred papers at a sitting. 

The Queen's resolve to identify herself with the Her con- 
army never knew any diminution. On May 10, 1892, i^est in 
she opened with much formality the Imperial Institute, the army, 
but participation in civil ceremonial was rare in her 
closing years. Her public appearances in London and 
its neighbourhood came to have almost exclusively 
military associations, and she conspicuously renewed 
her old relations with Aldershot. On July 4, 1890, she 
inspected the military exhibition at Chelsea Hospital. 
On June 27, 1892, she laid the foundation-stone of a 
new church at Aldershot, and witnessed the march 
past of ten thousand men. Next year, to her joy, but 
amid some signs of public discontent, her son the 
Duke of Connaught took the Aldershot command. 
In July 1894 she spent two days there ; on the llth 
there was a military tattoo at night in her honour, 

LL 2 




Death of 
Prince of 
Jan. 20, 




and a review followed next day. In July 1895, July 
1898, and June 1899, she repeated the agreeable 
experience. In 1898, besides attending a review, she 
presented colours to the 3rd battalion of the Cold- 
stream Guards. 

Early in 1896 the military ardour which she 
encouraged in her immediate circle cost her a sad 
bereavement. At the end of 1895 Prince Henry of 
Battenberg, her youngest daughter's husband, who 
resided under her roof, volunteered for active service 
in Ashanti, where native races were in revolt against 
British rule. The Queen was reluctant to part with 
him. But he wrote to her that he had been brought 
up as a soldier, and sought the opportunity of proving 
his devotion to his adopted country. By joining 
the expedition he would establish his position in a 
manner that would be to his children's interest. His 
wife, Princess Beatrice, supported this plea, and the 
Queen yielded. After taking some part in the opera- 
tions in Ashanti, the Prince was invalided home with 
fever, and died on board H.M.S. ' Blonde ' on the way 
to Madeira on January 20, 1896. The Queen declared 
she had 'lost the sunbeam of her household,' and 
with painful grief turned to console her widowed 
daughter, her own constant companion. The Prince's 
body was met on its arrival at Cowes on February 5 
by the Queen and the Princess, who accompanied it 
to its last resting-place in the church at Whippingham 
where the marriage of the Prince to the Princess 
took place less than eleven years before. 

The Queen always welcomed with warmth signs 
of her people's sympathy with her domestic sorrows. 

1896] POLITICAL SITUATION, 1892-6 517 

They afforded her genuine consolation, and she con- 
stantly dwelt on them in private talk. It was rarely 
that the rendering of any personal attention passed 
from her memory. A few months after Prince 
Henry's death she sought a method of recording per- 
manently those acts of devotion to herself by which 
she set especial store. She instituted, on April 21, 
1896, a new decoration which she called the Royal 
Victorian Order. It was to be conferred on ' such 
persons, being subjects of the British Crown, as 
have rendered extraordinary, or personal, or im- 
portant services to her Majesty, her heirs or suc- 
cessors.' The Queen kept in her own hands the 
control of the Eoyal Victorian Order, and carefully 
selected those who were to be admitted to its 

In the autumn of 1896 the Queen had the gratifi- Visit of 


cation of entertaining at Balmoral the young Tsar Nicholas 
Nicholas II. and her granddaughter the Tsaritza, ^ ' 
with their infant daughter. The Tsar's father, Oct 5. " 
Alexander III., his grandfather, Alexander II., and 
his great-grandfather, Nicholas I., had all been 
her guests in earlier days. The Tsar Alexander I., 
elder stepbrother and predecessor of the Tsar 
Nicholas I., had been her own godfather. The 
rivalry which characterised the political relations of 
Russia and England during the reign the Queen 
regarded as inevitable. To the last she deemed it 
the duty of her statesmen to watch jealously the 
forward movements of Russia in Asia. But at the 
same time she felt pride in the lineal ties that 
united her with the Russian royal house. 




ON September 23, 1896, the Queen achieved the 
distinction of having reigned longer than any other 
English sovereign. She had worn her crown nearly 
twice as long as any contemporary monarch in the 
world, excepting only the Emperor of Austria, and he 
ascended his throne more than eleven years after her 
accession. Hitherto George III.'s reign of fifty-nine 
years and ninety-six days had been the longest known 
to English history. Hers was now a day longer. 
The In 1897 it was resolved to celebrate the completion 

jubilee 11 ^ ner sixtieth year of rule her ' Diamond Jubilee '- 
of 1897. w ith appropriate splendour. She readily accepted 
the suggestion that the celebration should be so 
framed as to emphasise that extension of her empire 
which was now recognised to be one of the most 
imposing characteristics of her sovereignty. It was 
accordingly arranged that prime ministers of all the 
colonies, delegates from India and the dependencies, 
and representatives of all the armed forces of the 
British Empire should take a prominent part in the 
public ceremonies. The main feature of the celebra- 
tion was a state procession through London on June 22. 
The Queen made almost a circuit of her capital 


1897] DIAMOND JUBILEE OF 1897 519 

attended by her family, by envoys from foreign 
countries, by Indian and colonial officials, and by a 
great band of imperial troops Indian native levies, 
mounted riflemen from Australia, South Africa, and 
Canada, and coloured soldiers from the West Coast of 
Africa, Cyprus, Hongkong, and Borneo. 

From Buckingham Palace the mighty cortege passed Service 
to the steps at the west end of St. Paul's, where a f 
short religious service was conducted by the highest Cathe- 
dignitaries of the Church. 1 Thence the royal progress 
was continued over London Bridge, through the 
poorer districts of London on the south side of the 
Thames. Buckingham Palace was finally reached 
across Westminster Bridge and St. James's Park. 
Along the six miles' route were ranged millions of 
the Queen's subjects, who gave her a welcome 
which brought tears to her eyes. Her feelings were 
faithfully reflected in the telegraphic greeting which 
she sent to all parts of the Empire as she set out from 
the palace : ' From my heart I thank my beloved 
people. May God bless them !' 

In the evening, as in 1887, every British city was The 
illuminated, and every headland or high ground in beac< 
England, Scotland, and Wales, from Cornwall to 
Caithness, was ablaze with beacons. 

The festivities lasted a fortnight. There was a Thefes- 
garden party at Buckingham Palace on June 28 ; a tlvlties> 
review in Windsor Park of the Indian and colonial 
troops on July 2 ; a reception on July 7 of the colonial 

1 In the pavement at the foot of the steps at the west end of 
St. Paul's Cathedral there were afterwards inscribed in large deeply 
cut letters these words in commemoration of this ceremony : ' Here 
Queen Victoria returned thanks to Almighty God for the sixtieth 
anniversary of her accession. June 22nd, A.P. 1897.' 







Prime Ministers, when they were all sworn of the 
Privy Council ; and a reception on July 13 of 180 
prelates of English-speaking Protestant peoples who 
were assembled in congress at Lambeth. By an 
error on the part of officials, members of the House 
of Commons, when they presented an address of 
congratulation to the Queen at Buckingham Palace 
on June 23, were shown some want of courtesy. The 
Queen at once took steps to atone for the unintentional 
slight by inviting the members and their wives to 
a garden party at Windsor on July 3. 

The only official celebration which the Queen's 
age of seventy -eight years prevented her from attend- 
ing in person was a great review of battleships at 
Spithead (June 26), which in the number of assembled 
vessels exceeded any preceding display of the kind. 
Vessels of war to the number of 173 were drawn up 
in four lines stretching over a course of thirty miles. 
The Queen was represented by the Prince of Wales. 
Not the least of many gratifying incidents that 
marked the celebration was the gift to Great Britain 
of an ironclad from Cape Colony. 

On July 18 the close of the rejoicings drew from 
the Queen a letter of thanks to her people, express- 
ing in simple language her boundless gratitude. The 
sentiment was common to her and her people. The 
passion of loyalty which the jubilee of 1887 had 
called forth reached at the close of the noxt decade a 
degree of intensity which had no historic precedent. 
During the few years of life that yet remained to the 
Queen it burned with undiminished force throughout 
the Empire in the breast of almost every one of her 
subjects, whatever their race or domicile. 




THE anxieties which are inseparable from the Military 
government of a great empire pursued the Queen and ^onsf 1 " 
her country in full measure during the rest of her 1897-8. 
reign, and her armies were engaged in nctive 
hostilities in many parts of the world. Most of 
her energies were consequently absorbed in giving 
proof of her concern for the welfare of her troops. 
She closely scanned the many military expeditions 
which were needed to repress disorder on the fron- 
tier of India (1897-99). The campaign of British 
and Egyptian troops under Lord Kitchener, which 
finally crushed the long drawn-out rebellion in 
the Soudan at the battle of Omdurman on Sep- 
tember 2, 1898, and restored to Egypt the greater part 
of the territory that had been lost in 1883, was 
a source of immense gratification to her. When 
Lord Kitchener visited Windsor on his return to 
England to receive her congratulations, she proved 
the alertness of her memory by reminding him of 
incidents in former Soudan campaigns, which had 
passed from his recollection. 

In 1898 the Queen indicated the course of her 
sympathies by thrice visiting at Nutley Hospital the 




interest in 

of troops. 






wounded men from India and the Soudan (Febru- 
ary 11, May 14, and December 3). Weekly re- 
ports were now forwarded her from Netley, and 
she studied them with minute care. 1 One of her 
favourite recreations was the making of quilts 
for the hospital where her wounded soldiers were 

She was still active in inspecting troops or in 
presenting new colours to regiments. At Bal- 
moral, on October 29, 1898, she presented colours 
to the newly raised 2nd battalion of the Cameron 
Highlanders. On July 1, 1899, she reviewed in 
Windsor Great Park the Honourable Artillery Com- 
pany, of which the Prince of Wales was Captain- 
General, and a few days later, on July 15, in the 
courtyard of Windsor Castle, she presented colours to 
the Scots Guards, afterwards attending a march past 
in Windsor Park. On August 10, while at Osborne, 
she inspected the Portsmouth Volunteers in camp at 
Ashley, and at Balmoral on September 29 she pre- 
sented new colours to the 2nd battalion of the Sea- 
forth Highlanders. 

Apart from these marks of regard for her army, 
the Queen's chief public appearance during 1899 was 
on May 17, when she laid the foundation-stone of the 
new buildings of the Victoria and Albert Museum at 
Kensington. The South Kensington Museum, as the 
institution had hitherto been named, had been brought 

1 When on one occasion she heard that the convalescents at 
Netley found agreeable amusement in doing woolwork, she at once 
caused the materials to be purchased by one of her ladies-in-waiting, 
and to be forwarded promptly to the hospital. 


into being by the Prince Consort after the Great 
Exhibition of 1862, and was always identified in the 
Queen's mind with her husband's public services. 

All other military experiences which had lately The 
confronted the Queen sank into insignificance in the and Cecil 
autumn of 1899 in the presence of the great Boer Rhodes- 
war. Eecent events in South Africa had greatly 
interested her. When Cecil Rhodes revisited Eng- 
land in 1891 to discuss with the Imperial Govern- 
ment the settlement of Mashonaland, she invited him 
to dine with her at Windsor. Rhodes afterwards 
expressed surprise at the Queen's knowledge of South 
African politics, and her clear and statesmanlike 
remarks on the prospects of Mashonaland. She 
listened with close attention to his description of the 
Kimberley diamond mines and the manner in which 
the stones were prepared for the market. 1 The inter- 
view left the Queen one of Rhodes's admirers. Sub- 
sequently, when she was talking of him with her 
ladies, one of them remarked to her that he was a 
woman-hater. ' Oh, but he was extremely kind to 
me,' she said with characteristic simplicity. 

With her ministers' general policy in South Africa Nego- 
before the great war she was in agreement, although 

she studied the details somewhat less closely than had Trans- 
been her wont. Failing sight disabled her after 
1898 from reading all the official papers that were 
presented to her, but her confidence in the wisdom of 
Lord Salisbury and her' faith in Mr. Chamberlain's 
devotion to the best interests of the Empire spared 
her any misgivings while the negotiations with the 

1 Cecil Rhodes, by Howard Hensman, 1902, pp. 192-3. 


Transvaal Government were pending. As in former 
crises of the same kind, so long as any chance 
remained of maintaining an honourable peace she 
cherished the hope that there would be no war ; but 
when she grew convinced that peace was only to be 
obtained on conditions that were derogatory to the 
prestige of her government she focussed her energies 
on entreaties to her ministers to pursue the war with 
all possible promptitude and effect. 

From the opening of active operations in October 
Boer 1899 until consciousness failed her on her deathbed in 
War - January 1901, the serious conflict occupied the chief 
place in her thoughts. The disasters which befell 
British arms at the beginning of the struggle caused 
her infinite distress, but her spirit rose with the danger. 
Fresh defeats merely added fuel to the zeal with which 
she urged her advisers to redouble their exertions. 
Sir Eedvers Buller's terrible reverse at Colenso in 
December, which followed hard upon two minor 
repulses of other commanders Lord Methuen and 
Sir William Gatacre did not long disturb her equa- 
nimity. When those round her gave voice to gloomy 
prognostications, she declared that she would suffer 
no depression in her house : ' All will come right.' 
The It was with the Queen's especial approval that, 

and the before the end of December 1899, reinforcements on 
ment r G " an enormous scale > drawn both from the regular army 
and the volunteers, were hurriedly ordered to South 
Africa under the command of Lord Roberts, while 
Lord Kitchener was summoned from the Soudan to 
serve as chief of the staff. In both generals she had 
the fullest trust. 


Offers of assistance from the colonies stirred her Emperor 

! - ' i i i William 

enthusiasm, and she sent many messages of thanks, n.'s visit, 

She was consoled, too, by a visit at Windsor from her 
grandson, the German Emperor, with the Empress, 
and two of his sons, on November 20, 1899. Of late 
there had been less harmony than of old between the 
courts of London and Berlin. A misunderstanding 
between the two countries on the thorny subject of 
English relations with the Boer republics of South 
Africa had threatened early in 1896. The German 
Emperor had then replied in congratulatory terms 
to a telegram from President Kruger informing him 
of the success of the Boers in repelling a filibustering 
raid which a few Englishmen under Dr. Jameson had 
made into the Transvaal. The Queen, like her sub- 
jects, reprobated the Emperor's interference, although 
it had little of the deliberately hostile significance 
which popular feeling in England attributed to it. 

The Emperor's visit to the Queen and Prince of Cordiality 
Wales in November, 1899, had been arranged before g m _ e 
the Boer war broke out, and the Emperor did not peror's 
permit his display of friendly feeling to be postponed 
by the opening of hostilities. His meeting with the 
Queen was most cordial, and his relations with the 
English royal family were thenceforth unclouded. 
By way of indicating his practical sympathy with the 
British army, he subscribed 300Z. to the fund for the 
relief of the widows and orphans of the men of the 
1st Koyal Dragoons who were then fighting in South 
Africa the regiment of which he was colonel-in-chief . 

Throughout 1900 the Queen was indefatigable in 
inspecting troops who were proceeding to the seat of 



with her 

mas gift. 

war, in sending to the front encouraging messages, 
and in writing letters of condolence to the relatives of 
officers who lost their lives, often requesting a photo- 
graph and inquiring into the position of their 
families. In the affairs of all who died in her 
service she took a vivid personal interest. She 
worked with her own hand woollen comforters and 
caps for the men in South Africa, and expressed 
annoyance when she was told that her handiwork 
had been distributed among the officers and not 
among the privates. 

