The Life of King Edward VII - with a sketch of the career of King George V
by J. Castell Hopkins
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Author of "Queen Victoria, Her Life and Reign;" "Life and Work of Mr. Gladstone;" "The Story of the Dominion", &c., &c.

Profusely Illustrated

Copyright 1910, by W. E. Scull.


During a number of years' study of British institutions in their modern development and of British public life in its adjustment to new and changing conditions I have felt an ever-growing appreciation of the active influence exercised by the late Sovereign of the British Empire upon the social life and public interests of the United Kingdom and an ever-increasing admiration for his natural abilities and rare tactfulness of character. King Edward the Seventh, in a sixty years' tenure of the difficult position of Heir to the British Throne, built into the history of his country and Empire a record of which he and his people had every reason to be proud. He had for many years the responsibilities of a Royal position without the actual power; the public functions of a great ruler without the resources usually available; the knowledge, experience and statecraft of a wise Sovereign without Regal environment.

The Prince of Wales, however, rose above the apparent difficulties of his position and for more than a quarter of a century emulated the wise example of his princely father—Albert the Good—and profited by the beautiful character and unquestioned statesmanship of his august mother. As with all those upon whose life beats the glare of ever-present publicity and upon whose actions the press of friendly and hostile nations alike have the privilege of ceaseless comment, the Heir to the British Throne had to suffer from atrocious canards as well as from fulsome compliments. Unlike many others, however, he afterwards lived down the falsehoods of an early time; conquered by his clear, open life the occasional hostility of a later day; and at the period of his accession to the Throne was, without and beyond question, the best liked Prince in Europe—the most universally popular man in the United Kingdom and its external Empire. Upon the verge of His Majesty's Coronation there occurred that sudden and dramatic illness which proved so well the bravery and patience of the man, and increased so greatly the popularity and prestige of the Monarch.

Since then the late King has yearly grown in the regard of his people abroad, in the respect of other rulers and nations, in the admiration of all who understood the difficulties of his position, the real force of his personality and influence, the power with which he drew to the Throne—even after the remarkable reign of Victoria the Good—an increased affection and loyalty from Australians and South Africans and Canadians alike, an added confidence and loyal faith in his judgment from all his British peoples whether at home or over seas.

In the United States, which King Edward always regarded with an admiration which the enterprise and energy of its people so well deserved, he in turn received a degree of respect and regard which did not at one time seem probable. To him, ever since the visit to the Republic in 1860, a closer and better relation between the two great countries had been an ideal toward which as statesman and Prince and Sovereign he guided the English-speaking race.

The reader of these pages will, I hope, receive a permanent impression of the career and character of one who has been at once a popular Prince, a great King, a worthy head of the British Empire and of his own family, a statesman who has won and worn the proud title of "The Royal Peacemaker."


Toronto, Canada, 1910.


CHAPTER I. The Crown and the Empire 17

CHAPTER II. Early Years and Education of the Prince 31

CHAPTER III. Royal Tour of British America and the United States 47

CHAPTER IV. The Royal Marriage 69

CHAPTER V. Early Home Life and Public Duties 79

CHAPTER VI. Travels in the East 99

CHAPTER VII. Serious Illness of the Prince 117

CHAPTER VIII. The Prince of Wales in India 131

CHAPTER IX. Thirty Years of Public Work 162

CHAPTER X. Special Functions and Interests 181

CHAPTER XI. The Prince and His Family 191

CHAPTER XII. The Prince as a Social Leader 203

CHAPTER XIII. The Prince as a Sportsman 211

CHAPTER XIV. Habits and Character of the Prince 218

CHAPTER XV. The Prince as an Empire Statesman 234

CHAPTER XVI. The Prince as Heir Apparent 248

CHAPTER XVII. Accession to the Throne 268

CHAPTER XVIII. The First Year of the New Reign 286

CHAPTER XIX. Empire Tour of the New Heir to the Throne 305

CHAPTER XX. The King and the South African War 351

CHAPTER XXI. Preparations for the Coronation 368

CHAPTER XXII. Serious Illness of the King 380

CHAPTER XXIII. The Coronation 391

CHAPTER XXIV. The Reign of King Edward 420

CHAPTER XXV. The King as a Diplomatist and Peace-maker 432

CHAPTER XXVI. The Death of King Edward 440

CHAPTER XXVII. The Solemn Funeral of the King 451

CHAPTER XXVIII. The New King and His Imperial Responsibilities 461


The Crown and the Empire

The great development of a political nature in the British Empire of the nineteenth century was the complete harmony which gradually evolved between the Monarchy and a world-wide democracy. This process was all-important because it eliminated an element of internal discord which has destroyed more than one nation in the past; because it permitted the peaceful progress of scattered states to continue through the passing years without having questions of allegiance to seriously hamper their growth; because it trained political thought along lines of stability and continuity and made loyalty and liberty consistent and almost synonymous terms; because it made the Crown the central symbol of the Empire's unity, the visible object of a world-wide allegiance, the special token of a common aspiration and a common sentiment amongst many millions of English-speaking people—the subject of untutored reverence and unquestioned respect amongst hundreds of millions of other races.


The chief factor in this development was the late Queen Victoria, and to the inheritance of the fabric thus evolved came a son who was educated amid the constitutional environment in which she lived and was trained in the Imperial ideas which she so strongly held and so wisely impressed upon her statesmen, her family and her people. King Edward came into responsibilities which were greater and more imposing than those ever before inherited by a reigning sovereign. He had not only the great example and life of his predecessor as a model and as a comparison; not only the same vast and ever-changing and expanding Empire to rule over; not only a similar myriad-eyed press and public to watch his every expression and movement; but he entered with his people upon a new century in which one of the first and most prominent features is a decay in popular respect for Parliament and a revival of the old-time love for stately display, for ceremonial and for the appropriate trappings of royalty. With this evident and growing influence of the Crown as a social and popular factor is the knowledge which all statesmen and constitutional students now possess of the personal influence in diplomacy and statecraft which was wielded by the late Queen Victoria and which the experience and tact of the new Monarch enabled him to also test and prove. Side by side with these two elements in the situation was the conviction which has now become fixed throughout the Empire that the Crown is the pivot upon which its unity and future co-operation naturally and properly turns; that the Sovereign is the one possible central figure of allegiance for all its scattered countries and world-wide races; that without the Crown as the symbol of union and the King as the living object of allegiance and personal sentiment the British realms would be a series of separated units.

These facts lend additional importance to the character and history of the Monarchy; to the influences which have controlled the life and labours of King Edward; to the abilities which have marked his career and the elements which have entered into the making of his character. He may not in succeeding years of his reign have declared war like an Edward I., or made secret diplomatic arrangements like a Charles II. He may not have manipulated foreign combinations like a William III., or dismissed his Ministers at pleasure like a George III., or worked one faction in his Kingdom against another like a Charles I. None of these things have been attempted, nor will his successor desire to undertake them. But none the less there lay in his hand a vast and growing power—the personal influence wielded by a popular and experienced Monarch over his Ministry, his Court, his Diplomatic Staff throughout the world, and his high officers in the Army and Navy. The prestige of his personal honours or personal wishes and the known Imperialism of his personal opinions must have had great weight in controlling Colonial policy in London; while his experience of European and Eastern statecraft through many years of close intercourse with foreign and home statesmen undoubtedly had a marvelous effect in the control of British policy abroad.

To the external Empire, as constituted at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Crown is a many-sided factor. The personal and diplomatic influence of the Sovereign is obvious and was illustrated by Queen Victoria in such historic incidents as the personal relations with King Louis Philippe which probably averted a war with France in the early forties; in the later friendship with Louis Napoleon which helped to make the Crimean War alliance possible; in the refusal by the Queen to assent to a certain casus belli despatch during the American War which saved Great Britain from being drawn into the struggle; in her influence upon the Cabinet in connection with the Schleswig-Holstein question, which was exerted to such an extent (according to Lord Malmesbury) as to have averted a possible conflict with Germany.

The political power of the Crown and its wearer is proven to exist in the dismissal of Lord Palmerston for his rash recognition of the French coup d'etat; in the occasional exercise of the right of excluding certain individuals from the Government—notably the case of Mr. Labouchere a decade ago; in such direct exercise of influence as the Queen's intervention in the matter of the Irish Church Disestablishment Bill as related by the late Archbishop Tait. The Imperial influence of the Sovereign has been shown in more than merely indirect ways. The Queen's refusal to approve the first draft of the Royal Proclamation for India in 1858 and her changes in the text were declared by Lord Canning to have averted another insurrection. Her personal determination to send the Prince of Wales to Canada in 1860 and her own visit to Ireland in one of the last years of her reign were cases of actual initiative and active policy. South Africa owed to the late Queen the several visits of the Duke of Edinburgh and the exhibition of her well-known sympathy with the views of Sir George Grey—who, had he been allowed a free hand, would have consolidated and united those regions many years ago and averted the recent disastrous struggle.

