VICTORIA, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Empress of India (1819–1901), was granddaughter of George III, and only child of George Ill's fourth son Edward, duke of Kent, K.G., G.C.B., field-marshal.
Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales, only child of the Prince Regent (George III's heir), having married Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg on 2 May 1816, died after the birth of a stillborn son op. 6 Nov. 1817. The crown was thereby deprived of its only legitimate representative in the third generation.The succession to the crown in 1817. Of the seven sons of George III who survived infancy three, at the date of Princess Charlotte's death, were bachelors, and the four who were married were either childless or without lawful issue. With a view to maintaining the succession it was deemed essential after Princess Charlotte's demise that the three unmarried sons William, duke of Clarence, the third son ; Edward, duke of Kent, the fourth son; and Adolphus Frederick, duke of Cambridge, the seventh and youngest son should marry without delay. All were middle-aged. In each case the bride was chosen from a princely family of Germany. The weddings followed one another with rapidity. On 7 May 1818 the Duke of Cambridge, who had long resided in Hanover as the representative of his father, George III, in the government there, married, at Cassel, Augusta, daughter of Frederick, Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel. On 11 June 1818 the Duke of Clarence married in his fifty-third year Adelaide, eldest daughter of George Frederick Charles, reigning duke of Saxe-Meiningen. In the interval, on 29 May, the Duke of Kent, who was in his fifty-first year, and since 1816 had mainly lived abroad, took to wife a widowed sister of Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, the widowed husband of that Princess Charlotte whose death had induced so much matrimonial activity in the English royal house.
The Duke of Kent's bride, who was commonly known by the Christian name of Victoria, although her full Christian names were Mary Louisa Victoria, was nearly thirty-two years old.The Duke of Kent's Bride. She was fourth daughter and youngest of the eight children of Francis Frederick Antony (1750-1806), reigning duke of Saxe-Coburg and Saalfeld. (In 1825 Saalfeld, by a family arrangement, was exchanged for Gotha.) Her first husband was Ernest Charles, reigning prince of Leiningen, whose second wife she became on 21 Sept. 1803, at the age of seventeen ; he died on 4 July 1814, leaving by her a son and a daughter. For the son, who was born on 12 Sept. 1804, she was acting as regent and guardian when the Duke of Kent proposed marriage to her. Her responsibilities to her first family 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 opportunity of reinforcing those intimate relations with the English reigning house which the Princess Charlotte's marriage had no sooner brought into being than her premature death threatened to extinguish. The Dowager Princess of Leiningen consequently married the Duke of Kent, and the ceremony took place at the ducal palace of Coburg. The princess was a cheerful woman of homely intellect and temperament, with a pronounced love of her family and her fatherland. Her kindred was exceptionally numerous; she maintained close relations 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 connections. Most of her near kindred allied themselves in marriage, 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. A sister, Antoinette Ernestina Amelia, married Alexander Frederick Charles, duke of Würtemberg.Her family connections At the same time some matrimonial unions were effected by the Saxe-Coburg family with the royal houses of Latin countries France and Portugal. One of the Duchess of Kent's nephews married the queen of Portugal, while there were no fewer than five intermarriages on the part of her family with that of King Louis Philippe : two of her brothers and two of her nephews married the French king's daughters, and a niece married his second son, the Due de Nemours. 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 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 Portugal.
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 6,000l. from parliament, but he was embarrassed by debt, and his income was wholly inadequate to his needs. His brothers and sisters showed no disposition either to assist him or to show his duchess much personal courtesy. He therefore left the country for Germany 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. In the spring of 1819 the birth of a child grew imminent. There was a likelihood, although at the Queen Victoria's birth 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. Apartments were allotted them in the palace at Kensington, in the south-east wing, and there on Monday, 24 May 1819, at 4.15 in the morning, was born to them the girl who was the future Queen Victoria. A gilt plate above the mantelpiece of the room still attests the fact. The Duke of Kent, while describing his daughter as 'a fine healthy child,' modestly deprecated congratulations which anticipated her succession to the throne, 'for while 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 believe it probable that a future heir to the crown of England would spring from me.' Her mother's mother, 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 [and also first cousin] 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 succession. Between her and the crown there stood her three uncles, the Prince Regent, the Duke of York, 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 councillors who were summoned to Kensington on her birth included her uncle, the Duke of Sussex, the Duke of Wellington, the Marquis of Lansdowne, and two leading members of Lord Liverpool's tory ministry, Canning and Vansittart. On 24 June her baptism took place in the grand saloon at 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 regent and the tory prime minister, Lord Liverpool, desired to maintain friendly relations with Russia, and the offer of Prince Lieven, Russian ambassador in London, that his master should act as sponsor was accepted with alacrity. The second sponsor was the child's eldest aunt, the queen of Würtemberg (princess royal of England), and the third her mother's mother, the Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. The three were represented respectively by the infant's uncle, the Duke of York, and her aunts, the Princess Augusta and the Duchess of Gloucester. The rite was performed by Dr. Manners Sutton, archbishop of Canterbury, assisted by the bishop of London. The prince regent, who was present, declared that the one name of 'Alexandrina,' Her baptismal names after the tsar, was sufficient. The Duke of Kent requested that a second name should be added. The prince regent suggested 'Georgina.' The Duke of Kent urged 'Elizabeth.' Thereupon the regent 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 Victoria to a letter which is now in the British Museum (Addit. MS. 18204, fol. 12). The appellation, although it was not unknown in England [see Clarke, Mrs. Mary Victoria Cowden-, Suppl.], had a foreign sound to English ears, and its bestowal on the princess excited some insular prejudice.
When the child was a month old her parents removed with her to Claremont, the residence which had been granted for life to her uncle, Prince Leopold, the widowed husband of the Princess Charlotte, and remained his property till his death in 1865. In August the princess was vaccinated, and the fact of her being the first member of the royal family to undergo the operation widely extended its vogue. Before the end of the month the Duchess of Kent learned from her mother of the birth on the 26th, at Rosenau 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 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 discharge 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 begun. After a few weeks at Sidmouth, too, the child's position in the state underwent momentous change.
On 14 Jan. 1820 her grandfather, King George III, who had long been blind and imbecile, passed away, and the prince regentDeaths of Duke of Kent and George III, Jan. 1820. became king at the age of fifty-eight. Six days later, on 20 Jan. 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. 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 thenceforth acted as major-domo for the duchess, and lived under the same roof until the accession of the princess, by whom he was always cordially disliked. The duchess was obnoxious to her husband's brothers, especially to the new king, to the Duke of Clarence, and to their younger brother, the Duke of Cumberland, the next heir to the throne after her daughter. Speaking later ofPosition of Duchess of Kent. 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.' Not the least of her trials was her inability to speak English. Although the duke had made a will, he left no property. He only bequeathed a 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. Parliament had granted the duchess in 1818 an annuity of 6,000l. in case of her widowhood; apartments were allowed her in Kensington Palace, but she and her daughter had no other acknowledged resources. Her desolate lot was, however, not without private mitigation. 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, who, a German princess, like herself, conversed 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 Sidmouth 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 Scotland, 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 his German education never made him quite at home in English politics, he was cautious and far-seeing, and was qualified for the rôle of guardian of his niece and counsellor of his sister. He impressed the duchess with 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 much with 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 to her manifested 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 remembrance, but her mother taught her to honour his memory. Through his early life he had been an active soldier in Canada and at Gibraltar, and he was sincerely attached to the military profession. When his daughter, as Queen Victoria, presented new colours to his old regiment, the royal Scots, at Ballater on 26 Sept. 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 characteristic 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 Robert Owen, with whose principles he had already declared his agreement (Owen, Autobiography, 1857, p. 237). The princess's whiggish proclivities in early life were part of her paternal inheritance.
It was in the spring of 1820 that the Duchess of Kent took up her permanent abode in Kensington Palace, and there in comparative seclusion the princess spent most of her first eighteen years of life. Kensington was then effectually cut off from London by market gardens and country lanes. Besides her infant daughter the duchess had another companion in her child by her first husband, Princess Féodore of Leiningen, 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 also a frequent visitor, and to him also she was much attached. Chief among the permanent members of the Kensington household was Louise Lehzen, the daughter of a Lutheran clergyman of Hanover, who had acted as governess of the Princess Féodore from 1818. Princess The princess's education Victoria's education was begun in 1824, when Fräulein Lehzen transferred her services from the elder to the younger daughter. Voluble in talk, severe in manner, restricted in information, conventional 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. 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 holiday. 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 6,000l. a year 'for the purpose of making an adequate provision for the honourable support and education of her highness Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent' (Hansard, new ser. xiii. 909-27). English instruction was needful, and Fräulein Lehzen, whose position was never officially recognised, was hardly qualified for the whole of the teaching. On the advice of the Rev. Thomas Russell, vicar of Kensington, the Rev. George Davys, at the time vicar of a small Lincolnshire parish—from which he was soon transferred to the crown living of St. Hallows-on-the-Wall, in the city of London—became the princess's preceptor. He was formally appointed in 1827, when he took up his residence at Kensington Palace. To reconcile Fräulein Lehzen to the new situation, George IV in 1827, at the request of his sister, Princess Sophia, made her a Hanoverian baroness. Davys did his work discreetly. He gathered round him a band of efficient masters in special subjects of study, mainly reserving for himself religious knowledge and history. Although his personal religious views were decidedly evangelical, he was liberal in his attitude to all religious opinions, and he encouraged in his pupil a singularly tolerant temper, which in after life served her in good stead. 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 was a voluble correspondent with her numerous kinsfolk, and she maintained the practice till the end of her life. Although during her girlhood the duchess conscientiously caused her daughter to converse almost entirely in English, German was the earliest language she learned, and she always knew it as a mother-tongue. She studied it and German literature grammatically 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 (Lady Lyttleton, Letters). She was instructed in French by M. Grandineau, and came to speak it well and with fluency. At a later period, when she was fascinated by Italian opera, she studied Italian assiduously, and rarely lost an opportunity of speaking 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 appealed to her. Nor was she endowed with genuine artistic taste. But to the practical pursuit of the arts she applied herself as a girl with persistency and delight. Music occupied much time. John Bernard Sale, organist of St. Margaret's, Westminster, and subsequently organist of the Chapel Royal, 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 Richard Westall the academician, who in 1829 painted one of the earliest portraits of her, and afterwards by (Sir) Edwin Landseer. Sketching in pencil Her youthful devotion to music and art. or water-colours was a lifelong amusement, and after her marriage she attempted etching. In music and the pictorial arts she sought instruction till comparatively late in life. To dancing, which she was first taught by Mdlle. Bourdin, she was, like her mother, devoted; and like her, until middle age, danced with exceptional grace and energy. She was also from childhood a skilful horse-woman, and thoroughly enjoyed physical exercise, taking part in all manner of indoor and outdoor games.
The princess grew up an amiable, merry, affectionate, simple-hearted child very considerate for others' comfort, scrupulously regardful of truth, and easily pleased by homely amusement. At the same time she was self-willed and often showed impatience of restraint. Her memory was from the first singularly retentive. Great simplicity was encouraged in her general mode of life. She dressed without ostentation. 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.' Charles Knight watched her breakfasting in the open air 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 impressed by the gorgeous raiment of the footman who followed her, noticed the unaffected playfulness with which she treated a companion of her own age. The Duchess of Kent was fond of presenting her at Kensington to her visitors, who included men of distinction in all ranks of life. William Wilberforce describes how he received an invitation to visit the duchess 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.' On 19 May 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) — Sir Walter Scott's visit. 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 suggested '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.'
According to a story recorded many years afterwards by Baroness Lehzen, the fact of her rank was carefully concealed from her until her twelfth year, when after much consultation it was solemnly revealed to her the baroness, who cunningly 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 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 childish companions were the daughters of Heinrich von Bülow, the Prussian ambassador in London, whose wife was daughter of Humboldt. When, on 28 May 1829, they and some other children 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 Baroness Lehzen was anxious to credit her (Gabriels von Büllow, a memoir, English transl. 1897, p. 163).
The most impressive of the princess's recreations were summer and autumn excursions into the country or to the seaside. Country excursions. 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 (Grey, p. 392). 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, the reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg — a boy of her own age — was seriously considered as a suitor. Thenceforth 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 with 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, Ashford.
In 1826 the princess and her mother were invited for the first time to visit the king, George 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 Visit to George IV his niece, and gave her the badge worn by members of the royal family. Her good spirits and frankness made her thoroughly agreeable to him. 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 17 Aug. 1826 she went with him on Virginia Water, and afterwards he drove her out in his phaeton.
Next year there died without issue her uncle the Duke of York, of whom she knew little, although 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 of Clarence between herself and the throne, and her ultimate succession was now recognised. On 28 May 1829 she attended, at St. James's Palace, a court function for the first time. The queen of Portugal, Maria II (da Gloria), who was only a month older than the princess, although she had already occupied her throne three years, was on a visit to England, and a ball was given in her honour by George IV. Queen Maria afterwards (9 April 1836) married Princess Victoria's first cousin, Prince Ferdinand Augustus of Saxe-Coburg, and Queen Victoria always took an extremely sympathetic interest in her career, her descendants, and her country.
In June 1830 the last stage but one in the princess's progress towards the crown was reached. Her uncle George IV died on 26 June, and was succeeded by his brother William, duke of Clarence. The girl thus became heir-presumptive. Public interest was much excited in her, and in November 1830Heir-presumptive to the crown, 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 10,000l. should be added to the Duchess of Kent's allowance on behalf of the princess. Two influential members, Sir Matthew White Ridley and Sir Robert 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 did not accord with the feelings of the people. The princess had, however, already taken a violent antipathy to Queen Elizabeth, and always deprecated any association with her. An amendment to reduce the new allowance by one half was lost, and the government's recommendation was adopted (Hansard, 3rd ser. v. 691, 654 seq.) Greater dignity was thus secured for the household of the Duchess of Kent and her daughter, although the duchess regarded the addition to her income as inadequate to the needs of her position. The Duchess of Northumberland (a granddaughter of Clive) was formally appointed governess of the princess, and her preceptor Davys was made dean of Chester. She was requested to attend court functions. On 20 July 1830, dressed in deep mourning with a long court train and veil reaching to the ground (Bülow, p. 191), 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 parliament. On 24 Feb. 1831 she attended her first drawing-room, in honour of Queen Adelaide's birthday. The king complained that she looked at him stonily, and was afterwards deeply offended by the irregularity of her attendances at court. She and her mother were expected to attend his coronation on 8 Sept. 1831, but they did not come, and comment on their absence was made in parliament.
With the apparent access of prosperity went griefs and annoyances which caused passing tears, and permanently impressed the princess's mind with a sense of the 'sadness' of her youth. In 1828 her constant companion, the Princess Féodore of Leiningen, left England for good, on her marriage, 18 Feb., to Prince von Hohenlohe-Langenburg, and the separation deeply pained Victoria. In 1830 alarm was felt at Kensington at the prospect of Prince Leopold's permanent removal to the continent. Both mother and daughter trusted his guidance implicitly. The princess was almost as deeply attached to him as to her mother. Although he declined the offer of the throne of Greece in 1830, his acceptance next year of the throne of Belgium grieved her acutely. As king of the Belgians, he watched her interests with no less devotion than before, and he was assiduous in correspondence: but his absence from the country and his subsequent marriage with Louis Philippe's daughter withdrew him from that constant control 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 depression. 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 16 Nov. 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 sorrow.
The main cause of the Duchess of Kent's anxieties at the time was, however, the hostile attitude that William IV assumed William IV's treatment of her and her mother.towards her. She had no reason to complain of the unconventional good humour which he extended to her daughter, 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 of any of the public consideration which the princess's station 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 he repeatedly threatened to remove the girl from her mother's care. 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 to forego such honours, and, when she refused, prohibited them from being offered. Incessant wrangling between him and the duchess continued throughout the reign.
From a maternal point of view the duchess's conduct was unexceptionable. She was indefatigable in making her daughter acquainted with places of interest in England. On 23 Oct. 1830 the princess opened at Bath the Royal Victoria Park, and afterwards inaugurated the Victoria Drive at Malvern. From 1832 onwards the duchess frequently accompanied her 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. William IV made impotent protests against these 'royal progresses,' as he derisively called them. The royal heiress was everywhere well received, took part for the first time in public functions, and left in all directions a favourable impression. Municipal corporations invariably offered her addresses of welcome; and the Duchess of Kent, in varying phraseology, replied 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 the attachment and respect of a free and loyal people.'
The first tour, which took place in the autumn of 1832, introduced the princess to the principality of Wales. Leaving Kensington in August, the party drove rapidly through Birmingham, Wolverhampton, and Shrewsbury to Powis Castle, an early home of her governess, the Duchess of Northumberland; thence the princess went over the Menai Bridge to a house at Beaumaris, The tour of 1832. which she rented for a month. She presented prizes at the Eisteddfod there; but an outbreak of cholera shortened her stay, and she removed to Plas Newydd, which was lent them by the Marquis of Anglesea. She laid the first stone of a boys' school in the neighbourhood on 13 Oct., and made so good an impression that 'the Princess Victoria' was the topic set for a poetic competition in 1834 at the Cardiff Bardic Festival. The candidates were two hundred, and the prize was won by Mrs. Cornwell Baron Wilson. Passing on to Eaton Hall, the seat of Lord Grosvenor, she visited Chester on 17 Oct., and opened a new bridge over the Dee, which was called Victoria Bridge. From 17 to 24 Oct. she stayed with the Duke of Devonshire at Chatsworth, and made many excursions in the neighbourhood, including a visit to Strutt's cotton mills at Belper. Subsequently they stayed at a long series of noblemen's houses— Shadborough, the house of Lord Lichfield; Pitchford, the seat of the old tory statesman, Lord Liverpool, for whom the queen cherished much affection; Oakley Court, the seat of Mr. Clive; Newell Grange, the seat of Lord Plymouth; and Wytham Abbey, the seat of the Earl of Abingdon. From Wytham she and her mother twice went over to Oxford (8-9 Nov.),At Oxford. 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 Rowley at University College. Robert Lowe (afterwards Viscount Sherbrooke), then an undergraduate, described the incidents of the visit in a brilliant macaronic poem (printed in Patchett Martin's Life of Lord Sherbrooke, i. 86-90). Leaving Oxford the royal party journeyed by way of High Wycombe and Uxbridge to Kensington. Throughout this tour the princess dined with her mother and her hosts at seven o'clock each evening.
Every year now saw some increase of social occupation. Visitors of all kinds grew numerous at Kensington. In November 1832 Captain Back came to explain his projected polar expedition. In January 1833 the portrait painters David Wilkie and George Hayter arrived to paint the princess's portrait. On 24 April the Duchess of Kent, with a view to mollifying the king, elaborately 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 Würtemberg, and her half-brother, the prince of Leiningen, were her mother's guests. On 24 May 1833 the princess's fourteenth birthday was celebrated by a juvenile ball given by the king at St. James's Palace.
A summer and autumn tour was arranged for the south coast in July 1833. The royalThe tour of 1833. 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 director of her mother's household, 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. She explored Whippingham Church and East Cowes; but the main object of her present sojourn in the island was to inspect national objects of interest on the Hampshire coast. At Portsmouth she visited the Victory, Nelson's flagship. Crossing to Weymouth on 29 July she spent some time at Melbury, Lord Ilchester's seat. On 2 Aug. she and her mother arrived at Plymouth 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, and twice again, in 1866 and 1889, she presented it with new colours (cf. Rowland Brinkman's Hist. Records of the Eighty-ninth (Princess Victoria's) Regiment, 1888, pp. 83-4). The princess afterwards made a cruise in the yacht Emerald to Eddystone lighthouse, to Torquay, whence she visited Exeter, and to Swanage.
While she was responding to the calls of public duty she was enjoying enlarged Her delight Her delight in music and the drama. opportunities of recreation. She in music and frequently visited the theatre, the drama. In which she always delighted. But it was the Italian opera that roused her highest enthusiasm. She never forgot the deep impressions that Pasta, Malibran, and Grisi, Tamburini and Rubini made on her girlhood. Grisi was her ideal vocalist, by whom she judged all others. All forms of music, competently rendered, fascinated her. Her reverence for the violinist Paganini, after she had once heard him, never waned. In June 1834 she was a deeply interested auditor at the royal musical festival that was given at Westminster Abbey. During her autumn holiday in the same year, when she first stayed at Tunbridge Wells, and afterwards at St. Leonards-on-Sea, she spent much of her time in playing and singing, and her instrument was then the harp (cf. Memoirs of Georgiana Lady Chatterton, by E. H. Bering, 1901, p, 29). In 1836 Lablache became her singing master, and he gave her lessons for nearly twenty years, long after her accession to the throne.
During 1835, when she completed her sixteenth year, new experiences crowded 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 inte- resting,' but he regretfully anticipated that it would be the fate of ' the heir to such a crown of England ' to be sold in marriage for political purposes without regard to her personal character or wishes (Willis, Pencillings by the Way, 1835, lii. 115). On 30 July 1835 the princess was confirmed Her confirmation, 1835. at Chapel Royal, St. James's. The archbishop of Canterbury's address on her future responsibilities affected her. She '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 grim archbishop (Howley) again officiated, together with her preceptor, Davys, the dean of Chester. After a second visit to Tunbridge Wells, where she stayed at Avoyne House, she made a triumphal northern progress. At York she remained a week with Archbishop Harcourt at Bishopsthorp, and visited Lord Fitzwilliam at Wentworth House, whence she went over to the Thr tour of 1835. The tour of races at Don ca8ter. She was the guest of the Duke of Rutland at Belvoir House, was enthusiastically received by the people of Stamford, and was next entertained by the Marquis of Exeter at Burghley. A great ball at Burghley was opened by a dance in which the marquis was the princess's partner. When she reached Lynn on her way to Holkham, the Earl of Leicester's seat, navvies yoked themselves to her 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 Ramsgate, 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. Accordingly, he arranged with his sister, the Duchess of Kent, that Albert and his elder brother Ernest, the heir-apparent to the duchy, should in the spring pay a visit of some weeks' duration to aunt and daughter at Kensington Palace. First meeting eith Prince Albeert, 1836. In May Princess Victoria met Prince Prince Albert for the first time. William IV and Queen Adelaide received him and his brother courteously, and they were frequently entertained at court. They saw the chief sights of London, and lunched with the lord mayor at the Mansion House. But the king looked with no favour on Prince Albert as a suitor for his niece's hand. At any rate, he was resolved to provide her with a wider field of choice, and he therefore invited the prince of Orange and his two sons and Duke William of Brunswick to be his guests at the same period that the Saxe-Coburg princes were in England, and he 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 30 May the Duchess, of Kent gave a brilliant ball at Kensington Palace, and found herself under the necessity of inviting Duke William of Brunswick and the prince of Orange with his two sons as well as her own protégés. Among the general guests was the Duke of Wellington. Some days later the Saxe-Coburg princes left 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 hardly decisive. 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 for her, and on 7 June, after Albert had left England, she wrote ingenuously to Leopold that she commended the youth to her uncle's special protection, adding, 'I hope and trust that all will go on prosperously and well on this subject, now of so much importance to me.' Her views were uncoloured by sentiment. It was natural and congenial to obey her uncle.
In the early autumn of 1836 she paid a second visit to the retired tory statesman, Lord Liverpool, who was then living at Buxted Park, near Uckfield, and afterwards spent a quiet month at Ramsgate. The old king was at the moment causing the Duchess of Kent renewed disquietude. The princess had consequently absented herself from court, and the king complained that he saw too little of her. On 20 Aug. 1836, the king's birthday, mother and daughter dined with him at a state banquet, when he publicly expressed the hope that he might live till his niece came of age, so that the kingdom might be spared the regency which parliament had designed for the Duchess of Kent. He described his sister-in-law as a 'person' 'surrounded by evil counsellors,' and unfitted 'to the exercise of the duties of her station.' He asserted that, contrary to his command, she was occupying an excessive number of rooms seventeen at Kensington Palace. He would not 'endure conduct so disrespectful to him.' The princess burst into tears. The breach between the king and her mother was complete.
William IVs hope of living long enough to prevent a regency was fulfilled. Although Coming of age, 24 May 1837. his health was feeble, no serious crisis was feared when, on 24 May 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 herself 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 himself 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 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. In the same month she paid two visits to the Royal 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 Rogers the poet, and, hearing that the actor, Charles Kemble, was in the room, desired that he should be introduced to her. A few days later the king, in a letter addressed personally to her, offered to place 10,000l. a year at her own disposal, independently of her mother. She accepted the offer to her mother's chagrin.
No sooner had the celebrations of the princess's majority ended than death put her in possession of the fullest rights that it could confer. Early in June it was announced that the king's health was breaking. On Tuesday, 20 June 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.
The archbishop of Canterbury, who had performed the last religious rites, at once took leave of Queen Adelaide, and with Lord Conyngham, the lord chamberlain, drove through the early morning to Kensington to break the news to the new sovereign. Accession 20 June 1837. They 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 (Bunsen, i. 272).
The prime minister, Lord Melbourne, arrived before nine o'clock, and was at once received in audience. The queen's uncle, the Duke of Sussex, and the Duke of Wellington, the most popular man in the state, also visited her. But, in accordance with the constitution, it was from the prime minister, Lord Melbourne, alone that she could receive counsel as to her official duties and conduct. The privy council was hastily summoned to meet 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. 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 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 gave up their seals to her and she returned them ; they then kissed hands on reappointment, and the privy councillors took the oaths. Although she was unusually short in stature (below five feet), and with no pretensions to beauty, her manner and movement were singularly unembarrassed, modest, graceful, and dignified, while her distinct and perfectly modulated elocution thrilled her auditors. ' She not merely filled her chair,' said the Duke of Wellington, ' she filled the room.' Throughout the ceremony she conducted herself as though she had' long been familiar with her part in it (cf. Poole, Life of Stratford Canning, 1888, ii. 45 ; Croker Papers, ii. 359; Ashley, Life of Palmerston, i. 340).
The admirable impression she created on this her first public appearance as queen was fully confirmed in the weeks that followed. 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 The proclaimation. Marlborough House. The crowd cheered vociferously, and prominent 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' (Albemarle, Fifty Years of my Life, p. 378).
After the proclamation the queen saw Lord Hill, the commander-in-chief, the lord-chancellor, and 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 Royal Exchange.
Although the queen signed the privy council register at her first council in the name of Victoria only, Her name as sovereign. 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 Royal 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 Victoria. Thenceforth that name was accepted without cavil as of the worthiest English significance. It has since spread far among her subjects. It was conferred 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 nave failed to employ it in the nomenclature of streets, parks, railway-stations, or places of public assembly. Abroad, and even in some well-informed quarters at home, surprise was manifested at Public sentiment regarding her. the tranquillity with which the sentiment nation saw the change of monarch regarding effected. But the general enthusiasm that Queen Victoria's accession evoked was partly due to the contrast she presented with those who had lately oc- cupied the throne. Since the century began there had been three kings of England—men all advanced in years—of whom the first was an imbecile, the second a profligate, and the third little better than a buffoon. The principle of monarchy was an article of faith with the British people which the personal unfitness of the monarch seemed unable to touch. But the substitution for kings whose characters could not inspire 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 rendered revolution impossible. Although the play of party politics failed to render the sentiment universal, and some actions of the queen in the early and late years of the reign severely tried it, it was a plant that, once taking root, did not readily decay. Politicians of the high rank of Lord Palmerston, the foreign secretary in the whig ministry, and Sir Robert Peel, leader of the tories in the House of Commons deplored the young queen's inexperience and ignorance of the world ; but such defects were more specious than real in a constitutional monarch, and, as far as they were disadvantageous, were capable of remedy by time. Sydney Smith echoed 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 happiness and pro- sperity 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 victories. Let us now hope that we are going to have a female reign illustrious in its deeds of peace an Elizabeth without her tyranny, an Anne without her weakness' (Walpole, Life of Lord John Russell, i. 284).
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 The queen and Hanover. kingdon by the congress 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 Hanover was acquiesced in readily by both countries. They had long drifted apart in political sentiments and aspirations. The new king of Hanover was altogether out of sympathy with his royal niece. He proved an illiberal and reactionary ruler ; but she, in whom domestic feeling was always strong, took a lively interest in the fortunes of his family, and showed especial kindness to them in the trials that awaited them. At home the main alteration in her duty as sovereign related to the criminal law. Death was the punishment accorded to every manner of felony until William IV's parliament humanely reduced the number of capital offences to four or five, and it had been the custom of the sovereign personally to revise the numerous capital sentences pronounced in London at the Old Bailey. At the close of each session these were reported to the sovereign by the recorder for final judgment. A girl was obviously unfitted to perform this repugnant task.The queen and criminal law. Accordingly the and the queen was promptly relieved of it by act of parliament (7 William IV and 1 Vict. 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 all that survived of it.
But, while the queen was not called on to do every thing that her predecessors had done, she studied 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 instructionLord Melbourne's instruction. with exceptional tact bourne's and consideration, and she proved on the whole an apt pupil. Melbourne was the leader of the whig party, whose constitutional principles denied the sovereign any independence ; but it was with the whigs that her father had associated himself, and association with them was personally congenial to her. None the less, she was of an imperious, self-reliant, and somewhat wilful disposition ; she was naturally proud of her elevation and of the dignified responsibilities which nominally adhered to the crown. While, therefore, accepting without demur Melbourne's theories of the dependent place of a sovereign in a constitutional monarchy, she soon set her own interpretation on their practical working. She was wise enough at the outset to recognise her inexperience, and she knew instinctively the need of trusting those who were older and better versed in affairs than herself. But she never admitted her subjection to her ministers. From almost the first to the last day of her reign she did not hesitate closely to interrogate them, 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. After giving voice to her opinion, she left the final choice of action or policy to her official advisers' discretion ; but if she disapproved 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 The formation of her household. necessary for a female sovereign to have women and not men as her personal attendants. She deprecated an establishment on the enormous scale that was adopted by the last female sovereign in England Queen Anne. A mistress of the robes, six ladies-in-waiting, and six women of the bedchamber she regarded as adequate. Her uncle Leopold wisely urged her to ignore political considerations in choosing her attendants. But she was without personal friends of the rank needed for the household offices, and she accepted Lord Melbourne's injudicious advice to choose their first holders exclusively from the wives and daughters of the whig ministers. She asked the Marchioness of Lansdowne to become mistress of the robes, and although her health did not permit her to accept that post, she agreed to act as first lady-in-waiting. The higher household dignity was filled (1 July 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 Normanby and Lady Tavistock. The Countess of Rosebery was invited, but declined to join them. In accordance with better established precedent, the gentlemen of her household were also chosen from orthodox supporters of the whig ministry. The queen only asserted herself by requesting that Sir John Conroy, the master of her mother's and her own household, whom she never liked, should retire from her service ; she gave him a pension of 3,000l. a year, but refused his request for an order and an Irish peerage. Graver perplexities attached to the question of the appointment of a private secretary to the new sovereign. Although former occupants of the throne had found such an officer absolutely essential to the due performance of their duties, the ministers feared the influence that one The private secretaryship. occupying SO confidential a relation with a young untried girl might gain over her. With admirable self-denial Melbourne solved the difficulty by taking on himself the work of her private secretary for all public business. As both her prime minister and private secretary it was thus necessary for him to be always with the court. For the first to years of her reign he was her constant companion, spending most of the morning at work with her, riding with her of an afternoon, and dining with her of an evening. The paternal care which he bestowed on her was acknowledged with gratitude by political friends and foes.
Melbourne's acceptance of the office of private secretary 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 Foreign advisers.life, and, 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 controlled her career, and remained a trusted adviser till his death, had, as soon as she reached her majority, sent his confidential friend and former secretary, Baron Stockmar, to direct her political education. 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. A native of Coburg, who originally came to England with Leopold in 1816 as his medical attendant, 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 disinterested 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 pedantic and a sententious critic of English politics, and 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. The constant intercourse which he sought with Melbourne and other ministers was consequently felt by them to be embarrassing, and to be disadvantageous to the queen. An impression got abroad that he exerted on her a mysterious anti-national influence behind the throne. Abercromby, leader of the House of Commons, threatened in very early days to bring the subject to the notice of parliament. But when it was rumoured that Stockmar was acting as the queen's private secretary, Melbourne circulated a peremptory denial, and public attention was for the time diverted. The queen's openly displayed fidelity to her old governess, the Baroness Lehzen, did not tend to dissipate the suspicion 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 direction as a personal grievance (Geville). 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 the queen's attention. On 27 June she held her first levee at Kensington to receive the credentials of the ambassadors and envoys. She was dressed in black, but, Public ceremonials. 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 (Bunsen, ii. 273). 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 17 July she went in state to dissolve parliament in accordance with the law which required a general election to take place immediately on the demise of the crown. 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 garter. She read the speech 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.' A more disinterested visitor, the American orator, Charles Sumner, used very similar language : ' Her voice was sweet and finely modulated. ... I think I have never heard anything better read in my life than her speech.' On 19 July 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.
A few days before (13 July) the queen left the home of her girlhood at Kensington Removal to Buckingham Palace. for Buckingham the new official residence in London appointed for the sovereign. The building 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 preferred 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' declared it was the cheapest house ever built, having been built for one sovereign and furnished for another. But inconvenience with which William IV credited it 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, the extent of forty acres, was laid out as a pleasure-garden; a conservatory was con- verted into a chapel, and a ballroom was added as late as 1856. One of the first entertainments which were given at Buckingham Palace was a grand concert on 17 Aug. 1837, under the direction of Signor 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, Signor Lablache, and Signor Tamburini. The queen's first official appearance in public out of doors took place on 21 Aug., when she opened the new gate of Hyde Park on the Bayswater Road, and conferred on it the name of Victoria. On 22 Aug. she drove to Windsor to assume residence at the castle for the first time. On 28 Sept. she had her earliest experience of a military review, when the guards in Windsor garrison marched before her in the Home Park. After remaining at Windsor till 4 Oct. she made acquaintance with the third and last of the royal palaces then in existence, the pretentious Pavilion at Brighton, which George IV had erected in a foolish freak of fancy. Lord John Russell, the home secretary, together with his wife, stayed with her there. On 4 Nov. she returned to Buckingham Palace.
The queen took a girlish delight in the sense of proprietorship: she actively directed her domestic establishments, and the mode of life she adopted in Private life. her palaces was of her own devising. She exercised a constant and wide hospitality which had been long unknown in the royal circle. The entertainments were somewhat formal 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 extended 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 neighbouring country with a large cavalcade often numbering thirty persons. Later she romped with children, some of whom she usually contrived to include among her guests, or played at ball or battledore and shuttlecock with ladies of the court a practice 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 played whist. One of her innovations was the institution of a court band, which played music during and after dinner. When she was settled at Buckingham 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 plodded as queen being Coxe's 'Life of Sir Robert Walpole' (Lady Lyttleton), 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 respectively (Bunsen, i. 296). A little later she struggled with Hallam's 'Constitutional History' and St. Simon's ' Memoirs.'
Relatives from the continent of Europe were in the first days of her reign very frequent guests. 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 following. 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. But she was not at the Attitude to her kinsfolk. same time neglectful of her 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 sovereign. When Queen Adelaide removed from Windsor Castle ultimately to settle at Marlborough I her royal niece bade her take from the castle any furniture that her residence there had especially endeared 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 consideration. She corresponded with them, entertained them, visited them, read to them, sang to them ; and she bore with little murmuring her uncles' displays of ill-temper. 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 aueen to interfere with the due rendering of those acts of personal devotion to which the aged duchess had been accustomed. Even to the welfare of the FitzClarences—William IV's illegitimate children by Mrs. Jordan—she was not indifferent, and often exerted her influence in their interests. At the same time domestic sentiment was rarely suffered to affect court etiquette. At her own table she deemed it politic to give, for the first time, precedence 1o foreign ambassadors 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 royal dukes and duchesses, but ultimately made some exceptions.
Meanwhile the first general election of the new reign had taken place, and the The general election of 1837.battle of the rival parties mainly raged round the position and prospects of the queen. The tories, who were the attacking force, bitterly complained that Melbourne and the whigs in power identified her with themselves, and used her and her name as party weapons of offence. Lord John Russell, in a letter to Lord Mulgrave, lord-lieutenant of Ireland, had written of her sympathy with the whig policy in Ireland. Croker, a tory spokesman, in an article in the 'Quarterly Review' (July 1837), denounced the policy of surrounding her with female relatives of the whig leaders. Sir Robert Peel argued that the monarchy was endangered by the rigour with which she was ruled by Melbourne, the chief of one political party. Release of the sovereign 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.
(Annual Register, 1837, p. 239).
Whig wire-pullers, on the other hand, made the most of the recent conduct of the next heir to the throne, the new king of Hanover, the queen's uncle Ernest, who had signalised his accession by revoking constitutional government in his dominions. They spread a report that the new king of Hanover was plotting to dethrone his niece in order to destroy constitutional government in England as well as in Hanover, and a cartoon was issued entitled 'The Contrast,' which 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 satisfactory to either side. The tories gained on the balance thirty-seven seats, and thus reduced their opponents' majority; but in the new House of Commons the whigs still led by thirty-eight, and Melbourne and his colleagues retained office.
Before the new parliament opened, the queen made a formal progress through London At the Guildhall banquet, 9 Nov. 1837. going from Buckingham Palace to the Guildhall to dine in State 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. A medal was struck from a design by William Wyon, and the queen's arrival at Temple Bar was pictured in a bas-relief on the monument that now marks the site of the old gate.
