hungry French peasants, the Foreign Secretary said, "No." But the Prince's prejudices did not lose their edge through discouragement and in June, 1878, he made a gesture which the Germans resented as a challenging demonstration. He walked through the streets of Paris at the head of the funeral procession of the ex-King of Hanover. The Prince was no longer afraid to declare his heart.

The "foolish people" in Britain increased in numbers and their protests against Germany distressed the new Emperor. He wrote 9 to Queen Victoria, regretting the "change of popular feeling in England." At first it had been "all in favour of Germany," but now there were "signs of ill-feeling " between the two countries, "in all respects destined to go hand in hand." He turned from his regret to express his gratitude, to Heaven, not to Bismarck, for his elevation to the imperial throne. "I cannot but be proud that God has chosen to raise me ... I take it with humility, as I do all God's dealings with us."


{100}

1871-1872

IN 1848, when Louis Philippe arrived in England as an exile, the wave of Republicanism then alarming Europe crossed the Channel with him and a London crowd rushed from Trafalgar Square to Buckingham Palace shouting

" Vive la République. "
A similar wave followed Napoleon III. Once more, Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales became the focus for resentment and demonstration, and on February 23 the Pall Mall Gazette accused them of having used Foreign Office messengers for sending congratulations to their German relatives during the war. The accusation was repeated in the House of Commons and the Prince was able to explain in a letter to Lord Granville that he had merely given one of the messengers a verbal message for the Crown Prince, saying that his sympathies were "great with the French," and that he hoped "the bad feelings which the Germans entertained towards England would cease." On April 16 there was a mass meeting in Hyde Park to display sympathy with the Paris Communists. Republican clubs were opened in many parts of Britain and, once more, there were rumours that the Queen would abdicate. While she was lying on her sofa at Balmoral, with gout, and an abscess on her arm, she had to read continuous reports of Sir Charles Dilke's attacks on the monarchy. He

-256-

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