Australia owed to her the compliment of various visits from members of the Royal family, the kindly personal treatment of its leaders and a frequently expressed desire for its unity in one great and growing nationality—British in allegiance and connection and power; Australian in local authority, patriotism and development. India was indebted to its Queen-Empress for continued sympathy and wise advice to its Governors-General; for the phraseology in the Proclamation after the Mutiny, already referred to, which rendered the new conditions of allegiance comprehensible and satisfactory to the native mind; for the important visit of the Prince of Wales to that country in 1877; and for the support given to Lord Beaconfield's Imperial policy of asserting England's place in the world, of purchasing the Suez Canal shares in order to help in keeping the route to the East and of paving the way for that acquisition of Egypt and the Soudan which has since made Cecil Rhodes' dream of a great British-African empire a realizable probability. The Colonies, as a whole, owed to Queen Victoria a condition of government which made peaceful constitutional development possible; which extinguished discontent and the elements or embers of republicanism; which gradually eliminated the separative tendencies of distance and slowly merged the Manchester school ideas of the past into the Imperialism of the present; which made evolution rather than revolution the guiding principle of British countries in the nineteenth century.


How has the Crown become such an important factor in the modern development of British peoples? The answer is not found altogether in personal considerations nor even in those of loyalty to somewhat vague and undefined principles of government. These considerations have had great weight but so also has the traditional and actual power of the Monarchy in moulding institutions and ideas during a thousand years of history. To a much greater extent than is generally understood in these democratic days has this latter influence been a factor. Through nearly all British history the Sovereign has either represented the popular instincts of the time or else led in the direction of extended territory and power under the individual influence of royal valour or statecraft. The history of England has not, of course, been confined to the biography of its Kings or Queens, but it would be as absurd to trace those annals without extended study of the rulers and their characters as it would be to write the records without reference to the people and popular progress. And the Monarchy has done much for the British Isles. Its influence has effected their whole national life in war and in peace, in religion and in morals, in literature and in art. The individual achievements and actions of some of these rulers constitute the very foundation stones in the structure of modern British power. Others again have helped to build the walls of the national edifice until the Sovereign at the beginning of the twentieth century has become the pivot upon which turns the constitutional unity of a great Empire and which forms the only possible centre for a common allegiance amongst its varied peoples.

At first this monarchical principle was embodied in the form of military power, was based upon feudal loyalty, and was associated with the noble ideals, but somewhat reckless practices, of mediaeval chivalry. The victories of Egbert and Alfred the Great transformed the Heptarchy into a substantial English Kingdom. The military skill of William the Conqueror gave an opportunity to blend the graces of Norman chivalry, and a somewhat higher form of civilization, with the rougher virtues of the Saxon character. Henry II. personally illustrated this combination, with his ruddy English face and strong physical powers, and impressed himself upon British history by the conquest of Ireland. Richard Coeur de Lion gave his country many famous pages of crusading in the East, and embodied in his life and character the adventurous and daring spirit of the age. Edward I. dominated events by his energy and ability, subdued Wales, and for a time conquered the Kingdom of Scotland. Edward III., in his long reign of fifty years, carried the British flag over the fields of France, and won immortality at the battles of Crecy and Poictiers. Henry V. gained the victory of Agincourt, and won and wore the title of King of France. Then came the Wars of the Roses and the turbulent termination to a period of six centuries during which the English Monarchs had represented the military spirit of their times, and had led in the rough process of struggle and conquest out of which was growing the United Kingdom of to-day.

With the reign of Henry VIII. commenced the period of religious change—the struggles for religious liberty against ecclesiastical dominance. Limited as were the achievements of Henry and Elizabeth, in this respect, by prevailing bigotry and narrowness of view as well as by diverse personal characteristics, they none the less did great service to the country and the people. The rule of Cromwell—who, in the exercise of Royal power and the possession of regal personal ability, may properly be included in such a connection—gave that liberty of worship to a portion of the masses with which previous Sovereigns had more especially endowed the classes. During the reign of the Stuarts religious dissensions and ecclesiastical controversies and intermittent persecutions, illustrated the predominant passion of the period; and forced the weak or indifferent monarch of the moment to be an unconscious factor in the progress towards that general toleration which the Revolution of 1688 and the crowning of William and Mary finally accomplished. But, whether it was Henry persecuting the monks, or Elizabeth the Roman Catholics, or Mary the Protestants, or Cromwell the Episcopalians, or Charles II. the Dissenters, each ruler was being led, to a great degree, by the undercurrent of surrounding bigotry and was, in the main, representative of a strong, popular sentiment of the time. Henry voiced the national uprising against Rome, just as the second Charles embodied popular reaction against the Puritans, and as William of Orange was enabled to lead a successful opposition to the gloomy and personal bigotry of the last of the Royal Stuarts.

The third period of British monarchical history in this connection was that marked by the growth toward constitutional government under the sway of the House of Hanover. Coupled with this was the equally important foundation of a great Colonial empire, and the loss of a large portion of it in the reign of George III. But the development of constitutional rule under the Georges should not be confounded with the growth of the popular and Imperial system which exists to-day. The latter is simply a progressive evolution out of the aristocratic and oligarchical government of the Hanoverian period, just as that system had been a step from the kingly power of the Tudors and the Stuarts, which, in turn, had arisen upon the ruins of feudalism and military monarchical power. It is this gradual growth, this "gently broadening down from precedent to precedent," which makes the British constitution of to-day the more or less perfected result of centuries of experience and struggle. But that result has only been made possible by a peculiar series of national adjustments in which the power of the Monarchs has been modified from time to time to suit the will of the people, while the ability of individual Sovereigns has been at the same time given full scope in which to exercise wise kingcraft or pronounced military skill. It has, in fact, been a most elastic system in its application and to that elasticity has been due its prolonged stability of form under a succession of dynastic or personal changes.


It is a common mistake to minimize the importance and value of the aristocratic rule by which the government of England was graded down from the high exercise of royal power under the Tudors and Stuarts to that beneficial exercise of royal influence which marks the opening of the present century period. To the aristocracy of those two centuries is mainly due the fact that the growth from paternal government and personal rule to direct popular administration was a gradual development, through only occasional scenes of storm and stress, instead of involving a succession of revolutions alternating with civil war. Somers and Godolphin, Walpole and Chatham, Pitt and Shelburne, Eldon and Canning, Grey and Liverpool, Wellington and Durham, Melbourne and Palmerston, were all of this aristocratic class, though of varying degrees in rank and title and with varied views of politics. They filled the chief places in the Government of the country during a period when the people were being slowly trained in the perception and practice of constitutional and religious liberty. At the best such processes are difficult and often prove bitter tests of national endurance; and it was well for Great Britain that the two centuries under review produced a class of able and cultured men who—though naturally aristocratic at heart—were upon the whole honestly bent upon furthering the best interests of the masses. And this despite the mistakes of a Danby or a North.

Yet, even towards the close of this period of preparation, popular government, as now practised, was neither understood by the immediate predecessors of Queen Victoria, nor by the nobles who presided over the changing administrations of the day. It was not clearly comprehended by Liberals like Russell and Grey; it was feared by Wellington and the Tories as being republican and revolutionary; it was dreaded by many who could hardly be called Tories and who, in the condition of things then prevalent, could scarcely even be termed Loyalists. Writing in 1812, Charles Knight, the historian, described the fierce national struggle of the previous twenty years with Napoleon and expressed a longing wish for the prop of a sincere and spontaneous loyalty to the throne in the critical times that were to follow. But such a sentiment of loyalty was not then expressed, and could hardly have been publicly evoked by a ruler of the type of George IV., whether governing as Prince-Regent or as King.

There is, however, no doubt of its having existed, and there seems to have been, even through those troubled years, an inborn spirit of loyalty to the Crown as being the symbol of the State and of public order. Its wearer might make mistakes and be personally unpopular, but he represented the nation as a whole and must consequently be respected. This powerful feeling has often in English history made the bravest and strongest submit to slights from their Sovereign, and has won the most disinterested devotion and energetic action from men who have never even seen the Monarch in whose personal character there was sometimes little to evoke or deserve such faith and sacrifice. For ages this loyalty had been the preservative of society in England, and it is still indispensable to the tranquility and permanence of a state, whether given in its full degree to the Sovereign of Great Britain, or in a more divided sense to the elective and partisan head of a modern republic.

In the time of the Georges, as well as in the middle ages and at the present moment, loyalty was and is a sincere and honest patriotism, refining the instincts and elevating the actions of those who were willing to waive self-interest on any given occasion in order to guard what they believed to be the true basis of national stability and order. Certainly, a Monarchy which could survive the wars and European revolutions, the internal discontents and personal deficiencies, of the period which commenced with the reign of George I. and closed with that of William IV., must have possessed some inherent strength greater than may be gathered from many of the superficial works which pass for history. But, whatever that influence was, it does not appear to have been personal. With the close of the reign of Queen Anne the brilliant prestige of personal authority and power wielded by the Sovereign had passed quietly away and, up to the death of William IV. and the accession of Victoria, had not been replaced by the personal influence of a constitutional ruler.


