By gracious permission of Her Majesty the Queen, I have been able to research in the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle and to use the letters and documents which make up the main part of this book. Her Majesty, as the owner of the copyright in Queen Victoria's letters, has also given Her gracious permission for their use in this work.
During the time which I have spent in Windsor Castle, I have been given selfless and illuminating guidance by the Queen's Librarian, Sir Robin Mackworth-Young. With his help and that of Miss Langton, I have been able to complete this work. Their wise advice has prevented me from making many errors of fact and judgment. Those which remain are my own.
I am also indebted to Wolfgang, Prince of Hesse, who is the owner of Queen Victoria's letters to the Empress Frederick, and of many other royal and imperial letters and papers at Friedrichshof, Kronberg. He has graciously granted me permission to use part of them in this book.
For their assistance in aiding me to secure and select the illustrations, I am grateful to Sir Oliver Millar, the Keeper of the Queen's Pictures, and to Miss Frances Dimond, Curator of the Photograph Collection at the Royal Archives.
For permission to quote from the Salisbury papers, I am indebted to the Marquess of Salisbury. Extracts from the Ponsonby papers, the Malet papers, the Lascelles papers and the Lansdowne papers in the Public Record Office appear by permission of the Controller of H.M. Stationery Office. Mr. J. M. Armstrong of the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London has helped me untiringly in the examination of these collections and at the Public Records Office.