Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

1 article on this Page

INTRODUCTORY.

News
Cite
Share

INTRODUCTORY. Sixty glorious years have sped since Victoria the NVell beloved 'as Dr. Brewer, of "Phrase and Fable" renown, felicitously sought to style our gracious Sovereign was called to sway the sceptre of Britain, to rule the vast and mighty realm on which somewhere the sun is always shining. Three of her Majesty's predecessors have reigned for upwards of half a century. Edward III., the victor of Cr,'cy, was six months more than that period on the throne. The feeble rule of the third Henry extended over 56 years while her Majesty's grandfather, George III.. was King first in fact and then in name only, for 59 years and 90 days. Queen Victoria's illustrious reign is all the more remarkable when it is remembered that for many years Henry III. was a minor and George III. out of his mind, so that a Regency had to be appointed in both those cases. But the Queen was just of the Royal legal age when she succeeded her uncle in 1837, and has never for a single day handed over the reins of power to a Regent. Even now her Majesty is not either the oldest Sovereign in English history —a distinction which still belongs to George III., who died in his 82nd year- or in Europe, for the King of Denmark is her senior in point of age. Nor has she yet eclipsed the records of Louis XIV. of France, who was nominally 72 years on the throne of Alfonso I., the first King of Por- tugal, who under one title or another reigned 73 years. Two other European monarchs of bygone times have for length of sovereignty rivalled her Majesty. Christian IV., of Denmark, the head of the Protestant League during the Thirty Years' War. was King for 60 years and an early Spanish potentate, James I. of Aragon, a contemporary of our Henry III., exceeded by three years this ex- tended period. Two Chinese rulers can also claim the distinction of having reigned longer than the Queen, and it is curious to note that in their case, as in that of her Majesty and George III., the two record reigns were those of a grandfather and his grandchild. There is happily no reason apparent to the human eye, however, why Queen Victoria should not in time surpass even these achieve- ments. For the Queen's health at 78, thanks to Heaven's blessing and her own good life, is better than that of many persons much younger. That she may be reigning far into the 20th century is the earnest and sincere wish of all her multi- tudinous loyal and devoted subjects. The glorious tale is being told now of the mighty march of events which have done so much to make the last 60 years a memorable period in the annals of the British Empire. But above and beyond the clash of armies and the strife of parties, which have lent life and movement to our era, appears the great cen- tral personal fact of the Queen's sovereignty; the reign of a good and noble woman, which by the sheer force of its beneficent influence has made so powerfully for the elevation of the English people. It is trite to say that the Queen, alike in budding girlhood, in happy wifehood, in sorrowing widow- hood. has set an example which all women wuuld do well to imitate; but it is trite only because it is true. The difficulties which lay in the social, the political, and the constitutional paths which the Queen had to tread, especially in the early days of her reign, were heavy indeed. Called from the quiet of an ideal peaceful home to take her place at the head of a proud and powerful nation, her instinct for right has never been at fault. With unerring perception, as a discerning and sympathetic writer has happily phrased it, she distinguished true from false statesmanship, the real leaders of her people along the way of consti- tnt ional progress from those who pandered to fao- tion, and shaped their polioy merely to win the empty clamour of applause. Yet the keenest critic cannot in justice say that her Majesty ever deviated one hair's breadth from the right line of conduct marked out for the truly constitutional ruler. Firmly resolved to mairtain the privileges of the Crown in relation to the acts of her Ministers as witness her dignified rebuke of the veteran Palmerston, when ar. Foreign Secretary he acted without full deference to the wishes of his Eover, ign-the Queen has always interpreted aright and never once by word or act so t to interfere with the will of the nation. Britons gone have with pardonable ;.i-ide spoken of "the spacious age of great Elizabeth"; but our pos- terity will assuredly cherish with a loftier and justergratitude memories of the enduring grandeur of the era of Victoria the Good. THB QUEEN'S BI .TH AND CHILDHOOD. Briefly, before passing to the consideration of her benign reign, a e must glance at the child- hood of our Queen Her Majesty was born on the 24th of May, 1M9, in the unpicturesque old red-brick palace o* Kensington, four years after Napoleon had fallen before the foremost captain of his time" at far-famed Waterloo, and at a moment when iingland was smarting under the heavy cost of iong, sanguinary wars abroad, and suffering sullenly the distresses incident to years of misgovernment at honie-arising in the main from the want of a wise, firm hand at the head of affairs. Poor old George the Third's protracted mental nfPictions and the pleasure-loving proclivi- ties of the Prince Regent wei e in some way answerable for a ruling system which had little real regard for the welfare of the people and small sympathy with tht-ir wants and wishes. A better day waf in store, but its grey dawn was hardly visible ;hen the baby Princess, who was destined to see the full splendour of its glorious noontide, was born to the Duke and Duchess of Kent at Kensington. The Duke, the fourth of the third George's sons, was infinitely a better man than any of his brothers, and he was blessed with an estimable consort in the Saxe-Coburg Princess, Victoria Mary. He was spared to witness but the seven short opening months of his daughter's life, and there were many chances of other children coming to his elder brothers and barring the Princess N ictoria's succession to his father's throne. Yet the Duke had a strangely strong presentiment that his own little one would ultimately become Queen of England. Happily hti was right. Alluding to her own early widowhood and the fatherlessness of her in., fant, the gentle Duchess of Kent wrote later We stood alone, almost friendless and unknown in this country. I could not even speak the language of it. I did not hesitate how to act. I gave up my home. my kind ed, and ott.er duties, to devote myself to a duty which was to be the sole object of my future life." Right nobly did the Duchess adhere to her re- solution For full 41 years her only object seemed to be to w tch over the career of the daughter left in her charge. And the loving mothers care was well rewarded in the wealth of devotion displayed