Under the weight of condemnation from the Queen, Prince Albert, the Prime Minister, and the cabinet, Lord Palmerston gave up his seals and Lord Granville was appointed in his place. Queen Victoria was able to write to her uncle, "I have the greatest pleasure in announcing to you a piece of news which I know will give you as much satisfaction and relief as it does to us, and will do to the whole of the world. Lord Palmerston is no longer Foreign Secretary."

The Secretary for Foreign Affairs might have questioned the Queen's regard for "the proper channels of communication" had he known that, in a letter written privately to the King of Prussia, she said, "Your Majesty will have wept bitter tears with the rest of Europe on hearing of Lord Palmerston's retirement from my Cabinet!" She added that she hoped "the public" would understand that "England's national policy was not correctly expressed" in Lord Palmerston's "interpretation of it."

Greville wrote, " Palmerston is out. ... I nearly dropped off my chair," and the Austrian Chancellor celebrated the event with a ball. The most interesting comment on this battle of giants was made four years later by Lord Palmerston himself, when a friend said to him that Louis Napoleon was "an extraordinary man." Lord Palmerston replied, "Yes, he is, but we have a far greater and more extraordinary man nearer home." He referred to Prince Albert, his enemy.

Queen Victoria's reactions were feminine and human. She was amused when Lord Palmerston was described in the newspapers as "the veteran statesman" and pleased, when the crisis had passed, to be able to spend "a very happy Christmas."



ALTHOUGH Prince Albert was disgusted by affairs in Germany, he never forgot his nativity or overcame his inherent prejudice against the French. He was suspicious of Louis Napoleon, who might develop the greedy desire for territory that had sent the first Napoleon marauding over Europe. Early in 1852, this fear stirred among the statesmen, then spread to the British people. Invasion of their Island was a danger that had haunted their ancestors from the time of the Danes, and they were instinctively suspicious of their European neighbours. With public opinion to support him, Prince Albert next worried over the weak


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Reign of Queen Victoria
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