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THE WORLD'S GOSSIP.

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THE WORLD'S GOSSIP. Princess Helena, the Duchess of Albany, has at length succeeded in persuading the Queen to re- move the seal from the apartments at Claremont, once occupied by herself and the Prince Consort. This is a great concession, for the general im- pression was that the rooms in question would Ternain closed during the remainder of the Queen's lifetime. The rooms are very elaborately decorated and splendidly furnished, but now the dust of ages has fallen on their glories and obscured them. The Queen regards these rooms with such an excess reverence that for many long years the doors .have been locked, and never opened to anyone but herself on the very rare occasions that she has visited them. There is, by the way, as yet no con- firmation of the report that the Duchess of Albany is going to marry again. The new dining-room which the Queen has had built at Osborne cost £20,000. The sum does not eome from the nation, but out of Her Majesty's privy purse. The wife of the German Emperor is one of the few Imperial ladies of Europe who do not solace the hours of relaxation from the cares of State and the worry of society, by a w hili of the divine weed. Her Majesty of Austria gets through some forty cigarettes a day, and is a deserving sufferer from dyspepsia and migraine. The Tsarina, the Queen of Italy, and the Queen of Spain smoke privately, but don't so much mind its being known. The "Queen of Portugal will smoke nothing but the cigarettes she gets from Dresden, while Carmen Sylva." the Queen of Roumania, smokes nothing but Levantine tobacco. All these Royal and Impe- rial ladies indulge in the deadly cigarette, but -ex-Queen Natalie of Sorvia is so devoted to the weed that she will smoke anything that comes handy. The Prince of Xaples is just now in rather an awkward position. The task of providing for the succesion to the Italian Crown is devolving upon him. and. so far, in his twenty-third year, he sees no chance of securing a suitable helpmeet. On the -one hand he must marry a Roman Catholic, and, on the other hand, no Catholic princely house cares for an alliance with the excommunicated House of Savoy. He even looks in vain to the House of G-uelph, fertile and all as that is in princesses. In fact, the only young lady of necessary rank and orthodoxy seems to be the daughter of the Due de Chartres, who. it will perhaps be remembered, was jilted some time ago by the young Duke of Orleans, Madame Melba's very good friend." The Queen of Italy is staying at Boulogne. Here is a pretty story which shows that she and the King have not outlived the romance of their youth. Queen Margherita recently asked her husband if he did not think she was getting too old to wear white, which is her favourite colour. The King gravely answered that the question demanded reflection. Two weeks afterwards the Queen received a box, with the message "This is the King's reply." On opening the box the Queen found it filled with white gowns, which King Humbert had ordered from Paris. I am very glad to have to record a Royal g ift to a railway superintendent, and of so worthy a recipient as Mr. Neele, whose unceasing enterprise and unfailing courtesy have helped to make the London and North Western Railway chief among the railways of the world. The chief superin- tendent of the London and North Western Railway lias lately been the recipient of a handsome memento from the Queen. Twice a year, with un- failing regularity, her Majesty visits her Royal Palace at Balmoral-tirst, for a month, from the middle of May to the corresponding day in June and, secondly, from the middle of August until nearly the end of November. The former journey is from Windsor, the latter from Gosport. In con- nection with these journeys on the English and Scottish lines, it is a never-failing practice for the head ofiicers of the railway companies to accom- pany her Majesty's train over the whole length of the respective lines; but with respect to the London and North Western Railway, as that com- pany not only supplies the saloons and vehicles composing the train, but also carries out the entire correspondence for organising the details of each of the journeys, it has been the custom of one of its chief officers to accompany the train through- -out its whole course alike from Windsor or from Oosport to Ballater, the railway terminus for Balmoral, and rwr versa. The general manager, Sir George Finlay, has occasionally undertaken this task, but the duty has more generally devolved on Mr. Neele, and in June last he com- pleted his one-hundredth journey in charge of the train on behalf of his company. Upon the fact Scorning