On 20 Nov. the queen opened her first parliament, reading her own speech, as was her custom until her widowhood whenever she attended in person. The opening business of the session was a settlement of the The civil list. royal civil list. Financially the queen's position since her accession had been a source of anxiety. She inherited nothing, and the crown had lost the royal revenues of Hanover. She had complained to Melbourne of 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 main question for the government to consider was not merely the amount of the income necessary to maintain the throne in fitting dignity, but the proportion of that income which might be prudently 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 proceeding 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 government, which had been previously defrayed out of the king's civil list, should henceforth be discharged by 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 personal expenses; the sole external calls were 75,000l. for pensions and 10,000l. for the secret service fund. On these conditions King William was content to accept 460,(XXV. instead of 850,000l. which had been paid his predecessor, while an annuity of 50,000l. was bestowed on his queen consort . His net personal parliamentary income (excluding pensions and the secret service fund) was thus 375,000l., with some 25,000l from the duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall. Radical members of parliament now urged Melbourne to bring the whole of the crown lands under parliamentary control, to deprive the crown of the 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 purposes, 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 prerogative. In the result the precedent of William IVs case was followed, with certain modifications. The queen resigned all the hereditary revenues of the crown, but was left in possession of the revenues of the duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall, of which the latter was the lawful 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 27,500l. 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 60,000l. a year. (The duchy of Cornwall, which passed to the prince of Wales at his birth in 1841, ultimately produced more than 66,000l.) Parliament now granted her, apart from these hereditary revenues, an annuity of 385,000l., being 10,000l in excess of the net personal income granted by parliament to her predecessor. Of this sum 60,000l. was appropriated to her privy purse, 131,260l. to the salaries of the household, 172,500l. to the expenses of the household, 13,200l. to the royal bounty, while 8,040l. was unappropriated. The annual payment from the civil list of 75,000l. in pensions and of 10,000l. secret service money was cancelled, but permission was given the crown to create 'civil list' pensions to the amount of 1.200l. annually, a sum which the treasury undertook to defray independently of the royal income ; this arrangement ultimately meant the yearly expenditure of some 23,000l., but the pensions were only nominally associated with the sovereign's expenditure. Repairs to the sovereign's official residences and the maintenance of the royal yachts were also provided for by the treasury apart from the civil list revenues. Joseph Hume, on the third reading of the civil list bill, moved a reduction of 50,000l., which was rejected by 199 votes against 19. Benjamin Hawes vainly moved a reduction of 10,000l., which was supported by 41 members and opposed by 173. Lord Brougham severely criticised the settlement 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. Although numerous additional grants, approaching a total of 200,000l. a year, were afterwards allotted to the queen a 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 all her needs. At the same time as the civil list bill passed through parliament, the queen's mother, at the sovereign's instance, was granted an annuity of 30,000l. ; she formerly received 22,000l. a year, of which 10,000l. was appropriated to the care of her daughter while princess. On 23 Dec. 1837 the queen went to parliament to return thanks in person for what had been done. Christmas was spent at Buckingham Palace, and next day the court withdrew to Windsor.
The liberal allowance enabled the queen to fulfil at once her resolve to pay on her The queen pays her father's debts. father's debts. By the autumn pays her of next year she had transferred to the late Duke's creditors from her privy purse nearly 50,000l., and on 7 Oct. 1839 she received their formal thanks. Meanwhile the queen's sympathy with her ministers increased. Through 1838-9 she followed their parliamentary 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 position, but the crisis passed. 'The queen is as steady to us as ever,' wrote Palmerston on 14 April 1838, 'and was in the depth of despair when she thought we were iu 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' (Ashley, Life of Palmerston, i. 344). Under Melbourne's guidance, and in agreement with her own wish, she daily perused masses of despatches and correspondence with exemplary diligence.
Outside politics her chief interest lay in the preparations that were in progress for her coronation and for the festivities accompanying it. Three state balls one on 18 June, the day of Waterloo, a choice of date which offended the French 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 The coronation, 28 June 1838. place on 28 June 1838, eight days after the anniversary of her accession. The ministers resolved to endow it with exceptional splendour. For the expenses of William IV's coronation 50,000l. had been allowed. No less a sum than 200,000l. was voted by parliament for the expenses of Queen Victoria's coronation. Westminster Abbey was elaborately decorated in crimson 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 persons came to London to witness it, many bivouacking in the streets the night before. At 10 A.M. on the appointed day, in magnificent weather, the queen left Buckingham Palace in full panoply of state, passing up Constitution Hill, along Piccadilly, down St. James's Street, and across Trafalgar Square, which had just been laid out in Nelson's memory. The abbey was reached by way of Parliament Street at 11.30. Among foreign visitors, who went thither in advance of the queen, was Marshal Soult, the representative of France, whom the crowds received with hardly less enthusiasm than her majesty. The great company of her German relatives included her uncle the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and her half-brother and half-sister of Leiningen. When the queen entered the abbey, 'with eight ladies all in white, floating about her like a silvery cloud, she paused, as if for breath, and clasped her hands' (Stanley). 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 impressed every one, but there were some drawbacks. Harriet 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 in many parts of the long ritual, and from the insufficient training that had been accorded her. 'Pray tell me what I am to do, for they [i.e. the clergy] don't know,' she said at one solemn point to a lay official who stood near her. She complained that the orb which was unexpectedly 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 onto her fourth, she nearly cried out with the pain. For the first time at a coronation, the commons were allowed to acclaim her after the peers. The latter had enjoyed the privilege from time immemorial. The commons now cheered their sovereign nine times (Gent. Mag. 1838, ii. 198); but Dean Stanley, who, then a boy, sat in a gallery, thought all the responses and acclamations were feebly given. Towards the close of the ceremony a singular accident befell Lord Rolle, 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 sensation' (Geville, 2nd ser. i. 107). While the peers were doing homage, the lord- chamberlain and his officers flung medals, specially designed by Pistrucci, for the spectators to scramble for, and the confusion was not dignified. At length the ceremonial, which lasted more than five hours, ended, and at a quarter past four the queen returned to Buckingham Palace. She then wore her crown and all her apparel of state, but she 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 zeal to fulfil the esponsibilities of her station, she still had much of the child's 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 (Leslie). 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 concluded with a review by her of five thousand men in Hyde Park (9 July), when she again shared the popular applause with Marshal Soult. A month later (16 Aug.) she prorogued parliament in person, and, after listening to the usual harangue on the work of the session from the speaker of the House of Commons, read her speech with customary clearness.
A few months later the queen was to realise that her popularity was not invulnerable, 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. With both the crises through which the queen and her court passed in the first half of 1839, her youth and inexperience prevented her from dealing satisfactorily. In January 1839 Lady Flora The episode of Lady Flora Hastings. Hastings, daughter of the Marquis of Lady 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 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 afterwards signed a certificate denying all allegations against Lady Flora (17 Feb. 1839). The incident was soon noised abroad. The lady's family appealed directly to the queen to make fitting reparation. Lady Flora's brother, the Marquis of Hastings, obtained an interview with her. Lady Flora's mother wrote her passionate letters and begged for the dismissal of Sir James Clark. The queen made no reply. Melbourne stated that she had seized the earliest opportunity of personally acknowledging to Lady Flora the unhappy error, but that it was not intended to take any other step. Lady Hastings published her correspondence with the queen and Melbourne in the 'Morning Post,' and Clark circulated a defence of his own conduct A general feeling of disgust was roused, and the reputation of the court suffered, especially with the conservative section of the nobility to which the Hastings family belonged. The situation was rendered worse by the tragic ending of the episode. Lady Flora was suffering from a fatal internal disease the enlargement of the liver. On 4 July she was announced to be dying at Buckingham Palace. A royal banquet which was to take place that evening was countermanded (Malmesburt's Memoirs, p. 77). The lady died next day. The queen was gravely perturbed. Society was depressed and shocked. The blunder which the queen's advisers had committed was bad enough to warrant an unmistakable expression of her personal regret, and her innocent supineness, for which the blame was currently laid on the Baroness Lehzen, was a calamity.
The second court crisis of 1839 was due to a precisely opposite cause to the queen's Her first ministerial crisis, May 1839. peremptory exercise of her personal authority without consulting any one. During the session of 1839 the whig ministry finally lost its hold on the House of Commons. The recent emancipation of the slaves in Jamaica had led the planters into rebellion, and the government was driven to the disagreeable necessity of inviting parliament to suspend the constitution. The proposal was carried by a majority of only five (7 May). 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 tears. But she soon nerved herself fully to exert for the first time the sovereign's power of choosing 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 (8 May). 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. Accordingly she summoned Sir Robert Peel, the leader of the conservative opposition in the lower house. She feared his coldness and severity of manner, but her personal demeanour at their first interview was dignified, although very frank. She deprecated a dissolution of parliament at so early a date in the life of the existing parliament. Peel vaguely expressed sympathy with her view, but declined to pledge himself not to advise a dissolution. He, however, accepted without demur her commission to form the government, and, on leaving her, set about selecting members of the cabinet. There was already a strong feeling among the conservatives that the queen, who had hitherto shrunk from association with conservatives, was hedged in on all sides of her household by the female relatives of her whig ministers. Peel, in consultation with his friends, de- eided that the ladies holding the higher posts The queen and her ladies of the bedchamber. in the household must be displaced if conservative ministers the were to receive adequate support bedchamber. He had no intention of interfering with the subordinate offices, but deemed it essential to remove some at least of the ladies from such posts as those of mistress of the robes or of lady-in-waiting. Peel formed a high conception of his responsibility, and was willing to consult the queen's wishes in filling all appointments that might fall vacant. Unfortunately he did not define at the outset the precise posts or the number of them which were affected by his proposals. The subject was broached in a personal interview (9 May). The queen 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. She declined point blank to entertain any suggestion of change in the female constitution of her household. After Peel left her she wrote to Melbourne that they wanted to deprive 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 he was queen of England. Finally she requested her old minister to draft a reply of refusal to Peel's demands. Melbourne expressed no opinion, but did as he was asked. The queen's letter to Peel ran : Buckingham Palace, May 10, 1839.—The Queen, having considered 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 immense relief, which she made no endeavour to conceal at a state ball that took place the same evening. With every sign of satisfaction she 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 informed him of her intention. The old cabinet met on 11 May; some members argued for advising the queen to withdraw from the attitude that she had assumed. But 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 in that opinion, and the whigs returned to office. The episode formed the topic of animated debate in both houses of parliament. Peel defended his action, which Lord John Russell lamely endeavoured to prove to be without precedent. Melbourne thoroughly identified himself with the queen, and was severely handled from different points of view by both the Duke of Wellington and Lord Brougham. In point of fact Peel's conduct was amply warranted, and subsequently Melbourne, Lord John Russell, and the queen herself Admission of her error. 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.'
The momentary effect of the queen's act was to extend by more than two years the duration of Melbourne's ministry, and to embitter the personal hostility of the tories towards her. James Bradshaw, the tory M.P. for Canterbury, made in July so violent an attack upon her at a conservative meeting that the whig M.P. for Cockermouth, Edward Horsman, challenged him to a duel, which was duly fought. But the permanent outcome of the crisis was to the good. The queen never repeated her obduracy, and although she often asserted her authority and betrayed her personal predilection when a new ministry was in course of creation, the nineteen changes of government that followed during her reign were effected with comparatively 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 robes alone to bear a political complexion, and for its holder to retire from office with the party to which she owed her appointment. Increase of years and the good counsel of a wise husband were to teach the queen to exercise with greater tact that habit of command which was natural to her, and to bring under firmer control the impatience and quickness of her temper. Absorption in the sovereign's work, the elation of spirit which accompanied the Unreadiness to marry. major part of her new experiences, the change from dependence to independence in her private affairs, put marriage out of her mind during the first two years of her reign. But King Leopold had no intention of quietly allowing his choice of her cousin Albert for her husband to be thwarted. Early in 1838 he reminded her of the suggestion. She replied that she and the prince, who was of her own age, were too young to think of marriage yet, and she claimed permission to defer a decision till the end of three years. King Leopold summoned Prince Albert to Brussels in March and explained the situation. 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 ayoungerson of a poor and undistinguished German duke. But btockmar was as zealous in Albert's cause as his uncle Leopold. He had left the queen's side at the end of 1838 for the first time since her accession, and accompanied Prince Albert on a tour in Italy with a view to keeping him faithful to the plan 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 of the innocent conspiracy were freely entertained. Such members of the large Coburg family as visited the queen at this period were too 'deutsch' in manner to recommend themselves to her English attendants (Lady Lyttleton). 'After being used to agreeable and well-informed Englishmen, 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 as those of suitable candidates for her hand (cf. Stafford House Letters, p. 223). Another first cousin, Prince George of Cambridge (now Duke of Cambridge), was often in her society. The Due de Nemours (brother of the queen of the Belgians and son of Louis Philippe) and a prince of the Prussian reigning family 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 Russia (afterwards Tsar Alexander II) and Prince William Henry, younger son of King William II of the Netherlands ; and both the young men were reported to aspire to her hand.
The social and political embarrassments of the first half of 1839 gave the queen a sense of isolation, which rendered the prospect of marriage more congenial to her Engagement to Prince Albert 15 Oct. 1839. 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 entrance to her palaces. King Leopold, who was her guest at Windsor in September 1839, was not slow to use the opportunity. He arranged that Prince Albert and his elder brother Ernest should stay at the English court next month. Nothing was said to the queen of the objects of the mission. On 10 Oct. the young men arrived at Windsor, bearing a letter from King Leopold commending them to her notice. Many guests were there, besides Lord Melbourne. For four days the princes joined the queen and her crowded retinue in the ordinary routine of afternoon rides, evening banquets, and dances, but during the entertainments she contrived to have much talk with Albert, and suddenly a genuine and overpowering affection between them declared itself. On 15 Oct. she summoned the prince to her room, and, taking full advantage of her royal station, 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 (Peel Papers, ii. 414). Melbourne, who took the wise view that in the choice of a husband it was best for the queen to please herself, thought Prince Albert too young and untrained for the position, but hoped for the best and was warm in his congratulations.
The queen sent the information at once to King Leopold, but the public announcement was delayed for more than a month. During that period the queen and her affianced lover were rarely separated either in public or private. The prince was conspicuously at her side at a review of the rifle brigade which she held in the Home Park on 1 Nov. On the 14th the visit of Albert and his brother came to an end. Next day the queen wrote with delightful naivete to all members of the royal family announcing her engagement. Sir Robert Peel saw the communication she sent to Queen Adelaide, and, although he regarded the match with little enthusiasm, said she was 'as full of love as Juliet' (Croker Papers). On 20 Nov. she left Windsor for Buckingham Palace, where on 23 Nov. she made the official declaration, which Melbourne had drawn up, to an ex- traordinary 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, and accepted the congratulations of her councillors with composure.
The news was received by the public with mixed feeling. Daniel O'Connell, when he Reception of the news. spoke of it at a meeting at Bandon, gave vent to ludicrous hyperboles of joy. But there were ominous murmurs amid the popular applause. Little was definitely known of the prince, excepting that he was German and very young. The tories took for granted that he was of 'liberal' opinions an assumption which did not please them and while some agreed that he owed his good fortune to his distaste for affairs of state and his fondness for empty amusement, others credited him with perilously stirring ambitions (Peel Papers, ii. 408-9). Although it was notorious that the Saxe-Coburg house was staunchly Lutheran, two of its members, King Leopold and Prince Ferdinand, had lately married catholics, and a foolish rumour circulated that Albert was a papist. At foreign courts, and even in his own domestic circle, it was felt that the prize the prince had won was above his station. The queen, who saw the situation only through the haze of true womanly affection, deplored the sacrifice of family and country which she regarded the prince as making for her sake. She pressed her ministers to secure for him wellnigh every honour that she enjoyed, in order to compensate him for his expatriation. Like Queen Mary, she entreated that her husband should be created a king consort. The ministers pointed out that Prince Albert's rank, as well as his household and emoluments, must correspond with those accorded the last prince consort. Prince George of Denmark, and she was galled by the comparison of her lover with ' the stupid and insignificant husband of Queen Anne,' as she called him. The final decision rested with parliament, and Melbourne made no effort to force its hand. The session opened on 16 Jan. 1840, and the queen, in the speech which she read from the throne, spoke of her approaching marriage. Melbourne found himself in a critical situation. While the queen demanded a far higher status for her future husband than precedent warranted, a majority in both houses of parliament showed signs of a resolve to grant far less. Stockmar, who had resumed residence with the queen in order to watch the position of affairs and give her private advice, wisely recommended a consultation between whigs and tories so as to avoid public disputes, but he gained no hearing. The ministers proposed to grant Prince Albert an annuity of 50,000l., the sum granted to the queen consorts of George II, George III, and William IV. Joseph Hume moved an amendment to reduce the sum to 21,0001. on his favourite ground of economy. This was negatived by 305 to 38 ; but Colonel Sibthorp, a tory of a very pronounced kind, who echoed the general sentiment of dissatisfaction, moved another amendment to reduce the sum to 30,000/. He received exceptionally powerful support. Sir Robert Peel spoke in his Attacks on prince by parliament. favour. Sir James Graham denied prince by that the parallel with the position of the queen consorts could be sustained ; the independent 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 by the large majority of 104, the votes being 262 to 158. Sir Robert 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.' Lord John Russell insisted that the vote was an insult to the sovereign. Colonel Sibthorp further proposed in committee that, should the prince survive the queen, he 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 agreed that it implied a want of confidence in the prince, and it was rejected. But the whole proceedings deeply incensed the queen, and King Leopold wrote that the action of the commons was intolerable.
The House of Lords was in no more amiable mood. The Duke of Wellington 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—a point on which Stockmar had already given the ministers satisfactory assurances in private. When, on 27 Jan., the bill for the naturalisation of the prince was introduced into the upper chamber, it contained a clause giving him precedence next after the queen. The royal dukes of Sussex and Cambridge had agreed to accept a position below the queen's husband; but the king of Hanover, who was still Duke of Cumberland, bluntly declined to give way to any 'paper royal highness;' and 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 was willing to modify the clause so as to give the heir-apparent, when he should arrive, precedence of his father. The concession was deemed inadequate, and the clause was withdrawn. Thereupon the naturalisation bill passed without further opposition. Subsequently Greville, the clerk of the council, issued a paper proving that the queen could grant her husband by royal warrant what precedence she chose without any appeal to parliament, and she acted accordingly, giving him the next place to her. But, to the queen's chagrin, foreign courts declined to recognise in him any rank above that of his hereditary honours. Another difficulty arose with regard to the choice of his personal attendants. It was deemed inadvisable to allow him to appoint a private secretary for himself. A German was not reckoned fit for the post. Melbourne nominated his own private secretary, George Anson.
Meanwhile the marriage was fixed for 10 Feb. Before the parliamentary wrangle Marriage, 10 February 1840. ended, Lord Torrington and Colonel Grey had been sent to Coburg to invest the prince with the insignia of the Garter, and to conduct him to England. On 28 Jan. the prince with his father and brother left Coburg. At Brussels he met his uncle Leopold. On 7 Feb. he was at Dover. Next day he was received with much enthusiasm in London, and on reaching Buckingham Palace the oaths of naturalisation were administered to him by the lord chancellor. On the 10th the wedding took place in the chapel of St. James's Palace, and after an elaborate breakfast at Buckingham Palace the bride and bridegroom drove to Windsor amid vociferous acclamations. Two days later they were visited by the Duchess of Kent, the Duke of Coburg, and others, and on 14 Feb. returned to London. On 19 Feb. the queen held a levee, and the prince stood at her left hand.
With her marriage a new era in the queen's life and reign began. From a personal point of view the union Prince Albert's character and influence on the queen. realised the highest ideal of which matrimony is capable. The queen's love for her husband 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 he was worthy of his position. He was admirably educated ; his interests were wide ; he was devoted to art, science, and literature; his life was scrupulously well ordered; he was sagacious, philanthropic, conscientious, and unselfish. His example and influence gave new weight and stability to the queen's character and temperament, and her knowledge and experience grew. But outside the domestic circle the prince was not liked. He was cold and distant in manner, and his bearing, both mental and physical, was held to be characteristically German. It 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 ; he abhorred late hours, and did not conceal his disdain for many of the recreations in which the English leisured classes indulged. His public position was at the same time ill-defined. There was a jealous fear that his private influence with the queen and his foreign prejudices might affect her public action. Resentment at any possible interference by him in affairs of state quickly spread abroad. Although Melbourne gave the queen permission to show him official papers, he was during the first two years of his settlement in England excluded from her interviews with ministers. He 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.
It was never with the queen's concurrence that he filled a rank in her household subordinate to herself. On 28 Dec. 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.' As his abilities came to be recognised by ministers, they gradually yielded to her persuasion to take him fully into their counsels. He was allowed to act as her private secretary. The cares of maternity were soon to distract her on occasion from 'the details of public duty, and her dependence on her husband in all relations naturally increased. 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. 'Lord Melbourne was very useful to me,' she said many years afterwards '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,' (Prothero, Life of Dean Stanley, ii. 127).
As soon as the prince finally settled down to his new life he regarded it as his duty (as The prince's public position. he wrote in 1850 to the Duke of public Wellington) to 'fill up every gap which, as a woman, she 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 questions or duties brought before her, sometimes international, 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 statement truthfully represented the prince's functions and occupation during his career as Queen Victoria's consort. But a large section of the public never willingly acquiesced in his exercise of so much activity and authority. 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 had as good a right as the queen to be regarded as the ruler of the British realm.
On the queen's marriage the Duchess of Kent at once removed from the royal palace, Changes in the palace. and the Baroness Lehzen soon afterwards retired 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 influence. 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 2,000l. 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 England in October 1842 for her native country of Hanover, finally settling with a sister at Bückeburg (cf. Bloomfield, Reminiscences, i. 215). 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 considerate request ; the correspondence was maintained until the baroness's death in 1870. Stockmar alone of the queen's early confidential attendants retained his position after her marriage ; until 1857 he spent the autumn, winter, and spring of each year with the queen and Prince Albert, and occupied rooms in their palaces. On every domestic or public ques- tion that arose both the queen and prince looked to him for private guidance.
Amid the festivities which celebrated the early days of married life general alarm was First attempt on the queen's life, 10 June 1840. caused by an attack on the queen's life. The outrage had no political the queen's significance, and served to increase her popularity. On 10 June a brainless potboy, Edward Oxford, fired two shots at her from a pistol 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 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 parliament. On 12 June 1840—two days after the incident 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 Signors Rubini and Lablache, and in three choruses. A week or two later a magnificent reception was accorded her at Ascot. Next month the approaching birth of an heir to the throne was announced, and, in accordance with the queen's wish, a bill was passed constituting Prince Albert regent in case of her death, provided that he did not remarry a catholic and that he resided in the country. Prince Albert, by the advice of Stockmar, and with the full concurrence of Melbourne, had already given proofs of an anxiety to relieve the strained relations between the court and the tories. Their leaders had been entertained by the queen, and she had shown them marked civility. With the Duke of Wellington every eflbrt was made to maintain cordial relations, and he reciprocated the advances with alacrity. The Duke of Sussex, whose critical attitude to the queen still caused her discomfort, was partially conciliated by the bestowal of the title of Duchess of Inverness on his morganatic wife, and in April, when the queen and Prince Albert attended a great ball at Lansdowne House, she permitted the new duchess to sup at the royal table. The pacific atmosphere which was thus engendered had the agreeable effect of stifling opposition to the nomination of Prince Albert to the regency. In the House of Lords the Duke of Sussex alone resisted it on the ground that the rights of 'the family' were ignored. On 11 Aug., when the queen prorogued parliament in person, the prince sat in an arm-chair next the throne, and, although objection was feared, none was raised. His predominance was treated as inevitable. On 28 Aug. he received the freedom of the city. On 11 Sept. he was admitted to the privy council. On 5 Feb. 1841 the queen ordered his name to be inserted in the liturgy.
Meanwhile, on 21 Nov., the queen's first child, a daughter, was born at Buckingham Birth of princess royal. Palace. Her recovery from the princess confinement was rapid, and she removed to Windsor for the Christmas holidays. On 10 Feb., the anniversary of her marriage, the child, the princess royal of England, was baptised at Buckingham Palace in the names of Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa. The sponsors were the prince's father, the queen's mother, and her uncle Leopold, besides the Dowager Queen Adelaide, the Duchess of Gloucester, and the Duke of Sussex. The Duke of Saxe-Coburg 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 in regard to Wellington on account of his open objections 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 of domestic life. The queen was to suffer, for the first of many times, that conflict of feeling between her private obligations to her foreign kindred and her public obligations to her country, which, despite an instinctive repugnance to unworthy concessions in the sphere of foreign diplomacy, was liable to involve her in difficulties with her advisers. Under Prince Albert's guidance and in accordance with her own predisposition, the queen regarded foreign affairs as peculiarly within the sovereign's province, and the prince, who with Melbourne's assent now enjoyed access to foreign despatches, claimed in behalf of the queen the full right to a voice in consultation before any action was taken by the government abroad. Palmerston, the masterful Palmerston and the throne. minister of foreign affairs, and the was reluctant to recognise the existence outside parliament of any check on his independence. This attitude at once caused vexation in the royal circle, and after prolonged heartburnings ultimately led to an open rupture. The immediate cause of divergence between the queen and her foreign minister was due to affairs in the east of Europe, which threatened a breach in the friendly relations of France and England. Egypt under her viceroy, Mehemet 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, Political crisis with France. with whose sovereign, Louis Philippe, they had, through repeated intermarriages, close domestic relations ; and the added likelihood that the dominions of her uncle and political ally, King Leopold, 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 resolute intervention on her part. In opposition to Lord John Russell's views, Palmerston, minister of foreign affairs, decided that the best way of dissipating all risk of French predominance m Egypt was to crush Mehemet Ali at once by force of English arms. The queen entreated Melbourne to reconcile his divided colleagues, to use his influence against Palmerston, and to seek a pacific settlement with France. But Palmerston stood firm. By his orders the British fleet forced Mehemet Ali to return to his allegiance to the sultan (November 1840). The minister victory was more complete than he anticipated. Louis Philippe, to the general surprise, proved too pusillanimous to lake the offensive in behalf of his friend in Egypt,and he finally joined the concert of the powers, who in July 1841 pledged themselves by treaty to maintain Turkey and Egypt in statu quo. The incident evoked in the French king, in his ministers, and in King Leopold a feeling of bitterness against Palmerston which found a ready echo in the minds of Queen Victoria and the prince.
Before this foreign crisis terminated, the retirement of Melbourne's ministry, which the queen had long dreaded, took place. The prospect of parting with Melbourne, her tried councillor, caused her pain. But, in anticipation of the 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 reconstruction of her household as Defeat of Melbourne. might be needful. The blow fell in May. The whig ministers introduced a budget which tended towards free trade, and on their proposal to reduce the duty on sugar they were defeated by a majority of 36. Sir Robert Peel thereupon carried a vote of confidence against them by one vote. Moved by the queen's feelings, Melbourne, instead of resigning, appealed to the country. Parliament was dissolved on 29 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 conferred on the prince an honorary degree. The queen was disturbed by the hisses which were levelled at the whig ministers who were present, but she was not the less willing on that account to give further proof of her attachment to them, and she seized the opportunity to pay a series of visits among the whig nobility. After spending a day or two with the Duke of Devonshire at Chatsworth, the royal party next month were entertained 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 known sympathy with them and of her alleged antipathy to their opponents. But, to the queen's dismay, a large tory majority was returned.
The new parliament assembled on 19 Aug. 1841. For the first time in her reign the queen was absent 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, Second general election. but on 28 Aug. a vote of general 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 helped to dissipate by an assurance of the high opinion he had formed of her husband. In conformity with his advice she at once summoned Sir Robert Peel, and although she spoke freely to him Acceptance of Peel's ministry. of her grief in separating from her late ministers, she quickly recovered her composure and discussed the business in hand with a correctness of manner which aroused in Peel enthusiastic admiration. He promised to consult her comfort in all household appointments. The Duchess of Buccleuch replaced the Duchess of Sutherland as mistress of the robes, and the Duchess of Bedford and Lady Normanby voluntarily made way for other ladies-in-waiting. By September the new government was fully constituted, and the queen had the tact to treat her new ministers with much amiability. Peel adapted himself to the situation with complete success. He and the queen were soon the best of friends. Accepting Melbourne's hint, he fully yet briefly explained to her every detail of affairs. He strictly obeyed her request 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 accustomed herself without delay to seek political guidance exclusively from Peel.
The queen's absence at the prorogation of parliament on 7 Oct., after a short autumn Birth of prince of Wales. session, was due to personal affairs and to no want of confidence in her new advisers. On 9 Nov. 1841 her second child, a son and heir, 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' (Sir James Graham, ap. Croker Papers, ii. 408). Sir Robert 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 festivities were kept with great brilliance at Windsor, and on 10 Jan. the christening took place in St. George's Chapel with exceptional pomp. Vague political reasons induced the government to invite Frederick William, king of Prussia, to be the chief sponsor ; the others were the Duke of Cambridge, Princess Sophia, and three members of the Saxe-Coburg family. To the king of Prussia, who stayed with her from 22 Jan. to 4 Feb., the queen paid every honour (Bunsen, ii. 7). Subsequently he took advantage of the good personal relations he had formed with the queen to correspond with her confidentially on political affairs. Adverse criticism was excited by the bestowal on the prince of Wales of the title of Duke of Saxony, and by the quartering of the 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. On 3 Feb. 1842, when the queen opened parliament and the king of Prussia accompanied her, there was no great display of popular loyalty (Fanny Kemble's Records, ii. 181), but she impressed her auditors 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.' When a week later she went with her young family to stay a month at the Pavilion at Brighton, her presence excited more public demonstration of goodwill than was convenient (Lady Bloomfield's Reminiscences), and the queen and Prince Albert, conceiving a dislike for the place, soon sought a more sequestered seaside retreat.
The season of 1842 combined agreeable with distasteful incidents. The first of a brilliant series of fancy dress balls took place to the queen's great contentment at Buckingham Palace on 12 May ; the prince appeared as Edward III and the queen as Queen Philippa. Some feeling was shown in France at what was foolishly viewed as the celebration of ancient victories won by the English over French arms. The entertainment was charitably designed to give work to the Spitalfields Aveavers, 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.
In June the queen had her first experience of railway travelling, an event of no little The queen travels by rail. interest to herself and of no little travels by encouragement to the pioneers of a mechanical invention which was to revolutionise the social economy of the country. She went by rail from Windsor to Paddington. Court etiquette required that the master of the horse and the coachmen under his control should actively direct the queen's travels by land, and it was difficult to adapt the old forms to the new conditions of locomotion. The queen, who thoroughly enjoyed the experiment, thenceforth utilised to the fullest extent the growing railway systems of the kingdom.
Unhappily two further senseless attempts on her life, which took place at the same Second and third attempts on her life. time, marred her sense of security, and rendered new preventive legislation essential. In her attitude to the first attempt the queen and Prince Albert showed a courage which bordered on imprudence. On Sunday, 29 May, 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. The bold device succeeded. 'She would much rather,' she said, 'run the immediate risk at any time than have the presentiment of danger constantly hovering over her.' The man, whose name was found to be John Francis, fired at her, happily without result, and, being captured, was condemned to death, a sentence which was commuted to transportation for life. On the evening following the outrage the queen visited the operate hear the ' Prophete,' and was cheered rapturously. But the danger was not past. On 3 July, when the queen 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. Such contemptible outrages could, according to the existing law, be treated solely as acts of high treason. Now Peel hastily passed through parliament a 'bill for providing for the further protection and security of her majesty's person,' the terms of which made the offence to attempt to hurt the queen a misdemeanour punishable by either transportation for seven years or imprisonment for three with personal chastisement.
In the autumn Peel organised for the queen a holiday in Scotland. Chartist riots First visit to Scotland. were distracting the country, but Peel and Sir James Graham, the home secretary, believed that the expedition might be safely and wisely made. It was the first visit that the queen paid to North Britain, and it inspired her with a lifelong regard for it and its inhabitants. The first portion of the journey, from Windsor to Paddington, was again made by rail. At Woolwich the royal party embarked on the Royal George yacht on 29 Aug., and on 1 Sept. they arrived at Granton pier. There Sir Robert Peel, at the queen's request, met them. Passing through Edinburgh they stayed with the Duke of Buccleuch at Dalkeith, where on 5 Sept. the queen held a drawing-room and received addresses. Next day they 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 on the 15th. Not only was the queen enchanted with the scenery through which she passed, but the historic associations, especially those connected with Mary Stuart and her son, 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' (Leaves from the Queen's Journal, 1877, pp. 1-28). 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 her Scottish subjects had 'evinced in every quarter and by all ranks' (Greville, Memoirs). On 17 Sept. she was again at Windsor. In November the Duke of Wellington placed Walmer Castle at her disposal, and she and her family were there from 10 Nov. to 3 Dec.
With Peel the queen's relations steadily improved. On 6 April 1842 Peel described The queen and Peel. his own position thus : 'My relations with her majesty are most satisfactory. 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 relation of a constitutional sovereign to her advisers' (Peel Papers, ii. 544). In January 1843 the queen was deeply concerned at the assassination of Peel's secretary, Edward Drummond, in mistake for himself, and she shrewdly denounced in private the verdict of insanity which the jury brought in against the assassin at his trial (Martin, i. 27 ; Peel Papers, ii. 553).
Among Peel's colleagues, Lord Aberdeen, minister of foreign affairs, came after Peel himself into closest personal relations with the queen and the prince, and with him she found herself in hardly less complete accord. The queen and Aberdeen. At the same time she never concealed 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 prudently accepted the reservation, but Lord Aberdeen's general policy developed no principle from which the queen or the prince dissented, and the harmony of their relations was undisturbed (Walpole, Life of Lord John Russell, ii. 54).
Peel greatly strengthened his position by a full acknowledgment of Prince Albert s position. lie permitted the prince to attend the audiences of ministers with the queen. He nominated him president of a royal com- mission to promote the fine arts of the United Prince Albert's growing influence. Kingdom in connection with the Albert's rebuilding of the houses of parliament, and he encouraged the prince to reform the confused administration of the royal palaces. The prince's authority consequently increased. From 1843 onwards 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 husband's judgment with her own. 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 power which was ill received.
Domestic incidents occupied much of the queen's attention, and compelled the occasional Domestic incidents, 1843. delegation of some of her incidents. duties. The death of the Duke of Sussex on 21 April 1843 preceded by four days the birth of a third child, the Princess Alice. In order to conciliate her unfriendly uncle, the king of Hanover, the queen asked him to be a sponsor, together with the queen's half-sister, Countess Feodore, Prince Albert's brother, and Princess Sophia. With characteristic awkwardness the king of Hanover arrived too late for the christening (5 June). A large family gathering followed in July,when the queen's first cousin Augusta, Ider daughter of the Duke of Cambridge, married at Buckingham Palace (28 July) Friedrich, hereditary grand duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. In August two of Louis Philippe's sons, the Prince de Joinville and the Due d'Aumale, were the queen's guests. A month later, after proroguing parliament in person (24 Aug.), 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 Queen's visit to Louis Philippe. visit to the king of the French, with whose family her own was by marriage so closely connected. This was an event of much historic interest. 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 sovereign 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 dominions, and the old procedure of nominating a regent or lords-justices in his absence was now first dropped. Although the expedition was the outcome of domestic sentiment rather than of political design, Peel and Aberdeen encouraged it in the belief that the maintenance of good personal relations between the English sovereign and her continental colleagues was a guarantee of peace and goodwill among the nations a view which Lord Brougham also held trongly. Louis Philippe and his queen were staying at the Chateau d'Eu, a private domain near Treport. The queen, accom- panied by Lord Aberdeen, arrived there on 2 Sept. in her new yacht Victoria and Albert, which had been launched on 25 April, and of which Lord Adolphus FitzClarence, a natural son of William IV, had been ap- pointed captain. Her host met the queen in his barge off the coast, and a magnificent reception was accorded her. The happy domestic life of the French royal family strongly impressed her. 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 champêtres and a military review. Lord Aberdeen and M. Guizot, Louis Philippe's minister, discussed political questions with the utmost cordiality, and although their conversations led later to misunderstanding, everything passed off at the moment most agreeably. The visit lasted five days, from 2 to 7 Sept., and the queen's spirit fell when it was over. On leaving Treport the queen spent another iour 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 The queen in Belgium. 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.' Charlotte Bronte, who was in Brussels, saw her 'laughing and talking very gaily' when driving through the Rue Royale, and noticed how plainly and unpretentiously she was dressed (Gaskell, Life of Charlotte Bronte, 1900, p. 270). Her vivacity brought unwonted sunshine to King Leopold's habitually sombre court. She reached Woolwich, on her return from Antwerp, on 21 Sept.
The concluding months of the year (1843) were agreeably spent in visits at home. In October she went by road to pay a first visit to Cambridge. She stayed, according to At Cambridge. prescriptive right, at the lodge of Trinity College, where she held a levee. Prince Albert received a doctor's degree, and the undergraduates offered her a thoroughly enthusiastic reception. Next month she gave public proof of her regard for Peel by visiting him At Drayton Manor. at Drayton Manor (28 Nov. to 1 Dec.) Thence she passed to Chatsworth, where, to her gratification, Melbourne and the Duke of Wellington were fellow-guests. The presence of Lord and Lady Palmerston was less congenial. At a great ball one evening her partners included Lord Morpeth and Lord Leveson (better known later as Earl Granville), who was afterwards to be one of her most trusted ministers. Another night there were a vast series of illuminations in the grounds, of whicli all traces were cleared away before the morning by two hundred men, working under the direction of the duke's gardener, (Sir) Joseph Paxton. The royal progress was continued to Belvoir Castle, the home of the Duke of Rutland, where she again met Peel and Wellington, and it was not till 7 Dec. that she returned to Windsor.
On 29 Jan. 1844 Prince Albert's father died, and in the spring he paid a visit to his native land (28 March-11 April). It was the first time the queen had been separated from her husband, and in his absence the king and queen of the Belgians came over to console her. On 1 June two other continental sovereigns arrived in the country to pay her their respects, the king of Visit of Tsar Nicholas I, 1844. Saxony and the Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. To the tsar, who came uninvited at very short notice, it was needful to pay elaborate attentions. His father had been the queen's godfather, and political interests made the strengthening of the personal tie desirable. He 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 appearance and manner, the tsar treated his hostess with a courtesy which seemed to her pathetic, and, although preoccupied by public affairs, civilly ignored all likelihood of a divergence of political interests between England and his own country.
