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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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which can give and ensure happiness. I think even
that his disposition is particularly well calculated to
suit yours, and I am fully confident that you will
be both happy together. What you tell me of your
fear of not being worthy of him, and able to make him
sufficiently happy, is for me but a proof more of it.
Deep affection makes us always diffident and very
humble. Those that we love stand so high in our
own esteem, and are in our opinion so much above
us and all others that we naturally feel unworthy
of them and unequal to the task of making them
happy : but there is, I think, a mingled charm in this
feeling, for although we regret not to be what we
should wish to be for them, feeling and acknowledging
the superiority of those we love, and must always love
and respect, is a great satisfaction, and an increasing
and everlasting one. You will feel it, I am sure, as
well as I do. . . .

You will excuse my blots and hurried scribbling
when I will tell you that in order to profit of the
private messenger which goes to-morrow morning I
write to you at ten in the evening, a thing quite
unusual for me, and even rather forbidden : but after
having been deprived of expending my heart for so
many days, I could not avail myself of the present
opportunity. When I write to you by the ordinary
messenger I will continue to be silent; but I trust
you will permit me to say some time a word, when a
safe opportunity presents itself, for my heart is with
you more than I can tell. I would that I could
see you, when it could be, for an hour. I remain,
my most beloved Victoria, ever and ever your most
affectionate LOUISE.



1839] LETTERS TO THE ROYAL FAMILY 245

Queen Victoria to the Duke of Sussex.

WINDSOR CASTLE, \<Mh November 1839.

MY DEAR UNCLE, The affection which you have
shown me makes me feel certain that you will take
interest in an event which so nearly concerns the future
happiness of my life ; I cannot, therefore, delay any
longer to inform you of my intended marriage with
my Cousin Albert, the merits of whose character are
so well known by all who are acquainted with him,
that I need say no more than that I feel as assured
of my own happiness as I can be of anything in this
world.

As it is not to be publicly known, I beg you not
to mention it except to our own Family.

I hope you are well and enjoying yourself. Believe
me always your affectionate Niece, VICTORIA R. 1

Queen Victoria to Queen Adelaide.

WINDSOR CASTLE, November, 1839.

MY DEAR AUNT, Your constant kindness and the
affection you have ever shown me make me certain that
you will take much interest in an event which so nearly
concerns the future happiness of my life ; I cannot,
therefore, any longer delay to inform you of my
intended marriage with my Cousin Albert. The merits
of his character are so well known to all who are
acquainted with him, that I need say no more than
that I feel as assured of my own happiness as I can be
of anything here below, and only hope that I may be
able to make him as happy as he deserves to be. It
was both my duty and my inclination to tell you of this
as soon as it was determined upon ; but, as it is not

1 Similar letters with slight variations were written to the Duke of
Cambridge, the Princess Augusta, the Princess Sophia, the Duchess of
Gloucester, the Princess Sophia Matilda, the King of Hanover, and the
Princess Elizabeth (Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg).



246 NEWS NOT ANNOUNCED PUBLICLY [CHAP, vm

to be yet publicly announced I beg you not to mention
it except to our own Family. I thank you much for
your kind letter, and rejoice to hear you have enjoyed
yourself so much. Believe me always your very affec-
tionate Niece, VICTORIA R.



Queen Victoria to Viscount Melbourne.

WINDSOR CASTLE, ISth November 1839.

The Queen just writes two lines to send Lord
Melbourne the accompanying civil letter from the
Queen Dowager, and to give him an account of the
visit of the Cambridges. They were all very kind
and civil, George grown but not embellished, and
much less reserved with the Queen, and evidently
happy to be clear of me. He gave a very indifferent
account of the King of Greece, but a favourable one
of the Queen.

The Duchess said she had expected the Queen
would marry Albert, and was not surprised at the event.
They were very discreet and asked no questions, but
described the Duchess of Gloucester to be suffering
much from the necessity of keeping the secret.

The weather cleared up, and the Queen has just
returned from a walk. She hopes Lord Melbourne
got safe to London in spite of the wet and the water
on the road ; and she hopes he will take great care of
himself. She would be thankful if he would let her
know to-morrow if he will dine with her also on
Thursday or not.

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 19th November 1839.