Out of all these changing developments has come a military position in which the Sovereign no longer leads his forces in war but in which he commands a sentiment of loyalty as hearty, in the breasts of the Colonial soldiers ten thousand miles away from his home at Windsor, as ever did the personal presence of an Edward I., or a Richard the Lion-Hearted. Out of them has come a religious position in which the Sovereign is head of a particular Church and yet, as such, gives no serious offence to masses of his subjects who belong to other faiths and who receive through his Governments around the world absolute freedom of religious worship—almost as a matter of course. Out of the constitutional evolution has come the adaptation of the Monarchy to not only new conditions but to countries separated by oceans and continents from the mother-state, and the evolution of a system which combines 420,000,000 people under one Crown and one flag. In August, 1884, the Times spoke of a correspondent amongst the Khirgese of Central Asia who stated that the people of that region had not the remotest idea of where or what England was—but they had heard of Queen Victoria; and a few years later Mr. Henry Labouchere, the inconsistent and bitter Radical, told the Forum of New York that "were a Parliamentary candidate to address an electoral meeting on the advantages of a republic he would be deemed a tilter at a windmill."

Such is a summary of the history and position of the British Monarchy. A thousand years ago it combined the seven little Kingdoms of England into one; to-day it combines the Kingdoms and Dominions and Commonwealths and Islands of a quarter of the earth's surface into one. The power of the Crown was once chiefly employed in making war and compelling peace by force of arms and military skill; to-day it is largely utilized in promoting peace and controlling diplomacy. The position of the Monarch was once that of the head of a class, or the leader of some distinct manifestation of public feeling, or the military chief of a great faction; to-day it is that of embodying the power of a united people, giving dignified interpretation to the policy of a nation, and serving as the symbol of unity to the masses of population in an extended empire.

One of the interesting features in the Crown's popularity and influence is the absence of serious criticism or controversy over the expense of its maintenance. Perhaps the only practical expression of disapproval affecting the Monarchy heard during Queen Victoria's long reign was an occasional grumbling as to the paucity of Court functions, the absence of Royal splendour and expenditures from the City of London, the sombreness and quiet which characterized the ordinary, everyday life of the Sovereign. The total financial cost of the Monarchy has been placed at a million pounds sterling per annum, but this total includes various large sums which could just as properly be charged to the ordinary governing requirements of the country without reference to the particular form of its institutions. Against this sum may also be placed the proceeds of the Crown Lands which were surrendered to Parliament upon the accession of William and Mary and which had before that been recognized as a personal estate of the Sovereign over which Parliament had no control. In addition to these Crown Land revenues other sums were voted as required. Upon their surrender to the nation (during the life of each Sovereign) it has become the custom, since 1868, to vote a permanent Civil List for the ensuing reign and out of this sum the ordinary Court and personal expenses are supposed to be met. In the case of Queen Victoria the amount was L385,000 a year, supplemented, however, by other votes and special allowances to herself and the Royal family from time to time.

Upon her accession the Queen retained out of the old Crown Lands, or revenues, those of the Duchy of Lancaster and they have risen in value from L20,000 to L50,000 per annum. The Royal palaces are maintained apart from the Civil List and the building of Royal yachts and other similar expenses are considered as additional items. The revenues of the Duchy of Cornwall, which have always pertained to the Prince of Wales, and the incomes or special sums voted to the members of the Royal family, make up an amount nearly as large as the Civil List. But these apparently large sums have not in recent years created any feeling of dissatisfaction; nor has any been expressed save by certain individuals of the Labouchere type, who possess little influence and less sincerity. Upon the whole the situation in this connection possesses considerable interest to the student of history, or of popular sentiment, as showing how a practical, business-loving, money-making people can become devoted to an institution which must in the nature of things be expensive and which, in the ratio of its dignity and effectiveness as an embodiment of growing national power, must be increasingly so as the years roll on.

The reason for this condition of feeling is the combination which the Monarchy has during the past century come to present to the minds of the public. Tradition and history reaching down into the hearts and lives of the people may be considered the basic influence; a general belief in the superiority of British institutions over all others may be stated as a powerful conservative force; while personality and character in the Sovereign may be described as the chief constructive element in this process of increasing loyalty to the Crown. Convenience, custom, love of ceremony, belief in stability and aversion to change, are lesser factors which may be mentioned. The result is that Mr. George W. Smalley, for so many years the American correspondent of the New York Tribune in London, could write recently in the Century the belief of a foreigner and a republican that "England is a very democratic country, but there does not exist in England the vestige of a republican party."

King Edward, therefore, came to the throne of Great Britain and its Empire at a time when the influence of the Sovereign was growing in proportion as the influence and popularity of Parliament appeared to be waning. Fifty years before his accession it was a truism to assert that power in England was being steadily concentrated in the House of Commons; to-day it may be said with equal truth that the position of the Crown is growing steadily in a power which is wielded by personal influence and popularity and which, while it touches no privilege, nor right, nor liberty of Parliament, increases in proportion as the latter body is relegated to the back-ground by public opinion and popular interest. Vast responsibility, therefore, rests to-day in the hands of a British Sovereign and the results for good or ill, depend largely upon his character, his training, his previous career and his present sense of duty. Alarm has even been expressed upon this point by historical theorists such as Professor Beesly and Dr. Goldwin Smith. Certain it is, however, that in the hands of King Edward this growing power was safe. If prolonged experience and acquired statecraft and intimate knowledge of his people can be considered sufficient guarantees for its exercise, it is also safe in the hands of King George.


Early Years and Education of the Prince

The married life of Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort was one of the happiest recorded in history or known in the private annals of individual lives. It was a love-match from the first and it lasted to the end as one of those beautiful illustrations of harmony in the home which go far in a materialistic and selfish age to point to higher ideals and to conserve the best principles of a Christian people. His affection was shown in myriad ways of devoted care and help; her feeling was well stated in a letter to Baron Stockmar—"There cannot exist a purer, dearer, nobler being in the world than the Prince." From such a union was born Albert Edward, the future King and Emperor, on November 9th, 1841. The Queen's first child had been the Princess Royal, and there was naturally some hope that the next would be a male heir to the Throne. There was much public rejoicing over the event which was announced from Buckingham Palace at mid-day of the date mentioned; the Privy Council met and ordered a thanksgiving service; the national anthem was sung with enthusiasm in the theatres and public places; telegrams of congratulation poured in from Princes abroad and peers and peasants at home; and Punch perpetrated verses which well illustrated the public feeling:

"Huzza! we've a little Prince at last A roaring Royal boy; And all day long the booming bells Have rung their peels of joy."

On December 8th following, the little Prince was created by letters-patent Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester—the titles of Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Saxony, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince, or Great Steward of Scotland, being his already by virtue of his mother being the reigning Sovereign at the time of his birth. During six hundred years there had been from time to time a Prince of Wales. The first was the son of Edward I., but the title was never made hereditary, and there have been periods, totalling altogether 288 years, in which it lay dormant. The Black Prince was perhaps the best known of the line. The new Prince of Wales—destined to hold the designation for nearly sixty years and to make it one of the best known in the world—was solemnly baptized on January 25th, 1842, in St. George's Chapel, Windsor, by the simple names of Albert Edward. The first was after his father, the second in memory of the Queen's father, the Duke of Kent. The scene was one of splendour, and the uniforms and glittering orders and gleaming gems and beautiful dresses harmonized well with the stately setting of the Chapel Royal.


Besides the Royal party, which included Frederick William IV., King of Prussia, there were a throng of Ambassadors, Knights of the Garter, Members of the Privy Council, Peers and Peeresses, statesmen and heads of the Church. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the Bishops of London, Winchester, Oxford and Norwich were in special attendance, and the sponsors for the young Prince were the King of Prussia, the Duchess of Kent (proxy for the Duchess of Saxe-Cobourg), the Duke of Cambridge (proxy for the Duchess of Saxe-Gotha), Princess Augusta of Cambridge (proxy for Princess Sophia) and Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Cobourg. The cost of this gorgeous christening ceremony and attendant functions was said to have been fully two million dollars. A part of this was, however, due to the entertainments accorded King Frederick William IV., who, as the chief Protestant monarch of the Continent, was given a particularly cordial and elaborate welcome. In connection with the christening of the future King it is interesting to note that an ecclesiastical newspaper, of Toronto, called The Church, referred to the event on March 19th, 1842, and declared that should the Prince live to be King he would be known as Edward VII. On February 3rd Queen Victoria opened Parliament in person with the following as the preliminary words in the Speech from the Throne: "I cannot meet you in Parliament assembled without making a public acknowledgment of my gratitude to Almighty God on account of the birth of the Prince, my son; an event which has completed the measure of my domestic happiness and has been hailed with every manifestation of affectionate attachment to my person and Government by my faithful and loyal people."