At the time domestic politics were agitating the queen. The spread of disaffection in Ireland during the repeal agitation distressed her, and her name was made more Political affairs. prominent in the controversy than was prudent. The Irish lord chancellor, Sir Edward Sugden, publicly asserted that the queen was personally determined to prevent repeal (May 1843). The repeal leader O'Connell, a warm admirer of the queen, promptly denied the statement. Peel mildly reprimanded Sugden, but truth forced him to admit that the queen 'would do all in her power to maintain the union as the bond of connection between the two countries' (Peel Papers, iii. 52). The obstructive policy of the opposition in parliament at the same time caused her concern. She wrote to Peel on 15 Aug. of 'her indignation at the very unjustifiable 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 indecent conduct,' and that Sir Robert Peel would 'make no kind of concession to these gentlemen which could encourage them to go on in the same way' (ib. iii. 568). Worse followed in the month of the tsar's visit. On 14 June the government were defeated on a proposal to reduce the sugar duties. To the queen's consternation, Peel expressed an intention of resigning at once. Happily, four days later a vote of confidence was carried and the crisis passed. The queen wrote at once to express her relief (18 June). 'Last night,' she said, 'every one thought that the government would be beat, and therefore the surprise was the more unexpected and gratifying' (ib. iii. 153). Foreign affairs, too, despite the hospitalities of the English court to royal visitors, were threatening. The jealousy between the English and French peoples might be restrained, but could not be stifled, by the friendliness subsisting between the courts, and in the autumn of 1843 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 with France, which the queen and her government at one time feared must end in war.
Amid these excitements a second son, Prince Alfred, was born to the queen at Birth of Prince Alfred. Windsor on 6 Aug., and at the end of the month she entertained another royal personage from Germany, the prince of Prussia, brother of the king, and eventually first emperor of Germany. There sprang up between her and her new guest a warm friendship which lasted for more than forty years. A peaceful autumn holiday was again spent in Scotland, whither they proceeded by sea from Woolwich to Dundee. Thence they drove to Blair Athol to visit Lord and Lady Glenlyon, afterwards Duke and Duchess of Athol. Prince Albert engaged in deerstalking, and the queen did much sketching. They thoroughly enjoyed 'the life of quiet and liberty,' and with regret disembarked at Woolwich on 3 Oct. to face anew official anxieties (Journal, pp. 29–42).
Five days later Louis Philippe returned the queen's visit, and thus for the first time Louis Philippe's visit. a French monarch voluntarily landed on English shores. The Tahiti quarrel had been composed, and the interchange of hospitable amenities was unclouded. On 9 Oct. the king was invested with the order of the Garter. On the 14th the visit ended, and the queen and Prince Albert accompanied their visitor to Portsmouth, though the stormy weather ultimately compelled him to proceed to Dover to take the short sea trip to Calais. Another elaborate ceremony at home attested the queen's popularity, which she liked to trace to public sympathy with her happy domestic life. She went in state to the city, 28 Oct., to open the new Royal Exchange. An elaborate coloured panoramic plate of the procession which was published at the time is now rare. Of her reception Peel wrote to Sir Henry Hardinge (6 Nov. 1844): 'As usual she had a fine day, and uninterrupted success. 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 discordant sound' (Peel Papers, iii. 264). On 12 Nov. the radical town of Northampton gave her a hardly less enthusiastic greeting when she passed through it on her way to visit the Marquis of Exeter at Burghley House. Other noble hosts of the period included the Duke of Buckingham at Stowe (14–16 Jan. 1845), and the Duke of Wellington at Strathfieldsaye (20–22 Jan.)
When the queen read her speech at the opening of parliament, 4 Feb. 1845, she referred with great satisfaction to the visits of the Tsar Nicholas and the king of the French, and Peel took an early opportunity of pointing out that the munificent receptions accorded those sovereigns and other royal visitors were paid for by the queen out of her personal income without incurring any debt. The session was largely occupied with the affairs of Ireland and the proposal of the government to endow the catholic priests' training college at Maynooth. The queen encouraged Peel to press on with the measure, which she regarded as a tolerant concession to the dominant religion in Ireland. But it roused much protestant bigotry, which excited the queen's disdain. On 15 April 1845 she wrote to Peel: 'It is not honourable to protestantism to see the bad and violent and bigoted passions displayed at this moment.'
Another bal costumé at Buckingham Palace on 6 June, when the period chosen for illustration was the reign of George II, was the chief court entertainment of the year; and in the same month (21 June) there was a review of the fleet, which was assembled at Spithead in greater strength than was known before. Next month the queen received the king of the Netherlands at Osborne.
Again in the autumn the queen left England for a month's foreign travel, and Lord Queen's first visit to Germany. Aberdeen again bore the royal party company. The chief object of the journey was to visit Coburg and the scenes of Prince Albert's youth, but a subsidiary object was to pay on their outward road a return visit to the king of Prussia. Landing at Antwerp (6 Aug.), they were met at Malines by the king and queen of the Belgians, and at Aix-la-Chapelle by the king of Prussia; thence they journeyed through Cologne to the king of Prussia's palace at Brühl. They visited Bonn to attend the unveiling of the statue of Beethoven, and a great Beethoven festival concert, while at a concert at Brühl, which Meyerbeer conducted, the artists included Jenny Lind, Liszt, and Vieuxtemps. The regal entertainment was continued at the king s castle of Stolzenfels, near Coblenz on the Rhine, which they left on 16 Aug. The visit was not wholly without painful incident. The question of the prince's rank amid the great company causes the queen annoyance. Archduke Frederick of Austria, who was also a guest, claimed and, to the queen's chagrin, was awarded precedence of the prince. The refusal of court officials to give her husband at Stolzenfels in 1845 the place of honour next herself led her to refuse for many years offers of hospitality from the Prussian court.
On 19 Aug. the queen finally reached the palace of Rosenau, Prince Albert's birthplace, and thence they passed through Coburg, finally making their way to Gotha. There the queen was gratified by a visit from her old governess Lehzen, and many pleasant excursions were made in the Thuringian forest. On 3 Sept. they left for Frankfort, stopping a night at Weimar on the way. They reached Antwerp on the 6th, but on their way to Osborne they paid a flying visit to Tréport. 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. Next day (9 Sept.) they settled once again at Osborne. Writing thence (14 Sept. 1845) to her aunt, the Duchess of Gloucester, she said: 'I am enchanted with Germany, and in 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 constant and lasting satisfaction to me. To her uncle Leopold she wrote to the same effect.
Before the close of 1845 the queen was involved in the always dreaded anxiety of The queen and the corn laws. 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 were pledged to oppose. His colleagues were startled by his change of view, many threatened resistance, but all except Lord Stanley ultimately agreed to stand by him. The rank and file of the party showed fewer signs of complacence. The queen was gravely disturbed, but straightway threw the whole weight of her influence into the prime ministers scale. On 28 Nov. 1845, after expressing her sorrow at the differences of opinion in the cabinet, she wrote without hesitation: '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 Robert's own opinion, the queen very much hopes that none of his colleagues will prevent him from doing what it is right to do' (Peel Papers, iii. 237-8).
But Peel, although greatly heartened by the queen's support, deemed it just both to his supporters and to his opponents to let the opposite party, which had lately advocated the reform, carry it out. On 5 Dec. 1845 he resigned. The queen was as loth to part with him as she had formerly been to part with Melbourne, but prepared herself to exercise, according to her wont, all the influence that was possible to her 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 11th. 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 to her and her foreign kinsmen's distrust of Palmerston as foreign minister. No whig ministry could exclude him, but she promptly requested Lord John to give him the colonial office - Lord John demurred, and asked for time before proceeding further. In the extremity of her fear she begged Lord Aberdeen to support her objections to Palmerston; but since it was notorious in political circles that Palmerston would accept no post but that of foreign secretary, Aberdeen could give her little comfort. He merely advised her to impress Palmerston with her desire of peace with France, and to bid him consult her regularly on matters of foreign policy. On 13 Dec. the queen had a second interview at Windsor with Lord John, who was now accompanied by the veteran whig leader, Lord Lansdowne. Prince Albert sat beside her, and she let her visitors understand that she spoke for him as well as for herself. Lord John asked her to obtain assurances from Peel that the dissentient members of his cabinet were not in a position to form a new government, and to secure for him, if he undertook to repeal the corn laws, the full support of Peel and his followers. Peel gave her a guarded answer, which dissatisfied Lord John, who urged her to obtain more specific promise of co-operation. The queen, although she deemed the request unreasonable, politely appealed anew to Peel without result. At length, on 18 Dec., Lord John Negotiations with Lord John Russell. accepted her command to form a government. But his difficulties were only begun. There were members of his party who distrusted Palmerston as thoroughly as the queen. Lord Grey declined to join the government if Palmerston took the foreign office, and demanded a place in the cabinet for Cobden. Lord John felt unable either to accept Lord Grey's proposal or to forego his presence in the administration; and greatly to the queen's surprise he, on 29 Dec., suddenly informed her that he was unable to serve her. For a moment it looked as if she were to be left without any government, but she turned once more to Peel, who, at her earnest request, resumed power. To this result she had passively contributed throughout the intricate negotiation, and it was completely satisfactory to her. The next day, 30 Dec., she wrote: 'The queen cannot sufficiently express how much we feel Sir Robert Peel's high-minded conduct, courage, and loyalty, which can only add to the queen's confidence in him.'
Thenceforth the queen identified herself almost recklessly with Peel's policy of repeal. Melbourne, when dining at Windsor, told her that Peel's conduct was 'damned dishonest,' but she declined to discuss the The queen's support of Peel. topic. She lost no opportunity support of of urging Peel to persevere. On 12 Jan. l846 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 27 Jan. Prince Albert attended the House of Commons to hear Peel announce his plan of abolishing the corn laws in the course of 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 the prince never went to the lower house again. On 4 Feb. she told Peel that he would be rewarded with the gratitude of the country, which 'would make up for the abuse he has to endure from so many of his party.' She expressed sympathy with him in his loss of the support of Gladstone and Lord Lincoln, who had accepted his policy, but had withdrawn from the House of Commons because, as parliamentary nominees of the Duke of Newcastle, who was a staunch protectionist, they could not honourably vote against his opinions. The queen pressed Peel to secure other seats for them. On 18 Feb. she not only wrote to congratulate Peel on his speech in introducing the bill, but forwarded to him a letter from the Dowager Queen Adelaide which expressed an equally flattering opinion. Every speech during the corn-law debates she read with minute attention, and she closely studied the division lists.
The birth of the Princess Helena on 25 May was 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 26 June, 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. 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 Robert 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' (Peel Papers, iii. 172).
At the queen's request Lord John Russell formed a new government, and with misgivings Lord John's first ministry, July 1846. the queen agreed to Palmerston s return to the foreign office. The ministry lasted nearly five years. Lord John, although awkward and unattractive in manner, and wedded to a narrow view of the queen's constitutional powers, did much to conciliate the royal favour. Closer acquaintance improved his relations with the queen, and she marked the increase of cordiality by giving him for life Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park in March 1847, on the death of the Earl of Erroll, husband of a natural daughter of William IV. Some of Lord John's colleagues greatly interested the queen. Lord Clarendon, who was at first president of the board of trade, and in 1847 lord-lieutenant of Ireland, gained her entire confidence and became an intimate friend. She liked, too, Sir George Grey, the home secretary, and she admired the conversation of Macaulay, the paymaster-general, after he had overcome a feeling of shyness in meeting her. On 9 March 1850, when Macaulay dined at Buckingham Palace, he talked freely of his 'History.' The queen owned that she had nothing to say for her poor ancestor, James II. 'Not your majesty's ancestor, your majesty's predecessor,' Macaulay returned; and the remark, which was intended as a Macaulay at court. compliment, was well received (Trevelyan's Life of Macaulay, pp. 537-8). On 14 Jan. 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' (ibid. p. 549). But, on the whole, the queen's relations with her third ministry were less amicable than with her first or second, owing to the unaccommodating temper of the most prominent member of it Palmerston, the foreign secretary. Between him and the crown a constant struggle was in progress for the effective supervision of foreign affairs. The constitution did not define the distribution of control between monarch and minister over 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 procedure, still less points of policy. For the crown to challenge the fact in dealing with a strong-willed and popular minister was to invite, as the queen and prince were to find, a tormenting sense of impotence.
At the outset monarch and minister found themselves in agreement. Although Palmerston realised The Spanish marriages. anticipations by emboiling 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 at the English court interest in her future. 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, however, that an extension of French influence in the Spanish peninsula was undesirable. Perfectly conscious of the strength with which this view was held, Louis Philippe prudently announced in 1843 that his younger son, the Due de Montpensier, was to be affianced, not to the little Spanish queen herself, but to her younger sister. Lord Aberdeen 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 no member of the French Bourbon house should become the royal consort of Spain. During each of the visits of Queen Victoria to the Château d'Eu the king of the French gave her a distinct verbal assent to these conditions. The Spanish queen had many suitors, but she was slow in making a choice, and her hesitation kept the Spanish question open.
Unluckily for the good relations of France and England, the personal position of Prince Albert in England and his relations with Germany introduced a curious complication into the process of selecting a consort for the Spanish queen. Christina, the mother of the Spanish queen, had no wish to facilitate Prince Albert and Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg. 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 Ernest and Albert's first cousin, Prince Leopold, whose brother 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. France showed at once passionate hostility to the scheme, and at the instance of Guizot, who brusquely declared that he would at all hazards preserve Spain from England's and Portugal's fate of a Saxe-Coburg ruler, the Saxe-Coburg suit was before 1844 avowedly dropped by consent. On 2 May 1846 it was covertly revived 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 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. Reluctantly a decision adverse to the Saxe-Coburg prince was reached, on the ground that both English and French ministers 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 Spanish prince (Duke Ernest of Saxe-Coburg, Memoirs, i. 190 seq.) At the same moment Palmerston returned to the foreign office, and in a despatch to the Spanish government which he wrote in haste and with half knowledge 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. The despatch was communicated to the French ministers, who saw in Palmerston's resuscitation of the Saxe-Coburg offer of marriage a special grievance against the English court. Retaliation was at once attempted. Without seeking further negotiations, the French 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 her younger sister. On 8 Sept. the queen of the French, in a private letter to Queen Victoria, announced the approaching marriage of her son, Mont- pensier. The queen, in reply (10 Sept.), 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 sides, and the war of vituperation involved not merely both countries but both courts. The sinister rumour ran in England that the French ministers knew the 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 in France on the Saxe-Coburg family, and the efforts of Louis Philippe and his family at a domestic reconciliation proved vain.
Palmerston, after his wont, conducted the official negotiation without any endeavour to respect the views 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 The queen's indignation. deleted in the first draft touching the relation of the issue of the Due de Montpensier to the Spanish succession. King Leopold held Palmerston responsible for the whole imbroglio (Duke Ernest, i. 199). 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. 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 2 March they arrived in disguise at Newhaven, and Louis immediately wrote to the queen, throwing himself on her protection. She obtained her uncle Leopold's consent to offer them his own royal residence at Claremont. There Prince Albert at once visited them. To all members of the French royal family the queen showed henceforth unremitting attention. To the Due de Nemours she allotted another royal residence at Bushey. She frequently entertained him and his brothers, and always treated them with the respect which was due to members of reigning families. But it was not only in France that the revolution dealt havoc in the queen's circle of acquaintances. Her half-brother of Leiningen, who had been in Scotland with her the year before, her half-sister, 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. In Italy and Austria, too, kings and princes were similarly menaced. Happily, in England, threats of revolution came to nothing. The great chartist meeting on Kennington Common, on 10 April, proved abortive. By the advice of ministers the queen and her family removed to Osborne a few days before, but they returned on 2 May. During the crisis the queen was temporarily disabled by the birth, on 18 March, of the Princess Louise; but throughout her confinement, she wrote to her uncle, King Leopold, '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 ' (4 April). When the infant Princess Louise was christened at Buckingham Palace on the 13th, the queen of the Belgians stood godmother, and the strain of anxiety was greatly lessened. A new perplexity arose in June 1848, when Lord John feared defeat in the House of Commons on the old question of the sugar duties, which had already nearly wrecked two governments. The queen, although her confidence in the ministry was chequered by Palmerston's conduct of the foreign office, declared any change inopportune, and she approached with reluctance the consideration of the choice of Lord John's successor. Demurring to Lord John's own suggestion of Lord Stanley, who as a seceder from Peel was not congenial to her, she took counsel with Melbourne, who advised her to summon Peel. But the government proved stronger than was anticipated, and jr three years more Lord John continued in office. On 5 Sept. 1848 the queen prorogued parliament in person, the ceremony taking 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 kinsmen, the Due de Nemours and the Prince de Joinville, were present with her. Popular enthusiasm ran high, England and revolution. in thorough accord with the congratulatory 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 for Aberdeen in order to spend First stay at Balmoral, 1848. three weeks at Balmoral House, then little more than a shooting-lodge, which she now hired for the first time of Lord Aberdeen's brother, Sir Robert Gordon. 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. Thenceforth she travelled to and from Scotland in no other way. Later in the year a distressing accident caused the queen deep depression (9 Oct.) While she was crossing from Osborne to Portsmouth, her yacht, the Fairy, ran down a boat belonging to the Grampus frigate, and three women were drowned. 'It is a terrible thing, and haunts me continually,' the queen wrote.
Every year the queen, when in London or at Windsor, sought recreation more and Music and drama at court. more conspicuously in music and the drama the drama. Elaborate concerts, oratorios, or musical recitations were repeatedly given both at Windsor and at Buckingham Palace. On 10 Feb. 1846 Charles Kemble read the words of the 'Antigone' when Mendelssohn's music was rendered, and there followed like renderings of 'Atbalie' (1 Jan. 1847), again of 'Antigone' (1 Jan. 1848), and of 'Œdipus at Colonos' (10 Feb. 1848 and 1 Jan. 1852). ; During 1842 and 1844 the composer Mendelssohn was many times at court. The great French actress Rachel was invited to recite on more than one occasion, and on 26 Feb. 1851, when Macready took farewell of the stage at Drury Lane, the queen was present. Meanwhile, to give greater brilliance to the Christmas 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 distraction of the princess royal's marriage dramatic repre- sentations were repeated in the Rubens room at the castle during each Christmas season. On 28 Dec. 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 thirteen years, and the actors included Macready, Phelps, Charles Mathews, Ben Webster, and Buckstone. In 1857 William Bodham Donne succeeded Kean as director ; and the last performance under Donne's management took place on 31 Jan. 1861. More than thirty years then elapsed before the queen suffered another professional dramatic entertainment to take place in a royal palace. The most conspicuous encouragement which the queen and her husband bestowed on art duri.ig this period was their commission to eight artists (Eastlake, Maclise, Landseer, Dyce, Stanfield, Uwins, Leslie, and Ross) to decorate with frescoes the queen's summer house in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. The subjects were drawn from Milton's 'Comus.' The work was completed in 1845.
Under Prince Al bert's guidance, the queen's domestic life was now very systematically ordered. The education of the growing Education of her children. 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 (24 March 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 (Lord Althorp), who had been a lady-in-waiting since 1838, was in 1842 appointed governess of the royal children, and, on her retirement in January 1851, she was succeeded by Lady Caroline Barrington, widow of Captain the Hon. George Barrington, R.N., and daughter of the second Earl Grey ; she held the office till her death on 28 April 1875. The office of royal governess, which thus was filled during the queen's reign by only two holders, carried with it complete control of the 'nursery establishment,' which soon 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 thorough 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. As they grew older she and the prince encouraged them to recite poetry and to act little plays, or arrange tableaux vivants. To the education of the prince of Wales as the heir apparent they naturally devoted special attention, and in every way they protected his interests. Very soon after his birth the queen appointed a commission to receive and accumulate 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. Although the queen abhorred advanced views on the position of women in social life, she sought to make her daughters as useful as her sons to the world at large, and, while causing them to be instructed in all domestic arts, repudiated the notion that marriage was the only object which they should be brought up to attain (Letters to Princess Alice (1874), p. 320). She 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 with care their own habits and pursuits. Although public business compelled them to spend much time in London, the prince rapidly acquired a distaste for it, which he soon communicated to the queen. As a young woman she was, she said, wretched to leave London, but, though she never despised or The queen's residences at Osborne. 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 year, staying on each occasion not more than two days. Windsor, which was agreeable to her, was near enough to London to enable her to transact business there without inconvenience. In early married life she chiefly resided there. The Pavilion at Brighton she abandoned, and, after being dismantled in 1846, it was sold to the corporation of Brighton in 1850 to form a place of public assembly. Anxious to secure residences which should be personal property and free from the restraints of supervision by public officials, she soon decided to acquire private abodes in those parts of her dominions which were peculiarly congenial to her the Isle of Wight and the highlands of Scotland. Her 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. Subsequent purchases increased the land to about two thousand acres. The existing house proved inconvenient, and the foundation-stone of a new one was laid on 23 June 1845. A portion of it was occupied in September 1846, although the whole was not completed until 1851. In the grounds was set up in 1854 a Swiss cottage as a workshop and playhouse for the children. In the designing of the new Osborne House and in laying out the gardens Prince Albert took a very active part. The queen interested herself in the neighbourhood, and rebuilt the parish church at Whippingham. In 1848 the queen leased of the Fife trustees Balmoral House, as her residence in the highlands; she purchased it in 1852, and then resolved to replace it and Balmoral. by an elaborate edifice. The new Balmoral Castle was completed in the autumn of 1854, and large additions were subsequently made to the estate. The Duchess of Kent rented in the neighbourhood Abergeldie Castle, which was subsequently occupied by the prince of Wales. At Balmoral, after 1854, a part of every spring and autumn was spent during the rest of the queen's life, while three or four annual visits were paid regularly to Osborne. At both Osborne and Balmoral 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 occupied by the royal family. Of an evening billiards were played in the one, under such cramped conditions that the queen, who usually looked on, had constantly to move her seat 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.
After identifying herself thus closely with Scotland, it was only 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 acceptance was given. In the early autumn of 1849 the plan was carried out with good results. The social and political condition of the country was not promising. The effects of the famine were 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 for high treason; commutation of capital sentences was resolved upon, but it was found to be impossible to substitute terms of imprisonment until a new statute had been hastily devised, giving the crown specific authority to that effect. First visit to Ireland, 1849. The general distress precluded a state visit. But personal loyalty to the sovereign was still believed to prevail in Ireland. 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. She thence proceeded in her yacht to Kingstown, and took up her residence for four days at the viceregal lodge in Phoenix Park, Dublin. She held a levee one evening in Dublin Castle. Her reception was all that could be wished. It was 'idolatrous,' wrote Monckton Milnes, lord Houghton, 'and utterly unworthy of a free, not to say ill-used, nation' (Reid, Lord Houghton, i. 485-5). She received addresses and visited public institutions. Everything she saw delighted her, and she commemorated her presence in Dublin by making the prince of Wales Earl of Dublin (10 Sept. 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 visit to Glasgow she sought the grateful seclusion of Balmoral.
On 30 Oct. 1849 an attack of chicken-pox prevented the queen from fulfilling her Last royal water pageant, 1849. promise to open the new coal exchange in Lower Thames Street, pageant, 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 court, it was inevitable that death should be often busy and should gradually sever valued links with the queen's youth. Deaths in royal circles 1848-50. Her aunt, Princess Sophia, died royal circles on 27 May 1848, and her old minister and mentor, Melbourne, on 24 Nov. 1848, while a year later George Anson, the prince's former secretary and now keeper of his privy purse, passed suddenly away, and his loss was severely felt by the queen. Another grief was the death, on 2 Dec. 1849 at Stanmore Priory, of the old Queen Adelaide, who was buried in St. George's Chapel, Windsor, beside William IV on 13 Dec. The summer of the following year (1850) was still more fruitful in episodes of mourning. On 3 July Peel succumbed to an accidental fall from his horse ; in him the queen said she lost not merely a friend, but a father. Five days later there died her uncle, the Duke of Cambridge ; on 26 Aug., Louis Philippe, whose fate of exile roused the queen's abiding sympathy ; and on 10 Oct. the French king's gentle daughter, the queen of the Belgians, wife of King Leopold. Minor anxieties were caused the queen by two brutal attacks upon her person : on 19 May 1849, when she was returning from a drive near Constitution Hill, a blank charge was fired at her from a pistol by an Irishman, William Hamilton of Adare, and on 27 May 1850 one Robert 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.
The last outrage was the more brutal, seeing that the queen was just recovering Prince from her confinement. Her third Prince Arthur and the Duke of Wellington. son, Arthur, was born on 1 May 1850. The date was the Duke of Wellington's eighty-first 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 considerations 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 proposal, the queen made him godfather to her new-born son. A second sponsor was the prince of Prussia, and the christening took place on 22 June. The infant's third name, Patrick, commemorated the queen's recent Irish visit. At the time, despite family and political cares, the queen's health was exceptionally robust. On going north in the autumn, after inaugurating the high-level bridge at Newcastle and the Royal Border Bridge on the Scottish boundary at Berwick, she stopped two days in Edinburgh at Holyrood Palace, in order to climb Arthur's Seat. When she settled down to her holiday at Balmoral, she took energetic walking exercise and showed a physical briskness enabling her to face boldly annoyances in official life, which were now graver than any she had yet experienced.
The breach between the foreign minister (Palmerston) and the crown was growing wider each year. Foreign affairs interested the queen and her husband intensely. As they grew more complex the prince studied them more closely, and prepared memoranda with a view to counselling the foreign minister. But Palmerston rendered such efforts abortive by going his own way, without consulting the court or, at times, even his colleagues. The antagonism between Prince Albert's views, with which the queen identified herself, and those of Palmerston was largely based on principle. Palmerston consisteutly Differences with Palmerston, 1848. supported liberal movements abroad, even at the risk of exposing himself to the charge of 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 dynasties evoked strong sympathy with reigning monarchs and an active dread of revolution, which Palmerston seemed to them to view with a perilous complaisance. Through 1848, the year of revolution, the difference steadily grew. Palmerston treated with equanimity the revolutionary riots at Berlin, Vienna, and Baden in 1848-9, while they stirred in his royal mistress a poignant compassion for those crowned kinsmen or acquaintances whose lives and fortunes were menaced. When efforts were first made in Italy to secure national unity and to throw off the yoke of Austria, Palmerston spoke with benevolence of the endeavours of the Italian patriots. Although the prince strongly deprecated the cruelties which Italian rulers practised on their subjects, he and the queen cherished a warm sympathy with the Austrians and their emperor. In regard to Germany, on the other hand, the opposition between royal and ministerial opinions involved other considerations. The prince was well affected to the movement for national unity under Prussia's leadership. Palmerston's distrust of the weak reactionary Prussian king and his allies among the German princes rendered him suspicious of German nationalist aspirations. In the intricate struggle for the possession of the duchies of Schleswig-Holstein, which opened in 1848, Palmerston inclined to the claim of Denmark against that of the confederation of German states with Prussia at its head, whose triumph the English royal family hopefully anticipated.
In point of practice Palmerston was equally offensive to the prince and the queen. He frequently 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, was promptly expelled from Madrid. In January 1850, to the queen's consternation, Palmerston coerced Greece into compliance with English demands for the compensation of Don Pacifico and other English subjects who had claims against the Greek government. Thereupon France, who was trying to mediate, and regarded Palinerston's precipitate action as insulting, withdrew her ambassador 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.
The queen's embarrassments were aggravated by the habit of foreign sovereigns, who believed her power to be far greater than The queen's private correspondence. it was, of writing autograph appeals to her personally on political affairs and of seeking privately to influence the foreign policy of the country. She was wise enough to avoid the snares that were thus laid for her, and frankly consulted Palmerston before replying. He invariably derided the notion of conciliating the good opinion of foreign courts, where his name was a word of loathing. The experience was often mortifying for the queen. In 1847, when the queen of Portugal, the queen's early playmate, was threatened by her revolutionary subjects, she appealed directly to Queen Victoria for protection. Palmerston treated the Portuguese difficulty as a 'Coburg family affair.' He attributed the queen's peril to her reliance on the absolutist advice of one Dietz, a native of Coburg, who stood towards the Portuguese queen and her husband, Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg, in a relation resembling that of Stockmar to Prince Albert and the queen. Palmerston insisted on Dietz's dismissal a proceeding that was highly offensive to the queen and to her Saxe-Coburg kinsmen (Duke Ernest, Memoirs, i. 288 sq.) Afterwards he dictated a solemn letter of constitutional advice for his royal mistress to copy in her own hand and forward to her unhappy correspondent at Lisbon (Walpole, Lord John Russell). Later in the year the king of Prussia, in a private letter which his ambassador at St. James's, Baron Bunsen, was directed to deliver to the queen in private audience, invited her encouragement of the feeble efforts of Prussia to dominate the German federation. Palmerston learned from Bunsen of the missive, and told him that it was irregular for the English sovereign to correspond with foreign monarchs unless they were her relatives (Bunden, Memoirs, ii. 149). In concert with Prince Albert he sketched a colourless draft reply, which the queen copied out ; it 'began and ended in German, though the body of it was in English.' Prince Albert, in frequent private correspondence with the king of Prussia, had sought to stimulate the king to more active assertion of Prussian power in Germany, and the apparent discrepancy between the prince's ardour and the coolness which Palmerston imposed on his wife was peculiarly repugnant to both her and her husband. 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 remarked on a further protest made in the queen's behalf by Lord John : 'Unfortunately the queen gives ear too Palmerston's obduracy. easily to persons who are hostile to her government, and who wish to poison her mind with distrust of her ministers, and in this way she is constantly suffering under groundless uneasiness.' To this challenge she answered, through Lord John, 1 Oct. 1848: 'The queen naturally, as I think, dreads that upon some occasion you may give her name to sanction proceedings which she may afterwards be compelled to disavow' (Walpole, Lord John Russell, ii. 47). Unluckily for the queen, Palmerston's action was vehemently applauded by a majority in parliament and in the country, and his defence of his action in regard to Greece in the Don Pacifico affair in June 1850 elicited the stirring enthusiasm of the House of Commons. The queen, in conversation with political friends like Aberdeen and Clarendon, loudly exclaimed against her humiliation. Lord John was often as much out of sympathy with Palmerston as she, but he knew the government could not stand without its foreign secretary ; and the queen, who was always averse to inviting the perplexities of a change of ministry, viewed the situation with blank despair. In March 1850 she and the prince drafted a statement of their grievance, but in face of the statesman's triumphant appeal to the House of Commons in June it was laid aside. In the summer Lord John recalled Palmerston's attention to the queen's irritation, and he disavowed any intention of treating her with disrespect. At length, on 12 Aug. 1850, she sent him through Lord John two requests in regard to his future conduct : 'She requires,' her words ran, The queen's demands, 1850. '(1) that the foreign secretary demands, 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 towards 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 intercourse ; 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' (Martin, ii. 51). Two days afterwards Prince Albert explained more fully to Palmerston, in a personal interview, the queen's grounds of Prince complaint. 'The queen had often,'
Albert on the prince said, 'latterly almost Palmerston. 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, 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 operating ; 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 change. A few months later he committed the queen, without her assent, to new dissensions with Fresh dissensions. the Austrian government and to new encouragement of Denmark in her claims to Schleswig-Holstein. In the first case Palmerston, after threatening Lord John with resignation, endeavoured to modify his action in accordance with the royal wish, but he was still impenitent.
In the winter of 1850 a distasteful domestic question distracted the queen's mind from foreign affairs. Lord John had identified the government with the strong protestant feeling which was roused by Cardinal Wiseman's announcement of the pope's revival of Roman catholic bishoprics 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' Papal aggression. exhibited by the protestant agitators. 'I cannot bear to hear the violent abuse of the catholic religion, which is so painful and so cruel towards the many innocent and good Roman catholics.' When she opened parliament on 4 Feb. 1851 she resented the cries of ' no popery,' with which she was greeted ; but the ministry determined actively to resist the 'papal aggression,' and the queen acquiesced. It was consequently without great concern that she saw Lord John's government partly through intestine differences on the religious question outvoted in the House of Commons in, February 1851. The immediate Ministerial crisis and deadlock. question at issue was electoral reform. Lord John at once resigned. The queen sent for the conservative leader, Lord Derby, who declined to assume office without adequate support in the House of Commons. He advised a reconstruction of the existing ministry a course which was congenial to the queen. On 22 Feb. she consulted Lord Aberdeen with a view to a fusion between whigs and Peelites, but the combination proved impracticable. Perplexed by the deadlock which the refusals of Derby and Aberdeen created, she turned for advice to the old Duke of Wellington. In agreement with the duke's counsel she recalled Russell after Prince Albert had sent him a memorandum of the recent negotiations. Lord John managed to get through the session in safety and secured the passage of his antipapal Ecclesiastical Titles Bill after completely emasculating it ; it received the royal assent on 29 July 1851.
Meanwhile the 'attention of the court and country had turned from party polemics to a demonstration of peace and good- will 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 The Great Exhibition, 1851. tories and all sections of society who disliked the prince. Abroad it was condemned by absolute monarchs and their ministers as an invitation to revolutionary conspiracy through the suggestion it offered to revolutionary agents in Europe to assemble in London on a speciously innocent pretext, and hatch nefarious designs against law and order. The result belied the prophets of evil. The queen flung herself with spirit into the enterprise. She interested herself in every detail, and she was rewarded for her energy by the knowledge that the realised scheme powerfully appealed to the imagination of the mass of her people. The brilliant opening ceremony over which she presided on 1 May 1851 evoked a marvellous outburst of loyalty. Her bearing was described on all hands as 'thoroughly regal' (Stanley i. 424). Besides twenty-five thousand people in the building, seven hundred thousand cheered her outside as she passed them on her way from Buckingham 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 (1 May), '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 coronation. In spite of their censorious fears foreign courts were well represented, and among the queen's guests were the prince and princess of Prussia. Tennyson, who had been appointed poet laureate in November 1850, in succession to Wordsworth, in the address ' To the Queen,' which he prefixed to the seventh edition of his ' Poems ' (March 1851), wrote of the Great Exhibition, in a stanza which was not reprinted :
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 season of the Great Exhibition was exceptionally brilliant. On 13 June another balcostumt at Buckingham Palace illustrated the reign of Charles II. On 9 July the queen attended a ball at the Guildhall, which celebrated the success of the Exhibition. Everywhere her reception was admirably cordial.Court festivities. When at length festivities. sue 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 attachment.' Early in August, when the queen came to Westminster to prorogue parliament, she visited the Exhibition for the last time. In October, on her 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 improvements which manufacturing processes were making in these great centres of industry. Her visit to Peel Park, Salford (10 Oct.), 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 5 May 1857.
A month after the closing of the Exhibition the dream of happiness was fading. The death of her sour-tempered uncle, King Ernest of Hanover (18 Nov. 1851), was not a heavy blow, but Palmerston was again disturbing her equanimity. Kossuth, the leader of the Hungarian revolution, had just arrived in England ; Palmerston openly avowed sympathy with him. Both the queen and Lord John remonstrated, and the queen begged the cabinet to censure his attitude unequivocally ; but her appeal was vain. Relief from the tormenting attitude of Palmerston was, however, at hand. It came at a moment when the queen despaired of any alleviation of her lot. On 2 Dec. 1851 Prince Louis Napoleon by a coup d'état made himself absolute head of the French government. Palmerston believed in Napoleon's ability, and a day or two later, in conversation with the French ambassador, Walewski, expressed of his own initiative approbation of the new form of government in France. The queen and Lord John viewed Palmerston's removal. Napoleon's accession to power, and the means whereby it had been accomplished, 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 untied the Gordian knot that bound him to the queen. This display of self-sufficiency roused the temper of Lord John, who had assured the queen that for the present England would extend to Napoleon the coldest neutrality. To the queen's surprise and delight, Lord John summarily demanded Palmerston's resignation (19 Dec.) Palmerston feebly defended himself by claiming 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 Palmerston declined. The seals of the foreign office were transferred to the queen's friend, Lord Granville.
The queen and the prince did not conceal their joy at the turn of events. To his brother Ernest, Prince Albert wrote without reserve : 'And now the year closes with the happy circumstance for us, that the man who embittered our whole life, by continually placing before us the shameful alternative of either sanctioning his misdeeds throughout Europe, and rearing up the radical party here to a power under his leadership, or bringing about an open conflict with the crown, and thus plunging the only country where liberty, order, and lawfulness exist together into the general chaos that this man has, as it were, cut his own throat. "Give a rogue rope enough and he will hang himself" is an old English adage with which we have sometimes tried to console ourselves, and which has proved true again here. . . .' (Duke Ernest's Memoirs). As a matter of fact, Palmerston's dismissal was a doubtful triumph for the crown. It was, in the first place, not the queen's act ; it was the act of Lord John, who was not greatly influenced by court feeling, and it was an act that Lord John lived to regret. 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 genuine victory lay with the minister.
Palmerston's removal did not, in fact, even at the moment diminish anxiety at Lord Derby's first government, 1852. court. 1852 opened ominously. The intentions of France were doubtful. The need of increasing the naval and military forces was successfully urged on the government, but no sooner had the discussions on that subject opened in the House of Commons than Palmerston condemned as inadequate the earliest proposals of the government which were embodied in a militia bill, and, inflicting a defeat on his former colleagues, brought about their resignation on 20 Feb. 1852, within two months of his own dismissal. The queen summoned Lord Derby, who formed a conservative government, with Disraeli as chancellor of the exchequer and leader of the House of Commons. It was not a strong ministry. Its members, almost all of whom were new to official life, belonged to the party of protection; but protection had long since vanished from practical politics, and the queen was disposed to reproach her new advisers with their delay in discerning the impracticability of their obsolete policy. A little more haste, she said, 'would have saved so much annoyance, so much difficulty.' But personal intercourse rapidly overcame her prejudices. Lord Derby proved extremely courteous. Lord Malmesbury, the foreign minister, kept her thoroughly well informed of the affairs of his office, and the personal difficulty that she and her friends had anticipated Early impression of Disraeli. from Disraeli was held in check. Disraeli had won his first parliamentary repute by his caustic denunciations of the queen's friend Peel, and she was inclined to adopt the widespread view that he was an unprincipled adventurer. He was perfectly aware of her sentiment, and during the ministerial crisis 'of 1851 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 which far exceeded that she showed to any other minister of her reign. But her present experience of Disraeli and his colleagues was brief. A general election in July left the conservatives in a minority.
