The British seemed to be doing all they could to make the Prince unwelcome. There were protests when the Queen wished his name inserted in the liturgy. Even Uncle Leopold offended with an " ungracious letter." But this served to bring the Queen and Prince Albert a little closer, for she confided to him that King Leopold was "nettled" because she no longer asked for his advice.
"Dear Uncle is given to believe that he must rule the roost everywhere,"she wrote.
The Duchess of Kent was forgotten during these storms. But Prince Albert had always been fond of his "Dear Aunt Kent" and he sent her a ring which she had given him long before, on Queen Victoria's birthday.
"It has your name upon it,"he wrote,
"but that name is Victoria's too."She replied with a pathetic letter, trying to draw herself back into the picture, describing the Queen, sitting in her room, "silent and sad." QueenVictoria was anything but "silent and sad." She was energetic and defiant, wrestling with Peel, Palmerston, and the Duke, and baffling them with her firmness.
ON DECEMBER 9, the Queen wrote to King Leopold, "quite miserable" because Prince Albert had not written "for ten days." The Prince had much to trouble him. Would the schooling of Stockmar and his uncle, and his own talents be enough to sustain him? He wrote to the Duchess of Kent of his "dread of being unequal" to the position and of the " multitude of emotions" that beset him.
When he wrote of the pleasant hope of a quiet honeymoon at Windsor, the Queen's reply was ungracious.
"I am the Sovereign,"she wrote, reminding him that the business of being Queen could
"stop and wait for nothing."
"Dear Albert,"she said,
"you have not at all understood the matter . . . it is quite impossible for me to be absent from London . . . this is also my own wish, in every way. "1
Prince Albert turned to Coburg and his own people for solace. The winter was cold, but the stoves were warm and the chandeliers were alight; there were balls, trumpets, and wine. The old Duke rose at the end of a banquet table and cried, "God Save the Queen," and the Coburg Artillery fired a salute outside. The Prince looked up and watched the muslin curtains billowing into the room. Then he saw one