The letters of Queen Victoria : a selection from Her Majesty's correspondence between the years 1837 and 1861 : published by authority of His Majesty the king (Volume 1) online

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as I well know that the present Ministry is the best and
most moderate we can have.

Do not, my dearly beloved Uncle, fear for my
health, I shall take good care of it. I beg your advice
on the enclosed paper.

Ever your devoted and grateful Niece and affectionate

The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria.

LAEKEN, 27<7i June 1837.

MY DEAR CHILD, ... Now I must touch on
another subject which is of vital importance for you
and your comfort, viz., the habits of business which
you will contract now. The best plan is to devote
certain hours to it ; if you do that, you will get through
it with great ease. I think you would do well to tell
your Ministers that for the present you would be ready
to receive those who should wish to see you, between
the hours of eleven and half-past one. This will not
plague you much, and will be sufficient in most cases
for the usual business that is to be transacted.

1 At that time rendered necessary by the demise of the Crown.


I shall add to this a piece of advice. Whenever
a question is of some importance, it should not be
decided on the day when it is submitted to you.
Whenever it is not an urgent one, I make it a rule
not to let any question be forced upon my immediate
decision ; it is really not doing oneself justice de decider
dcs questions sur le pouce. And even when in my mind
I am disposed to accede, still I always keep the papers
with me some little time before I return them. The
best mode for you will be, that each Minister should
bring his box with him, and when he submits to
you the papers explain them to you. Then you will
keep the papers, either to think yourself upon it or
to consult somebody, and either return them the
next time you see the Minister to whom they belong,
or send them to him. Good habits formed now may
for ever afterwards be kept up, and will become so
natural to you that you w r ill not find them at all

Queen Victoria to Viscount Melbourne.

KENSINGTON PALACE, 29lh June 1837.

The Queen has received Lord Melbourne's com-
munication, and thinks as Prince Ernest of Hesse goes
to the funeral, it would be proper the Prince of
Leiningen should do just the same. The Queen
requests that Lord Melbourne will be so good as to
take care that the Prince of Leiningen is informed as
to the proper dress he ought to wear on the occasion.

Lord Albemarle mentioned yesterday to the
Queen, that all the ladies' saddle-horses, including
the Queen Dowager's own favourite horses, belonged
to the Queen, but it strikes her that it would be
well if the Queen was to give the Queen Dowager
the choice of two or three of her own horses, and that
she might keep them. The Queen would wish Lord
Melbourne to give her his opinion on this subject. . . .


The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria.

LAEKEN, 30th June 1837.

MY DEAREST CHILD, ... I am glad to see that
you are so much pleased with Lord Melbourne. I
believe him to be as you think him. His character
is a guarantee which is valuable, and remember that
cleverness and talent without an honest heart and
character, will never do for your Minister. I shall
name nobody, but what I said just now applies to
some people you have recently seen.

I am so happy that you enter into the important
affairs which Providence has entrusted to you, with
so much interest and spirit ; if you continue you will
be sure of success, and your own conscience will give
you the most delightful and satisfactory feelings. To
be National is the great thing, and I was sure you
would agree with what I said repeatedly to you on
this vital subject, and you will be certain in this way
of the love of the nation you govern.

I recommend to your kind attention what Stockmar
will think it his duty to tell you ; he will never press
anything, never plague you with anything, without the
thorough conviction that it is indispensable for your
welfare. I can guarantee his independence of mind
and disinterestedness ; nothing makes an impression
upon him but what his experience makes him feel
to be of importance for you. I am delighted with
your plan. You will recollect that I pressed upon you
repeatedly how necessary it was for you to continue
your studies on a more extended scale, more appropriate
to the station you were destined once to fill. No one
is better qualified to direct those studies for the next
few years than Stockmar, few people possess more
general information, and very, very few have been
like him educated, as it were, by fate itself since 1816.
There is no branch of information in which he may
not prove useful (1) History, considered in a practical
and philosophical way ; (2) International Law and