MY DEAR UNCLE, Many thanks for your kind
letter of the 5th, received last week. I am in a great
hurry, and therefore have only time to write to you
a line to tell you, first, that on the 15th I wrote to



1839] LETTER TO THE PRIN 7 CE ALBERT 247

all the Royal Family announcing the event to them,
and that they answered all very kindly and civilly ;
the Duchess of Cambridge and Augusta, with the
Duke and George, came over on purpose to con-
gratulate me yesterday ; secondly, that the marriage
is to be publicly announced in an Open Council on
the 23rd, at Buckingham Palace, where I am going
to-morrow. I return here after the Council on the
23rd. I am so happy to think I need not then
conceal my feelings any longer. I have also written
to the King of Hanover and the Landgravine, 1 and to
all our relations abroad. I hope, dear Uncle, you will
not have ill-treated my dearest Albert ? I am very
anxious to hear from him from Wiesbaden. Ever
your devoted Niece, VICTORIA R.

[The following extracts of letters from the Queen
to Prince Albert were written partly in English
and partly in German. The English portions
are printed in italics, the German, translated,
in ordinary type. These letters are all written
in terms of profound affection, which deepened
very shortly into complete and absolute devotion
to the Prince.]



Queen Victoria to the Prince Albert.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 2lst November 1839.

... It is desired here that the matter should be
declared at Coburg as soon as possible, and immediately
after that I shall send you the Order. 2

Your rank will be settled just before you come
over, as also your rank in the Army. Everything
will be very easily arranged. Lord Melbourne showed
me ^esterday the Declaration, which is very simple
and nice. I will send it you as soon as possible. . . .

1 Princess Elizabeth (1770-1840), daughter of George III. and widow of
the Landgrave Frederick Joseph Louis of Hesse-Homburg.
a The Garter.



248 THE PRINCE'S RELIGION [CHAP, vm

Lord Melbourne told me yesterday, that the whole
Cabinet are strongly of opinion that you should not be
made a Peer. I will write that to Uncle. . . .

22nd November 1839.

. . . Lord Melbourne has just been with me, and
greatly wishes the Declaration to be made at Coburg
as soon as possible. He also desired me to ask you
to see if you can . . . a short History of the House
of Saxe-Coburg, who our direct ancestors were, and
what part they took in the Protestant, or rather
Lutheran, religion; he wishes to hear this in order
to make people here know exactly "who your ancestors
arc, for a few stupid people here try to say you are
a Catholic, but nobody will believe it. Send (it) as
soon as possible ; perhaps good Mr Schenk would
write it out in English. . . .

As there is nothing to be settled for me, we require
no treaty of marriage ; but if you should require any-
thing- to be settled, the best will be to send it here.
Respecting the succession, in case Ernest should die
without children, it would not do to stipulate now, but
your second son, if you had one, should reside at
Coburg. That can easily be arranged if the thing
should happen hereafter, and the English would not
like it to be arranged now. . . .

Queen Victoria to the Prince Albert.

i

WINDSOR CASTLE, 23rd November 1

. . . Just arrived here, 5.30. Everything has gone
off very well. The Council * was held at two o'clock ;
more than a hundred persons were present, and there
I had to read the Declaration. It was rather an awful

1 A Special Meeting of the Privy Council was held on the 23rd November,
to receive the Queen's intimation of her engagement. The Queen wrote in
her journal : -

" I went in ; the room was full, but I hardly knew who was there. Lord
M. I saw, looking at me with tears in his eyes, but he was not near me. I
then read my short Declaration. I felt my hands shook, but I did not make
one mistake. I felt more happy and thankful when it was over."



1839] ANNOUNCEMENT TO THE COUNCIL 249

moment, to be obliged to announce this to so many people,
many of whom were quite strangers, but they told me I
did it very well, and I felt so happy to do it.

Good Lord Melbourne was deeply moved about
it, and Uxbridge likewise ; it lasted only two or three
minutes. Everybody, they tell me, is very much pleased,
and I wish you could have seen the crowds of people who
cheered me loudly as I left the Palace for Windsor.
I am so happy to-day ! oh, if only you could be here !
I wish that you were able to participate in all the
kindness which is shown to me. To-day I can only
send you the Declaration. 1 The description of the whole
I will send after this. . . .

Send me as soon as possible the report of the
announcement at Coburg. I wear your dear picture
mornings and evenings, and wore it also at the
meeting of the Conscil.



The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria.

WIESBADEV, 22nd November 1839.

MY DEAREST VICTORIA, I was delighted with your
dear little letter. You write these kind of letters
with a very great facility, and they are generally so
natural and clever, that it makes one very happy to

1 J. W. Croker wrote to Lady Hardwicke :

November 1839.



