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The Letters of Queen Victoria, Vol 2 (of 3), 1844-1853
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THE LETTERS OF QUEEN VICTORIA

A SELECTION FROM HER MAJESTY'S CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN THE YEARS 1837 AND 1861

PUBLISHED BY AUTHORITY OF HIS MAJESTY THE KING

EDITED BY ARTHUR CHRISTOPHER BENSON, M.A. AND VISCOUNT ESHER, G.C.V.O., K.C.B.

IN THREE VOLUMES

VOL. II.—1844-1853

LONDON JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, W. 1908



Copyright in Great Britain and Dependencies, 1907, by H.M. THE KING.

In the United States by Messrs LONGMANS, GREEN & CO. All rights reserved.



TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER XIII

1844 PAGES

Duc de Bordeaux—Hanoverian Orders—Domestic happiness—Death of the Duke of Coburg—Lord Melbourne on old age—Recall of Lord Ellenborough—Uncle and niece—Lord Ellenborough's honours—Prince de Joinville's brochure—The Emperor Nicholas—A great review—At the Opera—The Emperor's character—The Emperor and Belgium—Crisis in Parliament—The King of Saxony—Lord Ellenborough and India—England, France, and Russia—France and Tahiti—King Louis Philippe expected—Arrangements for the visit—Queen Louise's solicitude—Arrival of King Louis Philippe—A successful visit—The King's departure—Opening of the Royal Exchange—Gift to the Prince of Wales—Education in India 1-29

CHAPTER XIV

1845

The Spanish marriages—Position of the Prince—Title of King Consort—Purchase of Osborne—Maynooth grant—Religious bigotry—Public executions—Birthday letter—Princess Charlotte—Vacant Deanery—Wine from Australia—King of Holland—Projected visit to Germany—Question of Lords Justices—Visit to the Chateau d'Eu—Spanish marriages—The Prince criticised—Governor-Generalship of Canada—Corn Laws—Cabinet dissensions—Interview with Sir Robert Peel—Lord John Russell suggested—Attitude of Lord Melbourne—The Queen's embarrassment—Attitude of Sir Robert Peel—Lord Stanley resigns—The Commandership-in-Chief—Duke of Wellington— King Louis Philippe—Anxiety for the future—Insuperable difficulties—Lord Grey and Lord Palmerston—Lord John Russell fails—Chivalry of Sir Robert Peel—He resumes office—Cordial support—The Queen's estimate of Sir Robert Peel—Lord Stanley—The Prince's Memorandum—Comprehensive scheme—The unemployed—Lord Palmerston's justification—France and the Syrian War—Letter to King Louis Philippe—Ministry reinstated 30-70

CHAPTER XV

1846

Sir Robert Peel's speech—Extension of Indian Empire—Bravery of English troops—Death of Sir Robert Sale—Memorandum by the Prince—Celebration of victory—Letter from King Louis Philippe—Irish Crimes Bill—Attack on Sir Robert Peel—His resignation—Intrigues—End of Oregon dispute—Sir Robert Peel's tribute to Cobden—New Government—Cobden and the Whigs—Parting with the Ministers—Whig jealousies—A weak Ministry—Anxieties—French Royal Family—Spanish marriages—Portugal—Prerogative of dissolution—Views of Lord Melbourne—The Prince and Sir Robert Peel—Proposed visit to Ireland—Government of Canada—Wellington statue—Lord Palmerston and Spain—Instructions to Mr Bulwer—Don Enrique—Sudden decision—Double engagement—The Queen's indignation—Letter to the Queen of the French—View of English Government—Letter to King Leopold—Baron Stockmar's opinion—Letter to Queen Louise—Lord Palmerston and the French—Princess of Prussia—England and the Three Powers—Interruption of entente cordiale—Spanish marriages—Peninsular medal—Duke of Wellington's view—England and Portugal—The Queen's decision on Peninsular medal—Cracow 71-114

CHAPTER XVI

1847

England and Portugal—Peaceable policy advised—Spain and Portugal—Sir Hamilton Seymour—Septennial Act—Church preferments—Jenny Lind—Wellington statue—Prosperity in India—General election—Earldom of Strafford—Mission to the Vatican—Portugal—Crisis in the City—Lord-Lieutenancy of Ireland—Mr Cobden—Foreign policy—Queen of Spain—Queen of Portugal—Hampden controversy—Lord Palmerston's despatches—Civil war in Switzerland—Letter from King of Prussia—The Queen's reply—The Bishops and Dr Hampden 115-140

CHAPTER XVII

1848

Death of Madame Adelaide—Grief of Queen Louise—The Queen's sympathy—England and the Porte—Improvements at Claremont—Revolution in France—Flight of the Royal Family—Letter from King of Prussia—Anarchy in Paris—Queen Louise's anxiety—Revolution foreseen—England's hospitality—New French Government—British Consul's plan—Escape of the King and Queen—Graphic narrative—Plan successful—Arrival in England—Reception at Claremont—Letter of gratitude—Flight of Guizot—Royal fugitives—Orleanist blunders—Letter to Lord Melbourne—The Czar on the situation—State of Germany—Chartist demonstration—Prince Albert and the unemployed—Chartist fiasco—Alarming state of Ireland—Conduct of the Belgians—Events in France—Anxiety in Germany—Italy—Spain—The French Royal Family—Affairs in Lombardy—Sir Henry Bulwer—Lord Palmerston's justification—Instructions to Sir H. Seymour—Lord Palmerston's drafts—England and Italy—Lord Minto's mission—Duchesse de Nemours—Commissions in the Army—Northern Italy—Irish rebellion—Minor German states—An ambassador to France—The Queen's displeasure—Opening the Queen's letters—Lord Palmerston and Italy—Austria declines mediation—Austria and Italy—In the Highlands—The Queen and Lord Palmerston—Affairs in the Punjab—Hostility of the Sikhs—Greece—State of Germany—Letter of the Prince of Leiningen—Sir Harry Smith at the Cape—Governorship of Gibraltar—Mediation in Italy—Death of Lord Melbourne—The Orleans family—Letter from the Pope—The French President—Relations with France—England slighted 141-207

CHAPTER XVIII

1849

Letter to the Pope—Letter from President of French Republic—Lord Palmerston and Naples—The army in India—State of the Continent—France and the President—Gaelic and Welsh—Lord Gough superseded—End of the Sikh War—Courage of Mrs G. Lawrence—Letter from King of Sardinia—Novara—The Queen fired at by Hamilton—Annexation of the Punjab—Drafts and despatches—Schleswig-Holstein Question—Proposed visit to Ireland—Irish title for the young Prince—Cork and Waterford—The Irish visit—Enthusiasm in Ireland—Brevet promotions—New Coal Exchange—Critical position of Germany—Death of Queen Adelaide 208-230

CHAPTER XIX

1850

Grand Duchess Stephanie—The Draft to Greece—Lord Palmerston's explanation—Lord John Russell's plan—Suggested rearrangement—Status quo maintained—Baron Stockmar's Memorandum—State of France—The Prince's speech—Lord Palmerston and Spain—Lord Howden—The Koh-i-noor diamond—A change imminent—Lord John Russell's report—Sunday delivery of letters—Prince George of Cambridge—The Earldom of Tipperary—Mr Roebuck's motion—Lord Stanley's motion—Holstein and Germany—Lord Palmerston's explanation—The Protocol—Christening of Prince Arthur—Don Pacifico Debate—Sir Robert Peel's accident—Letter from King of Denmark—Death of Sir Robert Peel—The Queen assaulted by Pate—Death of Duke of Cambridge—Prince of Prussia—The Foreign Office—Denmark and Schleswig—Sir Charles Napier's resignation—Lord Palmerston—Lord Clarendon's opinion—Duke of Bedford's opinion—Lord John Russell's report—Press attacks on Lord Palmerston—Duties of Foreign Secretary—Death of King Louis Philippe—Visit to Scotland—Illness of Queen Louise—Attack on General Haynau—Note to Baron Koller—The Draft gone—Lord Palmerston rebuked—Holstein—A great grief—Mr Tennyson made Poet Laureate—Ritualists and Roman Catholics—Unrest in Europe—England and Germany—Constitutionalism in Germany—Austria and Prussia—Religious strife—England and Rome—Lady Peel—The Papal aggression—Ecclesiastical Titles Bill 231-282

CHAPTER XX

1851

Life Peerages—Diplomatic arrangements—Peril of the Ministry—Negotiations with Sir J. Graham—Defeat of the Government—Ministerial crisis—The Premier's statement—Lord Lansdowne consulted—Lord Stanley sent for—Complications—Fiscal policy—Sir James Graham—Duke of Wellington—Difficulties—Lord Aberdeen consulted—Lord Stanley to be sent for—His letter—Lord Stanley's difficulties—Mr Disraeli—Question of dissolution— Explanations—Lord Stanley resigns—His reasons—The Papal Bill—Duke of Wellington—Appeal to Lord Lansdowne—Still without a Government—Lord Lansdowne's views—Further difficulties—Coalition impossible—Income Tax—Free Trade —Ecclesiastical Titles Bill—Confusion of Parties—New National Gallery—The great Exhibition—Imposing ceremony—The Prince's triumph—Enthusiasm in the City—Danish succession—The Orleans Princes—Regret at leaving Scotland—Extension of the Franchise—Louis Kossuth—Lord Palmerston's intentions—A dispute—Lord Palmerston defiant—He gives way—The Queen's anxiety—Lord Palmerston's conduct—The Queen's comment—Death of King of Hanover—The Suffrage—The Coup d'Etat—Louis Bonaparte—Excitement in France—Lord Palmerston and Lord Normanby—State of Paris—Lord Palmerston's approval—Birthday wishes—The crisis—Dismissal of Lord Palmerston—Inconsistency of Lord Palmerston—The Prince's Memorandum—Lord Clarendon—Discussion on new arrangements—Count Walewski informed—Lord Granville's appointment—The Queen's view of foreign affairs—Our policy reviewed—Difficulty of fixed principles—Prince Nicholas of Nassau—Te Deum at Paris 283-355

