some danger or something of that sort. But Ernst has waltzed at one or two Court balls and I have eaten macaroni, neither of them feats that would justify a triumphal procession."


{15}

1837

QUEEN VICTORIA'S behaviour on the day of her accession was almost ruthless. At last she was free of her mother's rule and she used the word "alone" in her journal, as if it were a declaration of independence.

"I was awoke at 6 o'clock by Mama,"
she wrote. The Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Conyngham were waiting to see her, after their hurried drive from the King's death chamber at Windsor. The young Queen wrote afterwards,
"I got out of bed and went into my sitting‐ room (only in my dressing-gown) and alone, and saw them."

Baron Stockmar was first to receive a sign of her trust. She had written to her uncle that the Baron possessed her "most entire confidence." She ate her first breakfast as Queen, alone with him, and saw him several times during the day, always alone. She received Lord Melbourne, her Prime Minister, at nine o'clock, "of course quite ALONE." The emphatic underlining and double underlining that were to add force to her letters, for more than sixty years, had begun.

When the Queen held her first Council she faced her Ministers, alone. She also received four Ministers of State, each alone. In the evening she dined by herself, although her mother was in the same house, and that night, for the first time in her life, she slept in her own bedroom.

There was personal humbleness with this proud, royal certainty. The Queen wrote in her journal at the end of the first day,

"I shall do my utmost to fulfill my duty towards my country. I am very young and perhaps in many though not in all things, inexperienced, but I am sure that very few have more real good will and more real desire to do what is fit and right than I have."

She kept her "dearly beloved, angelic Lehzen" near, but she soon sent for John Conroy, consoled him with a baronetcy and pension, and in time he disappeared from her mother's life, altogether.

"How is it possible,"
she said to Lord Melbourne,
"that I can have any confidence in my mother when I know that whatever I say to her is repeated imme­diately to that man?"

-37-

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Reign of Queen Victoria
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Reign of Queen Victoria *
  • Acknowledgments *
  • Illustrations *
  • Foreword *
  • {1} i
  • {2} 2
  • {3} 4
  • {4} 10
  • {5} 11
  • {6} 14
  • {7} 17
  • {8} 21
  • {9} 23
  • {10} 25
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  • {19} 49
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  • Sources and References 383
  • Bibliography 405
  • {Index} 407
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