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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we should not have had. I have communicated to
him what your uncle and the young gentleman seem

1 Henry, Earl of Uxbridge, afterwards second Marquis of Anglesey

2 Louisa Louis was born at Erbach in 1771. The Queen erected a tablet to
her memory in St Martin's-in-the-Fields, where she is described as " the
faithful and devoted friend of Princess Charlotte of Wales, and from earliest
infancy honoured by the affectionate attachment of Her Majesty Queen
Victoria." See Reminiscences, ante, p. 14.


to wish, and what strikes me as the best for the
moment. Stockmar will make a regular report to
you on this subject. They will return to Bonn at
the beginning of May, and remain till the end of
August. ... I agree with this, as nothing enlarges
the mind so much as travelling. But Stockmar will
best treat this affair verbally with you. The young
gentlemen wished to pay me another visit at the
beginning of May, prior to their return to Bonn.
Nothing definite is, however, as yet settled about it.
On one thing you can rely, that it is my great anxiety
to see Albert a very good and distinguished young man,
and wo pains will be thought too much on my part if
this end can be attained.

Viscount Melbourne to Queen Victoria.


Your Majesty will perceive by this box, which I
received this morning but had not time to open, that
Marshal Soult, Duke of Dalmatia 1 has been appointed
Ambassador to the Coronation.

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

WINDSOR CASTLE, nth April 1838.

MY DEAREST UNCLE, ... You will by this time
have learnt the sad loss we have all sustained in the
death of dearest, faithful, excellent Louie, who breathed
her last, without a struggle or a suffering, on Sunday
night at nine o'clock. I don't think 1 have ever been
so much overcome or distressed by anything, almost,
as by the death of this my earliest friend ; it is the
first link that has been broken of my first and

1 Soult entered the French army in 1785 and became Marshal of France
1804. After distinguishing himself at Austerlitz in 1805, he was made Duke
of Dalmatia in 1807. Serving in the Peninsular War, he pursued Moore to
Corunna, and became Commander-in-Chief in Spain in 1809. Subsequently
he conducted the French retreat before Wellington in Southern France,
1813-1814; was banished, but recalled later and created a peer. He was
Minister of War 1830-1834.


infantine affections. I always loved Louie, and shall
cherish her memory as that of the purest and best
of mortals as long as I live 1 I took leave of her
before I left London on Wednesday, and never, never
shall I forget the blessing she gave me, and the grasp
she gave my hand 1 I was quite upset by it ! And
I feared and felt I should behold her on earth no
more ; it was, however, a beautiful lesson of calmness
and contentment and resignation to the will of her
God ! Prepared as she was at every moment of her
life to meet her heavenly Father, she was full of hope
of recovery, and quite unconscious of her approaching
end. You will, I am sure, dearest Uncle, feel the
loss of this excellent creature ; I cannot restrain my
tears while writing this. One great consolation I
have, which is, that I have been the means of making
her last days as happy as she could wish to be, after
having lost what she loved most !

. . . Poor Mason, our faithful coachman for so
many years, is also dead. These old servants cannot
be replaced ; and to see those whom one has known
from one's birth, drop off, one by one, is melancholy 1
You will think this letter a very sad one, but /
feel sad. . . .

Queen Adelaide to Queen Victoria.


... I can well enter into all your feelings of regret
at the death of one so truly attached and so faithful
as dear old Louie had been to you from your infancy,
and I quite understand your grief ; yet I feel sure that
you will also rejoice for her, that she has been relieved
from her earthly sufferings. For her the change of
existence was a happy one ; good and pious as she
was, we may trust that her state at present is one of
felicity and bliss through the redeeming grace of our


The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria.

nth April 1838.