CHAPTER XXI

1852

Denmark—Possible fusion of parties—Orleans family—Draft of the Speech—Women and politics—New Houses of Parliament—Lord Palmerston's discomfiture—M. Thiers—The Prince and the Army—Pressure of business—Defeat on Militia Bill—Interview with Lord John Russell—Resignation of the Ministry—The Queen sends for Lord Derby—Lord Derby and Lord Palmerston—New appointments—New Foreign Secretary—Interview with Lord Derby—Louis Napoleon—Audiences—Ladies of the Household—Lord Derby and the Church—Adherence to treaties—The Sovereign "People"—New Militia Bill—England and Austria—Letter from Mr Disraeli—"Necessary" measures—Question of dissolution—Lord Derby hopeful—Progress of democracy—England and Italy—Militia Bill carried—France and the Bourbons—Louis Napoleon's position—Excitement at Stockport—The Queen inherits a fortune—Death of Duke of Wellington—Military appointments—Nation in mourning—Funeral arrangements—Anecdote of Napoleon III.—England and the Emperor—National defences—Financial arrangements—Lord Dalhousie's tribute—Funeral ceremony—Confusion of parties—Lord Palmerston's position—Mr Disraeli and Mr Gladstone—Recognition of the Empire—Budget speech—Letter to the French Emperor—Secret protocol—Difficult situation—The Queen's unwillingness to decide—Injunctions to Lord Derby—Defeat of the Government—Lord Derby's resignation—Lord Aberdeen sent for—His interview with the Queen—Lord Aberdeen in office—Lord John Russell's hesitation—Letter from Mr. Disraeli—The Queen's anxiety—Christmas presents—Lord Derby's intentions—New Government—Mr Gladstone at the Exchequer—The Emperor's annoyance—Appointments—Protracted crisis—The Cabinet—Lord Derby takes leave—Letter from Lady Derby—Change of seals—Peace restored—A strong Cabinet 356-430

CHAPTER XXII

1853

The Emperor's annoyance—Headmastership of Eton—Marriage of Emperor of the French—Mademoiselle Eugenie de Montijo—Baron Beyens on the situation—Emperor of Russia and the Turkish Empire—Lord John Russell and leadership of House of Commons—Count Buol and refugees—Kossuth and Mazzini proclamations—Want of arms for the Militia—Russian fleet at Constantinople—French irritation—Russia's demands—Russia and England—Liberation of the Madiai—Letter from Emperor of Russia—Birth of Prince Leopold—Mr Gladstone's budget speech—Congratulations from the Prince—India Bill—Emperor of Austria—Church of England in the Colonies—Oriental Question—Death of Lady Dalhousie—Lord Palmerston and Lord Aberdeen—Russia, Austria, and Turkey—England's policy—The Queen's views on the Eastern despatches—Proposed terms of settlement—Lord John Russell's retirement—Letter from the Emperor of Russia—Lord Stratford's desire for war—Letter to the Emperor of Russia—France and the Eastern Question—Letter from the Emperor of Russia—Reform Bill—Lord Palmerston's position—Lord Lansdowne's influence—Resignation of Lord Palmerston—Lord Stratford's despatch—Draft to Vienna—Return of Lord Palmerston to office 431-472



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

H.M. QUEEN VICTORIA, 1843. From the picture by F. Winterhalter at Windsor Castle Frontispiece

H.M. MARIE AMELIE, QUEEN OF THE FRENCH, 1828. From the miniature by Millet at Windsor Castle Facing p. 104

"THE COUSINS." H.M. Queen Victoria and the Duchess of Nemours, who was a Princess of Saxe-Coburg and first cousin to the Queen and the Prince Consort. From the picture by F. Winterhalter at Buckingham Palace " 168

BARON STOCKMAR. From the portrait by John Partridge at Buckingham Palace " 240

Field-Marshal THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON, K.G. Believed to be by Count d'Orsay. From a miniature at Apsley House " 392



INTRODUCTORY NOTE

TO CHAPTER XIII

The new year (1844) opened with signs of improved trade, and a feeling of confidence, partly due to the friendly entente with France. In Ireland, soon after the collapse of the Clontarf meeting, O'Connell and some of his associates were indicted for seditious conspiracy, and convicted. The conviction was subsequently quashed on technical grounds, but O'Connell's political influence was at an end. In Parliament, owing chiefly to the exertions of Lord Ashley (afterwards Earl of Shaftesbury), an important Bill was passed restricting factory labour, and limiting its hours. The Bank Charter Act, separating the issue and banking departments, as well as regulating the note issue of the Bank of England in proportion to its stock of gold, also became law. Meanwhile the dissensions in the Conservative party were increasing, and the Ministry were defeated on a motion made by their own supporters to extend the preferential treatment of colonial produce. With great difficulty the vote was rescinded and a crisis averted; but the Young England section of the Tory party were becoming more and more an embarrassment to the Premier. Towards the end of the year the new Royal Exchange was opened amid much ceremony by the Queen.

The services rendered by Sir Charles Napier in India were the subject of votes of thanks in both Houses, but shortly afterwards Lord Ellenborough, the Governor-General, was recalled by the Directors of the East India Company: their action was no doubt due to his overbearing methods and love of display, but it was disapproved by the Ministry, and Lord Ellenborough was accorded an Earldom.

During the year there was a recrudescence of the friction between this country and France, due partly to questions as to the right of search of foreign ships, partly to a brochure issued by the Prince de Joinville, a son of Louis Philippe, partly to the assumption of French sovereignty over Tahiti and the seizure of the English consul there by the French authorities. Reparation however was made, and the ill-feeling subsided sufficiently to enable the King of the French to visit Queen Victoria,—the first friendly visit ever paid by a French king to the Sovereign of England. Louis Philippe was cordially received in this country.

Another historic royal visit also took place in 1844, that of the Emperor Nicholas, who no doubt was so much impressed with his friendly reception, both by the Court and by Aberdeen, the Foreign Secretary, that nine years later he thought he could calculate on the support of England under Aberdeen (then Premier) in a scheme for the partition of Turkey. Lord Malmesbury, who a few years later became Foreign Secretary, states in his memoirs that during this visit, the Czar, Sir Robert Peel, the Duke of Wellington, and Lord Aberdeen "drew up and signed a Memorandum, the spirit and scope of which was to support Russia in her legitimate protectorship of the Greek religion and the Holy Shrines, and to do so without consulting France," but the Memorandum was in reality only one made by Nicholas of his recollection of the interview, and communicated subsequently to Lord Aberdeen.

No events of special interest took place in other parts of Europe; the condition of affairs in the Peninsula improved, though the announcement of the unfortunate marriage of the Queen Mother with the Duke of Rianzares was not of hopeful augury for the young Queen Isabella's future; as a matter of fact, the marriage had taken place some time previously.



CHAPTER XIII

1844

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 9th January 1844.

MY DEAREST UNCLE,—I had the pleasure of receiving your kind letter of the 4th, which is written from Ardenne, where I grieve to see you are again gone without my beloved Louise.

Charlotte is the admiration of every one, and I wish much I could have seen the three dear children en representation.

Our fat Vic or Pussette learns a verse of Lamartine by heart, which ends with "le tableau se deroule a mes pieds"; to show how well she had understood this difficult line which Mdlle. Charier had explained to her, I must tell you the following bon mot. When she was riding on her pony, and looking at the cows and sheep, she turned to Mdlle. Charier and said: "Voila le tableau qui se deroule a mes pieds." Is not this extraordinary for a little child of three years old? It is more like what a person of twenty would say. You have no notion what a knowing, and I am sorry to say sly, little rogue she is, and so obstinate. She and le petit Frere accompany us to dear old Claremont to-day; Alice remains here under Lady Lyttelton's care. How sorry I am that you should have hurt your leg, and in such a provoking way; Albert says he remembers well your playing often with a pen-knife when you talked, and I remember it also, but it is really dangerous.

I am happy that the news from Paris are good; the really good understanding between our two Governments provokes the Carlists and Anarchists. Bordeaux[1] is not yet gone; I saw in a letter that it was debated in his presence whether he was on any favourable occasion de se presenter en France!Do you think that possible? Then again the papers say that there are fortifications being made on the coast of Normandy for fear of an invasion; is this so? These are many questions, but I hope you will kindly answer them, as they interest me. With Albert's love. Believe me, ever, your devoted Niece,

VICTORIA R.

[Footnote 1: The Duc de Bordeaux, only son of the Duc de Berri, had by the death of Charles X. and the renunciation of all claims to the French Throne on the part of the Duc d'Angouleme, become the representative of the elder branch of the Bourbons. He had intended his visit to England to have a private character only.]



[Pageheading: THE SPANISH MARRIAGE]

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Aberdeen.

CLAREMONT, 10th January 1844.

The Queen understands that there is a negotiation with Sweden and Denmark pending about the cessation of their tribute to Morocco, likewise that Prince Metternich has sent a despatch condemning as unfair the understanding come to between us and France about the Spanish marriage;[2] that there is a notion of exchanging Hong Kong for a more healthy colony.

The Queen, taking a deep interest in all these matters, and feeling it her duty to do so, begs Lord Aberdeen to keep her always well informed of what is on the tapis in his Department.

[Footnote 2: See ante, vol. i. p. 487.]



Queen Victoria to the Earl of Aberdeen.

CLAREMONT, 13th January 1844.

The Queen has received Lord Aberdeen's letter of the 10th, and returns him the papers which he sent her, with her best thanks. She does not remember to have seen them before.

