and spent some months in Europe, mostly at Amorbach. When the Duchess realized that she was to become a mother, the Duke said he wished the baby to be born in England. But they were so poor, they could not afford the journey, and neither the Regent nor the British Government would help them. With borrowed money, they packed their trunks and birds and dogs into a travelling coach and the Duke drove his wife across Europe, to the coast.
A gipsy had once told the Duke of Kent, when he was climbing a slope in Gibraltar, that he would have a daughter and that she would be a great queen. On May 26, 1819, he might have felt that the prophecy was coming true. His baby was born, "as plump as a partridge," with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Duke of Wellington and Mr. Canning looking on.
THE old Duke of Saxe-Coburg died at the close of 1817 and Prince Ernst and Princess Luise became Duke and Duchess. Luise's mother‐ in-law wrote in her diary, "Luischen has today celebrated her seventeenth birthday. God grant that she may celebrate the eighteenth just as happy and jolly. Her extreme youth and delicate body make me very afraid of her condition for the hour of becoming a mother . . . Charlotte's loss makes me so despondent . . . the poor thing appears to me only like a lovely vision . . . I would give my life to ensure the child her happiness, because I love her like a daughter. There is such a thoughtful and gloomy look in her big eyes, like a frightening warning. Protect her life, God of Heaven!"
On June 21, 1818, the Dowager Duchess wrote again, "God be praised and thanked. Luise has been successfully delivered of a healthy boy."1
When she was able to sit up and write, Luise sent an excited letter to her friend in Gotha. "It has big eyes which are dark blue up to now, but I am constantly hoping they will become dark brown. The mouth is small and pretty and the face has a pretty shape. I do not talk about the nose, it is rather ugly . . . You cannot realize what a strange feeling I have in being a respectable mamma. I love my little