. . . The Parliamentary affairs will, please Heaven,
continue to go on well ; I am more than ever bound to
wish it, as I am not anxious to exchange my clever
and well - informed friend Palmerston, with Lord
Aberdeen, for instance, of whose sweetness the Greek
negotiation 1 has given me very fair means of judging.
Now I will conclude by touching on one subject which
concerns your great goodness to us. When we left
England you expressed a wish to see us at the time
of the Coronation, which was then believed to take
place at the end of May. More mature reflection has
made me think that a King and Queen at your dear
Coronation might perhaps be a hors-d'oeuvre, and 1
think, if it meets with your approbation, that it may
be better to pay you our respects at some other period,
which you might like to fix upon. I do not deny
that having been deprived by circumstances from the
happiness of wishing you joy at your birthday, since
1831, in person, I feel strongly tempted to make a
short apparition to see you, as seeing and speaking
is much pleasanter than ink and paper. . . .

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 25th April 1838.

MY BELOVED UNCLE, . . . With respect to the
happiness of seeing you and my dearest Aunt, I shall
now respectfully state my feelings. It would have
made me very happy to see you both at the Corona-
tion, but I think upon the whole it is perhaps better
you should not do so. Then, with respect to your
coming for my old birthday, I must observe that I
could not enjoy you or my Aunt at all a mon aise.
First of all I could not lodge you, and if one is not
in the same house together, there is 720 real seeing

1 Referring to the offer of the throne of Greece to King Leopold in 1830.


one another ; secondly, the town will be so full of all
sorts of foreigners that I should have no peace to see
you and Aunt quietly. If therefore, dearest Uncle,
it suits you and Aunt Louise, would you come about
the end of August, and stay with me as long as you
can ? I trust, dearest Uncle, que vous me comprendrez
bien, and that you are assured of the great happiness
it is for me to see you at any time.

Since I have written to you we have received from
Lord Granville the news of Marshal Soult's appoint-
ment as Ambassador for the Coronation, and of the
Due de Nemours' intention of coming here as a
spectator. You may be assured that I shall be de-
lighted to see the Duke, as 1 always am any of the
dear French family. With regard to Soult, I am sure
you are aware that whoever the King chose to send
would be equally well received by me and the

Queen Victoria to discount Melbourne.


The Queen sends the papers relating to the Corona-
tion as Lord Melbourne wished. The Queen also
transmits the names of the young ladies who she
proposes should carry her train. If Lord Melbourne
sees any objection to any of these she hopes he will
say so.

The Queen has put down Lady Mary Talbot, as
being the daughter of the oldest Earl in the Kingdom *
and a Roman Catholic ; and Lady Anne Fitzwilliam,
as she is anxious to show civility to Lord Fitzwilliam
who has been very kind to the Queen.

Perhaps, when the names are agreed to, Lord
Melbourne would kindly undertake to speak or write
to the parents of the young ladies proposing it to them.

Lady Caroline Lennox.

Lady Adelaide Paget.

Lady Fanny Cowper.

i John, sixteenth Earl of Shrewsbury (1791-1852).
VOL. i. 10


Lady Wilhelmina Stanhope.
Lady Mary Talbot.
Lady Anne Fitzwilliam.
Lady Mary Grimston.
Lady Louisa Jenkinson.

Viscount Melbourne to Queen Victoria.

nth May 1838.

Lord Melbourne presents his humble duty to your
Majesty, and thinks that your Majesty had better
direct Lord Conyngham to ask the Archbishop, before
the Audience, who has generally been there and how
it ought to be conducted.

Your Majesty had better read the Answer and
not give it to the Archbishop, as Lord Melbourne
apprehends the Archbishop does not give your Majesty
the Address.

Your Majesty had better say something kind to
each of the Bishops as they are presented. They are
presented to your Majesty in this manner as a sort
of privilege, instead of being presented at the Dra wing-
Room with others, and your Majesty should conduct
yourself towards them exactly as if they had been
presented in the usual circle.

The time is about half-past one, and your Majesty
had better be punctual so as not to delay the Dra wing-

In the same letter is enclosed a draft of a letter which it was
suggested by Lord Melbourne that the Queen should write
to the King of Portugal, with regard to the suppression of
the Slave Trade.

