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VICTORIA [ALEXANDRINA VICTORIA]

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Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 33 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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VICTORIA [ALEXANDRINA VICTORIA], Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India (1819-1901), only child of Edward, duke of Kent, fourth son of King George III., and of Princess Victoria Mary Louisa of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (widow of Prince Emich Karl of Leiningen, by whom she already had two children), was born at Kensington Palace on the 24th of May 1819. The duke and duchess of Kent had been living at Amorbach, in Franconia, owing to their straitened circumstances, but they returned to London on purpose that their child should be born in England. In 1817 the death of Princess Charlotte (only child of the prince regent, afterwards George IV., and wife of Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, afterwards king of the Belgians), had left the ultimate succession to the throne of England, in the youngergeneration, so uncertain that the three unmarried sons of George III., the dukes of Clarence (afterwards William IV.), Kent and Cambridge, all married in the following year, the two elder on the same day. All three had children, but the duke of Clarence's two baby daughters died in infancy, in 1819 and 1821; and the duke of Cambridge's son George, born on the 26th of March 1819, was only two months old when the birth of the duke of Kent's daughter put her before him in the succession. The question as to what name the child should bear was not settled without bickerings. The duke of Kent wished her to be christened Elizabeth, and the prince regent wanted Georgiana, while the tsar Alexander I., who had promised to stand sponsor, stipulated for Alexandrina. The baptism was performed in a drawing-room of Kensington Palace on the 24th of June by Dr Manners Sutton, archbishop of Canterbury. The prince regent, who was present, named the child Alexandrina; then, being requested by the duke of Kent to give a second name, he said, rather abruptly, " Let her be called Victoria, after her mother, but this name must come after the other."' Six weeks after her christening the princess was vaccinated, this being the first occasion on which a member of the royal family underwent the operation. In January 182o the duke of Kent died, five days before his brother succeeded to the throne as George IV. The widowed duchess of Kent was now a woman of thirty-four, handsome, homely, a German at heart, and with little liking for English ways. But she was a woman of experience, and shrewd; and fortunately she had a safe and affectionate adviser in her brother, Prince Leopold of Coburg, afterwards (1831) king of the Belgians, who as the husband of the late Princess Charlotte had once been a prospective prince consort of England. His former doctor and private secretary, Baron Stockmar (q.v.), a man of encyclopaedic information and remarkable judgment, who had given special attention to the problems of a sovereign's position in England, was afterwards to play an important role in Queen Victoria's life; and Leopold himself took a fatherly interest in the young princess's education, and contributed some thousands of pounds annually to the duchess of Kent's income. Prince Leopold still lived at this time at Claremont, where Princess Charlotte had died, and this became the duchess of Kent's occasional English home; but she was much addicted to travelling, and spent several months every year in visits to watering-places. It was said at court that she liked the demonstrative homage of crowds; but she had good reason to fear lest her child should be taken away from her to be educated according to the views of George IV. Between the king and his sister-in-law there was little love, and when the death of the duke of Clarence's second infant daughter Elizabeth in 1821 made it pretty certain that Princess Victoria would eventually become queen, the duchess felt that the king might possibly obtain the support of his ministers if he insisted that the future sovereign should be brought up under masters and mistresses designated by himself. The little princess could not have received a better education than that which was given her under Prince Leopold's direction. Her uncle considered that she ought to be kept as long as possible from the knowledge of her position, which might raise a large growth of pride or vanity in her and make her unmanageable; so Victoria was twelve years old before she knew that she was to wear a crown. Until she became queen she never slept a night away from her mother's room, and she was not allowed to converse with any grown-up person, friend, tutor or servant without the duchess of Kent or the Baroness Lehzen, her private governess, being present. Louise Lehzen, a native of Coburg, had come to England as governess to the Princess Feedore of Leiningen, the duchess of Kent's daughter 1 The question of her name, as that of one who was to be queen, remained even up to her accession to the throne a much-debated one. In August 1831, in a discussion in parliament upon a grant to the duchess of Kent, Sir M. W. Ridley suggested changing it to Elizabeth as " more accordant to the feelings of the people"; and the idea of a change seems to have been powerfully, supported. In 1836 William IV. approved of a proposal to change it to Charlotte; but, to the princess's own delight, it was given up. by her first husband, and she became teacher to the Princess Victoria when the latter was five years old. George IV. in 1827 made her a baroness of Hanover, and she continued as lady-inattendance after the duchess of Northumberland was appointed official governess in 183o, but actually performed the functions first of governess and then of private secretary till 1842, when she left the court and returned to Germany, where she died in 1870. The Rev. George Davys, afterwards bishop of Peter-borough, taught the princess Latin; Mr J. B. Sale, music; Mr