towards her by her illustrious offspring, whose happiest years she saw and closely shared. One of the first glimpses we get of the infant Princess Victoria-she had been christened Ale andrina (after the Emperor of Russia) Victoria and her mother is in a letter written by Wilberforce, the emancipator, to his friend Hannah More. He says "Inconsequence of a very civil message from the Duchess of Kent. I waited on her this morning. She receive.i me with her fine animated child on the floor by her side with its playthings, of which I soon became one. She was very civil. She apologised for not speaking English well enough to talk it; but intimated a hope that she might speak it better and longer with me at some future time." When only about three years of age the Princess Victoria was thrown out of a pony chaise in Kensington gardens, and narrowly escaped being crushed beneath the wheels. But providentially a soldier caught at her dress just in time, and swung her into safety. Very simple was the life of the Duchess of Kent and her two child, en at Kensington. The elder cliild and half- sister of our Queen was Princess ieodore, a daughter of the Duchess by her former and far less happy marriage with the Prince of Feodore was ten years the senior of Victoria.' At eight in summer, the family party met at break- fast-Princess Victoria had her bread and fiiut and niilli on a little table by her mother s side. After breakfast the two Princesses would walk or drive for an hour. l'i ox-n ten to twelve Princess Victo ia received instruction from her mother, and would then run about cr amuse herself with her toys in the suite of rooms that formed two tides of t palace. Sp rac on the happy days t-l otilahood, madtfr c'¡;,rlul tuition wfetohed iffir ¡¡1'd by ,) wuiouc 1\1,. of a good mothei. It was not until Feb- ruary, 1831, that the Princess Victoria made her first appearance at Court. "We can, without dlfticulty," wrote Miss Tytler, "call up the girlish figure in the pure white dress, the soft, open face, the fair hair, the candid blue eyes, the frank lips, slightly apart, showing the white pearly teeth." It cannot be doubted, as a gifted living historian says, that the Princess Victoria was trained for intelligence and goodness, and that prudence and economy were pressed on her as though she had been born to be poor. Mr. Greville teils us in his famous Diary that the young Princess was kept in strict seclusion by her mother. Considering the thoroughly corrupting influence of the Courts both of George IV. and William IV., the Duchess was justified in keeping the young Princess as free as possible of i!s contamination. Kept f ee she was; and the result was the severity and simplicity of the Victo ian as opposed to the Georgian Court. On being tolu. after her twelfth birthday had passed, of the pro- bability of her coming queenship, the Princess Victoria, according to her governess, the liaroness Lehzen, said emphatically and gravely, I will be good; I understand not why \ou urged me so much to learn even J atin. My aunts Augusta and Mary never did; but you told me Latin is the foundation of English grammar and of all the elegant expressions, and I learned it as you wished it. but I understand all Letter now, and I will be good." Good she was, in giiihood; bright presage of the good that has ruled her Royal life. Calmly with her the years ran on, though all the land was shaken therein by successive bursts of political storms and stress. She fitted herself, by every needful accomplishment, for the high estate to which she was called. THE GIRL-QUEEN. Few figures in modern history hare more romantic interest than that ot the girl-Queen Victoria. 1 be story of her accession has been rendered familiar, but it must here have re-telling. William IV. died at Windsor at two o clock in the morning of June 20, 1837. The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord Chamberlain set out for Kensington Palace, where the young Princess was sleeping. In those days it took three hours to get from Windsor to Kensington riding post haste. It was five o'clock in the morning, therefore, when the Archbishop and the Lord Chamberlain arrived. "1hey knocked (relates Miss Wynn, in her diary), they rang, they thumped for a considerable time before they could rouse the porter at the gate. They were again kept waiting in the courtyard, then turned into one of the lower rooms, where they seemed forgotten by everybody. They rang the bell, and desired that the attendant of the Princess Victoria might be sent to intorm her Royal Highness that they requested an audience on business of importance. After another delay, and another ringing to inquire the cause, the attendant was summoned, who stated that the Princess was in such a sweet sleep that she could not venture to disturb her. Then they said, We are come on business of State to the Queen (a fine touch this), and even her sleep must give way to that." It did, and to prove that she did not keep them waiting, in a few minutes she came into the room in a loose white nightgown and shawl, her nightcap thrown off, and her hair falling upon her shoulders, her feet in slippers, tears in her eyes, but perfectly collected and dignified." And when the young Queen retired to her mother's apartment, having been proclaimed Sovereign, she held that conversation and made that request of which the world afterwards heard with so much sympathy: "lean scarcely believe, mamma, that I am really Queen of England. Can it indeed be so?" "You are really Queen, my child," replied the Duchess of Kent. 11 Listen how your sub- jects cheer your name in the streets and cry to God to bless you." In time," said her Majesty, I shall, perhaps, become accustomed to this too great and splendid state. But, since I am Sove- reign, let me, as your Queen, have to-day my first wish. Let me be quite alone, dear mother, for a long time." And that memorable day Victoria passed the first hours of her reign on her knees praying to Heaven for herself and for her people. A PIOUS PROCLAMATION. The young Queen, in her first proclamation to her people, after announcing the fact of her acces- sion, went on to say, This awful responsibi ity is imposed upon me so suddenly and at so early a period of my life that I should feel myself utterly oppressed by the burden were I not sus- tained by the hope that Pivine Providence, which has called me to the work, will give me strength for the performance of it. and that I shall find in the purity of my intentions, and in my zeal for the public welfare, that support and those re- sources which usually belong to a more mature age and to long experience. Educated in England under the tender and enlightened care of a most affectionate mother, I have learned from my in ancy to respect and love the constitution of my native coun ry." And here it is not unfitting to note the noble and beautiful answer which the Queen gave, long afterwards, to an African prince, who