The early events of the Prince's life were followed with much interest by the public and with a personal and individual feeling which grew in volume with the ever-increasing popularity of the young Queen. The Court in those years was a gay one and events such as the Queen's famous Plantagenet Ball of 1842; the state visit to King Louis Philippe of France in 1843; the coming of Nicholas I., Czar of all the Russias, to the Court of St. James in 1844, followed a little later by William, Prince of Prussia—afterwards William I. of Germany, and by a return visit of the King and Queen of the French; kept the social demands of the period up to a very high pitch. Yet the quiet, careful surroundings of an almost ideal home were given to the young Prince and to those who afterwards came to the family circle, by a mother who, in the midst of many national cares and private anxieties could write to her much-respected friend and uncle—Leopold of Belgium—that "my happiness at home, the love of my husband, his kindness, his advice, his support and his company make up for all and make me forget all."

The Princess Victoria, afterwards for a brief year Empress of Germany, had been born on November 21, 1840; the Prince of Wales was the next child; the Princess Alice, who afterwards married the Grand Duke of Hesse, was born on April 25, 1843; Prince Alfred—Duke of Edinburgh and of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in later years—followed on August 6, 1844; the Princess Helena came next on May 25, 1846, and afterwards became the wife of Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein; the Princess Louise, who married the Marquess of Lorne and future Duke of Argyll, was born on March 18, 1848; Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, followed on May 1, 1850; Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, on April 7, 1853; Princess Beatrice, afterwards wife and widow of Prince Henry of Battenberg, was born on April 14, 1857, and completed the Royal family for the time.

The greatest care and attention was given to the youthful Prince. Writing to King Leopold soon after his birth—on December 7, 1841—the Queen had said: "I wonder very much who my little boy will be like. You will understand how fervent are my prayers, and I am sure every one's must be, to see him resemble his father in every respect, both in body and mind." From the earliest period the child grew into his life of ceremony and state, but it was a process carefully graded to suit the development of natural faculties. Nothing appears to have been allowed to unduly burden his gradual growth in experience and knowledge and certainly a more pleasant domestic environment and life could hardly be imagined. At a later period his studies were so varied in character as to excite some slight apprehension in a part of the public mind.

The first public appearance of the Prince was on February 4, 1842, when the Queen was inspecting some troops near Windsor and the babe was held up by his nurse from a window of the Castle so that the crowd could see him. He has been described in many prints and stories as being a very lively infant and child. Lady Lyttelton[1], a sister to Mrs. Gladstone, was in charge of the Royal nursery as a sort of trusted Governess during the first six years of his life and everything was conducted with regularity and care. The Queen personally supervised the arrangements, whether for instruction, pleasure or exercise, though she often had to express in diary or letter her regret at not being able to be as much with her children as she desired. Simplicity was, perhaps, the guiding principle of this early training, though it was combined with a certain amount of familiarity in matters of ceremony and formality. In September, 1843, when the Queen and Prince Consort were in France the Royal children were at Brighton in charge of Lady Lyttelton and the people used to take great delight in waiting for the daily outing of the little Prince and his sister and the presentation of a loyal salute by the raising of hats and the waving of handkerchiefs. The child had been taught to raise his chubby fist to his forehead in reply and a journalist of the time veraciously declares that he did it with "evident enjoyment and infantile dignity." A little later, on December 20th, a party of nine Ojibbeway Indians were presented to the Queen at Windsor Castle and the Chief gravely referred to the toddling Royal infant in his speech as "the very big little White Father whose eyes are like the sky that sees all things and who is fat with goodness like a winter bear."

Another attractive event in these annals of childhood was a visit of Tom Thumb to Buckingham Palace on March 23, 1844. Not long afterwards, on June 5th, the little Prince saw his first Review, on the occasion of the Emperor of Russia's visit, and clapped his hands and shouted at the splendid spectacle. On March 24, 1846, he was given that first and greatest pleasure of all children, a visit to the circus (Astley's). He applauded liberally and when the clown was brought to the Royal box at his request, the little Prince gravely shook hands with him and thanked him "for making me laugh so much." Similar stories might be multiplied in many pages. Every trifling incident of the Royal childhood seems, indeed, to have been treasured by some one. Late in 1846 a visit was made on the Victoria and Albert yacht to the coast of Cornwall and, after the landing, the Royal party went to Penrhyn where the little Prince, as Duke of Cornwall, was formally welcomed by Mayor and Corporation as their feudal lord. In August of the succeeding year he was taken by the Queen and Prince Consort on a tour around the west coast of Scotland and during a visit to Cluny Macpherson's Scottish home, he received one of the first of a multitude of interesting presents—a ring containing a miniature of Prince Charles Stuart. In August 1844, he accompanied his parents on a visit to Ireland, where he met with splendid acclamation from the people and was created Earl of Dublin by the Queen. It has been said that the reception was so enthusiastic as to have left a profound impression on the child's mind.

On October 30, 1849, when nearly eight years old, the Prince of Wales performed his first public function. Accompanied by the little Princess Royal and his father he proceeded in state from Westminister in a Royal barge rowed by watermen. All London turned out to see the youthful royalties—"Puss and the boy" as the Queen called them in her Diary—and Lady Lyttelton in a letter to Mrs. Gladstone has left a charming picture of the pleasure expressed by the little Prince at his reception and at the various quaint customs revived for the occasion. It was at this time that Miss Louisa Alcott, author of Little Women, wrote home that the Prince was "a yellow-haired laddie, very like his mother. Fanny and I nodded and waived as he passed and he openly winked his boyish eye at us, for Fanny with her yellow curls waving looked rather rowdy and the poor little Prince wanted some fun." Two years later, on May 1st, the youthful Heir to the Throne assisted the Queen at the brilliant ceremonies attending the opening of the first and great Exhibition of that year.


Meanwhile, the important matter of education had been occupying the attention of the Queen and her husband. After careful inquiry during nearly a year the Rev. Henry Mildred Birch was selected and on April 10, 1844, the Prince Consort wrote, in a private and family letter, that "Bertie will be given over in a few weeks into the hands of a tutor whom we have found in Mr. Birch, a young, good-looking, amiable man who was a tutor at Eton and who not only himself took the highest honours at Cambridge but whose pupils have also won special distinction. It is an important step and God's blessing be upon it, for upon the good education of princes and especially of those who are destined to govern, the welfare of the world in these days very greatly depends." This gentleman acted until 1852 when, upon the advice of Sir James Stephen, the appointment was given to Mr. Frederick W. Gibbs, who retained it for the succeeding six years. In special lines of study such as Art and Music there were various instructors for the young Prince as well as for the rest of the family—the Rev. Charles Tarver being his classical tutor, Sir Edwin Landseer an instructor in the art of painting and Mr. E. H. Corbould his teacher in water-colours.

The descriptions of the Prince of Wales in these childhood days vary greatly; probably in natural accordance with the variable temperament of his age. Lady Lyttelton who, perhaps, knew him best, described him to Mr. Greville in 1852—though that interesting litterateur is not always reliable—as being "extremely shy and timid, with very good principles and, particularly, an exact observer of truth." The description is, however, so much in harmony with his bringing up that it may well be accepted as accurate. These years, however, passed rapidly away in a commingling of instruction, ceremonial and innocent recreation. The Baroness Bunsen in her Memoirs gives a pleasant picture which illustrates the character of the amusements current in the Royal family at their different homes at Windsor, Osborne, or Balmoral. This particular incident was a Masque devised by the children, when Prince "Bertie" was twelve years old, in honour of the anniversary of their parents' marriage. The Prince who represented Winter and was clad in a coat covered with imitation icicles, recited some verses from Thomson's Seasons. Princess Alice was Spring; the Princess Royal, Summer; Prince Alfred, Autumn; while Princess Helena, representing St. Helena, the traditional mother of Constantine and native of Britain, called down Heaven's benediction upon the Royal couple.

About this time the Prince of Wales made his first appearance in the House of Lords, sitting beside the Queen as she received Addresses from Parliament concerning the impending war with Russia. He seems to have taken a keen interest in that conflict and, in March 1855, went with his parents to visit the wounded at Chatham Military Hospital. In August he accompanied the Queen and Prince Consort upon the first visit paid by an English Sovereign to Paris since the days of Henry II. and shared in the splendid reception given by the Emperor Napoleon and the French people. Even here, however, his tutor was with him and idleness or pleasure was not allowed to occupy the field entirely. With the Princess Royal, he was present at a splendid ball given in Versailles—the first since the days of Louis XVI—and they sat down at supper with the Emperor and Empress. The young Prince enjoyed the visit so much and liked his Imperial hosts so well—a liking which he never forgot in later years of sorrow and suffering—that he begged the Empress to get leave for his sister and himself to stay a little longer. The Queen and his father, he explained, had six more children at home and they could, he thought, do without them for a while.