everything connected with it ; (3) Political Economy,
an important branch nowadays ; (4) Classic studies ;
(5) belles lettres in general ; (6) Physical Science in all
its branches, etc., etc. - - the list would be very long if
I were to enumerate it all. The sooner you do this
the better ; in all countries and at all times men like
Stockmar have filled similar situations, even in the
most bigoted and jealous countries, such as Spain,
Austria, etc. You will have him in this case constantly
near you without anybody having the right of finding
fault with it, and to be useful to you he should be near
you. Stockmar would have the immense advantage,
for so young a Queen, to be a living dictionary of
all matters scientific and politic that happened these
thirty years, which to you is of the greatest impor-
tance, because you must study the political history of
at least the last thirty-seven years more particularly.
I had begun something of the sort with you, even so
far back as George II. ; you will do well to go through
the reign of George III. and to follow the various
circumstances which brought on finally the present
state of affairs. . . .

My letter grows too long, and you will not have
time to read it ; I will therefore come to an end,
remaining ever, my beloved Victoria, your faithfully
attached Uncle and Friend, LEOPOLD R.

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

3rd July 1837.

MY DEAREST UNCLE, I had the happiness of
receiving your kind letter of 30th June yesterday,
and hasten to thank you for it. Y r our dear and
kind letters, full of kind and excellent advice, will
always be of the greatest use to me, and will always
be my delight. You may depend upon it that I shall
profit by your advice, as I have already so often done.

I was sure you would be of my opinion relative
to Lord Melbourne. Indeed, dearest Uncle, nothing
is to be done without a good heart and an honest


mind ; I have, alas ! seen so much of bad hearts and
dishonest and double minds, that I know how to
value and appreciate real worth.

All is going on well at present, and the elections
promise to be favourable. God grant they may be
so ! I had a very long and highly interesting conver-
sation with Palmerston on Saturday, about Turkey,
Russia, etc., etc. I trust something may be done for
my sister Queens. They have got a Constitution
in Spain at length, and the Cortes have done very
well. We hope also to conclude a treaty of commerce
with the Spaniards shortly, which would be an im-
mense thing.

If you could get my kind and dear friend Louis
Philippe, whom I do so respect, and for whom I have
a great affection, to do something for poor Spain, it
would be of great use.

I am quite penetrated by the King's kindness in
sending good old General Baudrand 1 and the Due
d'Elchingen 2 over to compliment me ; Baudrand did
it very well, and with much good feeling. In
Portugal, affairs look very black, I grieve to say.
They have no money, and the Chartists want to
bring about another counter-revolution, which would
be fatal to the poor Queen's interests, I fear.

That you approve my plan about Stockmar I am
delighted to hear.

I hope to go into Buckingham Palace very shortly
after the funeral.

Now, dearest Uncle, I must invite you en forme.
I should be most delighted if you, dearest Aunt
Louise, and Leopold (Jinsiste) could come about the
middle or end of August. Then I should beg you
would stay a little longer than usual, a fortnight at
least. You could bring as many gentlemen, ladies,
bonnes, etc., etc., as you pleased, and I should be
too happy and proud to have you under my own
roof. . . .

1 General Comte Baudrand (1774-184-8).

2 Son of Marshal Ney.


The Earl of Liverpool to Baron Stockmar.

5th July 1837.

Went about half-past ten o'clock to Apsley House,
and told the Duke of Wellington the whole of my
communication with the Queen, Duchess of Kent, and
Sir John Conroy on 15th June, also of my communica-
tion subsequently with Lord Melbourne, all of which
he very much approved of. He said that he was quite
sure that the Queen would find Lord Melbourne an
honourable man, and one in whom Her Majesty might
put confidence ; that he was a man apt to treat matters
too lightly, or, as he expressed it, a poco curante, but in
the main an honest and an honourable man. Upon
my speaking to him of the kind and paternal conduct
of King Leopold towards his Niece, he said that he
was fully persuaded of this, and should at all and any
time be ready to uphold it by his approbation, but
that he had no immediate connection with the Press,
whose attacks indeed he held very cheap, though they
were frequently very offensive. He then asked me
whether it was not true that the Queen had thought
of some reviews at which she would appear on horse-
back. 1 said there had been some talk of it. He
desired me to say that he thought this would be very
dangerous, that she had much better do this in an open
carriage, as no one except such as himself knew how
difficult it was to get steady riding horses, and besides
that, she could not be attended by any female, and that
this would appear indelicate.