sent an embassy, with costly presents, and asked her in return to tell him the secret of England's greatness and England's glory. Her Ma ;esty made no reference to the ambassador of her army, her far reaching commercial power, nor the wealth of her land but, handing him a beautifully bound copy of the Bible, she said, Tell the Prince that this is the secret of England's great- ness." THE QUEEN'S FIRST COUNCIL. A Prhy Council was summoned for eleven o'clock at Kensington Palace on the morning of Accession Day. At that hour the young Queen entered the chamber with her mother, accompanied by the great officers of State. A very graphic picture of this historic assembly was given by the cynical yet sentimental diarist, Greville, who wrote It was very extia- ordinaiy, and something far beyond what was looked for. Her extreme youth end ineNperience and the ignorance of the world concerning her, naturally escited intense curiosity to see how she would act on this trying occasion, and there was a considerable assemblage at the palace, notwith- standing the short notic. which was given. The first thing to be done was to teach her her lesson, which for this purpose Melbourne had himself to learn. She bowed to the lords, took her seat, and then read her Speech in a clear, distinct, and audible voice, and without any appearance of fear or embarrassment. She was quite plainly dressed, and in mourning. After she had read her Speech, and faktn and signed the oath for the security of the Church of Scotland, the Privy Councillors were sworn, the two lioyal dukes first by themselves and as these two old men, her uncles, knelt before her, swearing allegiance and kissing her hand, I saw her blush up to the eyes as if she felt the contrast between their civil and their natural relations, and this was the only sign of emotion which she evinced. Her manner to them was very graceful and engaging; she kissed them both and rose from her chair, and moved toward the Duke of Sussex, who was f rthest from her, and too infirm to reach her. he seemed rather bewildered at the mu titude of men who were sworn, and who came one after anothe to kiss her hand, but she did not speak to anybody, nor did she make the slightest difference in her manner, or show any in her countenance to any individual of any rank, station, or party. I particularly watched her when Melbourne and the Ministers and the Duke of Wellington and Peel approached her. She went through the whole ceremony, occasionally looking at Melbourne for instruction when she had any doubt what to do, which ha- dly ever occurred, and with perfect calmness and self-possession, but at the same time with a graceful modesty and pro- priety particularly interesting and ingratiating This impressive simplicity, naturalness, and grace combined with genuine strength of character, won the hearts of the whole country. From the first the Queen's personal popularity was unexampled. R9YAL PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT. p Having quitted Kensington and taken up he* abode at Buckingham Palace, which had thereto been rarelv used as a Hoyal residence, the Queen on the I, f," of Julv following her accession went in State to personally prorogue Parl.ament Her Maesty was received with mId applause on her wav and her first appearance in the House oi Lor.Is as Sovereign naturally evoked dceP In her speech which w,s read w.th great d stn'C^ ness, she announced her determination to pieswe all the rights of her subjects, and then sne solemnlv added, "I ascend the throne with a oeep sense of the responsibility which is imposed upon me, but I am supported by the consciousness oi my own right intentions, and by my dependence on the protection of Almighty Uod." Miss fanny Kemble. who was present, has thus recorded her impressions of this memorable seciie The Queen was not handsomo, but very pretty, and the singu- larity of her great position lent a sentimental and poetical charm to her youthful face and figure. The serene, serioss swiftness of her candid brow and clear &o:t eyes gave dignity to the girlish caunten&fta'o, tvhiis tea want o2 fcmefet Oftbr to th's tffs-st of youth of the round but slender person, and grace- fully moulded hands and a ms. The Queen a Toice was exquisite, nor have I ever heard any spoken words more musical in their gentle dis- tinctness than 'My Lords and Gentlemen,' which broke the breathless silence of the illustrious assembly, whose gaze was riveted on that fair flower of Royalty. The enunciation was as t er- fect as the intonation was melodious, and I think it is impossible to hear a more excellent utterance than that of the Queen's English by the English Queen." Her Majesty's first entry into Windsor Castle as its mistress took place in the month following, when there was a grand military review in the great park. On the 2tth of November the Queen opened Parliament. REPROVING A STATESMAN. Boon after the Court first went to Windsor, a certain noble Minister was somewhat nonplussed by her Majesty. The right hon. gentleman arrived at a late hour on Saturday night at the Castle, and informed the Queen that he had brought down some documents of great importance for her in- spection, but that as they would require to be examined in detail he would not'encroach on her Majesty's time that night, but would request her attention the next mo ning. To-morow is Sun- day, my lord," said the Queen. True, your Majesty, but business of the State will not admit of delay." The Queen then consented to attend to the papers after church the next morning. The nobleman was somewhat surprised that the subject of the sermon next day turned out to be the duties and obligations of the Chris- tian Sabbath. "How did your lordship like the sermon?' asked the Queen on their return from church. Very much indeed, your Majesty," was the reply. 11 Well, then," said the Queen, I will not conceal from you that last night I sent the clergyman the text from which he pr ached. I hope we shall all be improved by the sermon." The day passed, as may naturally be guessed, without another word being said about the State papers, until at night when the party was breaking up, the Queen said to the Minister, To-morrow morning, my lord, at any hour you please as early as seven, my lord, if you like, we will look into the papers." His lordship said be would not think )f intruding upon her Majesty so early as that, And he thought nine o'clock would be quite early enough. "No, no, my lord," said the Queen, "as the papers are of importance, I should like them to be attended to very early; however, if you wish it to be nine, be it so." EARLY IMPRESSIONS OF THE QUEEN. An interesting word-picture of the Queen as shown in the first year of her reign was given by Lord Campbell, who was one of the guests at a dinner given at Buck- ingham Palace. He thus writes: "The little Queen was exceedingly kind to me, and she had heard from the Duchess of Gloucester that I had