"... She then unfolded a paper and read her declaration, which you will,
before this can reach you, have seen in the newspapers. I cannot describe to
you with what a mixture of self-possession and feminine delicacy she read the
paper. Her voice, which is naturally beautiful, was clear and untroubled ;
and her eye was bright and calm, neither bold nor downcast, but firm and
soft. There was a blush on her cheek which made her look both handsomer
and more interesting ; and certainly she did look as interesting and as
handsome as any young lady I ever saw.

" I happened to stand behind the Duke of Wellington's chair, and caught
her eye twice as she directed it towards him, which I fancy she did with a
good-natured interest. . . . The crowd, which was not great but very
decent, I might almost say respectable, expressed their approbation of the
Duke of Wellington and Sir R. Peel, and their disapprobation of the
Ministers very loudly. Lord John and Lord Normanby, they tell me, were
positively hooted. . . . Lord Melbourne . . . seemed to me to look care-
worn, and on the whole the meeting had a sombre air." Croker Papers,
II. 359.



250 A MARRIAGE TREATY [CHAP,

receive them. I had written less of late, because I
thought you occupied more agreeably than to read my
letters. I have on purpose kept back a courier, to
be able to send you the latest news from here of
M. Albert. The young people arrived here only on the
20th, in the morning, having very kindly stopped at
Bonn. I find them looking well, particularly Albert ;
it proves that happiness is an excellent remedy, and
keeps people in better health than any other. He is
much attached to you, and moved when he speaks of
you. He is, besides, in great spirits and gaiety, and
full of fun ; he is a very amiable companion.

Concerning the peerage, that is a matter to be
considered at any time ; the only reason why I do
wish it is, that Albert's foreignership should disappear
as much as possible. I have, in different circumstances
to be sure, suffered greatly from my having declined
conditionally the peerage when it was offered me in
1816. 1 Your Uncle 2 writes to you in German; as far
as I understood him he speaks of the necessity of a
marriage treaty ; that is a matter of course. There is,
however, something additional to be regulated con-
cerning the possible succession in the Coburg-Gotha
dominions, there being betwixt it and Albert but good
Ernest. Some regulation becomes therefore necessary,
at least reasonable. The Duke wishes also to know if
the treaty is to be made in England or in Germany.
Should the last of the two be fixed upon, he thinks
that one of your Ministers abroad would be the proper
person for it. Ever, my dear Victoria, your devoted
Uncle, LEOPOLD R.

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 26tk November 1839.

MY DEAR UNCLE, I thank you for your kind
letter which I received the day before yesterday ; but
I fear you must have been very dull at Wiesbaden. . . .

1 The Dukedom of Kendal was offered to, and, after consideration, declined
by, Prince Leopold.

2 The Duke of Saxe-Coburg (Ernest I.).



1839] QUESTION OF A PEERAGE 251

Everything went off uncommonly well on the 23rd,
but it was rather formidable ; l eighty- two Privy
Councillors present ; everybody very much pleased
and I was loudly greeted on leaving the Palace after
the Council.

The whole Cabinet agree with me in being strongly
of opinion that Albert should not be a Peer ; indeed,
I see everything against it and nothing for it ; the
English are very jealous at the idea of Albert's
having any political power, or meddling with affairs
here which I know from himself he will not do.

As Wiesbaden is half-way (or thereabouts) to
Coburg, I take the liberty of enclosing a large letter
to Albert, which I beg you to send on to him.

We are quite flooded here, and the road to
Datchet is quite impassable. Ever your devoted
Niece, VICTORIA R.

discount Melbourne to Queen Victoria.

27th November 1839.

Lord Melbourne presents his humble duty to your
Majesty. . . .

A little civility would be well bestowed upon
Lord and Lady Tankerville, and might not be without
its effect, but if your Majesty does not like it, it
cannot be helped.

The others also shall, if possible, be kept in good
humour.

The misrepresentation respecting Prince Alexander 2
your Majesty will see corrected in the Morning
Chronicle of that morning, but of course your
Majesty will not expect that this contradiction will
put an end to bitter and offensive remarks. It will
now be said that, knowing the true religion, he has
given over his children to the false, and that he has
sacrificed their eternal welfare to his own worldly

1 Greville mentions that the Queen's hands trembled so, that she could
hardly read the Declaration which she was holding.