The Queen takes this opportunity to beg Lord Aberdeen to cause the despatches to be sent a little sooner from the Foreign Office, as drafts in particular have often come to the Queen a week or a fortnight after they had actually been sent across the sea.

With respect to the Hanoverian Orders, Lord Aberdeen has not quite understood what the Queen meant. It was Sir C. Thornton and others to whom the Queen had refused permission to accept the favour, on a former occasion, by which the King of Hanover was much affronted. The Queen would not like to have herself additionally fettered by any new regulation, but Lord Aberdeen will certainly concur with the Queen that it would not be expedient to give to the King of Hanover a power which the Queen herself does not possess, viz. that of granting orders as favours, or for personal services; as the number of the different classes of the Guelphic Order bestowed on Englishmen is innumerable, it would actually invest the King with such a power, which, considering how much such things are sought after, might be extremely inconvenient.

The Queen will not give a final decision upon this case until she returns to Windsor, where she has papers explanatory of the reasons which caused her to decline the King of Hanover's application in 1838.



[Pageheading: A CARRIAGE ACCIDENT]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

CLAREMONT, 16th January 1844.

MY DEAREST UNCLE,—Many thanks for your kind letter of the 11th. Louise can give you the details of the little upset I and Lady Douro had, and which I did not think worth while to mention.[3] It was the strangest thing possible to happen, and the most unlikely, for we were going quite quietly, not at all in a narrow lane, with very quiet ponies and my usual postillion; the fact was that the boy looked the wrong way, and therefore did not perceive the ditch which he so cleverly got us into.

We leave dear Claremont, as usual, with the greatest regret; we are so peaceable here; Windsor is beautiful and comfortable, but it is a palace, and God knows how willingly I would always live with my beloved Albert and our children in the quiet and retirement of private life, and not be the constant object of observation, and of newspaper articles. The children (Pussette and Bertie) have been most remarkably well, and so have we, in spite of the very bad weather we had most days. I am truly and really grieved that good excellent Nemours is again not to get his dotation.[4] Really we constitutional countries are too shabby.

Now, dearest Uncle, I must bid you adieu, begging you to believe me, ever your devoted Niece,

VICTORIA R.

[Footnote 3: On the 5th of January the Queen's phaeton was overturned at Horton, near Dachet, while driving to the meet of Prince Albert's Harriers.]

[Footnote 4: On the occasion of the marriage of the Duc and Duchesse de Nemours (1840), the proposal made by the Soult Government for a Parliamentary grant of 500,000 francs had been rejected.]



[Pageheading: FRANCE AND ENGLAND]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 30th January 1844.

MY DEAREST UNCLE,—I must begin by thanking you for your kind letter of the 26th, and by wishing you joy that the fete went off so well. I am glad Leo will appear at the next ball; he is nearly nine years old, and it is good to accustom children of his rank early to these things.

Guizot's speech is exceedingly admired, with the exception of his having said more than he was justified to do about the right of search.[5] Our speech has been very difficult to frame; we should like to have mentioned our visits to France and Belgium, but it has been found impossible to do so; France is mentioned, and it is the first time since 1834!

To-morrow we go up to Town "pour ce bore," as the good King always said to me; whenever there were tiresome people to present he always said: "Je vous demande pardon de ce bore."

I have had a tiresome though not at all violent cold which I was alarmed might spoil the sonorousness of my voice for the speech on Thursday, but it promises well now.

I own I always look with horror to the beginning of a Parliamentary campaign.

With Albert's love. Ever your devoted Niece,

VICTORIA R.

[Footnote 5: He insisted that French trade must be kept under the exclusive surveillance of the French flag.]



[Pageheading: DEATH OF THE DUKE OF COBURG]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 6th February 1844.

MY DEARLY BELOVED UNCLE,—You must now be the father to us poor bereaved, heartbroken children.[6] To describe to you all that we have suffered, all that we do suffer, would be difficult; God has heavily afflicted us; we feel crushed, overwhelmed, bowed down by the loss of one who was so deservedly loved, I may say adored, by his children and family; I loved him and looked on him as my own father; his like we shall not see again; that youth, that amiability, and kindness in his own house which was the centre and rendezvous for the whole family, will never be seen again, and my poor Angel's fondest thought of beholding that dearly beloved Vaterhaus—where his thoughts continually were—again is for ever gone and his poor heart bleeds to feel this is for ever gone. Our promised visit, our dearest Papa's, and our fondest wish, all is put an end to. The violence of our grief may be over, but the desolate feeling which succeeds it is worse, and tears are a relief. I have never known real grief till now, and it has made a lasting impression on me. A father is such a near relation, you are a piece of him in fact,—and all (as my poor deeply afflicted Angel says) the earliest pleasures of your life were given you by a dear father; that can never be replaced though time may soften the pang. And indeed one loves to cling to one's grief; I can understand Louise's feeling in her overwhelming sorrows.

Let me now join my humble entreaties to Albert's, relative to the request about dearest Louise, which he has made. It is a sacrifice I ask, but if you knew the sacrifice I make in letting and urging Albert to go, I am sure, if you can you will grant it. I have never been separated from him even for one night, and the thought of such a separation is quite dreadful; still, I feel I could bear it,—I have made up my mind to it, as the very thought of going has been a comfort to my poor Angel, and will be of such use at Coburg. Still, if I were to remain quite alone I do not think I could bear it quietly. Therefore pray do send me my dearly beloved Louise; she would be such a comfort to me; if you could come too—or afterwards (as you promised us a longer visit), that would be still more delightful. I may be indiscreet, but you must think of what the separation from my all and all, even only for a fortnight, will be to me!

We feel some years older since these days of mourning. Mamma is calm, but poor Aunt Julia[7] is indeed much to be pitied. Ever, dearest Uncle, your devoted and unhappy Niece and Child,

VICTORIA R.

[Footnote 6: The Duke of Saxe-Coburg Gotha died on 29th January.]

[Footnote 7: The Grand Duchess Constantine of Russia, sister of the Duchess of Kent and of the deceased Duke of Saxe-Coburg.]



[Pageheading: BEREAVEMENT]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 13th February 1844.

MY DEAREST UNCLE,—I received your dear, kind but sad letter of the 8th on Sunday, and thank you much for it. God knows, poor dear Uncle, you have suffered enough in your life, but you should think, dearest Uncle, of that blessed assurance of eternity where we shall all meet again never to part; you should think (as we constantly do now) that those whom we have lost are far happier than we are, and love us still, and in a far more perfect way than we can do in this world! When the first moments and days of overwhelming grief are over these reflections are the greatest balm, the greatest consolation to the bleeding heart.

I hope you will kindly let me have a few lines of hope by the Tuesday's messenger. Ever your truly devoted Niece and Child,

VICTORIA R.

P.S.—O'Connell's being pronounced guilty is a great triumph.[8]

[Footnote 8: He had been indicted with Charles Gavan Duffy and others for seditious conspiracy.]



Viscount Melbourne to Queen Victoria.

SOUTH STREET, 3rd April 1844.

Lord Melbourne presents his humble duty to your Majesty, with many thanks for your Majesty's note of the 28th ult. Lord Melbourne believes that your Majesty is quite right in saying that Lord Melbourne has still some health left, if he will but take care of it. Lord Melbourne told Dr Holland, without mentioning your Majesty's name, that this had been said to him by a friend, and Dr Holland immediately said that it was very just and true, and very well expressed, and quite what he should have said himself. At the same time, the change from strength to weakness and the evident progress of decadence is a very hard and disagreeable trial. Lord Melbourne has been reading Cicero on old age, a very pretty treatise, but he does not find much consolation after it; the principal practical resources and alleviations which he recommends are agriculture and gardening, to both of which, but more particularly to the latter, Lord Melbourne has already had recourse. It is certainly, as your Majesty says, wrong to be impatient and to repine at everything, but still it is difficult not to be so. Lady Uxbridge's death[9] is a shocking event, a dreadful loss to him and to all. Lord Melbourne always liked her. Lord Melbourne is going down to Brocket Hall to-morrow, and will try to get Uxbridge and the girls to come over and dine.

Lord Melbourne has felt very much for the grief which your Majesty must feel at a separation, even short and temporary, from the Prince, and it is extremely amiable to feel comforted by the recollection of the extreme pleasure which his visit will give to his and your Majesty's relations. It is, of course, impossible that your Majesty should in travelling divest yourself of your character and dignity.

Lord Melbourne has just driven round the Regent's Park, where there are many almond trees in bloom, and looking beautiful.

[Footnote 9: Henrietta Maria, daughter of Sir Charles Bagot, G.C.B.]



[Pageheading: RECALL OF LORD ELLENBOROUGH]

Sir Robert Peel to Queen Victoria.

WHITEHALL, 23rd April 1844.

Sir Robert Peel, with his humble duty to your Majesty, begs leave to acquaint your Majesty that he has every reason to believe that the Court of Directors will to-morrow, by an unanimous vote, resolve on the actual recall of Lord Ellenborough.[10]

[Footnote 10: This anomalous privilege was exercised by the Directors in consequence chiefly of what they considered Lord Ellenborough's overbearing demeanour in communication with them, his too aggressive policy, and his theatrical love of display.]



Queen Victoria to Sir Robert Peel.

Buckingham Palace, 23rd April 1844.

The Queen has heard with the greatest regret from Sir R. Peel that the Court of Directors, after all, mean to recall Lord Ellenborough. She cannot but consider this very unwise at this critical moment, and a very ungrateful return for the eminent services Lord Ellenborough has rendered to the Company in India. They ought not to forget so soon in what state Lord Ellenborough found affairs in 1842. The Queen would not be sorry if these gentlemen knew that this is her opinion.



The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria.

Laeken, 3rd May 1844.