The Queen's anxieties at Christmas, 1899, kept 
her at Windsor and precluded her from proceeding to 
Osborne for the holiday season, as had been her 
invariable custom, with one exception, for nearly fifty 
years. On Boxing Day she entertained in St. George's 
Hall, Windsor, the wives and children of the non-com- 
missioned officers and men of the regiments which 
were stationed in the royal borough. She caused a 
hundred thousand boxes of chocolate to be sent as her 
personal gift to the soldiers at the front, and on New 
Year's Day, 1900, forwarded greetings to all ranks. 
When the tide turned at the seat of war, and the 
news of British successes reached her in the early 
months of 1900 the relief of Kimberley (Febru- 
ary 15), the capture of General Cronje (February 27), 
the relief of Ladysmith (February 28), the occupation 
of Bloemfontein (March 13), the relief of Maf eking 
(May 17), and the occupation of Pretoria (June 5) 
she exchanged warm congratulations with her generals 
and showed the utmost elation of spirit. 

The gallantry displayed by the Irish soldiers was 


peculiarly gratifying to her, and she acknowledged it The Irish 
in a most emphatic fashion. On March 2 she gave sok 
permission to her Irish troops to wear on St. Patrick's 
Day, by way of commemorating their achievements in 
South Africa, the Irish national emblem, a sprig of 
shamrock, the display of which had been hitherto 
prohibited in the army. On March 7 she came to 
London, and on the afternoons of the 8th and 9th 
she drove publicly through many miles of streets in 
order to illustrate her watchful care of the public 
interests and her participation in the public anxiety. 
Enthusiasm ran high, and she was greeted every- 
where by cheering crowds. On March 22 she went to 
the Herbert Hospital, at Woolwich, to visit wounded 
men from South Africa. 

But the most signal evidence that she gave of the Fourth 
depth of her sympathy with those who were bearing ^Jand 
the brunt of the struggle was her decision to abandon April 
for this spring her customary visit to the South of 
Europe and to spend her vacation in Ireland, whence 
the armies in the field had been largely recruited. 
This plan was wholly of her own devising. Nearly 
forty years had elapsed since she set foot in Ireland. 1 
In that interval political disaffection had been rife, 
and had discouraged her from renewing her acquaint- 
ance with the country. At one time she cherished 
a feeling of exasperation with her disaffected Irish 
subjects, and she declined to entertain all invitations 
to visit their land. She had many times definitely re- 
fused the suggestion of establishing a royal residence 
in Ireland, which many ministers had from time to 

> See pp. 201, 235, and 312 ante. 


time made to her, in the hope of reviving the droop- 
ing loyalty of the island. 

The so- But now, within a few months of her death, the 

DuWin" Queen's recent feeling for Ireland underwent complete 
April revulsion. She spent three weeks in Dublin, stay- 
ing at the viceregal lodge in Phoenix Park nearly 
the whole of April from the 4th to the 25th. Aban- 
doning every mark of her recent alienation, she came, 
she said, in reply to an address of welcome from 
the Corporation of Dublin, to seek change and rest, 
and to revive happy recollections of the warm- 
hearted welcome given to her, her husband, and 
children in former days. Her reception was all that 
could be wished, and it vindicated her renewed con- 
fidence in the loyalty of the Irish people to the 
Crown, despite the continuance of political agitation. 
The days were spent busily and passed quickly. She 
entertained the leaders of Irish society, attended a 
military review and an assembly of fifty-two thousand 
school children in Phoenix Park, and frequently drove 
through Dublin and the neighbouring country. She 
left nothing undone whereby she might show her 
regard for the Irish troops. On April 5 she gave 
orders for the formation of a new regiment of Irish 
guards. On her departure from Ireland on April 26 
she thanked the Irish people for their greeting in a 
public letter addressed to the lord-lieutenant. 
Lord The war in South Africa was still in progress, 

SSouth and was never lon g absent from the Queen's mind. 
Africa. After her return to Windsor on May 2, 1900, she 
inspected the men of H.M.S. ' Powerful ' who had been 
besieged in Ladysmith, and warmly welcomed their 


commander, Captain Hedworth Lambton. On the 
17th she visited the wounded at Netley. Lord 
Eoberts's successes in South Africa relieved her and 
her people of pressing anxieties during the summer, 
and ordinary court festivities were suffered to pro- 
ceed. On May 4 she entertained at Windsor the 
King of Sweden and Norway, who had often been 
her guest as Prince Oscar of Sweden. On May 10 
she held a drawing-room at Buckingham Palace ; it 
was the only one she attended that season, and 
proved her last. Next day she was present at the 
christening of the third son of the Duke of York, 
when she acted as sponsor. After the usual visit to 
Balmoral (May 22 to June 20) she gave several 
musical entertainments at Windsor. On June 11 
there was a garden party at Buckingham Palace, 
and on June 28 at Windsor a state banquet to the 
Khedive of Egypt, who was visiting the country. 
Her old friend the Empress Eugenie was once more 
her guest at Osborne in September. 

Apart from the war, she was interested in a The 
political measure which passed during the session [^ r ^ f " 
through the House of Commons. This was the Aus- Australia, 
tralian Commonwealth Bill, which had for its object I9 ' 
the creation of a federal union among the Australian 
colonies in much the same manner as the colonial 
provinces of North America had, twenty-three years 
before, been consolidated into the Dominion of Canada. 
She received at Windsor on March 27 the delegates 
from Australia, who were in England to watch the 
Commonwealth Bill's progress. But she avowed 
characteristic misgivings of the measure in one 

M M 


particular. She found the title obnoxious to her. 
She had an ingrained dislike of the word ' Common- 
wealth,' which she identified with Cromwell and his 
republican form of government. She suggested the 
substitution of the word ' Dominion,' which had been 
applied to federated Canada. Explanations were 
furnished her that the signification of ' Common- 
wealth ' was identical with that of ' Dominion,' and 
had historical associations other than those which 
she exclusively attached to it. With some reluctance 
she suffered her objections to drop, but they illus- 
trate her unimpaired vigilance over all that touched 
the historic dignity of the Crown. With the policy 
and aim of the projected statute she was in full 

The inau- When in the autumn the Bill received the royal 
Duration assent, she, on August 27, cordially accepted the 
Austra- suggestion that her grandson, the Duke of York, 
Common- snou ^> w ^h the Duchess, proceed as her representa- 
weaith, tive to Australia in 1901, to open in her name the 
1901. X> nrs ^ session of the new Commonwealth Parliament 
at Melbourne in the following May. She was mean- 
while especially desirous of showing her apprecia- 
tion of the part taken by colonial troops in the 
Boar war, and she directed that the inauguration of 
the Commonwealth at Sydney on January 1, 1901, 
should be attended by a guard of honour represent- 
ing every branch of the army, including the volun- 
teers. The force selected comprised 1,000 men, and 
included representatives of all branches of the service 
viz. regulars, militia, yeomanry, and volunteers. 
They left England on November 12 ; they played 


their part In the Sydney ceremonies in January, 
and before returning to the mother-country they 
visited, at the invitation of the various Australasian 
Governments, Victoria, South Australia, Queens- 
land, Western Australia, Tasmania, and New Zea- 

But the situation in South Africa remained a Dis- 
source of concern, and in the late summer it gave 
renewed cause for distress. Despite Lord Eoberts's 
occupation of the chief towns of the enemy's terri- 
tory, fighting was still proceeding in the open 
country, and deaths from disease or wounds in the 
British ranks were numerous. The Queen was 
acutely distressed by the reports of suffering that 
reached her through the autumn, but, while she 
constantly considered and suggested means of alle- 
viating the position of affairs, and sought to convince 
herself that her ministers were doing all that was 
possible to hasten the final issue, she never faltered 
in her conviction that she and her people were under 
a solemn obligation to fight on till absolute victory 
was assured. Owing to the prevailing feeling of 
gloom, the Queen, when at Balmoral in October and 
November, allowed no festivities. The usual high- 
land gathering for sports and games at Braemar, 
which she had attended for many years with keen 
enjoyment, was abandoned. She never despaired of 
the final issue of the war, but the sense of its serious- 
ness oppressed her. 

She still watched closely public events in foreign King . 
countries, and she found little consolation there. Hum- 
The assassination of her friend Humbert, King of murder 

M M 2 




The Due 

The new 
House of 

in the 

Italy, on July 29 at Monza greatly disturbed her 
equanimity. In France a wave of strong anti- 
English feeling involved her name, and the shame- 
less attacks on her by unprincipled journalists were 
rendered the more offensive by the approval they 
publicly won from the royalist leader, the Due 
d'Orleans, great-grandson of Louis Philippe, to 
whom and to whose family the Queen had proved 
the staunchest of friends. Fortunately for his credit 
the Due afterwards sent to the Queen a humble 
apology for his misbehaviour, and she magnani- 
mously pardoned him. 

In October a general election was deemed neces- 
sary by the Government the existing Parliament 
was more than five years old and the Queen was 
gratified by the result. Lord Salisbury's Govern- 
ment, which was responsible for the war and its 
conduct, received from England and Scotland over- 
whelming support. The elected Unionists, who 
numbered 402, secured a majority of 134 over 
the Liberals and Home Rulers, who numbered 
respectively 186 and 82. The election emphati- 
cally supported the Queen's view that, despite the 
heavy cost of life and treasure, hostilities must be 
vigorously pursued until the enemy acknowledged 

When the Queen's fifteenth and last Parliament 
was opened in December, Lord Salisbury was still 
Prime Minister ; but he resigned the Foreign Secre- 
taryship to Lord Lansdowne, formerly Minister of 
War, and he made, with the Queen's approval, some 
changes in the constitution of the ministry, which 

1900] THE GEE AT BOER WAR 533 

did not impress the country favourably. 1 The policy 
of the Government remained unaltered. 

Death had again been busy among the Queen's The 
relatives and associates, and cause for private sorrow latest" S 
abounded in her last years. Pier cousin and friend bereave- 
of youth, the Duchess of Teck, had passed away on 
October 27, 1897. Another blow was the death at 
Meran of phthisis, on February 5, 1899, of her grand- 
son, Prince Alfred, only son of the Duke of Saxe- 
Coburg-Gotha. The throne of the Duchies of Saxe- 
Coburg-Gotha was thus deprived of an heir. The 
Diet of the Duchies eventually offered the reversion to 
the Queen's third son, the Duke of Connaught ; but, 
although he temporarily accepted it, he, in accordance 
with the Queen's wish, renounced the position in his 
own behalf and in that of his son a few months later. 
The Duke of Albany, the posthumous son of the Queen's 
youngest son, Leopold, was proposed in his stead. 
To the Queen's satisfaction, the little Duke of Albany 
was adopted on June 30, 1899, as heir-presumptive to 
the beloved principality. This arrangement unhappily 
took practical effect far earlier than was anticipated. 

1 Changes wore made in the following offices. The new holders 
of them were : 

Privy Seal 

Foreign Secretary 

Home Secretary 

Secretary for War 

First Lord of the Admiralty 

The Marquis of Salisbury. 
The Marquis of Lansdowne. 
Mr. C. T. Ritchie. 
Mr. Brodrick. 
Earl of Selborne. 

President of the Board of Trade Mr. Gerald Balfour. 

President of the Local Govern- Mr. W. H. Long. 

ment Board 

President of the Board of Agri- Mr. Hanbury. 


Postmaster- General . . . The Marquis of Londonderry, 






tions of 

A mortal disease attacked Alfred, the reigning Duke 
of Saxe-Coburg, the Queen's second son, and before a 
fatal issue was expected he died suddenly at Eosenau 
on July 80, 1900. 

The last bereavement in the royal circle which the 
Queen suffered was the death, on October 29, 1900, 
of her grandson, Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig- 
Holstein, eldest son of Princess Helena, the Queen's 
second daughter. The young man fell a victim to 
the Boer war. He had contracted enteric fever on 
the battlefields of South Africa. But even more 
distressing was it for the Queen to learn, in the 
summer of 1900, that her eldest child, the Empress 
Frederick, was the victim of a malady that must 
soon end in death. Although the Empress was 
thenceforth gravely disabled, she survived her mother 
rather more than six months. 

It was amid these griefs that the Queen's long life 
reached its final stage. On November 7, 1900, the 
Queen returned to Windsor from Balmoral in order 
to console Princess Christian on the death of her 
son, and twice before the end of the month she took 
the opportunity of welcoming home a few of the 
troops from South Africa, including colonial and 
Canadian detachments. On each occasion she ad- 
dressed a few grateful words to the men. On 
December 12 she made her last public appearance 
by attending a sale of needlework by Irish ladies at 
the Windsor Town Hall. Among other purchases 
that she made was a screen embroidered with violets, 
the Napoleonic badge, which she sent as a Christmas 


present to her faithful friend of past and present 
days, the Empress Eugenie. On December 14 she 
celebrated the thirty-ninth anniversary of the Prince 
Consort's death at Frogmore with customary solem- 
nity. On the 18th she left for Osborne. It was the 
last journey of her life. 




The ^ THROUGHOUT life the Queen's physical condition was 

health hi robust. She always believed in the efficacy of fresh 

old age. air and abundant ventilation, and those who waited 

on her had often occasion to lament that the Queen 

never felt cold. She invariably drove out twice a day 

for one hour and a half in the morning and two 

hours in the afternoon. She was extremely careful 

about her health, and towards the close of her career 

usually consulted her resident physician, Sir James 

Reid, many times a day. 

Her ail- Although she suffered no serious ailments, age 

told on her during the last five or six years of her 
life. Since 1895 she suffered from a rheumatic stiff- 
ness of the joints, which rendered walking difficult. 
She could only support herself with difficulty with a 
stick, and was usually wheeled about in a chair 
indoors. From 1898, too, incipient cataract greatly 
affected her eyesight. The growth of the disease was 
steady, but it did not reach the stage which rendered 
an operation expedient. In her latest years she was 
scarcely able to read, although she could still sign 
her name and could write letters with difficulty. 
Ministers were requested, when writing to her, to use 
broad pens and the blackest possible ink. 

1900] THE QUEEN'S DEATH 537 

It was not till the late summer of 1900 that Physical 
symptoms menacing to life made themselves apparent. 
The anxieties and sorrows due to the South African 
war and to deaths of relatives proved a severe strain 
on her nervous system. She manifested a tendency 
to aphasia, but by a strong effort of will she was for 
a time able to check its growth. She had long justly 
prided herself on the strength and precision of her 
memory, 1 and the failure to recollect a familiar name 
or word irritated her, impelling increased mental 
exertion. No more specific disease declared itself, but 
loss of weight and complaints of sleeplessness in the 
autumn of 1900 pointed to a general physical decay. 
She hoped that a visit to the Kiviera in the spring 
would restore her powers, but when she reached 
Windsor in November her physicians feared that a 
journey abroad might have evil effects. Arrange- 
ments for the removal of the Court to the Kiviera 
early next year were, however, begun. At Osborne 
her health showed no signs of improvement, but no 
immediate danger was apprehended. 