In the same month the queen made a cruise in the royal yacht on the south coast, and a few weeks later paid a second private visit to King Leopold 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 it. When at Balmoral later in the autumn, information reached her of the generous bequest to her by an eccentric subject, John Camden Neild, of all his fortune, amounting to a quarter of a million. The elation of spirit which this news caused her was succeeded by depression on hearing of the death of the Death of the Duke of Wellington. Duke of Wellington on 14 Sept. '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, now the Duke all gone.' The queen issued a general order of regret to the army, and she put her household into mourning. She went to the lying in state in Chelsea Hospital, and witnessed the funeral procession to St. Paul's from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on 18 Nov.
On 11 Nov. the queen opened the new parliament. Lord Derby was still prime minister, but the position of the government was hopeless. On 3 Dec. Disraeli's budget was introduced, 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 extraordinarily weak. Parties were At queen's request Aberdeen forms coalitionministyr. disorganised, and no leader request joyed the full confidence of any large section of the House of Commons. A reconstruction of ministry. party seemed essential to the queen and the prince. In November she had discussed with Lord Derby a possible coalition, and the ehief condition she then imposed was that Palmerston should not lead the House of Commons. When Derby resigned she made up her mind to give her views effect. She sent for veteran statesmen on each side, Lord Aberdeen and Lord Lansdowne, both of whom she had known long and fully trusted. Lansdowne was ill, and Aberdeen came alone. On 19 Dec. she wrote to Lord John Russell (Walpole, Life, iii. 161) : '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.' Aberdeen undertook to form such a government, with the queen's assistance. Palmerston's presence was deemed essential, and she raised no objection to his appointment to the home office. The foreign office was bestowed on Lord John, who almost immediately withdrew from it in favour of the queen's friend, Lord Clarendon. On 28 Dec. 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.'
Thus the next year opened promisingly, but it proved a calm before a great storm. On 7 April 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 king of Hanover, was also a sponsor, and the infant's third name of Duncan celebrated the queen's affection for Scotland. She was not long in retirement, and public calls were numerous. Military training, in view of possible warlike complications on the continent, was proceeding actively with the queen's concurrence. Twice—21 June and 5 August 1853—she visited, the first time with her guests, the new king and queen of Hanover, a camp newly formed on Chobham Common, and (on 5 Aug. 1901) a granite cross was unveiled to commemorate the first of these visits. In the interval between the two the queen, Prince Albert, the prince of Wales, Princess Royal, and Princess Alice had been disabled by an attack of measles, and Prince Albert, to the queen's alarm, suffered severely from nervous prostration. On 11 Aug. the navy was encouraged by a great naval review which the queen held at Spithead. Before the month ended the queen paid a second visit to Dublin, in order to inspect an Second visit to Dublin, 1853. exhibition of Irish industries to Dublin, which was framed on the model of 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 30 Aug. to 3 Sept., and attended many public functions. As on the former occasion, the queen spent, she said, 'a pleasant, gay, and interesting time.'
Throughout 1852 the queen continued her frank avowals of repugnance to personal intercourse with Napoleon III. Her relations with the exiled royal family of France rendered him an object of suspicion and dislike, and the benevolence with which Palmerston regarded him did not soften Napoleon III's advances. her animosity. But she gradually advances. acknowledged the danger of allowing her personal feeling to compromise peaceful relations with France. On 2 Dec. 1852 the empire had been formally recognised by the European powers, and the emperor was making marked advances to England. The French ambassador in London sounded Malmesbury, the foreign minister (December 1852), as to whether a marriage between the emperor and Princess Adelaide of Hohenlohe, daughter of the queen's half sister, would be acceptable. The queen spoke with horror of the emperor's religion and morals, and was not sorry that the discussion should be ended by the emperor's marriage in the following January with Mile. Eugenie de Montijo, a lady with whom the irony of fate was soon to connect the queen in a lasting friendship. Meanwhile the queen's uncle, King Leopold, realised the wisdom of promoting better relations between her and the emperor, whose openly expressed anxiety to secure her countenance was becoming a source of embarrassment. 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. Emperor and empress outbid each other in their laudation of Queen Victoria's domestic life. The empress expressed a longing for close acquaintance with her, her husband, and children. A revolution had been rorked, she said, in the conditions of court life throughout. Europe by the virtuous examples of Queen Victoria and of her friend and ally the queen of Portugal. Duke Ernest promptly reported the conversation 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 the road to perfect amity.
Napoleon lost no opportunity of improving the situation. At the end of 1853 he boldly suggested a matrimonial alliance between the two families. With the approval of King Leopold and of Palmerston he proposed a marriage between his first cousin, Prince Jerome, who ultimately became the political head of the Bonaparte family, and the queen's first cousin, Princess Mary of Cambridge, 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 disposition endeared her to all the royal family. The princess rejected the proposal without hesitation, and the queen would hear no more of it. Palmerston coolly remarked that Prince Jerome was at any rate preferable to a German princeling.
But although Napoleon's first move led to nothing, an alliance between France and England was already at hand. It was not France among the countries of Europe that England under the queen's sway was first Quarrel with Russia. to meet in War It was in conflict with Russia that her country, under the spell of Palmerston, in conjunction with France, was to break the peace of Europe for the first time in her reign. In the autumn of 1853 Russia pushed her claims to protect the Greek Christians of the Turkish empire with such violence as to extort from Turkey a declaration of war (23 Oct.) 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 was divided in opinion. Aberdeen regarded the conduct of Russia as indefensible, but hoped to avert war by negotiation. Palmerston, then home secretary, took the popular view, that the inability of Turkey to meet Russia single-handed allowed no delay in intervention. On 16 Dec. Palmerston suddenly resigned, 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. The ministry felt compelled to readmit him to the cabinet, with the certainty of destroying the peace of Europe.
To the court the crisis was from every point of view distressing. The queen placed implicit trust in Aberdeen, and with him she hoped to avoid war. But Palmerston's restored predominance alarmed her. Abroad the situation was not more reassuring. The Emperor Napoleon promptly offered to join his army with that of England, and the king of Sardinia promised to follow his example. But other foreign sovereigns with whom the queen was in fuller sympathy privately entreated her to thwart the bellicose designs which they identified with her most popular minister's name. excitement. The tsar protested to her the innocence of his designs (November 1853). The nervous king of Prussia petitioned her to keep the peace, and even sent her an autograph note by the hand of General von Gröben. Clarendon, the foreign minister, gave her wise advice regarding the tenor of her replies. She reproached the king of Prussia with his weakness in failing to aid the vindication of international law and order (17 March 1854), and her attitude to all her continental correspondents was irreproachable. But the rumour spread that she and her husband were employing their foreign intimacies against the country's interest. Aberdeen's hesitation to proceed to extremities, the known dissensions 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. As the winter of 1853-4 progressed without any signs of decisive action on the part of the English government, popular indignation redoubled and burst in its fullest fury on The attack on Prince Albert. the head of Prince Albert. He was denounced as the chief agent of an Austro-Belgian-Coburg-Orleans clique, the avowed enemy of England, and the subservient tool of Russian 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 (7 Jan. 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' (Duke Ernest's Memoirs, ii. 46). 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 queen took the calumnies to heart, and Aberdeen, who was, she told Stockmar, 'all kindness,' sought vainly for a time to console her. 'In attacking the prince.' she pointed out to Aberdeen (4 Jan. 1854), 'who is one and the same with the queen herself, 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 contemptible exhibitions of malevolence and faction,' but he admitted that the prince held an anomalous position which the constitution had not provided for. When the queen opened parliament on 31 Jan. she was well received, and the leaders of both sides Lord Aberdeen and Lord Derby in the upper house and Lord John Russell 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 27 Feb. War declared with Russia. 1854, when the queen sent a message to the House of Lords announcing the breakdown of negotiations with Russia. 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 unwarranted. Repulsive 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 slacken their efforts until the final goal of victory was reached. Her attitude was characterised alike by dignity and common sense. She was generous in the encouragement she gave all ranks of the army and navy. For months she watched in person The queen and the troops. the departure of troops. On and the 10 March she inspected at Spithead the great fleet which was destined for the Baltic under Sir Charles Napier. 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 in favour of the proposal. She warned Aberdeen of the hypocrisy of self-abasement in the form of prayers, and at the same time she deprecated abuse of the enemy.
Some alleviation of anxiety was sought in the ordinary incidents of court life. On 12 May 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 Royal 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. Their mother, in whom she was from her childhood deeply interested, had died in childbed seven months before (20 Nov. 1853). The queen showed the young men every attention, taking them with her to the opera, the theatre, and Ascot. A suggestion made to them that Portugal should join England in the Crimean war was reasonably rejected by their advisers. The chief spectacular event of the season was the opening by the queen at Sydenham, on 10 June, of the Crystal Palace, which had, much to the prince's satisfaction, been transferred from Hyde Park after the Great Exhibition.
Through the summer the queen shared with a large section of the public a fear that the government was not pursuing the war with requisite energy. When Lord Aberdeen, in a speech in the House of Lords on 20 June, argumentatively defended Russia against violent assaults in the English press, the queen promptly reminded him of the misapprehensions that the appearance of lukewarnmess must create in the public mind. Her protests agrainst lukewarmness. Whatever were the misrepresentations of the tsar's policy, she said, it was at the moment incumbent on him to remember that 'there is enough in that policy to make us fight with all our might against it.' She and the prince incessantly appealed to the ministers to hasten their deliberations and to improve the organisation of the Crimean army. A hopeful feature of the situation was Napoleon Ill's zeal. In July the prince accepted the emperor's invitation to inspect with him the camp at St. Omer, where an army was fitting out for the Crimea. The meeting was completely successful, and the good relations of the rulers of the two countries were thus placed on a surer foundation. While at Balmoral in September the queen was elated to receive 'all the most interesting and gratifying details of the splendid and decisive victory of the Alma.' On leaving Balmoral (11 Oct.) she visited the docks at Grimsby and Hull, but her mind was elsewhere. From Hull (13 Oct.) she wrote to her uncle Leopold, ' We are, and indeed the whole country is, entirely engrossed with one idea, one anxious thought the Crimea.' News of the victories of Inkermann (25 Oct.) and Balaclava (5 Nov.) did not entirely relieve her anxiety. 'Such a time of suspense,' she wrote on 7 Nov., 'I never expected to see, much less to feel.'
During the winter the cruel hardships which climate, disease, and failure of the commissariat inflicted on the troops strongly stirred public feeling. The queen 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, Lord Raglan, 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 administration 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, she made him a knight of the garter.
But it was beyond her power, had it been her wish, to prop the falling government. The session no sooner opened than Lord John insisted on seceding in face of the outcry against the management of the war. The blow was serious, and Lord Aberdeen was with difficulty persuaded by the queen to hold on. But complete shipwreck was not long delayed. On 29 Jan. the government was hopelessly defeated on a hostile motion for an inquiry into the management of the war. Aberdeen's retirement was inevitable,Lord Aberdeen retires. and it was obvious that the queen was face to face with the distasteful necessity of conferring the supreme power in the state on her old enemy, Palmerston. The situation called for all her fortitude. She took time before submitting. A study of the division lists taught her that Lord Derby's supporters formed the greater number of the voters who had destroyed Lord Aberdeen's ministry. She therefore, despite Aberdeen's warning, invited Lord Derby to assume the government. Derby explained to her that he could not without aid from other parties, and a day later he announced his failure to secure extraneous assistance. The queen then turned to the veteran whig, Lord Lansdowne, and bade him privately seek advice for her from all the party leaders. In the result she summoned Lord John Russell on the ground that his followers were in number and compactness second to Lord Derby's. But she could not blind herself to the inevitable result of the negotiations, and, suppressing her private feeling, she assured Lord John that she hoped Palmerston would join him. But she had not gone far enough. Lord John was not strong enough to accept the queen's commands. A continuance of the eadlock was perilous. The queen confided to her sympathetic friend Lord Clarendon her reluctance to take the next step, but he convinced her that she had no course but one to follow. He assured her that Palmerston would prove conciliatory if frankly treated. Thereupon she took the plunge and bade Palmerston form an administration. Palmerston's popular strength was undoubted, and resistance on the part of the crown was idle. As soon as the die was cast the queen with characteristic good sense indicated that she would extend her full confidence to her new prime minister. Queen accepts Palmerston. On 15 Feb. he 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.' To the queen's satisfaction Lord Aberdeen had persuaded most of his colleagues to serve temporarily under his successor, but within a few days the Peelite members of the old government went out, the unity of the government was assured, and Palmerston's power was freed of all restraint.
Baseless rumours of the malign influence exerted by Prince Albert were still 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 hospitals at Chatham and Woolwich, and complained privately that she was not kept informed in sufficient detail of the condition and prospects of disabled soldiers on their return home. 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 complications in the command of the allied forces in the field. The emperor hinted that it might be well for him to discuss the project in person with the queen. She and her advisers at once acceded to the suggestion, and she invited him and the empress to pay her a state visit. On all sides she was thrown into association with men who had inspired her with distrust, but she cheerfully yielded her private sentiments at the call of a national crisis. The queen made every effort to give her guests a brilliant reception. She personally supervised every detail of the programme and drew up with her own hands the lists of guests who were to be com- manded to meet them. On 16 April the Visit of Na- em P eror an( l empress reached pofeon in, Dover and proceeded through April 1855. London to Windsor. Every elaborate formality that could mark the entertainment of sovereigns was strictly observed, and the emperor was proportionately impressed. The ordeal proved far less trying than the queen 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.' There was a review of the household troops in Windsor Park next day, and on the 18th the queen bestowed on Napoleon the knighthood of the garter. A visit to 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 25 April the emperor wrote to the queen that he had abandoned his intention of going to the Crimea. But throughout the hospitable gaieties the ironies of fate that dog the steps of sovereigns were rarely far 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. After the great ball in the Waterloo room at Windsor, when she 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!'
Meanwhile peace proposals, which proved abortive, were under consideration at a conference of the powers at Vienna ; but the queen was resolved that none but the best possible terms should be entertained by her ministers. Lord John represented England and M. Drouyn de Lhuys France, and when Lord John seemed willing to consider conditions that were to the queen unduly favourable to Russia, she wrote peremptorily Queen reproves Lord John. (25 April 1855) to Palmerston, reproves 'How Lord John Russell and M. Drouyn can recommend such proposals for our acceptance is beyond her [our] comprehension.' In May the queen identified herself conspicuously with the national feeling by distributing with her own hands war medals to the returned soldiers on the Horse Guards' Parade (18 May). It was the queen's own suggestion, and it was the first time that the sovereign had performed such functions. 'The rough hand of the brave and honest private soldier came,' she said, '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 Wellington barracks while the men were assembled at dinner. In the months that followed the queen and prince were indefatigable in exerting their influence against what they deemed unworthy concessions to Russia. From their point of view the resignation of Lord John on 16 July rendered the situation more hopeful.
At the moment domestic distress was occasioned by an outbreak of scarlet fever in the royal household, which attacked the four younger children. On their recovery the queen and prince sought to strengthen the French alliance by paying the emperor a return visit at Paris. Following the example of Prince Albert, the emperor had organised a great 'Exposition,' which it was his desire that his royal friends should compare with their own. On 20 Aug., after parliament had been prorogued by commission, the queen travelled, with the prince, the prince of Wales, and the Princess Royal, from Osborne to Boulogne. There the emperor met them. By an accident they reached Paris rather late, but they passed through it in Queen in Paris, Aug. 1855. procession to the palace of St. Cloud, and Marshal Magnan declared that the great Napoleon was not so warmly received on his return from Austerlitz. The occasion was worthy of enthusiasm. It was the first time that an English sovereign had entered the French capital since the infant Henry VI went there to be crowned in 1422. The splendid festivities allowed the queen time for several visits, not merely to the Exposition, but to the historic buildings of Paris and Versailles. Their historical associations greatly interested her, especially those which recalled the tragedies always fascinating to her of Marie Antoinette or James IL Among the official celebrations were a review on the Champ de Mars of 45,000 troops, and balls of dazzling magnificence at the Hotel de Ville and at Versailles. At the Versailles fete, on 25 Aug., the queen was introduced for the first time to Count (afterwards Prince) Bismarck, then Prussian minister at Frankfort, from whose iron will her host, and afterwards her daughter, were soon to suffer. The queen conversed with him in German with great civility. He thought that she was interested in him,
but lacked sympathy with him. The impression was correct. On reaching Boulogne on her way to Osborne (27 Aug.) she was accorded a great military reception by the emperor, who exchanged with her on parting the warmest assurances of attachment to her, her husband, and her children. The anticipations of a permanent alliance between the two countries seemed at the moment likely to be fulfilled, but they quickly proved too sanguine. The political relations between Napoleon III and the queen were soon to be severely strained, and her faith in his sincerity to be rudely shaken. Yet his personal courtesies left an indelible impression on her. Despite her political distrust she constantly corresponded with her host in autograph letters in terms of a dignified cordiality until the emperor's death ; and the sympathetic affection which had arisen between the queen and the Empress Eugenie steadily grew with time and the vicissitudes of fortune.
The month (September-October) which was spent, as usual, at Balmoral was brightened by two gratifying incidents. On 10 Sept. 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 well in sight. Prince Albert himself superintended the lighting of a bonfire on the top of a neighbouring cairn. The other episode appealed more directly to the queen's maternal The Princess Royal's engagement. 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 Royal. She was barely sixteen, and he was twenty-four, but there were indications of a mutual affection. The manly goodness of the prince strongly appealed to the queen, and an engagement was privately made on 29 Sept. The public announcement was to be deferred till after the princess's confirmation next year. Prince Albert denied that the betrothal had any political significance. From the point of view of English politics it had at the instant little to recommend it. A close union between the royal families of London and Berlin was not likely to recommend itself to the queen's late host of Paris. To most English statesmen Prussia appeared to be on the downward grade ; and although Prince Albert and the queen had faith in its future, they were personally disappointed by the incompetence of its present ruler, the uncle of their future son-in-law. He had deserted them in the recent war but was still seeking their influence in Europe in bis own interests in private letters to the queen, which he conjured her not to divulge in Do*wning Street or at the Tuileries. His pertinacity had grown so troublesome that, to 'avoid friction, she deemed it wisest to suppress his correspondence unanswered (Duke Ernest, vol. iii.) It was not surprising that, when the news of the betrothal leaked out, the public comments should be unpleasing to the court. The ' Times ' on 3 Oct. denounced it with heat as an act of truckling ' to a paltry German dynasty.'
In November, when the court was again at Windsor, the queen extended her acquaintance 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, and the affairs of one more country of Europe were 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 (ib. iii. 22-3). Victor Emanuel had come to Windsor in effect 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 prime minister, was known to sympathise with the Italian aspiration. It was not opportune at the moment for Palmerston to promise material aid ; while the prince, however deeply he deplored the misgovernment which it was sought to annul in Italy, deprecated any breach with Austria, which ruled 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 king every formal honour, despite his brusque and unrefined demeanour. He was invested with the garter on 5 Dec., and a great banquet was given him in St. George's Hall in the evening. When he departed the queen rose at four o'clock in the morning to bid him farewell.
Meanwhile peace was arranged in Paris with Russia, and the queen opened parliament on 31 Jan. 1856 amid great rejoicing. The peace, On 30 March the treaty was so March signed and the encroachment of Russia on Turkey was checked. Napoleon had shown much 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, and on 11 April she celebrated the general harmony by conferring the knighthood of the garter on Palmerston, to whom she acknowledged, with some natural qualifications, the successful issue to be mainly due.
Henceforth the army, to a larger extent than before, was the queen's constant care. A visit to the military hospital at Chatham on 16 April was followed by a first visit to the newly formed camp at Aldershot. First visit to Aldershot, 1856. There the queen, for the first of many times, slept the night in the royal pavilion, and next day she reviewed eighteen thousand men. She was on horseback, and wore the uniform of a field-marshal with the star and riband of the garter. Shortly after she laid two foundation stones of a new military (the Royal Victoria) hospital at Netley (19 May), and of Wellington College, Sandhurst, for the sons of officers (2 June). Much of the summer she spent in welcoming troops on their return from the war. On 7 and 8 June the queen, accompanied 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 identifying herself with the heroism of her soldiers The Victoria Cross. and sailors, she instituted a decoration for acts of conspicuous valour in war, to be known as the Victoria Cross (V.C.) ; the decoration carried with it a pension of 10l. 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 (26 June 1857).
A melancholy incident had marked her visit to Aldershot on 8 June 1856. While the commander-in-chief, Lord Hardinge, was speaking to her he was seized by incurable paralysis, and had to vacate his post. An opportunity seemed thus presented to the queen of tightening the traditional bond between herself 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 concurrent 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 authority over the army sole and supreme, to the injury of her prerogative. But her immediate ambition was to confirm the personal connection between the army and herself. She therefore induced Palmerston to sanction the appointment of her cousin, George, The Duke of Cambridge. Duke of Cambridge, as commander-in-chief, in succession to Lord Hardinge (14 July 1860). The duke had held a command in the Crimea, and the queen's recent displays 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 in practical effect ultimately weakened the military prerogative which she sought to strengthen.
Public and private affairs justified a season of exceptional gaiety. The Princess Royal had been confirmed on 20 March and her betrothal became generally known, when in May Prince Frederick William, again accompanied by Von Moltke, paid the court another visit. The queen's spirits ran high. On 7 May she gave a great banquet to the Court festivities. leaders of both parties and their wives, and she was amused at the signs of discomfort which made themselves apparent. But Lord Derby told the prince that the guests constituted 'a happy family' (Malmesbury, Memoirs}. Balls were incessant, and at them all the queen danced indefatigably. On 9 May the new ball-room and concert-room at Buckingham Palace, which Prince Albert had devised, was brought into use for the first time on the occasion of a ball in honour of the Princess Royal's debut. On 27 May the queen attended a ball at the Turkish ambassador's, and, to the ambassador's embarrassment, chose him for her partner in the first country dance. At a ball in the Waterloo Gallery at Windsor on 10 June the queen danced every dance, and finally a Scottish reel to the bagpipes (Moltke, Letters, vol. i. passim ; Malmesbury, Memoirs, pp. 380 sqq.) On 20 June she entertained Sir Fenwick Williams of Kars at Buckingham Palace. On 26 June the Duke of Westminster gave a great ball in her honour at Orosvenor House. On 9 July there was a state reception by her of the guards on their home-coming from the Crimea. From 10 to 28 Aug. the prince and princess of Prussia, the father and mother of her future son-in-law, were her guests, and later in the autumn the queen received at Balmoral Miss Florence Nightingale, to whom she had sent in the previous January a valuable memorial jewel. In November 1856 the family were plunged in mourning by the death of Prince Leiningen,the queen's half-brother and a companion of her youth.
The next year (1857) involved the queen in a new and great public anxiety, and the serious side of life oppressed her. Parliament was opened by commission on 3 Feb., and before the end of the month the country heard the first bitter cry of the Indian mutiny. Next month Palmerston was defeated in the House of Commons on Cobden's motion condemning his warlike policy in China. The queen, with characteristic reluctance, assented to his demand for a dissolution. His appeal to the country received a triumphant answer, and the new parliament assembled with a majority of seventy-nine in his favour—a signal tribute to his personal popularity. On 14 April the queen's youngest child, Princess Beatrice, was born at Buckingham Palace, and on the 30th the queen suffered much grief on the death of her aunt, the Duchess of Gloucester, the last surviving child of George III ; 'we all looked upon her,' said the queen, 'as a sort of grand-mother.' At the time the forthcoming marriage of her eldest daughter began to occupy her thoughts. On 16 May 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 earliest appeal to the nation for the Grant to Princess Royal. to pecuniary support of her children. The request was favourably entertained. The government proposed a dowry of 40,000l. and an annuity of 8,000l. Roebuck raised the objection that the marriage was an 'entangling alliance,' and opposed the grant of an 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 80,000l. and an annuity of 5,000l. All parties finally combined to support the government's proposal, which found in its last stages only eighteen dissentients. The royal betrothal continued to be celebrated by brilliant and prolonged festivities. In June and July Prince Frederick William once more stayed at court, and Von Moltke, who was again his companion, declared the succession of gaieties to be overpowering. One day (15 June) there was a state visit to the Princess's Theatre to see Kean's spectacular production of Shakespeare's 'Richard II.' Next day the infant Princess Beatrice was baptised. On 11 June the Ascot ceremonies were conducted in full state, and among the royal guests was M. Achille Fould, the Paris banker and Napoleon Ill's minister of finance. On the 17th the whole court attended the first Handel festival at the Crystal Palace, when ' Judas 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. Hardly a day passed without an elaborate ceremonial. On 26 June a military review took place in Hyde Park amid extraordinary signs of popular enthusiasm, and the first batch of Victoria crosses was distributed. From 29 June to 2 July 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 Royal Victoria Patriotic Asylum for daughters of soldiers, sailors, and marines, and before the end of the month time was found for a visit to Aldershot. Royal personages from the continent Royal huests. thronged the queen's palaces. The king of the Belgians brought his daughter, the Princess Charlotte, and her fiancé the Archduke Maximilian of Austria, who was later to lay down his life in Mexico under heartrending circumstances. The prince of Hohenzollern, the queen of the Netherlands, and the Duke and Duchess of Montpensier 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 Constantino of Russia, brother of the reigning tsar Alexander II. He had been invited to the Tuileries by Napoleon, who was ominously seeking every opportunity of manifesting goodwill to Russia, and the queen did not wish to be behind him in showing courtesies to her recent foes.
The constant intercourse of the queen and the prince at this moment with the royal families of Europe led her to define her husband's rank more accurately than Title of prince consort. had been done before. On 25 June prince 1857, by royal letters patent, she consort. 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.' But it was doubtful whether this bestowal of a new name effectively removed the embarrassment. The 'Times' wrote sneeringly that the new title guaranteed increased homage to its bearer on the banks of the Spree and the Danube, but made no difference in his position anywhere else. Abroad it achieved the desired result. When on 29 July the prince attended at Brussels the marriage of the ill-fated Archduke Maximilian with the Princess Charlotte of Belgium, he was ac- corded precedence before the Austrian arch- dukes and immediately after the king of the Belgians.
The English government still deemed it prudent to cultivate the French alliance, Relations with Napoleon III. but the emperor's policy was growing enigmatic, and in the diplomatic 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 peninsula, he and the English government took opposite sides. The anxiety of the emperor to maintain good personal relations with the queen was the talisman which restored harmony. A few informal word 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 6 to 10 Aug. The French ministers, Walewski and Persigny, accompanied their master, and the queen was attended by Palmerston and Clarendon. The blandest cordiality characterised the discussion, but from the point of view of practical diplomacy advantage lay with the emperor. He had supported the contention of Russia and Sardinia that it was desirable to unite under one ruler the two semi-independent principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia. The English government supported Austria's desire to keep the two apart. Napoleon now agreed to the continued separation of the principalities ; but in 1859, when they, by their own efforts, joined together and founded the dominion which was afterwards named Roumania, he insisted on maintaining the union. When the Osborne visit was ended affectionate compliments passed between the emperor and the queen in autograph letters, and the agreement was regarded as final. The queen wrote with ingenuous confidence of the isolation that characterised the position of a sovereign, but added that fortunately her ally, no less than herself, enjoyed 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 war-like preparations which were going forward almost within hail of the English shore, into new links of the chain of amity 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 19 Aug. in order to inspect the dockyard, arsenal, and fortifications. Every facility of examination was given them, 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. The relations of the queen and emperor abounded in irony.
Meanwhile the nation was in the throes of the Indian mutiny—a crisis more trying and harrowing than the recent The Indian mutiny. war. Having broken out in the previous June, it was in August at its cruel height, and the queen, in common with all her subjects, suffered acute mental torture. She eagerly scanned the news from the disturbed districts, and, according to her wont, showered upon her ministers 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 (18 July) 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.' The minister's cavils only stimulated the activity of her pen. She left Osborne for her autumn holiday at Balmoral on 28 Aug. Parliament was still sitting. Her withdrawal to the north before the prorogation excited adverse criticism, but throughout her sojourn at Balmoral little else except India occupied her mind. She vividly felt the added anxieties due to the distance and the difficulty of communication. Happily, just after the court left Scotland (on 16 Sept.) events took a more favourable turn. On 3 Dec., when the queen opened parliament in person, the mutiny was in process of extinction. The sudden death of the Duchess de Nemours in November at Claremont increased at the time the queen's depression. 'We were like sisters,' she wrote ; 'bore the same name, married the same year, our children of the same age.' But the need of arranging for the celebration of her eldest daughters marriage soon distracted her attention. As many as seventeen German princes and princesses accepted invitations Marriage of the Princess Royal. to be present. The festivities opened on 19 Jan. 1858 with a state performance at Her Majesty's Theatre, when Macbeth' was performed, with Phelps and Miss Faucit in the chief parts, and was followed by Mr. and Mrs. Keeley's rendering of the farce of 'Twice Killed.' The wedding took place at St. James's Palace on the 25th, and eight days later the bride and bridegroom left England. The queen felt the parting; severely, and dwelt upon her mixed feelings of joy and sorrow in her replies to the addresses of congratulation which poured in upon her.
Before the queen quite reconciled herself to the separation from her daughter, she was suddenly involved in the perplexities of a ministerial crisis. The French alliance which Palmerston had initiated proved a boomerang and destroyed his government. On 15 Jan. an explosive bomb had been thrown by one Orsini, an Italian refugee, at the emperor and empress of the French while entering the Opera House in Paris, and though they escaped unhurt ten persons were killed and 150 wounded. It was soon discovered that the plot had been hatched 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 in England which was hitherto freely accorded to foreign political malcontents. Addresses of congratulation to the emperor on his escape, which he published in the official 'Moniteur,' threatened England with reprisal. Palmerston ignored Walewski's despatch, but introduced a mild bill making conspiracy to murder, hitherto a misdemeanour, a felony. The step was approved by the queen, but it was denounced as a weak truckling to Palmerston's old friend Napoleon, and his bill was defeated on the Palmerston's fall, Fegruary 1858. second reading (19 Feb.) Thereupon he resigned. The queen begged him to reconsider the matter. Although she never derived much comfort from Palmerston, she had great faith in his colleague Clarendon, and it was on his account that she sought to keep the ministry in office; but Palmerston persisted in resigning, and she at once summoned Lord Derby. The queen, although she recognised the parliamentary weakness of a conservative government, was successful in urging him to attempt it. It gratified her that the brother of Sir Robert Peel, General Jonathan Peel, became 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.' 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 Pélissier, Duc de Malakoff, to represent France at her court in place of Persigny, who was no favourite. General Pélissier was constantly at court, and was much liked by all the royal family, and when he withdrew, on 5 March 1859, tears were shed on both sides.
In June 1858 the prince consort paid a visit to his daughter and son-in-law in Germany, and on his return the queen, during exceptionally hot weather, which interfered with her comfort, made a royal progress to Birmingham to open the Aston Park. She and the prince stayed with Lord Leigh at Stoneleigh Abbey. The need of maintaining at full heat the French alliance again called them to France in August, when they paid a second visit to Cherbourg. The meeting of the sovereigns bore a somewhat equivocal aspect. The queen in her yacht was accompanied Visit to Cherbourg. 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 she joined the emperor in witnessing the formal opening of the new arsenal, and she climbed up the steep fort La Roule in order to survey the whole extent of the fortifications. The emperor pleasantly reminded the queen that a century before the English fleet had bombarded Cherbourg, but the cordiality between the two appeared unchanged, and the emperor repeated his confidence in the permanence of the Anglo-French alliance; the prince, however, thought the imperial ardour somewhat cooler than of old. From Tour to Germany. France the queen passed to Germany on a visit to her daughter. It was a long and interesting expedition, and she 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-Chapelle the prince of Prussia joined them. Thence they travelled to Hanover to visit the king and queen at Herrenhausen, where the queen delighted in the many memorials of her Hanoverian predecessors. Her daughter was residing at the castle of Babelsberg, about three miles from Potsdam, and there she arrived on 13 Aug. In the course of the next few days many visits were paid to Berlin, and the queen inspected the public buildings, the tomb of Frederick the Great, and the royal palaces of Sans Souci and Charlottenberg, and the Neues Palais. On the 27th she left for Cologne, and after a brief visit to places of interest she arrived at Osborne by way of Antwerp and Dover on the 31st. She and the prince soon left for the north, but they paused on the journey at Leeds to open the new town-hall.
The foreign tour had not withdrawn the queen from important business at home. When she was setting out the country was excited by the completion of the laying of the first submarine cable between America and the United Kingdom, and 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.The resettlement of India. 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 and to transfer its territories and powers to the crown. India was thenceforth to be administered by a secretary of state assisted by a council of fifteen. The queen set a high value on the new and direct connection which the measure created between India and herself. She felt that it added to the prestige of the monarchy, but in two details the queen deemed the bill to encroach on her prerogative. In the first place, the introduction of competitive examinations for appointments in the new Indian civil service cancelled the crown's power of nomination. In the second place, the Indian army was to be put under the authority of the Indian council. She insisted that her prerogative gave her control of all military forces of the crown through the commander-in-chief exclusively. She laid her objections before Lord Derby with her usual frankness, but the government had pledged itself to the proposed arrangements, and on Lord Derby threatening to resign if the queen pressed the points, she prudently dropped the first and waited for a more opportune moment for renewing discussion on the second. In 1860 it was decided to amalgamate the European forces in India with the home army.
The act for the reorganisation of the Indian government received the royal assent on 2 Aug. 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 resolved that her first address to the native population should plainly set forth her personal interest in its welfare. She had thrown the whole 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 which was forwarded to her at Babelsberg seemed to assert England's power with needless brusqueness, and was not calculated to conciliate native sentiment. Undeterred by the ill-success which had attended her efforts to modify those provisions in the bill which offended her, she now 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 Her attitude to her Indian subjects. government over them, and after a attitude to bloody civil war, giving them pledges which her future reign is to redeem, and explaining the principles of her government. Such a document should breathe feelings of generosity, benevolence, and religious 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' (Martin, iv. 49). She 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. She desired Lord Derby to rewrite the proclamation in what she described as 'his excellent language.'
The queen never brought her influence to bear on an executive act of government with nobler effect. The second draft, which was warmly approved by the queen, breathed that wise spirit of humanity and toleration which was the best guarantee of the future prosperity of English rule in India. Her suggestion was especially responsible for the 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 Christianity, 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 displeasure.' Finally, the queen recommended the establishment of a new order of the star of India as a decorative reward for those native princes who were loyal to her rule, and such of her officials in the Indian government as rendered conspicuous service. The first investiture took place on 1 Nov. 1861.
In the closing months of 1858 and the opening months of 1859 time forcibly reminded the queen of its passage. On 9 Nov. 1858 the prince of Wales, who had been confirmed on 1 April 1858, completed 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 intrude it. No sooner had she set her eldest son on the road to independence than she welcomed the Her eldest grandchild. first birth of that second generation of her family which before her death was to grow to great dimensions. On 27 Jan. 1859 a son and heir was born at Berlin to the Princess Royal. The child ultimately became the present German emperor William II. For some time the princess's condition caused anxiety to her family, but the crisis happily passed. The queen thus became a grandmother at the age of thirty-nine. Congratulations poured in from every quarter.
Among the earliest and the warmest greetings came one from Napoleon III, and the queen in her acknowledgment took occasion solemnly to urge him to abide in the paths of peace. The persistency with which he continued to increase his armaments had roused a widespread suspicion that he was preparing to emulate the example of his great predecessor. For a time it seemed doubtful in which direction he would aim his first blow. But when the queen's first grandson was born, she knew that her gentle- 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, and thereby to promote the unity 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 in defence of the proposed war. On 3 Feb. she opened parliament in person and read with emphasis those passages in her speech which delared 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. Napoleon at once entered the field with his ally of Italy. The queen and the prince Napoleon at were harassed by fear of a Napoleon at war with Austria. universal war. Popular feeling in England in regard to the struggle that was in progress was entirely distasteful to them. English public sentiment regarded Sardinia as the courageous challenger of absolutist tyranny. Napoleon was applauded for rendering Sardinia assistance. The queen and the prince, on the other hand, while they deplored Austria's precipitancy, cherished sympathy with her as a German power, whose fortunes appeared to affect immediately those of her neighbour, Prussia.
Affection for her newly married daughter redoubled the queen's desire for the safety The queen's anxiety respecting Prussia. of Prussia. Her son-in-law had risen a step nearer the Prussian throne in 1858, when the king, his uncle, had, owing to failing health, been superseded by his father, the prince of Prussia, who became prince-regent. The change of rule greatly increased the influence that Prince Albert could exert on Prussia, for the new ruler was an old friend of his and of the queen, and, having much faith in the prince's judgment, freely appealed 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 English court, mainly moved by a desire to protect their daughter from the consequences of strife, besought him to stand aside. He assented, and the queen turned to Napoleon to persuade him to keep hostilities within a narrow compass. When the empress of the French sent her birthday congratulations on 25 May, she in reply entreated her to persuade her husband to localise the war. The prompt triumph of the French arms achieved that result, and, to the queen's relief, although not without anxiety, she learned that the two emperors were to meet at Villafranca to negotiate terms of peace.
