CHAPTER XII

THE Princess Royal's marriage was fixed for the last week in January 1858. Already there had been a slight misunderstanding about the venue, but this the Queen had cleared up with the firmness, which, when occasion demanded, was peculiarly her own. It was the practice that Prussian Princes should be married in Berlin, and the suggestion had been made that this marriage should take place there. In such cases she did not argue with people; she told them and she told Lord Clarendon, her Foreign Minister: "Whatever may be the usual practice of Prussian Princes, it is not every day that one marries the eldest daughter of the Queen of England. The question therefore must be considered as settled and closed."* Closed it was, and, instead, the Princess' future Court came to England for a three weeks' visit, "which," said the Queen, "is a very good thing so that she will get acquainted with them." Seventeen German Royalties were her guests for the festivities that preceded the wedding, and though she and the Prince Consort had set their hearts on the marriage, as linking together the Royal Houses of England and Prussia, the parting was agonising. The Princess and her father were devotedly attached to each other: she was the very reflection of his mind, sharing all his artistic and literary tastes and, in spite of her youth, affording him intellectual companion- -ship to a degree the Queen had never done. No such ties

____________________
*
Letters, I, iii, p. 253.

-186-

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