Westall, history; and Mr Thomas Steward, the writing master of Westminster School, instructed her in penmanship. In 1830 George IV. died, and the duke of York (George III.'s second son) having died childless in 1827, the duke of Clarence became king as William IV. Princess Victoria now became the direct heir to the throne. William IV. cherished affectionate feelings towards his niece; unfortunately he took offence at the duchess of Kent for declining to let her child come and live at his court for several months in each year, and through the whole of his reign there was strife between the two; and Prince Leopold was no longer in England to act as peacemaker. In the early hours of the loth of June 1837, William IV. died. His thoughts had dwelt often on his niece, and he repeatedly said that he was sure she would be "a good woman and a good queen. It will touch every sailor's heart to have a girl queen to fight for. They'll be tattooing her face on their arms, and I'll be bound they'll all think she was christened after Nelson's ship." Dr Howley, archbishop of Canterbury, and the marquis of Conyngham, bearing the news of the king's death, started in a landau with four horses for Kensington, which they reached at five o'clock. Their servants rang, knocked and thumped; and when at last admittance was gained, the primate and the marquis were shown into a lower room and there left to wait. Presently a maid appeared and said that the Princess Victoria was " in a sweet sleep and could not be disturbed." Dr Howley, who was nothing if not pompous, answered that he had come on state business, to which everything, even sleep, must give place. The princess was accordingly roused, and quickly came downstairs in a dressing-gown, her fair hair flowing loose over her shoulders. Her own account of this interview, written the same day in her journal (Letters, i. p. 97), shows her to have been quite prepared. The privy council assembled at Kensington in the morning; and the usual oaths were administered to the queen by Lord Chancellor Cottenham, after which all present did homage. There was a touching incident when the queen's uncles, the dukes of Cumberland and Sussex, two old men, came forward to perform their obeisance. The queen blushed, and descending from her throne, kissed them both, without allowing them to kneel. By the death of William IV., the duke of Cumberland had become King Ernest of Hanover, and immediately after the ceremony he made haste to reach his kingdom. Had Queen Victoria died without issue, this prince, who was arro-' gant, ill-tempered and rash, would have become king of Great Britain; and, as nothing but mischief could have resulted from this, the young queen's life became very precious in the sight of her people. She, of course, retained the late king's ministers in their offices, and it was under Lord Melbourne's direction that the privy council drew up their declaration to the kingdom. This document described the queen as Alexandrina Victoria, and all the peers who subscribed the roll in the House of Lords on the 20th of June swore allegiance to her under those names. It was not till the following day that the sovereign's style was altered to Victoria simply, and this necessitated the issuing of a new declaration and a re-signing of the peers' roll. The public proclamation of the queen took place on the 21st at St James's Palace with great pomp. The queen opened her first parliament in person, and in a well-written speech, which she read with much feeling, adverted to her youth and to the necessity which existed for her being guided by enlightened advisers. When both houses had voted loyal addresses, the question of the Civil List was considered, and a week or two later a message was brought to parliamentrequesting an increase of the grant formerly made to the duchess of Kent. Government recommended an addition of £30,000 a year, which was voted, and before the close of the year a Civil List Bill was passed, settling £385,000 a year on the queen. The duchess of Kent and her brothers, King Leopold and the duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, had always hoped to arrange that the queen should marry her cousin, Albert (q.v.) of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, and the prince himself had been made acquainted with this plan from his earliest years. In 183E Prince Albert, who was born in the same year as his future wife, had come on a visit to England with his father and with his brother, Prince Ernest, and his handsome face, gentle disposition and playful humour had produced a favourable impression on the princess. The duchess of Kent had communicated her projects to Lord Mel-bourne, and they were known to many other statesmen, and to persons in society; but the gossip of drawing-rooms during the years 1837—38 continually represented that the young queen had fallen in love with Prince This or Lord That, and the more imaginative babblers hinted at post-chaises waiting outside Kensington Gardens in the night, private marriages and so forth. The coronation took place on the 28th of June 1838. No more touching ceremony of the kind had ever been performed in Westminster Abbey. Anne was a middle-aged married woman at the time of her coronation; she waddled The coro- ~ nation. and wheezed, and made no majestic appearance upon her throne. Mary was odious to her Protestant subjects, Elizabeth to those of the unreformed religion, and both these queens succeeded to the crown in times of general sadness; but the youthful Queen Victoria had no enemies except a few Chartists, and the land was peaceful and prosperous when she began to reign over it. The cost of George IV.'s coronation amounted to £240,000; that of William IV. had amounted to £so,000 only; and in asking £70,000 the government had judged that things could be done with suitable luxury, but without waste. The traditional banquet in Westminster Hall, with the throwing down of the glove by the king's champion in armour, had been dispensed with at the coronation of William IV., and it was resolved not to revive it. But it was arranged that the sovereign's procession to the abbey through