Of course, this was not possible. The Prince Consort, however, was greatly pleased with the way in which the children had behaved and wrote to Baron Stockmar, shortly after, expressing his belief that the Prince had been a general favourite. To the Duchess of Kent he wrote that "the task was no easy one for them but they discharged it without embarrassment and with natural simplicity." From this it is evident that the shyness spoken of by Lady Lyttelton had largely passed away from the manner of the Prince. During this year the latter—now fourteen years old—took an incognito walking tour through the west of England accompanied by Mr. Gibbs and Colonel Cavendish. The next two or three years were spent in a happy life of mixed pursuits in England and Scotland, or in travel abroad, alternating, according to the place and season, between fishing and shooting, ponies and picnics, deer-stalking and juvenile dances, studies, tours and occasional functions. Many pictures of the Royal family in these days of childhood and youth have been preserved from the brushes of Winterhalter, Richmond, Landseer, Saul and others.


Not the least important of the educative influences of this period were the tours undertaken by the young Prince. In the autumn of 1856, accompanied by those who could best instruct him in the matters witnessed, he visited the great seats of industry in Provincial England including mills, ironworks, coal mines and engineering centres. In April 1857 he enjoyed a tour through the beautiful Lake region and especially appreciated the hill-climbing in Cumberland. During June he accompanied the Queen on a state visit to Manchester and witnessed the first distribution of the Victoria Cross medals in Hyde Park, London. In July the Prince left England for Konigswinter with a short European tour in view for "purposes of study," as the Prince Consort put it in a private letter. With him were General Grey, Colonel (afterwards Sir Henry) Ponsonby, his tutors and Dr. Armstrong. During the tour several young men joined him as companions—the late Mr. W. H. Gladstone; Mr. Charles Wood, now Lord Halifax; Mr. Frederick Stanley, now Earl of Derby and Governor-General of Canada; and the present Earl Cadogan, Viceroy of Ireland. The Prince on this occasion went up the Rhine and through Germany and Switzerland. Upon his return, in October, he attended lectures on science by Dr. Faraday while continuing his regular studies. Early in the succeeding year he attended the marriage of his sister, the Princess Royal, to the Prussian Prince who afterwards became the Emperor Frederick, and parted from the sister "Vicky," to whom he was much attached, with evident sorrow.

On April 1, 1858, when nearly seventeen years of age, the Prince was confirmed in the Chapel Royal at Windsor. Writing of this ceremony, the Prince Consort observed to Baron Stockmar that Lord Derby, Lord Palmerston and Lord John Russell were amongst those who were present and that the event "went off with great solemnity and, I hope, with an abiding impression on his mind." At the examination before the Archbishop of Canterbury and his Royal parents the Prince was described as acquitting himself "extremely well." On the succeeding day he took the Sacrament. Shortly afterwards followed a two weeks walking tour in the south of Ireland in which the Prince was accompanied by Mr. Gibbs, Captain de Ros—afterwards Lieutenant-General Lord de Ros—and Dr. Minter. Succeeding this came a short period of steady study and the formal establishment of the young Prince at White Lodge in Richmond Park, under the tuition of Mr. Gibbs and Mr. Tarver and with three companions carefully selected by his father—Lord Valletort, the present (1902) Earl of Mount Edgecumbe, Major Teesdale V.C. and Major Lindsay V.C. Of the first named the Prince Consort wrote privately that he had been much on the Continent and was "a thoroughly good, moral and accomplished man," who had passed his youth in attendance on his invalid father. He also referred to the manner in which Major Teesdale had distinguished himself at Kars and Major Lindsay at Alma and Inkerman and of the latter said: "He is studious in his habits, lives little with the other young officers, is fond of study and familiar with French and Italian."[2] These considerations are interesting as indicating with what care the companions of the young Prince were selected by his wise father from time to time. Here the Prince had, amongst his elements of instruction, lectures on History from the Rev. Charles Kingsley, the well-known author of Westward Ho and, for ten years following, Professor of History at Cambridge. They were given by special desire of the Queen and must have proved deeply interesting. Canon Kingsley was, during the rest of his life, an object of special liking to the Prince and always an honoured guest at Sandringham and Marlborough.

On November 9, 1859, the Prince of Wales completed his eighteenth year and attained his legal majority. The Queen wrote him a letter which Charles Greville, in his Diary, describes as "one of the most admirable ever penned." On the same day he was appointed a Colonel in the Army and given the Order of the Garter—that most distinguished of all orders of knighthood. At the same time Colonel the Hon. Robert Bruce, brother of the Lord Elgin who had proved so successful a Governor-General of Canada and India, was appointed Governor to the Prince and was described by the Prince Consort as possessing amiability with great mildness of expression and as being "full of ability." He had been Military Secretary to Lord Elgin in Canada and was at this time in command of a battalion in the Grenadier Guards.[3] A month later the Prince started on a Continental tour accompanied by the Rev. Mr. Tarver as his chaplain and director of studies. He stayed some time in Rome, where he visited the Pope, on May 7 reached Gibraltar, and from thence visited the south of Spain and Lisbon. He reached home in the middle of June and took up a serious course of study at Edinburgh, with the late Lord Playfair as his instructor in chemistry, and with other equally distinguished teachers in specific lines or subjects. The public was at this time taking much interest in these studies of the Heir Apparent and fear was expressed that he might, perhaps, be over-educated. Punch expressed this feeling in the following lines:

"To the south from the north, from the shores of the Forth, Where at hands Presbyterian pure science is quaffed, The Prince, in a trice, is whipped to the Isis, Where Oxford keeps springs mediaeval on draught.

* * * * *

Dipped in grey Oxford mixture (lest that be a fixture), The poor lad's to be plunged in less orthodox Cam., Where dynamics and statics, and pure mathematics, Will be piled on his brain's awful cargo of cram."

After three months of Edinburgh training the Prince Consort went down and held a sort of conference with the teachers. He wrote as to the result[4] that they all spoke highly of their pupil, who seemed to have shown zeal and goodwill. "Dr. Lyon Playfair is giving him lectures on chemistry in relation to manufactures and, at the close of each special course, he visits the appropriate manufactory with him so as to explain its practical application. Dr. Schmitz gives him lectures on Roman history. Italian, German and French are advanced at the same time; and three times a week the Prince exercises with the 16th Hussars who are stationed in the city." It was of this period that Sir Wemyss Reid, in his biography of Lord Playfair, tells an amusing story. The Prince and Dr. Playfair were standing near a cauldron containing lead which was boiling at white heat. "Has Your Royal Highness any faith in science," said the Professor and the reply was, "Certainly." The latter then carefully washed the Prince's hand with ammonia and said:

"Will you now place your hand in this boiling metal and ladle out a portion of it?"

"Do you tell me to do this?" asked the Prince.

The answer was in the affirmative and the Prince instantly put his hand into the boiling mass and ladled out some of it without sustaining any injury. Following this period of study at Edinburgh University came the celebration of the Prince's nineteenth birthday and a hunting party in the Highlands. Thence the Prince went to Oxford for a time and was admitted a member of Christ Church College where he joined freely in the social life and sports of the institution. On January 16, 1861, after his return from Canada, he became an under-graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, and was allowed, by special favour, to live in a neighbouring village with his Governor—Colonel Bruce. Here lectures were again given to the Prince by Canon Kingsley and the young man was kept pretty close to his studies during the winter of that year. In the summer he went on military duty in Ireland and the Queen thus recorded in her Diary a visit paid to him at Curragh on August 26th: "At a little before three we went to Bertie's hut which is, in fact, Sir George Brown's. It is very comfortable—a nice little bedroom, sitting-room, drawing-room, and a good sized dining-room where we lunched, with our whole party. Col. Percy commands the Guards and Bertie is placed specially under him. I spoke to him and thanked him for treating Bertie as he did, just like any other officer, for I know that he keeps him up to his work in a way, as General Bruce told me, that no one else had done; and yet Bertie likes him very much."


This was the last birthday of the Prince Consort and it was spent travelling to Killarney with the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the younger members of the Royal family. A few days there and then the young Prince returned to camp. In the autumn he visited the Rhine manoeuvres of the German army and met his future bride, the Princess Alexandra. He then returned to Cambridge and from thence journeyed in haste to Windsor on December 13th to be present at his father's death-bed on the following evening. No sadder event has occurred in the history of English royalty than this premature and much-mourned death of the good and really great Prince Consort. To the young Heir Apparent it meant the loss of a loving father, a careful guardian, a watchful and wise adviser. To the wife and widow it meant the ruin of a great happiness and a sorrow which no passing years could ever remove. Sir Theodore Martin's beautiful description of the scene at the death-bed, at which knelt the Queen, the Princess Alice, the Princess Helena and the Prince of Wales, may well be given here: "In the solemn hush of that mournful chamber there was such grief as has rarely hallowed any death-bed. A great light, which had blessed the world, and which the mourners had but yesterday hoped might long bless it, was waning fast away. A husband, a father, a friend, a master, endeared by every quality by which man in such relations can win the love of his fellow-man, was passing into the Silent Land, and his loving glance, his wise counsels, his firm, manly thought should be known among them no more. The Castle clock chimed the third quarter after ten. Calm and peaceful grew the beloved form; the features settled into the beauty of a perfectly serene repose; two or three long, but gentle breaths were drawn; and that great soul had fled to seek a nobler scope for its aspirations in the world within the veil, for which it had often yearned, where there is rest for the weary, and where 'the spirits of the just are made perfect.'"

