Queen Victoria: A Personal History

By Christopher Hibbert | Go to book overview

37
THE GRIEVING WIDOW

'There is no one left to hold me in their arms and press me to their heart.'

THE PRINCE CONSORT had once said of the Queen that she 'lived much in the past and in the future, perhaps more than in the present'. After his death she certainly abandoned herself to the past and to her memories of him with a passionate intensity. She could never forget him; no one else should. Even her youngest son, then only eight years old and staying in Cannes for the sake of his precarious health, was told: 'You will therefore sorrow when you know & think that poor Mama is more wretched, more miserable than any being in this World can be! I pine and long for your dearly precious Papa so dreadfully . . . You will, my poor little Darling, find Mama old -- & thin -- & grown weak -- & you must try & be a comfort (tho that none can be -- for none can replace the All in All I have lost).' 1 She sent the boy two photographs of his father which he was to have framed, 'but not in black', and 'a Locket with beloved Papa's hair' which he was to wear 'attached to a string or chain round [his] neck & a dear pocket handkerchief of beloved Papa's' which he must keep 'constantly with hirn'. 2

Everyone at court had to wear mourning on all social occasions until the end of 1862; and, after 1864, although her maids-of-honour were allowed to wear grey, white, purple and mauve -- the last of these colours later being forbidden in its 'fashionable pink tints' -- the lady-in-waiting who was in personal attendance upon the Queen was required to wear mourning as deep as Her Majesty's own. All the ladies were, of course, in the words of one of them, 'plunged back into the deepest mourning

-285-

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Queen Victoria: A Personal History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations xi
  • Author's Note and Acknowledgements xv
  • Queen Victoria's Prime Ministers xviii
  • Part One - 1819-1861 1
  • 1 - The Family 3
  • 2 - The Parents 9
  • 3 - The Child 17
  • 4 - Conroy 25
  • 5 - Progresses 30
  • 6 - Uncles 41
  • 7 - The Young Queen 53
  • 8 - Melbourne 60
  • 9 - Coronation 70
  • 10 - The Hastings Affair 76
  • II - A Pleasant Life' 85
  • 12 - A Headstrong Girl 90
  • 13 - German Cousins 98
  • 14 - Prince Albert 107
  • 15 - The Bridegroom 111
  • 16 - Honeymoon 120
  • 17 - Robert Peel 130
  • 18 - The Prince and the Household 137
  • 19 - Royal Quarrels 148
  • 20 - Osborne 157
  • 21 - Travelling 165
  • 22 - Balmoral 175
  • 23 - The Prince of Wales 183
  • 24 - Palmerston 193
  • 25 - Chartists 199
  • 26 - Pam is Out 204
  • 27 - The Great Exhibition 210
  • 28 - Scenes 216
  • 29 - Crimean War 221
  • 30 - Napoleon III 230
  • 31 - The Princess Royal 238
  • 32 - Indian Mutiny 248
  • 33 - The German Grandson 256
  • 34 - Death of the Duchess 264
  • 35 - The Disappointing Heir 268
  • 36 - Death of the Prince 276
  • Part Two - 1861-1901 283
  • 37 - The Grieving Widow 285
  • 38 - Seances and Services 293
  • 39 - Princess Alexandra 298
  • 40 - The Recluse 307
  • 41 - Disraeli 314
  • 42 - John Brown 321
  • 43 - The Royalty Question 331
  • 44 - The Princely Pauper 338
  • 45 - Typhoid Fever 342
  • 46 - Maids-Of-Honour 349
  • 47 - Secretaries and Ministers 353
  • 48 - Regina Et Imperatrix 360
  • 49 - The Half-Mad Firebrand 367
  • 50 - Golden Jubilee 379
  • 51 - Die EnglÄnderin 384
  • 52 - The Daughters 391
  • 53 - The Sons 396
  • 54 - The Grand Children 414
  • 55 - Would-Be Assassins 420
  • 56 - Holidays Abroad 428
  • 57 - Death of Brown 440
  • 58 - The Munshi 446
  • 59 - Diamond Jubilee 455
  • 60 - Life at Court 461
  • 61 - Dinner Parties 468
  • 62 - Books 477
  • 63 - Bookmen 481
  • 64 - Failing Health 484
  • 65 - Death 492
  • 66 - Funeral and Burial 495
  • References 503
  • Sources 523
  • Index 535
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