Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol III (1901).djvu/437
English public, and, in the absence of any genuine difference of opinion, the minister's independent action won from the queen reluctant acquiescence. The English government formally protested against the two Spanish marriages, but they duly took place on 10 Oct., despite English execrations, 'There is but one voice here on the subject,' the queen wrote (13 Oct.) 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' (Martin). 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 clouded on every side, but despite the political 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, including the Grand Duke Constantine of Russia, the Tsar Nicholas's son, Prince Oscar of Sweden, and many German princes. On 15 June a state visit was paid to Her Majesty's Theatre in the Haymarket, during the first season of Jenny Liud, who appeared as Norma in Bellini's opera. The queen applauded eagerly (Holland and Rockstro, Jenny Lind, ii. 113 seq.), and wrote to her uncle Leopold : 'Jenny Lind is quite a remarkable phenomenon.' In the spring the queen had been much gratified by the election of Prince Albert as chancellor of Cambridge University. The choice was not made without a contest—'the unseemly contest' the queen called it—and the prince won by a majority of only 117 votes over those cast for his opponent, the Earl of Powis. But the queen wisely concentrated her attention on the At Cambridge, July 1847. result, which she felt to be no gift of hers, but an honour that the prince had earned independently. In July she accompanied him to the Cambridge commencement, over which he presided as chancellor. From Tottenham she travelled on the Eastern Counties railway, under the personal guidance of the railway king, George Hudson. On 5 July 1847 she received from her husband in his official capacity, in the hall of Trinity College, an address of welcome. In reply she congratulated the university on their wise selection of a chancellor (Life of Wilberforce, i. 398 ; Dean Merivale, Letters ; Cooper, Annals of Cambridge). Melbourne and three German princes, who were royal guests Prince Waldemar of Prussia, Prince Peter of Oldenburg, and the hereditary Grand Duke of Saxe- Weimar received honorary degrees from Prince Albert's hands. An installation ode was written by Wordsworth and set to music by T. A. Walmisley. On the evening of the 6th there was a levee at the lodge of Trinity College, and next morning the queen attended a public break- fast in Nevill's Court.
For the third time the queen spent her autumn holiday in Scotland, where she had taken a highland residence at Ardverikie, a lodge on Loch Laggan, in the occupation of the Marquis of Abercorn. They travelled thither by the west coast from the Isle of Wight in the yacht Victoria and Albert (11-14 Aug.) Spending at the outset a night on the Scilly Isles, they made for the Third visit to Scotland, 1847. visit Menai Straits, where they transferred themselves to the yacht 1847. Fairy. Passing up the Clyde they visited Loch Fyne. On the 18th they arrived at Inveraray Castle, and afterwards reached their destination by way of Fort William. Palmerston was for the most part the minister in attendance, and, amid the deerstalking, walks, and drives, there was much political discussion between him and Prince Albert. The sojourn lasted three weeks, till 17 Sept., and on the return journey the royal party went by sea only as far as Fleetwood, proceeding by rail from Liverpool to London (Journal, pp. 43-61).Meanwhile a general election had taken place in August without involving any change of ministry. In the new parliament, which was opened by commission on 18 Nov. 1847, the liberals obtained a working majority numbering 325 to 226 protectionists and 105 conservative free traders or Peelites. Public affairs, especially abroad, abounded in causes of alarm for the queen. 1848, the year of revolution in Europe, Louis Philippe's dethronement. passed off without serious disturbance in England, but the queen's equanimity was rudely shaken by rebellions in foreign lands. The dethronement of Louis Philippe in February shocked her. Ignoring recent political differences, she thought only of his distress. When his sons and daughters hurried to England, nothing for a time was known of the fate of Louis and his queen. On