2 Prince Alexander of Wurtemberg.



252 ENGLISH SUSCEPTIBILITIES [CHAP.

objects. 1 There is nothing which cannot be turned
in an hostile and malignant manner by malignity and
perverted ingenuity.

Can your Majesty inform Lord Melbourne what
is the arrangement respecting King Leopold's children ?
They are, Lord Melbourne presumes, to be brought up
Roman Catholics.

Lord Melbourne earnestly hopes to hear that your
Majesty is better and more free from pain. He is
himself very well.

Queen Victoria to the Prince Albert.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 27th November 1839.



The English are very jealous of any foreigner
interfering in the government of this country, and
have already in some of the papers (which are
friendly to me and you] expressed a hope that you
would not interfere. Now, though I know you never
would, still, if you were a Peer they would all say,
the Prince meant to play a political part. I am
certain you will understand this, but it is much
better not to say anything more about it now,
and to let the whole matter rest. The Tories
make a great disturbance (saying) that you are a
Papist, because the words "a Protestant Prince" have
not been put into the Declaration a thing which
would be quite unnecessary, seeing that I cannot
marry a Papist. . . .

Queen Victoria to the Prince Albert.

29th November 1839.

I had a talk with Lord Melbourne last night.
He thinks your view about the Peerage question
quite correct. Uncle seems to me, after all, much
more reasonable about it. We had a good talk this
morning about your arrangements for our marriage,

1 See ante, p. 189.



1839] LETTER FROM DONNA MARIA 253

and also about your official attendants, and he 1 has
told me that young Mr Anson (his private secretary),
who is with him, greatly wishes to be with you. I
am very much in favour of it, because he is an
excellent young man, and very modest, very honest,
very steady, very well-informed, and will be of much
use to you. He is not a member of the House of
Commons, which is also convenient ; so long as Lord
Melbourne is in office he remains his Secretary but
William Cowper 2 was also for some time Secretary
to his Uncle, and at the same time my Groom-in-
Waiting. Lord Melbourne feared it was not advisable
for you to have Mr Anson, and also his uncle, but I
told him that did not matter if the people are fit for
the posts. . . .

Queen Maria II. of Portugal to Queen Victoria.

LISBOVKE, 1st December 1839.

MA BIEN CHERE VicToiRE, Hier ayant recu la
communication de votre mariage avec Albert, je ne
veux pas tarder un seul instant a vous en feliciter
sur votre heureux choix, et en meme temps vous
prier de croire aux vceux sinceres que je forme pour
votre bonheur, avec votre excellent cceur il n'est pas
possible le contraire. Permettez que je vous disc que
votre choix ne m'a pas du etonner, car sachant com-
bien Albert est bon, vous ne pouviez pas choisir un
autre dont vous fussiez aussi sure qu'il puisse vous
rendre aussi heureuse comme vous le meritez, chere
Victoire. Pour que tous mes souhaits soient exauces je
vous desire un bonheur aussi complet que Test le
mien. Qu' Albert soit comme Ferdinand et vous serez
parfaitement heureuse. Adieu ! ma chere Victoire. Je
vous prie de me croire, votre devouee Cousine,

MARIE.

Ferdinand vous fait dire mille choses.

1 Lord Melbourne.

a Afterwards William Cowper-Temple, and Lord Mount Temple, author of
the well-known amendment to the Education Act of 1870.



254 HOUSEHOLD APPOINTMENTS [CHAP,



Queen Victoria to the Prince Albert.

WINDSOR CASTLE, Sth December 1839.

As to your wish about your gentlemen, my dear
Albert, I must tell you quite honestly that it will not
do. You may entirely rely upon me that the people
who will be about you will be absolutely pleasant
people, of high standing and good character. These
gentlemen will not be in continual attendance on you;
only on great occasions, and to accompany you "when
you go anywhere, and to dinners, etc. Seymour is your
confidential attendant, and also Schenk and Anson?
zchom Lehzen has written to you about.

Old Sir George Anson has been told of your gracious
wish to have him as Groom of the Bedchamber and is
delighted.

I can only have Lords, and they will not be Peers,
but Lords, the eldest sons of Dukes or Marquesses,
or Earls (Counts), and who as far as possible are not
in Parliament, for then they need not change, but
your people are appointed by you and not by me
(nominally}, and therefore unless they were to vote
against my Government (which would be awkward]
they need not change. You may rely upon my care
that you shall have proper people, and not idle and
not too young, and Lord Melbourne has already
mentioned several to me who would be very suitable. . . .