[Draft enclosed]

That you hope that the King and Queen of Portugal will not
consider the strong representations made by your Government on
the subject of the Slave Trade as arising from any desire to
embarrass them. That there is every disposition to make allow-
ance for the difficulties of Portugal, but allowance must also be
made for the feelings of the people of England ; that those


feelings on the Slave Trade are as strong as they are just. That
England has made great sacrifices for the suppression of that
crime, that she has made sacrifices to Portugal, and that she has
been extremely indignant at finding that traffic so obstinately
continued to be sheltered and protected under the flag of Portugal.
That Portugal must not expect that England will much longer
refrain from taking effectual measures for preventing these practices.
That you have spoken thus openly because you wish them to be
aware of the truth, and that you entreat both the Queen and the
King to use their power and influence in procuring such a treaty
to be concluded without delay, as will satisfy England and
exonerate Portugal from the reproach under which she now

This is the substance of what might be written. It is perhaps
a little harshly worded, but your Majesty may soften it.

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, *25th May 1838.

MY DEAREST UNCLE, I am most thankful for
your very kind letter, and for the beautiful little
sword, which delights me.

I have been dancing till past four o'clock this
morning ; we have had a charming ball, and I have
spent the happiest birthday that I have had for many
years ; oh, how different to last year ! Everybody
was so kind and so friendly to me.

We have got a number of Austrians and Milanese
here, among whom are a Prince Odescalchi, and a
Count Eugene Zichy renowned for his magnificent
turquoises and his famous valzing, a good-natured
elegant; we have also Esterhazy's daughter Marie
now Countess Chorinsky a Count and Countess
Grippa, and a Marquis and Marchioness of Trivalzi, etc.

Old Talleyrand * is at last dead. I hear he showed
wonderful composure and firmness to the last. He
was one of those people who I thought never would
die. Did you know what Pozzo said to somebody
here about him ? He said he (Talleyrand) would
not die yet, "par ce que le Diable ne voulait pas

1 Died 17th May, aged eighty-four.


The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria.

LAEKEN, 2nd June 1838.

... I have not all this time touched on our affairs,
from motives of great discretion, but as the battle
draws nigh, 1 I cannot very well help writing a few
words on the subject. I found an Article in the
French Constitutionnel which paints our position in
pretty true colours. As it is not very long, I beg you
to have the goodness to read it. You have given
me so many proofs of affection, and your kind speech
at Windsor is so fresh in my memory, that it would
be very wrong in me to think that in so short a time,
and without any cause, those feelings which are so
precious to me could have changed. This makes me
appeal to those sentiments.

The independent existence of the Provinces which
form this Kingdom has always been an object of
importance to England ; the surest proof of it is,
that for centuries England has made the greatest
sacrifices of blood and treasure for that object. The
last time I saw the late King at Windsor, in 1836, he
said to me : "If ever France or any other Power
invades your country, it will be a question of imme-
diate war for England ; we cannot suffer that." I
answered him I was happy to hear him speak so, as
I also did not want any foreign Power to invade us. ...

All I want from your kind Majesty is, that you will
occasionally express to your Ministers, and particularly
to good Lord Melbourne, that, as far as it is compatible
with the interests of your own dominions, you do not
wish that your Government should take the lead in
such measures as might in a short time bring on the
destruction of this country, as well as that of your
uncle and his family.

Europe has enjoyed ever since 1833, in our part

1 The execution of the treaty of 1831, called the twenty-four Articles,
assigning part of Luxemburg to Holland, had been reluctantly agreed to by
Leopold, but the King of Holland withheld his assent for seven years.


of it, a state of profound peace and real happiness and
prosperity. None can deny that the measures which
I adopted to organise this country have greatly con-
tributed to this happy state of affairs ; this makes me
think that the changes which are to take place should
be brought about in a very gentle manner. . . .

I am sorry to have you to listen to so much about
politics, but it is not my fault ; I wished nothing so
much as to be left alone. I shall do all I can to bring
about a good conclusion, but it must not be forgotten
that these seven years all the dangers, all the trouble,
fell constantly to my share.

Now I will make haste to conclude, and remain
ever, my dearest Victoria, your truly devoted Uncle,


Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.


MY DEAREST UNCLE, It is indeed a long while
since I have written to you, and I fear you will think
me very lazy ; but I must in turn say, dearest Uncle,
that your silence was longer than mine, and that it
grieved me, and m'a beaucoup pcinee. I know, how-
ever, you have had, and still have, much to do. Many
thanks, my dear Uncle, for your very kind letter of the
2nd inst. . . .