The queen's fears of the sequel were greatly increased by the change of government which took place during the progress of the war. On 1 April Lord Derby's government, which Lord Derby's resignation. in the main held her views in regard to the foreign situation, was defeated on its reform bill. She declined to accept the ministers' resignation, but assented to the only alternative, dissolution of parliament. The elections passed off quietly, but left the conservatives in a minority of forty-three. On 10 June the ministers were attacked and defeated, and, to the queen's disappointment, she saw herself compelled to accept Lord Derby's resignation. 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. His sympathy with Italy and his antipathy to Austria were alike notorious. Lord John Russell, too, had identified himself with Italian interests. On 11 June she therefore invited Lord Granville, a comparatively subordinate member of the party, to extricate her from her difficulties by forming a government. To him she was personally attached, and he was calculated to prove more pliable than his older colleagues. In autograph letters addressed to Palmerston and Lord John, which Granville was charged to deliver, she requested those veterans to serve under him. Her action was mortifying to both, and by accident involved her and them in even more embarrassment than could 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 day (12 June). She was in despair: 'Whom am I to trust?' she said ; 'these were my own very words.' In the result Palmerston genially agreed to accept Granville's leadership, but Lord John refused to hear of it ; and Lord Granville withdrew from the negotiation. The queen was thus compelled to appeal to Palmerston, and to accept him as her prime minister for the second time. Before his ministry was constituted she suffered yet another disappointment. Lord John insisted on taking the foreign office, and, as a consequence, Lord Clarendon, her trusted friend, who had good claims to the post, was excluded from the government.
Her forebodings of difficulties with her new ministers were 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. Differences with Lord John on the Italian question. 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.' At the same time the course of the negotiations between Napoleon and the emperor of Austria was perplexing alike to the queen and to her ministers. Napoleon had 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 protested unwillingness to take farther 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. They opened diplomatic negotiations with a view to a modification of the proposed treaty, and to the encouragement of 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 ker 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 loudly raised by the government, would compel this country to join Sardinia in war. But Palmerston and Lord John were unmoved by her appeals. Palmerston declared that, if their advice were not acted on, their resignations would follow. In August, when the vacation had scattered the ministers, the queen insisted on the whole cabinet being summoned, so that they might realise her unconquerable determination to observe a strict neutrality. Palmerston affected indifference to her persistency, but Italian affairs were suffered to take their own course without English intervention. Yet the outcome was not agreeable to the queen. As soon as the treaty of Villafranca was signed, Sardinia, aided by Garibaldi, sought at the 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 Sardinia from their principalities. The Duchess of Parma, one of the discrowned sovereigns, appealed to the queen for protection. Lord John, whose stolidity in such matters widened the breach between him and the queen, drew up a cold and bald refusal, which she declined to send. Lord Clarendon, however, was on a visit to her at the moment, and by his advice she gave her reply a more sympathetic tone, without openly defying her ministers.
At the same time, with Sardinia's reluctant assent, Napoleon annexed Savoy and Nice to France as the price of his benevolent service to Italy in the past, and by way of a warning that he would tolerate no foreign intrusion while 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 Anger with Napoleon III. into his hands. Her complaint Napoleon was hardly logical, for she had herself urged on them the strictest neutrality. On 5 Feb. 1860 she wrote to Lord John, 'We have been made regular dupes, which the queen apprehended and warned against all along.' Her hope that Europe would stand together to prevent the annexation was unavailing, and in impotent rage she exclaimed against maintaining further intercourse with France. 'France,' she wrote to her uncle (8 May 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.' But her wrath cooled, and her future action bore small trace of it. In 1860 the ministry gave her another ground for annoyance by proposing 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 warmth against the change as an infringement of her prerogative, and for the moment the scheme was dropped.
Apart from foreign politics her life still knew no cloud. Her public duties continued to bring her into personal relations with the army which were always congenial to her. On 29 Jan. 1859 she opened Wellington College for the sons of officers, an institution Military ceremonials. of which she had already laid the foundation-stone. On 6 June she once more distributed Victoria crosses. On 26 Aug. she inspected at Portsmouth the 32rd regiment, whence the heroes of Lucknow had been drawn. To meet surprises of invasion 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 7 March 1860, and she reviewed twenty thousand men in Hyde Park on 23 June. Her brother-in-law, Duke 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 commendation of their zeal. On 2 July 1860 she personally The volunteers. inaugurated the National Rifle Association, which was a needful complement of the volunteer movement, 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 instituted the queen's prize of the value of 200l., which was awarded annually till the end of her reign. When on the way to Balmoral in August 1860 she stayed at Holyrood in order to review the Scottish volunteer forces.
Domestic life proceeded agreeably. Twice in 1859 her daughter, the Princess Royal, visited her, on the second occasion with her husband. During the autumn sojourn at Balmoral of that year the queen was exceptionally 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 invited two hundred of the members to be the queen's guests at a highland gathering on Deeside. On her way south 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. During the season of next year, when she opened parliament in person (24 Jan., 1860), her guests included the king of the Belgians and the young German princes, Louis of Hesse-Darmstadt and his brother. She looked with silent favour on the attentions which Prince Louis paid her second daughter, the Princess Alice, who was now seventeen, and, although she deprecated so early a marriage, awaited the result with interest. At the same time the queen and prince were organising a tour for the prince of Wales through Canada and the United States, which promised well for the good relations of England and the United States. President Buchanan, in a letter to the queen, invited the prince to Washington, an invitation which she accepted in an autograph reply.
In the late autumn of 1860 the royal family paid a second visit to Coburg. A main inducement was to converse once more with Stockmar, who had since 1857 lived there in retirement owing to age and failing health. The queen and the prince were still actively corresponding with him, and were as dependent as ever on his counsel. On 22 Sept., accompanied by Princess Alice and attended by Lord John Russell, they embarked at Gravesend for Antwerp. Second visit to Coburg, 1860. On the journey they were disto Coburg, tressed by the intelligence of the death of the prince consort's step-mother, with whom they had both cherished a sympathetic intimacy. While passing through Germany they were joined by members of the Prussian royal family, including their son-in-law. At Coburg they met their daughter and her first-born son, with whom his grandmother then made her first acquaintance. On 29 Sept. they removed to Rosenau. Among the guests there was Gustav Freytag, the German novelist, who interested the queen, and described in his reminiscences her 'march-like gait' and affable demeanour (Gustav Freitag, Reminiscences, Eng. Trans. 1890, vol. ii.) On 1 Oct. the prince met with an alarming carriage accident (cf. Lord Augustus Loftus, Reminiscences, 1st ser. ii. 89). The queen, though she suppressed her emotion, was gravely perturbed, and by way of thank-offering instituted at Coburg, after her return home, a Victoria-Stift (i. e. foundation), endowing it with 1,000l. 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 (10 Oct.) he completely broke down, and sobbed out that he would never see his native land again (Duke Ernest's Memoirs, iv. 55). On the return journey the prince and princess of Prussia entertained the queen and the prince at the palace of Coblenz, where slight illness detained the queen for a few days. Lord John Russell and Baron von Schleinitz, the German minister, spent Relations with Prussia. 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. Afterwards Palmerston used characteristically strong language in a demand for reparation. A vexatious dispute followed between the two governments, and the queen and the prince were displeased by the manner in which the English ministers handled it. The queen wisely avoided all open expression 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 was gradually dropped, and when, on 2 Jan. 1861, the death of the paralysed Frederick William IV placed the queen's friend, the prince-regent of Prussia, finally on the throne of Prussia as King William I, and her son-in-law and her daughter then became crown prince and princess, the queen believed that friendship between the two countries, as between the two courts, was permanently assured. Her wrath with Napoleon, too, was waning. A private visit to Windsor and Osborne from the Empress Eugenie, who had come in search of health, revived the tie of personal affection that bound her to the queen, and the new year (1861) saw the customary interchange of 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, when he formally betrothed himself to Princess Alice (30 Nov.)
Christmas and New Year 1860-1 were kept at Windsor with unusual spirit, although the Betrothal of Princess Alice. death of Lord Aberdeen on 14 Dec. was a cause of grief. Among the many guests were both Lord Palmerston and Mr. Disraeli with his wife. The queen and prince had much talk with Disraeli, of whose growing influence they took due account, and they were gratified by his assurance that his followers might be relied on to support a national policy. On more personal questions he was equally complacent. He readily agreed to support the government in granting a dowry of 30,000l. and an annuity of 3,000l. to Princess Alice on her approaching marriage. On 4 Feb. 1861 the queen opened parliament in person, and herself announced the happy event. It was the last occasion on which she delivered with her own voice the speech from the throne. On 10 Feb. 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.' But 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 16 March Death of the queen's mother. of the her mother, who kept her youthful spirit and cheerfulness to the last, and especially delighted in her grandchildren, died at Frogmore after a brief illness. It was the queen's first experience of death in the inmost circle of her family. Princess Alice, who was with her at the moment, first gave proof of that capacity of consolation which she was often afterwards to display in her mother's future trials. Although she was much broken, the queen at once sent the sad news in her own hand to her half-sister, to the princess royal, and to King Leopold. Expressions of sympathy abounded, and the general sentiment was well interpreted by Disraeli, 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 duchess's body was laid on 25 March in St. George's Chapel, Windsor. The queen resolved that a special mausoleum should be built at Frogmore for a permanent burial-place, and the remains were removed thither on 17 Aug. 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 the Princess Hohenlohe and her sons Victor and Edward 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 festivities, and some minor troubles, added to the queen's depression. In May, when Prince Louis of Hesse visited Osborne, he fell ill of measles. On 14 July the queen was shocked by news of the attempted assassination at Baden of her friend the king of Prussia. But she gradually resumed the hospitalities and activities of public life. Before the end of the season she 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.
On 21 Aug. the queen, with the prince consort, the Princesses Alice and Helena, Third visit to Ireland, 1861. and Prince 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 Holyhead, and crossed to Kingstown in the royal yacht. The queen took up her residence in the Viceregal Lodge in Phoenix Park on the 22nd. On Saturday the 24th she went to the Curragh to review a force of ten thousand men, among whom her eldest son held a place. On the 26th the queen and her family went south, travelling to Killarney and taking: up their residence at Kenmare House. They were received by the people of the district 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, which proved abortive, was organised for the enjoyment of the royal party. 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 again for the fourth and last time. At Balmoral she occupied herself mainly with outdoor pursuits. On 4 Sept., to her delight, she was joined by her half-sister, the Princess Leiningen, 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 (22 Oct.) Windsor Gastle 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 November, but the deaths of Sir James Graham and of Pedro V of Portugal and his brother Ferdinand damped the spirits of host and hostess. In the middle of November signs that the prince's health was failing became obvious. A year before he had had an attack of English cholera, and he suffered habitually from low fever. Though the queen was solicitous, she, like most persons in robust health, was inclined to 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, Affair of the Trent. and for the last time she, under her husbands 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 had issued a proclamation of neutrality. Public opinion in England 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, and many of their colleagues made no secret of their faith in the justice of the cause of the south. In November the prevailing sentiment 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 confederates to plead their cause at the English and French courts. They had run the federals' blockade of the American coast, and, embarking on the Trent, an English steamer, at Havana, set sail in her on 8 Nov. 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 27 Nov. the Trent arrived at Southampton, and the news was divulged in England. On 30 Nov. Palmerston forwarded to the queen the draft of a despatch to be forwarded to Washington. In peremptory and uncompromising terms the English government demanded immediate reparation and redress. The strength of Palmerston's language seemed to place any likelihood of an accommodation out of question. The prince consort realised the perils of the situation. He did not share the prime minister's veneration of the southerners, and war with any party in the United States was abhorrent to him. He at once suggested, in behalf of the Prince Albert's intervention. queen, gentler phraseology, and in spite of his rapidly developing vention. illness wrote to Lord Palmerston for the queen (1 Dec.) urging him to recast the critical despatch so that it might disavow the belief that the assault on the Trent was the deliberate act of the government of the United States. 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 unfortunate passengers and a suitable apology.' This note to Palmerston 'was the last thing 'the prince 'ever wrote,' the queen said afterwards, and it had the effect its author desired. The English government had a strong case. The emperor of the French, the emperor of Austria, the king of Prussia, and the emperor of Russia expressed themselves in full sympathy with England. But Palmerston and Russell willingly accepted the prince consort's correction. They substituted his moderation for their virulence, with the result that the government of Washington assented cheerfully to their demands. Both in England and America it was acknowledged that a grave disaster was averted by the prince's tact.
But he was never to learn of his victory. He already had a presentiment that he was Prince Albert's death. going to die, and he did not cling to life. He had none of the queen's sanguineness or elasticity of temperament, and of late irremovable gloom had oppressed him. During the early days of December he gradually sank, and on the 14th he passed away unexpectedly in the queen's presence. Almost without warning the romance of the queen's life was changed into a tragedy.
At the time of the prince's death, her daughter Alice and her stepsister the Princess Hohenlohe were with her 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 took control of her immediate action, and at his bidding she reluctantly removed to Osborne next day. In the course of the 20th 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 23 Dec., 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 her.
No heavier blow than the prince's removal could have fallen on the queen. Rarely The queen's position. was a wife more dependent on a husband. More than fifteen years before she had written to Stockmar (30 July 1840), 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 permanent separation had come, the future spelt for her 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' (Lady Bloomfield, ii. 148).
Her tragic fate appealed strongly to the sympathies of her people, who mourned with her through every rank. ' They cannot tell what I have lost,' she said ; but she was not indifferent to the mighty outburst 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 subjects, 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 face. Praise of him was her fullest consolation, 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 that best soothed 'her aching, bleeding heart.' The memorials and statues that sprang up in profusion over the land served to illumine the gloom that encircled her, and in course of years she found in the task of supervising the compilation of his biography a potent mitigation of grief. Public opinion proved tractable, and ultimately she enjoyed the satisfaction of an almost universal acknowledgment that the prince had worked zealously and honestly for the good of his adopted country.
But, despite the poignancy of her sorrow, and the sense of isolation which thenceforth abode with her, her nerve was never wholly shattered. Naturally and freely as she gave vent to her grief, her woe did not degenerate into morbid wailing. One of its most permanent 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 whatever rank of life, had henceforth a more tender sympathiser than the queen. As early as 10 Jan. 1862 she sent a touching message of sympathy with a gift of 200l. to the relatives of the victims of a great colliery explosion in Northumberland. In the days following the prince's death, 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 her ministers reminded her that she was bound to communicate with them directly. Pal- merston at the moment was disabled by gout, and the cabinet was under the somewhat severe and pedantic control of Lord John Russell. The reproof awoke the queen to a sense of her position. Gradually she controlled her anguish, and resigned herself to her fate. She had lost half her existence. Nothing hereafter could be to her what 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 Her attitude to the state. had bestowed with her on affairs of state she would bestow. Her decisions 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. Nothing that reminded her of him was disturbed no room that he inhabited, scarcely a paper that he had handled. The anniversary of his death was henceforth kept as a solemn day of rest and prayer, and the days of his birth, betrothal, and marriage were held in religious veneration. She never ceased to wear mourning for him ; she long lived in seclusion, and took no part in court festivities or ceremonial pageantry. Now that the grave had closed over her sole companion and oracle of one-and-twenty years, she felt that a new reign had begun, and must in outward aspect be distinguished from the reign that had closed. But the lessons that the prince had taught her left so deep an 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 followed the prince's death the queen lived in complete seclusion. Her personal attendants in her widowhood. dining often by herself or with her half-sister, and seeing only for any length of time members of her own family. But her widowhood rendered her more dependent than before on her personal attendants, and her intimacy with them gradually grew greater. Of the female members of her household on whose support she rested, ,the chief was Lady Augusta Bruce, and on her marriage to Dean Stanley on 23 Dec. 1863, congenial successors to Lady Augusta were found in Jane Marchioness of Ely, who had been a lady of the bedchamber since 1857 and filled that office till 30 April 1889, and in Jane Lady Churchill, who was a lady of the bed-chamber from 4 July 1854 and remained in attendance on the queen till her sudden death on Christmas day 1900 less than a month before the queen herself died. Even from the lower ranks of her household she welcomed sympathy and proofs of personal attachment. She found Scotsmen and Scots-women 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 chaplain, Dr. Norman Macleod, gave her more real consolation than any clergyman of the south. She found a satisfaction in employing Scots men and women in her domestic service. John Brown, a son of a farmer on her highland estate, had been an outdoor servant 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 devotion 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 took all his brothers into her service, and came to regard him as one of her trustiest friends. In official business she derived invaluable assistance in the early years of her widowhood from those who were filling more dignified positions in her 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 governess 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 devotion to his work relieved the queen of much pressing anxiety. She also reposed full confidence in Sir Charles Phipps, keeper of the privy purse, who died in 1866, and in Sir Thomas Biddulph, who was 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 secretary, who, as equerry to the prince consort, had been brought within the sphere of influence which the queen deemed the best inspiration for her advisers. Sir Henry remained her secretary for the long period of a quarter of a century —8 April 1870 to May 1895, when he was succeeded by her last private secretary, Colonel Sir Arthur Bigge. 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. In one direction only did the queen relieve herself of any of her official work on the prince's death. It had been her custom to sign Her signature to officers' commissions. (in three places) everv commission issued to officers in all branches of the officers' military service, but she had fallen into arrears with the labour of late years, and sixteen thousand 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, as she subsequently did. Public business, in accordance with her resolve, occupied her almost as soon as her husband was buried. On 9 Jan. 1862 she received the welcome 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 proposal to confer the garter on Lord Russell, though she would not hear of a chapter of the order being held, and insisted on conferring the distinction by warrant. On 11 Jan. she presided over a meeting of her privy council.
Two plans of domestic interest which the prince had initiated she at once carried to completion. It had been arranged that it the prince of Wales should make a tour to the Holy Land with Dr. A. P. Staril, 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 6 Feb. till 14 June her eldest son was absent from her on the expedition. There was some inevitable delay in the solemnisation of the marriage of Princess Alice's marriage. Princess Alice, but it was quietly celebrated at Osborne on 1 July. 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.
During the autumn visit to Balmoral (21 Aug. 1862) the queen laid 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. Next month (September 1862) negotiations were in progress for the betrothal of the prince of Wales. Betrothal of prince of Wales. 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 15 Nov. 1863. Her 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 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 the queen and the people of England from the first, and although the princess's connection with Denmark did not recommend the alliance to the Prussian government, which anticipated complications with its little northern neighbour, the betrothal had little political significance or influence.
More perplexing was the consideration which it was needful to devote in December 1862 to a question affecting the future of her second son, Alfred, who, under the prince consort's careful supervision, had been The throne of Greece. educated for the navy. The popular assembly of the kingdom of Greece had driven their king, Otho, from the throne, and resolved to confer the vacant crown on Prince Alfred. The queen 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 ministers' rejection of the invitation to her second son, in which she soon acquiesced, did not relieve her of further debate on the subject. A substitute for 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 at once came to England to take the queen's advice, and his conduct greatly harassed her. His attitude to the question threatened a breach between them. 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 heirship 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 not immediately on his accession sever his connection with Coburg. This condition was treated as impossible of acceptance, alike by English ministers and by Greek leaders. For the duke to abandon Coburg meant its immediate assignment to Prince Alfred. Of this result the queen, who was deeply attached to the principality and was always solicitous of the future fortunes of her younger children, by no means disapproved. But it was congenial neither to Duke Ernest nor to their uncle Leopold, and the duke thought his sister-in-law's action ambiguous and insufficiently considerate towards his own interests. She endeavoured to soothe him, while resenting his pertinacious criticism, and on 29 Jan. 1863 she wrote to him : 'What I can do to remove difficulties, 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' (Duke Ernest, iv. 99-100). Finally the duke's candidature for the Greek throne was withdrawn, and the crown was 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.
Through all the ranks of the nation the marriage of the queen's eldest son, the heir to the throne, evoked abundant enthusiasm. There was an anticipation that the queen would make it the occasion of ending the period of gloomy seclusion in which she had chosen to encircle the court. At her request parliament readily granted an annuity of 40,000 l. for the prince, which, added to the revenues of the duchy of Cornwall, brought his income to over 100,000l. a year, while his bride was awarded an immediate annuity of 10,000l. and a prospective one of 30,000l. in case of widowhood. In accordance with the marriage treaty, which was signed at Copenhagen on lo Jan. 1863, the marriage took place on 5 March 1863 at St. George's Chapel, Windsor. The queen played no part in the ceremony, but witnessed it from a gallery overlooking the Marriage of the prince of Wales 5 March 1863. chancel. The sadness of her situation impressed so unsentimental a spectator as Lord Palmerston, who shed tears as he gazed on her. After the prince's marriage the court resumed some of its old routine ; state balls and concerts were revived to a small extent, but the queen disappointed 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, she did not relax her devotion to the business of state. Her main energy was applied to foreign politics. 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 now mainly sprang from family considerations from her concern for the interests of her married daughters at Berlin and Darmstadt, and in a smaller degree for those of her 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 she and her ministers, Lord Palmerston and Lord John Russell, approached the foreign questions that en- grossed the attention of Europe from 1863 to 1866 rarely coincided. But she pressed counsel on them with all her old pertinacity, and constantly had to acquiesce unwillingly Her views of foreign policy in 1863. in its rejection in detail. Nevertheless she fulfilled her main 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 her people's sympathies with their enemies.
The different mental attitudes in which the queen and her ministers stood to current foreign events is well illustrated by the divergent sentiments which the Polish insurrection excited in them in 1863. Palmerston and his colleague Lord John sympathised with the efforts of Poland to release itself from the grip of Russia, and their abhorrence of the persecution of a small race by a great reflected popular English feeling. France, affecting horror at Russia's cruelty, invited English co-operation in opposing her. Prussia, on the other hand, where Bismarck now ruled, declared that the Poles were meeting their deserts. The queen sternly warned her government against any manner of interference. Her view of the situation altogether ignored the grievances of the Poles, he privately identified herself with their oppressors. The Grand Duke Constantine, who was governor-general of The Polish insurrection. Poland when the insurrection broke out, had been her guest. His life was menaced by the Polish rebels, wherefore his modes of tyranny, however repugnant, became in her sight inevitable weapons of self-defence. The question had driven France and Prussia into opposite camps. Maternal duty called her to the side of Prussia, her eldest daughter's adopted country and future dominion.
Early in the autumn of 1863 the queen visited Germany and examined the foreign situation for herself 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 at the summer palace of Laeken with her uncle Leopold, she proceeded to Rosenau, Prince Albert's birthplace, and thence passed on Visit to Coburg. to Coburg. The recent death of her husband's constant counsellor, 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 Rosenau. Their political prospects, however, filled her with fresh alarms. The sovereigns of Germany were meeting at Frankfort to consider a reform of the confederation of the German states. 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 in 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. Domestic instincts spurred her to exert all her 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 attending the German diet of sovereigns at Frankfort. From Rosenau she addressed to him constant appeals to protect Prussia from the disasters with which the Frankfort meeting threatened it. On 29 Aug., 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 Her dispair of Prussia. prevent a weakening of Prussia, which not only my own feeling resists—on account 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.' Two days later, on 31 Aug., the king of Prussia, at her request, paid her a visit. 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, but he was not present at the interview. The king's kindly tone did not reassure the queen. She thought he failed to realise his country's and his family's danger. But his apparent pusillanimity did not daunt her energies. A personal explanation with the ruler, from whom Prussia had, in her view, everything to fear, became essential. Early in September Francis Joseph, the emperor of Austria, was returning to Vienna from the diet at Frankfort. She invited him to visit on the way at the castle of Coburg. On 3 Sept. he arrived there. It was her Interview with the emperor of Austria. first meeting with him. She had been interested in him since emperor of his accession to the throne in Austria. the eventful year 1848. Ten years later, in August 1858, he had sent to her when at Babelsberg a letter re- gretting his inability to make her personal acquaintance while she was in the neighbourhood of his dominions ; and when his son and heir was born a day or two later, on 22 Aug. 1858, she at once wrote a cordial note of congratulation. Now his interview with her lasted three hours. Only Duke Ernest was present with them. The queen prudently deprecated the notion 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 situation unchanged (Duke Ernest, Memoirs, iv. 134). 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 in her own home. 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. Afterwards she temporarily issued from her seclusion in order to unveil publicly at Aberdeen, on 13 Oct. 1863, a bronze statue of the prince consort, which Marochetti had designed at the expense of the Prince consort's statue unveiled at Aberdeen. city and county. In reply to unveiled at the address from the subscribers the queen declared through Sir George Grey, the home secretary, 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. She welcomed the multiplication of statues of the late prince with such warmth that by degrees, as Gladstone said, they 'covered the land.'
Before the end of the year (1863) there broke out the struggle in central Europe The Scnleswig-Holstein question. which the conflicting claims of Germany and Denmark to the duchies of Schleswig-Holstein had long threatened. English ministers and the queen had always kept the question well in view. 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 claims on the disputed territory. Although he died just before he gave effect to his intentions, his successor, the princess of Wales's father, Christian IX, at once fully accepted his policy. 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 and their relation to Germany. In 1852 Denmark had bought off a German claimant to the duchies in the person of Duke Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg, but his son Duke Frederick declined to be bound by the bargain, and had, in 1863, reasserted an alleged hereditary right to the territory, with the enthusiastic concurrence of the smaller German states and of a liberal minority in Prussia. 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. The government of Prussia, on the other hand, was indifferent to Duke Frederick's pretensions, and anticipating embarrassment from co-operation with the small German states, it took the matter entirely out of their hands. The king of Prussia induced the emperor of Austria to join him exclusively in expelling the Danes from the two duchies, and it was agreed that the two powers, having overcome the Danes, should hold the territories jointly until some final arrangement was reached. There were thus three parties to the dispute the king of Denmark, Duke Frederick of Augustenburg with his German champions, and the rulers of Prussia and Austria.
Two of the three litigants, the king of Denmark and Duke Frederick, each clamoured The queen's divided interests. for the queen's support divided and the intervention of English interests. arms. The queen, who narrowly watched the progress of events and surprised ministers at home and envoys from abroad with 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 somewhat hesitated. Duke Frederick was the husband of the daughter of her half-sister Féodore, and she had entertained him at Windsor. The crown prince of Prussia was his close friend, and Her sym . his cause was also espoused by pathy with the queen's daughter Alice and Germany. t er husband, Prince Louis of Hesse, as well as by her brother-in-law, Duke Ernest of Saxe-Coburg. But while regarding with benevolence 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 antagonistic to his interests, was calculated to increase the strength and prestige of that kingdom, the promotion of which was for her 'a sacred duty.'
There were other grounds which impelled her to restrain her impulse to identity herself completely with any one party to the strife. Radical divergences 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, 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 to attack a small power like Denmark seemed to them another instance of brutal oppression of the weak by the strong. 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 Danes.
In view of interests so widely divided the queen hoped against hope that peace might be preserved. At any rate she was resolved that England should not directly engage in the strife, which she wished to see restricted to the narrowest possible limits of time and space. It was therefore with deep indignation that she learned that active interference in behalf of Denmark was contemplated by her cabinet. Napoleon III was sounded as to whether he would lend his aid, but he had grown estranged from Palmerston, and answered coldly. The ministers' ardour in behalf of Denmark was not diminished by this rebuff. But the queen's repugnance to their Danish sentiment was strengthened. She made no endeavour to conceal her German sympathies, although they became, to her regret, the subject of reproachful comment in the press. Theodor von Bernhardi, the Prussian envoy, had an interview with her at Osborne on 8 Jan. 1864. She frankly 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 (Bernardi, Aus dem Leben, 1895, pt. v. 276-81). At the same time she turned a deaf ear to the urgent appeals of Duke Frederick's friends for material assistance. Within a few hours of her interview with Bernhardi she wrote to her brother-in-law at Coburg that she had come to see with her government that Duke Frederick's claim was unworkable. 'All my endeavours and those of my government,' she said, 'are only directed towards the preservation of peace.' When her ministers introduced what she regarded as bellicose expressions into the queen's speech at the opening of parliament (4 Feb. 1864), she insisted on their removal.
A more critical stage was reached in the same month, when hostilities actually broke out between Austria and Prussia on the one hand and Denmark on the other. Although the Danes fought bravely, they were soon defeated, and the English government, with the assent of the queen, urged on the The London conference. 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 20 April. The queen saw many of the envoys and talked to them with freedom. She recommended mutual concessions. But it was soon seen that the conference would prove abortive. To the queen's annoyance, before it dissolved, her government championed with new vehemence the cause of the Danes, and warlike operations in their behalf were again threated. 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 dissatisfaction with the Queen's zeal for neutrality. threat, and appealed to the cabinet to aid her against the prime minister. She invited the private support of the leader of the opposition, Lord Derby, in the service of peace, and hinted that, if parliament did not adopt a pacific and neutral policy, she would have report to a dissolution. Meanwhile her German relatives complained to her of the encouragement that her ministers and subjects were giving the Danes. But in her foreign correspondence, as the situation developed, she displayed scrupulous tact. She depreciated the rumours that she and her ministers were pulling in opposite directions, or that she had it in her power to take a course to which they were adverse. In May the London conference broke up without arriving at any decision. The war was resumed in June with triumphant results to the German allies, who quickly routed the Danes and occupied the whole of the disputed duchies. Throughout these operations England maintained the strictest neutrality, the full credit of which was laid in diplomatic circles at the queen's door (cf. Duke Ernest's Memoirs ; Count von Beust's Memoirs; Count Vitzthum von Eckstadt's Memoirs.)
Much of this agitation waged round the princess of Wales, and while it was at its height ft new interest was aroused in her. On 8 Jan. 1864 she became, at Frogmore, the mother of a son (Albert Victor), who was in the direct line of succession to the throne. The happy event, which gave the queen, in the heat of the political anxiety, much gratification, was soon followed by her first public appearance in London since her bereavement. On 30 March she attended a flower show at the Horticultural Gardens, while she permitted her birthday on 24 May 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 to recreation. She made, as of old, many excursions in the neighbourhood of her highland home. For the second time in Scotland she unveiled a statue of the prince consort, now at Perth ; and on her return to Windsor she paid a private visit to her late husband's foundation of Wellington College.
A feeling was growing throughout the country that the queen's seclusion was Complaints of the queen's seclusion. unduly prolonged, and was contrary to the nation's interest. It was not within the knowledge of the majority of her subjects that she was performing the routine business of her station with all her ancient pertinacity, and she had never failed to give public signs of interest in social and non-political questions affecting the people's welfare. On New Year's Day 1865 she, on her own responsibility, addressed a letter to railway companies, calling their attention to the frequency of accidents, and to their responsibilities for making better provision for the safety of their passengers. In London, in March, she visited the Consumption Hospital at Brompton. The assassination of President Lincoln on 14 April called forth all her sympathy, and she at once sent to the president'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 Washington. But it was obvious at the same time that she was neglecting the ceremonial functions of her office. On three occasions she had failed to open parliament in person. That ceremony most effectually brought into prominence 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 Russell that that was the first occasion in the history of the country on which a sovereign had failed to present himself at the opening of parliament, except in cases of personal illness or infirmity (Walpole's Russell, i. 275). The queen was known to be in the enjoyment of good health, and, despite her sorrow, had regained some of her native cheerfulness. When, therefore, early 1865 the rumour spread that she would resume her place on the throne at the opening of parliament, signs of popular satisfaction abounded. But she did not come, and the disappointment intensified popular discontent. Radicals, who had no enthusiasm for the monarchical principle, began to argue that the cost of the crown was out of all proportion to its practical use. On 28 Sept. 1865 a cartoon in ' Punch ' portrayed the queen as the statue of Hermione in Shakespeare's ' Winter's Tale,' and Britannia figuring as Paulina was represented as addressing to her the words : ' Tis time ; descend ; be stone no more ' (v. iii. 99). On the other hand, chivalrous defenders pointed to the natural womanly sentiment which explained and justified her retirement. In the first number of the 'Pall Mall Gazette,' which appeared on 7 Feb. 1865, the day of the opening of the new parliament, the first article, headed 'The Queen's Seclusion,' sympathetically sought to stem the tide of censure. Similarly at a great liberal meeting at St. James's Hall on 4 Dec. 1866, after Mr. A. S. Ayrton, member of parliament for the Tower John Bright's defence of her. Hamlets had denounced the queen in no sparing terms, John Bright, who was present, brought his eloquence to her defence and said: '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 reference 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 affection, is not at all likely to be wanting in a great and generous sympathy with you.' Mr. Ayrton endeavoured to explain his words, but was refused a hearing. Nevertheless the agitation was unrepressed. A year later there was a revival of the rumour that court life was to resume its former brilliance under the queen's personal auspices. Unmoved by the popular outcry, she peremptorily denied the truth of the report in a communication to the ' Times' newspaper. She said 'she would Her refusal not shrink from any personal Her refusal to leave her retirement. sacrifice or exertion, however painful. She had worked hard in the public service to the injury of her health and strength. The fatigue of mere state ceremonies, which could beequally 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 encouragement 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.'
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 all his relatives, a statue to him at Coburg (26 Aug.) While at Coburg she approved a matrimonial project affecting her third and eldest unmarried daughter, Helena, who had of late years been her constant companion. In view of recent events in Germany the match was calculated strongly to excite political feeling Betrothal of the Princess Helena. there. Largely at the instance of the Princess Duke Ernest, the princess was Helena. 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 previously been an officer in the Prussian army, had been compelled to retire. 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 arrangement, and by her private munificence met the difficulty incident to the narrow pecuniary resources of the young prince. She returned to England in good health and spirits, meeting at Ostend her uncle Leopold for what proved to be the last time.
Events in the autumn unfortunately reinvigorated her sense of isolation. In the summer of 1865 a dissolution of parliament had become necessary, and the liberals slightly increased their majority in the new House of Commons. But, before the new Death of Palmerston. parliament met, the death of Palmerston, the prime minister, on 18 Oct., broke for the queen another 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 Palmerston's acts, even those that met with her disapproval, had roused in his fellow-countrymen, and, justly interpreting public sentiment, she directed that a public funeral should be accorded him. She afterwards paid Lady Palmerston a touching visit of condolence. Without hesitation she turned to Lord John, the oldest minister in her service, who in 1861 had gone to the House of Lords as Earl Russell, and bade him take Palmerston's place. The change was rendered grateful to her by the bestowal of the office of foreign secretary, which Lord Russell had hitherto held, on her trusted friend, Lord Clarendon. But at the same time Gladstone, the chancellor of the exchequer, became leader of the House of Commons in succession to Palmerston, and she was thus for the first time brought into close personal relations with one who was to play a larger part in her subsequent career than proved congenial to her. On 10 Dec. the queen suffered another loss, which brought her acute sorrow the death of King and of the king of the Belgians. Leopold. She had depended on him almost since her birth for advice on both public and private questions. There was no member of the Saxe-Coburg family, of which she was herself practically the head henceforth, who could take her uncle's place. Her brother-in-law Ernest, who was vain and quixotic, looked up to her for counsel, and in his judgment she put little faith. In her family circle it was now, more than before, on herself alone that she had to rely.
The forthcoming marriage of Princess Helena coincided with the coming of age of her second son, Prince Alfred. For her son and daughter the queen was anxious that due pecuniary provision should be made by parliament. This circumstance, coupled with the fact that a new parliament was assembling, led her to yield to the request of her ministers and once more, after an interval of five years, open the legislature in person (10 Feb. 1866). She came to London from Windsor only for the day, and she deprived the ceremony of much of its ancient splendour. No flourish of trumpets announced her entrance. The The queen The queen opens parliament, 10 Feb. 1896. 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 formalities followed the new precedent of 1866. She was dressed in black, wearing a Marie Stuart cap and the blue riband of the garter. During the ceremony she sat perfectly motionless, and manifested little consciousness of what was proceeding. A month later she showed the direction that her thoughts were always taking by instituting the Albert medal, a new decoration for those endangering their lives in seeking to rescue others from perils of the &ea (7 March 1866).
Later in the year she, for the first time after the prince's death, revisited Aldershot, going there twice to review troops—on 13 March and on 5 April. On the second occasion she gave new colours to the 89th regiment, which she had first honoured thus in 1833, and she now bestowed on the regiment the title 'The Princess Victoria's Regiment,' permitting the officers to wear on their forage caps the badge of a princess's coronet.
The summer was brightened by two marriages. 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 marriage, of Duke Alexander Constantino of Wiirtemberg, whose mother, of the Saxe-Coburg family, was elder sister of the Duchess of Kent, and thus the queen's aunt. On 12 June, dressed in deep black, she was present at Princess Mary's wedding, which took place at Kew. On 5 July 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 of grants to her children. Princess Helena received a dowry of 30,000l. and an annuity of 6,000l., while Prince Alfred received an annuity of 15,000l., to be raised to 25,000l. in case of his marriage. There was no opposition to either arrangement. But throughout the session the position of the government and the course of affairs in Germany filled the queen with alarm. It was clear that the disputes between Prussia and Austria in regard to the final allotment of the conquered duchies of Schleswig-Holstein were to issue in a desperate War between Austria and Prussia. conflict between the two powers. Austria and Not otherwise could their long Prussia. rivalry for the headship of the German states be finally decided. The prospect of war caused the queen acute distress. The merits of the quarrels were blurred in her eyes by domestic considerations. The struggle hopelessly divided her family in Germany. The crown prince was wholly identified 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 likelihood that her two sons-in-law of Prussia and Hesse would fight against each other was especially alarming 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 attached. In the early months of 1866 she eagerly consulted Lord Clarendon with a view to learning how best to apply her influence to the maintenance of peace. She bade Lord Russell, 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. Her perplexities were increased in May by her government's domestic difficulties. Lord Russell warned her of the probable defeat of the government on the reform 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 Russell that vacillation or indifference respecting it on the government's part, now that the question was in the air, weakened the power of the crown. But the continental complication reduced a home political ques- tion to small dimensions in the queen's eye. She declined to recognise a reform bill as a matter of the first importance, and she wrote with some heat to Lord Russell that, whatever happened to his franchise proposals in the commons, she would permit no resignation of the ministers until the foreign crisis was passed. Her ministers begged her to remain at Windsor in May instead of paying her usual spring visit to Balmoral. She declined, with the remark that they were bound at all hazards to avert a ministerial crisis. In June the worst happened, alike at home and abroad. War was declared between Prussia and Austria, and Lord Russell's government was defeated while its reform bill was in committee in the House of Commons. On Disputes 19 June Lord Russell forwarded with Lord his resignation to Balmoral and deprecated dissolution. The queen wrote protesting 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 prepared to make concessions ; and she must therefore ask them to reconsider their decision' (Walpole, Lord John Russell, ii. 415). Lord Russell retorted that his continuance in office was impracticable, and with his retirement he in effect ended his long public life. The queen in her anger regarded his withdrawal as amounting to desertion, and, failing to hasten her departure from Balmoral, suffered the government for some days to lie in abeyance. At length the conservative leader, Lord Derby, accepted her request to form a new ministry, with Disraeli as chancellor of the exchequer and leader of the House of Commons (6 July 1866).