Not long before his death the Prince Consort had readily agreed to his son's wish for a visit to the Holy Land and had planned the preliminaries of the tour before he was stricken by the disease which carried him off. After that sad event it was felt by the Queen that such a journey would now be doubly wise and proper and she made arrangements for General Bruce to accompany the Prince, together with Major Teesdale, Captain Keppel and a small suite. By special wish of the Prince Consort and at the urgent request of the Queen, the Rev. Dr. Arthur Penrhyn Stanley consented to accompany the Prince. He joined the Royal party at Alexandria on February 28, 1862, and they at once proceeded to Cairo and from thence visited the Pyramids. A little later Palestine was reached and, following in the historic steps of Richard Coeur de Lion and Edward I., another Heir to the British Throne finally reached Jerusalem. The closely-guarded Cave of Macphelah was opened to the Prince of Wales as well as the famous Mosque of Hebron which for nearly seven hundred years had been closed to even Royal visitors. Lake Tiberias, Bethany, Bethlehem, the Groves of Jericho, were visited and some time was spent in tents upon the journey to Damascus. From thence the party traveled to Beyrout, visited Tyre and Sidon, and proceeded to Tripoli. The journey was made by the Prince so as to include Patmos, Ephesus, Smyrna, Constantinople, Athens and Malta. From every place where it was possible the Prince collected flowers which he carefully sent to his sister, the Princess Royal. Of His Royal Highness during this interesting tour Dean Stanley put on record his opinion at the time: "It is impossible not to like him and to be constantly with him brings out his astonishing memory of names and persons.... I am more and more struck by the amiable and endearing qualities of the Prince."


[1] Sarah, Lady Lyttelton, daughter of the second Earl Spencer and wife of the third Lord Lyttelton. Born 1787, Died 1870.

[2] This officer afterwards became Major-General Sir C. C. Teesdale V.C., K.C.M.G., C.B. and was A.D.C. to the Queen in 1877-87. Major Lindsay was better known in later years as Colonel Sir Robert Lloyd-Lindsay K.C.B. In 1885 he was raised to the Peerage as Lord Wantage.

[3] He afterwards became a Major-General in the Army and died in 1862 of fever caught while with the Prince of Wales during his Eastern tour.

[4] Martin's Life of the Prince Consort.


Royal Tour of British America and the United States

The first important public event in the career of the young Prince was one which, during forty years, has held a marked place in Canadian memories and a prominent place in Canadian and American history. In some respects the tour of the Prince of Wales, in 1860, through the scattered and disconnected Provinces of British America has wielded an influence far out of proportion to the contemporary judgment of the event; beyond, perhaps, what the Queen and Prince Consort in their wise and patriotic policy of the time hoped to achieve. It was, in reality, the first break in the hitherto steady progress of the Manchester school theory regarding ultimate Empire disruption; the first check given to the widely accepted doctrine that the Colonies were of no use except for trade and, in any case, were like the fruit which ripens only to fall from the parent stem.

Mr. Bright, Lord John Russell, Sir George Cornewall Lewis, Mr. Cobden, Lord Ashburton, Lord Ellenborough, Lord Derby, and many others, were at this time touched with the blight of these theories and to them there was no sense, and nothing but expense, in trying to cultivate Colonial loyalty or promote Colonial co-operation.


To this school—and it was one embracing many able men and thinkers—trade was more important than any other consideration, and the greatest object of external policy was the development of friendly relations with the United States. American extension of territory was not looked upon with alarm even when it took a slice of the Maine boundary and threatened trouble over that of Oregon. The Republic had not yet gone in seriously for high protection and did not, therefore, vitally touch the pockets of patriots who could not foresee, even in their keen regard for commerce and its development, that trade and territory were in the future to be most intimately related.

The Queen and Prince Consort did, however, understand something of the future of the Empire—dimly it might be but still effectively. It had been announced during the progress of the Crimean War that a Royal tour of British America might be arranged within a few years, and the Canadian Legislature, on May 14th, 1859, took advantage of the coming completion of the great Victoria Bridge across the St. Lawrence, at Montreal, to tender a formal invitation to the Sovereign herself to be present at the opening ceremonies; to receive a personal tribute of the unwavering attachment of her subjects; and to more closely unite the bonds which attached the Province to the Empire. This unanimously-passed address was taken to London by Mr. Speaker Henry Smith, and the response elicited was most favourable to the indirect request of the Assembly and Legislative Council—the initiative in the matter being due to a motion by the Hon. P. M. M. S. Vankoughnet in the latter House. The Governor-General received a reply, dated January 30th, 1860, and signed by the Duke of Newcastle, Colonial Secretary, which stated that Her Majesty greatly regretted that her duties at the Seat of the Empire would prevent so long an absence, but that it might be possible for H. R. H. the Prince of Wales to attend the ceremony at a later date. "The Queen trusts that nothing may interfere with this arrangement for it is Her Majesty's sincere desire that the young Prince, on whom the Crown of this Empire will devolve, may have the opportunity of visiting that portion of her dominions from which this Address has proceeded and may become acquainted with a people in whose progress towards greatness, Her Majesty, in common with her subjects in Great Britain, feels a lively and enduring sympathy."


Preparations were at once commenced in the British Provinces to properly receive the Royal guest. By the 9th of July all arrangements in England had been made, including the acceptance of an invitation to visit the United States—as a private gentleman under the title of Lord Renfrew. On that date the Prince sailed from Plymouth in the ship Hero after replying to a farewell address, when he declared that he was proceeding to "the great possessions of the Queen in North America with a lively anticipation of the pleasure which the sight of a noble land, great works of nature and human skill and a generous and active people must produce." The Royal suite was composed of the Duke of Newcastle—practically guardian to the youthful Prince; the Earl of St. Germans, Lord Chamberlain to the Queen; General, the Hon. Robert Bruce; Dr. Auckland and two Equerries—Major Teesdale, V.C., and Captain Grey.

Newfoundland was first reached on July 23d. An enthusiastic reception was given to the Royal visitor at St. John's by ringing bells, lusty cheers, waving flags and evening illuminations. The Prince was received by the Governor, Sir Alexander Bannerman, and then passed in procession through beautiful arches and decorations to Government House. A levee was held, many addresses received and a collective reply given, in which the Prince made the statement that "I shall carry back a lively recollection of the day's proceedings and your kindness to myself personally; but, above all, of these hearty demonstrations of patriotism which prove your deep-rooted attachment to the great and free country of which we all glory to be called sons." A ride around the town followed, without ceremony, and in the evening a state dinner and ball were given. The attendance at the latter was very large and the Prince delighted everyone, and particularly the ladies, by dancing with evident zest and pleasure until three o'clock in the morning. During the day thus commenced he left the Island amid every evidence of popularity and loyalty—after accepting a handsome Newfoundland dog as a present from the people and presenting Lady Bannerman with a set of jewels in commemoration of his visit.


The Royal squadron arrived at Halifax on the morning of July 30th and, despite unpleasant weather, the entire city turned out to welcome the Queen's son. The streets were lined by the regular soldiers and volunteers and were beautifully decorated with arches, transparencies and evergreens. The arches numbered seventeen and included one which the Roman Catholic Archbishop Connolly had erected at his own expense. The Prince was received by His Excellency the Earl of Mulgrave—afterwards Marquess of Normanby—and Rear-Admiral Sir Alexander Milne, Major-General Trollope and the members of the Provincial Government. Mayor Caldwell read an address expressing "devotion to the British throne and attachment to British institutions" and His Royal Highness in reply referred to the noble Harbour of Halifax in which all the navies of Great Britain could "ride in safety." There was much enthusiasm shown in the streets and at one point 4000 children sang an adaptation of the National Anthem as a sort of welcoming ode. At Government House the Hon. William Young read an address from the Executive Council of the Province in which special reference was made to the Nova Scotians who had won laurels "beneath the Imperial flag" in the recent Crimean campaign. It was signed by the Hon. Joseph Howe, the Hon. A. G. Archibald, the Hon. J. McCully, the Hon. William Annand and others and, in replying, the Prince made a significant allusion to the Confederation policy of several years later when he expressed hopes for their happiness as a loyal and united people.