I have received to-day an ungracious letter from
Uncle Leopold. He appears to me to be nettled
because I no longer ask for his advice, but dear Uncle
is given to believe that he must rule the roast every-
where. However, that is not a necessity. As he has

1 Mr George Anson had been Private Secretary to Lord Melbourne ; it
was on Lord Melbourne's recommendation that the Queen appointed him
Private Secretary to Prince Albert The Prince was inclined to resent the
selection, and to think that in the case of so confidential an official he should
have been allowed to make his own nomination. But they became firm
friends, and the Prince found Mr Anson 's capacity, common sense, and
entire disinterestedness of the greatest value to him. Later he became
keeper of the Prince's Privy Purse, and died in 1849.



1839] THE MAYOR OF NEWPORT KNIGHTED 255

written to Melbourne, Melbourne will reply to him
on every point, and will also tell him that Stockmar
ought to come here as soon as possible to arrange
everything about the treaty. That will be a very
good thing, because Stockmar understands all English
things so well.

The Second, as you always called Palmerston, is to
be married within the next few days to Lady Cowper,
the sister of my Premier (Primus] ; I have known
this for a long time, but Melbourne asked me not
to tell it to any one. They are, both of them, above
fifty, and I think that they are quite right so to act,
because Palmerston, since the death of his sisters, is
quite alone in the world, and Lady C. is a very
clever woman, and much attached to him ; still, I feel
sure it will make you smile.

(Continued on the 9th}. To-day I have had a
Conseil, and then I knighted the Mayor of Newport J
(who distinguished himself so much in that riot of the
Chartists 2 ) ; he is a very timid, modest man, and was
very happy when I told him orally how exceedingly
satisfied I am with his conduct. . . . The officers have
been rewarded too. ... I am plaguing you already
with tiresome politics, but you will, in that, find a ,
proof of my [confidence] love, 3 because I must share
with you everything that rejoices me, everything that
vexes or grieves me, and I am certain you will take
your part in it. ...

To-day I saw Lord William Russell you know
him, don't you ? I forgot to tell you that you will
have a great officer of State at the head of your
Household, who is called the Groom of the Stole ; it
is a position in the Court for prestige only, without
any business ; he will be a Peer. . . .

1 Mr T. Phillips, the Mayor of Newport, Monmouthshire, had behaved
with great coolness and courage during the riot on 4th November. He read
the Riot Act among showers of bullets before ordering the troops to fire.

2 Frost, Williams, and others, afterwards convicted at Monmouth.

8 The Queen had begun the word " confidence " but struck it out and
substituted "love."



256 HOUSEHOLD APPOINTMENTS [CHAP,

Continued 10th December. I am very impatient
at your bust not having yet arrived ; the Duchess of
Sutherland wrote to me she had seen it in Rome,
and it was so beautiful ! . . .

Who has made the little copy which you sent me,
and who the original ? Feodore writes to me so much
about you. . . .

We expect Queen Adelaide to-day, who will stay
here until the day after to-morrow. Melbourne has
asked me to enquire of you whether you know Lord
Grosvenor ? He is the eldest son of the Marquis of
Westminster, and does not belong to any party ; he
is not in Parliament. He is very pleasant, speaks
German very well, and has been a good deal on the
Continent. If he accepts, he might be one of your
gentlemen. Lord Melbourne is particularly desirous of
doing everything that is most agreeable to you. I have
a request to make, too, viz., that you will appoint
poor Clark your physician ; you need not consult him
unless you wish it. It is only an honorary title, and
would make him very happy. . . .



Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 9th December 1839.

MY DEAR UNCLE, ... I was quite miserable at
not hearing from Albert for ten days ; such a long
silence is quite insupportable for anyone in my posi-
tion towards Albert, and I was overjoyed on receiving
yesterday the most dear, most affectionate, delightful
long letter from him. He writes so beautifully, and
so simply and unaffectedly. I hope, dear Uncle, you
received my last letter (quite a packet) for Albert,
on the 5th or 6th ? I send you another now. I
fear I am very indiscreet about these letters, but I
have so much to tell him, and it will only last two
months, so that I trust you will forgive it, and forward
them.



1839] THE WORD "PROTESTANT" 257

I mentioned the topics you spoke of to me in
your letter to our good friend Lord Melbourne, and
as he is writing, I leave it to him to explain to you,
as he writes so much better than I do. He will
explain to you why the word Protestant was left out



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 21 of 52)