MY DEAREST VICTORIA,—Whenever you wish to make me truly happy, you will have the power of doing so by repeating expressions as kind and affectionate as those contained in your dear little letter of the 30th. I have ever had the care and affection of a real father for you, and it has perhaps even been freer from many drawbacks which occasionally will exist betwixt parents and children, be they ever so well and affectionately together. With me, even from the moment in January 1820, when I was called by a messenger to Sidmouth, my care for you has been unremitting, and never has there been a cloud between us.... A thing which often strikes me, in a very satisfactory manner, is that we never had any bitter words, a thing which happens even with people who are very lovingly together; and the little row which we had in 1838 you remember well, and do not now think that I was wrong.[11] De pareilles relations sont rares; may they ever continue!

I cannot leave this more serious topic without adding that though you were always warm-hearted and right-minded, it must strike yourself how matured every kind and good feeling is in your generous heart. The heart, and not the head, is the safest guide in positions like yours, and this not only for this earthly and very short life, but for that which we must hope for hereafter. When a life draws nearer its close, how many earthly concerns are there that appear still in the same light? and how clearly the mind is struck that nothing has been and is still of real value, than the nobler and better feelings of the heart; the only good we can hope to keep as a precious store for the future. What do we keep of youth, beauty, richness, power, and even the greatest extent of earthly possessions? NOTHING! ... Your truly devoted Uncle,

LEOPOLD R.

[Footnote 11: See Letters of Queen Victoria and the King of the Belgians, ante, vol. i. pp. 116-120.]



[Pageheading: HONOURS FOR LORD ELLENBOROUGH]

Sir Robert Peel to Queen Victoria.

WHITEHALL, 5th May 1844.

Sir Robert Peel, with his humble duty to your Majesty, and believing that he is acting in accordance with your Majesty's own opinion, begs leave to submit to your Majesty that it may be advisable that he should by the present mail inform Lord Ellenborough that it is your Majesty's intention to confer on him, at a very early period, as a mark of your Majesty's approval of Lord Ellenborough's conduct and services in India, the rank of an Earl and the Grand Cross of the Bath.

Lord Ellenborough may be at liberty (should your Majesty approve) to notify this publicly in India—and thus make it known that the general line of policy recently pursued has had the full sanction of your Majesty, and will not be departed from.

These were the honours conferred upon Lord Auckland.

If they were conferred on the instant, it might rather seem a rebuke to the East India Company than a deliberate approval of the conduct of Lord Ellenborough, but these honours might shortly follow the conclusion of the affair respecting the selection of Lord Ellenborough's successor, and any discussion that may arise in Parliament.



[Pageheading: THE PRINCE DE JOINVILLE'S BROCHURE]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

CLAREMONT, 24th May 1844.

DEAREST UNCLE,—Though not my day I must write you a line to say how vexed we are at this most unfortunate and most imprudent brochure of Joinville's;[12] it has made a very bad effect here, and will rouse all the envy and hatred between the two Navies again, which it was our great effort to subdue—and this all for nothing! I can't tell you how angry people are, and how poor Hadjy will get abused. And this all after our having been on such intimate terms with him and having sailed with him! If he comes here, what shall we do? Receive with open arms one who has talked of ravaging our coasts and burning our towns? Indeed it is most lamentable; you know how we like him, and that therefore it must be very annoying to us to see him get himself into such a scrape. We shall overlook it, but the people here won't! It will blow over, but it will do immense harm. We who wish to become more and more closely united with the French family are, of course, much put out by this return. We shall forgive and forget, and feel it was not intended to be published—but the public here will not so easily, and will put the worst construction on it all.

Pray, dearest Uncle, tell me what could possess Joinville to write it, and still more to have it printed? Won't it annoy the King and Nemours very much? Enfin c'est malheureux, c'est indiscret au plus haut degre—and it provokes and vexes us sadly. Tell me all you know and think about it; for you can do so with perfect safety by our courier.

I have written dearest Louise an account of my old birthday, which will please you, I think. The weather is very fine. Ever your truly devoted Niece and Child,

VICTORIA R.

[Footnote 12: The brochure was entitled, Notes sur les forces navales de la France. The Prince de Joinville wrote as follows to the Queen: "Le malheureux eclat de ma brochure, le tracas que cela donne au Pere et a la Reine, me font regretter vivement de l'avoir faite. Comme je l'ecris a ton Roi, je ne renvoie que mepris a toutes les interpretations qu'on y donne; ce que peuvent dire ministre et journaux ne me touche en rien, mais il n'y a pas de sacrifices que je ne suis dispose a faire pour l'interieur de la Famille."]



[Pageheading: THE CZAR NICHOLAS]

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Aberdeen.

29th May 1844.

If Lord Aberdeen should not have read the Prince de Joinville's pamphlet, the Queen recommends him to do so, as one cannot judge fairly by the extracts in the newspapers. Though it does not lessen the extreme imprudence of the Prince's publishing what must do harm to the various French Governments, it certainly is not intentionally written to offend England, and on the contrary frankly proves us to be immensely superior to the French Navy in every way.



Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 4th June 1844.

MY BELOVED UNCLE,—I gave Louise a long and detailed description of the Emperor,[13] etc. The papers are full of the details. A great event and a great compliment his visit certainly is, and the people here are extremely flattered at it. He is certainly a very striking man; still very handsome; his profile is beautiful, and his manners most dignified and graceful; extremely civil—quite alarmingly so, as he is so full of attentions and politesses. But the expression of the eyes is formidable, and unlike anything I ever saw before. He gives me and Albert the impression of a man who is not happy, and on whom the weight of his immense power and position weighs heavily and painfully; he seldom smiles, and when he does the expression is not a happy one. He is very easy to get on with. Really, it seems like a dream when I think that we breakfast and walk out with this greatest of all earthly Potentates as quietly as if we walked, etc., with Charles or any one. We took him, with the dear good King of Saxony,[14] who is a great contrast to the Czar (and with whom I am quite at my ease), to Adelaide Cottage after breakfast. The grass here is just as if it had been burned with fire. How many different Princes have we not gone the same round with!! The children are much admired by the Sovereigns—(how grand this sounds!)—and Alice allowed the Emperor to take her in his arms, and kissed him de son propre accord. We are always so thankful that they are not shy. Both the Emperor and the King are quite enchanted with Windsor. The Emperor said very poliment: "C'est digne de vous, Madame." I must say the Waterloo Room lit up with that entire service of gold looks splendid; and the Reception Room, beautiful to sit in afterwards. The Emperor praised my Angel very much, saying: "C'est impossible de voir un plus joli garcon; il a l'air si noble et si bon"; which I must say is very true. The Emperor amused the King and me by saying he was so embarrasse when people were presented to him, and that he felt so "gauche" en frac, which certainly he is quite unaccustomed to wear. If we can do anything to get him to do what is right by you, we shall be most happy, and Peel and Aberdeen are very anxious for it. I believe he leaves on Sunday again. To-morrow there is to be a great review, and on Thursday I shall probably go with them to the races; they are gone there with Albert to-day, but I have remained at home.

I think it is time to conclude my long letter.

If the French are angry at this visit, let their dear King and their Princes come; they will be sure of a truly affectionate reception on our part. The one which Emperor Nicholas has received is cordial and civil, mais ne vient pas du c[oe]ur.

I humbly beg that any remarks which may not be favourable to our great visitor may not go beyond you and Louise, and not to Paris. Ever your devoted Niece,

VICTORIA R.

[Footnote 13: The Emperor Nicholas of Russia had just arrived on a visit to England.]

[Footnote 14: Frederick Augustus II.]



[Pageheading: THE REVIEW]

[Pageheading: THE QUEEN'S IMPRESSIONS]

[Pageheading: THE CZAR NICHOLAS]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

Buckingham Palace, 11th June 1844.