On the following day a Royal review was held and in the evening a state dinner and ball were attended while illuminations turned the darkness of the outside night into brightness. At the ball the ladies selected as partners, according to a contemporary historian, were "principally the wives and daughters—much oftener the latter—of gentlemen connected with the staff or with the Government of the Province." The same writer[5] states that when the Prince adjourned to supper he begged that the ball might not proceed in his absence "as he would not be long away and his programme was full." The third day in Halifax included a Levee at Government House; the reception of the addresses from the Church of England, King's College, Windsor, the Masons, the Methodist Conference, the Free Church of Scotland, the Kirk of Scotland, the Roman Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church, and Acadia College. A visit followed to the one-time residence and grounds of H. R. H. the Duke of Kent and a Regatta was witnessed. A state dinner and reception at Government House, a torch-light procession of Firemen and a display of fireworks in the evening closed the events of the visit. Early in the morning of August 2nd, His Royal Highness left for St. John—stopping on the way at Windsor, which was beautifully decorated, to receive an address and partake of a banquet. An address was also accepted at Hautsport.

On the following morning the Prince was welcomed at St. John by Mr. Manners-Sutton, the Lieutenant-Governor, the members of the Government, the Judges, etc. At one point during the procession to his temporary residence 5000 school children sang patriotic airs and threw flowers at their Royal guest. The usual addresses and evening illuminations followed—the latter eclipsing those of Halifax, or St. John's, Newfoundland. August 4th and the Sunday which followed were spent at Fredericton. The Anglican Cathedral was attended there and a sermon from Bishop Medley listened to. On the following day the Executive Council presented an address in which it stated that "if the necessity should ever arise all the available resources of New Brunswick will be freely offered for the defence of Imperial interests and the maintenance of national honour." The address from the City referred to "the universal heart-throb of our Empire of perpetual sunlight" and another address was presented from the Anglican clergy. The Prince replied appropriately to each and afterwards held a Levee at Government House and attended a grand ball held in his honour. On Tuesday, August 7th, he started from Prince Edward Island, being enthusiastically welcomed on the way at Indiantown and Carleton in New Brunswick, and at Truro and Picton in Nova Scotia.

The Prince of Wales arrived at Charlottetown on the morning of August 9th and, despite pouring rain, was received by crowds in a tastefully decorated city. He was formally welcomed by Lieutenant-Governor George Dundas, Chief Justice Hodgson, Premier, the Hon. Charles Palmer, and all the dignitaries and officials of the Island. As the procession passed to Government House 2000 children sang the National Anthem and the crowds cheered enthusiastically. A Levee was held on the following day, a review of the volunteers proceeded with, and addresses received from the Provincial and Civic authorities. A ball at the Provincial Building concluded the festivities and the Prince danced until three in the morning. The Royal visitor then departed for the Upper Provinces and arrived in Gaspe Bay, on August 12th, after seeing much that was beautiful in the way of scenery. Here the Prince was formally welcomed to the Canada of that day by His Excellency Sir Edmund W. Head, Governor-General of all British America, and by the Canadian Ministry, which included the Hon. John A. Macdonald, George E. Cartier, A. T. Galt, John Ross, N. F. Belleau, J. C. Morrison, L. S. Morin and others of historic name. A visit to the gloomy and splendid scenes along the Saguenay followed and on August 17th, after passing further up the St. Lawrence, Quebec was reached by the Royal fleet. The succeeding day was marked by His Royal Highness' first public entry into Canada.


No more splendid natural setting for a national event can be found in the world than that afforded by the crowning heights, the broad sweep of river, the ancient and towering fortress of Quebec. Upon this occasion the old-fashioned French city, nestling upon the sides of the cliff, was vivid with flags and the narrow streets filled with arches, while crowds of interested people thronged every part of the place. The Heir to the Throne was formally received at the wharf by the Governor-General, who was accompanied by the Canadian Ministry in their uniforms of blue and gold; Lord Lyons, the British Minister at Washington; Lieutenant-General Sir W. Fenwick Williams, Commander of the Forces; Sir A. N. McNab, Sir E. P. Tache, Major H. L. Langevin and others prominent in the public life of the Provinces. In a special Pavilion which had been erected, the Prince was presented by Major Langevin—better known to a subsequent generation as Sir Hector Langevin, M.P.—with an address describing the loyalty of the French population to British institutions and connection. In his reply the Royal guest spoke of the differences of origin, language and religion as being "lost in one universal spirit of patriotism which had knit all classes to the Mother-land in common ties of equal liberty and free institutions." During the procession through the city which followed there was much cheering, and in the evening, despite the rain which had poured all day, the illuminations were exceedingly good.

On the following day the Anglican Cathedral was attended by His Royal Highness with the Governor-General and their suites. The succeeding day was again stormy but a visit was paid to the Chaudiere Falls and on Tuesday a Levee was held at the old Parliament Buildings attended by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy of the Province of Quebec in a body, clad in purple robes, and followed in order by the Judges and members of the Legislative Council and Assembly of the United Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada—as Ontario and Quebec were then generally called. An address was presented on behalf of the Council by its Speaker, the Hon. N. F. Belleau and replied to by the Prince, after which he conferred the honour of knighthood upon Mr. Belleau. An address was then presented on behalf of the Assembly by its Speaker, the Hon. Henry Smith, who also received the distinction of being personally knighted by the Royal visitor. Other addresses were presented and later in the day a visit was paid to the beautiful Falls of Montmorenci—the route to which was ornamented with arches, flags and evergreens. In the evening a grand ball was given and the Prince danced through almost the entire programme. On the following day a visit was paid to Laval University and an address received from the Roman Catholic Hierarchy at the hands of Bishop Horan of Kingston, as well as one from the University. The former document stated that the Church was always careful to teach that Kings reign by God's will and that, therefore, "entire submission is due to the authority they have received from on high." They believed "traditional respect for the high moral principle of legitimate authority" to be the real strength of Canadian society. The Prince responded in fitting terms to both addresses. The Ursuline Convent was also visited and an address received. In the evening a display of fireworks was given and on the morning of August 23rd His Royal Highness departed for Three Rivers.


The trip up the River was a pleasant one and, after a brief stay at Three Rivers where the Mayor—Mr. J. E. Turcotte M.P.P.—presented an address, the journey was resumed to Montreal. Accompanying the steamer Kingston (which had been specially fitted up for this occasion) from Three Rivers was another containing the members of the Legislature. All along the shores of the St. Lawrence were little crowds of habitants striving for a glimpse of the Royal visitor and, when nearing Montreal, he was received by a fleet of vessels crowded with cheering people. The reception in the city commenced on the morning of August 25th and was marked by the gathering of numerous crowds and intense interest. An address was presented by Mr. Charles S. Rodier, the Mayor of Montreal, in a handsome Pavilion specially erected for the purpose, and surrounded by the entire military and volunteer force of the district and city. The Mayor in his scarlet robes, the Ministers in their new Windsor uniforms, the officers in their varied military dress and Bishop Fulford and the Anglican clergy in their gowns, made quite a brilliant spectacle on the dais. After the Prince had replied to the address the Royal procession passed through the city to the Crystal Palace, the streets being gay with flags, banners, evergreens, transparencies and eight, more or less, handsome arches.

At the new building, or Crystal Palace, an Exhibition was duly opened by the Prince, who then proceeded to the Victoria Bridge station where he was met by the Hon. John Ross, President of the Grand Trunk Railway, and other officials. An address was presented descriptive of the great structure across the St. Lawrence and, after his reply, the Prince was taken from the station to the Bridge in a carriage lined with crimson velvet and there proceeded to formally open it for public use. An elaborate luncheon, attended by 600 persons and presided over by Sir Edmund Head, followed. After receiving an address from the workmen employed in the undertaking His Royal Highness returned to the city and in the evening witnessed illuminations which made Montreal a blaze of light. On Sunday, the 26th, the Prince attended Christ Church Cathedral and heard a sermon from Bishop Fulford. During the succeeding day he witnessed a lacrosse game by Indians, watched a procession of Temperance organizations, and held a Levee at the Court House where addresses were presented from the Church of England, McGill College, the inhabitants of Red River Colony—now the City of Winnipeg—and others.

In the evening one of the finest balls ever given on the Continent of America was attended by the Prince. The decorations were gorgeous and yet tasteful and the Royal guest is stated to have danced incessantly until half-past four in the morning. On Tuesday he visited Dickenson's Landing in a special car built by the Grand Trunk Railway and from thence went down the Rapids of the St. Lawrence in the steamer Kingston. The evening saw a Grand Musical Festival in his honour and on the following day a Royal review of 1600 troops took place. A visit followed to Sir George Simpson's residence at Isle Dorval, accompanied by a canoe excursion down the St. Lawrence under the auspices of the Hudson's Bay Company, of which Sir G. Simpson had so long been head. The evening witnessed a torch-light procession of Montreal Firemen. On August 30th the Royal visitor, the Governor-General and their suites, took a special train for St. Hyacinthe where the Prince was enthusiastically received and several addresses presented at the Roman Catholic College. At Sherbrooke, in the afternoon, flags were flying everywhere and arches had been erected on all the principal streets. An address was read by the Mayor, Mr. J. G. Robertson—afterwards for many years Treasurer of the Province. A visit was then paid to the residence of the Hon. A. T. Galt, Minister of Finance, and on the way thither His Royal Highness was almost smothered in bouquets of flowers thrown at him by young women along the route. A Levee was held here and hundreds of people presented. At Montreal in the evening, a great display of fireworks took place and on the following morning the Prince left the city finally.