On Christmas morning her lifelong friend and Last 
lady-in-waiting, Jane Lady Churchill, passed away 
suddenly in her sleep. The Queen was greatly dis- 
tressed, and at once ordered a wreath to be made for 

1 Lord Ronald Gower relates that, in 1893, ' the Queen spoke of 
Leslie's picture of her coronation [painted fifty -four years before and 
containing hundreds of portraits], and on my saying that I believed 
only three persons who appeared in that painting still lived the 
Queen immediately corrected me, and said that, besides herself, the 
Duchess of Cleveland, the Duke of Cambridge, and the Due de 
Nemours were the survivors. The " due " appears in the picture next 
to the Duke of Cambridge. This shows the marvellous memory of 
the Queen.' 


the coffin. On January 2, 1901, she nerved herself 
to welcome Lord Roberts on his return from South 
Africa, where the command-in-chief had devolved 
on Lord Kitchener. She managed by an effort of 
will briefly to congratulate him on his successes, and 
she conferred on him an earldom and the Order of 
the Garter. But she was greatly affected, and her 
weakness was very perceptible. On the llth Mr. 
Chamberlain, the Colonial Secretary, had a few 
minutes' audience with her, so that she might under- 
stand the immediate prospect of South African affairs. 
She seemed collected and alert. This was her last 
interview with a minister. It was fitting that the 
future of her colonial empire should be almost the 
last business that should be brought to her attention 
in life. Three days later she gave a second audience 
to Lord Eoberts. She then engaged in an hour's talk 
with him and showed acute anxiety to learn all details 
of the recent progress of the war. She appeared to 
stand the exertion well, but a collapse followed the 
general's departure. 

The ? The widowed Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha 

death" S arrived on a visit on the same day, and, accompanied 
Jan. 22, by h er> the Queen drove out on the 15th for the last 
time. By that date her medical attendants recognised 
her condition to be hopeless. The brain was failing, 
and life was slowly ebbing. On the 19th it was 
publicly announced that she was suffering from 
physical prostration. The next two days her weak- 
ness grew, and the children who were in England 
were summoned to her deathbed. On January 21 
her grandson, the German Emperor, arrived, and 

1901] THE QUEEN'S DEATH 539 

in his presence, and in the presence of two sons, the 
Prince of Wales and the Duke of Connaught, and three 
daughters, Princess Helena, Princess Louise, and 
Princess Beatrice, she passed away at half-past six 
in the evening of Tuesday, January 22. 

The Queen was eighty -one years old and eight Her age 
months, less two days. Her reign had lasted sixty- i en gth of 

three years, seven months, and two days. She had 
lived three days longer than George III., the longest- 
lived sovereign of England before her. Her reign 
exceeded his, the longest yet known to English history, 
by nearly four years. It was only exceeded in 
European history by the seventy-one years' reign of 
Louis XIV. of France. 

On the day following her death the Queen's elder Accession 
surviving son met the Privy Council at St. James's ^^' 
Palace, took the oaths as her successor to the throne, VI I. 
and was on the 24th proclaimed King under the style 
of Edward VII. 

The Queen named as the executors of her will Her 
her younger surviving son, the Duke of Connaught, her 
youngest daughter, Princess Henry of Battenberg, and 
her latest Keeper of the Privy Purse, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Sir Fleetwood Edwards. To them she com- 
mitted detailed orders for the arrangement of her 
funeral, even indicating the music that was to be 
played at the final ceremony. In accordance with a 
dominant sentiment of her life, the Queen com- 
manded a military funeral. On February 1 the royal 
yacht 'Alberta,' passing between long lines of warships 
which fired a last salute, carried the coffin from Cowes 
to Gosport. Early next day the remains were brought 




The uni- 

of the 
to her 

to London, and were borne on a gun-carriage from 
Victoria station to Paddington. In the military pro- 
cession which accompanied the cortege, every branch 
of the army was represented, while immediately 
behind the coffin rode King Edward VII., supported 
on one side by his brother, the Duke of Connaught, 
and on the other by his nephew, the German Emperor. 
They were followed by the Kings of Portugal and 
of Greece, most of the Queen's grandsons, and mem- 
.bers of every royal family in Europe. The funeral 
service took place in the afternoon, with imposing 
solemnity, in St. George's Chapel, Windsor. On 
Monday, February 4, the coffin was removed privately, 
in the presence only of the royal family, to the 
Frogmore mausoleum, and was there placed in the 
sarcophagus which already held the remains of Prince 

No British sovereign was more sincerely mourned. 
As the news of the Queen's death spread, impassioned 
expressions of grief came from every part of the 
United Kingdom, of the British Empire, and of the 
world. Native chieftains in India, in Africa, in New 
Zealand vied with their British-born fellow-subjects 
in the avowals of a personal sense of loss. The Legis- 
latures of Canada and of other colonies appointed the 
Queen's birthday (May 24) to be a permanent public 
holiday, so that her name might be held in memory 
for all time. 

The demonstration of her people's sorrow testified 
to the spirit of loyalty to her person and position 
which had been evoked by her length of life and reign, 
her personal sorrows, and her recent manifestations 

lyoi] THE QUEEN'S DEATH 541 

of sympathy with her subjects' welfare. But the vital 
strength and popularity, which the grief at the Queen's 
death proved the monarchy to enjoy, were only in 
part due to her personal character and the conditions 
of her personal career. A force of circumstances 
which was not subject to any individual control largely 
contributed to the intense respect and affection on the 
part of the people of the Empire which encircled her 
crown when her rule ended. The passion of loyalty 
with which she inspired her people during her last 
years was a comparatively late growth. In the middle 
period of her reign the popular interest, which her 
youth, innocence, and simplicity of domestic life had 
excited at the beginning, was exhausted, and the long 
seclusion which she maintained after her husband's 
death developed in its stead a coldness between her 
people and herself which bred much disrespectful 

Neither her partial resumption of the external The 
functions of public life nor her venerable age fully 
accounts for the new sentiment of affectionate enthu- imperial 
siasm which greeted her declining days. It was largely umty< 
the outcome of the new conception of the British 
monarchy which sprang from the development of the 
colonies and dependencies of Great Britain, and the 
sudden strengthening of the sense of unity between 
them and the mother-country. The crown after 1880 
became the living symbol of imperial unity, and every 
year events deepened the impression that the Queen in 
her own person typified the common interest and the 
common sympathy which spread a feeling of brother- 
hood through the territories that formed the British 


Empire. She and her ministers in her last years en- 
couraged the identification of the British sovereignty 
with the unifying spirit of imperialism, and she 
thoroughly reciprocated the warmth of feeling for her- 
self and her office which that spirit engendered in her 
people at home and abroad. But it is doubtful if, in the 
absence of the imperial idea, for the creation of which 
she was not responsible, she could under the constitu- 
tion have enjoyed that popular regard and veneration 
of which she died in unchallenged possession. 




THE practical anomalies incident to the position of a Her 
constitutional sovereign who is in theory invested 
with all the semblance of power, but is denied any of ness of 
its reality or responsibility, were brought into strong 
relief by the Queen's personal character and the 
circumstances of her life. Possessed of no command- 
ing strength of intellect, but of an imperious will, 
great physical and mental energy, and an exceptional 
breadth of sympathy, she applied herself to the work 
of government with greater ardour and greater industry 
than any of her predecessors. No sovereign of England 
was a more voluminous correspondent with the officers 
of State. She laboriously studied every detail of 
Government business, and on every question of policy 
or administration she formed for herself decided 
opinions, to which she obstinately adhered, pressing 
them pertinaciously on the notice of her ministers. 

Although the result of her energy could not under The 
the constitution be commensurate with its intensity, |J ^ ts 
her activity was in the main advantageous. The experi- 
detachment from party interests or prepossessions, detach" 
which her elevated and isolated position came to m ent. 
foster in her, gave her the opportunity of detecting 



to the 

in ministerial schemes any national peril to which 
her ministers might at times be blinded by the spirit 
of faction, and her persistence led to some modifi- 
cations of policy with happy result. Her length of 
sovereignty, too, rendered in course of years her 
personal experiences of government far wider and far 
closer than that of any of her ministers, and she 
could recall much past procedure of which she was 
the only surviving witness. 

Absolutely frank and truthful in the expression of 
her views to her ministers, she had at the same time 
the tact to acquiesce with outward grace, however 
strong her private objections, in any verdict of the 
popular vote, against which appeal was seen to be 
hopeless. In the two instances of the Irish Church 
Bill of 1869 and the Franchise Extension Bill of 
1884 she made personal efforts, in the interest of the 
general peace of the country, to discourage an 
agitation which she felt to be doomed to failure. 
She shrank from no exertion whereby she might influ- 
ence personally the machinery of the State, and was 
always ready to face the risk of complete failure in 
her efforts to enforce her opinions or her wishes. 
With the principle of the constitution which imposed 
on the monarch the obligation of giving formal assent 
to every final decision of his advisers, however ob- 
noxious it might be to the private sentiments of the 
sovereign, she had the practical wisdom to avoid any 
manner of conflict. 

The Queen's personal influence was far greater at 
the end of her life than at her accession to the throne. 
Nevertheless it was a vague intangible element in the 


political sphere, and was far removed from the solid Increase 
remnants of personal power which had adhered to the 

sceptre of her predecessors. Partly owing to the respect and 
for the constitution in which she was educated, partly roya i 
owing to her personal idiosyncrasies, and partly owing P ower - 
to the growth of democratic principles among her 
people, the positive force of such prerogatives as the 
Crown possessed at her accession was, in spite of her toil 
and energy, diminished rather than increased during 
her reign. Parliament deliberately dissolved almost 
all the personal authority that the Crown had hitherto 
exercised over the army. The prerogative of mercy 
was practically abrogated when the Home Secretary 
was virtually made by statute absolute controller of its 
operations. The distribution of titles and honours 
became in a larger degree than in former days an 
integral part of the machinery of party politics, from 
participation in which the sovereign was almost entirely 

Some outward signs of the sovereign's formal Her 
supremacy in the State lost, moreover, by her own 

acts some of their old distinctness. Conservative as Parlia- 
was her attitude to minor matters of etiquette, she 
was self-willed enough to break with large precedents 
if the breach consorted with her private predilections. 
During the last thirty-nine years of her reign she 
opened Parliament in person only seven times. During 
the last fifteen years of her reign she never once 
appeared within the walls of the Houses of Parliament. 
She did not prorogue Parliament once after 1854, 
although no less than forty-seven sessions were brought 
to a close before the end of her reign. It had been the 

N N 


rule of her predecessors regularly to attend the Legis- 
lature at the opening and close of each session, unless 
they were disabled by illness. Her defiance of this 
practice tended to weaken her semblance of hold on 
the central force of government. 

Her Another innovation in the usages of the monarchy, 

for which the Queen, with a view to increasing her 
private convenience, was personally responsible, had 
a like effect. Of her three immediate predecessors 
on the throne only one, George IV., left the country 
during his reign, and then he merely visited his own 
principality of Hanover. Very rarely had earlier 
sovereigns of modern times crossed the seas while 
wearing the crown. In their absence they were in- 
variably represented at home by a regent or by lords- 
justices, to whom were temporarily delegated the 
symbols of sovereign power, while a responsible 
minister was the Sovereign's constant companion 
abroad. Queen Victoria ignored nearly the whole 
of this procedure. She repeatedly visited foreign 
countries ; no regent nor lords-justices were called to 
office in her absence ; she was at times unaccompanied 
by a responsible minister, and she often travelled 
privately and informally under an assumed title of 
inferior rank. The mechanical applications of steam 
and electricity which were new to her era facilitated 
communication with her, but the fact that she 
voluntarily cut herself off from the seat of govern- 
ment for weeks at a time in some instances at 
seasons of crisis seemed to prove that the sove- 
reign's control of government was in effect less 
constant and essential than of old, or that it might, 


at any rate, incur interruption without in any way 
impairing the efficiency of the Government's action. 
Her withdrawal from Parliament and her modes of 
foreign travel alike tended to enfeeble the illusion 
which is part of the fabric of a perfectly balanced 
constitutional monarchy, that the motive power of 
government at all seasons resides in the sovereign. 

In one other regard the Queen, by conduct which The 
must be assigned to her personal feeling and care for jd en 
her personal comfort at the cost of the public advan- Ireland - 
tage, almost sapped the influence which the Grown can 
legitimately exert on the maintenance of a healthy 
harmony among the component parts of the United 
Kingdom. Outside England she bestowed markedly 
steady favour on Scotland. Her sojourns there, if 
reckoned together, occupied a period of time approach- 
ing seven years. In Ireland, on the other hand, she 
spent in the whole of her reign a total period of less 
than five weeks. During fifty-nine of her sixty-three 
years of rule she never set foot there at all. Her visit 
in her latest year was a triumph of robust old age 
and a proof of her alertness of sympathy. But it 
brought into broad relief the neglect of Ireland that 
preceded it, and it emphasised the errors of feeling 
and of judgment which made her almost a complete 
stranger to her Irish subjects in their own land 
during the rest of her long reign. 

The Queen's visits to foreign lands were inti- The 
mately associated with her devotion to her family 
which was a ruling principle of her life. The kinsmen relations, 
and kinswomen with whom her relations were closest 
were German, and Germany had for her most of the 

N N 2 


associations of home. She encouraged in her house- 
hold many German customs, and with her numerous 
German relatives maintained an enormous and 
detailed correspondence. 

It was the Queen's cherished conviction that Eng- 
land might and should mould the destinies of the world, 
and her patriotic attachment to her own country of 
England and to her British subjects can never be justly 
questioned. But she was much influenced in her view 
of foreign policy by the identification of her family with 
Germany, and by her natural anxiety to protect the 
interests of ruling German princes who were lineally 
related to her. It was ' a sacred duty,' as she said, for 
her to work for the welfare of Prussia, because her 
eldest daughter had married the heir to the Prussian 
crown. As a daughter and a wife she felt bound to 
endeavour to preserve the independence of the duchy 
of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, whence her mother and hus- 
band sprang. Her friendship for Belgium was a phase 
of her affection for her uncle, who sat on its throne. 
The spirit of patriotic kingship was always strong 
enough in her to quell hesitation as to the path she 
should follow when the interest of England was 
in direct conflict with that of her German kindred, 
but it was her constant endeavour to harmonise 
the two. 

Her Although the Queen disliked war and its inevi- 

table brutalities, she treated it as in certain con- 
ditions a dread necessity which no ruler should refuse 
to face. Thoroughly as she valued peace, she deemed 
it wrong to purchase it at the expense of national 
rights or dignity. But she desired that warfare 
should be practised with all the humanity that was 


possible, and she was deeply interested in the 
military hospitals and in the training of nurses. 

The Queen's wealth of domestic affection was Her tem- 
allied to a tenderness of feeling and breadth of sym- per 
pathy with mankind generally which her private 
sorrows accentuated. She spared no exertion per- 
sonally to console the bereaved, to whatever walk of 
life they belonged, and she greatly valued a recipro- 
cation of her sympathy. Every instance of unmerited 
suffering that came to her notice stirred her to indig- 
nation. The persecution of Captain Dreyfus in France 
evoked strong expressions of disgust in her latest 
years. 1 Nor were animals horses and dogs excluded 
from the scope of her compassion. To vivisection she 
was strenuously opposed, denouncing with heat the 
cruelty of wounding and torturing dumb creatures. 
She countenanced no lenity in the punishment of 
those guilty of cruel acts. 