Meanwhile the Austro-Prussian war was waging in Germany, and many of the queen's relatives were in the field, the crown prince alone fighting for Prussia, the rest supporting 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, and sent her at Darmstadt much linen for the wounded. The result was not long in doubt. At the outset, the rapid Prussia invasion of Hanover by Prussian seizes troops drove the queen's cousin Prussia seizes Hanover. the king from his throne, and blotted out the kingdom, converting it into a Prussian province. The queen felt bitterly the humiliation of the dissolution of a kingdom which had long been identified with England. She made urgent inquiries after the safety of the expelled royal family of Hanover. The king, who was blind, made his residence at Paris, and 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 quickly assured, and the queen suffered more disappointments. Italy had joined Prussia against Austria. Austria was summarily deprived of Venetia, her last hold on the Italian peninsula, and the union of Italy under Victor Emanuel a project with which the queen had no sympathy was virtually accomplished. The Austrians were decisively defeated at the battle at Sadowa near Koniggratz on 3 July 1866, and the conflict was at an end seven weeks after it had begun. Thus Prussia was finally placed at the head of the whole of North Germany ; its accession to an imperial crown of Germany was in sight, and Austria was compelled to retire from the German confederation. It was with mixed feelings that the queen saw her early hopes of a strong Prussia realised. The price of the victory 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.
The queen's withdrawal to the quiet of Balmoral in October gave welcome relief after such severe political strains. She repeated a short sojourn, which she had made the year before, with the lately widowed Duchess of Athol, a lady of the bed-chamber, at Dunkeld, and she opened the Aberdeen waterworks at Invercannie (16 Oct. 1866), when for the first time in her widow-hood she herself read the answer to the address of the lord provost. Another public The queen at Wolverhampton. 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 30 Nov. she visited Wolverhampton to unveil a statue of the prince consort in the market-place. She expressed a desire that her route should be so arranged as to give the inhabitants, both poor and rich, full opportunities of showing their 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.
But the perpetuation of her husband's memory was still a main endeavour of her The biography of the prince consort. life, and she now enlisted biography in her service. Under her direction her private secretary, General Grey, completed in 1866 a very minute account of the early years of the prince consort. She designed the volume, which was based on confidential and intimate correspondence, and only brought the prince's life to the date of his marriage, for private distribution among friends and relatives. But in 1867 she placed the book at the disposal of the wider audience of the general public. The work was well received. At the queen's request 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 (Wilberforce, iii. 236). The queen resolved that the biography should be continued, and on General Grey's death in May 1870 she entrusted the task, on the recommendation of Sir Arthur Helps, clerk of the council, to Sir Arthur's friend, (Sir) Theodore Martin. 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. Sir Theodore Martin's work was designed on an ample scale, the 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 the prince's biography. The whole truth best vindicated him, she explained, and it was undesirable 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 lifetime, could only be apprehended in a full exposition. Both she and he would suffer, she said, were the work not carried through (Princess Alices Letters, pp. 333-5). 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 Reeve, 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 (Longman, Memoir of Henry Reeve). To illustrate the happy character of her married life, she privately issued in 1867 some extracts from her diary under the title of 'Leaves from a Journal of our Life in the Highlands from 1848 to 1861.' This, too, she was induced to publish at the beginning of the following year (1868). Its unaffected simplicity and naïveté greatly attracted the public, who saw in the book, with its frank descriptions of her private life, proof of her wish to share her joys and sorrows with her people. A second part followed in 1883, covering the years 1862 to 1882.
The year 1867 abounded in political incidents which absorbed the queen's attention. With her new conservative ministers 1867. her relations were invariably cordial. Their views on foreign politics were mainly identical with her own, and there was none of the tension which had marked her relations with Palmerston and Lord Hussell in that direction. As proof of the harmony existing between her advisers and herself, she consented to open parliament in person on 5 Feb. In May she again appeared in public, when she laid the foundation of the Royal 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 chief event of the year in domestic politics was the passage of Disraeli's reform Disraeli's reform bill. bill through parliament. The queen encouraged the government to settle the question. Although she had no enthusiasm for sweeping reforms, her old whig training inclined her to regard extensions of the franchise as favourable to the monarchy and to the foundations of her government.
But foreign affairs still appealed to her more strongly than home legislation. 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 always believed him to be secretly fomenting serious disquiet. He now professed to The Luxemburg affair. detect a menace to France in the semi-independence of the frontier state the duchy of Luxemburg seeing that the new conditions which Prussian predominance created in north Germany gave that power the right to fortify the duchy on its French border. He therefore negotiated with the suzerain of the duchy, the king of Holland, for its annexation to his own 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 his suggestion. The queen urgently appealed to her government to keep the peace, and her appeal had its effect. A conference met in London (11-14 May 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, and he was inclined to credit the queen with thwarting his ambition.
His relations with her endured a further strain next month when his fatal abandonment in Mexico of her friend and Emperor Maximillan. connection, the Archduke Maxixmillian, became known. In 1804 Napoleon had managed to persuade the arch-duke, the Austrian emperor's brother, who had married the queen's first cousin, Princess Charlotte of Belgium, and had frequently been the queen's guest, to accept the imperial 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 18ti6, 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, Her distrust of Napoleon III. but the archduke declined to leave with it. His wife, Princess Charlotte of Belgium, 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. Meanwhile the inhabitants of Mexico restored the republic, and the archduke was shot by order of a court-martial on 20 June 1867. The catastrophe appalled the queen, whose personal attachment to its victims was great. She wrote a frank letter of condolence to the archduke's brother, the emperor of Austria, and for the time spoke of Napoleon a politically past redemption. But she still cherished private affection for the empress of the French, and privately entertained her as her guest at Osborne in July. Nor when misfortune overtook the emperor himself in 1870, did she permit her repugnance to his political action to repress her sense of compassion.
While the Mexican tragedy was nearing its last scene the second great exhibition was taking place at Paris, and Napoleon III, despite the universal suspicion that he excited succeeded in entertaining many royal personages among them the tsar Alexander II the king of Prussia, Abdul Aziz, sultan of Turkey, Ismail Pasha, khedive of Egypt, and the prince of Wales. The queen's ministers recommended that she should renew the old hospitalities 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, but she demurred to acting as hostess in state on a large scale. She however agreed, with a view to confirming her influence in Eastern Europe, to entertain Abdul Aziz, the sultan of Turkey, and to receive Ismail Pasha, the khedive of Egypt, who had announced his intention of coming, and was in the country The sultan's visit, 1867. from 6 to 18 July. 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 governments, evoked intense popular excitement, sultan was magnificently received on his arrival on 12 July, and was lodged in Buckingham Palace. Though the queen took as small a part as possible in the festivities, she did not withdraw herself altogether from them. Princess Alice helped her in extending hospitalities to her guest, who lunched with her at Windsor and highly commended her attentions. A great naval review by the queen at Spitbead 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 gaiter on the yacht's deck. When the sultan left on 23 July 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, staying for two days with the Duke and "Duchess of Roxburgh at Floors Castle, near Kelso (21 to 23 Aug.) On the 22nd she visited Melrose Abbey, and thence proceeded to Abbotsford, where she was received by 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 wrote in her diary : 'I felt it to be a presumption in me to do.' Subsequently she unveiled with some formality a memorial to the Prince Albert at Deeside, and visited the Duke of Richmond at Glenfiddich (24-7 Sept.)
Early in 1868 she 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 Disraeli prime minister, 1868. son, Lord Stanley. Disraeli's steady work for his party for a quarter of a century seemed to entitle him to the great reward, and the queen without any hesitation conferred it on him. Her relations 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. As her prime minister Disraeli from the first confirmed her good opinion of him, and by the adroitness of his counsel increased her sense of power and dignity. But his power in parliament was insecure, and she was soon brought face to face with a ministerial crisis in which he contrived that she should play not unwillingly an unwontedly prominent part.
In April Gladstone brought forward his first and main resolution in favour of the Gladstone and the Irish church. disestablishment of the Irish church. The government resisted him, and on 1 May was sharply defeated by a majority of sixty-five. Next day Disraeli went to Windsor and tendered his resignation to the queen. Personally the queen disliked Gladstone's proposal. She regarded the established church throughout her dominions as intimately associated with the 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; 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. If she accepted Disraeli's resignation she would be compelled to confer office on Gladstone, and her government would be committed to Irish disestablishment. Disraeli pointed out that she could at least defer the evil moment by declining to accept his resignation and by dissolving parliament. An immediate dissolution was undesirable if the appeal were to be made, as all parties wished, to the new constituencies which had been created by the late reform bill. The Scottish and Irish reform bills and the boundary bills which were required to complete that measure had yet to pass through their final stages. Consequently the queen's refusal to accept the existing government's resignation meant its continuance in office during the six months which were needed before all the arrangements for the appeal to the newly enfranchised electors could be accomplished. If the opposition failed to keep the government in power during that period, it ran the risk, in the present temper of the sovereign, of provoking a dissolution before the new electoral reform was consummated. Disraeli, while explaining the situation to the queen, left her to choose between the two possible alternatives, the acceptance of his resignation now and the appeal to the country six months later. After two days' consideration, she elected to take the second course. She Her right to dissolve parliament at will. was prepared to accept full responsibility for her decision, and parliament when Disraeli announced it to at will. parliament on 5 May he described, with her assent, the general drift of his negotiations with her. 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 somewhat 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 two courses and abiding by her voluntary selection of one. But the argument against the minister was 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 only new feature that the present situation offered was Disraeli's open attribution to the queen of responsibility for the final decision. The net effect of his procedure was to bring into clearer relief than before the practi- cal 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 conflicted with the constitutional fallacy that the monarch was necessarily and invariably an automaton. But the queen had no intention of exceeding her constitutional power, and when, immediately after the settlement of the ministerial difficulty, the House of Commons, by an irresistible vote of the opposition, petitioned her to suspend new appointments in the Irish church in the crown's control, and to place royal patronage at the parliament's disposal, she did not permit any personal predilections to postpone her assent for a day.
On 10 March 1868 the queen, for the first time since her widowhood, held a drawing-room at Buckingham Palace. On 20 June she reviewed twenty-seven thousand volunteers in Windsor Park, and two days later gave a public 'breakfast' or afternoon party in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. She appeared to observers to enjoy the entertainment, but she had no intention of introducing any change into her habitually secluded mode of life. By way of illustrating her desire to escape from court functions, she in August paid a first visit to Switzerland, travelling incognito under the name of the Countess of Kent. She forbade any public demonstration in her honour, but accepted the Emperor Napoleon's courteous offer of his imperial train in which 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 (6 Aug.) Next day she reached Lucerne, where she had rented the Villa Pension Wallace near the lake. First visit to Switzerland. She stayed there, engaged in the recreations of a private pleasure-seeker, till 9 Sept., when she again passed through France in the emperor's train. She paused at Paris on 10 Sept. to revisit St. loud, 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. Removing, on her arrival in England, to Balmoral, she there gave additional proof of her anxiety to 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. 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. On 14 Dec. 1868 a special service was held in her presence at the Frogmore mausoleum, where a permanent sarcophagus had now been placed. It was destined to hold her own remains as well as those of the prince. The whole cost of the completed mausoleum was 200,000l.
While she was still in Scotland the general election took place, and Disraeli's government Views on church patronage. suffered a crushing defeat. The liberals came in with a majority of 128, and Disraeli, contrary to precedent, resigned office without waiting for the meeting of parliament. His last official act excited a passing difference of opinion with the queen, and showed how actively she asserted her authority even in her relation to a minister with whose general policy she was in agreement. The archbishopric of Canterbury became vacant on 28 Oct., owing to the death of Archbishop Longley. The queen at her own instance recommended for the post Archibald Campbell Tait, bishop of London, in whom she had long taken a personal interest. Disraeli had another candidate. But the queen persisted ; Disraeli yielded, and Tait received the primacy. He was the first archbishop of Canterbury with whom she maintained a personal intimacy. Neither with Archbishop Howley, who held office at her accession, nor his successors, Archbishops Stunner and Longley, had she sought a close association. Disraeli's experience in regard to the appointment of Tait was not uncommon with preceding or succeeding prime ministers. Throughout her reign the queen took a serious view of her personal responsibilities 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 other arrangements than they suggested. In 1845 she refused to accept Sir Robert 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 personal regard for him. To the choice of bishops she attached an 'immense importance,' and the principles that in her view ought to govern their selection were sound and statesmanlike. She deprecated the display of religious or political partisanship in the matter. 'The men to be chosen,' she wrote to Archbishop Benson, 3 Jan. 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 cau be firm and conciliating, 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 uninfluenced by her personal likes or dislikes of individuals, and she would rather fill an ecclesiastical office with one who was already agreeably known to her than with a stranger. She was always an attentive hearer of sermons and a shrewd critic of them. She chiefly admired in them simplicity and brevity. Any failure of a preacher to satisfy her judgment commonly proved a fatal bar to his preferment. She was tolerant of almost all religious opinions, and respected those from which she differed; only the extreme views and practices of ritualists irritated her. She was proud of her connection with the presbyterian establishment of Scotland, and, without bestowing much attention on the theology peculiar to it, enjoyed its unadorned services, and the homely exhortations of its ministers.
On Disraeli's resignation the queen at once sent for Gladstone, and he for the first Gladstone prime minister, 1868 time became her prime minister in December 1868. Although she fully recognised his abilities, and he always treated her personally with deferential courtesy, he did not inspire her with sympathy or confidence. Her political 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. Radicalism she judged to be a dangerous compromise with the forces of revolution ; the theory that England had little or no concern with European politics, and no title to exert influence on their course, conflicted with her training and the domestic sentiment that came of her foreign family connections. The mutability of Gladstone's political views, and their tendency to move in the direction which the queen regarded as unsafe, tried her nerves. During Gladstone's first ministry he and his colleagues 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 often overtaxed her strength. New questions arose with such rapidity that she complained that she had not the time wherein to form a judgment. Gladstone, who 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 perfectly constitutional correctness she acknowledged herself powerless to enforce her opinion against his ; but she made no secret of her private reluctance to approve his proposals. Gladstone's social accomplishments, moreover, 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 his private life were far removed from the queen's sphere of knowledge or interest. Some of Gladstone's colleagues in his first ministry were, however, entirely congenial to her. She was already on friendly terms with Lord Granville, the colonial secretary, and with the Duke of Argyll, the Indian secretary, and she had long placed implicit confidence in Lord Clarendon, who now resumed the post of foreign secretary.
The first measure which Gladstone as prime minister introduced was the Her views on the Irish church bill. long-threatened bill for the disestablishment of the Irish church, church bill. She avowed vehement dislike of it, and talked openly of her sorrow that Gladstone should have started 'this about the Irish church' (Wilberorce's Life, iii. 97). In the correspondence with her daughter Alice she argued that the question would 'be neither solved nor settled in this way. In justice to protestants might come of it. The settlement was not well considered.' She told Gladstone how deeply she 'deplored the necessity under which he conceived 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. But she was under no illusion as to Gladstone'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 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 pill was swallowed the better for the country's peace. But she saw that a fruitless and 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 collision between the two houses always seemed to the queen to shake the constitution, and she knew that in a case like the present the upper house must invite defeat in the conflict. She therefore, on her own initiative, proposed to mediate between the government and the House of Lords. Gladstone welcomed her intervention, and was conciliatory.
Accordingly, the day before parliament opened, 15 Feb. 1869, the queen asked Tait whether the House of Lords could not be persuaded to give way. Gladstone, she said, 'seems really moderate.' The principle of disestablishment must be conceded, but the details might well be the subject Her appeal to the lords. 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 (31 May), she importuned Tait to secure the second reading in the lords, with the result that it was carried by 33 (18 June). But greater efforts on the queen's part were required before the crisis was at an end. The amendments adopted by the lords were for the most part rejected by Gladstone. On 11 June the queen pressed on both sides the need of concessions, and strongly deprecated a continuance of the struggle. At length the government gave way on certain subsidiary points, and the bill passed safely its last stages (Life of Tait, ii. passim). How much of the 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 machinery.
During this anxious period the queen's public activities were mainly limited to a review of troops at Aldershot on 17 April. On 25 May she celebrated quietly her fiftieth birthday, and at the end of June entertained for a second time the khedive of Egypt. On 28 June she gave a 'breakfast' or afternoon party in his honour at Buckingham Palace 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, 6 Nov., she made one of her rare passages through London, and the first since widowhood. She opened Blackfriars Bridge and Holborn Viaduct, but she came from Windsor only for the day.
The queen occasionally sought at this period a new form of relaxation in intercourse with some of the men of lettes whose fame contributed to the glory of Intercourse with men of letters. her reign. Her personal interval in literature was not strong, and it diminished in her later years ; but she respected its producers and their influence. With Tennyson, whose work her husband had admired, and whose 'In Memoriam' gave her much comfort in her grief, she was already in intimate correspondence, which she maintained till his death ; and when he visited her at Windsor and Osborne she treated him with the utmost confidence. Through her friends, Sir Arthur Helps and Dean 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 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 Mr. and Mrs. Grote, Sir Charles 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' (Froude, Carlyle in London, ii. 379-80). She told Browning that she admired his wife's poetry (Reid, Lord Houffhton, ii. 200). Among the novels she had lately read was George Eliot's 'Mill on the Floss,' but Dickens's work was the only fiction of the day that really attracted her. In him, too, she manifested personal interest. She had attended in 1857 a performance by himself 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. At the sale of Thackeray's property in 1864 she purchased for 25l. 10s. the copy of the 'Christmas Carol' which Dickens had presented to Thackeray. 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 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 included Dr. Samuel Smiles, whose 'Lives of the Engineers' she presented to her son- in-law of Hesse-Darmstadt in 1865, and whose ' Life of Thomas Edward, the Banff Naturalist,' she examined in 1876 with such effect as to direct the bestowal on Edward of a civil list pension of 501. She was interested, too, in the works of George Macdonald, on whom she induced Lord Beaconsfield to confer a pension in 1877.
In 1870 European politics once more formed the most serious topic of the queen's thought, and the death in July of her old friend, Lord Clarendon, the foreign secretary, increased her anxieties. Despite her personal attachment to Lord Granville, who succeeded to Clarendon's post, she had far smaller faith in his political judgment. Although she watched events with attention, the queen was hopeful until the last that The Franco-German war. the struggle between France and Germany, which had long 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 that, Napoleon was alleged to have formed to destroy the independence of Belgium, a country in whose fortunes she was deeply concerned by reason of the domestic ties that linked her with its ruler. In the opening stages of the conflict that followed her ruling instincts identified her fully with the cause of Germany. Both her sons-in-law, the crown prince 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 Her sympathy with Germany. 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 judgment. She warmly approved a sermon preached before her by her friend, Dr. Norman Macleod, at Balmoral on 2 Oct. 1870, in which he implicitly described France as 'reaping the reward of her wickedness and vanity and sensuality' (More Leaves, p. 151). But many of her subjects sympathised Her pity for France. with France, and her own tenderness of heart evoked pity for her French neighbours in the completeness of their overthrow. With a view to relieve their sufferings, she entreated her daughter the crown princess, her son-in-law the crown prince, and her friend and his mother the queen of Prussia to avert the calamity of the bombardment of Paris.
Bismarck bitterly complained that 'the petticoat sentimentality which the queen communicated to the Prussian royal family hampered the fulfilment of German designs. The crown prince's unconcealed devotion to her compromised him in the eyes of Bismarck, who deprecated her son-in-law's faith in her genuine attachment to German interests (see the prince's 'Diary,' edited by Professor Geffeken, in Deutsche Rundschau, 1888). Nor did the queen refrain from pressing her ministers to offer her mediation with the object not merely of bringing the war to an early close, but of modifying the vindictive terms which Germany sought to impose on France. But her endeavours were of small avail. English influence was declining in the councils of Europe. Russia had made the preoccupation of France and Germany the occasion for breaking the clause in the treaty of Paris which excluded Russian warships from the Black Sea. And this defiant act was acquiesced in by Gladstone's government. Yet the queen's efforts for France were well appreciated there. Some years later (3 Dec. 1874) she accepted, with sympathetic grace, at Windsor an address of thanks, to which she replied in French, from representatives of the French nation, for the charitable services rendered by English men and women during the war ; 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 and his family. The Empress Eugenie fled to England in September 1870, and took up her residence at Chislehurst. The queen at once sent her a kindly welcome, and on 30 Nov. paid her a long visit, which the exile returned at, Windsor on 5 Dec. Thenceforth their friendship was unchecked. When 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 9 Jan. 1873 openly showed her fellow-feeling with him in his melancholy fate.
The course that domestic affairs were taking during 1870 was hardly more agreeable to her than 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 disturbed 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 resolve to begin the reorganisation of the army, which had been long contemplated. The first step taken by Cardwell, the secretary of state for war, 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 Dislike of Cardwell's army reforms. directly controlled the army without the intervention of ministers or parliament ; but her ministers now proved resolute, and she, on 28 June 1870, signed an order in council which deposed the commander-in-chief from his place of sole and immediate dependence on the crown (Hansard, ccii. 10 sq. ; Parl. Papers, 1870, c. 164). Xext session the government scheme for reorganising the army was pushed forward in a bill for the abolition of promotion by purchase which passed through the House of Commons by large majorities. In the House of Lords the Duke of Richmond carried resolutions which meant the ruin of the measure. 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 accomplish 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. In the special circumstances the procedure violently strained the power of the prerogative against one branch of the legislature, and the queen accepted the ministerial counsel with mixed feelings. She had small sympathy with the proposed reform, and feared to estrange the House of Lords from the crown by procedure which circumvented its authority; but the assertion of the prerogative was never ungrateful to her, and the responsibility for her action was her minister's.
Despite her industrious pursuit of public business, the mass of the people continued to deplore the infrequency of her public appearances ; of the only two public ceremonies in which she engaged to take part in 1870, she fulfilled no more than one. She opened (11 May 1870) the new buildings of London University at Burlington House ; but, to the general disappointment, indisposition led her to delegate to the prince of Wales the opening of so notable a London improvement at the Thames Embankment (13 July 1 he feeling of discontent was somewhat checked by the announcement in October that she had assented to the engagement of her fourth daughter, Princess Louise, with 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 English history that the sovereign sanctioned the union of a Marriage of Princess Louise. 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. James II's marriage to Anne Hyde in 1660 did not receive the same official recognition. The queen regarded the match merely from the point of view of her daughter's happiness. It 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 9 Feb. 1871, she occupied her throne in Westminster for the third time since her bereavement. Although Sir Robert Peel, son of the former prime minister, denounced as impolitic the approaching marriage of a princess with 'a son of a member of Her Majesty's government' (the Duke of Argyll, the Marquis of Lome's father, being secretary for India ; Hansard, cciv. 359), the dowry of 30,000l. with an annuity of 6,000l. was granted almost unanimously (350 to 1). Less satisfaction was manifested when the Queen requested parliament to provide for Prince Arthur. An annuity of 15,000l. was bestowed, but although the minority on the final vote numbered only 11, as many as 61 members voted in favour of an unsuccessful amendment to reduce the sum to l0,000l. (Hansard, ccviii. 570-90). Meanwhile the court cast off some of its gloom. The marriage of Princess Louise took place at St. George's Chapel, Windsor, with much pomp, on 21 March 1871, in the presence of the queen, who for the occasion lightened her usual mourning attire. With unaccustomed activity in the months that followed the opened the Albert Hall (29 March), inaugurated the new buildings of St. Thomas's Hospital, and reviewed the household troops in Bushey Park, when the young prince imperial joined the royal party (30 June). At Balmoral that year, although the queen suffered severely from rheumatic gout and neuralgia, she entertained a large family party, including the crown prince and princess of Prussia and Princess Alice.
The increasing happiness in the royal circle was menaced at the 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 fell ill of typhoid fever, at his house at Sandringham, and as the illness reached its most critical stage, the gravest fears were entertained. The queen Illness of the prince of Wales. went to Sandringham on 29 Nov., prince of and news of a relapse brought Wales. her thither again on 8 Dec. with her daughter Alice, who was still her guest. Both remained for eleven days, during which the prince's life hung in the balance. Happily, on the fateful 14 Dec., the tenth anniversary of the prince consort's death, the first indications of re- covery 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.' As soon as her son's health was fully restored the queen temporarily abandoned her privacy to accompany him in a semi-state Public thanksgiving. procession from Buckingham Palace to St. Paul's Cathedral, giving. there to attend a special service of thanksgiving (27 Feb. 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 (the Bar was removed in the winter of 1878-9). Next day (28 Feb.) the 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 the queen 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 25l. On the day following O'Connor's senseless act the queen addressed a second letter to the public, acknowledging the fervent demonstrations of loyalty which welcomed her and her son on the occasion of the public thanksgiving.
That celebration, combined with its anxious cause, strengthened immensely the bonds of sentiment that united the crown and the people. There was need of strengthening these bonds. Every year increased the feeling that the queen's reluctance to resume her old place in public life was diminishing the dignity of the crown. The formation of a republic in France at the same time encouraged the tendency to disparage monarchical institutions. Lord Selborne, the lord chancellor, when the queen's guest at Popular censure of the sovereign. Windsor, was bold enough to tell sure of the her that if the French republic held its ground it would influence English public opinion in a republican direction (Selbourne, Memorials, vol. ii.) During the early seventies the cry against the throne 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 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. Pamphlets, some of which were attributed to men of position, compared her income with the modest 10,000l 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. I. : 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 parliament for money for her children, she was not spending the annuity originally secured to her by the civil list act on the purposes for which it 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 have already reached 5,000,000l. 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, apart from her income from the civil list. Besides Neild's bequest she had derived more than half a million from the estate of the prince consort, and the receipts from the duchy of Lancaster were steadily increasing. The assertions in regard to matters of fact were for the most part false. The queen's savings in the civil list were rarely 20,000l. a year, and her opportunities of thrift were grossly misrepresented. But in the hands of the advocates of a republican 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 6 Nov. 1871, complained that the queen paid no income tax. Ministers found it needful to refute the damaging allegations. Sir Algernon West, one of the treasury officials, was directed by the prime minister to prepare an answer to the obnoxious pamphlet. Robert 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 (Hansard, ccvii. 1124, ccviii. 158-9). But the agitators were not readily silenced. Next session, on 19 March 1872, Sir Charles Dilke introduced a motion for a full inquiry into the queen's expenditure Debate on the civil list, 1872. with a view to a complete the civil list, reform of the civil list. His long and elaborate speech abounded in minute details, but he injured his case by avowing himself a republican : and when the same avowal was made by Mr. Auberon Herbert, who seconded his motion, a scene of great disorder followed. Gladstone denied that the queen's savings were on the alleged scale, or that the expenses of the court had appreciably diminished since the prince's death (Hansard, ccx. 253 sq.) 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. In the event the wave of republican sentiment was soon spent, but the conviction that the people 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 class, until the queen conspicuously modified herhabits of seclusion. The main solvent of the popular grievance, however, was the affectionate veneration 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 embodied in her own person the unity of the British empire.
From the flood of distasteful criticism in 1872 the queen escaped for a few weeks in the spring (23 March to 8 April) by crossing to Germany in order to visit at Baden-Baden her stepsister, whose health was failing. After her return home the German empress, with whose dislike of war the queen Deaths in the royal circle, 1872-3. in was in thorough sympathy, was a the royal welcome guest (2 May) ; and in the same month she sought unusual recreation by attending a concert which Gounod conducted at the newly opened Albert Hall. But death was again busy in her circle and revived her grief. She had derived immeasurable comfort from conversation with Dr. Norman Macleod. 'How I love to talk to him,' she said, 'to ask his advice, to speak to him of my sorrows, my anxieties!' (More Leaves, pp. 143-161); but on 16 June 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 from 6 to 12 Sept. 1872, so that she might be present at the laying of the first stone of a memorial to her late companion. In the same month her step-sister, the Princess Feodore, the last surviving friend of her youth, died at Baden-Baden (23 Sept.), while the death on the following 9 Jan. of Napoleon III, whose amiability to her and her family was never conquered by disaster, imposed on her the mournful task of consoling his widow. She gave the sarcophagus which enclosed his remains in St. Mary's Church, Chislehurst.
The year that opened thus sadly witnessed several incidents that stirred in the queen Disraeli declines office. more pleasurable sensations. In March Gladstone's Irish university bill was rejected by the House of Commons, and he at once resigned (11 March). The queen accepted his resignation, and invited Disraeli to take his place, but Disraeli declined in view of the normal balance of parties in the existing House of Commons. Disraeli was vainly persuaded to follow another course. Gladstone pointed out to the queen that the refusal of Disraeli, who had brought about his defeat, to assume office amounted to an unconstitutional shirking of his responsibilities. Disraeli was awaiting with confidence an appeal to the constituencies, which Gladstone was not desirous of inviting at once, although he could not now long delay it. In face of Disraeli's obduracy he was, at the queen's request, compelled, however reluctantly, to return for a season at least to the treasury bench. (20 March). His government was greatly shaken in reputation, but they succeeded in holding on till the beginning of next year.
When the ministerial crisis ended, the queen paid for the first time an official visit to the east end of London in order to open the new Victoria Park (2 April) The summer saw her occupied in extending hospitaity First visit of the shah of Persia. to a political guest, the shah the shah of of Persia, who, like the sultan of Turkey, was the first wearer of his crown to visit England. The queen's regal position in India rendered it fitting for her to welcome oriental potentates at her court, and the rivalry in progress in Asia between Russia and England gave especial value to the friendship of Persia. The shah stayed at Buckingham Palace from 19 June to 4 July, 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 the shah at Windsor, and he wrote with enthusiasm of the cordiality of her demeanour. At their first meeting, on 20 June, she invested him with the order of the garter ; at the second, on 24 June, he accompanied her to a review in Windsor Park ; and at the third, on 2 July, he exchanged photographs with her, and he visited the prince consort's mausoleum at Frogmore (Diary of the Shah, translated by Redhouse, 1874, pp. 144 sq.)
Meanwhile the governments of both Russia and England were endeavouring to diminish the friction and suspicion that habitually impeded friendly negotiations between them. At the opening of the year Count Schouvaloff was sent by the Tsar Alexander n 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 assurance to be equivocal : but there was another object of Schouvaloff's embassy, which was of more immediate interest to the queen, and accounted for the extreme cordiality 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 Alexander III). The proposal was regarded by the queen as of great political promise, and at the date of the shah s visit the tsarevitch and his wife were staying at Marlborough House in order to facilitate the project. In July the queen assented to the marriage of Prince Alfred, her second son. with Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna, the Tsar Alexander II's only daughter, and the sister-in-law of the tsarevna, the princess of Wales's sister. The queen was elated by the formation of this new tie with the family of England's present rival in Asia, and her old antagonist on the field of the Crimea. Subsequently she chose her friend Dean Stanley to perform at St. Petersburg the wedding ceremony after the Anglican rite (23 Jan. 1874), and she struggled Marriage of the Duke of Edinbourgh. hard to read in the dean's own illegible handwriting the full and vivid accounts he sent her of experiences. Inthe following May the coping-stone seemed to be placed on the edifice of an Anglo-Russian peace by her entertainment at Windsor of the Tsar Alexander II, her new daughter-in-law's father. But the march of events did not allow the marriage appreciably to affect the political issues at stake between Russia and England, and within three years they were again on the verge of war.
Meanwhile, 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 Disraeli in recalled Disraeli to power. Her Disraeli in power, 1874. power, new minister's position was exceptionally strong. He enjoyed the advantage, which no conservative minister since Peel took office in 1841 had enjoyed, of commanding large majorities in both houses of parliament. Despite a few grumblers, he exerted supreme authority over his party, and the queen was prepared to extend to him the fullest confidence. Disraeli's political views strongly commended themselves to her. His elastic conservatism did not run counter to her whiggish sentiment. His theory of the constitution gave to the crown a semblance of strength and dignity with which her recent ministers had been loth to credit it. 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 ntercourse, too, Disraeli had the advantage of a personal fascination which grew with closer acquaintance, and developed in the queen a genuine affection for him. 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, he well understood the practical working of the constitution, and, while magnifying the queen's potential force of sovereignty, he did not prejudice the supreme responsibilities of his own office. His gene- ral line of policy being congenial to her, argument or explanation was rarely needful ; but in developing his policy he was not His relations with the queen. moved by her suggestions or with the criticism in a greater degree than his predecessors. Even in the matter of 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 harmony of his relations with her and 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. Its main business during its first session was ecclesiastical legislation, with which the queen was in full sympathy. Both the churches of Scotland and England were affected. The public worship regulation bill, which was introduced by Archbishop Tait, was an endeavour to check in England the growth of ritualism, which the queen abhorred, and the Scottish church patronage bill substituted congregational election for lay patronage in the appointment of ministers in the established church of Scotland, whose prosperity the queen made a personal concern. Resistance by the Scottish church leaders to this reform at an earlier date had led to the disruption of the established church of Scotland, and Scottish dissenters, Continued irritation with Gladstone. 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 Gladstone vehemently opposed the measure. His speech against the bill excited her warm displeasure. She denounced it as mere obstruction. 'He might so easily have stopped away,' she remarked to her friend, Principal Tulloch ; but the bill was carried in spite of Gladstone's protest.
It was the queen's full intention to have opened parliament in person in February 1876, by way of indicating her sympathy with the new ministers; but the serious illness of Prince Leopold from typhoid fever with kept her away. On his recovery, in conformity with the views that the and her prime minister held of the obligations of intervention in European politics that lay upon an English monarch, she immersed herself in delicate negotiations with foreign sovereigns. Rumour spread abroad that the Franco-German war was to be at once renewed. Republican France had been pushing forward new armaments, and it was averred that she was bent on avenging the humiliations 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 Fear of another Franco-German war. 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 nephew) to stay violence. On 20 June 1875 she addressed herself directly to the German emperor. She insisted that her fears were not exaggerated, and declaimed against the iniquity of a new assault on France. Bismarck wrote to his master expressing cynical resentment at the queen's interference, and denied the truth of her information. By Bismarck's advice, the emperor protested to her against the imputation to him of the wickedness of which she accused his policy. That there was a likelihood of an outbreak of hostilities between France and Germany in the early months of 1875 is undoubted, but an accommodation was in progress before the queen intervened, and the scare soon passed away. Although Bismarck affected to scorn her appeals, they clearly helped to incline the political scales of central Europe in the direction of peace (Bismarck, Recollections, ii. 191 seq. ; Busch, Conversations with Bismarck ; Princess Alice's Letters, p. 339).
It was agreeable to her to turn from European complications to the plans whereby Disraeli proposed 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 interest in the welfare of its inhabitants were always growing. She therefore readily agreed that the prince of Wales should, as her representative, make a state tour throughEmpress of India, 1876. the whole territory, and should visit the native princes. She took an affectionate leave of him at Balmoral on 17 Sept. 1875. The expedition was completely successful, and the prince did not return to England till the following May, when the queen welcomed him in London (11 May 1876). Disraeli's Indian policy also included the bestowal on her of a title which would declare her Indian sovereignty. The royal 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 (8 Feb.) The opposition warmly criticised Disraeli's proposal, but he assured the House of Commons that the new title of honour would only be employed in India and in Indian affairs. The bill passed through all its stages before 1 May, when the queen was formally proclaimed empress of India in London. After the close of the session she was glad of the opportunity of marking her sense of the devotion that Disraeli had shown her by offering him a peerage (21 Aug. 1876) ; his health had suffered from his constant attendance in the House of Commons, and he entered the House of Lords next year as Earl of Beaconsfield. On 1 Jan. 1877 at Delhi the governor-general of India, Lord Lytton, formally announced the queen's assumption of her 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 government. The queen held the first investiture at Windsor on 29 April 1878. She gloried in her new distinction, and despite Disraeli's assurances soon recognised no restrictions in its use. She at once signed herself 'Victoria R. & I.' in documents relating to India, and early in 1878 she adopted the same form in English documents of state. In 1893 the words 'Ind[iae] Imp[eratrix] 'were engraved among her titles on the British coinage.
Her cheering relations with Lord Beaconsfield stimulated her to appear somewhat more frequently in public, and she played prominent parts in several military ceremonials in the early days of Disraeli's government. The queen 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 Royal Clarence Victualling Yard at Gosport on Public appearances, 1874-5. 23 April 1874. At the end of the year, too, she distributed medals to the men. On 2 May 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 ancestry.
She suffered a severe shock in the autumn of 1875 when, while crossing to the Isle of Wight, her yacht, the Albert, ran down another yacht, the Mistletoe, and thus caused three of its occupants to be drowned in her presence (18 Aug. 1875) ; but during the early spring of 1876 she was more active than usual in London. She attended a concert given by her command at the Royal Albert Hall (25 Feb.) She opened in semi-state a new wing of the London Hospital (7 March). Two days later she inspected in Kensington Gardens the gorgeous Albert Memorial, the most elaborate of the many monuments to her husband, a colossal gilded figure of whom fills the central place. 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 she left for a three weeks' vacation at Coburg (31 March to 20 April) ; she travelled from Cherbourg through France, but avoided Paris, and on the return journey had an Visit to Coburg. interview at La Villette station, in the neighbourhood of the capital, with the president of the republic, Marshal MacMahon. The meeting was a graceful recognition on her part of the new form of government. The German empress was once more her guest in May. While going to Balmoral a few months later, she unveiled at Edinburgh yet another Albert memorial (17 Aug.) For the first time since the prince consort's death she kept Christmas at Windsor, owing to illness in the Isle of Wight, and transgressed what seemed to be her settled dislike of court entertainments by giving a concert in St. George's Hall (26 Dec.)