the most beautiful children in the world. She asked me how many we had, and when she heard teven, seemed rather appalled. She seems in per- itihit MAJESTY QUEEN VICTORIA. feet health. and is as merry and playful as a kitten." The artist Wilkie has also left us his impressions of the Sovereign: "She is eminently beautiful, her features nicely formed, her skin smooth, her hair worn close to her face in a most simple way, glossy and clean-looking. Her manner, though trained to act the Sovereign, is yet simple and natural. She has all the decision, thought, and self-possession of a Queen of old r years, has all the buoyancy of youth, and from the smile to the unrestrained laugh, is a perfect child." THE CORONATION. It was a great day in Britain when Queen Vic- toria was crowned in the stately abhey of West- minster on June 28, 1838. With customary pomp and circumstance her Majesty was duly seated upon the mighty throne of all the rralm, a throne broad based upon the people's will." The magnificent ceremonial has been repeatedly pic- tured by pen and pencil in full detail; and it must here suffice to say that all went well at the aus- picious function, and that when, at its close, Princes and nobles were approaching the throne in their turns to pay homage to their young Sovereign, an incident occurred which showed her kindly consideration. Mr. Greville relates that "Lord Rolie, who was between eighty and ninety, fell down as he was getting up the steps of the throne. Ht-r first impulse was to rise, and when afterwards he came again to do homage, she said, I May I not get up nnd meet him ?' and then rose from the throne and advanced down one or two of the steps to prevent his coming up, an act of graciousness and kindness which made a great sensation." But the act was characteristic of the Queen. The English regalia is now kept in the Tower of London, and consists of the following The crown of Queen Victoria, resplendent with diamonds, having on the cross the inestimable sapphire, and in the front the heart shaped ruby said to have belonged to the Black Prince. S. Edward's crown. of gold, embellished with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, pearls, and sapphires. The Prince of Wales's crown of pure gold, unadorned with Jewels, The ancient Queen's crown, used at coronations of the Queen Consort. The Queen's diadem, adorned with diamonds and pearls, which was made for Maria d'i ste, the consort of Jaines Th Edward's staff of pure gold, 4ft. Tin. long, i sceptre with the cross, which is placed in the Sovereign s hand,at the coronttion, by thePrimate. The sceptre with the dove. The Queen's sceptre. There are several other articles of gold and silver, including the Coronation spoon. The present regalia is but a small portion of what it used to be. In ib-o the first dispersion of the Crown jewel took place, when Charles I. pawned a portion of the I egalia to Holland, in order to raise money for his war with Spain. The remainder of the jewels was in 1644, in conformity with an order of the House of Commons, consigned to the crucible. Thus unique jewels were destroyed without mercy, and the produce employed to buy horses. One of the moss beautiful spoons now in existence is that kncw,n as the Coronation spoon. Although the d&ta of thia cannot be accurately detsrasia^d, it is *upr;os'$i td of th'a tv.olfth «thr.'tea*f{a» century. It is made of silver gilt, with four pearls on the lower part of the handle the bowl is ele- gantly ornamented with an engraved arabesque pattern and the handle is also well moulded. This spoon is used to hold the oil for anointing the Sovereign at the Coronation, and is now kept with the regalia in the Tower of London. THE QUEEN'S FIRST ADVISEllS. For the period immediately succeeding her 30- cession the Queen relied chiefly upon the advice of Lord Melbourne, who proved himself to be a most judicious counsellor. But in May, lSoO. the Whig Government was defeated and resigned office. Sir Robert Peel was sent for, and now ensued a strange political embroglio. Before Sir Robert Peel would accept office as Premier he de- manded the removal of those ladies from her Majesty's household who held the higher offices. The Queen, on the advice of Lord John Russell, replied that she could not consent to a course which she conceived to be contrary to usage, and was repugnant to her feelings." In the end Lord Melbourne's Ministry was reinstated. the Opposi- tion were much exasperated, and it was some time before the political ill feeling en- gendered by this incident subsided. But the forerunner of many important reforms of the reign came to the people when penny postage was inaugurated in January. 1840. it has often been said that her Majesty constantly sur- prises her Ministers by her extraordinary memory of the course of public affai s. With what industry this knowledge has been systematically acquired niny be judged from this passage in Greville: Clarendon told me that the Baroness Leh/en had told him long ago that the Queen kept a ournal, in which she entered everything remarkable that came under her notice, with her owi. obcrvations and thoughts thereupon, and that after every important debate she consulted all the news- papers, and taking what appeared to her the best reports of the most remarkable speeches, she made a precis from them of the whole." It may justly be said that one of the highest qualities is the courage to acknowledge c, ror, and perhaps there is nothing in Greville's record of a sovereign whom he judged at first hand, and without any of the adulteration of the courtier, more striking than his homage to this particular gift. Lord John Russell told Greville that he had asked the Queen whether in the Bed- chamber question at the outset of her reign, she had been advised by somebody to act as she did; to which she replied with great candour and naivete, 'No, it was entirely my own foolish- ness. "This is the first time," comments Greville, "I have heard of her acknowledging that it was foolishness,' and it is an avowal creditable to her sense." THE COMING OF THE CONSORT. Her cousin, Prince Albert of Faxe-Coburg and Gotha, came on a visit to the Queen at Windsor in the autumn of 18:m. He was a prince of blame- less life and frank and winning ways, gifted with a handsome presence. It was a case of love at first Bight, and, as became her exalted position, having satisfied herself that the affection was mutual, it remained for her Majesty to make the first tender c'eclaration. Greville wrote that when the Queen announced her betrothal to the Council, her bands trembled so excessively that I wonder she was able to read the paper whi h the held." The previous day the Queen met the Duchess of Gloucester and told her about the coming declaration. The Duchess asked her if it was not a nervous thing to do? the said, Yes but I did a much more nervous thing a little while ago." What was that P" I proposed to Prince Albert." HER