The Queen was not altogether free from that Her wide 
morbid tendency of mind which springs from exces- 
sive study of incidents of sorrow and suffering. Her 
habit of accumulating sepulchral memorials of 
relations and friends was one manifestation of it. 
She deplored, too, the decay of mourning for the dead, 
and the growing custom of shortening the interval 
between death and burial. But the morbid tendency 
was ultimately held in check by an innate cheerful- 
ness of disposition and by her vivacious curiosity 
regarding all that passed in the domestic and 
political circles of which she was the centre. She 

1 Lord Eussell, the Lord Chief Justice, wrote at her request an 
account of Dreyfus's second trial at Eennes, at which he was 
present. It is printed in Mr. Barry O'Brien's Life of Lord Russell of 
Killowen. N N 3 



Her re- 

Her atti- 
tude to 

was interested in the families and personal history of 
all who served her especially of the ladies who were 
in regular attendance on her. She was deeply con- 
cerned in the welfare of her servants. She was an 
admirable hostess, personally consulting her guests' 
comfort and studying their tastes. 

The ingenuousness of youth was never wholly 
extinguished in the Queen. She was easily amused, 
and was never at a loss for recreation. Bound games 
of cards or whist which had attracted her in early 
life she abandoned in later years. But she pursued 
the gentler of her early amusements until the end ; 
she sketched, played the piano, sang, or did needle- 
work, especially crochet and woolwork. Her serious 
temperament led her to deprecate excessive devo- 
tion to sport, and she came to view many popular 
games with impatience. The attraction of golf was, 
she admitted, quite beyond her comprehension. It 
was new to her experience. 

The Queen's artistic sense was not strong. In 
furniture and dress she preferred the fashions of her 
early married years to any other. She was not a 
good judge of painting, and she bestowed her main 
patronage on portrait painters like Winterhalter 
and Von Angeli, and on sculptors like Boehm, whose 
German nationality was for her a main recommen- 
dation. ' The only studio of a master that she ever 
visited was that of Sir Frederic (afterwards Lord) 
Leighton, whose " Procession of Cimabue " the Prince 
Consort had bought for her, and whom she thought 
delightful, though perhaps more as an accomplished 
and highly agreeable courtier than as a painter.' The 


sketches with which she occupied herself late in life 
exhibited no great skill. Yet her robust common sense 
was at times of service in matters of art. 

In music she showed greater taste and had far Her 
greater knowledge. Staunch to the heroes of her mus i c . 
youth, she always appreciated the operas of Eossini, 
Bellini, and Donizetti. To the end she was devoted 
to Mendelssohn and Beethoven, who had won her early 
admiration. Gounod and Sullivan fascinated her later. 
Gounod's * Faust ' was her favourite opei*a, and his 
setting of the Lord's Prayer was one of the pieces 
which she ordered to form part of her funeral service. 
Wagner's merit she was not slow to recognise. She 
placed his ' Lohengrin' only second to Gounod's ' Faust.' 
Much recent German music was by no means uncon- 
genial to her, but she preferred compositions which were 
characterised by simpler melody. 1 Bach and Handel 
bored her, because, she said, she had been forced to 
hear too many of their oratorios in childhood. She 
was always fond of listening to piano-playing, and it 
was an essential qualification for those who wished to 
become ladies-in-waiting that they should be com- 
petent executants. When she was alone, she had 
music in her apartments every evening after dinner. 

1 Wide currency has been given to the story that on one occasion, 
when the Queen was told that a very involved piece of modern 
German music, to which she was listening with impatience, was a 
' drinking song ' by Eubinstein, she remarked, ' Why, you could not 
drink a cup of tea to that.' (Quarterly Beview, April 1901.) The facts 
are that Eubinstein's Melody in F was on the occasion in question 
being played to the Queen, who for the moment forgot what the piece 
was. She asked a lady-in-waiting, who inappropriately suggested that 
it was a drinking song. The Queen at once perceived the error, and 
was heartily amused by it. Nothing further was said. 


Her The Queen was devoted to the theatre from girl- 

to the n hood, and all her enthusiasm revived when in her 

drama. i as t years she restored the dramatic performances at 
taste in Court, which her mourning had long interrupted. 
literature. Literature did not excite in her the same enthu- 
siasm. She was not well read ; but she emulated her 
husband's respect for literature, and took a serious 
view of reading as an amusement. In her later years 
a book was usually read aloud to her late at night 
before she* retired to rest, and although she enjoyed 
novels of various kinds, especially those of a melo- 
dramatic complexion, she deemed it right to alternate 
fiction with works of more earnest aim. Among works 
of that kind which greatly interested her in her last 
years were Dean Bradley and Mr. E. E. Prothero's 
' Life of Dean Stanley ' and Slatin Pasha's ' Fire and 
Sword in the Soudan ' (1896). Among recent novelists, 
the simple pathos of Miss Florence Montgomery's 
tales greatly attracted her. Mr. Merriman's ' Sowers ' 
gave her much pleasure. But probably she derived 
as much satisfaction from Mr. Marion Crawford's 
books as from those of any contemporary writer of 
fiction. On one occasion, when at Cimiez, she looked 
forward to meeting Mr. Crawford, to whom she said 
she owed many delightful hours, but by an accident 
the interview did not take place. Nevertheless, on 
the whole, she regarded novel reading as a dan- 
gerous distraction from the solemn interests of life. 
Some great efforts in fiction which she studied care- 
fully she criticised with shrewdness from her own 
serious point of view. 

The Queen dressed simply and without much taste. 


But she knew the weakness of her sex and sometimes The 
humoured it by a flattering comment on the attire of 
a female guest or an attendant at a drawing-room, carriage. 
Despite her small stature and ineffective costume, 
the Queen always bore herself with grace and dignity, 
and impressed with her regality of carriage all who 
came into personal relations with her. She never 
entirely lost an innate shyness, but she controlled 
displays of it by force of will. 

In talk she appreciated homely wit of a quiet Herdis- 
kind, and laughed without restraint when a jest or ^bse- 
anecdote appealed to her. Subtlety or indelicacy quious- 
offended her, and sometimes evoked a scornful 
censure. Her own conversation had often the charm 
of naivete. Her memory was unusually sound, and 
errors which were made in her hearing on matters 
familiar to her she corrected with briskness and point. 
Although she naturally expected courtesy of address, 
and resented brusque expression of contradiction or 
dissent, she was not conciliated by obsequiousness. 
' It is useless to ask - -'s opinion,' she would say ; 
'he only tries to echo mine.' Always frank and 
absolutely truthful in her own written or spoken 
word, she desired to be addressed in the same 
spirit by all who came into personal intercourse 
with her ; and the fear that statements made to her 
represented what the speakers believed she would like 
to hear, rather than what was precisely true, caused 
her frequent annoyance. 'No one can tell,' she 
remarked to an intimate friend, ' of what value it is 
to me to hear the truth.' 

The Queen welcomed and appreciated public 


Her sense acknowledgments of her devotion to the public ser- 
ubHc v * ce ' an( ^ warm ty resented criticism of her seclusion, 
services, which was, she urged, to a large extent a result of the 
imperative calls of public business. To praise on 
the score of industrious solicitude for the public 
welfare she deemed herself fully entitled. She dis- 
tinguished it from adulation. Of the eulogy which 
abounded in the newspapers on the occasion of her 
jubilee in 1887 she wrote, * That is not flattery, which 
the Queen hates.' Yet she felt the public applause 
tended in her last years to exaggeration, and would 
modestly interrupt the perusal of some extravagant 
journalistic panegyric with the remark, * If they only 
knew me as I am ! ' 

Herreli- The Queen's religion was simple, sincere, and 

gion. undogmatic. Theology did not interest her, but in 
the virtue of religious toleration she was an ardent 
believer. When Dr. Creighton, the last Bishop of 
London of her reign, declared that she was the best 
Liberal he knew, he had in mind her breadth of 
religious sentiment. On moral questions her views 
were strict. She was opposed to the marriage of 
widows. To the movement for the greater emancipa- 
tion of women she was thoroughly and almost blindly 
antipathetic. For women to speak in public or 
associate themselves with public movements was in 
her sight almost unpardonable. She never realised 
Her dis- that her own position gave the advocates of Women's 
Women's ^*&^ s their strongest argument, and when that point 
Rights, of view was pressed on her attention in conversation, 
she treated it as an irrelevance. With a like incon- 
sistency she regarded the greatest of her female pre- 


decessors, Queen Elizabeth, with aversion, although 
she resembled Queen Elizabeth in her frankness and 
tenacity of purpose, and might, had the constitution 
of the country in the nineteenth century permitted it, 
have played as decisive a part in history. 

Queen Victoria's sympathies were with the Stuarts Her 
and the Jacobites. She declined to identify Prince stuart 

' sympa- 

Charles Edward with his popular designation of ' the thies. 
Young Pretender,' and gave in his memory the bap- 
tismal names of Charles Edward to her grandson, the 
Duke of Albany. She was deeply interested in the his- 
tory of her ancestress Mary Stuart. In 1850 she 
placed a window in Carisbrooke Church in memory of 
Charles I.'s daughter Elizabeth, and six years later 
she directed a marble tomb by Marochetti to be 
erected above her grave in the neighbouring church 
of St. Thomas at Newport. She restored James II.'s 
tomb at St. Germain. 

But such likes and dislikes reflected purely Her 
personal idiosyncrasies. It was not Queen Elizabeth's 
mode of rule that offended Queen Victoria : it was her personal 
lack of feminine modesty. It was not the Stuarts' 
method of government that appealed to her : it was 
their fall from high estate to manifold misfortune. 
Queen Victoria's whole life and action were, indeed, 
guided by personal sentiment rather than by reasoned 
principles. But her personal sentiment, if not 
altogether removed from the commonplace, nor proof 
against occasional inconsistencies, bore ample trace 
of courage, truthfulness, and sympathy with suffering. 
Far from being an embodiment of selfish whim, the 
Queen's personal sentiment blended in its main 


current sincere love of public justice with staunch 
fidelity to domestic duty, and ripe experience came in 
course of years to imbue it with much of the force of 
patriarchal wisdom, even with ' something like pro- 
phetic strain.' In her capacity alike of monarch and 
woman, the Queen's personal sentiment proved, on the 
whole, a safer guide than the best-devised systems 
of moral or political philosophy. Nature and circum- 
stance met together to endow it in no sparing measure 
with what Shakespeare called 

the rare king-becoming graces, 
As justice, verity, temperance, stableness, 
Bounty, perseverance, mercy, lowliness, 
Devotion, patience, courage, fortitude. 






QUEEN VICTORIA and Prince Albert had nine children, The 
four sons Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, afterwards 
King Edward VII., Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, and after- 
wards Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Arthur, Duke of Con- 
naught, and Leopold, Duke of Albany and five daughters 
Victoria, Crown Princess of Prussia, afterwards the 
Empress Frederick, Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse, 
Helena, Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, Louise, 
Marchioness of Lome, afterwards Duchess of Argyll, and 
Beatrice, Princess Henry of Battenberg. 

Two sons Leopold, Duke of Albany, and Alfred, Duke 
of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and one daughter Alice, Grand 
Duchess of Hesse died in the Queen's lifetime. 

The Queen was survived by two sons the Prince of Surviv- 
Wales (now Edward VII.), and Arthur, Duke of Connaught in ? 
and by four daughters, Victoria, Empress Frederick ; 
Helena, Princess Christian ; Louise, Duchess of Argyll ; 
and Beatrice, Princess Henry of Battenberg. The eldest 
daughter, Victoria (Empress Frederick), died on August 5, 
1901, nearly seven months after her mother, at her seat, 
Friedrichshof, near Frankfort. 

All the Queen's children were married, and all except 
the Princess Louise had issue. The Queen's grandchildren 




of grand- 

and the 

in Eng- 

riages in 

numbered forty ; of these thirty-one survived at the date 
of her death ; nine died in her lifetime. Her great-grand- 
children numbered thirty-seven. 

Seventeen of her grandchildren were married before her 
death. In two instances there was intermarriage of first 
cousins. The Grand Duke of Hesse (Princess Alice's only 
surviving son) married Princess Victoria Melita (Prince 
Alfred's second daughter). Prince Henry of Prussia (the 
Crown Princess of Prussia's second son) married Princess 
Irene Marie (Princess Alice's third daughter). The first of 
these marriages was dissolved on December 21, 1901. l 

Other marriages cf her grandchildren connected the 
Queen with the chief reigning families of Europe. The 
third daughter of the Crown Princess of Prussia (Empress 
Frederick), Princess Sophie Dorothea, married in 1889 the 
Duke of Sparta, son of the King of Greece. Princess Alice's 
youngest daughter (Princess Alix Victoria) married, in 1894, 
Nicholas II., Tsar of Russia, while Princess Alice's second 
daughter (Elizabeth) married the Grand Duke Serge of 
Russia, a younger son of Tsar Alexander II., and uncle of 
Tsar Nicholas II. Prince Alfred's eldest daughter (Princess 
Marie) married, in 1898, Ferdinand, Crown Prince of Rou- 
mania. Princess Maud, youngest daughter of the Prince 
of Wales, married in 1896 Prince Charles of Denmark. 

Only one grandchild married a member of the English 
nobility the Prince of Wales's eldest daughter, Louise, 
who became the wife of the Duke of Fife. Another grand- 
son, Prince George, Duke of York (now Prince of Wales), 
only surviving son of the Prince of Wales (now Edward VII.), 
married his second cousin, Princess Mary of Teck, daughter 
of the Queen's first cousin, Princess Mary of Cambridge, by 
her husband, the Duke of Teck. 

The remaining seven marriages of grandchildren were 
contracted with members of princely families of Germany. 
The German Emperor William II. (the Crown Princess's 

1 See p. 504, note 1. 


eldest son) married Princess Victoria of Augustenburg. The 
Crown Princess's daughters the Princesses Charlotte, 
Frederika Victoria, and Margaretta Beatrice married 
respectively the Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Meiningen (in 
1878), Prince Adolph of Schaumburg-Lippe (in 1890), 
and Prince Frederick Charles of Hesse- Cassel (in 1898). 
Princess Alice's eldest daughter (Victoria) married, in 
1884, Prince Louis of Battenberg. Prince Alfred's third 
daughter (Alexandra) married, in 1896, the Hereditary Prince 
of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. Princess Helena's elder daughter 
(Louise Augusta) married, in 1891, Prince Aribert of Anhalt, 
but this union was dissolved by the sovereign decree of the 
husband's father, the Duke of Anhalt, on December 13, 

There was one marriage in the Queen's lifetime in the Marriage 
fourth generation of her family. On September 24, 1898, j. n the 
the eldest of her great-grandchildren, Feodora, daughter of era . 
the Hereditary Princess of Saxe-Meiningen (the Crown tion. 
Princess of Prussia's eldest daughter), married Prince 
Henry XXX. of Reuss. 

o o 




Defects of THE Queen's portrait was painted, drawn, sculptured, and 
traite r ~ photog ra P ned several hundred times in the course of the 
reign. None of the portraits are satisfactory presentments. 
The Queen's features in repose necessarily omit suggestion 
of the animated and fascinating smile which was the chief 
attraction of her countenance. Nor is it possible graphically 
to depict the exceptional grace of bearing which compen- 
sated for the shortness of her stature. 