Queen Adelaide to Queen Victoria.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 1th July 1937.

My DEAREST NIECE, I must, before I leave this
dear castle, once more express to you the grateful sense
I entertain for the kind treatment I have experienced
from you since it has pleased our heavenly Father to
put you in possession of it. You have contributed


much to my comfort under all the painful and dis-
tressing circumstances of this time of woe, and I
assure you that I ever shall remember it with sincere

I hope that you continue quite well and do not
suffer from the exertions and duties of your new
position. My best wishes and prayers attend you
on all occasions, for I shall be to the rest of my life
devoted and attached to you as your most affectionate
Aunt and Subject, ADELAIDE.

Queen Victoria to Viscount Melbourne.

KENSINGTON PALACE, 10th July 1837.

The Queen regrets very much to hear of Lord
Melbourne's indisposition, and trusts it will be of no

The Queen has just seen the Lord Chamberlain and
has given him all her orders. The Lord Chamberlain
says that he will do everything in his power to facili-
tate the Queen's going into Buckingham Palace on

The Queen fears that there may have been some
mistake with respect to the Chapter of the Garter, for
Lord Conyngham, 1 as well as several others, imagined
it would be held on Wednesday instead of Friday.
The Queen requests Lord Melbourne to rectify this
mistake, as it is the Queen's intention to hold the
Chapter on Friday.

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

llth July 1837.

MY DEAREST, BEST UNCLE, ... I have got very
little time and very little to say. I really and truly
go into Buckingham Palace the day after to-morrow,
but I must say, though I am very glad to do so, I
feel sorry to leave for ever my poor old birthplace. . . .

1 The Lord Chamberlain.


25th. I shall not go out of town, I think, before
the 20th or thereabouts of next month. Windsor
requires thorough cleaning, and I must say I could
not think of going in sooner after the poor King's
death. Windsor always appears very melancholy to
me, and there are so many sad associations with it.
These will vanish, I daresay, if I see you there soon
after my arrival there.

I have very pleasant large dinners every day. I
invite my Premier generally once a week to dinner
as I think it right to show publicly that I esteem
him and have confidence in him, as he has behaved
so well. Stockmar is of this opinion and is his great

The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria.

NEUILLY, 12th July 1837.

. . . Having still a few moments before a special
messenger sets off, I take advantage of it to add a few
words. By all I can hear, there are many intrigues on
foot in England at this moment. Princess Lieveri a and
another individual recently imported from her country
seem to be very active in what concerns them not ;
beware of them. A rule which I cannot sufficiently

1 The Princess Dorothea de Benkendorff married the Count de Lieven at
fifteen ; in 1812, he became Russian Minister (and later Ambassador) in
London, whither she accompanied him. She was a woman of extra-
ordinary cleverness, enjoying the confidence of George IV., Liverpool,
Canning, Castlereagh, and Wellington. Inspiring the efforts, and even com-
posing the despatches of her husband, she became herself the confidential
correspondent of Nesselrode, Esterhazy, Pozzo di Borgo, Guizot, and Lord
Aberdeen. In 1834, the Lievens returned to St Petersburg, where the
Emperor Nicholas, though indifferent to the society of women of talent,
showed her special marks of regard. Her husband died at Rome, in January
1838, and she established herself in Paris, afterwards seeking a home in
England during the troubles of 1848. Returning to Paris, her salon became
again the resort of diplomatists, politicians, and men of the world. She
died in January 1857.

Madame de Lieven about this time told Greville that she had had an
audience of the Queen, "who was very civil and gracious, but timid and
embarrassed, and talked of nothing but commonplaces " ; and Greville adds
that the Queen "had probably been told that the Princess was an Intrigante,
and was afraid of committing herself."


recommend is, never to permit people to speak on
subjects concerning yourself or your affairs, without
your having yourself desired them to do so. The
moment a person behaves improperly on this subject,
change the conversation, and make the individual
feel that he has made a mistake. . . . People will
certainly try to speak to you on your own personal
affairs ; decline it boldly, and they will leave you
alone. . . .

Now I conclude with my warmest wishes for your
happiness. Ever, my dear Victoria, your faithfully
attached Uncle and Friend, LEOPOLD R.

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

ISth July 1837.