known to the Queen she has, through general Sir Henry Ponsonby, presented him with "8,11 elegant massive chiming clock, bearing the fol- lowing inscription on a tablet beneath the dial :— •" Presented by Queen Victoria, Empress of India, to Mr, George Potter Neele, in recognition of the care and attention he has given to her comfort and safctv when travelling on the London and North Western Railway for the last 31 years, 1892." Lord Houghton, the new Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, is four-and-thirty, tall and aristocratic- looking. with regular and refined features, and a mouth which indicates considerable strength of -character. His manner is as affable as his appear- ance is attractive, and he is a great favourite among his associates. He is better read than the majority of the members of the peerage, and has published a volume of verse, which is, however, not considered equal to the poems written by his lather, the late Mr. Monckton Milnes, the first Lord Houghton. The baronets are decidedly the most interesting group on the Honours' List," and include three aiewspaper proprietors—Captain G. C. Armstrong, of the Globe Mr. Levy Lawson, of the Daily Tele- graph and Mr. John Jaffray, of the Birminqham p¡t,¡t. The Globe is supposed to be closely iu -touch with the Conservative party. Lord Idde- -slei«ii was said at one time to have been part proprietor .and the late Mr. W.H.Smith was always credited with a. considerable financial interest in the association journal, the People. It was to the trlohe that Maroin took the copy of the famous Anglo-Russian Agreement in 1878. the publication of which caustd such a sensation but that was long ago, and Lord Salisbury has forgotten and forgiven much since then. Mr. Levy Lawsins Jjaronetcy has been expected for a long time. Royalty has smiled on his efforts on more than one occasion. When his new office in Fleet-street was opened he succeeded in getting the Prince of Wales to visit it; and when on the occasion of the Jubilee he entertained many thousands of London Chil- dren in Hyde Park, her Majesty graced the gather- iao- with her presence. Mr. Le wson's great ambi- tion is said to be to found a county family, and to county families baronetcies are always a valuable acquisition. The great mark made bp the work of the Bir- txinqltn >» Poxt on the political complexion of the Midlands is justly recognised in the baronetcy con- ferred upon its proprietor, Mr. Jaffray. He entered the office of the P»xt over a quarter of a eeiitury ago, in a very humble capacity, and is now acknowledged as one of the very richest men ia the Midlands—as standing, in this respect, on a far higher pedestal than Mr. Chamberlain and he has been a great benefactor to Birmingham and the surrounding district. I suppose it would be high treason to say that Mr. Gladstone is not the most tractable of Premiers, Verv likely he is too earnest, too sincere, too little of the courtier. I won't say that in these respects he differs from Lord Beaconsfield. but I think it ■may be asserted, without fear of contradiction, that no Prime Minister in Her Majesty's later Tears acquired so much influence over her as did the great Tory Statesman. That was the more strange because the Prince Consort entertained a most °profound distrust of Mr. Disraeli which the Queen may have naturally been disposed to share. And her great party leader-to whom the Queen did not take kindly, but whom she grew at last to respect, was Lord Palmerston. He ruffled her feel- ings on more than one occasion, and once paid for his indiscretion by prompt dismissal from office by Lord John iiussell, and he always said that Her Majesty was very difficult to manage. In her earliest years Lord Melbourne was her great pet and Sir Robert Peel's first difficulty when he was called upon to form an administration was a dis- pute with the Queen about her right to appoint the Mistress of the Robes and the Ladies of the Bedchamber. By-and-bye there was another difference as to the part the Prince Consort should take in the interviews between the Queen and the Prime Minister, but eventually Peel had his way. The natural gratification with which Mr. Gladstone finds himself again Prime Minister of England is mild in comparison with the intense joy evinced by Mrs. Gladstone at her husband's success. Only when the biography of the present Premier comes to be written by one competent to deal with his private as well as his public life will it be fully understood how enormous is the debt wl:ich he owes to his indefatigable wife, whose whole energies are absorbed in the furtherance of schemes for his public and private welfdre, and whose ambition in even grater than his own.

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