MAJESTY'S MARRIAGE. The Queen, in opening Parliament in January, 1840, announced her forthcoming marriage, and the interesting message was received with lively satisfaction by the people everywhere. The wed- ding took place in the Chapel Hoyal. St. James's, on the luth of the month following. Her Majesty wore a beautiful bridal gown of white satin, trimmed with orange blossoms, and a magnificent veil of lace while Prince Albert was attired in the imposing uniform of a British field marshal; and when the simple service was over the happy Royal couple were greeted by the thunder of guns in the park and from the Tower, which was almost drowned by the thunderous cheer of the street" which went up from countless thousands of loyal throats. More than a century had elapsed since the nup- tials of a reigning Queen of this country had been celebrated, a fact of sufficient historical moment to make the event one which would have com- manded universal attention and interest, even if national affection towards our Sovereign had not been so very deep. His Hoyal Highness Prince Albert arrived at Buckingham Pala e the previous day at half-past four o'clock. The Prince was ac- companied by their Serene Highnesses the Duke and Prince Ernest of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, and was attended by Viscount Torrington. On his arrival the gates, that are never unfolded for the egress of any person of humbler claims than the Sovereign of the realm and suite, were flung open for his admittance, and he was received with all the honours that were due to the bridegroom- elect of the maiden Majesty of England. Her Majesty, accompanied by the Duchess of Kent, received his Royal Highness; a Court 'V8 subse- quently formed, when the Prince took the neces- sary oath. At an interview on the eve of the mar- riage the Archbishop of Canterbury inquired of the Queen if it were her wish that any alteration should be made in that portion of the service appointed in the Liturgy for the solemnisation of matrimony, which includes the promise of obedience"—a "needless phrase" add.- Sir John PhiHppa t. "it might be presumed, for the fflir Sovereign of Great Britain to plight to her uewiy- natuialised subject. Prince Albert who had so recently taken the oath of allegiance to her as his liege lauv." Her Majesty replied with great sweetness. ^That it was her wish to be married in all respects like any other woaiaa, asecrdiug to the i«>verad ucago 6f the Church of 14. mi that though noi m G m < ;,jJc.1 she was ready to promise all things contained in that portion of the Liturgy. As soon as the morn- ing dawned the cannon bellowed forth their salute ot the day u; on which the young Queen was to wed the man of her choice. Space does not admit an adequate description of the gaiety of the sctne, The Archbishop of Canterbury officiated, anj He Bishop of London made the responses. 1 hE service over, the Duke of Sussex kissed liei Majesty on the chelr, and the Queen, stepping across to the other side of the altar, siznilarl3 saluted the Queen-Dowager. The attestation oj the marriage was signed by the Duke of Sussex and afterwards o(J othsr signatures were ap pended. Her Majesty wore at her wedding an armlet, having the motto of the Gartei HiJni &oit qui vial y pense inscribed upon it. bin also wove the Star of the Order. The lace of th( bridli dress, though popularly called Honiton lace was really wo: ked at the village of Beer, which ii situated near the sea coast, about ten miles fron Honiton. It was executed under the direction ol Miss bidney, a native of the village, who wenf from London at the command of her Majesty foi the express purpose of superintending the work More than 200 persons were employed upon ll from March to November during the preceding year. Those poor women derived a verv scant) subsistence from making lace, but this trade had so declined that had it not been for the kind con sideration of her Majesty in ordering this dress they would have been destitute during the winter, Their g atitude was boundless. The lace which formed the flounce of the dresi measured four yards, and was a (fuarter of a varc in depth. The pattern was a rich and exquisitelj tasteful design drawn expressly for the purpose surpassing anything that had ever been executed either in England or in Brussels. So anxious waf the manufacturer that her Ma esty should ha'e a dress perfectly un que, that after the completior of the lace she destroyed all the designs. Tin veil. of the same material, was made to corre- spond, and afforded employment to the'poor lace- workers for more than six weeks. It measured a yard and a half square. Greville was much touched by the Queen's bear- ing at the wedding She went through th. cere mony with much grace and propriety, not without emotion, though sufficiently subdued, and het manner to her family was very pretty and becoming: But the Clerk of the Council was offended by the extreme simplicity of the start for the honeymoon "Upon leaving Buckingham Pala e for Windsoi the and her young husband were pretty well received; but they went off in a very poor and Bliabhy style. Instead of the new chariot in which most married people are accustomed to dast along, they were in one of the old travelling coaches, the postilions in undress liveries, and with a small escort, three coaches with post-horset following. The crowds in the road were so great that they did not reach the castle till eighi o'clock From thenceforward to his all too earl) death Prince Albert was a bright, helpful, and noble presence by the side of his augusf spouse, aiding with high intelligence in all good works for the uplifting of her subjects, and sharing, as far as might be in all the cares of State. A note of Grev'Jle's written in 16-tf) shows how great tht influence of the Prince Consort over the Queen had then grown. Lord Lansdowne and Lord John Russell went to Windsor the other day. The first novelty that struck them was the manner of their recep- tion. All is changed since they went out of office. Formerly the Queen received her Ministers alone; with her alone they communicated, though of course Prince Albert knew everything; but now the Queen and Prince were together, received Lord Lansdowne and Lord John Russell together, and both of them always said \Yc—' We think, or wish to do so and so; what had tee better do ?' &c. The Prince is become so identified with the Queen that they are one person, and as he likes business it is obvious that, while she has the title, he is really discharging the functions of the Sovereign. He is hing to all intents and pur- poses." The Royal pair were very happy in their mutual love, and were gifted with similar tastes and accomplishments. They sang and played together, drew and painted together; then there was business to be transacted with Ministers, and various social duties-all faithfully discharged. PRINCE ALBERT. The Prince Consort identified himself with