MY DEAREST UNCLE,—I received your very kind and long letter of the 7th on Sunday, and thank you very much for it. I am delighted that my accounts interested you, and I shall try and give you some more to-day, which you will see come from an unbiassed and impartial mind, and which I trust therefore will be relied upon. The excitement has ceased as suddenly as it had begun, and I am still confused about it. I will go back to where I last left you. The Revue[15] on the 5th was really very interesting, and our reception as well as that of the Emperor most enthusiastic. Louise tells me you had a review the same day, and that it also was so hot. Our children were there, and charmed. On the 6th we went with the Emperor and King to the races,[16] and I never saw such a crowd; again here the reception was most brilliant. Every evening a large dinner in the Waterloo Room, and the two last evenings in uniforms, as the Emperor disliked so being en frac, and was quite embarrassed in it. On the 7th we took him and the King back here, and in the evening had a party of 260 about. On Saturday (8th) my Angel took the Emperor and King to a very elegant breakfast[17] at Chiswick, which I for prudence' sake did not go to, but was very sorry for it. In the evening we went to the Opera (not in State), but they recognised us, and we were most brilliantly received. I had to force the Emperor forward, as he never would come forward when I was there, and I was obliged to take him by the hand and make him appear; it was impossible to be better bred or more respectful than he was towards me. Well, on Sunday afternoon at five, he left us (my Angel accompanied him to Woolwich), and he was much affected at going, and really unaffectedly touched at his reception and stay, the simplicity and quietness of which told upon his love of domestic life, which is very great. I will now (having told all that has passed) give you my opinion and feelings on the subject, which I may say are Albert's also. I was extremely against the visit, fearing the gene, and bustle, and even at first, I did not feel at all to like it, but by living in the same house together quietly and unrestrainedly (and this Albert, and with great truth, says is the great advantage of these visits, that I not only see these great people but know them), I got to know the Emperor and he to know me. There is much about him which I cannot help liking, and I think his character is one which should be understood, and looked upon for once as it is. He is stern and severe—with fixed principles of duty which nothing on earth will make him change; very clever I do not think him, and his mind is an uncivilised one; his education has been neglected; politics and military concerns are the only things he takes great interest in; the arts and all softer occupations he is insensible to, but he is sincere, I am certain, sincere even in his most despotic acts, from a sense that that is the only way to govern; he is not, I am sure, aware of the dreadful cases of individual misery which he so often causes, for I can see by various instances that he is kept in utter ignorance of many things, which his people carry out in most corrupt ways, while he thinks that he is extremely just. He thinks of general measures, but does not look into detail. And I am sure much never reaches his ears, and (as you observed), how can it? He asked for nothing whatever, has merely expressed his great anxiety to be upon the best terms with us, but not to the exclusion of others, only let things remain as they are.... He is I should say, too frank, for he talks so openly before people, which he should not do, and with difficulty restrains himself. His anxiety to be believed is very great, and I must say his personal promises I am inclined to believe; then his feelings are very strong; he feels kindness deeply—and his love for his wife and children, and for all children, is very great. He has a strong feeling for domestic life, saying to me, when our children were in the room: "Voila les doux moments de notre vie." He was not only civil, but extremely kind to us both, and spoke in the highest praise of dearest Albert to Sir Robert Peel, saying he wished any Prince in Germany had that ability and sense; he showed Albert great confidence, and I think it will do great good, as if he praises him abroad it will have great weight. He is not happy, and that melancholy which is visible in the countenance made me sad at times; the sternness of the eyes goes very much off when you know him, and changes according to his being put out (and he can be much embarrassed) or not, and also from his being heated, as he suffers with congestions to the head. My Angel thinks that he is a man inclined too much to give way to impulse and feeling, which makes him act wrongly often. His admiration for beauty is very great, and put me much in mind of you, when he drove out with us, looking out for pretty people. But he remains very faithful to those he admired twenty-eight years ago; for instance, Lady Peel, who has hardly any remains left. Respecting Belgium he did not speak to me, but to Albert and the Ministers. As for unkindly feeling towards you, he disclaims positively any, saying he knew you well, and that you had served in the Russian Army, etc., but he says those unfortunate Poles are the only obstacle, and that he positively cannot enter into direct communication with Belgium as long as they are employed. If you could only somehow or other get rid of them, I am sure the thing would be done at once. We all think he need not mind this, but I fear he has pledged himself. He admired Charlotte's picture. Pour finir, I must say one more word or two about his personal appearance. He puts us much in mind of his and our cousins the Wuertembergs, and has altogether much of the Wuertemberg family about him. He is bald now, but in his Chevalier Garde Uniform he is magnificent still, and very striking. I cannot deny that we were in great anxiety when we took him out lest some Pole might make an attempt, and I always felt thankful when we got him safe home again. His poor daughter is very ill, I fear. The good King of Saxony[18] remains another week with us, and we like him much. He is so unassuming. He is out sight-seeing all day, and enchanted with everything. I hope that you will persuade the King to come all the same in September. Our motives and politics are not to be exclusive, but to be on good terms with all, and why should we not? We make no secret of it.

Now I must end this very long letter. Ever your devoted Niece,

VICTORIA R.

You will kindly not speak of these details, but only in allgemein say the visit went off very satisfactorily on both sides, and that it was highly pacific.

[Footnote 15: In honour of the Emperor a Review was held in Windsor Great Park.]

[Footnote 16: At Ascot.]

[Footnote 17: Given by the Duke of Devonshire.]

[Footnote 18: See ante, p. 12.]



[Pageheading: A PARLIAMENTARY CRISIS]

[Pageheading: THE KING OF SAXONY]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 18th June 1844.

MY DEAREST UNCLE,—I had the happiness of receiving your dear and kind letter of the 13th on Sunday; your parties at Ardenne must have been truly delightful; perhaps some day we may enjoy them too: that would be delightful! I can write to you with a light heart, thank goodness, to-day, for the Government obtained a majority, which up to the last moment last night we feared they would not have, and we have been in sad trouble for the last four or five days about it.[19] It is the more marvellous, as, if the Government asked for a Vote of Confidence, they would have a Majority of 100; but this very strength makes the supporters of the Government act in a most unjustifiable manner by continually acting and voting against them, not listening to the debates, but coming down and voting against the Government. So that we were really in the greatest possible danger of having a resignation of the Government without knowing to whom to turn, and this from the recklessness of a handful of foolish half "Puseyite" half "Young England"[20] people! I am sure you will agree with me that Peel's resignation would not only be for us (for we cannot have a better and a safer Minister), but for the whole country, and for the peace of Europe—a great calamity. Our present people are all safe, and not led away by impulses and reckless passions. We must, however, take care and not get into another crisis; for I assure you we have been quite miserable and quite alarmed ever since Saturday.

Since I last wrote to you, I spoke to Aberdeen (whom I should be equally sorry to lose, as he is so very fair, and has served us personally, so kindly and truly), and he told me that the Emperor has positively pledged himself to send a Minister to Brussels the moment those Poles are no longer employed;[21] that he is quite aware of the importance of the measure, and would be disposed to make the arrangement easy, and that he spoke very kindly of you personally. Aberdeen says it is not necessary to disgrace them in any way, but only for the present de les eloigner. The Emperor has evidently some time ago made some strong declaration on the subject which he feels he cannot get over, and, as I said before, he will not give up what he has once pledged his word to. Then, no one on earth can move him. Au fond, it is a fine trait, but he carries it too far. He wrote me a very kind and affectionate letter from the Hague. The Emperor has given Bertie the Grand Cross of St Andrew, which the boy was quite proud of.

Our kind and good King of Saxony leaves us to-morrow, after having seen more than anybody has done almost, and having enjoyed it of all things. He is quite at home with us and the children, whom he plays with much. Alice walks quite alone, and looks too funny, as she is so very fat. Now, ever your devoted Niece,

VICTORIA R.

[Footnote 19: The Ministry had been defeated on Mr P. Miles's motion in favour of giving an increased preference to colonial sugar, but on the 17th this vote was rescinded by a majority of twenty-two, Mr Disraeli taunting the Premier with expecting that "upon every division and at every crisis, his gang should appear, and the whip should sound."]

[Footnote 20: The name given to the group comprising Disraeli, George Smythe, Lord John Manners, etc. See Coningsby, which was published about this time.]

[Footnote 21: See ante, p. 15.]



Viscount Melbourne to Queen Victoria.

SOUTH STREET, 19th June 1844.

Lord Melbourne presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and thanks your Majesty much for the letter of the 14th inst. Lord Melbourne was very glad to have the opportunity of seeing the Emperor of Russia at Chiswick. Lord Melbourne humbly believes that the opinion, which your Majesty has formed and expresses of the Emperor's character is just, and he considers it extremely fortunate that a sovereign of such weight and influence in Europe, and with whom it is probable that Great Britain will have such near and intimate relations, should also be a man upon whose honour and veracity strong reliance may be safely and securely placed.

Lord Melbourne is very glad to believe that the late political movements, with which the public mind has been agitated, have subsided, and are entirely terminated by the last vote of the House of Commons, and by the determination evinced to support the Administration.[22]

This finishes for the present a business which at one moment seemed likely to be troublesome, and out of which there did not appear to present itself any hope or practicable escape.

Lord Melbourne will not make any observation upon what is known and understood to have passed, further than to say that, as far as he is acquainted with the history of public affairs in this country, it is an entire novelty, quite new and unprecedented.[23] Many a Minister has said to the Crown, "My advice must be taken, and my measures must be adopted," but no Minister has ever yet held this language or advanced this pretension to either House of Parliament. However, it seems to be successful at present, and success will justify much. Whether it will tend to permanent strength or a steady conduct of public affairs, remains to be seen.

Lord Melbourne begs to be respectfully remembered to His Royal Highness.

[Footnote 22: See ante, p. 16.]

[Footnote 23: Lord Melbourne refers to the House rescinding its own vote.]



[Pageheading: LORD ELLENBOROUGH]

The Earl of Ellenborough to Queen Victoria.

22nd June 1844.

Lord Ellenborough, with his most humble duty to your Majesty, humbly acquaints your Majesty that on the 15th of June he received the announcement of his having been removed from the office of Governor-General of India by the Court of Directors. By Lord Ellenborough's advice, letters were immediately despatched by express to every important native Court to assure the native Princes that this change in the person at the head of the Government would effect no change in its policy, and Lord Ellenborough himself wrote in similar terms to the British Representatives at the several Courts.... Lord Ellenborough has written a letter to the Earl of Ripon with reference to the reasons alleged by the Court of Directors for his removal from office, to which letter he most humbly solicits your Majesty's favourable and attentive consideration. It treats of matters deeply affecting the good government of India.

Amidst all the difficulties with which he has had to contend in India, aggravated as they have been by the constant hostility of the Court of Directors, Lord Ellenborough has ever been sustained by the knowledge that he was serving a most gracious Mistress, who would place the most favourable construction upon his conduct, and he now humbly tenders to your Majesty the expression of his gratitude, not only for those marks of Royal favour with which it has been intimated to him that it is your Majesty's intention to reward his services, but yet more for that constant support which has animated all his exertions, and has mainly enabled him to place India in the hands of his successor in a state of universal peace, the result of two years of victories, and in a condition of prosperity heretofore unknown.



[Pageheading: ENGLAND, FRANCE, AND RUSSIA]

The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria.

LAEKEN, 28th June 1844.

MY BELOVED VICTORIA,—I have again to offer my warmest and best thanks for a very long and kind letter. I am truly and sincerely happy that a Ministerial crisis has been spared you; it is in all constitutional concerns an awful business; but in such a colossal machinery as the British Empire, it shakes the whole globe. For your sake, for the good of England, and for the quiet of the whole earth, we must most devoutly pray that Sir Robert may remain for many, many years your trusty and faithful Minister. Parliaments and Chambers are extremely fond of governing, particularly as long as it does not bore themselves. We have had an instance of it recently. I was anxious to keep the Chamber longer, as there are still many important things which it ought to have finished; but they were hot, they got tired, voted twelve projets de loi in one day, and disappeared afterwards, leaving one the trouble of managing the affairs of the State as best one may....