It would indeed, dearest Uncle, be very wrong of
you, if you thought my feelings of warm and devoted
attachment to you, and of great affection for you, could
be changed. Nothing can ever change them ! Inde-
pendent of my feelings of affection for you, my beloved
Uncle, you must be aware that the ancient and
hereditary policy of this country with respect to
Belgium must make me most anxious that my
Government, not only should not be parties to any
measure that would be prejudicial to Belgium, but
that my Ministers should, as far as may not conflict
with the interests or engagements of this country, do


everything in their power to promote the prosperity
and welfare of your Kingdom.

My Ministers, I can assure you, share all my
feelings on this subject, and are most anxious to see
everything settled in a satisfactory manner between
Belgium and Holland.

We all feel that we cannot sufficiently or adequately
express how much Belgium owes to your wise system
of government, which has rendered that country so
flourishing in every way, and how much all Europe
is indebted to you for the preservation of general
peace ; because it is certain that when you ascended
the throne of Belgium that country was the one from
which the occasion of a general war was much to be
feared ; whereas now it is become a link to secure
the continuance of peace ; and by the happy circum-
stance of your double near relationship to me and
to the King of the French, Belgium which was in
former times the cause of discord between England
and France becomes now a mutual tie to keep them

This, my beloved Uncle, we owe to you, and it
must be a source of pride and gratification to you.

I perfectly understand and feel that your position
with respect to all these affairs is very difficult and
trying, and the feelings of your subjects are far from
unnatural ; yet I sincerely hope that you will use the
great influence you possess over the minds of the
leading men in Belgium, to mitigate discontent and
calm irritation, and procure acquiescence in whatever
arrangements may ultimately be found inevitable.

You are right in saying that I, though but a child
of twelve years old when you went to Belgium,
remember much of what took place, and I have since
then had the whole matter fully explained to me.
The Treaty of November 1831 was perhaps not so
advantageous to the Belgians as could have been
wished, yet it cannot have been thought very advan-
tageous to the Dutch, else they would have most
probably urged their Government before this time to


accept it ; besides, when these conditions were framed,
England was only one out of Jive Powers whose
concurrence was required, and consequently they were
made under very difficult circumstances. This treaty
having been ratified, it is become binding, and there-
fore it is almost impossible to consider it as otherwise,
and to set aside those parts of it which have been
ratified by all the parties.

1 feel I must in turn, dearest Uncle, entreat your
indulgence for so long a letter, and for such full
explanations, but I felt it my duty to do so, as you
had spoken to me on the subject.

You may be assured, my beloved Uncle, that
both Lord Melbourne and Lord Palmerston are most
anxious at all times for the prosperity and welfare of
Belgium, and are consequently most desirous of seeing
this difficult question brought to a conclusion which
may be satisfactory to you. Allow me once more
therefore, dearest Uncle, to beseech you to use your
powerful influence over your subjects, and to strive
to moderate their excited feelings on these matters.
Your situation is a very difficult one, and nobody
feels more for you than I do.

I trust, dearest Uncle, that you will, at all times,
believe me your devoted and most affectionate Niece,


The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria.

LAEKEN, [ ] June * 1838.

have written me a very dear and long letter, which has
given me great pleasure and satisfaction. I was much
moved with the expressions of truly felt affection,
which it contains, and I shall never again doubt your
affection for me, but rely on your dear heart and the
constancy of your character.

1 will now tell you honestly that I had some
misgivings ; I did not exactly think that you had

1 The day of the month is not given.


quite forgotten me, but I thought I had been put aside
as one does with a piece of furniture which is no longer
wanted. I did not complain, because I fear if affection
is once on the decline, reproaches only diminish it the
faster. I therefore said nothing, but in a life full of
grief and disappointments like mine, the loss of your
affection would have been one of the most severe. It
was in this point of view that the declaration made
by Lord Palmerston at the beginning of May to the
Prussian Government chagrined me much. 1 It was
premature, because the negotiation was not yet renewed.
It looked as if the English Government had been
anxious to say to the Northern Powers, who always
steadfastly protected Holland, " You imagine, perhaps,
that we mean to have egards for the uncle of the
Queen ; there you see we shall make even shorter work
with him now than we did under our late master."