the art, scientific, litera y, philosophical, and philan- thropical movements of B, itain, and soon became esteemed as a leading light in intellectual and educational circles. He got on very well generally also in political111atte"s with the Queen's advisers, with one notable exception. This was the famous Lord Palmerston, between whom there was for 15 years what might be called a personal feud. The dispute was la, gely due to Palmerston's strong views of his rights as Foreign Minister. The Queen claimed the power of seeing, and, if needs be, revising, the despatches to Foreign Ministers, and this was a right which Palmerston would never concede. The Prince Consort naturally took the same view as the Queen, and therefore as cordially hated Palmerston. And there was personal irreconcilability as well as public between the two men. Palmerston was a Minister who kept racehorses and had at his command a nood store of very blunt vernacular. Moreover, his frivolity appeared (as Mr. R. B. Brett says in his interesting work, The Yoke of Empire unpardonable in the Germanic eyes of the Prince, and his policy as frivolous and hand- to mouth as his morals. When I was a young man," Palmerston used to say, the Duke of Wel- lington made an appointment with me at half-past seven in the morning; and I was asked, V% fly, Palmerston, how will you contrive to keep that engagement ?' Oh,' I said, of course, the easiest thing in the world; I shall keep it the last thing before I go to bed! These were not the habits, and badinage was not the tone. of the young Court. And yet. the Prince was constrained to give Palmerston some of the admi- riitioa which the veiaran obtained from every body el&e. for, Bays lr. JEfreit, he oould" admire, as • d;d. th* ,Õ&t phyeicfei Victor of » f,i. Minister who, when 70 years old, could row on the Thames before breakfast, or swim m the river like an Fton boy; or who, when nearly SO, was able to ride from I ondon to Fat row and back in one dav." But Palmerston had what the late Lord Houghton used to call a ha-ha and laissez-faire" manner, and this ill-suited the serious-minded Prince. SHOTS AT THE SOVEREIGN. It does indeed seem strange that a Queen so beloved by her people have so many times been the target, for madmen to shoot at. There is some comloit, in thinking that as a rule her assailants were ma-a. A morbid love of notoriety rather than any personal enmity appears to have prompted these attempts. There is, however, abundant cause for thankfulness in remembering that the same PrOTidenuj -which had already saved her on several occasion. from imminent danger still guarded our beloved Queen from the bullets of assassins. It need olv be added that on the six or eeven occasions retted to (ranging from 1&40 to# 18bi!) the Queen delayed calm presence of mind. On one occasion vhcn an attempt was- expected she prevented an) of her ladies from riding in the carriage with her. Another time, her f:rst thought after the occurrnce was of her mother s anxiety, and she drove ut once to Cam- bridge House to forestall any exaggerated reports. Happily no injury in any case came to her Majesty. ROVAL BABES. TIe first of the Royal babies who came to gladden the home life of the Qneen was the Princess 1 o al (now Empress Frederick of Ger- many), who was born on November :!1, 18-10. Very touchingly has the Queen told her people of Prince Albert's care and assiduity in her time of weakness. "Dutingthetitne I was laid up," she says, his care and devotion v.ere quite beyond expression." No one but himself ever lifted her from her bed to the sofa and he always help d to wheel her on her bed or sofa into the next room. The Queen tells us that not only on this first occasion, but also in all her subsequent confine- ments, there could not have been a kinder, wiser, or more judicious nurse." The Prince of Wales was born on November 9, 1841, at 48 minutes past ten in the morning. The precise time gave rise to a curious dispute in the Guards. "It has been the custom (says Greville) for the officer on guard at St. James's Palace to be pro- moted to a majority when a Royal child is born. The guard is relieved at 4o minutes after ten. At that hour the new guard marched into the palace yard, and at 48 minutes a ter ten the child was born. The question arises, which officer is entitled to the promotion, the officer of the fresh guard claiming it because the relief marched in before the birth and the keys were delivered to him; but the other officer claims it because the sentries had not been ch.nged when the child was actually born, his men were still on guard and he disputes the fact of the deli t et-y of the keys, arguing that in all probability this had not occurred ut the moment of the birth." The case was solemnly adjudged, and the old guard won. More important disputes arose over the young Prince's dignities and armori.1 bearings, the Queen showing her usual tenancity in such matters. She wished to have the arms of Saxony quartered with those of England, on the ground that Prince Albert was Duke of Saxony. The Heralds objected to the Saxon a' ms. The Queen replied by gazetting the infant Prince with the ducal title of his father, and carried her point about the coat of arms. Then there was trouble about the Liturgy. Ought the Prince to be styled His Hoyal Highness in the prayer for the Royal Family ? This was conceded, but it is a curious fact that the Archbishop of Canterbury objected to Royal Highness before the Prince Consort's name. The Princess Alice was born in 1843, in 1844 Prince Alfred (now Duke of Saxe Coburg), in 1846 Princess Helena (Princess Christian), in 1818 Princess Louise (now Marchioness of Lome), in 1850 Prince Arthur (Duke of Connaught), in 1853 Prince Leopold (who died at Cannes in 1884), and in 1857 Princess Beatrice (now the widow of Prince Henry of Battenberg. A glimpse of the Royal nursery when its only occupants were the two elder children is given by Miss Tytler, who wrote: They would stand still and quiet in the music room to hear the Prince-father discourse sweet sounds on his organ and the Queen-mother sing with one of her ladies. The small people furnished a never-ending series of me' ry anecdotes. Now it was the little Princess, a quaint tiny figure in 'dark blue velvet and white shoes and yellow kid gloves' keeping the nurseries alive with her sports, showing off the new frocks 6he had got as a Christmas box from her grand- mamma, the Duchess of Kent, and bidding Miss Liddell put one on. Now it was the Queen offend- ing the dignity of her little daughter by calling her Missy,' and being told in indignant tones I am not Missy, I'm the Princess Royal.' Or it was Lady Lyttelton, who was warned F. by the dismissal in French from the morsel of Royalty, not quite three, 'Napproclies pas moi. moi ne velit pas vous. Her Majesty exercised extreme care in the choice of those to whom she com- mitted the sacred task of instructing and training her