As a general political event, the Emperor's visit in England can only be useful; it is probable that he would not have made the visit if another had not been talked of. His policy is naturally to separate as much as possible the two great Western Powers; he is too weak to resist single-handed their dictates in the Oriental question; but if they act not in concert, it is evident that he is the master; in all this he acts wisely and in conformity with the great interests of his Empire. England has greater interests at stake at the mercy of Russia than at that of France. With France the questions are sometimes questions of jealousy, but, on the other hand, a tolerable understanding keeps France quiet and secures the peace of Europe, much more in the sense of the European policy of England than of that of France. The only consolation the French can find in it is that they are aware that together with England they have a great position, but they always lament that they can get nothing by it. A bad understanding with France opens not only the door to a European war, but also to revolution; and that is perhaps the most serious and most awfully dangerous part of the business. England wants nothing from the Emperor than that he should leave the status quo of Europe and great part of Asia alone. At Paris they are not so much moved at the Emperor's visit as perhaps they ought to be, but they have put the flattering notion into their heads that he had made fiasco, which is not true; as, in fact, he has so far been rather successful, and has convinced people in England that he is a mild and good-natured man, himself and his Empire, without any ambition. Now it is high time I should finish my immense scrawl, for which I claim your forgiveness, remaining ever your devoted Uncle,

LEOPOLD R.



[Pageheading: TAHITI]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 27th August 1844.

MY DEAREST UNCLE,—Many thanks for your kind long letter, which I received yesterday, dated 23rd. I can report very well of ourselves. We are all well. The dear day of yesterday[24] we spent very quietly and happily and full of gratitude to Providence for so many blessings. I can only pray for the continuance of our present happiness.

The impending political cloud, I hope and trust, looks less black and lowering. But I think it very unwise in Guizot not to have at once disavowed D'Aubigny for what you yourself call an "outrage,"[25] instead of letting it drag on for four weeks and letting our people get excited. The Tangiers Affair[26] is unfortunate, and I hope that in future poor Joinville will not be exposed to such disagreeable affairs. What can be done will be, to get him justified in the eyes of the public here, but I fear that at first they will not be very charitable. Those letters in the Times are outrageous, and all that abuse very bad taste.[27] There is to be an investigation about the three officers, whose conduct is unworthy of Englishmen. Now, dearest Uncle, believe me always, your most affectionate Niece,

VICTORIA R.

[Footnote 24: The Prince Albert's birthday. Prince Alfred was born on 6th August of this year.]

[Footnote 25: The assumption of French sovereignty over Tahiti.]

[Footnote 26: Hostilities had commenced between France and Morocco, and Tangiers was bombarded.]

[Footnote 27: A series of letters had appeared in the Times, written by British naval officers who had witnessed the bombardment of Tangiers, and accused the French Admiral and Navy of being deficient in courage. The Times was much criticised for its publication of these letters.]



[Pageheading: ENGLAND AND FRANCE]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

BLAIR ATHOL, 15th September 1844.

MY DEAREST UNCLE,—I received your kind letter of the 6th the day we arrived here, and thank you very much for it. As I have written an account of our journey to Louise, I will not repeat it here.

The good ending of our difficulties with France is an immense blessing, but it is really and truly necessary that you and those at Paris should know that the danger was imminent, and that poor Aberdeen stood almost alone in trying to keep matters peaceable. We must try and prevent these difficulties for the future. I must, however, clear Jarnac[28] of all blame, for Aberdeen does nothing but praise him....

In Greece affairs look very black, and God knows how it all will end.

[Footnote 28: Charge d'Affaires in the absence of the French Ambassador.]



[Pageheading: VISIT OF KING LOUIS PHILIPPE]

The Queen of the Belgians to Queen Victoria.

LAEKEN, 5th October 1844.

MY DEARLY BELOVED VICTORIA,—... I have not much to say about my father's lodging habits and likings.[29] My father is one of the beings most easy to please, satisfy, and to accommodate. His eventful life has used him to everything, and makes any kind of arrangements acceptable to him; there is only one thing which he cannot easily do, it is to be ready very early. He means notwithstanding to try to come to your breakfast, but you must insist upon his not doing it. It would disturb him in all his habits, and be bad for him, as he would certainly eat, a thing he is not used to do in the morning. He generally takes hardly what may be called a breakfast, and eats only twice in the day. It would be also much better for him if he only appeared to luncheon and dinner, and if you kindly dispensed him altogether of the breakfast. You must not tell him that I wrote you this, but you must manage it with Montpensier, and kindly order for him a bowl of chicken broth. It is the only thing he takes generally in the morning, and between his meals. I have also no observation to make, but I have told Montpensier to speak openly to Albert whenever he thought something ought to be done for my father, or might hurt and inconvenience him, and you may consult him when you are in doubt. He is entrusted with all the recommendations of my mother, for my father is naturally so imprudent and so little accustomed to caution and care, that he must in some measure be watched to prevent his catching cold or doing what may be injurious to him. About his rooms, a hard bed and a large table for his papers are the only things he requires. He generally sleeps on a horse-hair mattress with a plank of wood under it: but any kind of bed will do, if it is not too soft. His liking will be to be entirely at your commands and to do all you like. You know he can take a great deal of exercise, and everything will interest and delight him, to see, as to do: this is not a compliment, but a mere fact. His only wish is, that you should not go out of your way for him, and change your habits on his account. Lord Aberdeen will be, of course, at Windsor, and I suppose you will ask, as you told me, the Royal Family. My father hopes to see also Sir Robert Peel, Lord Stanley, and your other Ministers. You will probably ask most of them during his stay. He wishes very much to see again those he already knows, and to make the acquaintance of those he does not know yet. In writing all this I think I dream, I cannot believe yet that in a few days my dear father will have, God willing, the unspeakable happiness to see you again and at Windsor, a thing he had so much wished for and which for a long time seemed so improbable. You have no notion of the satisfaction it gives him, and how delighted he will be to see you again, and to be once more in England. God grant he may have a good passage, and arrive to you safely and well. Unberufen, as you will soon, I trust, be able to see, he is, notwithstanding the usual talk of the papers, perfectly well.... Yours most devotedly,

LOUISE.

[Footnote 29: The difficulty with France as to Tahiti having been satisfactorily disposed of, King Louis Philippe was enabled to visit England, the first French King to come on a visit to the Sovereign of England. The King was enthusiastically received in England, visited Claremont (which he was destined to occupy in exile), was installed as a Knight of the Garter at Windsor with great magnificence, and visited Eton College and Woolwich Arsenal.]



[Pageheading: SOLICITUDE OF QUEEN LOUISE]

The Queen of the Belgians to Queen Victoria.

LAEKEN, 7th October 1844.

MY DEARLY BELOVED VICTORIA,—... I wrote to my mother, to quiet her, all you kindly tell me about my dear father. We are quite sure, I assure you, that you and Albert will take care of him, and that he is with you in safe hand. And what makes my mother uneasy is the fear that, being at liberty without control, he will make too much, as she says, le jeune homme, ride, go about, and do everything as if he was still twenty years old. If I must tell you all the truth, she is afraid also he will eat too much. I am sure he will tell it to you himself, as he was so much amused with this fear; but to do her pleasure, being well assured by me that you would allow it, and that it was even customary, he has given up, of himself, all thought of attending your early breakfast: but I perceive I write as if he was not already under your roof. I will also only say, that though he has sent over his horses in case they should be wanted, my mother begs you to prevent, if possible, his riding at all. I wrote to her already that I supposed there would be no occasion for riding, and that your promenades would be either on foot or in carriage. I entrusted Montpensier with all my messages for you, my beloved Victoria and your dear children. He hopes you will permit him, during his stay at Windsor, to make two excursions—one to London, and one to Woolwich—he is very curious to see, as an artillery officer. I mention it as he would be, perhaps, too shy or too discreet to mention it himself. He might very well do those two trips by the railroad and be back for dinner-time, and I am sure you will have no objection to them.... Yours most devotedly,

LOUISE.

I am very glad that Lord Charles Wellesley is one of those who will attend my father. Montpensier and him will have surely capital fun together, and he was, you know, a great favourite with every one at Eu. If by chance Lord Hardwicke was in waiting during my father's stay, you must kindly put my father in mind to thank him for the famous cheese, which arrived safely, and was found very good....



[Pageheading: THE KING'S ARRIVAL]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 8th October 1844.

DEAREST UNCLE,—You will, I am sure, forgive my writing but a few lines as I am all alone in the agitation of the dear King's arrival, and I will leave my letter open to announce it to you. My dearest master is gone to Portsmouth to receive him. The excitement and curiosity to see the dear King, and the desire to give him a most hearty reception, is very great indeed.

Many thanks for your kind letters of the 28th and 4th. I can't think who could have said that Peel, etc., would not have been here; for he, Aberdeen, and the old Duke are to be here the whole time, and all the other Ministers will come during his stay.

I am very glad Joinville is arrived, and avoided his entrees triomphales. I hope he will take great care of himself.

You will have heard from dear Louise of our voyage, etc. I cannot reconcile myself to be here again, and pine for my dear Highlands, the hills, the pure air, the quiet, the retirement, the liberty—all—more than is right. The children are well. I am sorry to hear that you are not quite so yet.

3.30.—The King and Montpensier arrived quite safely at two, and are both looking extremely well. We have just lunched with them. It seems like a dream to me, and a very pleasant one.