At every village and town and tiny settlement on the way to Ottawa crowds turned out to welcome and cheer the passing visitor; while flags and arches and decorations indicated the pleasure of the people in more practical shape. Near the capital of the United Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada—seven years hence to be the capital of the new Dominion—the Prince of Wales was received by a fleet of steamers and 1200 lumbermen and Indians in birch-bark canoes and was escorted into the city in a most picturesque style. Mayor Workman presented an address and a procession through the capital followed. On September 1st the corner stone of the splendid Parliament Buildings, which afterwards graced the hills of the Chaudiere, was laid by the Royal visitor amid scenes of considerable dignity and much enthusiasm. Amongst those present were H. E. Sir Edmund Head, Lord Mulgrave, General Sir Fenwick Williams, Hon. John A. Macdonald and the other members of the Ministry. In the afternoon a state luncheon was given by the Government at which the Governor-General presided and the toasts proposed were presented respectively by His Excellency, Sir N. F. Belleau, Sir Henry Smith and the Prince himself. A visit to the Chaudiere Falls followed and the usual illuminations were given in the evening. On Sunday Christ Church Cathedral was attended and early in the succeeding day the journey was resumed—Arnprior, Almonte and Brockville being visited and addresses received.

At this point in the tour occurred an unfortunate misunderstanding with the Orangemen of Kingston and Toronto. While in Montreal the Duke of Newcastle—who was practically in charge of the Prince's movements so far as they affected state and public interests—heard that the members of the Loyal Orange Order proposed to erect arches along the route of the Royal procession in Toronto and Kingston and to decorate them with Orange colours and regalia. The Duke at once wrote to Sir Edmund Head that this would not do. "It is obvious that a display of this nature on such an occasion is likely to lead to religious feud and breach of the peace; and it is my duty to prevent, so far as I am able, the exposure of the Prince to supposed participation in a scene so much to be deprecated, and so alien to the spirit in which he visits Canada." He added that if the policy was persisted in he would advise the Prince not to visit the places in question.

Sectarian feeling, it may be added, was very strong at this time in Upper Canada and the Catholics and Orangemen were drawn up in two distinctly hostile camps of religious and political thought. This was especially the case in Toronto and Kingston. The Governor-General at once wrote the Mayors of these two towns under date of August 31st and, in the course of his letter said: "You will bear in mind, Sir, that His Royal Highness visits this Colony on the special invitation of the whole people, as conveyed by both branches of the Legislature, without distinction of creed or party; and it would be inconsistent with the spirit and object of such an invitation, and such a visit, to thrust on him the exhibition of banners or other badges of distinction which are known to be offensive to any of Her Majesty's subjects." Roman Catholics called meetings to protest at the intended action of the Orangemen; the latter met in public and private and convinced themselves that the representatives of the former were being allowed to control the Prince's movements. They pointed to their own well-known loyalty to the Crown and British institutions and to the fact that Roman Catholics had been permitted every privilege in welcoming the Prince in Lower Canada. Eventually, although the Duke of Newcastle made every effort to smooth matters over, the City Council of Kingston and the Orangemen of that place refused to give way and the steamer Kingston, after sixteen hours had been given for consideration, passed in her course to Belleville without the Prince landing in the gaily decorated and historic town.

Writing from the steamer on September 5th, before leaving for the next destination in the Royal tour, the Duke wrote to the Mayor a long letter in which the following sentence occurs: "What is the sacrifice I asked the Orangemen to make? Merely to abstain from displaying in the presence of a young Prince of 19 years of age—the heir to a sceptre which rules over millions of every form of Christianity—symbols of religious and political organization which are notoriously offensive to the members of another creed!" He expressed regret that the City Council had not accepted the suggestion to present their address on board the steamer as had been done by the Church of Scotland Synod. The reply of the Mayor, Mr. O. S. Strange, disclaimed sympathy with the Orangemen while defending a refusal to approve the advice given to the Prince of Wales. It also pointed out that the garbs and flags of the Orange Order were no more compromising to the Royal visitor than were the robes and insignia of the Catholic Hierarchy of Quebec during the reception in that Province.


Belleville was reached on September 5th, but no landing was effected on account of Orange troubles of the same kind as at Kingston. The disappointment of the people was extreme, as the preparations had been elaborate and the decorations costly. Visits followed to Cobourg, where a ball was given; to Rice Lake, where an address was received from the Mississaga Indians; to Peterborough, Whitby and Port Hope, which were most lavishly decorated. Toronto was reached on September 7th and the greatest reception of the tour given to the Royal visitor. As the centre of Orange sentiment in Upper Canada some difficulty was feared, and as a matter of fact there was a misunderstanding between the Duke of Newcastle and Mayor Wilson—afterwards Sir Adam Wilson, Chief Justice of Ontario—regarding the Orange arch; but this was ultimately smoothed over. The city was gay with flags and decorations; nine arches had been erected in the principal streets; a large amphitheatre was built for the purposes of the formal reception; and the city was crowded with people. At the amphitheatre an address was received from the city and replied to by the Prince in a speech in which he referred to the generous loyalty of his welcome as the Queen's representative—"a loyalty tempered and yet strengthened by the intelligent independence of the Canadian character." A welcome was sung by 5000 school children and a procession through Toronto followed. Brilliant illuminations in the evening made the town bright and in the ensuing morning the Prince held a Levee at which one thousand gentlemen were presented.

Addresses were presented during this function from the Upper Canada Bible Society, the Church of England Synod Trinity University, the Presbyterian Synod, the St. George's Society, the Temperance organizations, the County Council of York, and Knox College, and were duly replied to. In the afternoon His Royal Highness attended a reception given by the Law Society and in the evening a dance under the same auspices at Osgoode Hall. On the next day, Sunday, the Prince attended service at St. James Cathedral and listened to a sermon from Bishop Strachan. On Monday, an excursion was made to Collingwood, on the Georgian Bay, and the Prince was accompanied by the Governor-General, Sir Fenwick Williams and the Hon. Messrs. A. T. Galt, P. M. Vankoughnet, W. B. Robinson, J. Hillyard Cameron and others, as well as by his suite. At Newmarket, Aurora, Bradford and Barrie addresses were received and at every point along the Northern Railway there were decorations and crowds of people.

At Collingwood there was luncheon and an enthusiastic reception and the Prince then returned to Toronto, where he watched the games of the Canadian Highland Society for a time. September 11th was a very wet day, but the Royal visitor attended a Regatta held under the auspices of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, opened Queen's Park, and laid a pedestal for a statue to the Queen. He also reviewed the Toronto Volunteer Corps, and visited the University of Toronto where he received an address as well as one from Upper Canada College. A visit to the Educational Department of the Province and Knox College followed and a busy day was concluded by a great ball in the evening, at which the Prince danced until four in the morning.


On September 12th His Royal Highness left Toronto for a trip through the western portion of Upper Canada (Ontario) and was welcomed at every station by decorations and cheering crowds. Arches were everywhere and salutes were fired with frequency. A short stop was made at Guelph and Stratford and an address was received at the German settlement of Peterburg, to which the Prince replied in the same language. In the afternoon London was reached and an enthusiastic reception given which included a torchlight procession and evening illuminations. Sarnia was visited on the following day and, besides the usual addresses, one was presented from the Indians of Upper Canada. At London, in the evening, a ball was given and the young Prince danced with the animation which he had displayed at all the entertainments of this character given in his honour. On September 14th he proceeded to visit Niagara Falls in a new and beautiful car specially constructed by the Great Western Railway Company.

Woodstock, Paris, Brantford, Dunnville and Port Colborne were visited en route, and at the Falls in the evening most exquisite illuminations were exhibited for the pleasure of the visitor—lines of fire running along the cliffs while other kinds of light intensified the natural splendour of the scene. During his several days at this point, the Prince saw Blondin cross the chasm on a rope; attended service at the little church in the Canadian village; paid a brief visit to the American fort on the other side of Niagara River; saw the Welland Canal and visited Queenston Heights and the tomb of Sir Isaac Brock. At the latter place he received an address from one hundred and sixty survivors of the War of 1812 at the hands of Chief Justice Sir J. Beverley Robinson and, on September 18th, laid the corner-stone of an obelisk in honour of the chief Canadian hero of that contest. A visit to Port Dalhousie and Hamilton followed, and at the latter place the reception was marked by splendid decorations and much enthusiasm.

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