the streets should be made a finer show than on previous occasions; and it drew to London 400,000 country visitors. Three ambassadors for different reasons became objects of great interest on the occasion. Marshal Soult, Wellington's old foe, received a hearty popular welcome as a military hero; Prince Esterhazy, who represented Austria, dazzled society by his Magyar uniform, which was encrusted all over, even to the boots, with pearls and diamonds; while the Turkish ambassador, Sarim Effendi, caused much diversion by his bewilderment. He was so wonder-struck that he could not walk to his place, but stood as if he had lost his senses, and kept muttering, "All this for a woman! " Within a year the court was brought into sudden disfavour with the country by two events of unequal importance, but both exciting. The first was the case of Lady Flora Hastings. The In February 1839 this young lady, a daughter of the " Bed-marquis of Hastings, and a maid of honour to the eham,her~ duchess of Kent, was accused by certain ladies of Pi° t the bedchamber of immoral conduct. The charge having been laid before Lord Melbourne, he communicated it to Sir James Clark, the queen's physician, and the result was that Lady Flora was subjected to the indignity of a medical examination, which, while it cleared her character, seriously affected her health. In fact, she died in the following July, and it was then discovered that the physical appearances which first provoked suspicion against her had been due to enlargement of the liver. The queen's conduct towards Lady Flora was kind and sisterly from the beginning to the end of this painful business; but the scandal was made public through some indignant letters which the marchioness of Hastings addressed to Lord Melbourne praying for the punishment of her daughter's traducers, and the general opinion was that Lady Flora had been grossly treated at the instigation of some private court enemies. While the agitation about the affair was yet unappeased, the political crisis known as the " Bedchamber Plot " occurred. The Whig ministry had introduced a bill suspending the Constitution of Jamaica because the Assembly in that colony had refused to adopt the Prisons Act passed by the Imperial Legislature. Sir Robert Peel moved an amendment, which, on a division (6th May), was defeated by a majority of five only in a house of 583, and ministers thereupon resigned. The duke of Wellington was first sent for, but he advised that the task of forming an administration should be entrusted to Sir Robert Peel. Sir Robert was ready to form a cabinet in which the duke of Welling-ton, Lords Lyndhurst, Aberdeen and Stanley, and Sir James Graham would have served; but he stipulated that the mistress of the robes and the ladies of the bedchamber appointed by the Whig administration should be removed, and to this the queen would not consent. On the loth of May she wrote curtly that the course proposed by Sir Robert Peel was contrary to usage and repugnant to her feelings; the Tory leader then had to inform the House of Commons that, having failed to obtain the proof which he desired of her majesty's confidence, it was impossible for him to accept office. The ladies of the bedchamber were so unpopular in consequence of their behaviour to Lady Flora Hastings that the public took alarm at the notion that the queen had fallen into the hands of an intriguing coterie; and Lord Melbourne, who was accused of wishing to rule on the strength of court favour, resumed office with diminished prestige. The Tories thus felt aggrieved; and the Chartists were so prompt to make political capital out of the affair that large numbers were added to their ranks. On the 14th of June Mr Attwood, M.P. for Birmingham, presented to the House of Commons a Chartist petition alleged to have been signed by 1,280,000 people. It was a cylinder of parchment of about the diameter of a coach-wheel, and was literally rolled up on the floor of the house. On the day after this curious document had furnished both amusement and uneasiness to the Commons, a woman, describing herself as Sophia Elizabeth Guelph Sims, made application at the Mansion House for advice and assistance to prove herself the lawful child of George IV. and Mrs Fitzherbert; and this incident, trumpery as it was, added fuel to the disloyal flame then raging. Going in state to Ascot the queen was hissed by some ladies as her carriage drove on to the course, and two peeresses, one of them a Tory duchess, were openly accused of this unseemly act. Meanwhile some monster Chartist demonstrations were being organized, and they commenced on the 4th of July with riots at Birmingham. It was an untoward coincidence that Lady Flora Hastings died on the 5th of July, for though she repeated on her deathbed, and wished it to be published, that the queen had taken no part whatever in the proceedings which had shortened her life, it was remarked that the ladies who were believed to have persecuted her still retained the sovereign's favour. The riots at Birmingham lasted ten days, and had to be put down by armed force. They were followed by others at Newcastle, Manchester, Bolton, Chester and Macclesfield. These troublous events had the effect of hastening the queen's marriage. Lord Melbourne ascertained that the queen's dis-The positions towards her cousin, Prince Albert, were unqueen's changed, and he advised King Leopold, through M. marriage. Van der Weyer, the Belgian minister, that the prince should come to England and press his suit. The prince arrived with his brother on a visit to Windsor on the loth of October 1839. On the 12th the queen wrote to King Leopold: " Albert's beauty is most striking, and he is so amiable and unaffected—in short, very fascinating." On the 15th all wasdescribed, in the queen's declaration to the privy council, as a Protestant prince; and Lord Palmerston was obliged to ask Baron Stockmar for assurance that Prince Albert did not belong to any sect of Protestants whose rules might prevent him from taking the Sacrament according to the ritual of the English Church. He got an answer couched in somewhat ironical terms to