Albert sends his affectionate love. Ever your devoted Niece,

VICTORIA R.

Bertie has immediately taken a passion for Montpensier.



Viscount Melbourne to Queen Victoria.

BROCKET HALL, 9th October 1844.

Lord Melbourne presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and thanks your Majesty much for the letter of the 7th inst., which he has just received, and with very great satisfaction, as he had begun to think your Majesty's silence rather long. But he perfectly understands the reasons which prevented your Majesty from writing during your stay in the Highlands. Lord Melbourne is very glad to find that your Majesty enjoyed that country so much, and is so enthusiastically fond of it. Lord Melbourne believes that he was at the places which your Majesty mentions. In the year 1802 he stayed some months in Perthshire with the late Lord Kinnaird, and enjoyed it much. It annoys him sometimes to think how altered he is in strength since that time. Lord Melbourne has never yet thanked your Majesty for the pretty etchings of poor Islay and Eos, which your Majesty sent to Lord Melbourne when he was last at Windsor. Lord Melbourne has ordered them both to be framed, and will hang them up in his room here. They will afford Lord Melbourne most agreeable and pleasing souvenirs of the happiest period of his life, for he cannot say otherwise than that he continually misses and regrets the time when he had daily confidential communication with your Majesty. Lord Glenlyon[30] has one merit in Lord Melbourne's eyes, which is that he was a steady and firm supporter to the last of Lord Melbourne's Government. Lord Melbourne hopes and trusts that he feels no animosity against those who opposed him. But he does and always shall entertain a kindly and grateful recollection of those who supported him.

Lord Melbourne begs to be remembered to His Royal Highness.

[Footnote 30: See vol. i. p. 429.]



The Queen of the Belgians to Queen Victoria.

LAEKEN, 12th October 1844.

MY DEARLY BELOVED VICTORIA,—... I thank you very much for attending to all my recommendations about my father: I only fear that they will lead you to believe that we consider him as a great child and treat him like one: but he is so precious and dear to us all that I am sure you will understand and excuse our being over anxious... Yours most devotedly,

LOUISE.



[Pageheading: A SUCCESSFUL VISIT]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

OSBORNE HOUSE, 17th October 1844.

MY DEAREST UNCLE,—I had intended to have written to you on Monday, but you will since have heard of the great confusion of that day which prevented me from doing so. The dear King's visit went off to perfection, and I much and deeply regret its being passed. He was delighted, and was most enthusiastically and affectionately received wherever he showed himself. Our proceedings I wrote to good, dear Louise (whom you should not leave so long alone), who will no doubt have given you the details. What an extraordinary man the King is! What a wonderful memory, and how lively, how sagacious!He spoke very openly to us all, and is determined that our affairs should go on well. He wishes Tahiti au fond de la mer. He spoke also very openly about poor Hadjy's brochure which seems to have distressed him more than anything. The King praised my dearest Albert most highly, and fully appreciates his great qualities and talents—and what gratifies me so much, treats him completely as his equal, calling him "Mon Frere," and saying to me that my husband was the same as me, which it is—and "Le Prince Albert, c'est pour moi le Roi." The King is very sad to go, but he is determined, he says, to see me every year. Another very great thing is, that the officers of the two Navies staying at Portsmouth were on the best terms together and paying one another every sort of compliment. As Admiral La Susse (a very gentlemanlike man) and his squadron were sadly disappointed on Monday,[31] we thought it would please them if we went on board the Gomer, which we did, on Tuesday morning, and breakfasted there, and I drank the King's health. I am certain that the visit and everything connected with it can but do the greatest good.

We stay here till Monday. It is a very comfortable little house, and the grounds and place are delightful, so private—and the view so fine.

I must now conclude, begging you to believe me, ever your devoted Niece,

VICTORIA R.

I forgot to say how much we liked good Montpensier, who got on extremely well.

[Footnote 31: It had been intended that the King should return to France, as he had come, by way of Portsmouth, crossing in the frigate Gomer, but, in consequence of the wet and stormy weather, he returned by Dover and Calais.]



[Pageheading: DEPARTURE OF THE KING]

Queen Victoria to the King of the French.

OSBORNE HOUSE, le 17 Octobre 1844.

SIRE, ET MON TRES CHER FRERE,—Votre Majeste m'a ecrit deux bien bonnes lettres de Douvres pour lesquelles je vous remercie de tout mon c[oe]ur. Les expressions de bonte et d'amitie que vous me vouez ainsi qu'a mon cher Albert nous touchent sensiblement; je n'ai pas besoin de vous dire encore, combien nous vous sommes attaches et combien nous desirons voir se raffermir de plus en plus cette entente cordiale entre nos deux pays qui existe si heureusement entre nous personnellement. C'etait avec un vif regret que nous nous sommes separes de votre Majeste, et de Montpensier, et ce sera une grande fete que de voir renouveler une visite dont le souvenir nous est si cher.

Albert se met a vos pieds, Sire, bien sensible ainsi que moi-meme de l'amitie et la confiance que vous lui avez temoignees.

J'ose prier votre Majeste d'offrir mes plus tendres hommages a la Reine et a Madame votre S[oe]ur et de me rappeler au souvenir de Montpensier. Je suis pour la vie, Sire et mon cher Frere, de votre Majeste la bien affectionnee S[oe]ur et fidele Amie,

VICTORIA R.



[Pageheading: OPENING OF ROYAL EXCHANGE]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 29th October 1844.

MY DEAREST UNCLE,—I had the happiness of receiving your kind letter of the 26th while I was dressing to go to the City for the opening of the Royal Exchange.[32] Nothing ever went off better, and the procession there, as well as all the proceedings at the Royal Exchange, were splendid and royal in the extreme. It was a fine and gratifying sight to see the myriads of people assembled—more than at the Coronation even, and all in such good humour, and so loyal; the articles in the papers, too, are most kind and gratifying; they say no Sovereign was more loved than I am (I am bold enough to say), and that, from our happy domestic home—which gives such a good example. The Times you have, and I venture to add a Chronicle, as I think it very pretty; you should read the accounts. I seldom remember being so gratified and pleased with any public show, and my beloved Albert was so enthusiastically received by the people. He is so beloved by all the really influential people, and by all right-thinking ones. We came back here yesterday evening. The accounts from Paris are excellent too. How long are the good Joinvilles to remain in the south, and where? By-the-by, dearest Uncle, have you read the continuation of Consuelo,[33] called the "Comtesse de Rudolstadt"? It is dreadfully interesting.

The Knights of the Garter did not wear the whole costume, but only the mantle. Being on this topic, shall tell you that I intend giving the Garter to Ernest, but pray do not mention it to E. or any one.

With Albert's affectionate love. Ever your devoted Niece and Child,

VICTORIA R.

[Footnote 32: On the preceding day.]

[Footnote 33: The novel by George Sand (1804-1876), published in 1842.]



The King of the French to Queen Victoria.

SAINT CLOUD, le 15 Novembre 1844.

MADAME MA BIEN CHERE S[OE]UR,—Mes souvenirs de Windsor sont de ceux dont aucun ne s'efface. Je n'oublie donc pas une petite question qui m'a ete si joliment adressee, Where is my gun? et a present j'en ai trouve un qui serait indigne de la destinee que je prie votre Majeste de me permettre de lui donner, si le regret que la disparition du premier fusil avait cause, ne m'avait pas appris que le second devait etre d'un genre a supporter tous les accidents que l'enfance aime a infliger a ses joujoux. C'est donc tout simplement un tres modeste fusil de munition adapte a sa taille que j'adresse a votre Majeste pour son auguste et charmant enfant le Prince de Galles, comme ma reponse a sa question.

J'ai encore une autre dette dont je vous prie de me permettre de m'acquitter. Quelque vif que soit mon desir de revoir Windsor, ce serait un trop long retard que d'attendre cet heureux moment, pour offrir a la Princesse Royale cette petite boite a ouvrage, de Paris, qu'elle m'a fait esperer lui serait agreable, et tout ce que je desire c'est que vos enfants se ressouviennent un jour d'avoir vu celui qui a ete le fidele ami de leur grand-pere, comme il l'est et le sera toujours de leurs bien aimes parents.

Que votre Majeste me permette encore d'offrir ici au Prince Albert l'expression de la vive et sincere amitie que je lui porte et que je lui garderai toujours, et d'accepter celle de l'inalterable attachement avec lequel je suis pour la vie, Madame ma bien chere S[oe]ur, de votre Majeste, le bon Frere bien affectionne et fidele Ami,

LOUIS PHILIPPE R.



[Pageheading: EDUCATION IN INDIA]

[Pageheading: SIR HENRY HARDINGE]

Sir Henry Hardinge to Queen Victoria.

23rd November 1844.

Sir Henry Hardinge[34] with his most humble duty to your Majesty, humbly submits for your Majesty's consideration the following observations on the state of affairs in this large portion of your Majesty's dominions.

The return of peace has also increased the desire of the native population to receive the advantages of English education. The literature of the West is the most favourite study amongst the Hindoos in their schools and colleges. They will discuss with accuracy the most important events in British History. Boys of fifteen years of age, black in colour, will recite the most favourite passages from Shakespeare, ably quoting the notes of the English and German commentators. They excel in mathematics, and in legal subtleties their acuteness is most extraordinary.

In order to reward native talent and render it practically useful to the State, Sir Henry Hardinge, after due deliberation, has issued a resolution, by which the most meritorious students will be appointed to fill the public offices which fall vacant throughout Bengal.

This encouragement has been received by the Hindoo population with the greatest gratitude. The studies in the Mohammedan schools and colleges have hitherto been confined to Arabic, the Koran, and abstruse studies relating to their religion, having always shown a marked aversion to English literature. Since the publication of the Resolution they have at once determined to change their system in order to participate in the benefits held out to native merit of every sect.