Before Before her accession the chief paintings or drawings of 

acces- h er are those by Sir William Beechey, R. A. (with the Duchess 
of Kent), 1821 ; by Richard Westell, R.A., 1880 ; by Sir 
George Hayter, 1888 ; and by R. J. Lane, A.R.A., 1837. 
After After her accession the chief paintings and drawings 

are by Alfred Chalon, in state robes (engraved by Cousins), 
1838 ; by Sir George Hayter, 1888 ; by Sir David Wilkie, 
1889 (in Glasgow Gallery) ; by Sir Edwin Landseer (water- 
colour sketch presented by the Queen to Prince Albert, and 
reproduced in the present volume from the original at 
Windsor Castle by permission of King Edward VII.), 1889. 
After After her marriage many portraits were painted from 

ar - 1845 onwards by F. Winterhalter. In one she figures in a 

group with Prince Arthur and the Duke of Wellington, 1848. 
Sir Edwin Landseer painted a portrait as late as 1866. In 
1875 Baron H. von Angeli painted a portrait, of which 
many replicas were made for presents ; a copy by Lady 


Abercromby is in the National Portrait Gallery, London. 
Baron von Angeli painted other portraits in 1885 and in 
1897 (the latter is reproduced in the present volume from 
the original at Windsor by permission of King Edward VII.). 
Mr. W. Q. Orchardson, R.A., introduced the Queen into a 
group with the Prince of Wales (now King Edward VII.), 
Duke of York (now Prince of Wales), and Prince Edward 
of York (now Prince Edward of Wales), in 1900 ; and M. 
Benjamin Constant in the same year painted a last portrait. 
There are several miniatures by Sir W. C. Boss, R.A., 
and one by Robert Thorburn, A.R.A. (with the Prince 
of Wales now King Edward VII. as a child). A clever 
caricature lithographic portrait was executed by Mr. William 
Nicholson, 1897. 

Every leading episode in the Queen's life was comme- Paint- 
morated by a specially commissioned painting in which her J."f|. of 
portrait appears. Most of these memorial paintings, many monials. 
of which have been engraved, are at Windsor ; a few are at 
Buckingham Palace or Osborne. They include Sir David 
Wilkie's ' The Queen's First Council,' 1837 ; C. R. Leslie's 
' The Queen receiving the Sacrament at her Coronation,' 
1888, and ' The Christening of the Princess Royal,' 1841 ; Sir 
George Hayter's ' Coronation,' 1888, ' The Queen's Marriage,' 
1840, and ' Christening of the Prince of Wales,' 1847 ; F. 
Winterhalter's * The Reception of Louis Philippe,' 1844 ; 
E. M. Ward's ' The Queen investing Napoleon III. with the 
Garter ' and ' The Queen at the Tomb of Napoleon,' 1855 ; 
G. H. Thomas's ' Review in Paris,' 1855 ; J. Phillip's ' Mar- 
riage of the Princess Royal,' 1859 ; G. H. Thomas's ' The 
Queen at Aldershot,' 1859 ; W. P. Frith's ' Marriage of the 
Prince of Wales,' 1863 ; G. Magnussen's ' Marriage of 
Princess Helena,' 1866 ; Sydney P. Hall's ' Marriage of the 
Duke of Connaught,' 1879 ; Sir James Linton's ' Marriage 
of the Duke of Albany,' 1882; R. Caton Woodville's 
' Marriage of the Princess Beatrice,' 1885 ; Laurenz Tuxen's 
s The Queen and Royal Family at the Jubilee of 1887 ' ; 

o o 2 






Sydney P. Hall's ' Marriage of the Duchess of Fife,' 1889 ; 
Tuxen's < Marriage of the Duke of York,' 1893. 

The sculptured presentations of the Queen, one or more 
examples of which are to be found in almost every great city 
of the empire, include a bust at Windsor by Behnes, 1829, 
which was always considered a good likeness ; a good eques- 
trian statue by Marochetti at Glasgow ; and a statue by Sir 
Edgar Boehm at Windsor ; a large plaster bust by the same 
sculptor is in the National Portrait Gallery, London ; there 
is a statue at Winchester by Mr. Alfred Gilbert, R.A., and 
a statue at Manchester by Mr. Onslow Ford, E.A., 1900. 

A national memorial in sculpture has been designed on 
a vast scale, sixty feet high, by Mr. Thomas Brock, R.A., 
and is to be placed in the Mall opposite Buckingham Palace. 
It includes a seated figure of the Queen, surrounded by 
allegorical figures of Justice, Truth, and Charity, and 
surmounted by one of Victory, supported by Constancy and 
Courage. Mr. Aston Webb, A.R.A., has designed an 
architectural setting for the monument, of which the main 
features are a screen of columns between the monument 
and Buckingham Palace and a semicircular screen of 
columns between the monument and St. James's Park, 
with some corresponding embellishment of the overlooking 
fa9ade of the palace. The Mall is to be widened, and to be 
opened out at its further end into Parliament Street. 
Public subscriptions for these purposes have been received 
from all parts of the empire, and exceed the sum of 200,0002. 
The portrait head of the Queen on the British coinage 
followed three successive types in the course of the reign. 
Soon after her accession William Wyon designed from life 
a head which appears in the silver and gold coinage with the 
hair simply knotted, excepting in the case of the florin, where 
the head bears a crown for the first time since the coinage 
of Charles II. In the copper coinage a laurel wreath was 
intertwined with the hair. In 1887 Sir Edgar Boehm 
designed a new bust portrait, showing the features in 


mature age with a small crown and veil most awkwardly 
placed on the head. This ineffective design was replaced in 
1893 by a more artistic crowned presentment from the hand 
of Mr. Thomas Brock, B.A. 

Of medals on which the Queen's head appears the Medals, 
majority commemorate military or naval achievements, and 
are not of great artistic note. 1 Many medals commemo- 
rating events in the reign were also struck by order of the 
Corporation of London. 2 Of strictly official medals of the 
reign the chief are : the medal struck in honour of the coro- 
nation from designs by Pistrucci in 1888 ; the Jubilee medal 
of 1887, with the reverse designed by Lord Leighton, and 
the obverse bearing Boehm's unsatisfactory bust as on the 
coinage ; and the Diamond Jubilee medal of 1897, with 
Wyon's design of the Queen's head in youth on the reverse, 
with the noble inscription : ' Longitude dierum in dextera 
eius et in sinistra gloria,' and Mr. Brock's design of the 
head in old age on the obverse. 

The adhesive postage-stamp was an invention of the Postage- 
Queen's reign, and was adopted by the Government in stomps 
1840. A crowned portrait head of the Queen was designed car ds. 
for postage-stamps in that year, and was not modified in 
the United Kingdom during her lifetime. In most of the 
colonies recent issues of postage-stamps bear a portrait of 
the Queen in old age, and recent issues of post-cards in 
England anterior to Edward VII.'s accession are similarly 

1 Cf. John H. Mayo's Medals and Decorations of ihe British 
Army and Navy, 1897. 

2 Cf. Charles Welch's Numismata Londinensia, 1894, with 





Sir Theo- 
phy of 
the Prince 


THE outward facts of the Queen's life and reign are 
best studied in the ' Annual Register ' from 1887 to 1900, 
and in ' The Times ' newspaper. Hansard's * Parliamentary 
Debates ' and the collected edition of ' Punch ' are supple- 
mentary sources of information of the first importance. 

The only portion of the Queen's career which has been 
dealt with fully is her married life, 1840-61, the beginning 
of which is treated in General Grey's ' Early Years of the 
Prince Consort ' (1868), and the whole in Sir Theodore 
Martin's exhaustive * Life of the Prince Consort ' (5 vols., 
1874-80). Sir Theodore Martin's book is an authority of 
the highest importance. The account there given of the 
Queen's private and public experiences during the years in 
question is largely drawn from her and her husband's 

1 No full life of Queen Victoria has yet been published. An 
interesting and elaborate sketch in French dealing mainly with the 
political questions in which the Queen played a part, by M. Abel 
Chevalley (Paris, 1902), is the most ambitious of existing mono- 
graphs. M. Chevalley makes generous acknowledgment of his in- 
debtedness to the present writer's article in the supplement to the 
Dictionary of National Biography. There are more or less slender 
sketches by Mr. E. B. Holmes, librarian at Windsor (with elaborate 
portrait illustrations, 1887, and text alone, 1901), by Mrs. Oliphant, 
by the Kev. Dr. Tulloch, Principal Tulloch's son (for young readers), 
by the Marquis of Lome (afterwards fourth Duke of Argyll), by Sarah 
Tooley, by G. Barnett Smith, by J. Cordy Jeaffreson (1893, 2 vols.), 
and by Mrs. M. G. Fawcett (1901). 


journals and letters. Both General Grey and Sir Theodore 
Martin write from the Queen's point of view, and they 
occasionally ignore the evidence of writers with whom 
the Queen was out of sympathy. Some memoirs pub- 
lished since the appearance of these valuable volumes also 
usefully supplement General Grey's and Sir Theodore 
Martin's information. But for the period it covers Sir 
Theodore Martin's work is a monument of labour and 
authentic intelligence. Two books, the first of which is 
used only to a small extent, and the second is not used at 
all, in Sir Theodore's volumes merit a place beside them. 
The three series of the ' Greville Memoirs ' (1817-60), which Greville 
are outspoken but in the main trustworthy, are a comple- ^"Suke 
mentary authority for the general course of the Queen's Ernest of 
life and for her relations with political history down to 1860. ^axe- , 
The Duke Ernest of Saxe-Coburg's 'Memoirs' (4 vols., Memoirs. 
Eng. transl., 1888-90) throw invaluable side-lights on the 
Queen's personal relations with Germany and German 
politics, and print many of her letters ; they carry events 
from her marriage in 1840 down to 1870. 

The early years of the same period are covered by the German 
1 Memoirs of Baron von Bunsen ' and by the ' Memoirs of memoirs - 
Baron von Stockmar ' (by his son, English transl., 2 vols., 
1872). Important hints from the German side may also be 
gleaned for both early and late periods of the reign, from 
Wilkinson's Reminiscences of King Ernest of Hanover ; 
Tales of my Father (equerry to King Ernest before his acces- 
sion to the throne of Hanover), by A. M. F. (1902) ; Th. 
von Bernhardi, ' Aus dem Leben,' pt. v. 1895 ; * Memoirs 
of Count von Beust ; ' ' Memoirs of Count Vitzthum von 
Eckstadt ; ' Von Manteuffel's ' Correspondence ' (1901) ; 
Moltke's ' Letters to his Wife and other Relatives ' (ed. 
Sidney Whitman, 2 vols., 1896) ; Margaretha von Poschin- 
ger's ' Life of the Emperor Frederick ' (English transl. 
edited by Sidney Whitman, 1901) ; ' Diaries of the Emperor 
Frederick ' (1902) ; Bismarck's * Reflections and Reminis- 




ofthe ~^ HE accom P an yi n g ma P f the British Empire indicates 
acquisi- the extent of imperial territory as it stood at the time of 
tions. the Queen's death on January 22, 1901. 1 
Popu- At the Queen's accession, the total area of the British 

area" ' Empire (outside the United Kingdom) was about 8,114,035 
square miles, with an estimated population of 96,000,000, 
which has since grown to 116,000,000. At her death the 
area (excluding Egypt and the Soudan) was reckoned 
at 12,111,810 square miles, with an estimated population 
of 240,000,000. The additions approach in area four 
million square miles, with an estimated population of 
124,000,000. It must be borne in mind that the territorial 
additions made to the British Empire during the Queen's 
reign mainly affect Africa and India. Of these four million 
square miles of new territory, more than three million 
square miles are in Africa, and seven hundred thousand 
square miles in India and Burma. Less than three hundred 
thousand of the added four million square miles are situated 
in other parts of Asia or the rest of the world. One hundred 
and ten millions of the estimated population, which became 
subject for the first time to the Queen's sway, belong to 
India and Burma. Outside India and excluding Egypt and 
the Soudan, the number of persons who yielded allegiance 

1 The map has been prepared by Messrs. W. & A. K. Johnston. 
The information given in this chapter is partly derived from the pre- 
face to the ' British Empire Atlas ' (1897) by Mr. C. P. Lucas, C.B., the 
author of the standard work on the British colonies. 

N T 

SO UT t 


c oc 



BKITISH EMPIRE, 1837-1901 571 

to the English crown for the first time during the Queen's 
reign do not probably exceed fourteen millions. 1 

In Europe the only territorial changes have been the Europe. 
acquisition of the island of Cyprus in 1878, and the cession 
of the Ionian Isles to Greece in 1864 and of Heligoland to 
Germany in 1890. 

In Asia, outside India, the account of the chief acquisi- Asia, 
tions stands thus : 

The peninsula of Aden was acquired in 1839, and addi- 
tions were made to it in 1868 and 1882. The Kuria Muria 
Islands off the south-east coast of Arabia were taken over 
in 1854 ; the island of Perim in the Red Sea in 1857 ; the 
island of Bahrein in the Persian Gulf in 1861 ; and the 
island of Socotra in the Arabian Sea in 1886. 

The island of Labuan, near Borneo, was taken over in 
1846. The British North Borneo Company was formed in 
1881 to administer the northern peninsula of Borneo, and 
a British protectorate over the whole of Borneo was 
established in 1888. 

The Straits Settlements, which had been separated from 
India and formed into a Crown colony in 1867, were 
enlarged in 1874 ; and Christmas Island in the Indian 
Ocean was annexed to the Settlements in 1888. The- 
Cocos or Keeling Islands, also in the Indian Ocean, became 
a British possession in 1857. 

In China, the island of Hong Kong was taken over in 
1841, and neighbouring territory of Kowloon, on the main- 
land, was annexed to it in 1860 and 1898. Wei-hai-wai, off 
the coast of China, was acquired in 1898, but an intention of 
fortifying it was abandoned in 1902 ; Port Hamilton, an 
island off Korea, was occupied in 1885, but was not per- 
manently occupied. 

In the Malay peninsula, British residents were esta- 

1 The population of the United Kingdom, which approached 
26,000,000 in 1837, and was 40,000,000 in 1901, increased in the 
interval by almost the identical number. 


blished in many of the native States from 1874 onwards, 
and these States were formed into a confederation under 
British control in 1896. A protectorate over the Malay 
State of Johore was inaugurated in 1885. 

India. In India, the administration of which was transferred 

from the East India Company to the Crown in 1858, 
Sind was annexed in 1848 ; Tranquebar and Serampore 
were purchased from the Danes in 1845 ; the district 
between the Sutlej and the Ravi rivers was acquired in 
1845 ; the Punjaub in 1849 ; Lower Burma in 1852 ; the 
Central Provinces (Satara, Jhansi, and Nagpore) in 1853 ; the 
Berars in 1858 ; Oudh in 1856 ; the Dooabs (incorporated 
in Bengal and Assam) in 1865 ; the Nicobar Islands, 1869 ; 
and Upper Burma and the Shan States, 1885. Several 
small States on the N.W. frontier were consolidated 1895-7. 

Africa. I n Africa four spheres of advance are to be noticed : The 

West Coast, the East Coast, the South Coast, and the Centre. 
At the opening of the Queen's reign Cape Colony 
(extending over 110,000 square miles) and Sierra Leone 
(extending over 4,000 square miles) were the only or- 
ganised British settlements in Africa. At the end of the 
Queen's reign the territory under the British flag had 
multiplied thirty times. This calculation takes no account 
of Egypt and the Egyptian Soudan, on the north side of 
the continent, with a total population probably exceeding 
15,000,000, and an area of some 1,800,000 square miles ; 
these countries still remain under the nominal rule of the 
Khedive, although the country has been administered since 
1882 by English officers, military and civil, who are 
chosen by the English Government. 