the effect that Protestantism owed its existence in a measure to the house of Saxony, from which the prince descended, seeing that this house and that of the landgrave of Hesse had stood quite alone against Europe in upholding Luther and his cause. Even after this certain High Churchmen held that a Lutheran was a " dissenter," and that the prince should be asked to subscribe to the Thirty-Nine Articles. The queen was particularly concerned by the question of the prince's future status as an Englishman. It was impracticable for him to receive the title of king consort; but the queen naturally desired that her husband should be placed by act of parliament in a position which would secure to him precedence, not only in England, but in foreign courts. Lord Melbourne sought to effect this by a clause introduced in a naturalization bill; but he found himself obliged to drop the clause, and to leave the queen to confer what precedence she pleased by letters-patent. This was a lame way out of the difficulty, for the queen could only confer precedence within her own realms, whereas an act of parliament bestowing the title of prince consort would have made the prince's right to rank above all royal imperial highnesses quite clear, and would have left no room for such disputes as afterwards occurred when foreign princes chose to treat Prince Albert as having mere courtesy rank in his wife's kingdom. The result of these political difficulties was to make the queen more than ever disgusted with the Tories. But there was no other flaw in the happiness of the marriage, which was solemnized on the loth of February 1840 in the Chapel Royal, St James's. It is interesting to note that the queen was dressed entirely in articles of British manufacture. Her dress was of Spitalfields silk; her veil of Honiton lace; her ribbons came from Coventry; even her gloves had been made in London of English kid—a novel thing in days when the French had a monopoly in the finer kinds of gloves. From the time of the queen's marriage the crown played an increasingly active part in the affairs of state. Previously, ministers had tried to spare the queen all disagree-able and fatiguing ifa details. Lord Melbourne saw her - affair lrs, every day, whether she was in London or at Windsor, and he used to explain all current business in a. benevolent, chatty manner, which offered a pleasant contrast to the style of his two principal colleagues, Lord John Russell and Lord Palmerston. A statesman of firmer mould than Lord Melbourne would hardly have succeeded so well as he did in making rough places smooth for Prince Albert. Lord John Russell and Lord Palmerston were naturally jealous of the prince's interference —and of King Leopold's and Baron Stockmar's—in state affairs; but Lord Melbourne took the common-sense view that a husband will control his wife whether people wish it or not. Ably advised by his private secretary, George Anson, and by Stockmar, the prince thus soon took the de facto place of the sovereign's private secretary, though he had no official status as such; and his system of classifying and annotating the queen's papers and letters resulted in the preservation of what the editors of the Letters of Queen Victoria (1907) describe as " probably the most extraordinary collection of state documents in the world "—those up to 1861 being contained in between still had some parliamentary mortifications to undergo. The government proposed that Prince Albert should receive an annuity of £5o,000, but an amendment of Colonel -Sibthorpa politician of no great repute—for making the annuity 3o,000 was carried against ministers by 262 votes to 158, the Tories and Radicals going into the same lobby, and many ministerialists taking no part in' the division. Prince Albert had not been settled; and the queen wrote to her uncle, " I love him more Soo and 600 bound volumes at Windsor. To confer on Prince than I can say." The queen's public announcement of her Albert every honour that the crown could bestow, and to let him betrothal was enthusiastically received. But the royal lovers make his way gradually into public favour by his own tact, was the advice which Lord Melbourne gave; and the prince acted upon it so well, avoiding every appearance of intrusion, and treating men of all parties and degrees with urbanity, that within five months of his marriage he obtained a signal mark of the public confidence. In expectation of the queen becoming a mother, a bill was passed through parliament providing for the appointment of Prince Albert as sole regent in case the queen, after giving birth to a child, died before her son or daughter came of age. The Regency Bill had been hurried on in consequence of the attempt of a crazy pot-boy, Edward Oxford, to take the queen's Attempts life. On loth June 1840, the queen and Prince Albert on the were driving up Constitution Hill in an open carriage, queen's when Oxford fired two pistols, the bullets from which lire. flew, it is said, close by the prince's head. He was arrested on the spot, and when his lodgings were searched a quantity of powder and shot was found, with the rules of a secret society, called " Young England," whose members were pledged to meet, " carrying swords and pistols and wearing crape masks." These discoveries raised the surmise that Oxford was the tool of a widespread Chartist conspiracy—or, as the Irish pretended, of a conspiracy of Orangemen to set the duke of Cumberland on the throne; and while these delusions were fresh, they threw well-disposed persons into a paroxysm of loyalty. Even the London street dogs, as Sydney Smith said, joined with O'Connell in barking " God save the Queen." Oxford seems to have been craving for notoriety; but it may be doubted whether the jury who tried him did right to pronounce his acquittal on the ground of insanity. He feigned madness at his trial, but during the forty years of his subsequent confinement at Bedlam he talked and acted like a rational being, and when he was at length released and sent to Australia he earned his living there as a house painter, and used to declare that he had never been mad at all. His