This impression had been general on the Continent ;
they considered the declaration to Prussia in this way :
" La Heine et ses Ministres sont done entierement indiffe-
rents sur le compte du Roi L. ; cela change entierement
la position, et nous allons faire mains basses sur lui."
From that moment their language became extremely
imperious ; they spoke of nothing but acts of coercion,
bombardment, etc., etc. I firmly believe, because I
have been these many years on terms of great and
sincere friendship with Palmerston, that he did not
himself quite foresee the importance which would be
attached to his declaration. I must say it hurt me
more in my English capacity than in my Belgian, as
I came to this country from England, and was chosen
for that very reason. Besides, I am happy to say, I
was never as yet in the position to ask for any act
of kindness from you, so that whatever little service I
may have rendered you, remained on a basis of perfect
disinterestedness. That the first diplomatic step in
our affairs should seem by your Government to be
directed against me, created therefore all over the

1 Prussia was giving unmistakable evidence of a disposition to support
Holland against Belgium.


Continent a considerable sensation. I shall never ask
any favours of you, or anything that could in the least
be considered as incompatible with the interests of
England ; but you will comprehend that there is a
great difference in claiming favours and in being treated
as an enemy. . . .

I will conclude my overgrown letter with the assur-
ance that you never were in greater favour, and that I
love you dearly. Believe me, therefore, ever, my best
beloved Victoria, your devoted Uncle, LEOPOLD R.

Queen Adelaide to Queen Victoria.


At a quarter before 12 o'clock on the Coronation Day,
28th June 1838.

My DEAREST NIECE, The guns are just announc-
ing your approach to the Abbey, and as I am not
near you, and cannot take part in the sacred ceremony
of your Coronation, I must address you in writing to
assure you that my thoughts and my whole heart are
with you, and my prayers are offered up to Heaven
for your happiness, and the prosperity and glory of
your reign. May our Heavenly Father bless and
preserve you, and His Holy Ghost dwell within you
to give you that peace which the world cannot give !
Accept of these my best wishes, and the blessing of
your most devoted and attached Aunt, ADELAIDE.

Extract from the Queens Journal.

Thursday, 28th June 1838.

I was awoke at four o'clock by the guns in the Park,
and could not get much sleep afterwards on account
of the noise of the people, bands, etc., etc. Got up
at seven, feeling strong and well; the Park presented
a curious spectacle, crowds of people up to Constitution
Hill, soldiers, bands, etc. I dressed, having taken a
little breakfast before I dressed, and a little after. At
half-past 9 I went into the next room, dressed exactly


in my House of Lords costume ; and met Uncle
Ernest, Charles, 1 and Feodore (who had come a few
minutes before into my dressing-room), Lady Lans-
downe, Lady Normanby, the Duchess of Sutherland,
and Lady Barham, all in their robes.

At 10 I got into the State Coach with the Duchess
of Sutherland and Lord Albemarle and we began our
Progress. I subjoin a minute account of the whole
Procession and of the whole Proceeding, the route,
etc. It was a fine day, and the crowds of people
exceeded what I have ever seen ; many as there were
the day I went to the City, it was nothing, nothing
to the multitudes, the millions of my loyal subjects
who were assembled in every spot to witness the Pro-
cession. Their good humour and excessive loyalty was
beyond everything, and I really cannot say //ore proud
I feel to be the Queen of such a Nation. I was alarmed
at times for fear that the people would be crushed and
squeezed on account of the tremendous rush and

I reached the Abbey amid deafening cheers at a
little after half-past eleven ; I first went into a robing-
room quite close to the entrance where I found my
eight train-bearers : Lady Caroline Lennox, Lady
Adelaide Paget, Lady Mary Talbot, Lady Fanny
Cowper, Lady Wilhelmina Stanhope, Lady Anne Fitz-
william, Lady Mary Grimston, and Lady Louisa
Jenkinson all dressed alike and beautifully in white
satin and silver tissue with wreaths of silver corn-ears in

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 13 of 52)