children. The followmg instructions for the governess of the Princess Royal may Le profit- ably lead and thought over by everyone, young or old. "I am quite clear that she should have great reverence for God and for religion: but that she should have the feeling of devotion and love which our Heavenly rather encourages His earthly children to have for Him, and not one of fear and trembling; and that thoughts of death and an after life should not be represented in an alarming and forbidding view; and that she should be made to know as yet no difference of creeds, and not think that she can only pray on her knees, or that those who do not kneel are less fervent or devout in their pra; ers." ROYAL VISITS. The many Royal progresses and tours of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and the popular en- thusiasm that attended them, can only here be glanced at. There was the mero<-rable first visit to Scotland in 1842, then a yachting expedition along the south coast in 1843. in the course of which the Southampton Corporation immor- talised themselves by pulling off their red gowns and spreading them on the pier to make a dry footway for their Queen. After visits to France and Belgium there was a second visit to Scotland in 1844. On this occasion the Poyal party went into rural retirement at Blair Athol, and for a time tried to forget all state and ceremony. The Queen one morning left the grounds.'lost her way, and only regained her tem- porary home by asking directions from some reapers in an oat field and climbing over some palings. There were many Hoyal journeys, State ceremonials, visits of famous personages to Vk indsor, and so forth, that we must pass over. In 1849 the Queen paid her first vigit to Ireland. As she rode through Cork the Queen was delighted to watch the good humoured noisy crowd, the men often raggedly dressed in their blue coats and knee-breeches and blue stockings, the women in their long blue cloaks, and ,I "ith such dark eyes and hair and such fine teeth almo t every third woman was pretty, and some remarkably so." The Irish people were exceedingly delighted with the four Hoyal children. "uh, Queen, dear," one old lady shouted. name one of thim darlints Prince Patrick, and all Ireland will die for ye?" Not many months la er there was a Prince Patrick. During on returning from a visit to Scotland, the Queen vi^ted Liver- pool and Manchester. At the latter city she was delighted with the long rows of miil-workers dressed in their best, ranged along the streets with white rosettes in their button holes." Exigencies of space prevent references to other Royal visits except as they occur incidentally else- where in this necessarily condensed narrative. A TROUBLED TIME. The dark revolutionary year, 1848, shook many European countries to their toundations. The e was dread that f-ngland also might feel its effects, but such disturbances as there were soon passed away. English people, as a rule, think it better to obtain reforms in a constitl1tioOlt..1 m&nner Pro- gress, as has been well said, goes on gradually, instead of coming by means of great convulsions. which. whatever good they may sometimes produce, must necessarily be attended by much of evil, and an infinity of misery. THE GREAT EXHIBITION. The year 1851 was rendered memorable by the Great Exhibition, when, mainly through the per- sistent labours of 1 rince Albert, "all wations" flocked to London to vie in the peaceful rivalries of industry and art. Her Ma.esty could not but take a deep interest in this undertaking. After the opening ceremony she writes. That ice felt happy—thankful—I need not PAY; proud of all that had passed, of my darling ^band's success, of the behaviour of my good peop'e- Alberts name is immortalised." LIFE IX HICH1^8- acquired a spacious new /icd in IJ(11.e Duut at Balmoral anu "eif tiia Prince Alton improvement of the demes gelf de,ighted f(0m the people, and the itiDg the homes of her the first m informally vi so0ljdtJ(i Hjghiand poorer snbjects. IP nhBtacles to her Maiesty valleys ^erf ;n their b^bla dwellings, mingling with them in B*fely indulging her freely talking to them, re & pleasing benevolent with Alf,ed for the picture "A'bert „e occasion), and I day '"J'. th?H « two eirls and Lady rhurchill, talked out with tte two g0ir,e pu->rehases for stopped at the shop and R i,ilj9 goL au4 poor people and other s d ^iBGec-.ott ,Mrs. P. and walked up the hm t; witJl Farquharson 6,, and she whore the Vffor we went into any we met an old woman, wuwj Bi i-s. Farquharson said, was very poor, 86 years old, and mother to the former dis- tiller. I gave her a warm petticoat, and the tears rolled down her old cheeks, and she shook my hand, and prayed God to bless me; it was verv touching. I went into a 6mal) cabin of oid Kitty Fear's, who is So years old, quite erect, and welcomed us with a g-eat air of dignity. She fat down and spun. I gave her also a warm petticoat. She said, 'May the J.ord ever attend you and yours here atid hereafter ;and may the Lord be a guide to ye and keep ye from all harm.' She was quite surprised at ickev's height great interest is taken in her. We went. on to a cottage to visit the old idow Simmons, who is -past, a nice rosy face. but was bent quite double. she was most friendly, shaking hands with us all, asking which was I. and repeating many kind blessings. We went into UJiCe other cottages; to Mrs. Symon's who bad an I unweil boy then across a little burn to another old woman's; and afterwards peeied into illair the fiddler's. We drove bnek, and got out to see o'd Mrs. Grant, who is so tidy and clean, and to whom 1 gave a dress and handke chief. he said, 'You're too kind to me, ye give me more every year, and I get older every year.' Really the affection of tnese poor people, who are so hearty and happy to see you taking an interest in every- thing, is very touching and gratifying." At Hal- moral the Queen in those happy days indulged in her favourite "hobbv" of panting, and received lessons from her favourite artist, clever Sir Edwin Landseer. One picture of the neigh- bourhood by this great psiinter is to this day highly prized by her Ma esty, owing to an amusing circumstance connected with 1 S origin, it is a group showing the Queen in a simple plaid gown, having just risen from her easel, for she had been sketching, near which stands the youthful Princess Ho\al and the still more youthful Prince of Wales, in his little High- land dress. In the centre is a pony laden with deer, and at its head is a sturdy Highlander, cap in hand, his hands on his knees, with an expression half amused and half perplexed on his face. Here is the story. Sir Edwin Landseer was on bis way from the house where he was staying to see his Hoyal pupil at Balmoral, and reaching Loch Laggan, was a little worried which road to take. Catching sight of a man, he bid him hurry round the locli-in the neighbourhood of which he knew the Queen to be and respectf