MY BELOVED UNCLE, ... I have been so busy,
I can say but two words more, which are that I pro-
rogued Parliament yesterday in person, was very well
received, and am not at all tired to-day, but quite
frisky. There is to be no review this year, as I was
determined to have it only if I could ride, and as I
have not ridden for two years, it was better not. Believe
me, always, your devoted Niece, VICTORIA R.

Madame de Lieven wrote to Lord Aberdeen on the 30th July 1837 :
J'ai vu la Reine deux fois, je 1'ai vue seule, et je 1'ai vue dans la socie"te
du soir, et avec son Premier Ministre. Elle a un aplomb, un air de com-
mandement, de dignite, qui avec son visage enfantin, sa petite taille, et son
joli sourire, forment certainement le spectacle le plus extraordinaire qu'il
soit possible de figurer. Elle est d'une extreme reserve dans son discours.
On croit que la prudence est une de ses premieres qualite"s. Lord Melbourne
a aupres d'elle un air d'amour, de contentement, de vanite" meme, et tout
cela mele avec beaucoup de respect, des attitudes tres a son aise, une habitude
de premiere place dans son salon, de la reverie, de la gaiete, vous voyez tout
cela. La Reine est pleine d'aimables sourires pour lui.

La societe le soir n'etait composed que du household de la Reine, de tout
le household de la Duchesse de Kent (moins la famille Conroy, qui
n'approche pas du Palais), et de quelques etrangers. La Duchesse de Kent
est parfaitement mecontente, elle m'en a meme parle. Je doute que la
mere et la fille habitent longtemps sous le meme toit. Quant a Lord
Melbourne, il me semble que la Duchesse le deteste. II est evident qui'l
est dans la possession entiere et exclusive de la confiance de la Reine, et que
ses ressentiments, comme ses peines passees, sont confies sans reserve & son
Premier Ministre. ,


Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria.

STANHOPE STREET, 22nd July 1837.

. . . With regard to Count Orloff, 1 your Majesty
will probably renew to him, on his taking leave, the
assurances which your Majesty has already given, of
your desire to cement and maintain the friendly alliance
which subsists between the two Crowns ; and an expres-
sion might be repeated of the pleasure which your
Majesty has derived from the selection of a person who
possesses the confidence and esteem of the Emperor so
fully as Count Orloff is known to do.

It might, perhaps, be as well to avoid any allusion to
your Majesty's not being personally acquainted with
the Emperor, or anything that might be construed into
an invitation to that Sovereign to come to England,
because Viscount Palmerston has reason to believe
that any such hint would be eagerly caught at, while
at the same time such a visit does not, under all
circumstances, seem to be a thing particularly to be
desired. . . .

The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria.

LAEKEN, 2th July 1837.

MY DEAREST CHILD, ... I hear that the Levee
went off very well, and I have no doubt that the
Drawing- Room did the same. Your spirit in all
these new and trying proceedings makes me happy
beyond expression. Believe me, with courage and
honesty you will get on beautifully and success-
fully. The firmness you displayed at the beginning of
your reign will be for your quiet of the utmost
importance. People must come to the opinion it is of
no use intriguing, because when her mind is once made
up and she thinks a thing right, no earthly power will
make her change. To these qualities must be added
one which is of great importance, this is discretion ;
humble as it seems, it has often brought about

1 The Russian Ambassador.


successes in which talent failed and genius did not
succeed. Discretion in the great affairs of the world
does wonders, and safety depends frequently and is
chiefly derived from it. ...

Now I must quickly conclude, with the prayer that
you will not permit anybody, be it even your Prime
Minister, to speak to you on matters that concern
you personally, without your having expressed the
wish of its being done. You have no idea of the
importance of this for your peace and comfort and
safety. I always act on this principle, and I can say
with great success.

Believe me ever, my dearest Victoria, your devoted

The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria.

LAEKEN, 29th July 1837.

MY DEAREST CHILD, Your dear letter of the 24th
inst. is, amongst so many kind letters, almost the kindest
I yet received from your dear hands. My happiness
and my greatest pride will always be, to be a tender
and devoted father to you, my beloved child, and to
watch over you and stand by you with heart and
soul as long as the heart which loves you so sincerely
will beat.

