year-old son, or to Coburg where she would have found affection and friends. But she stayed in Kensington and turned desperately to the task of bringing up her child as an English princess. Her only immediate advisers were her husband's old friend, John Conroy, a meddling Irishman, who remained as her controller, and Louise Lehzen, who, through sly design and stupidity, ended in making Conroy her enemy and in estranging mother and child.
LIFE in the Court1 at Coburg remained serene for a little longer and the alarming letters from England, telling of the deaths of the Duke of Kent, and King George III, could not dull the joy of the old Duchess over the charms of the growing children. When Prince Albert drove with her in her carriage, he said,
"Albert is going with Grandmama,"and held out his hand to be kissed. She thought him " lovely as a little angel, with his fair curls." If he rebelled, "a grave face" would always make him "submit." He looked at a picture book of Saxon princes and "made wonderful eyes" when he found that "one was called Albert, like himself." The grandmother also spared time to watch the interests of her grandchild in Kensington. "Don't tease your little puss with learning. She is young still," she wrote. But the Duchess of Kent was too serious-minded to take this advice to heart.
The Duchess Luise remained impetuous and lively. In July, 1820, the first hint of scandal touched her. "You will laugh when you hear it," she wrote to her friend in Gotha. Almost a year after Prince Albert was born, Charlotte von Boch, one of the ladies-in-waiting, was guilty of what Luise described as "stupidity beyond all bounds." She wrote that Charlotte von Boch had accused her "of loving Count Solms," a courtier, and that she had scolded him "because he was in love with me." The story was repeated to Duke Ernst. Luise wrote,
"If he had been sensible he would have laughed also, but he took it seriously and was angry with me. We talked about it and it all ended in tears."She complained, "Now he watches me, which he has never done before, and he misconstrues everything." She pleaded with her friend, "How is it possible, dear Auguste, that people can thus have such fancies and make such attacks."