BY THE year 1845 not only the Prince's domestic but also his political ascendancy as regards his wife may be considered as established and both remained un- -changed till his death. In memoranda of official conferences with Ministers, made either by him or the Queen, the Royal view had become "our view." "We had a Council yesterday:" "We saw Sir Robert Peel."* In fact "I" would have been almost as appropriate a pronoun as "we."

It is impossible to get a clearer idea of their mutual relations than is contained in a statement the Prince made of them, which, though it actually dates from the year 1850, was true five years before. The occasion which evoked it was the proposal made to the Prince by the Duke of Wellington that he should become Commander-in-Chief of the English army in the Duke's place, with a responsible Chief of the Staff under him. He refused it after consultation with the Queen for the following considerations: "While a female sovereign has a great many disadvantages in comparison with a King, yet, if she is married, and her husband understands and does his duty, her position, on the other hand, has many compensating advantages, and, in the long run will be found to be even stronger than that of a male sovereign.

"But this requires that the husband should entirely sink his own individual existence in that of his wife -- that he

Letters, I, ii, p. 65.


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Queen Victoria


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