CHAPTER X

LORD PALMERSTON'S injudicious despatch on the subject of the Spanish marriages in 1846 was the first of a series of highly frictional incidents. Several times within a year of his appointment as Foreign Secretary the Queen reminded him that he had failed to show her the drafts of instructions to her Ministers abroad before they were sent off: she desired that it should not occur again,* and it soon did. He sometimes used language which she thought bitter and unfriendly and unworthy of the "calm dignity" which should characterize the dealings of the British Government with foreign nations, and she feared that some day "he might give her name to sanction proceedings which she may afterwards be compelled to disavow." It was only reasonable and proper that the Queen should feel strongly about this: she, as Sovereign, was Britannia and the Government were her servants. She must know there- -fore what orders they were giving in her name: she must have time to consider the wisdom of them, and when she had endorsed them it was a monstrous insincerity that her servants should modify them in any way. But, as the friction increased, she made a claim on behalf of the Crown which was quite unconstitutional, asserting her right of dismissing at will any such insincere servant. She was free

____________________
*
Letters, I, ii, p. 122.
Lee, Queen Victoria, p. 214.

-158-

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Queen Victoria
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • List of Illustrations *
  • Note *
  • Chapter I 1
  • Chapter II 15
  • Chapter III 32
  • Chapter IV 49
  • Chapter V 66
  • Chapter VI 74
  • Chapter VII 97
  • Chapter VIII 117
  • Chapter IX 142
  • Chapter X 158
  • Chapter XI 168
  • Chapter XII 186
  • Chapter XIII 203
  • Chapter XIV 218
  • Chapter XV 239
  • Chapter XVI 263
  • Chapter XVII 277
  • Chapter XVIII 306
  • Chapter XIX 335
  • Chapter XX 357
  • Chapter XXI 383
  • Index 399
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