West In Africa, on the West Coast, the Gold Coast Colony 

Africa. and Protectorate was formed in 1843 to take over a 
few old mercantile settlements ; Accra and the neighbour- 
hood was purchased of the Danes in 1850 ; and the castle 
of Elmina and other forts of the Dutch in 1871 ; while the 
wars with the Ashantis in 1874 and 1896 brought the 
neighbouring native district under British control. Lagos, 

BRITISH EMPIRE, 1837-1901 578 

which adjoins the Gold Coast, was acquired in 1861, and was 
successively enlarged in 1882, 1885, and 1887, both along 
the coast and inland, while the regions abutting on the 
banks of the Eiver Niger, in the same quarter of Africa, 
were committed to the administration of a chartered com- 
pany in 1879, were gradually extended in all directions, 
and finally acquired by the British Government in 1899. 
On the West Coast, to the north of the Gold Coast, an 
existing settlement on the Gambia was formed in 1850 
into British Combo, of which the boundaries were denned in 
1891 ; Sierra Leone was greatly extended by the acquisi- 
tion both of neighbouring islands and of districts on the 
mainland in 1861, 1876-7, and 1886. 

On the East Coast of Africa an enormous tract of territory East 
known as British East Africa (1,200,000 square miles in Africa - 
extent) was acquired in 1888 by the chartered company 
called the Imperial British East Africa Company. A 
British protectorate over Uganda, part of this company's 
territories, was proclaimed in 1894, and all the company's 
territory was made over to the British Government in 1895, 
when the company was dissolved. Further north of British 
East Africa a British protectorate was established over 
Somaliland in 1887, while to the south of British East 
Africa Zanzibar accepted a British protectorate in 1890. 

In South Africa Natal was formed into a British colony South 
in 1842, and the adjoining St. Lucia Bay was ceded by Africa - 
Zululand at the same time ; absorption of much neighbour- 
ing native territory to the south took place in 1866. 

In 1847 the district in the extreme east of Cape Colony 
was taken from the Kaffirs, was converted for the time into 
the province of British KafFraria, and was incorporated with 
Cape Colony in 1863. The islands of Ichaboe and the 
Penguin Islands, off the north-west coast of Cape Colony, 
were added to the colony in 1874. In 1880 Griqualand 
West, to the north, where the Kimberley diamond fields had 
been discovered in 1870, was also absorbed in Cape Colony ; 
Walfisch Bay, on the north-west coast, was absorbed in 



vaal and 



1884 ; Pondoland, to the extreme east, in 1894 ; Basuto- 
land, to the north-east of the colony, between Natal and 
the Orange Free State, was annexed to Cape Colony in 1871, 
but this was made a separate Crown colony in 1884. 

A declaration of British sovereignty, made in 1848 over 
the territories north-east of Cape Colony, between the Orange 
and Vaal rivers, was withdrawn in 1854, when the independ- 
ence of the Orange Free State was recognised. In 1852 the 
right of self-government was granted to the Dutch farmers 
beyond the Vaal river, in the land known as the Transvaal. 
The Transvaal republic was annexed to the British Empire in 
1877, was restored in 1881, and was finally re-annexed, 
together with the Orange Free State, during the great Boer 
war, in 1900. Zululand, on the coast north of Natal, was 
proclaimed a British colony in 1887 ; and Amatongaland, to 
the north of Zululand, was made a British protectorate. 

Nearer the centre of the continent, Bechuanaland, in the 
interior, to the north of Cape Colony, became a British 
colony in 1885 ; and the chartered British South Africa 
Company, which was formed in 1889, obtained control of 
the more northerly and more central interior territories of 
Matabeleland and Mashonaland. A further province at 
nearly the heart of the continent, north of the River Zambesi 
and extending to Lake Tanganyika, has been formed into 
the British protectorate of Central South Africa. These 
central districts, including Matabeleland, Mashonaland, and 
Central South Africa, bear the general name of Rhodesia, 
after Cecil Rhodes, the guiding spirit of the British South 
Africa Company. 

In North America the extensions have been mainly on 
the Pacific side of Canada. Vancouver Island was placed 
under a British colonial governor in 1849 ; while the neigh- 
bouring mainland territory of British Columbia was formed 
into a colony in 1858, and Vancouver Island was combined 
with it in 1866. After the confederation of the North 
American colonies in 1867, the old chartered Hudson's Bay 

BRITISH EMPIRE, 1837-1901 575 

Company surrendered its territories to the Dominion Govern- 
ment, and out of them were formed the province of Manitoba 
in the centre of the continent, and the great tract to the 
north-west called the North-west Territories. 

In Australasia the continent of Australia, although Austral- 
very imperfectly explored, had passed nominally under a 
British control before the Queen came to the throne. But 
its permanent settlement followed her accession. New 
South Wales was ultimately subdivided into the three inde- 
pendent colonies of New South Wales, Victoria (1851), and 
Queensland (1859). South Australia and Tasmania became 
self-governing colonies in 1856. Western Australia was 
similarly constituted in 1890. The New Zealand islands 
were an acquisition of the Queen's reign ; they were 
ceded to the Crown by the native chiefs in 1840, and 
became a self-governing colony in 1852. 

Extensions of territory during the Queen's reign The 
in Australasia, apart from New Zealand, mainly affect 
islands in the Pacific Ocean. The Fiji Islands were ceded 
by the chiefs in 1874 and became a new British colony. 
A British protectorate was proclaimed in 1884 over the 
south-east coast of New Guinea and the adjoining islands, 
which lie to the north of the Australian continent, 
and British sovereignty over all was declared in 1888. 
In 1887 the Kermadeo Islands, to the north-east of New 
Zealand, were annexed to that colony. Numerous other 
Pacific islands have been recently annexed to the Crown 
or placed under British protectorates. Christmas Island, 
Fanning Island, and Penrhyn Island were annexed in 1888. 
Over the Cook and Hervey Islands, the Union group, and 
the Phoenix group, a British protectorate was proclaimed in 
1888-9. Suwarrow Island was annexed in 1889 ; and the 
Gilbert Islands, the Isles of Danger, Nassau Island, the 
Ellice group, and the Southern Solomon Islands were 
placed under a protectorate in 1892-8. 


Abdul Karim, The Munshi, 485 
Abercom, Marquis of, 184 
Aberoroinby, Lady, (App.) 562 

Speaker, 65 

Aberdare, Lord, 397-8 n 
Aberdeen, 189, 304, 341 

Lord, 137, 145, 147, 161, 168, 
440 ; visit to France, 
151-2 ; and the Spanish 
marriages, 176 ; his minis- 
try, 227-38; and the Cri- 
mean war, 239-48; his 
defeat, 248-9 ; letter from 
the Queen, 248 ; ' The Life 
of,' 248 n ; death, 309 
Waterworks, 373 
Abergeldie Castle, 199, 494 
Abingdon, Earl of, 36 
Accra, (App.) 572 
Acland, A. H. D., 510 n 
Acts of Parliament : 

Royal Marriage Act, 4 n 
Conferring the regency on 

the Duchess of Kent, 29 
Transferring the royal pre- 
rogative of mercy to the 
Home Secretary, 57-8 
Reform Bills of 1832, 74 ; of 
1867, 378, 386, 391 ; of 1884, 
470-1, 475, 544 
Civil List Bill, 80-1 
Prince Albert's annuity, 


Naturalisation Bill, 115-6 
Regency Bill, appointing 
Prince Albert, 125-7 


Acts of Parliament cont. 

Bill for her Majesty's per- 
sonal security, 142-3, 205 
Corn Law Repeal Bill, 171 
Bill for the commutation of 
death sentences for trea- 
son, 202 
Ecclesiastical Titles Bill 


India Bill, 286 
Irish Reform Bill, 386 
Scottish Reform Bill, 386 
Boundary Bill, 386 
Irish Church Disestablish- 
ment Act, 1869, 398 n 
Irish Land Act, 1870, 398 n 
Elementary Education Act, 

1870, 898 n 
Army Regulation Act, 1871, 

398 M, 410 

Ballot Act, 1872, 398 n 
Supreme Court of Judica- 
ture Act, 1873, 398 n 
Public Worship Regulation 

Bill, 429 
Scottish Church Patronage 

Bill, 429 

Royal Titles Bill, 433-4 
Burials Act, 451-2 
Australian Commonwealth 

Bill, 529-31 
Adare, 205 
Addington, 462 

Adelaide, Queen of William IV., 
30, 47, 49 ; as Princess of Saxe- 
Meiningen, 5; marriage to the 
Duke of Clarence, 5 ; and the 
Duchess of Kent, 16, 33, 46 ; at 

1 This index, the fulness of which will, it is hoped, increase the useful- 
ness of the volume, has been compiled by Mr. W. J. Williams. 

P P 




the coronation, 31; reception of 
Prince Albert, 42 ; death of the 
King, 48 ; removes from Windsor 
to Marlborough House, 72; 
annuity as Queen Consort, 78; 
godmother to the Princess Royal, 
127 ; letter to Peel, 170 ; death, 

Aden, (App.) 571 

Adolphus Frederick. See under 
Cambridge, Duke of 

Adye, Sir John, 457 

Afghan war, 445, 453 

Afghanistan, Abdur Rahman, Amir 
of, 453 ; his autobiography, 453 n ; 
and Russia, 474 

Aix-la-Chapelle, 164, 283 

Aix-les-Bains, 472, 485, " 

Albany, Leopold, Duke of, 472, 
495, 533; birth, 234; his 
valet, 326 n ; illness, 430 ; 
at Beaconsfleld's funeral, 
455 ; marriage, 460-1 ; an- 
nuity, 461 ; death, 464-5 
Duchess of, 460-1 
Leopold Charles Edward, 
Duke of, 555, (App.) 559, 
563 ; adopted as heir pre- 
sumptive to the duchies of 
Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, 533 

Albemarle, Earl of, 23, 51 ; ' Fifty 
Years of my Life ' quoted, 23 n, 
31 n, (App.) 568 

Albert, Prince Consort : parentage, 
8 ; birth, 13, 14 ; considered as a 
suitor, 25-6, 43; death of his 
mother, 32 ; visit to the Duchess 
of Kent, 42-4 ; engagement and 
marriage, 105-17 ; his position, 
118-34; letter to Wellington, 
121 ; letter to Melbourne, 135 ; 
and the attempt on the Queen's 
life, 141; visits to Scotland, 
143-5 ; growing influence, 147-8 ; | 
visit to France, 150-3 ; at Cam- j 
bridge, 154 ; death of his father, I 
155 ; visit to Germany, 163-5 : 
question of precedence, 164; 
supports Peel in the House of 
Commons, 170; and Palmerston's 
foreign policy, 175-6 ; and the 
Spanish marriages, 167; chan- 
cellor of Cambridge University, 
182-3 and Mendelssohn, 190-3 ; 
his children's education, 196-7 ; 


and the designing of Osborne 
House, 199; opens the Coal 
Exchange, 203 ; declines the post 
of Commander-in-Chief, 205 ; 
differences with Palmerston, 
207-19, 252 ; and the Great Ex- 
hibition of 1851, 220-6 ; unveils a 
statue of the Queen at Peel Park, 
228 : letter to his brother on 
Lord Palmerston's fall, 225-6 ; 
and the Crimean war, 239-48; 
popular suspicions of, 241-2, 
251 ; at St. Omer, 245 ; visit to 
Paris, 256-9 ; on the Princess 
Royal's engagement, 260 ; and 
Italian unity, 263 ; plans the 
ballroom at Buckingham Palace, 
69, 267 ; receives the title of 
Prince Consort, 273 ; visits to 
Cherbourg, 275, 282; tour in 
Germany, 283 ; at Birmingham 
and Leeds, 284 ; fears for Prussia, 
294 ; presides at the meeting of 
the British Association at Aber- 
deen, 304 ; second visit to Co- 
burg, 305-8 ; in a carriage acci- 
dent, 306 ; last visit to Balmoral, 
313 ; failing health, 313-4 ; inter- 
venes in the affair of the ' Trent,' 
815-7, 328 ; death, 318 ; his repu- 
tation, 820-1; biography, 320, 
374 seq. ; funeral, 322 ; his last- 
ing influence on the Queen, 323-4, 
392 ; memorial at Balmoral, 330 ; 
statue at Aberdeen, 340; statue 
at Perth, 352; statue at Coburg, 
860; statue at Wolverhampton, 
373 ; his ' Speeches and Ad- 
dresses,' 374 ; Deeside memorial, 
383 ; his estate, 417 ; statue on 
Smith's Lawn, Windsor, 487 ; 
founds the South Kensington 
Museum, 523 ; (App.) 559, 562 ; 
' Life ' of, by Sir Theodore Martin, 
quoted, 146, 181, 215, 287, 289. 

Albert Edward, Prince of Wales. 
See under Edward VII. 

Albert Hall, 877, 413, 420, 435, 488 

Albert Medal, institution of the, 


Memorial at Edinburgh, 486 
in Kensington Gar- 
dens, 435 

Albert Victor, Prince. See under 
Clarence, Duke of 




'Alberta ' yacht, 539 

Albertazzi, Madame, 70 

Aldershot, 264-5, 272, 365, 402, 435, 
441, 454, 484, 488, 495, 501, 515-6 

Alexandra, Queen : betrothal to the 
Prince of Wales, 830 ; marriage, 
333; annuity, 333-4; and the 
Schleswig-Holstein question, 345- 
6, 851 ; birth of a son, Albert 
Victor, 352 ; her sister's marriage, 
424-5; celebration of her silver 
wedding, 490; at AbergeldieCastle, 

Alfred, King, 1-3 

Alfred, Prince. See under Saxe- 
Coburg-Gotha, Duke of 

Algiers, 282 n 

Alice, Princess. See under Hesse- 
Darmstadt, Princess Louis of 

Alma, battle of the, 247 

Althorp, Lord. See under Spencer, 

Amatongaland, (App.) 574 

America. See under United States 

American Civil War, 314-7, 380, 

Amorbach, Germany, 10 

Andaman Islands, 420 

Anderson, G-., 418 

Angeli, Baron H. von, 550, (App.) 

Angelico, Fra, 503 n 

Anglesey, Marquis of, 35 

Anhalt, Prince Aribert of , (App.) 561 

Anne, Queen, 2, 54, 62, 112 

' Annual Register ' 75 n, 111 n } 
(App.) 566 

Anson, Miss, 124 n, 125 n 
George, 116, 203 

'Antigone,' 190 

Antwerp, 153, 163, 165, 230, 288, 

Apponyi, Count, 350 

Arabi Pasha, 456 seq., 465 

Arabia, (App.) 571 

Arabian Sea, (App.) 571 

Ardverikie, Highland residence, 184 

Argyll, Duchess of (Princess 
Louise) : birth, 186 ; be- 
trothal to the Marquis of 
Lome, 412 ; dowry and 
annuity, 412 ; marriage, 
413 ; at the Queen's death, 
539; (App.) 559, 566 n 


Argyll, third Duke of, 184, 234, 
297 n, 397 n, 399, 411-2, 
450 n 

fourth Duke of (Marquis of 

Lome), engagement to 

Princess Louise, 412 ; 

marriage, 413 ; (App.) 566 n 

Lodge, 889 

Army, abolition of purchase in the, 

Regulation Act, 1871, 398 n, 

signing of commissions in 

the, 329, 515 
Arran, Arthur, second Earl of, 

126 n 

Art, royal patronage of, 194-5 
Art Treasures Exhibition, Man- 
chester, 272 

Arthur, Prince. See under Con- 
naught, Duke of 
Arthur's Seat, 206 
Ascot, 40, 87, 124, 156, 244, 271 
Ashanti war of 1878-4, 434, (App.) 