During the two years that followed the queen was involved in the intricacies of European politics far more deeply than at Crisis in Eastern Europe. any time since the Crimean war. 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 there was the likelihood that Russia, to serve her own ends, might come to the rescue of the insurgents. Disraeli adopted Palmerston's policy of 1854, and declared that British interests in India and elsewhere required the maintenance of the sultan's authority invio- late. Turkey endeavoured to suppress the insurrection in the Balkans with great barbarity, notably in Bulgaria ; and in the autumn of 1876 Gladstone, who had lately announced his retirement 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. One effect of Gladstone's vehemence was to tighten the bond between Beaconsfield and the queen. She accepted unhesitatingly Lord Beaconsfield's view that England was bound to protect Turkey from permanent injury at Russia's hands, and she bitterly resented the embarrassments that Gladstone caused her minister. But she did not readily abandon hope that Russia might be persuaded to abstain from interference in the Balkans. The occupants of the thrones of Russia and Germany were her personal friends, and she believed her private influence with them The queen's efforts for peace. might keep the peace. Princess Alice met the tsar at Darmstadt 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 with him. She even twice addressed herself to Bismarck in the same sense (Busch, Conversations with Bismarck, ii. 277). But her efforts failed. Russia declared war on Turkey on 24 April 1877, and before the end of the year had won a decisive victory.
All the queen's sympathy with Russia thereupon vanished, and she, no less than Lord Beaconsfield, was resolved that England should regulate the fruits of Russia's success. Twice did she openly indicate her sympathy with her minister 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. On 21 Dec. 1877 she, At Hughenden. with Princess Beatrice, travelled by rail from Windsor to High Wycombe station, where Beaconsfield and his secretary, Mr. Montagu Corry, met her. The mayor presented an address of welcome. Driving with her host to Hughenden, she stayed there two hours, and on leaving planted a tree on the lawn. A poem in 'Punch' on 29 Dec. 1877, illustrating a sketch by Mr. Linley Sambourne, humorously suggested the powerful impression that the incident created both in England and in Europe.
At the beginning of 1878 the sultan made a personal appeal to the queen 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 him a preponderating influence within the sultan's dominions, she supported Lord Beaconsfield in demanding that the whole setttlement should be referred to a congress of the European powers. Through the storms that Her support of Beaconsfield's policy. 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 deprecated retreat. Before the congress of Berlin met in June 1878, Beaconsfield warned the queen that his determination to prevent Russia from getting a foothold south of the Danube might abruptly end in active hostilities. The queen declared herself ready to face the risk. When, therefore, at an early session of the congress, a deadlock arose between Lord Beaconsfield, who acted as the English envoy, and Prince Gortschakoff, the Russian envoy, and Lord Beaconsfield threatened departure from Berlin so that the dispute might be settled by 'other means,' he made no empty boast, but acted in accord with an understanding which he had previously reached with the queen. Russia yielded the specific point at Bismarck's persuasion ; and although both the material and moral advantages that England derived from her intervention were long questioned, the queen welcomed Lord Beaconsfield with unstinted eulogy when he returned from Berlin, bringing, in his own phrase, 'peace with honour.' On 22 July 1878 she invested him at Osborne with the order of the garter. War preparations had meantime been in active progress with the queen's full approval. On 13 May 1878 she had held a review on a great scale at Aldershot in company with the crown prince and princess of Prussia, who were her guests ; and on 13 Aug. she reviewed at Spithead in inauspicious weather a strong fleet designed for 'special service.'
The situation revived at all stages the queen's memory of the earlier conflict with Russia, the course of which had been largely guided by her husband's resolution. She had lately re-studied closely the incidents of The biography of prince consort. the Crimean war in connection with the 'Life' of the prince consort, on which Sir Theodore Martin was engaged under her supervision. At the end of 1877 there appeared the third volume of the biography, which illustrated the strength of court feeling against Russia when the Crimean war was in progress. The 'Spectator,' a journal supporting Gladstone, censured the volume as 'a party pamphlet' in favour of Lord Beaconsneld, and Gladstone himself reviewed it in self-defence.
Domestic incident during 1878 was hardly less abundant than public incident. Domestic incident, 1878. On 22 Feb. there took place at Berlin the first marriage of a grandchild of the queen, when Charlotte, the eldest daughter of the crown prince and princess, married the hereditary Duke of Saxe-Meiningen. But it was mainly death in the queen's circle that marked her domestic year. Her former ally, Victor Emanuel, had died on 9 Jan. Two attempts at Berlin to assassinate the old German emperor (11 May and 2 June) gave her an alarming impression of the condition of Germany, where she specially feared the advance of socialism and atheism. On 4 June died 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 (12 June) 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 (25 June). But the heaviest blow that befell her in the year Death of Princess Alice. was the loss of her second daughter, Princess Alice, who had been her companion in her heaviest trials. She died of diphtheria at Darmstadt on 14 Dec., 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 people again shared their sovereign's grief, 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.
1879 brought more happiness in its train. Amid greater pomp than had characterised royal weddings since that of the princess royal, the queen attended on 13 March the marriage at St. George's Chapel, Windsor, of her third son, the Duke of Connaught. The bride was daughter of Prince Frederick Charles of Prussia (the red prince), a nephew of the German emperor, and the new connection with the Prussian house was thoroughly congenial to the queen.
Twelve days later the queen enjoyed the new experience of a visit to Italy. She First visit to Italy, 1879. stayed for nearly a month till 23 April, at Baveno on Lago Maggiore. 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-graudchild, the firstborn of the hereditary princess of Saxe-Meiningen. Hardly had the congratulations The prince ceased when she suffered a terrible imperial's shock by the death, 1 9 June 1879, in the Zulu war of the prince imperial, the only child of the ex-empress of the French. 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 (12 July).
At the time the political situation was not promising, and was a source of grave anxiety 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 high-handed policy of the governor of the Cape, Sir Bartle The ministry's difficulties. Frere, had brought about. 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 been led by its accredited representative. Equal difficulties were encountered in India, where the rival pretensions of England and Russia to dominate the amir of Afghanistan had involved the Indian government, under Lord Lytton's viceroyalty, in two successive wars with the Afghans (November 1878 and December 1879). The strife of political parties at home greatly complicated the situation, and gave the queen additional cause of distress. Gladstone, during the autumn of 1879, in a series of passionate speeches delivered in Midlothian, charged the government with fomenting disaster by their blustering imperialism. The queen resented his campaign. His persistent attacks on Lord Beaconsfield roused her wrath, and in private letters she invariably described his denunciations of her favourite minister as shameless or disgraceful. Her faith in Beaconsfield was unquenchable. He acknowledged her sympathy in avowals of the strongest personal attachment to her. 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 dictatress of Europe. 'Many things,' he wrote, 'are preparing which for the sake of peace and civilisation render it most necessary that her majesty should occupy that position.' But there were ominous signs that Beaconsfield's lease of power was reaching its close, despite all the queen could do to lengthen it. For the fourth time while he was prime minister the queen opened the last session of his parliament on 5 Feb. 1880. The ceremonial was conducted with greater elaboration than at any time since the prince's death. On 24 March parliament was dissolved, and the future of Lord Beaconsfield was put to the hazard of the people's vote.
Next day the queen 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. In the Visit to Germany, 1880. family circle of her daughter, the crown princess, she found while abroad much to gratify her. Her grandson, Prince William of Prussia (now Emperor William II), was just betrothed to Princess 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, and had died in the previous January. She sympathised with the sentiment of the young man's parents that poetic justice was rendered to Duke Frederick, whom Bismarck's Prussian policy had crushed, by the entrance of his daughter into the direct line of succession to the imperial crown of the Prussian ruler's consort. But, in spite of her joy at her grandson's betrothal, her keenest interests were absorbed in the progress of the general election in England. Telegrams 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 rulers had in the new House of Commons no less a majority over the conservatives than 166. On 21 April she was back at Windsor, and next day had two hours' conversation with her vanquished minister. 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 examined all possible alternatives. As soon as Lord Beaconsfield left her she summoned by his advice Lord Hartington, who was nominal leader of the liberal party; for Gladstone had never formally resumed the post since his retirement in 1875. She invited Lord Hartington to form a ministry (22 April). 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 on Gladstone. Next morning (23 April) he went back to Windsor with the queen's old friend, Lord Granville, the liberal leader of the House of Lords. Against her will they con- vinced her that Gladstone alone was entitled to power, and, making the best of the difficult situation, she entrusted them with a message to him requesting an interview. Gladstone resumes office, 1880. Gladstone hurried to Windsor the resumes same evening, and after a few office, 1880. minutes' conversation he accepted the queen's commission to assume power. Gladstone's second government 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.
Two acts due to the queen's 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-Rammingen, who was formerly her father's equerry, but arranged for the wedding to take place in her presence in her private chapel at Windsor (24 April 1880). A few months later she, as visitor of Westminster Abbey, assented to a proposal to place there a monument in memory of the late prince imperial. The House of Commons, in spite of Gladstone's remonstrance, condemned the scheme on the ground of the prince's nationality (16 July 1880). The queen at once appointed a site for the monument in St. George's Chapel, Windsor (21 July).
The misgivings with which the queen's new advisers inspired her stimulated her critical activity. She informed Gladstone and his colleagues 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 measures the burials bill at once caused her disquietude. The bill was designed to authorise the conduct of funerals by nonconformist ministers in parish churchyards, and the queen anxiously sought the opinion of Lord Selborne, like herself & devoted adherent of the Anglican establishment, respecting the forms of religious service in churchyards that were to be sanctioned. She was more seriously Distrust of ministerial measures. perturbed by the government's plans for the further reorganisation of the army> the control of which, despite the last liberal government's legislation, she persisted in treating as the crown's peculiar province. In May she stoutly protested against the proposal for the complete abolition of flogging in the army, to which she saw no possible alternative 'in extreme cases of cowardice, treachery, plundering, or neglect of duty on sentry.' She objected to the suspension of the practice of giving honorary colonelcies with incomes as rewards for distinguished officers; 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 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 19 Jan. 1882 he felt himself under the necessity of openly contesting 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 sustained action in bringing to an end the wars in Afghanistan and South Africa, which their predecessors had left on their hands. The Afghan campaign of 1880 she watched with the closest attention. After the defeat of the English troops at Maiwand (27 July 1880) she wrote to Childers of her dread lest the government should not adequately endeavour to retrieve Afghanistan, 1880. the disaster. She had heard rumours she said, of an intended reduction of the army by the government. She thought there was need of increasing it. On 22 Aug. she proved her anxiety by inspecting the troopship Jumna which was taking reinforcements to India. But, to her intense satisfaction and gratitude, Sir Frederick (now Earl) Roberts, 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, frequently speaking to his family and court in praise of her character and rule (Amir Abdur-Rahman, Autobiography, 1900). In like manner, after the outbreak of the Boer war in December 1880, and the defeat and death of General Colley on 27 Feb. 1881 at Majuba Hill, the queen was unremitting in her admonitions to the The Transvaal, 1881. government to bestir themselves. She recommended Sir Frederick Roberts for the vacant chief command in the Transvaal—a recommendation which the government made independently at the same moment. Her ministers however, decided to carry to a conclusion 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, and served to increase 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 hostilities. By her desire the colours of the 24th regiment, which had been temporarily lost during the Zulu war at the battle of Isandhlwana, but were afterwards recovered, were brought to Osborne, and while speaking to the officers in charge of the bravery of the regiment and its trials in South Africa, she decorated the colours with a wreath (28 July 1880). During 1882, she once more held a review at Aldershot (16 May), and she presented at Parkhurst, Isle of Wight, new colours to the second battalion of the Berkshire regiment (66th), which had lost their old colours at Maiwand in Afghanistan (17 Aug.)
Discontent with her present advisers intensified the grief with which she learned Death of Beaconsfield, 19 April 1881. of the death of Lord Beaconsfield,—her 'dear great friend' she called him—on 19 April 1881. 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 death of my dear Lord Beaconsfield a na- tional calamity. My grief is great and lasting.' She knew, she added, that he would wish to be buried beside his wife at Hugheiiden, but she directed that a public monument should be placed to his memory in Westminster Abbey (Stanley, ii. 565). At the funeral at Hughenden, on the 26th, she was represented by the prince of Wales and Prince Leopold. Of two wreaths which she sent, one, of primroses, bore the inscription, 'His favourite flower. ... A tribute of affection from Queen Victoria,' and thus inaugurated the permanent association of the primrose with Lord Beaconsfield's memory. But such marks of regard did not exhaust the queen's public acts of mourning. Four days after the burial (30 April) 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 a site chosen by herself in the church, she set up a 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 and affectionate sovereign and friend Victoria R.I. ("Kings love him that speaketh right." Proverbs xvi. 13.) February 27th, 1882.' No sovereign in the course of English history had given equal proofs of attachment to a minister.
The queen's generous sympathies were never wholly absorbed by her own subjects or her friends at home. A few weeks before Lord Beaconsfield's death she was shocked by the assassination of the Tsar Alexander II, father of her daughter-in-law, the Duchess of Edinburgh (13 March), and a few months later the death by a like violence of President Garfield of the United States drew from her an autograph 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. War in Egypt, 1882. Arabi Pasha, the khedive's war minister, fomented a rebellion against the khedive's authority in the autumn, and 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, however, 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-handed. The queen, quickly convinced of the need of armed intervention, evinced characteristic solicitude for prompt and effectual action. On 10 July, when hostilities were imminent, she inquired of 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 appointment of Sir Garnet Wolseley as commander-in-chief, with Sir John Adye as chief of the staff. On 28 July she asked for information respecting the press regulations. Her 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 filled a place on Wolseley's staff. Until the The queen's urgency. whole of the expeditionary force was embarked she 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 equipment. 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 war.
The opening of the campaign sharpened her zeal. On 12 Sept. 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 (13 Sept.), 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 19 Sept. she protested alike against any present diminution of troops in Egypt, and against the lenient treatment of the rebellious Arabi. On 21 Sept. 1882 she wrote to Childers (Life, ii. 33): '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 en- couraged, 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 there, and that we shall not have to shed precious blood and expend much money for nothing.' Finally Egypt was pacified, and English predominance was secured, although disorder was suffered to spread in the subsidiary provinces of the Soudan 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 royal red cross for nurses who rendered efficient service in war; the regulations were finally issued on 7 April 1883. On 18 Nov. 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 confronted the queen and her government during 1882. For the fifth time the queen's life was threatened by assassination. A lunatic, one Roderick Maclean, fired a pistol at her happily without hitting her on 2 March at Windsor railway station, as she was returning from London. Soon afterwards disaffection in Ireland reached a climax in the Irish affairs. murder of Lord Frederick Cavendish, the chief secretary, and of ; Thomas Henry Burke, the under-secretary (6 May). Resolution in the suppression of disorder always won the queen's admiration, and she had given every encouragement to W. E. Forster, while Irish secretary, in his strenuous efforts to uphold the law. The more conciliatory policy which ultimately prevailed with Forster's successors awoke no enthusiasm in her.
Happily the queen found some compensation for her varied troubles in private life. In the spring she spent a vacation abroad for the first time in the Riviera, 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 a German princess of the house of Waldeck-Pyrmont, whose sister was second wife of the king of the Netherlands. Parliament was invited on 23 March to increase the prince's income, as in the case of his two next elder brothers, from 15,000l. to 25,000l. Gladstone pressed the proposal on the House of Commons, but as many as forty-two members mainly from Ireland voted against the proposal, which was carried by a majority of 345. The customary corollary that in case of the prince's death 6,000l. a year was to be allowed his widow happily passed without dissent. Shortly after the queen's return from Mentone she attended the marriage at St. George's Chapel, Windsor. She purchased in perpetuity the crown property Prince Leopold's marriage. of Claremont, which had been granted her for life by parliament on the death in 1866 of its former holder, King Leopold, and generously presented it to the newly married pair for their residence. Twice during the year she took part in public ceremonies of interest. On 6 May she went to Epping Forest, which the corporation of London had recently secured for a public recreation ground, and she dedicated it formally to public use. At the end of the year, on 4 Dec., at the request of the lord chancellor, she inaugurated the new law courts in the Strand.
The prevailing note of the queen's life, owing alike to public and private causes, during the two years that followed was one of gloom. At the close of 1882 she had been Years of gloom, 1882-3. deprived by death of another gloom, friend in whom she trusted Archbishop Tait. Fortunately she found Gladstone in agreement with herself as to the fitness of Edward White Benson, the first headmaster of her husband's foundation of Wellington College, and afterwards first bishop of Truro, to succeed to the primacy. Benson's acceptance of the office was, she said, ' a great support to herself,' and with him her relations were uninterruptedly cordial. At the moment that he took the appointment, the queen suffered a new sense of desolation from the death, on 27 March 1883, of her faithful attendant, John Brown. She placed a tombstone to his memory in Crathie churchyard, and invited suggestions from Tennyson for the inscription, which she prepared herself. At Balmoral she caused a statue of Brown to be erected, and at Osborne a granite seat was inscribed with pathetic words to his memory. Subsequently an accidental fall on the staircase at Windsor rendered her unable to walk for many months and increased her depression. Even in January 1884 it was formally announced that she could not stand for more than a few minutes (Court Circular, 21 Jan.)
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 unpretending author, the only merit of whose writing was its simplicity and truth.' Unluckily her reviving spirit was dashed by the second loss of a child. Prince Leopold's death. On 28 March 1884, the Duke of Albany, her youngest and her lately married son, died suddenly at Cannes. This trial shook her severely, but she met it with courage. '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 14 April, 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 G April.
The conduct of the government during the year (1883-4) gave her small cause for The Soudan. satisfaction. 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 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 by abandoning the territory to the insurgents to cut it off from Egypt altogether. To the queen's dismay the policy of abandonment was adopted, with a single qualification. 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). In obedience to journalistic clamour the government confined themselves to sending General Gordon, whose influence General Gordon. with the Soudan natives had in the past proved very great, to Khartoum, the capital of the disturbed districts, in order to negotiate with the rebels for the relief of the threatened garrisons. The queen watched Gordon's advance towards his goal with the gravest concern. She constantly reminded the government of the danger he was running. His influence with the natives of the Soudan unluckily proved to be of no avail, and he was soon himself besieged in Khartoum by the Mahdi's forces. Thereupon the queen solemnly and unceasingly warned the government of the obligations they were under of despatching a British expedition to relieve him. The government feared to involve itself further in war in Egypt, but the force of public opinion was with the queen, and in the autumn a British army was sent out, under Lord Wolseley, with a view to Gordon's rescue. The queen reproached the government with the delay, which she treated as a gross neglect of public duty. The worst followed. The expedition failed to effect its purpose; Khartoum was stormed, and Gordon was killed before the relieving force arrived (26 Jan. 1885). No disaster of her reign The queen's view of Gordon's death. caused the queen more pain and view of indignation. She expressed scorn death her advisers with unqualified frankness. In a letter of condolence, written with her own hand, to Gordon's sister she said that she 'keenly felt the stain left upon England- ' by General Gordon's ' cruel but heroic fate ' (17 Feb. 1885). She had a bust of Gordon placed in the corridor at Windsor, and when Miss Gordon presented her with her brother's bible she kept it in a case in the corridor near her private rooms at Windsor, often showing it to her guests as one of her most valued treasures. She greatly 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 before her at Windsor, and she was gratified by offers of men from the Australian colonies, which she acknowledged with warm gratitude, although the government declined them. At the end of the year she visited the wounded at Netley, and she distributed medals to non-commissioned officers and men at Windsor. But the operations in the Soudan brought her cold comfort. They lacked the decisive success which she loved to associate with the achievements of British arms, and she regretfully saw the Soudan relapse into barbarism.
Home politics had meanwhile kept the queen closely occupied through the autumn of 1884. In the ordinary session of that year the government had passed 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 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 The queen and franchise bill, 1884. classes with benevolence. At and the 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. In her private secretary, Sir Henry Pousonby, she had a tactful counsellor, and she did not hesitate through him to use her personal influence with the leaders of both parties to secure a settlement. Luckily it was soon apparent that the danger of conflict looked greater than it was. Before her intervention had gone far, influential members of the conservative party, including Lord Randolph Churchill and Sir Michael Hicks Beach, had independently 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 compromise on these lines, and her influence with 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 redistribution of seats bill were concurrently introduced into parliament, and the queen had the satisfaction of seeing averted the kind of warfare that she most dreaded within the borders of the constitution.
The queen spent the spring of 1885 at Aix-les-Bains, and on her return journey The princes of Battenberg. visited Darmstadt to attend the confirmation of her grandchild, Princess Irene of Hesse-Darmstadt. But there were other reasons for the visit. Her care for the Hesse family had brought her the acquaintance of the grand duke's first cousins, the young princes of Battenberg. They were sons of the grand duke's uncle, Prince Alexander of Hesse, by a morganatic marriage with the Countess von Hauke, who was created countess of Battenberg in 1851. All the brothers were known to the queen, had been her guests, and found favour with her. The eldest, Prince Louis, joined the British navy, became a naturalised British subject, and in 1884 married Princess Alice's eldest daughter and the queen's granddaughter, Princess Victoria of Hesse. Thenceforth the relations of the three brothers with the royal family Princess Beatrice's marriage, 1885. grew more intimate, with the result that in 1885 the third and youngest of them, Prince Henry of Battenberg, proposed marriage to the queen's youngest daughter, Princess Beatrice. The queen readily assented, and, in letters announcing the engagement to her friends, spoke of Prince Henry's soldierly accomplishment, 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. Parliament, on Gladstone's motion, voted the princess the usual dowry of 30,000l., with an annuity of 6,000l. The minority numbered 38, the majority 337. But the match was not popular in England, where little 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.' The marriage took place in a simple fashion, which delighted the queen, at Whippingham church, near Osborne, on 23 July.
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. 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 else happened to brighten the queen's horizon in the summer of 1885. Gladstone's fall, 8 June 1885. Princess Beatrice's marriage followed hard upon the fall of 1885. Gladstone's government. It had been effectually discredited by its incoherent Egyptian policy, and it was defeated on its budget proposals on 8 June 1885. Gladstone at once resigned, and the queen did not permit differences of opinion to restrain her from offering him, in accordance with her practice on the close of a minister's second administration, a reward for long service in the form of an earldom. This honour Gladstone declined. She invited the leader of the conservative party, Lord Salisbury, to form a ministry, and at his request endeavoured to obtain from Gladstone some definite promise of parliamentary support during the few months that remained before the dissolution of parliament in November, in accordance with the provisions of the recent reform bill. Gladstone replied evasively, but the queen persuaded Lord Salisbury to rest content with his assurances, and to take Lord Salisbury's first ministry. office (24 June). With Lord Salisbury's she was at once on good terms. It was therefore disappointing to her that his first tenure of office should be threatened by the result of the general elections in November, when 250 conservative members were returned against 334 liberals and 86 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, as it proved, for the last time (21 Jan. 1886). Five days later Lord Salisbury's government was outvoted. The queen accepted their resignation and boldly faced the inevitable invitation to Gladstone to assume power for the third time.
The session that followed was the stormiest the queen had watched since Peel abolished Hostility to home rule. the corn laws in 1846. But her attitude to Gladstone through the later session was the antithesis of her attitude to Peel in the earlier. Peel had changed front in 1846, and the queen had encouraged him with all her youthful enthusiasm to persevere in his new path. Gladstone suddenly resolved to grant home rule 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 resistance. To the bestowal of home rule on Ireland she was uncompromisingly opposed, and she freely spoke her mind to all who came into intercourse with her. The grant of home rule appeared to her to be a concession to the forces of disorder. She felt that it amounted to a practical separation between England and Ireland, and that to sanction the disunion was to break the oath that she had taken at her coronation to maintain the union of the two kingdoms. She complained that Gladstone 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 replied that the establishment of a home rule parliament in Ireland 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 was unconvinced. To her immense relief Gladstone was deserted by a large number of his followers, and his home rule bill was decisively rejected by the House of Commons (7 June). With that result the queen was content ; she desired the question to sleep ; and, although she did not fear the issue, she 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, and parliament was dissolved. To the queen's satisfaction the ministry was heavily defeated.
Gladstone resigned without meeting the new parliament, and in July Lord Salisbury The queen and Lord Salisbury. The queen or the second time was entrusted and Lord by the queen with the formation Salisbury. of a government. The queen's political anxieties were at once diminished. Although the unexpected resignation on 20 Dec. 1886 of the new leader of the House of Commons, Lord Randolph Churchill, roused in her doubts of the stability of the government, and caused her to scan the chances of yet another dissolution, the crisis passed, and Lord Salisbury's second ministry retained office for a full term of years. Indeed, with an interval of less than three (1892-5), Lord Salisbury now remained her prime minister until her death, fourteen and a half years later, and thus his length of service far exceeded that of any of her previous prime ministers. Her relations with him were uniformly cordial. She knew him of old as the colleague of Lord Beaconsfield. With his general views of policy she was in accord. She especially appreciated his deep interest in, and full knowledge of, foreign affairs. She felt confidence in his judgment and admired his sturdy common sense. 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. She soon placed a portrait of Lord Salisbury in the vestibule of her private apartments at Windsor face to face with one of Lord Beaconsfield.
Within a few days of the laying of the spectre of home rule, the queen began the fiftieth year of her reign (20 June The entrance on her year of jubilee, and the coming close of a quarter of a century of widowhood, conquered something of her reluctance to figure in public life, and she resumed much of her earlier public activity. On 26 Feb. 1886 she had listened to Gounod's ' Mors et Vita ' at the Albert Hall. On 11 May she visited Liverpool to open an international exhibition of navigation and commerce. But her public appearances were mainly timed so as to indicate her sympathy with that rising tide of imperialist sentiment which was steadily flowing over the whole British empire, and The growth of imperialism. was strengthening the bonds between the colonies and India and the home country. 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 1 May she visited the exhibition, which drew numerous visitors to England from India and the colonies. On 2 July 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 8 July 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 permanently exhibit specimens of the natural products of every corner of her empire.
During the next year—her year of jubilee—1887, the queen more conspicuously illustrated her attachment to India by The queen learns Hindustani. including native Indians among her personal attendants, and from one of them, the munshi Abdul Karim, who served her as groom of the chamber, she began taking lessons in Hindustani. 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 London had been few and brief, The jubliee, 1887. rarely exceeding two nights. In order suitably to distinguish the jubilee year, 1887, from thosethat preceded it, she spent in the opening quarter the exceptional period of ten successive days in her capital (19-29 March). The following month she devoted to the continent, where she divided the time between Cannes and Aix-les-Bains. On returning to England she paid another visit to London, and on 14 May opened the People's Palace in the east end. The enthusiastic loyalty which was displayed on her long journey through the metropolis greatly elated her. After her customary sojourn at Balmoral (May-June) she reached London on 20 June to play her part in the celebration of her jubilee. Next day, 21 June, the chief ceremony took place, when she passed in procession to Westminster Abbey to attend a special thanksgiving service. 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 representatives of Europe, India, and the colonies, all of whom brought her rich gifts. From India came a brilliant array of ruling princes. Europe sent amo its envoys four kings : those of Saxony, Belgium, of the Hellenes, and of Denmark together with the crown princes of Prussia Greece, Portugal, Sweden, and Austria. The pope sent a representative, the courtesy of whose presence the queen acknowledged next year by presenting the pope at the papt jubilee with a rich golden basin and ewe The streets through which she and her guests passed were elaborately decorated, and reception almost overwhelmed her in warmth. Her 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. The first message that she received on reaching Buckingham Palace 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 promontories and inland heights of Great Britain from Shetland and Orkney to Land's End.
Next day the queen accepted a personal gift of 76,000l. subscribed by nearly three The Women's gift. million women of England. A small part of this sum she applied to a bronze equestrian statue of the prince consort, by (Sir) Edgar Boehm, after Marochetti, to be erected on Smith's Law- Windsor Park, where she laid the foundtion-stone on 15 July (she unveiled the statue 12 May 1890). 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. Succeeding incidents in the celebration, in which she took a foremost part, included, apart from court dinners and receptions, a fete in Hyde Park on 22 June to twenty-six thousand poor school children ; a visit to Eton on her return to Windsor the same evening ; the laying of the foundation-stone of the Imperial Institute on 6 July ; a review at Aldershot on 9 July ; and a naval review on 29 July. 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 13 July. The processions, 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 had historic significance. The mighty outburst 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 embodiment of the unity not merely of the British nation but of the British empire.
But amid the jubilee festivities a new cloud was gathering over the royal house. Since the autumn of 1886 the crown prince, to whose future rule in Germany the queen had for nearly thirty years been looking forward with intense hope, was attacked Illness of the crown prince. by a mysterious affection of the throat. Early in June 1887 he and the crown princess came to England and settled at Upper Norwood in the hope of benefiting 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 admiration. Subsequently he stayed in the Isle of Wight and at Braemar, and he did not return to Germany till 14 Sept. The winter of 1887-8 he spent at San Remo, and it there became apparent that he was suffering from cancer. The queen, who completely identified herself with 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 9 March 1888, the queen's old friend, the Emperor William I, 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 abstain from rejoicings in another of her children's households. On 10 March 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.
On 22 March she left England for a month's holiday at Florence. It was her first visit to the city, and it and its surroundings charmed her. King Humbert courteously paid her a visit on 5 April, and the attention pleased her. On 20 April she left 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 Austria. It was their second interview ; the first was now nearly a quarter of a century old. On 21 April she drove through Berlin to Charlottenburg, her son-in-law's palace. But it was not solely to Family quarrel in Berlin. 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. Her own kindly interest in the young princes of Battenberg was shared by her eldest daughter. Of the three brothers, the eldest had married her granddaughter and the youngest her daughter. The second brother, Alexander, who was still unmarried, and was still no more than thirty-one, 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. He, like his brothers, was personally known to the queen, whose guest he was at Windsor in 1879; she sympathised with his misfortunes, and she encouraged the notion that he 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 grandmother. But violent opposition was manifested at the German court. Prince Bismarck, chancellor of the empire, who had always been on terms with the crown princess, denounced the match as the 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 The queen and Bismarck. about an Anglo-German alliance and against the tsar. When the queen reached Charlottenburg this awkward dispute was at its height. The Empress 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 threatened resignation unless Prince Alexander was summarily dismissed. On 24 April the queen, after much conversation with her daughter, boldly discussed the question in all its bearings with Prince Bismarck. He forced her to realise the complications that resistance to his will would raise, and, yielding to his power, she used her influence with her daughter and granddaughter to induce them to break off the engagement with Prince Alexander. Reluctantly they yielded. The Crown Prince William, who had stoutly opposed his mother, was by the queen's persuasion reconciled to her, and domestic harmony was restored. On the night of her interview with Bismarck, the queen attended a state banquet in the Charlottenburg Palace, and the reconciliation was ratified. None the less the queen always took a kindly interest in Prince Alexander, whose humiliation she deplored; and though she regretted his marriage next year (6 Feb. 1889) to Fraülein Loisinger, a singer at the Dresden and Darmstadt court theatres, she used no harsh language, merely remarking pathetically, 'Perhaps they loved one another.' The prince barely survived his marriage four years; he died on 17 Feb. 1893.
On 15 June 1888 the Emperor Frederick died. A week later the queen wrote from Windsor to her friend, Archbishop Benson: Death of Emperor Frederick. 'The contrast between 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' (Life of Archbishop Benson, ii. 211). Court mourning prevented any celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the queen's coronation on 28 June. But on her visit Balmoral in the autumn 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 in succeeding years; the queen showed her the unusual attention of meeting her on her landing in England at Port Victoria (19 Nov.)
During 1889 the queen's health was good and her activity undiminished. Her spring The queen in Spain. holiday was spent for the first time at Biarritz, in former days the favoured health resort of the queen's friend, the Empress Eugenie (6 March to 1 April). On 27 March she made an excursion into Spain to visit the 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 princes. On her return to England she was distressed by the death of her aunt, Duchess of Cambridge, at the age of ninety-one (6 April). The final link with her childhood was thus severed. The queen wished the duchess to be buried at Windsor, but her aunt had left instructions 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 coffin. At the end of the month she paid a visit to her son at Sandringham, and on the 26th she witnessed there a performance by (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. Burnand's comedy of 'The Colonel' (11 Oct. 1881).
In May 1889 she laid the foundation-stone of new buildings at Eton (on the 18th), and she reviewed troops at Aldershot (on the 31st). On 3 June 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. Next day, 4 June, she witnessed at Eton for the first time the annual procession of boats which celebrated George Ill's birthday.
In the summer came difficulties which tried her tact and temper. She turned to consider the pecuniary prospects of her numerous grandchildren. Provision had already been made by parliament for every one of The queen and her grand-children. her nine children and for her three first cousins, the Duke of Cambridge and his sisters ; and children. although the deaths of Princess Alice and Prince Leopold had caused a net reduction of 20,000l., the sum annually assigned to members of the royal family, apart from the queen, amounted to 152,000l. 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 appeal to parliament in behalf of the third generation of her family appropriate. The elder son of the 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 all she could have wished. New life was given to the old cry against the expenses of monarchy.
The queen's financial position still from time to time excited jealous comments, not only among her subjects, but in foreign countries. Exaggerated reports of the extent of her fortune were widely current, and small heed was paid to her efforts to correct the false impression. In 1 885 it was stated with some show of authority that she had lately invested a million pounds sterling in ground False reports of her wealth. rents in the city of London, of her Through Sir Henry Ponsonby she denied that she had any such sum at her disposal. At Berlin, Bismarck often joked coarsely over her reputed affluence, to which he attributed the power she exerted over the Crown Prince Frederick and his household. But while the best friends of the crown deprecated such kind of criticism, they deemed it inexpedient for the country to undertake the maintenance indefinitely of the queen's family beyond the second generation. 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 republican sentiment. To the government's proposal to appoint a committee representative of all sections of the house to determine the principles which should govern the reply to the queen's messages, a hostile amendment to refer the whole question of the revenues of the crown to the committee was moved by Mr. Bradlaugh. 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 government recommended, with the queen's approval, the prospective allocation to the prince of Wales s children of annuities amounting on their marriages to 49,000l., besides a sum of 30,000l. by way of dowries. But the grant immediately payable was to be 21,000l. annually and 10,000l. for the dowry of the Princess Louise. Precedent, it was shown, justified public provision for all the children of the 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 arisen. The queen and the government perceived that public opinion was not in the mood to permit lavish or unconditional grants, and it was soon apparent that a compromise 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 ; but although she demurred to a formal withdrawal of her claim on behalf of her younger son's children, 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 their original proposal by granting to the* prince of Wales a fixed ami mil sum of 36.000l., to be paid quarterly, for his children's support. This proposal was accepted by a majority of the committee ; but Grants to prince of Wales's children, 1889. when it was presented to parliament although Gladstone induced Parnell and the Irish nationalists to support it, it met with opposition from the radical side of the house. Mr. Labouchere invited the house to re- fuse peremptorily any grant to the queen's grandchildren. The invitation was rejected by 398 votes against 116. Mr. John Morley then moved an amendment to the effect that the manner of granting the 36,000l. to the prince of Wales left room for future applications from the crown for further grants, and that it was necessary to give finality to the present arrangement. Most of Gladstone's colleagues in the late government supported Mr. Morley, but his amendment was defeated by 355 votes against 134, and the grant of 36,000l. a year was secured (Hansard, 3rd ser. cccxxxvii. cols. 1840 sq.) In the course of the debate and inquiry it was officially stated that the queen's total savings from the civil list amounted to 824,025l., but that out of this sum much had been spent on special entertainments 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 25 July, while the negotiation was proceeding, she sent to him and Mrs. Gladstone warm congratulations on their golden wedding. Meanwhile, on 27 June, she attended the marriage of her granddaughter, Princess Louise of Wales, to the Earl of Fife in the private chapel of Buckingham Palace.
After the thorny pecuniary question was settled, hospitalities to foreign sovereigns absorbed the queen's attention. In July 1889 she entertained, for a second time, the shah of Persia, and in August she welcomed her grandson, the German emperor Visit of the German emperor William II. William II, on his first visit to this German country since his accession to his throne. The incident greatly interested her, and she arranged every detail of her grandson's reception. 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, 8 Aug., and on 9 Aug. 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 honorary colonel of his first regiment of horseguards, on which he bestowed the title of Queen of England's Own (12 Aug.) The emperor repeated his visit to Osborne next year, when a sham naval fight took place in his presence, and he came back in 1891, when he was officially received in London, in 1893, 1894, and 1895. There was then a three years' interval before he saw the queen again.
During the last eleven years (1889-1901) of her long career the queen's mode of life followed in all essentials the fixed routine. Three visits to Osborne, two to Balmoral,Mode of life, 1889-1901. a few days in London or in Aldershot 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 engagement. In August 1889, on her way to Scotland, she made a short tour in Wales, which she had been contemplating for some ten years. For four days she stayed at Pal6 Hall, near Lake Bala. On the 26th, 'the dear prince's birthday,' she paid a visit to Bryntysilio near Llangollen, the residence of Sir Theodore and Lady Martin, both of whom were congenial acquaintances. She was gratified by the loyalty shown by the Welsh people, and thoroughly enjoyed the beauty of the scenery. On 14 May 1890 she paid a visit to Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild's chateau at Waddesdon Manor. On 26 July following she opened the deep-water dock at Southampton. On 26 Feb. 1891, at Portsmouth, she christened and launched the Royal Sovereign, the largest ironclad in her fleet, and the Royal Arthur, an unarmoured cruiser of new design. On 21 May 1891 she laid the foundation-stone of the new royal infirmary at Derby. On 21 May 1894 she revisited Manchester after an interval of thirty-seven years in order to open officially the great ship canal; on 21 May 1897 she went to Sheffield to open the new town hall ; and on 15 Nov. 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.