I have no doubt that Lord Melbourne will always
do everything in his power to be useful to you. His
position is become extremely happy ; after having been,
under the late King at least, in an awkward position,
he is now sure of enjoying your confidence and sincere
support. If the elections turn out favourably to the
Ministry, it will, I hope, give them the means of trying
to conciliate the great mass of the moderate Tories, who
from their nature and in consequence of their opinions
are safe and desirable supporters of the Crown. The
two extremes will give them trouble, and the ultra
Tories appear to me to be even the more unreasonable
of the two.

I am most happy to see you on your guard against

VOL. i. 8


Princess Lieven and such like people. Your life
amongst intriguers and tormented with intrigues has
given you an experience on this important suhject
which you will do well not to lose sight of, as it
will unfortunately often reproduce itself, though the
names and manner of carrying on the thing may not
be the same.

I also think Windsor a little melancholy, but I
believe that one likes it more and more, as the Park in
particular is uncommonly beautiful. We shall try our
best to enliven it by our presence, and probably soon
after your arrival. I am most happy to see you so
spirited and happy in your new position ; it will go a
great way to insure your success, and your spirit and
courage will never be de trop.

Now I will conclude for the day, not to bore
you, and beg you always to believe me, my dear and
beloved Victoria, your devoted Uncle and Friend,


The Princess Hohenlohc to Queen Victoria.

LANGENBURG, 3lst July 1837.

MY DEAREST VICTORIA, On arriving here, I found
your dear letter of the 9th of this month ; and some
days ago I received the one of the 16th. Many, many
thanks for them both ; it is indeed kind of you to write
to me now when you have so much to do. You have
no idea what a feeling it is, to hear and read of you,
and to think that it is you, my own dear sister, who
are the object of general observation, and, I may say,
admiration ; it is sometimes like a dream. For those who
are near you it is quite different than for me, who have
not seen you yet in your new position, but must
represent to myself all through the report of others.
The description in the papers of your proroguing
Parliament I read with great interest ; it must have
been an imposing moment for you, your standing for
the first time in your life in the middle of that assembly
where the interests and welfare of your country are


discussed and decided upon. It is with pride, pleasure
and anxiety I think of you at the description of such
scenes and occurrences. I saw too by the papers that
your incognito at the Opera was not quite kept as you
wished it.

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 1st August 1837.

MY DEAREST UNCLE, ... I should be most happy
to " peep once " into your country, and wish that it
could be.

With respect to Politics, Lord Melbourne told me
this morning that he thinks the Lords will be more
moderate and reasonable next Session. The Duke of
Wellington made a speech shortly before the Dissolu-
tion of Parliament, in which he said that he wished
as much as the Government did to pass the questions
now pending.

You do not think Alexander 1 near handsome
enough in my opinion ; you know, ladies are much
better judges. He is somewhat colossal, I own, but
very proportionate and good-looking I think. I am
all impatience to hear more about all this, and when
you imagine the marriage will take place.

I have resumed my singing lessons with Lablache 2
twice a week, which form an agreeable recreation in
the midst of all the business I have to do. He is
such a good old soul, and greatly pleased that I go
on with him. I admire the music of the Huguenots
very much, but do not sing it, as I prefer Italian to
French for singing greatly. I have been learning
in the beginning of the season many of your old
favourites, which I hope to sing with you when we
meet. I wish I could keep Lablache to sing with
us, but he will be gone by that time I greatly fear.

1 Prince Alexander of Wiirtemberg, betrothed to Princess Marie of
Orleans, daughter of Louis Philippe. She died 10th January 1839. See
Letter of Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians, llth January 1839.

2 See ante, p. 64.


Now farewell, my beloved Uncle. Give my affec-
tionate love to my dear Aunt, and believe me always,
your devoted Niece, VICTORIA R.

J'embrasse Leopold et Philippe.

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

Qth August 1837.

MY BELOVED UNCLE, . . . With respect to the
Elections, they are, I'm thankful to say, rather
favourable, though not quite so much so as we could

Online LibraryUnknownThe letters of Queen Victoria : a selection from Her Majesty's correspondence between the years 1837 and 1861 : published by authority of His Majesty the king (Volume 1) → online text (page 10 of 52)