ully tell her he would join her shortly. the man hurried away on his pony. and soon came across a lady, with her two children, sit ig on a huge stone, ith paper, pencils, and other drawing utensils picturesquely sc .ttered upon the grass. u Could you tell me, lady, where may be I shall find the Queen ?" he asked, taking off his cap- "Oh, yes," replied the lady addressed; 1 am the Queen." This so tick'ed the Scotchman who pro- bably had expected to see a crown on her Majesty's head and a sceptre in t er hand, that he gave vent to his feelings by putting his hands on his knees and exclaiming, plainly and simply, (;a, This littie incident delighted the Royal artist, and when Sir Edwin arrived she made him chronicle the event with his pencil. WAR CLOUDS. In 1854 the Crimean War broke out, which lasted for two years. It was the only European war in which England has been engaged during this reign; though there have been wars in Asia. Africa, and New Zealand. Non,, of them wanting in the deeds of bravery and heroic endurance which alone can light up such a gloomy cloud. The Queen's anxiety for her soldiers, her sympathy with the wounded and with the relations or the fallen, have been invariable. Her Majesty wrote strongly to the general in command about the needless privations her soldiers were experiencing through a want of proper care and management. The Queen's anxieties were so great that her health suffered in consequence. All England plunged into sorrow and anxiety by the news of the outbreak of the mutiny in India, which began in May, 1857, and was not entirely suppressed until May, 1858. Terrible massacres and prolonged sieges marked its progress the bright features being heroic endurance, chivalrous devotion to duty, and self abnegation on the side of the English. While, when the first cries of horror were over, it was found that there had not been wanting touching instances of faithfulness on the other side. India was, as the result, placed directly under the government of the Crown, Instead of being administered, as before, by the old "John Company." I, BORP-ow UPON SORROW." The first break in the Queen's happy family Circle ocourred in 1857, when her eldest born, the Princess Royal, left the home-nest to become the bride of manly Prince Frederick illiam of Prussia, afterwards for a brief space before his lamented death Emperor of Germany. But a far greater sorrow was to follow in the spring of 1801. when her Majesty's beloved mother was removed from her side for ever by t' e relentless hand of Death. Although the Duchess of Kent had lived five years beyond the Psalmist's allotted limit, and had long been in failing health, the event was a sad blow to the Queen. Prince Albert wrote She is greatly ut set. and feels her childhood rush back upon her memory with the most vivid force Her grief is extreme. For the last two years her constant care and occupa tion have been to keep watch over her mother's comfort, and the influence of this upon her own character has been most salutary. In body she is well, though teriibly nervous. She remains almost enti; ely alone." Early in December of the same dark year the good 1'rince himself was attacked with low fever, ihe anxio. s Queen still bowed down by the remembrance of her mother's re ent death went through her State duties as one in a dreadful dream.' Sunday, the •- th, saw the Prince in a more dangerous con- L dition. Of this day. one of the Queen's household in a letter written shortly afterwards says, the last Sunday Prince Albert spent on earth was a very blessed one for Princess Alice to look back upon. He was, cry weak and very ill, and she spent the afternoon alone with him, while the others wei e at church. lIe begged to have the sofa drawn to the window, that he might Bee the sky, and the clouds sailing past. He then asked her to play to him, and she went through several of his favourite hymns and chorales. After she had played some time, she looked round and saw him lying back, his hands folded as if in prayer, and his eyes shut, lie lay so long wi. liout moving that she thought he had fallen asleep. Presently he looked up and smiled. She said, "A ere you asleep, dear papa?' 'Oh no!' he answered, only I hale such sweet thoughts.' During his illness, his hands were of en folded in prayer and when he did not speak, his serene face showed that the sweet thoughts were with him to the end." On the afternoon of Saturday, the 1-ith of December, it was evident that the end was near. "Gutes frauclien" < good little wife) were his last loving words to the Queen as he kissed her and then rested his head upon her Bhoulder. A little while afterwards the «.,ucen bent over him and said, -1 Es ist kleins frauchen (It is little w fe); the P, ince evidently knew her, although he could not speak, and bowed his head in response. Without apparent suffering he qi.ictly Bank to rest and towards eleven o clock it was seen that the soul had left its earthly tabernacle and to the abiding grief of all her sorrowing subjects our Queen was left an inconsolable widow. The shadow of her heavy blow has clouded over all her Majesty's later life, fiom which she has sought refuge in assiduous attention to the duties of her home and high affairs of State. At first her then eldest unmarried daughter, Princess Alice, was all to her that a loving child could be, and when that amiable Princess left Lngland at wedlock's call, the younger Princesses in turn filled her place. The Queen erected a beautiful mausoleum in the grounds at Frogmo. e to the memory of the Prince. Thither his remains were transferred from St. G eoi ge's ( Impel at the end of a year. And there every year a memorial service is held on the anni- versary of his death. IHE QUEERS WIDOWHOOD. The leading events most closely concerned with her Majesty a home life which have happened lince the demise <»* v 11—+ tl--i --J passed rapidly in review, ihe Heir Appa -en^, She i'rince of Wales, was married amid much re ioicine in March, 1863, to mo laughter from over the sea" Princess A^aruna af Denmark, a hearts oas since firmly established herse victor of »f the English people Prince A'be t Vietor o Wales was born in the following January, In 1866, the Queen opened Parliament in person for the first time sitic, the Prince Consort's death. Tha-t it was a very trying occasion for her public than dunng J lhe Frince of Uales amiety was felt; but on the annÍ\-ers& yof hia fa her's de.. h, the 14tb Lleceniber, he began to .hluarv, the recover, in the .ion fttended the special Queen, Prince £ r £ £ tJ')e day of National eervice at St. eaui» « inHeed ieally national. XTd^diT rrxS son,*passfid away almost suddenly at ( an es. llo bad never beon strong, but was exceptionally rifted in July, it-1. Princess I-.ntncc, the Queen's youngest child, was mar tied to i Henry of Batterbp-rg, but cid not .es\s ho mo-her. Prince Hen 17 ied the EQgli eipsditisp t Asfcaeti 111 5. &ad dÜid, <,UIL a w .J,