acquittal was to be deprecated as establishing a dangerous precedent in regard to outrages on the sovereign. It was always Prince Albert's opinion that if Oxford had been flogged the attempt of Francis on the queen in 1842 and of Bean in the same year would never have been perpetrated. After the attempt of Bean—who was a hunchback, really insane—parliament passed a bill empowering judges to order whipping as a punishment for those who molested the queen; but some-how this salutary act was never enforced. In 185o a half-pay officer, named Pate, assaulted the queen by striking her with a stick, and crushing her bonnet. He was sentenced to seven years' transportation; but the judge, Baron Alderson, excused him the flogging. In 1869 an Irish lad, O'Connor, was sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment and a whipping for presenting a pistol at the queen, with a petition, in St James's Park; but this time it was the queen herself who privately remitted the corporal punishment, and she even pushed clemency to the length of sending her aggressor to Australia at her own expense. The series of attempts on the queen was closed in 1882 by Maclean, who fired a pistol at her majesty as she was leaving the Great Western Railway station at Windsor. He, like Bean, was a genuine madman, and was relegated to Broadmoor. The birth of the princess royal, on the 21st of November 1840, removing the unpopular King Ernest of Hanover from Birth the position of heir-presumptive to the British crown, of the was a subject of loud congratulations to the people. princess A curious scare was occasioned at Buckingham Palace, royal. when the little princess was a fortnight old, by the discovery of a boy named Jones concealed under a bed in the royal nursery. Jones had a mania for palace-breaking. Three times he effected a clandestine entry into the queen's residence, and twice he managed to spend several days there. By day he concealed himself in cupboards or under furniture, and by night he groped his way into the royal kitchen to eat whatever he could find. After his third capture, in March 1841, he coolly boasted that he had lain under a sofa, and listened to a private conversation between the queen and Prince Albert. This third time he was not punished, but sent to sea, and turned out very well. The incident strengthened Prince Albert's hands in trying to carry out sundry domestic reforms which were being stoutly resisted by vested interests. The royal residences and grounds used to be under the control of four different officials—the lord chamberlain, the lord steward, the master of the horse and the commissioners of woods and forests. Baron Stockmar, describing the confusion fostered by this state of things, said " The lord steward finds the fuel and lays the fire; the lord chamberlain lights it. The lord chamberlain provides the lamps; the lord steward must clean, trim and light them. The inside cleaning of windows belongs to the lord chamberlain's depattment, but the outer parts must be attended to by the office of woods and forests, so that windows remain dirty unless the two departments can come to an understanding." It took Prince Albert four years of firmness and diplomacy before in 1845 he was able to bring the queen's home under the efficient control of a master of the household. At the general election of 1841 the Whigs returned in a minority of seventy-six, and Lord Melbourne was defeated on the Address and resigned. The queen was affected sir Robert to tears at parting with him; but the crisis had been Peel's fully expected and prepared for by confidential communications between Mr Anson and Sir Robert Peel, who now became prime minister (see Letters of Queen Victoria, i. 341 et seq.). The old difficulty as to the appointments to the royal household was tactfully removed, and Tory appointments were made, which were agreeable both to the queen and to Peel. The only temporary embarrassment was the queen's continued private correspondence with Lord Melbourne, which led Stockmar to remonstrate' with him; but Melbourne used his influence sensibly; moreover, he gradually dropped out of politics, and the queen got used to his not being indispensable. On Prince Albert's position the change had a marked effect, for in the absence of Melbourne the queen relied more particularly on his advice, and Peel himself at once discovered and recognized the prince's unusual charm and capacity. One of the Tory premier's first acts was to propose that a royal commission should be appointed to consider the best means for promoting art and science in the kingdom, and he nominated Prince Albert as president. The International Exhibition of 1851, the creation of .the Museum and Science and Art Department at South Kensington, the founding of art schools and picture galleries all over the country, the spread of musical taste and the fostering of technical education may be attributed, more or less directly, to the commission of distinguished men which began its labours under Prince Albert's auspices. The queen's second child, the prince of Wales (see EDWARD VII.), was born on the 9th of November 1841; and this event " filled the measure of the queen's domestic Birth of happiness," as she said in her speech from the throne the prince at the opening of the session of 1842. It is unnecessary of Wales° from this point onwards to go seriatim through the domestic history of the reign, which is given in the article ENGLISH HISTORY. At this time there was much political unrest at home, and serious difficulties abroad. As regards internal politics, it may be remarked that the queen and Prince Albert were much relieved when Peel, who had come in as the leader of the Protectionist party, adopted Free Trade and re-pealed the Corn Laws, for it closed a dangerous agitation which gave them much anxiety. When the country was in distress, the queen felt a womanly repugnance for festivities; and yet it was undesirable that the court should incur the The court reproach of living meanly to save money. There and the was a conversation between the queen and Sir Robert country. Peel on this subject in the early days of