572 ; of 1895-6, 516, (App.) 572 
Ashbourne, Lord, 476 n, 481 n } 513 n 
Ashford, 26 
Ashley camp, 522 
Asquith, Mr. H. H., 510 n 
Assam, (App.) 572 
Aston Park, 284 
Athol, Duke of, 145, 340 

Duchess of, 145, 840, 373, 
See also under Glenlyon, 
Lord and Lady 
Auber, musician, 152 
Augusta, Princess (daughter of 

George III.), 12, 16, 123 
Augustus, Prince (the Queen's first 

cousin), 9 n 

Aumale, Due d', 150, 176, 186 
1 Aus dem Leben,' 347-9 n, (App.) 


Austerlitz, 256 

Australia offers men for the Soudan 
war, 470 ; and the Diamond 
Jubilee, 519 ; (App.) 575 
Australian Commonwealth Bill, 


Austria, 208-9, 217, 223, 263, 274, 
337 ; at war with Italy, 
293-5 ; and Napoleon III., 
298, 301; and the Schleswig- 
Holstein question, 842-52 : 

p p 2 




Austria, the Austro-Prussian war, 


Charlotte, Archduchess of, 
312,380-1. See also under 
Belgium, Princess of 
Crown Prince of, 486 
Francis Joseph, Emperor of, 
164, 209, 339, 381, 518 ; at 
Villafranca, 295, 298 ; and 
the ' Trent ' affair, 315 ; j 
meeting with the Queen at i 
Coburg, 339-40; and the : 
Schleswig-Holstein ques- j 
tion, 344 ; meets the Queen 
at Innsbruck, 490 
Frederick, Archduke of, 164 
Maximilian, Archduke of, 
272, 312; marriage, 273; 
death, 380-1 
Avoyne House, 41 
Ayrton, A. S., 358 

BABELSBERG, Castle of, 283, 287, 


Bach, 39, 551 
Back, Captain, 37 
Baden, 312 

riots, 208 

Baden-Baden, 420-1, 447 
Bagot, Mrs., ' Links with the Past,' 

36 w, 389 n 
Bahrein, (App.) 571 
Bala, lake, 501 
Balaclava, victory of, 247 
Balfour, Mr. A. J., 481 , 513 n 

Mr. Gerald, 533 n 

of Burleigh, Lord, 513 n 
Balkan peninsula, 273-4, 436 
Ballater, 17 
Balliol College, 391 n 
Ballot Act, 1872, 398 n 
Balmoral House, 189, 199 

Castle, 200 seq. ; building of, 

Bandon, 110 
Bangor, 304 
Barez, M., 21 
Barbara, Lady, 63 n 

Eev. Richard, 88 
Baring, Francis, 100 
Barrington, Lady Caroline, 63 n, 
119 n ; as royal governess, 
195, 327 

Captain the Hon. George, 195 


Basutoland, (App.) 574 

Bath, 34 

Battenberg, Countess of, 472 

Prince Alexander of (after- 
wards Prince of Bulgaria), 
472-3, 491-2 

Prince Henry of, marriage, 
473-4 ; death, 516 

Prince Louis of, 472-3, 491, 
(App.) 5G1 

Princess Henry of (Princess 
Beatrice), 271, 438, 444, 455, 
491, 516, (App.) 559, 563; 
birth, 270; and the death 
of Gordon, 468-9 ; mar- 
riage, 473 ; dowry and 
annuity, 473 ; at the 
Queen's death, 439 ; co- 
executrix of the Queen's 
will, 539 

Princess Victoria of, 491 
Baveno, 443 

Beaconsfield, Viscountess (Mrs. 
Disraeli), 309 ; created 
peeress in her own right, 
391 ; death, 426 

Earl of (Benjamin Dis- 
raeli), 137 n, 249, 370, 
470, 475-6, 482, 514; his 
' Sybil,' 51 n ; member for 
Maidstone, 76; at the 
Queen's coronation 90 ; 
' Letters to his Sister,' 90, 
161 n; meeting with the 
Queen at Stowe, 161 ; de- 
nunciation of Peel, 166; 
leader of the Conser- 
vative Protectionists, 173 ; 
Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer, 228-9, 231, 281 ; 
relations with the Queen, 
229 ; his Reform Bill, 295, 
378 ; and the grant to 
Princess Alice, 809 ; leader 
of the House, 369-71 ; his 
first ministry, 384-95 ; 
declines a peerage, 391 ; 
refuses office, 422-3 ; in 
power, 426-43 ; Royal 
Titles Bill, 433-4 : created 
Earl of Beaconsfield, 434 ; 
dissolves Parliament, 446 ; 
enters the House of Lords, 
484 ; the Queen's visit to 
Hughenden 438-9; at the 




Beaconsfield, Earl of cont. 

Congress of Berlin, 440-1 ; 
the Queen takes leave of 
him, 448-9 ; death, 454 ; the 
Queen's memorial, to, 455-6 

Bean, John William, 142 

Beatrice, Princess. See under Bat- 
tenberg, Princess Henry of 

Beaumaris, 85 

Bechuanaland, (App.) 574 

Bedford, Duchess of, 136, 889 n 
Duke of, 138 

Beechey, Sir William, (App.) 562 

Beethoven, 164, 551 

Behnes, sculptor, (App.) 564 

Belfast, 202 

Belgians, Leopold I., King of the 
(Prince of Saxe-Coburg), 
127-32, 142, 149-55, 164-5, 
171, 181-6, 204, 231-7, 
247, 272-3, 283, 301-12, 
379, 461 ; death of his first 
wife (Princess Charlotte 
Augusta of Wales), 4; 
becomes King of the Bel- 
gians, 32 ; visits the Queen 
at Windsor, 72, 108; and 
the Queen's marriage, 
105-17; visits of the 
Queen to, 153, 229, 837; 
and the Spanish marriages, 
178-81; gives up Clare- 
inont to Louis Philippe, 
185; at Aldershot, 265; 
advises the Queen on the 
death of the Prince 
Consort, 322; and the 
throne of Greece, 332; 
last meeting with the 
Queen, 361 ; death, 363 ; 
'Le Koi Leopold et la 
Reine Victoria,' by St. 
Reng Taillandier, (App.) 

Leopold II., King of the, 487 
Louise, Queen of the, 72, 107, 
150, 155, 164, 179, 187, 204 
Belgium, 379, 406 

Princesse Charlotte of, 272 ; 
marriage, 273. See also 
under Austria, Archdu- 
chess of 

Bellini, musician, 182, 551 
Belper, 35 


Belvoir Castle, 44, 155 
Bengal (App.), 572 
Benson, Archbishop, 392-3, 463 ; 
letter from the Queen, 493 ; 
1 The Life of,' 493 n, (App.) 569 
Berars (App.), 572 
Berkshire Regiment (66th), 454 
Berlin, 261, 270, 283, 291, 335, 340, 
849 n, 361, 422, 430, 473, 
490, 496, 525 
Congress, 440-1 
riots, 208 

Bernard, Dr. Simon, 279 
Bemhardi, Theodor von, 347 ; ' Aus 
dem Leben ' quoted, 347 rc-849 n. 
(App.) 567 
Berwick, 206 

Bessborough, third Earl of, 60 n 
Beust, Memoirs of Count von, 851 ?z, 

(App.) 567 
Biarritz, 494 

Biddulph, Sir Thomas, 327 
Bigge, Colonel Sir Arthur, 328 
Birmingham, 35, 140, 284 
Bishopsthorp, 41 

Bismarck, Prince, 379 ; introduced 
to the Queen, 258 ; on the engage- 
ment of the Princess Royal, 261 ; 
and Poland, 337 ; at Coburg, 338 ; 
and the Schleswig-Holstein ques- 
tion, 343, 851 n, 361, 448 ; declines 
the Queen's mediation in the 
Austro-Prussiau war, 367, 872 ; 
and the Franco-German war, 406 
seq., 481-2 ; andtheRusso-Turkish 
war, 437 ; at the Congress of 
Berlin, 441 ; on the betrothal of 
Princess Victoria of Prussia 
491-2 ; on the Queen's reputed 
wealth, 496 ; Busch's ' Conversa- 
tions ' of, 432 n, 438 n, (App.) 568 ; 
' Reflections and Reminiscences ' 
of, 371 n, 432 n, 438 n, (App.) 
B67-8 ; ' Politische Briefe,' 351 w, 
367 n, (App.) 568; 'Diary of,' 
407 n 

i Blachford, Lady Isabella, 198 
! Black Sea, 263, 408 

Blackfriars Bridge, opening of, 403 
Blair Atliol, 145, 340 
Bloemfontein, occupation of, 526 
< Blonde,' H.M.S., 516 
Bloomfield, Lady, ' Court and Di- 
plomatic Life,' 123 n, 189 w, 319 ?i, 
(App.) 568 




' Blount, Memoirs of Sir Edward,' 

185 n 

Blythswood, 493 
Bodleian Library, 86 
Boehm, Sir Edgar, 487, 550, (App.) 

Boer war of 1881, 453-4 ; of 1899- 

1902, 521-85 

Bohemia, Frederick, King of, 2 
Bonaparte, Prince Jerome, 237- 


Bonn, 164, 807 
Borneo, 519, (App.) 571 
Boulogne, 256, 258 
Boundary Bills, 386 
Bourdin, Mdlle., 22 
Bradlaugh, Mr:, 497 
Bradley, Dean, 894; Bradley and 
Prothero's 'Life of Dean Stan- 
ley,' 552 

Bradshaw, James, 102 
Braemar, 199, 489, 531 
Brand, Mrs., 63 n 
Breadalbane, Lord, 144 
Bright, John, 397 w-399, 450 n ; in 
defence of the Queen's seclusion, 
Brighton, Corporation of, 198 

Pavilion, 70, 139, 153, 198 
Brinckman, Rowland, ' Historical 

Records of the 89th Regt.,' 38 n 
Bristol, 502 

British Colombo (App.), 573 
Columbia (App.), 574 
East Africa (App.), 573 
Empire Atlas (App.), 570 
Kaffraria (App. >, 573 
Museum, 408 

Addit. MSB., 13 n, 153 n 
North Borneo Co. (App.), 571 
South African Co. (App.), 574 
Broadstairs, 26 
Brock, Thomas, (App.) 564-5 
Brocket Park, 133 
Brodrick, Mr., 583 n 
Brompton Hospital for Consump- 
tion, 854 
Bromsgrove, 36 
Bronte, Charlotte, 158 
Brougham, Lord, 63, 81, 100, 152 
Brown, Archibald, 326 

John, 316, 415, 463-4 
Browne, Dr. Harold, 463 ; Kitchin's 

1 Life ' of, 463 n 
Browning, Robert, 404 

Bruce, Lady Augusta, 311, 825. 
See also under Stanley, 
Henry Austin. See under 

Aberdare, Lord 
Briihl, 164 
Brunswick, Duke Wm. of, 43 

Prince of, 2 
Brussels, 6, 106, 115, 117, 158, 242, 

278, 322 

Bryce, Mr. James, 510 n 
Bryntysilio, 502 
Buccleuch, Duchess of, 186 

Duke of, 144 
Buchanan, James (President 

U.S.A.), 284, 305 
Btickeburg, 123 
Buckingham, Duke of, 137 n, 160-1, 

869 n 

Buckingham Palace, 91 seq. ; the 
Queen takes up her residence at, 
69 seq. ; innovations at, 71 ; coro- 
nation festivities at, 88 
Buckland, Rev. William, 394 
Buckstone, actor, 194 
Buggin, Sir George, 126 n 
Bulgaria, 487 

Prince of, 472-3. See also 
under Battenberg, Prince 
Alexander of 
Buller, Charles, 85 

Sir Redvers, 524 
'Billow, Memoir of Gabriele von,' 

25 n, 30 n, (App.) 568 
Bulwer, Sir Henry, 180; expelled 

from Madrid, 210 
Bunsen, Baron von, 195, 212 
' Memoirs ' of, 49 n, 67 n, 71 n 
188 n, 213 n, (App.) 567 
Buonaparte, Prince Louis. See 

under France, Napoleon III. of 
Burials Act, 451-2 
Burke, Thomas Henry, 459 
Burlington House, 411 
Burmah, 289 n, (App.) 570-1 

Upper and Lower, (App.) 572 
Burnand, Sir Francis, 495 
Bushey, 186 
Buxted Park, 86, 44 
Byron, Lord, 60 n 

CADIZ, Duke of, 179-80 
Cadogan, Lord, 480 n, 518 n 
Cairns, Lord, 385 n, 429 n 




Calais, 151, 159, 280 
Cambridge, 153 

Cooper's ' Annals ' of, 188 n 
University, 182-3 
Adolphus Frederick, Duke 
of, 4, 56 w, 57 n, 115, 188, 
148; marriage, 5; death, 
Augusta, Duchess of, 5, 78, 

330, 487, 494 

George, Duke of, 495, 587 n ; 
early association with the 
Queen, 107; Commander- 
in-Chief, 265-6, 512 
Mary, Princess of, 287, (App.) i 
560 ; betrothal, 865. See \ 
also under Teck, Duchess i 
Cameron Highlanders, 2nd bat- j 

talion of, 522 
Campbell, Lord, 297 n 

Hon. Mrs. G., 68 n 
Sir Archibald, 498 
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir Henry, 

477, 510 n 

Campden Hill, 389 n 
Canada, 17, 77, 529, (App.) 574-5 ; 
the revolt of, 82-7 ; the Prince of 
Wales's tour in, 805 ; and the 
Diamond Jubilee, 519; and the 
Queen's death, 540 
Cannes, 465, 485, 503 n 
Canning, Lord, 286 ; letter from the 

Queen to, 289 n 
George, 11, 59, 129 
Canrobert, Marshal, 257 n, 258, 282 n 
Canterbury, 102 
Canton, 269 

river, 270 

Cape Colony, (App.) 572-4 ; presents 
an ironclad to Great Britain, 520. 
See also under South Africa 
Cardiff, 25 

Cardwell, Edward (afterwards 
Viscount Cardwell), 297 n t 897 n, 

Carisbrooke Church, 556 
Carlingford, Lord, 398 n, 450 n 
Carlisle, Dean of, 391 n 
Carlyle, Thomas, 91, 403-4 
' Carmen,' 505 
Carnarvon, Earl of 369 n, 428 n, 

476 n 

Caroline, Princess, 4 n (afterwards 


Carroll, George, 77 

Cassel, 5 

1 Cavalleria Rusticana,' 505 

Cavendish, Hon. Miss, 68 n 
Lord Frederick, 459 

Cavour, Count, 262-3 

Central Africa, (App.) 574 

South Africa, (App.) 574 

Chalon, Alfred, (App.) 562 

Chamberlain, Mr. Joseph, 450 n, 
477 ; his relations with the Queen, 
513-4; and the Boer war, 523- 
535 ; last audience with the Queen, 

Champs de Mars review, 258 

Chaplin, Mr. Henry, 518 n 

Charlemoiit, Countess of, 68 

Charles I., 494, 556 

II., 22, 494, 564 

Charles Edward, Prince, 555 

Charlotte, Queen, 3 

Charlotte Augusta, Princess (after- 
wards Princess Leopold of Saxe- 
Coburgi, 4, 5, 7, 11, 13, 43, 863, 

