Queen Victoria: A Personal History

By Christopher Hibbert | Go to book overview

52
THE DAUGHTERS

'A married daughter I MUST have living with me, and must not be left constantly to look about for help.'

WHEN PRINCESS ALICE, the Queen's second daughter, attempted to persuade her mother to come out of her seclusion she caused quite as much offence as the Queen's Ministers did when they suggested it. She was sharply told that her mother must live the best way she found that she could in order to get through all the work she had to do. 'I require,' she said, 'to shape my own life and ways.'

Although she was no more than eighteen years old when her father died, Princess Alice, a pretty, sympathetic girl, had more or less taken over the running of the household while the Queen was in the first agonies of her grief, sleeping in her mother's room, seeing Ministers on her behalf, and doing all she could to comfort the grievously mourning widow. The Queen, indeed, came so much to rely upon her that when, less than six months after the Prince Consort's death, Princess Alice married Prince Louis of Hesse-Darmstadt, her mother parted from her with the utmost reluctance, comforting herself with the thought that she and her husband would be able to spend much of their time in England, 'Louis not having any duties to detain him much at home at present'. 1

For a long time the Queen -- who had found the charming and graceful Alice most 'obliging' -- had insisted that she would not let the girl marry so long as she could 'reasonably delay her doing so'. As she had told King Leopold in April 1859, 'I shall not let her marry for as long as I can.' 2 But then the Princess had met Prince Louis and, although Lord Clarendon described him as a 'dull boy', coming from 'a dull family in

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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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