the Tory administration, and the queen talked of reducing her establishment in order that she might give away larger sums in charities. " I am afraid the people would only say that your majesty was returning them change for their pounds in halfpence," answered Peel. " Your majesty is not perhaps aware that the most unpopular person in the parish is the relieving officer, and if the queen were to constitute herself a relieving officer for all the parishes in the kingdom she would find her money go a very little way, and she would provoke more grumbling than thanks." Peel added that a sovereign must do all things in order, not seeking praise for doing one particular thing well, but striving to be an example in all respects, even in dinner-giving. Meanwhile the year 1842 was ushered in by splendid fetes in honour of the king of Prussia, who held the prince of Wales at the font. In the spring there was a fancy-dress ball at Bucking-ham Palace, which remained memorable owing to the offence which it gave in France. Prince Albert was costumed as Edward III., the queen as Queen Philippa, and all the gentle-men of the court as knights of Poitiers. The French chose to view this as an unfriendly demonstration, and there was some talk of getting up a counter-ball in Paris, the duke of Orleans to figure as William the Conqueror. In June the queen took her first railway journey, travelling from Windsor to Paddington The on the Great Western line. The master of the horse, queens whose business it was to provide for the queen's first rail- ordinary journeys by road, was much put out by this way innovation. He marched into the station several journey. hours before the start to inspect the engine, as he would have examined a steed; but greater merriment was occasioned by the queen's coachman, who insisted that, as a matter of form, he ought to make-believe to drive the engine. After some dispute, he was told that he might climb on to the pilot engine which was to precede the royal train; but his scarlet livery, white gloves and wig suffered so much from soot and sparks that he made no more fuss about his rights in after trips. The motion of the train was found to be so pleasant that the queen readily trusted herself to the railway for a longer journey a few weeks later, when she paid her first visit to Scotland. A report by Sir James Clark led to the queen's visiting Balmoral in 1848, and to the purchase of the Balmoral estate in 1852, and the queen's diary of her journeys in Scotland shows what constant enjoyment she derived from her Highland home. Seven years before this the estate of Osborne had been purchased in the Isle of Wight, in order that the queen might have a home of her own. Windsor she considered too stately, and the Pavilion at Brighton too uncomfortable. The first stone of Osborne House was laid in 1845, and the royal family entered into possession in September 1846. In August 1843 the queen and Prince Albert paid a visit to King Louis Philippe at the chateau d'Eu. They sailed from Relations Southampton for Treport in a yacht, and, as it hap- with pened to be raining hard when they embarked, the foreign loyal members of the Southampton Corporation remem- sove- bered Raleigh, and spread their robes on the ground reigns. for the queen to walk over. In 1844 Louis Philippe returned the visit by coming to Windsor. It was the first visit ever paid by a king of France to a sovereign of England, and Louis Philippe was much pleased at receiving the Order of the Garter. He said that he did not feel that he belonged to the " Club " of European sovereigns until he received this decoration. As the father of King Leopold of Belgium's con-sort, the queen was much interested in his visit, which went off with great success and goodwill. The tsar Nicholas had visited Windsor earlier that year, in which also Prince Alfred, who was to marry the tsar's grand-daughter, was born. In 1846 the affair of the " Spanish marriages " seriously troubled the relations between the United Kingdom and France. Louis Philippe and Guizot had planned the marriage of the duke of Montpensier with the infanta Louisa of Spain, younger sister of Queen Isabella, who, it was thought at the time, was not likely ever to have children. The intrigue was therefore one for placing a son of the French king on the Spanish throne. (See SPAIN, History.) As to Queen Victoria's intervention on this question and on others, these words, written by W. E. Gladstone in 1875, may be quoted: "Although the admirable arrangements of the Constitution have now shielded the sovereign from personal responsibility, they have left ample scope for the exercise of direct and personal influence in the whole work of government. . . . The sovereign as compared with her ministers has, because she is the sovereign, the advantage of long experience, wide survey, elevated position and entire disconnexion from the bias of party. Further, personal and domestic relations with the ruling families abroad give openings in delicate cases for saying more, and saying it at once more gently and more efficaciously, than could be ventured in the formal correspondence and rude contacts of government. We know with how much truth, fulness and decision, and with how much tact and delicacy, the queen, aided by Prince Albert, took a principal part on behalf of the nation in the painful question of the Spanish marriages." The year 1848, which shook so many continental thrones,left that of the United Kingdom unhurt. Revolutions broke out in Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Madrid, Rome, Naples, Venice, Munich, Dresden and Budapest. The queen and Prince Albert were affected in many private ways by the events abroad. Panic-stricken princes wrote to them for political assistance or pecuniary aid. Louis Philippe abdicated and fled to England almost destitute, being smuggled over the Channel by the cleverness of the British consul at Havre, and the queen employed Sir Robert Peel as her intermediary for providing him with money to meet his immediate wants. Subsequently Claremont was assigned to the exiled royal family of France as a residence. During a