It is impossible throughout your Majesty's immense Empire to employ the number of highly paid European civil servants which the public service requires. This deficiency is the great evil of British Administration. By dispersing annually a proportion of well-educated natives throughout the provinces, under British superintendence, well-founded hopes are entertained that prejudices may gradually disappear, the public service be improved, and attachment to British institutions increased....

Sir Henry Hardinge, in closing these observations, most humbly ventures to assure your Majesty that he anticipates no occurrence as probable, by which the tranquillity of this portion of your Majesty's dominions is likely to be disturbed.

H. HARDINGE.

[Footnote 34: Governor-General of India, in succession to Lord Ellenborough.]



INTRODUCTORY NOTE

TO CHAPTER XIV

The new year (1845) opened auspiciously, trade improving owing to the great impetus given to it by the many lines of railway then in course of promotion. Over two hundred schemes were prepared at the commencement of the session to seek legislative sanction, and speculation outran all reasonable limits. The Income Tax (which in the ordinary course would have expired) was renewed, and the Anti-Corn Law Leaguers were more persistent than ever in their assaults on Protection, while the attacks on the Ministry from a section of their own party were redoubled. The most remarkable measure of the year was the Government Bill for increasing the grant to the Roman Catholic College of Maynooth, which was strongly opposed from the Conservative and the Protestant points of view; Mr Gladstone, though he approved of the measure, retired from the Ministry, as he had a few years before written in the opposite sense. Towards the close of the year the condition of Ireland, owing to the failure of the potato crop, became very alarming, and the Ministry greatly embarrassed. Lord John Russell wrote from Edinburgh to the electors of the City of London, announcing his conversion to the Repeal of the Corn Laws, and the Times announced that such a Bill would be brought in by the Ministry. Peel, reluctant to accept the task, resigned office in December, and a Whig Ministry was attempted. Owing to dissensions, the attempt had to be abandoned, and Peel returned to office, without Lord Stanley, but with Mr Gladstone, who however did not seek re-election for the seat vacated by his acceptance of office.

A dispute of great importance arose during the year with the United States, relating to the boundary line between English and American territory west of the Rocky Mountains. Twenty-five years earlier the same question had arisen, and had been settled on the footing of joint occupancy. The increased importance of the Pacific slope made the matter more vital, involving as it did the ownership of Vancouver Island and the mouth of the Columbia River; President Polk unequivocally claimed the whole, and said he would not shrink from upholding America's interests; the British Government was equally firm, and the matter was not adjusted till 1846.

In India, which during nearly the whole year enjoyed peace, the Sikhs in December assumed the aggressive, and crossed the Sutlej, invading British India. They were signally defeated by Sir Hugh Gough at Moodkee and Ferozeshah. In Scinde Sir Charles Napier prosecuted operations against the mountain desert tribes.

In New Zealand some disastrous collisions took place between the natives and the settlers; the former on two occasions either defeating or repulsing the British arms.

In France the most important events were the Bill for fortifying Paris, the campaign waged against Abd-el-Kader in Algeria, and a horrible act of cruelty perpetrated there. In Spain Don Carlos abdicated his claims to the throne in favour of his son; the Queen's engagement to Count Trapani was rumoured. In other parts of Europe little that was eventful occurred.



CHAPTER XIV

1845

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 14th January 1845.

MY DEAREST UNCLE,—What you say about Aquila[1] and Montpensier interests me. What madness is it then to force Trapani on Spain! Pray explain to me the cause of the King's obstinacy about that Spanish marriage, for no country has a right to dictate in that way to another. If Tatane[2] was to think of the Infanta, England would be extremely indignant, and would (and with right) consider it tantamount to a marriage with the Queen herself. Ever your devoted Niece,

VICTORIA R.

[Footnote 1: Louis Charles, Comte d'Aquila, a son of Francis I., King of the Two Sicilies, and brother of the Comte de Trapani and of Queen Christina; he and his brother were therefore uncles of Queen Isabella.]

[Footnote 2: The Duc de Montpensier.]



The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria.

LAEKEN, 18th January 1845.

MY DEAREST VICTORIA,—... The Spanish marriage question is really very curious; in fact, all the other Bourbon branches are hostile to the Orleans family, but the idea that makes the King so constant in his views about it, is that he imagines it would create in France a bad impression if now any other than a Bourbon was to marry the Queen of Spain. That feeling they have themselves created, as in France they did not at all care about it; having, however, declared quasi officially in the French Chambers that they will not have any but a Bourbon, if circumstances should after all decide it otherwise it would now be a defeat, but certainly one of their own making.... Your devoted Uncle,

LEOPOLD R.



Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 28th January 1845.

...The feeling of loyalty in this country is happily very strong, and wherever we show ourselves we are most heartily and warmly received, and the civilities and respect shown to us by those we visit is most satisfactory. I mention merely a trifling instance to show how respectful they are—the Duke of Buckingham, who is immensely proud, bringing the cup of coffee after dinner on a waiter to Albert himself. And everywhere my dearest Angel receives the respect and honours I receive.

Many thanks for returning the list;[3] it was not Albert but Tatane who made the black crosses. Are not "Les 3 Mousquetaires," by Dumas, and "Arthur," by Eugene Sue, readable for me?

Now adieu, dearest, best Uncle. Ever your truly devoted Niece,

VICTORIA R.

[Footnote 3: A list of French books which the Queen was proposing to read.]



[PAGEHEADING: STATE OF BUCKINGHAM PALACE]

Queen Victoria to Sir Robert Peel.

PAVILION, 10th February 1845.

Though the Queen knows that Sir Robert Peel has already turned his attention to the urgent necessity of doing something to Buckingham Palace, the Queen thinks it right to recommend this subject herself to his serious consideration. Sir Robert is acquainted with the state of the Palace and the total want of accommodation for our little family, which is fast growing up. Any building must necessarily take some years before it can be safely inhabited. If it were to be begun this autumn, it could hardly be occupied before the spring of 1848, when the Prince of Wales would be nearly seven, and the Princess Royal nearly eight years old, and they cannot possibly be kept in the nursery any longer. A provision for this purpose ought, therefore, to be made this year. Independent of this, most parts of the Palace are in a sad state, and will ere long require a further outlay to render them decent for the occupation of the Royal Family or any visitors the Queen may have to receive. A room, capable of containing a larger number of those persons whom the Queen has to invite in the course of the season to balls, concerts, etc., than any of the present apartments can at once hold, is much wanted. Equally so, improved offices and servants' rooms, the want of which puts the departments of the household to great expense yearly. It will be for Sir Robert to consider whether it would not be best to remedy all these deficiencies at once, and to make use of this opportunity to render the exterior of the Palace such as no longer to be a disgrace to the country, which it certainly now is. The Queen thinks the country would be better pleased to have the question of the Sovereign's residence in London so finally disposed of, than to have it so repeatedly brought before it.[4]

[Footnote 4: Peel replied that, as a renewal of the Income Tax was about to be proposed, it would be better to postpone the application to Parliament till the public feeling as to the tax had been ascertained.]



[PAGEHEADING: TITLE OF KING CONSORT]

Queen Victoria to Sir Robert Peel.

PAVILION, 18th February 1845.

The Queen has received Sir Robert Peel's letter, and is glad that the progress in the House of Commons was so satisfactory.

The Queen was much hurt at Mr Borthwick's most impertinent manner of putting the question with respect to the title of King Consort, and much satisfied with Sir Robert's answer.[5] The title of King is open assuredly to many difficulties, and would perhaps be no real advantage to the Prince, but the Queen is positive that something must at once be done to place the Prince's position on a constitutionally recognised footing, and to give him a title adequate to that position.[6] How and when, are difficult questions....

[Footnote 5: A paragraph had appeared in the Morning Chronicle, giving credence to a rumour that this title was about to be conferred on the Prince, but, in answer to Mr Peter Borthwick, Sir Robert Peel positively contradicted it.]

[Footnote 6:

Sir Robert Peel to the Prince Albert.

WHITEHALL, 15th February 1845.

SIR,—I received yesterday the accompanying note from Mr Borthwick, and in conformity with the notice therein given, he put the question to me in the House of Commons last evening respecting the paragraph which appeared in the Morning Chronicle respecting the intention of proposing to Parliament that your Royal Highness should assume the title of King Consort.

I very much regret that the Morning Chronicle inserted that paragraph.

The prominent place assigned to it in the newspaper, and a vague intimation that there was some authority for it, have caused a certain degree of credit to be attached to it. It has been copied into all the country newspapers and has given rise to a good deal of conjecture and speculation, which it is far from desirable to excite without necessity.

It appears to me that the editor of the Morning Chronicle acted most unwarrantably in inserting such a paragraph with a pretence of some sort of authority for it.

It has produced an impression which strongly confirms the observations which I took the liberty of making to your Royal Highness on Sunday evening.

I trust, however, that my decided contradiction of the paragraph will put a stop to further surmise and discussion on the subject.

To Mr Borthwick's note I add one of several letters addressed to me, which shows the proneness to speculate upon constitutional novelties.

I have the honour to be, Sir, with sincere respect, your Royal Highness's most faithful and obedient Servant,

ROBERT PEEL.]



Queen Victoria to Sir Robert Peel.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 24th March 1845.

The Queen has received Sir Robert Peel's box containing his recommendation relative to the filling up of the vacant Bishopric of Ely. The Queen quite approves of the present Dean of Westminster[7] as the new Bishop. As Sir Robert has asked the Queen whether she would like to see Archdeacon Wilberforce succeed to the Deanery of Westminster in case the Dean should accept the Bishopric, she must say that such an arrangement would be very satisfactory to us, and the Queen believes would highly please the Archdeacon. This would again vacate, the Queen believes, a stall at Winchester, which she would like to see filled by a person decidedly adverse to Puseyism.

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