Charlottenburg, Palace of, 288, 490, 

Chartist riots, 143, 187 

Chateau d'Eu, 151-2, 153 n ; agree- 
ment, 176-7 

Chatham, 251, 264 

Chatsworth, 35, 183, 154 

' Chatterton, Memoirs of Georgina 
Lady,' 39 n 

Chelmsford, Lord, 369 n, 385 n 

Chelsea, 26, 417 

Hospital, 231, 515 

Chenies, 442 

Cherbourg, 275, 435, 504 

Chester, 35 

Chevalley, M. Abel, ' Monograph on 
the Queen,' 566 n 

Childers, Hugh C. E., 397-8 n, 402, 
450 n, 477 ; on the control of the 
army, 452-3 ; and the Egyptian 
war, 457 ; the c Life ' of, 402 ??, 
458, (App.) 569 

China, 308, (App.) 571 
question, 269-70 

Chislehurst, 409, 421-2, 444 

Chobham Common, 235 

Christ Church College, Oxford, 36, 
76 n 

Christians in Turkey, 239, 264 

1 Christmas Carol,' 404 




Christmas Island, (App.) 571, 575 
Church, Dean, 462-3 ; ' Life and 

Letters ' of, 463 n 
Church patronage and appoint- 
ments, 398, 429 
Churchill, Jane, Lady, 825, 537 

Lord Randolph, 471, 476 ?., 

480 n, 481 

Cimiez, 503 n, 504, 552 
Civil List Bill, 77-81 

Debates, 416-8, 497 
Claremont, in Surrey, 13, 25, 190- 
191, 277 ; Louis Philippe's resi- 
dence at, 185 ; presented by the 
Queen to the Duke of Albany, 461 
Clarence, Albert Victor, Duke of : 
birth, 352 ; coming of age, 
496 ; proposed annuity, 
497; betrothal and death, 
Adelaide, Duchess of. See 

under Adelaide, Queen 
William, Duke of. See under 

William IV. 
House, 123 

Clarendon, Lord, 174, 214, 250, 274, 
366,397??, 399; as Foreign Secre- 
tary, 234, 251, 262, 396 n ; and the 
Crimean war, 241 ; the Queen's 
faith in, 280. 297, 300; death, 

Clark, Sir James, 93-4 
Cleveland, Duchess of, 537 n 
Clive, Lady Harriet, 63 n 
Lord, 80 
Edward. See under Powis, 

Earl of 

Clyde river, 184 

Coal Exchange, opening of the, 203 
Cobden, Richard, 132 ; leader of 
the free trade agitation, 169 ; 
and the China question, 269 
Coblenz, palace of, 164, 807 
Coburg, 64, 112, 117, 212, 506; the 
Queen's visits to, 163-5, 303-8, 
837-40, 360-1, 435-6, 503-4 
Cockermouth, 102 
Cocks, Hon Caroline, 63 n 
Coercion Bill for Ireland, 171 
Coldstream Guards, 3rd Battalion, 


Colenso, battle of, 524 
Colley, General, 453 
Collins. Wilkie, ' The Frozen Deep ' 


I Cologne, 164, 283 

Colonial and Indian Exhibition, 

Commissions in the army, QTieen's 

signature of, 829, 515 
I Congress of Berlin, 440-1 

Connaught, Arthur, Duke of : birth, 
205-6 ; his godfathers, 209 ; visit 
to Ireland, 312 ; coming of age, 
412 ; annuity, 413 ; marriage, 
448 ; in the Egyptian war, 
457; takes over the Aldershot 
command, 515 ; declines the suc- 
cession to the duchies of Saxe- 
Coburg-Gotha, 533; at the 
Queen's death, 539 ; co-executor 
of the Queen's will, 589; at the 
Queen's funeral, 540 ; (App.) 559, 

Conroy, Sir John, 198 ; co-executor 
to the Duke of Kent's will, 14- 
15; master of the household to 
the Duchess of Kent, 33-41 ; 
retires, 63-4 

j Constant, M. Benjamin, (App.) 563 
I Contadino, Umbrian, 92 
: ' Contrast,' the, 75 
| Conyngham, Lord, 48 
j Cook Islands, (App.) 575 
I Cooke, Mr. Kinloch, (App.) 568 

Cooper's 'Annals of Cambridge,' 
183 n 

Cooper, Fenimore, 71 

Copenhagen, 334 

Copley, Lady Charlotte, 63 n 

Cork, Cove of (afterwards Queens- 
town), 202 

Corn Law Repeal Bill, 171 

Corn laws, 165-70, 478 ; abolition 
of, 171-2 

' Cornhill Magazine,' (App.) 568 

Cornwall, duchy of, 78-9, 196, 833 

Corporation of London, 46, 461 
(App.) 564 

Corry, Montagu (afterwards Lord 
Rowton), 488 

Costa, Signer, 70, 124-5 n 

Costebelle, France, 503 n 

Cottenham, Lord, 117 

' Court Circular,' 193, 451 n, 464 ??, 

Cousins, engraver, (App.) 562 

Coutts, bankers, 78 

Covent Garden Theatre, 140 

Cowan, Sir John, 77 




Cowden-Clarke, Mrs., 18 n 
Cowes, 202, 500, 516, 539 

East, 38, 198 
Cowley, Lord, 328 
Cowper, Lord, 130, 133, 450 
Craig Gowan, 458 
Cranborne, Lord. See under 

Salisbury, Marquis of 
Cranbrook, Lord, 475-6 n, 480 n. 

See also under Hardy, Gathorne 
Cranworth, Lord, 234. 
Crathie, 463 

Crawford, Mr. Marion, 552 
Creighton, Dr., 554 
Crewe, 189 
Crimean war, 193, 289-48, 275', 

474 ; history of the. 439 
Croker Papers, 84 n, 50, 54 n, 74, 

110 n, 138 n, (App.) 569 
Cromwell, Oliver, 580 
Cronje, General, capture of, 526 
Cross, Mr. Richard (afterwards Vis- 
count Cross), 429 ??, 475 ??, 481 n, 

513 n 
Crystal Palace, 220 seq., 245, 253, i 

Cumberland, Ernest Augustus, 

Duke of. See under Hanover, 

King of 

Curragh Camp, 312 
Cyprus, 519, (App.) 571 

DALHOUSIE, Lord, 477 
Dalkeith, 144 
Danger Island, (App.) 575 
Danube river, 273, 440 
Darlington, 140 

Darmstadt, 335, 340, 370, 407, 431, 
487, 442, 447, 472-8, 491-2, 
503-4 n 
Dash, the Queen's pet spaniel, 

Davys, Miss, 63 n 

Rev. George, 20, 80, 41 
Dee river, 85 
Deeside, 304, 383 
Delhi, 433 n 

the fall of, 277 

Denmark, 209, 217, 380 ; and the 
Schleswig Holstein ques- 
tion, 342-52 
Alexandra, Princess of. See 

under Alexandra, Queen 
Charles, Prince of, (App.) 560 


Denmark, Christian VIII. of, 830 
IX. of, 330, 486 ; and 
the Schleswig-Hol- 
stein question, 842 
Frederick VII. of, 342 seq., 


George, Prince of, 112 (after- 
wards King of Greece) 
Louise, Queen of, 380 
Derby, fourteenth Earl of (see 
also under Stanley), 235, 243, 
249-50, 266, 420, ; his first go- 
vernment, 228-32; second cabi- 
net, 281-95 ; and the India Bill, 
285-6; drafts the Queen's pro- 
clamation to India, 287-8; re- 
signation, 295 : and Schleswig- 
Holstein, 850-1; third adminis- 
tration, 869-70, 877; resigns, 
384-5 n 

Derby, fifteenth Earl of, 428 n, 
450 n. See also under Stan- 

Derby, sixteenth Earl of, Frederick 
Stanley, Lord Stanley of Preston. 
See under Stanley. 
Derby Infirmary, 502 
Dering, E. H., 39 n 
1 Deutsche Rundschau,' 408 n 
Devon, Lord, 370 n 
Devonport, 88 
Devonshire, Duke of, 85, 183, 155, 

518 n 
Diamond Jubilee, 1897, 518-20, 

(App.) 565 
Dickens, Charles, ' Christmas 

Carol,' 404-5 
' Dictionary of National Biography,' 

(App.) 566 n 

Dietz (Portuguese minister), 212 
Dilke, Sir Charles W., 417-8, 

450 n 

Dillon, Hon. Margaret, 63 n 
Disraeli, Benjamin and Mrs. See 
under Beaconsfield Earl 
and Viscountess 
Ralph, 161 n 
Dodson, J. G. (afterwards Lord 

Monk Bretton), 450 n 
Don Pacifico, 210, 214 
Doncaster, 41 
Donizetti, composer, 551 
Donne, William Bodham, 194 
Dooabs (App.), 572 




Douglas, Mr. Akers, 513 n 
Douglas, Mrs. Stair, 154 n 
Dover, 42, 117, 159, 252-3, 283 
Drama at Windsor, the, 193-4 
Dray ton Manor, 154 
Dresden, 492 
Dreyfus, Captain, 549 
Drouyn, M., 254-5 
Drummond Castle, 144 

Edward, assassination of, 


Drury Lane Theatre, 193 
Dublin, 201-2, 235, 312-3, 528 

Earl of (see under Edward 


Dufferin, Lord, 397-8 n 
Dundee, 145 
Dunkeld, 373 

Dunleary Port (afterwards Kings- 
town), 202 

Dunrobin Castle, 421 
Durham, Countess of, 63 n, 85 

Earl of, mission to Canada, 


Duse, Eleanora, 504 
Dyce, William, artist, 194 

BALING, 6, 15 

East Africa, (App.) 573 

East Cowes, 38, 198 

East India Company, 284-5, 290, 
(App.) 572 

Eastern Counties Railway, 183 

Eastlake, artist, 194 

Eaton Hall, 35 

Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, 219 

'Eckstadt, Memoirs of Count 
Vitzthum von,' (App.) 567 

Eddystone lighthouse, 39 

Edinburgh, 144, 167, 206, 313, 391 n, 

436, 485 

Duke and Duchess of. See 
under Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, 
Duke and Duchess of 

Edward III., 139 

Edward VII. and the duchy of 
Cornwall, 79 n\ birth and 
christening, 187-9 ; created Duke 
of Saxony, 139 ; early education, 
196; at Abergeldie Castle, 199; 
presents Osbome House to the 
nation, 199 n ; created Earl of 
Dublin, 202 ; his godfather, 209 ; 
visit to Paris, 256-7 ; attains his 


majority, 291 ; tour in America, 
805 ; at Curragh Camp, 812 ; at 
Prince Albert's funeral, 822 ; tour 
in the Holy Land, 329 ; engage- 
ment to Princess Alexandra of 
Denmark, 830, 883 ; his claim to 
the duchy of Saxe-Coburg trans- 
ferred to Prince Alfred, 831-2; 
marriage, 383; annuity, 338-4; 
birth of his son, Prince Albert 
Victor, 851-2 ; at the Paris Ex- 
hibition of 1867, 381 ; opens the 
Thames Embankment, 411 ; ill- 
ness, 414-6 ; his statue at 
Temple Bar, 414 ; entertains the 
Shah of Persia, 423 ; receives the 
Tsarevitch, 424; tour in India, 
488 ; at Lord Beaconsfield's fune- 
ral, 455 ; organises the Colonial 
and Indian Exhibition, 484 ; sug- 
gests the erection of the Imperial 
Institute, 485 ; celebration of his 
silver wedding, 490 ; entertains 
the Queen at Sandringham, 494 ; 
provision for his children, 496-9 ; 
represents the Queen at the great 
naval review (Diamond Jubilee), 
520 ; Captain-General of the 
Honourable Artillery Company, 
522 ; at the Queen's death, 539 ; 
accession to the throne, 539 ; at 
the Queen's funeral, 540 ; (App.) 
559-60, 562-3 

Edward Augustus. See under 
Kent, Duke of 

Edwards, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Fleet- 
wood, 539 

Egypt, 130-2, (App.) 572 ; the war in, 

456-9, 46/5-70 

Ismail Pasha, Khedive of, 
381-2, 402, 529 

Elbersdorf Count Reuss XXIV., 
von, 12 

Elementary Education Act, 1870, 
397 n 

Elgin, Earl of, 297 n t 811 

Eliot, George, ' Mill on the Floss, 
404 ; ' Middlemarch,' 404 

Elizabeth, Princess (daughter of 

James I. 1 , 2 

(daughter of Charles I.), 556 

(daughter of George III. 

afterwards Princess of 

Hesse-Homburg), 56 n ; 

1 Correspondence ' of, 57 n 




Elizabeth, Queen, 80, 54, 155, 285 

Ellesmere, Earl of, 223, 272 

Ellice Island, (App.) 575 

Elmina, Castle of, (App.) 572 

Ely, Jane, Marchioness of, 825 

Emancipation of slaves, 95-6 

' Emerald ' yacht, 39 

Epping forest, 461 

Ernest Augustus. See under Cum- 
berland, Duke of 

Enroll, Earl of, 174 

1 Es ist ein Schnitter,' song, 193 

fisher, 13, 25 

Esterhazy, Nicholas, 47 

Eton, 76 n, 495 ; ' montem,' 87 

Eugenie. See under France, ex- 
Empress of 

Euston Hall, 42 

Exeter, 39 

Marquis of, 41, 160 

Exhibition of 1851, 220-6, 235, 245, 
256, 528 

F., A. M., 'Tales of my Father, 

Equerry to the King of Hanover,' 

57 w, (App.) 567 
'Fairy' yacht, 184; in collision, 

189 n 

Fanning Island, (App.) 575 
Faucit, Miss, 277. See also tinder 

Martin, Lady 
Faure, M., 503 
' Faust,' 505, 551 
Favre, 406 
Field of the Cloth of Gold, battle 

of the, 150 
Fife, Earl of (afterwards Duke of) : 

marriage to Princess Louise of 

Wales, 496, 499, (App.) 560, 563 
Fife trustees, 199 
Fiji Islands, (App.) 575 
Fi'tzalan, Lord, 47 
FitzClarence, Lord Adolphus, 152 
Fitz Clarence family, 78 
Fitzgerald, Hamilton, 94 
Fitzwilliam, Lord, 41 
Fleetwood, 184 
Floors Castle, 388 
Florence, 490, 503 
Foligno, 92 n 
Forbes, Viscountess, 68 n 
Ford, Onslow, (App.) 564 
Forster, W. E., 398 n, 450 n, 460 ; 

1 Life ' of, by Wemyss Reid, (App.) 

Fort William, 184 
Fortescue, Chichester. See under 

Carlingford, Lord 
Fould, M. Achille, 271 
Fowler, (Sir) Henry, 510 n, 512 n 
France and Egypt, 130-2, 457 ; and 
the Spanish marriages, 
176-81 ; revolution in, 184- 
186 ; Palmerston's rela- 
tions with, 210-1, 214, 286 ; 
English alliance with, 289 ; 
and the Crimean war, 243- 
248 ; and the Vienna Con- 
ference, 254; the treaty 
of Paris, 263-4; strained 
relations between England 
and, 277-82, (App.) 568; 
and the peace of Villa- 
franca, 298, 800; fears of 
invasion from, 803; and 
the Polish insurrection, 
387; at war with Germany, 
879-80, 406-9, 430-1 

Eugenie, ex-Empress of, 
236-7, 252, 294-5, 494, 585 ; 
visits to the Queen, 308, 
381, 529 ; visits the Queen 
in Paris, 390; exile in 
England, 409, 444 

Louis XIV. of, 589 

Louis Philippe, King of, 8, 
9 n, 82,