few weeks of 1848 Prince William of Prussia (afterwards German emperor) found an asylum in England. In August 1849 the queen and Prince Albert, accompanied by the little princess royal and the prince of Wales, paid a visit to Ireland, landing at the Cove of Cork, which from that day was renamed Queenstown. The receP- ,;49.r" lh tition was enthusiastic, and so was that at Dublin. " Such a day of jubilee," wrote The Times, " such a night of rejoicing, has never been beheld in the ancient capital of Ireland since first it arose on the banks of the Liffey." The queen was greatly pleased and touched. The project of establishing a royal residence in Ireland was often mooted at this time, but the queen's advisers never urged it with sufficient warmth. There was no repugnance to the idea on the queen's part, but Sir Robert Peel thought unfavourably of it as an " empirical " plan, and the question of expense was always mooted as a serious consideration. There is no doubt that the absence of a royal residence in Ireland was felt as a slur upon the Irish people in certain circles. During these years the queen's family was rapidly becoming larger. Princess Alice (afterwards grand duchess of Hesse) was born on the 25th of April 1843; Prince Alfred (afterwards duke of Edinburgh and duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) on the 6th of August 1844; Princess Helena (Princess Christian) on the 25th of May 1846; Princess Louise (duchess of Argyll) on the 18th of March x848; and Prince Arthur (duke of Con-naught) on the 1st of May 185o. At the end of 1851 an important event took place, which ended a long-standing grievance on the part of the queen, in Lord Palmerston's dismissal from the office of foreign secretary on account of his expressing approval of Louis Napoleon's coup d'etat in Paris. The circumstances are of extreme interest for the light they throw on the queen's estimate of her constitutional position and authority. Lord Palmerston had never been persona grata at court. His Anglo-Irish nature was not sympathetic with the somewhat formal character and German training of Prince Albert; and his views of ministerial independence were not at all in accord with those of the queen and her husband. The queen had more than once to remind her foreign secretary that his des-patches must be seen by her before they were sent out, and though Palmston assented, the queen's complaint had to be continually repeated. She also protested to the prime minister (Lord John Russell) in 1848, 1849 and 185o, against various instances in which Palmerston had expressed his own personal opinions in matters of foreign affairs, without his despatches being properly approved either by herself or by the cabinet. Lord John Russell, who did not want to offend his popular and headstrong colleague, did his best to smooth things over; but the queen remained exceedingly sore, and tried hard to get Palmerston removed, without success. On the 12th of August 1850 the queen wrote to Lord John Russell the following important memorandum, which followed in its terms a private memorandum drawn up for her by Stockmar a few months earlier (Letters, ii. 282) : " With reference to the conversation about Lord Palmerston which the queen had with Lord John Russell the other day, and Lord Palmerston's disavowal that he ever intended any disrespect to her by the various neglects of which she has had so long and so often to complain, she thinks it right, in order to avoid any mistakes for the future, to explain what it is she expects from the foreign secretary. The queen and Lord Palmerston. " She requires " 1. That he will distinctly state what he proposes in a given case, in order that the queen may know as distinctly to what she has given her royal sanction. " 2. Having given her sanction to a measure, that it be not arbitrarily altered or modified by the minister. Such an act she must regard as failing in sincerity to the crown, and justly to be visited by the exercise of her constitutional right of dismissing that minister. She expects to be kept informed of what passes between him and the foreign ministers, before important decisions are taken, based upon that intercourse; to receive the foreign despatches in good time, and to have the drafts for her approval sent her in sufficient time to make herself acquainted with their contents before they must be sent off. The queen thinks it best that Lord John Russell should show this letter to Lord Palmerston." Lord Palmerston took a copy of this letter, and promised to attend to its direction. But the queen thoroughly distrusted him, and in October 1851 his proposed reception of Kossuth nearly led to a crisis. Then finally she discovered (December 13) at the time of the coup d' etat, that he had. of his own initiative, given assurances of approval to Count Walewski, which were not in accord with the views of the cabinet and with the " neutrality which had been enjoined " by the queen. This was too much even for Lord John Russell, and after a short and decisive correspondence Lord Palmerston resigned the seals of office. The death of the duke of Wellington in 1852 deeply affected the queen. The duke had acquired a position above parties, Death of and was the trusted adviser of all statesmen and of the the duke court in emergencies. The queen sadly needed such es/Wei-: a counsellor, for Prince Albert's position was one full Baron Prince of difficulty, and party malignity was continually Albert's putting wrong constructions upon the advice which he position. gave, and imputing to him advice which he did not give. During the Corn Law agitation offence was taken at his having attended a debate in the House of Commons, the Tories declaring that he had gone down to overawe the house in favour of Peel's measures. After Palmerston's en-forced resignation, there was a new and more absurd hubbub. A climax was reached when the difficulties with Russia arose which led to the Crimean War; the prince was accused by the peace party of wanting war, and by the war party of plotting surrender; and it came to be publicly rumoured that the queen's husband had been found conspiring