Only in her foreign tours did she seek change of scene with any ardour. In 1890 Foreign tours, 1890-2. her destination was Aix-les-Bains; in 1891, Grasse ; and in 1890-9. 1892 Costebelle, near Hyeres. In 1893 and again in 1894 she passed the spring at Florence for a second and a third time, and her delight in the city and neighbourhood grew with closer acquaintance. Each of these years King Humbert paid her a visit ; and in 1894 Queen Margherita accompanied him. In 1895 she was at Cannes ; both in 1896 and 1897 at Nice ; and during the two successive years, 1898 and 1899, at Cimiez. On the homeward journey in 1890, 1892, and 1895 she revisited Darmstadt. On her return 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 19 April 1894, at the inter-marriage 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. 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 Republic, who greeted her with every courtesy. On 5 May 1899 she touched foreign soil for the last time when she embarked at Cherbourg on her home-coming from Cimiez. She frequently acknowledged with gratitude the amenities which were extended to her abroad, and sought to reciprocate them. On 19 Aug. 1891 she welcomed the officers of the French squadron which was in the Channel under Admiral Gervais, and on 11 July 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 Revival of drama and opera at court. 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 took great personal interest. Next year, for the first time since the prince consort's death, a dramatic performance was commanded at Windsor Castle, 6 March 1891, when Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera of 'The Gondoliers' was performed. In 1894 the Italian actress, Signora Eleanora Duse, performed Goldoni's 'La Locandiera' before the queen at Windsor, and Mr. Tree acted 'The Red Lamp' at Balmoral. Her birthday in 1895 she celebrated by a performance there of Verdi's opera of 'Il Trovatore' in the Waterloo Chamber. On 26 June 1900 Mascagni's 'Cavalleria Rusticana' with a selection from 'Carmen' was given there, and on 16 July 1900 the whole opera of 'Faust.'
Domestic incidents continued to bring the queen alternations of joy and grief in abundant measure. In December 1891 she was Betrothal and death of the Duke of Clarence. gratified by the betrothal of Princess Mary (May), daughter the Duke of of her 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 the union. On 14 Jan. 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 described 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 re- sembles that on the death of Princess Char- lotte, and is a remarkable evidence of national attachment to the queen and rovai family' (6 Feb. 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 George, duke of York, became next heir to the crown after his father; and on 3 May 1893 The Duke of York's marriage. the queen assented to his betrothal to the Princess May of Teck. Sorrow was succeeded by gladness. The Duke of York's marriage in the Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace on 6 July 1893, which the queen attended, revived her spirits ; and she wrote to her people a letter full of hope, thanking them for their congratulations.
Another change in her domestic environment followed. On 22 Aug. 1893 her brother-in-law, Duke Ernest of Saxe-Coburg, died. The cordiality of her early relations The duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. with him was not maintained. She had never thought highly of his judgment, and his mode of life in his old age did not commend itself to her. His death gave effect to the arrangement by which the duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha passed to her second son, Alfred, duke of Edinburgh ; and he and his family thenceforth made Coburg their chief home. Thus the German principality, which waa endeared to her through her mother's and her husband's association with it, was brought permanently under the sway of her descendants.
The matrimonial fortunes of her grand-children occupied much of her attention next Grand-children's marriages. year. At the time of the Grand children's Duke of Hesse's marriage with a marriages, daughter of the new Duke of Saxe-Coburg, which she herself attended at Coburg (19 April 1894), she warmly approved the betrothal of the Tsarevitch Nicholas with another granddaughter Alix, sister of the Grand Duke of Hesse. This was the most imposing match that any of her grandchildren had 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 brought the head of the Russian royal family into far closer relations with her own. Before the tsarevitch's marriage, the death of his father, Tsar Alexander III, on 1 Nov. 1894, placed him on the Russian throne. His marriage followed on 23 Nov. The queen gave an appropriated elaborate banquet at Windsor in honour of the event, and made the new Tsar Nicholas II now the husband of her granddaughter colonel-in-chief of the second dragoons (Royal Scots Greys). Meanwhile, on 23 June 1894, the birth of a first son (Edward) to the Duke and Duchess of York added a new heir in the fourth generation to the direct succession to her throne. The queen was present at the christening at White Lodge, Richmond, on 16 July. A year later she gave a hearty welcome to a foreign kinsman in the third generation, Carlos, king of Portugal, friendship with whose father and grand- parents (Queen Maria II and her consort, Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg) she had warmly cherished. She celebrated King Carlos's visit by conferring on him the order of the Garter (9 Nov. 1895).
Politics at home had once more drifted in the direction which she dreaded. Gladstone again in office, 1882-4. At the June 1892 the twelfth parliament of the reign was dissolved after a life of just six years, and a majority of home rulers was returned (355 to 315). Lord Salisbury waited for the meeting of parliament before resigning, but a vote of want of confidence was at once carried against him and he retired (12 Aug.) The queen had no choice but to summon Gladstone for a fourth time to fill the post of prime minister, and with the legislation that his new government prepared the queen found herself in no greater sympathy than on former occasions. Her objections to home rule for Ireland were rooted and permanent ; but, though she was depressed by the passage of Gladstone's home rule bill through the House of Commons (27 July 1893), she rejoiced at its rejection by the House of Lords on 8 Sept. by the decisive majority of 378. As far as her reign was concerned the scheme then received its death-blow. She was spared further anxieties in regard to it, and the political horizon brightened for her. On The queen's farewell of Gladstone. 2 March 1894 Gladstone went farewell of to Windsor to resign his office Gladstone. owing to his age and failing health, and the queen accepted his resignation with a coldness that distressed him and friends. She did not meet him again. On 19 May 1898 he died, and though she felt sympathy with his relatives, and was grateful for the proofs he had given of attachment to the monarchy, she honestly refrained from any unequivocal expression of admiration for his public labours. She was fully alive to the exalted view of his achievements which was shared by a large number of her subjects, and in a telegram to Mrs. Gladstone on the day of his 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 intellectual abilities marked him as one of the most distinguished statesmen of my reign.' But she did not commit herself to any personal appreciation beyond the concluding remark : '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, by her own act and without seeking any advice, chose the Earl of Rosebery to succeed Lord Rosebery prime minister. him (3 March). She had long known him and his family (his mother had been one of her bridesmaids), and she admired his abilities. But the government's policy under-went small change. The Welsh disestablishment bill, which was read a second time in the House of Commons on 1 April 1895, ran directly counter to her personal devotion to church establishments. Nor did she welcome the changes at the war office, which relieved her cousin, the Duke of Cambridge, of the commandership-in-chief of the army, and by strictly limiting the future tenure of the post to a period of five years gave the deathblow to the cherished fiction that the commander-in-chief was the sovereign's permanent personal deputy. But Lord Rosebery's government fell in June, and Lord Salisbury, to the queen's satisfaction, resumed power on the understanding that he would be permitted an early appeal to the country. In the new ministry the conservative leaders coalesced with the leaders of liberal unionists. The dissolution of parliament was followed by the return of the unionists in a strong majority, and the unionist party under Lord Salisbury's leadership retained power till her death. With Lord Salisbury and his unionist colleagues her relations were to the last harmonious. Her sympathy with the imperialist sentiments, The queen and Mr. Chamberlain. which Mr. Chamberlain's control of the colonial office conspicously fostered, was whole-hearted. As in the case of Peel and Disraeli, her first knowledge of him had not prepossessed her in his favour. When he was a leader of a radical section of the liberal party she regarded him with active distrust ; but his steady resistance to the policy of home rule, and his secession from the ranks of Gladstone's followers, dissipated her fears, and his imperialist administration of colonial affairs from 1895 till her death' was in complete accord with her sentiment. But, despite her confidence in her advisers, 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 consideration of ministers' proposals. She had lately resumed her early practice of signing commissions 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. Her resolve to identify herself with the army never knew any diminution. Her public appearances came to have almost exclusively military associations. On 10 May 1892 she opened with much formality the Imperial Institute, but participation in civil ceremonial was rare in her closing years. On 4 July 1890 she inspected the military exhibition at Chelsea hospital. On 27 June 1892 she laid the foundation-stone of a new church at Aldershot, and witnessd the march Her interest in the army. past of ten thousand men. Next year, to her joy, but amid 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, 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 Coldstream guards.
Early in 1896 the military ardour which she encouraged in her immediate circle cost it 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. Invalided home with fever, the prince died on board H.M.S. Blonde on the way to Madeira on 20 Jan. 1896. His body was met on its arrival at Cowes on 5 Feb. by the queen and her widowed daughter, who accompanied it to its last resting-place in the church at Whippingham, where their marriage took place less than eleven years before. In the following autumn (22 Sept.- 5 Oct.) she had the gratification of entertaining at Balmoral the Tsar Nicholas II and her granddaughter the tsaritza with infant daughter. The tsar's father, grand-father, and great-grandfather had all been her guests in earlier days.
On 23 Sept. 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 Ill's reign of fifty-nine years and ninety-six days had been the longest known to English history. In 1897 it was resolved to The diamond jubilee of 1897. celebrate the completion of her sixtieth year of rule her 'diamond jubilee' with 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 have been 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 celebration was a state procession through London on 22 June. The queen made almost a circuit of her capital, 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 to the steps at the west end of St. Paul's, where a short religious service was conducted by the highest dignitaries of the church. 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 rousing welcome which brought tears to her eyes. Her feelings were faithfully reflected in the telegraphic greeting which she sent as she set out from the palace to all parts of the empire: 'From my heart I thank my beloved people. May God bless them!' In the evening, as in 1887, every Hritish city was illuminated, and every headland or high ground in England, Scotland, and Wales, from Cornwall to Caithness, was ablaze with beacons. The festivities lasted a fortnight. There was a garden party at Buckingham Palace on 28 June ; a review in Windsor Park of the Indian and colonial troops on 2 July ; a reception on 7 July of the colonial prime ministers, when they were all sworn of the privy council; and a reception on 13 July 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 23 June, were shown some want of courtesy. The queen repaired the neglect by inviting the members and their wives to a garden party at Windsor on 3 July. The only official celebration which the queen's age prevented her from attending in person was a great review of battleships at Spithead (26 June), 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 Sift to Great Britain of an ironclad from ape Colony. On 18 July the close of the rejoicings drew from the queen a letter of thanks to her people, simply expressing her boundless gratitude. The passion of loyalty which the jubilee of 1887 had called forth was brought to a degree of intensity which had no historic precedent; and during the few years of life that yet remained to the queen it burned with undiminished force throughout the empire in the breasts of almost every one of her subjects, whatever their race or domicile.
The anxieties which are inseparable from the government of a great empire pursued Military expeditions, 1897-8. the queen and her country in full measure during the rest of her reign, and her armies were engaged in active hostilities in many parts of the world. Most of her energies were consequently absorbed in giving characteristic proof of her concern for the welfare of her troops. She closely scanned the military expeditions on the frontier of India (1897-1899). The campaign of English and Egyptian troops under Lord Kitchener, which finally crushed the long-drawn-out rebellion in the Soudan at the battle of Omdurman on 2 Sept. 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. In 1898 she indicated the course of her sympathies by thrice visiting at Netley Hospital the wounded men from India and the Soudan (11 Feb., 14 May, and 3 Dec.) When at Balmoral, 29 Oct. 1898, she presented colours to the newly raised 2nd battalion of the Cameron highlanders. On 1 July 1899 she reviewed in Windsor Great Park the Honourable Ar- tillery Company, of which the prince of Wales was captain-general, and a few days later (15 July) she presented in Windsor Castle colours to the Scots guards, after- wards attending a march past in the park. On 10 Aug., while at Osborne, she inspected the Portsmouth volunteers in camp at Ash- ley, and at Balmoral on 29 Sept. she pre- sented new colours to the 2nd battalion of the Seaforth highlanders. Her chief public appearance during 1899, which was uncon- nected with the army, was on 17 May 1 899, when she laid the foundation-stone of the new buildings of the Victoria and Albert Museum at Kensington. The South Ken- sington Museum, as the institution had hitherto been named, had been brought intp being by the prince consort, and was always identified in the queen's mind with her hus- band's public services.
All other military experiences which had recently confronted the queen sank into insignificance in The great Boer war. the autumn of 1899 in the presence of the great Boer war. With her ministers' general policy in South Africa before the war she was in agreement, although she studied the details somewhat less closely than had 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 Transvaal were pending. As in former crises of the same kind, as 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 1899 until consciousness failed her on her deathbed in 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. Defeat merely added fuel to the zeal with which she urged her advisers to retrieve it. It was with her especial approval that in December 1899 reinforcements on 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 enthusiasm, and she sent many Emperor William II's visit, November 1899. messages of thanks. She was consoled, too, by a visit at Windsor from her grandson, the German emperor, with the empress and two of his sons, on 20 Nov. 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 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 subjects, reprobated the emperor's interference, although it had none of the significance which popular feeling in England attributed to it. The emperor's visit to the queen and prince of Wales in November 1899 had been arranged before the Boer war broke out, but the emperor did not 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 300l. to the fund for the relief of the widows and orphans of the men of the 1st royal dragoons who were then fighting in South Africa—a regiment of which he was colonel-in-chief.
Throughout 1900 the queen was indefatigable in inspecting troops who The queen's sympathy with her soldiers. were proceeding to the seat of 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 photograph and inquiring into the position of their families. In the affairs of all who died in her service she took a vivid personal interest. Her anxieties at Christmas 1899 kept her at Windsor and precluded her from proceeding to Osborne 5r 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-commissioned 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 every soldier at the front, and on New Year's day (1900) forwarded greetings to all ranks. When the news of British successes reached her in the early months of 1900 the relief of Kimberley (15 Feb.), the capture of General Cronje (27 Feb.), the relief of Ladysmith (28 Feb.), the occupation of Bloemfontein (13 March), the relief of Mafeking (17May), and the occupation of Pretoria (5 June) she exchanged congratulations with her generals with abundant enthusiasm.
The gallantry displayed by the Irish soldiers was peculiarly gratifying to her, and she acknowledged it in a most emphatic fashion. On 2 March she gave 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 forbidden in the army. On 7 March she came to London, and on the afternoons of 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. Public enthusiasm ran high, and she was greeted everywhere by cheering crowds. On 22 March she went to the Herbert Hospital, at Woolwich, to visit wounded men from South Africa. But the completest sign that she gave of the depth of her sympathy with those who were bearing the brunt of the struggle was her decision to abandon 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. Forth visit to Irelan, 1900. Nearly forty years had elapsed since she set foot in Ireland. In 1900 that interval political disaffection had been rife, and had unhappily discouraged her from renewing her acquaintance with the country. She now spout in Dublin, the viceregal lodge in Phoenix Park, nearly the whole of April—from the 4th to the 25th. 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 con- fidence in the loyalty, despite political agitation, of the Irish people to the crown. 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. On 5 April she gave orders for the formation of a new regiment of Irish guards. On her departure on 26 April she thanked the Irish people for their greeting in a public letter addressed to the lord lieutenant.
After her return to Windsor on 2 May 1900 she inspected the men of H.M.S. Powerful who had been besieged in Ladysmith, and warmly welcomed their com- mander, Captain Hedworth Lambton. On the 17th she visited the wounded at Netley. Lord Roberts's successes in South Africa at the time relieved her and her people of pressing anxieties, and ordinary court festivities were suffered to proceed. On 4 May she entertained at Windsor the king of Sweden and Norway, who had often been her guest as Prince Oscar of Sweden. On 10 May 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 (22 May to 20 June) she gave several musical entertainments at Windsor. On 11 June there was a garden party at Buckingham Palace, and on 28 June at Windsor a state banquet to the khedive of Egypt, who was visiting the country. Her old friend the Empress Eugenie was her guest at Osborne in September.
Apart from the war, she was interested during the session in the passage through The federation of Australia, 1900. the House of Commons of the federation of Australian commonwealth bill, Australia, which was to create a federal union among the Australian colonies. She received at Windsor on 27 March the delegates from Australia, who were in England to watch the bill's progress. When in the autumn the bill received the royal assent, she, on 27 Aug., cordially accepted the suggestion that her grandson the Duke of York, with the duchess, should proceed as her representative to Australia in 1901, to open in her name the first session of the new commonwealth parliament. She was especially desirous of showing her appreciation of the part taken by colonial troops in the Boer war, and she directed that the duke should be attended in the Australian parliament house by a guard of honour representing every branch of the army, including the volunteers.
But the situation in South Africa remained the central topic of her thought, and in the late summer it gave renewed cause for concern. Despite Lord Roberts's occupation of the chief towns of the enemy's territory, fighting was still proceeding in the open country, and deaths from disease or wounds in the British ranks were numerous. The queen Distresses of the war. was acutely distressed by the reports of suffering that reached her through the summer, but, while she constantly considered and suggested means of alleviating 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 highland gathering for sports and games at Braemar, which she had attended for many years with the utmost satisfaction, was abandoned. She still watched closely public events in foreign countries, and she found little consolation there. The assassination of her friend Humbert, king of Italy, on 29 July at Monza greatly disturbed her equanimity. In France a wave of strong anti-English feeling involved her name, and the shameless 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 she had proved the staunchest of friends. Happily the duke afterwards apologised for his misbehaviour, and was magnanimously pardoned by the queen.
In October a general election was deemed necessary by the government—the existing parliament was more than five years old—and the queen was gratified by the result. The new unionist House of Commons, October 1900. Lord Salisbury's government, which was responsible for the war and its conduct, received from England and Scotland overwhelming support. The election emphatically supported the queen's view that, despite the heavy cost of life and treasure, hostilities must be vigorously pursued until the enemy acknowledged defeat. When the queen's fifteenth and last parliament was opened in December, Lord Salisbury was still prime minister ; but he resigned the foreign secretaryship to Lord Lansdowne, formerly minister of war, and he made with the queen's approval some unimpressive changes in the personal constitution of the ministry. Its policy remained unaltered.
Death had again been busy among the queen's relatives and associates, and cause for private sorrow abounded in her last years. The queen's latest bereavements. Her cousin and friend of youth, the Duchess of Teck, had passed away on 27 Oct. 1897. Another blow was the death at Meran of phthisis, on 6 Feb. 1899, of her grandson, Prince Alfred, only son of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. The succession to the duchies of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, which was thus deprived of an heir, was offered by the diet of the duchies 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 in favour of his nephew, the Duke of Albany, the posthumous son of the queen's youngest son, Leopold. To the queen's satisfaction the little Duke of Albany was adopted on 30 June 1899 as heir presumptive to the beloved principality. The arrangement unhappily took practical effect earlier than she anticipated. A mortal disease soon attacked the reigning duke of Saxe-Coburg, the queen's second son, Alfred, and he died suddenly at Rosenau on 30 July 1900, before a fatal issue was expected. The last bereavement in the royal circle which the queen suffered was the death, on 29 Oct. 1900, of her grandson, Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein, eldest son of Princess Helena, the queen's second daughter. The young man 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 herself 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.
On 7 Nov. the queen returned to Windsor from Balmoral in order to console Princess Final migrations of the court. 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 addressed a few words to the men. On 12 Dec. she made her last public appearance by attending a sale of needlework by Irish ladies at the Windsor town hall. On 14 Dec. she celebrated the thirty-ninth anniversary of the prince consort's death at Frogmore with customary solemnity, and on the 18th she left for Osborne. It was the last journey of her life.
Throughout life the queen's phyical condition was robust. She always believed in The queen's health in old age. the efficacy of fresh air and health in old abundant ventilation, and those who waited on her had often occasion to lament that the queen never felt cold. She was long extremely careful about her health, and usually consulted her resident physician, Sir James Reid, many times a day. 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 stiffness of the joints, which rendered walking difficult, and from 1898 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 year she was scarcely able to read, although she could still sign her name and could write letters with difficulty. It was not till the late summer of 1900 that 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, 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 Riviera 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. Arrangements for the removal of the court early next year to the Riviera 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 lady-in-waiting, Jane Lady Churchill, Last days at Osborne. passed away suddenly in her sleep. The queen was greatly distressed, and at once made a wreath for the coffin with her own hands. On 2 Jan. 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. On the 10th Mr. Chamberlain had a few minutes' audience with her, so that she might learn the immediate prospect of South African affairs. It was her last interview with a minister. The widowed duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha arrived on a visit, and, accompanied by her, 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 weakness grew, and the children who were in England were summoned to her deathbed. On 21 Jan. her grandson, the German emperor, arrived, and in his presence and in the presence of two The queen's death. sons and three daughters she passed away at half-past six in the evening of Tuesday, 22 Jan. She was eighty-one years old and eight months, less two days. Her reign had lasted sixty-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. On the day following her death her eldest son met the privy council at St. James's Palace, took the oaths as her successor to the throne, and was on the 24th proclaimed king under the style of Edward VII.
In accordance with a dominant sentiment of her life the queen was accorded a military Her funeral. funeral. On 1 Feb. the 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 to London, and were borne on a gun carriage from Victoria station to Paddington. In the military procession 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 members 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, 4 Feb., 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 Albert.
No British sovereign was more sincerely mourned. As the news of the queen's death The universal sorrow. spread, impassioned expressions of versai 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 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 of sympathy with her subjects' welfare. But the 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 The queen and imperial unity. 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 criticism. Neither her partial resumption of her public life nor her venerable age fully accounts for the new sentiment of affectionate enthusiasm which greeted her declining days. It was largely 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 brotherhood through the continents that formed the British empire. She and her ministers in her last years encouraged the identification of the British sovereignty with the unifying spirit of imperialism, and she thoroughly reciprocated the warmth of feeling for herself 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 constitution have enjoyed that popular regard and veneration of which she died in unchallenged possession.
The practical anomalies incident to the position of a constitutional sovereign who is in theory invested with all the semblance of power, but is denied any 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 commanding strength of intellect but of an imperious will, 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 Her attitude to business of state. obstinately adhered, pressing them to business pertinaciously on the notice of her ministers. No sovereign of England ever applied himself to the work of government with greater ardour or greater industry. None was a more voluminous correspondent with the officers of state. Although the result of her energy could not under the constitution be commensurate with its intensity, her activity was in the main advantageous. The detachment from party interests or prepossessions, which her elevated and isolated position came to foster in her, gave her the opportunity of detecting in ministerial schemes any national ; peril to which her ministers might at times 'be blinded by the spirit of faction, and her persistence occasionally led to some modification of policy in the direction that she urged 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 trustful 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. While, therefore, she shrank from no exertion whereby she might influence personally the machinery of the state, she was always conscious of her powerlessness to enforce her opinions or her wishes. With the principle of the constitution which imposed on the sovereign the obligation of giving formal assent to every final decision of his advisers however privately obnoxious it might be to him, she had the practical wisdom to avoid any manner of conflict.
Partly owing to her respect for the constitution in which she was educated, partly The decay of royal power. owing to her personal idiosyncrasies and partly owing to the growth of democratic principles among her people, the active 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 in effect 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. The main outward signs of the sovereign's formal supremacy in the state lost, moreover, by her own acts, their old distinctness. Conservative as 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, and did not prorogue it once after 1854. It had been the rule of her predecessors regularly to attend the legislature at the opening and close of each session, unless they were disabled by illness, and her defiance of this practice tended to weaken her semblance of hold on the central force of government. Another innovation in the usages of the monarchy, for which the queen, with a view Innovations in royal practice. to increasing her private convenience, was personally responsible, had a like effect. Her three immediate predecessors on the throne never left the country during their reigns. Only three earlier sovereigns of modern times occasionally crossed the seas while wearing the crown, and they were represented at home in their absence 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 government for weeks at a time—in some instances at seasons of crisis—seemed to prove that the sovereign'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 enfeebled the illusion which is part of the fabric of a perfectly balanced monarchy that the motive power of government resides in the sovereign.
In one other regard the queen, by conduct which can only be assigned to care for her The queen and Ireland. personal comfort at the cost of the public advantage, almost sapped the influence which the crown 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 approaching seven years. She spent in Ireland 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 undiminished 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 intimately associated with her devotion to The queen's foreign relations. her family which was a ruling principle of her life. The kinsmen and kinswomen with whom her relations were closest were German, and Germany had for her most of the associations of home. She encouraged in her household many German customs, and with her numerous German relatives maintained an enormous and detailed correspondence. Her patriotic attachment to her own country of England and to her British subjects could never be justly questioned, and it was her cherished conviction that England might and should mould the destinies of the world ; 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 husband 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.
Although the queen disliked war and its inevitable brutalities, she treated it as in certain conditions a dread necessity which no ruler could 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 Her temperament. domestic affection was allied to a perament. tenderness of feeling and breadth of sympathy with mankind generally, which her personal sorrows accentuated. She spared no exertion personally to console the bereaved, to whatever walk of life they belonged, and she greatly valued a reciprocation of her sympathy. Every instance of unmerited suffering that came to her notice as in the case of Captain Dreyfus in France stirred her to indignation. 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 morbid tendency of mind which comes of excessive study of incidents of sorrow and suffering. Her habit of accumulating sepulchral memorials of relations and friends was one manifestation of it. But it was held in check by an innate cheerfulness of disposition and by her vivacious curiosity regarding all that passed in the domestic and political circles of which she was the centre. She took a deep interest in her servants. She was an admirable hostess, personally consulting her guests' comfort. The ingenuousness of youth was never wholly extinguished in her. She was easily amused, and was never at a loss for recreation. Round games of cards or whist she exchanged in later years for patience; but she sketched, played the piano, sang, did needlework until old age.
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 never a judge of painting, and she bestowed her main patronage on portrait painters like Winterhalter and Von Angeli, and on sculptors like Boehm, who had little beyond their German nationality to recommend them. 'The only studio of a master that she ever visited was that of 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.' In music she showed greater taste. Staunch to the heroes of her youth, she always appreciated the operas of Rossini, Bellini, and Donizetti, but Handel and Mendelssohn also won her early admiration, and Gounod and Sullivan fascinated her later. She never understood or approved Wagner or his school. She was devoted to the theatre from girlhood, and all her enthusiasm revived when in her last years she restored the dramatic performances at court, which her mourning had long interrupted. She was not well read, and although she emulated her husband's respect for literature, it entered little into the business or recreation of her life.
In talk she appreciated homely wit of a quiet kind, and laughed without restraint when a jest or anecdote appealed to her. Subtlety or indelicacy offended her, and sometimes evoked a scornful censure. 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.' Her own conversation had often the charm of naïveté. When told that a very involved piece of modern German music, to which she was listening with impatience, was a 'drinking song' by Rubinstein, she remarked, 'Why, you could not drink a cup of tea to that.' Her memory was unusually sound, and errors which were made in her hearing on matters familiar to her she corrected with briskness and point.
The queen's religion was simple, sincere, and 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 emancipation of women she was thoroughly and almost blindly antipathetic. She never realised that her own position gave the advocates of women's rights their strongest argument. With a like inconsistency she regarded the greatest of her female predecessors, 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 and the Jacobites. She declined to identify Prince Charles Edward with his popular designation of 'the Young Pretender,' and gave in his memory the baptismal names of Charles Edward to her grandson, the Duke of Albany. She was deeply interested in the history of Mary Stuart; she placed a window in Carisbrooke Church in memory of Charles I's daughter Elizabeth (1850), and a marble tomb by Marochetti above her grave in the neighbouring church of St. Thomas at Newport (1856). She restored James II's tomb at St. Germain. Such likes and dislikes reflected purely personal idiosyncrasies. It was not Queen Elizabeth's mode of rule that offended Queen Victoria; it was her 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 sympathy with suffering. Far from being an embodiment of selfish whim, the queen's personal sentiment blended in its mam current sincere love of public justice with staunch fidelity to domestic duty, and ripe experience came in course of years to imbue it with the force of patriarchal wisdom. In her capacity alike of monarch and woman, the queen's personal sentiment proved, on the whole, a safer guide than the best devised system of moral or political philosophy.
Of her nine children (four sons—Albert Edward, prince of Wales, Alfred, Arthur, and Leopold—and five daughters—Victoria, Alice, Helena, Louise, and Beatrice), two sons, Leopold and Alfred, and one daughter, The queen's descendants. Alice, died in the queen's lifetime. She was survived by two sons—the prince of Wales and Arthur duke of Connaught—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 5 Aug. 1901 at her seat, Friedrichshof, near Frankfort. All her children were married, and all except the Princess Louise had issue. The queen's grand-children numbered thirty-one at the date of her death nine died in her lifetime and her great-grandchildren numbered thirty-seven. Seventeen of her grandchildren were married. In two instances there was intermarriage of first cousins viz. Grand Duke of Hesse (Princess Alice's only surviving son) with Princess Victoria Melita (Prince Alfred's second daughter), and Prince Henry of Prussia (Princess Royal's second son) with Princess Irena Marie (Princess Alice's third daughter). Other marriages of her grand-children connected her with the chief reigning families of Europe. The third daughter of the Princess Royal (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 Her grand-children. uncle of Tsar Nicholas II. Prince Alfred's eldest daughter (Princess Marie) married in 1893 Ferdinand, crown prince of Roumania. 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, who became the wife of the Duke of Fife. The remaining seven marriages of grandchildren were contracted with members of princely families of Germany. The Emperor William II married Princess Victoria of Augustenburg. The Princess Royal's daughters, the Princesses Charlotte, Frederika Victoria, and Margaretta Beatrice, married respectively the hereditary Prince of Saxe-Meiningen (in 1878), Prince Adolphe of Schaumburg-Lippe (in 1890), and Prince Frederick Charles of Hesse-Cassel (in 1893). 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.
There was one marriage in the queen's lifetime in the fourth generation of her family. On 24 Sept. 1898 the eldest of her great-grandchildren, Féodora, daughter of the hereditary Princess of Saxe-Meiningen. (Princess Royal's eldest daughter), married Prince Henry XXX of Reuss.
The queen's portrait was painted, drawn, sculptured, and photographed several hundred times in the course of the reign. None are satisfactory presentments. The queen's Portraits of the queen.features in repose necessarily omit the queen. 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 compensated for the smallness of her stature. Among the chief paintings or drawings of her, those of her before her accession are by Sir William Beechey, R.A. (with the Duchess of Kent), 1821 ; by Richard Westall, R.A., 1830; by Sir George Hayter, 1833; and by R. J. Lane, A.R.A., 1837. Those after her accession are by Alfred Chalon, in state robes (engraved by Cousins), 1838 ; by Sir George Hayter, 1838; by Sir David Wilkie, 1839 (in Glasgow Gallery) ; by Sir Edwin Landseer (drawing presented by the queen to Prince Albert), 1839 ; by F. Winterhalter, 1845 and other years ; by Winterhalter (group with Prince Arthur and Duke of Wellington), 1848 ; by Sir Edwin Landseer, 1866 ; by Baron H. von Angeli, 1875 (of which many replicas were made for presents, and a copy by Lady Abercromby is in the National Portrait Gallery, London), 1885 and 1897 ; by Mr. W. Q. Orchardson, R.A. (group with prince of Wales, Duke of York, and Prince Edward of York), 1900 ; and by M. Benjamin Constant, 1900. There are several miniatures by Sir W. C. Ross, R.A., and one by Robert Thorburn, A.K.A. (with prince of SVales as a child). There is a clever caricature lithographic portrait, by Mr. William Nicholson, 1897. Every leading episode in the queen's life was commemorated on her commission by a painting in which her portrait appears. Most of these memorial paintings, many 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,' 1838, and 'The Christening of the Princess Royal,' 1841 ; Sir George Hayter's 'Corona- tion,' 'The Queen's Marriage,' 1840, and 'Christening of the Prince of Wales;' 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 ' Marriage of 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 W^oodville's ' Marriage of the Princess Beatrice,' 1885 ; Laurenz Tuxen's ' The Queen and Royal Family at Jubilee of 1887 ; ' 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 is to be found in almost every city of the empire, include a bust by Behnes, 1829 (in possession of Lord Ronald Gower) ; an equestrian statue by Marochetti at Glasgow ; a statue by Boehm at Windsor; a large plaster bust by Sir Edgar Boehm (in National Portrait Gallery, London) ; a statue at Winchester by Mr. Alfred Gilbert, R.A. ; a statue at Manchester by Mr. Onslow Ford, R.A., 1900. A national memorial in sculpture, to be designed by Mr. Thomas Brock, R.A., is to be placed in the Mall opposite the entrance to Buckingham Palace.
The portrait head of the queen on the coinage followed three successive types The coinage and medals. 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, R.A.
Of medals on which her head appears the majority commemorate military or naval achievements, and are not of great artistic note (cf. John H. Mayo's Medals and Decorations of the British Army and Navy, 1897). Many medals commemorating events in the queen's reign were also struck by order of the corporation of London (cf. Charles Welch's Numismata Londinensia, 1894, with plates). Of strictly official medals of the reign the chief are that struck in honour of the coronation from designs in 1838; the jubilee medal of 1897, with the reverse designed by Lord Leighton ; and the diamond jubilee medal of 1897, with Wyon's design of the queen's head in youth on the reverse, and Mr. Brock's design of the head in old age on the obverse with the noble inscription : 'Longitudo dierum in dextera eius et in sinistra gloria.'
The adhesive postage stamp was an invention of the queen's reign, and was adopted by the government in 1840. A crowned portrait head of the queen was designed for postage stamps in that year, and was not moditied 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.
[No life of Queen Victoria of any importance has yet been published. The sketches by Mr. R. R. Holmes, librarian at Windsor (with elaborate portrait illustrations, 1887, and text alone, 1901), by Mrs. Oliphant, by Principal Tulloch, perfect. The outward facts of her life and reign are best studied in the Annual Register from 1837 to 1900, together with the Times newspaper, Hansard's Parliamentary Debates, and the collected edition of Punch. A vast library of memoirs of contemporaries supplies useful hints and information for the whole period. For the years before and immediately after the accession, see Mrs. Gerald Gurney's Childhood of Queen Victoria, 1901 ; Tuer's First Year of a Silken Reign ; Memoir of Gabriele von Billow (Eagl. transl.), 1897 ; Earl of Albemarle's Fifty Years of my Life; Strafford House Letters, 1891, pt. ri. ; and Sir Charles Murray's papers in Cornhill Mag. 1897. The only portion of the queen's career which has been dealt with fully is her married life, 1840-61, which is treated in General Grey's Early Years of the Prince Consort, 1808. and in Sir Theodore Martin's Life of the Prince Consort, 5 vols. 1874-80. The account then given of the queen's private and public experiences during the years in question is largely drawn from her and her husband's journals and letters. Both General Grey and Sir Theodore Marlin write from the queen's point of view, and pay little or no attention to the evidence writers with whom the queen was out of sympathy ; some memoirs published since the appearance of these volumes also usefully suppliment the information. The best authority for the general course of the queen's life and her relations with political history down to 1860 is
to be found in the three series of the Greville Memoirs (1817-60), which are outspoken, and in the main trustworthy. The Duke Ernest of Saxe-Coburg's Memoirs, 4 vols. (English transl. 1888-90), throw very valuable 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 Memoirs of Baron von Bunsen and by Memoirs of Baron von Stoekmar, by his son (Engl. transl. 2 vols. 1892). Other hints from the German side may be gleaned for both early and late periods of the reign in Th. von Bernhardi Aus dem Leben, pt. v. 1895; Memoirs of Count von Beust; Memoirs of Count Vitzthum von Eckstadt; Moltke's Letters to his Wife and other Relatives, ed. Sidney Whitman (2 vols. 1896); Margaretha von Poschinger's Life of Emperor Frederick (Engl. transl. by Whitman, 1901); Bismarck's Reflections and Reminiscences (2 vols. 1898, Engl. transl.); and Busch's Conversations of Bismarck (3 vols. 1897). For the English relations with Napoleon III (18-51-68) see De la Gorce's Histoire du Second Empire (5 vols.) The queen's domestic life from 1838 to 1870 may be traced in Letters from Sarah, Lady Lyttelton, 1797-1870 (privately printed for the family, 1873); from 1863 to 1878 in the Letters of Princess Alice, with memoir by Dr. Sell (Engl. transl. 1884); from 1842 to 1882 in the queen's Leaves (1868), and More Leaves (1883) from her Journal in the Highlands; and from 1850 to 1897 in Mr. Kinloch Cooke's Life of the Duchess of Teek, 2 vols. 1900. Both court and diplomatic affairs (1837-68) are sketched in Lady Bloomfield's Court and Diplomatic Life (1883, 2 vols.), and diplomatic affairs alone (1837-1879) in the two series of Lord Augustus Loftus's Reminiscences (4 vols. 1892-4). For home politics see Torrens's Life of Lord Melbourne; the Croker Papers; the Peel Papers (a specially valuable work); Sir Spencer Walpole's Life of Lord John Russell (a most useful biography); Bulwer and Ashley's Life of Lord Palmerston; Lord Malmesbury's Memoirs of an Ex-Minister; Benham and Davidson's Life of Archbishop Tait (1891); Lori Selborne's Memorials; Gladstone's Gleanings, vol. i.; Childers's Life of Hugh C. E. Childers (1901), and Sir Algernon West's Recollections. Personal reminiscences of the queen in private life abound in Donald Macleod's Life of Norman Macleod (2 vols. 1876), Mrs. Oliphant's Life of Principal Tulloch (1888), Proth ero's Life of Dean Stanley, Lord Tennyson's Memoir of Lord Tennyson, and Benson's Memoirs of Archbishop Benson : all print some letters of hers. A good personal character sketch is in the Quarterly Review for April 1901. Slighter particulars are met with in Trevelyan's Life of Macaulay; Ashwell and Wilberforce's Life of Bishop Wilberforce (3 vols. 1879); Wemyss Reid's Lives of Lord Houghton and of W. E. Forster; Fanny Kemble's Records; Lang's Life of Lord Iddesleigh; Maxwell's Life of W. H. Smith Sir Theodore Martin's Life of Helena Faucit, Lady Martin (1900); Sir John Mowbray's Seventy Years at Westminster; Laughton's Life of Henry Reeve (1899); W. A. Lindsay's The Royal Household (1897); Lord Ronald Gower's Reminiscences; and Wilkinson's Reminiscences of King Ernest of Hanover. In the preparation of this article the writer has utilised private information derived from various sources.]