against the state, and had been committed to the Tower. Some said that the queen had been arrested too, and the prince wrote to Stockmar: " Thou-sands of people surrounded the Tower to see the queen and me brought to it." This gave infinite pain to the queen, and at length she wrote to Lord Aberdeen on the subject. Eventually, on 31st January 1854, Lord John Russell took occasion to deny most emphatically that Prince Albert interfered unduly with foreign affairs, and in both houses the statesmen of the two parties delivered feeling panegyrics of the prince, asserting at the same time his entire constitutional right to give private advice to the sovereign on matters of state. From this time it may be said that Prince Albert's position was established on a secure footing. He had declined (185o) to accept the post of commander-in-chief at the duke of Wellington's suggestion, and he always refused to let himself be placed in any situation which would have modified ever so slightly his proper relations with the queen. The queen was very anxious that he should receive the title of " King Consort," and that the crown should be jointly borne as it was by William III. and Mary; but he himself never spoke a word for this arrangement. It was only to please the queen that he consented to take the title of Prince Con-sort (by letters patent of June 25, 1857), and he only did this when it was manifest that statesmen of all parties approved the change. For the queen and royal family the Crimean War time was a very busy and exciting one. Her majesty personally super-The intended the committees of ladies who organized Crimean relief for the wounded; she helped Florence Nightin- war. gale in raising bands of trained nurses; she visited the crippled soldiers in the hospitals, and it was through her resolute complaints of the utter insufficiency of the hospital accommodation that Netley Hospital was built. The distribution of medals to the soldiers and the institution of the Victoria Cross (February 1857) as a reward for individual instances of merit and valour must also be noted among the incidents which occupied the queen's time and thoughts. In 18J5 the emperor and empress of the French visited the queen at Windsor Castle, and the same year her majesty and the prince consort paid a visit to Paris. The queen's family life was most happy. At Balmoral and Windsor the court lived in virtual privacy, and the queen and the prince consort saw much of their children. Count- The less entries in the queen's diaries testify to the anxious queen affection with which the progress of each little member and her of the household was watched. Two more children tamtty. had been born to the royal pair, Prince Leopold (duke of Albany) on the 7th of April 1853, and on the 14th of April 1857 their last child, the princess Beatrice (Princess Henry of Battenberg), bringing the royal family up to nine—four sons and five daughters. Less than a year after Princess Beatrice's birth the princess royal was married to Prince Frederick William of Prussia, afterwards the emperor Frederick. The next marriage after the princess royal's was that of the princess Alice to Prince Louis (afterwards grand duke) of Hesse-Darmstadt in 1862. In 1863 the prince of Wales married the princess Alexandra of Denmark. In 1866 the princess Helena became the wife of Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein. In 1871 the princess Louise was wedded to the marquis of Lorne, eldest son of the duke of Argyll. In 1874 Prince Alfred, duke of Edinburgh, married Princess Marie Alexandrovna, only daughter of the tsar Alexander II. The duke of Connaught married in 1879 the princess Louise of Prussia, daughter of the soldier-prince Frederick Charles. In 1882 Prince Leopold, duke of Albany, wedded the princess Helen of Waldeck-Pyrmont. Finally came the marriage of Princess Beatrice in 1885 with Prince Henry of Battenberg. On the occasion of the coming of age of the queen's sons and the marriages of her daughters parliament made provision. The prince of Wales, in addition to the revenues of the duchy of Cornwall, had 40,000 a year, the princess £1o,000, and an addition of £36,000 a year for their children was granted by parliament in 1889. The princess royal received a dowry of £40,000 and £8000 a year for life, the younger daughters £30,000 and £6000 a year each. The dukes of Edinburgh, Connaught and Albany were each voted an income of £15,000, and £1o,000 on marrying. The dispute with the United States concerning the " Trent" affair of 1861 will always be memorable for the part played in its settlement by the queen and the prince consort. The In 1861 the accession of Abraham Lincoln to the presi- American dency of the United States of America caused the civil war. Southern States of the Union to revolt, and the war began. During November the British West India steamer " Trent " was boarded by a vessel of the Federal Navy, the " San Jacinto," and Messrs Slidell and Mason, commissioners for the Confederate States, who were on their way to England, were seized. The British government were on the point of demanding reparation for this act in a peremptory manner which could hardly have meant anything but war, but Prince Albert insisted on revising Lord Russell's despatch in a way which gave the American government an opportunity to concede the surrender of the prisoners without humiliation. The memorandum from the queen on this point was the prince consort's last political draft. The year 1861 was the saddest in the queen's life. On 16th March, her mother, the duchess of Kent, died, and on 14th December, while the dispute with America about the Death of " Trent " affair was yet unsettled, the prince consort the prince breathed his last at Windsor. His death left a void consort• in the queen's life which nothing could ever fill. She built at Frogmore a magnificent mausoleum where she might be buried with him. Never again during her reign did the queen live in London, and Buckingham palace was only used for occasional visits of a few days.
End of Article: VICTORIA [ALEXANDRINA VICTORIA]
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