fifty years before; from which Sir Walter Raleigh sailed "on his last unfortunate expedition to the West Indies," in August 1617.
THE Queen's first taste of independence seemed likely to end in excess. When King Leopold stayed with her at Windsor, in August, she was grateful for the fresh supplies of his wisdom. Lord Melbourne was also there and she wrote, "The sound observations they make and the impartial advice they give me would make a most interesting book." When her Uncle returned to Brussels she wrote to him,
"How I shall miss your conversation!"But a second thought must have stirred about this time. Perhaps he was smothering her with too much advice and perhaps advice might become interference! At the end of the year she wrote,
"You must not, dear Uncle, think that it is from want of interest that I, in general, abstain from touching upon these matters in my letters to you; but I am fearful, if I were to do so, to change our present delightful and familiar correspondence into a formal and stiff discussion upon political matters which would not be agreeable to either of us and which I should deeply regret."1
While she was at Windsor the Queen had enjoyed "the pleasantest summer" she had "ever passed" in her life. In London, she was happy in the first glories of being Queen. She drove to the Guildhall in the state carriage, drawn by eight cream-coloured horses, and the people who had scowled at her wicked uncles cheered her so gladly that when she arrived back in the palace she wrote,
"I cannot say HOW gratified and How touched I am by the very brilliant, affectionate, cordial enthusiastic and unanimous reception I met with in this the greatest metropolis in the World! . . . It is much more than I deserve, and I shall do my utmost to render myself worthy of all this love and affection."
Prince Albert wrote one letter2 referring to the Coronation, to his tutor. It is interesting in its revelation of his thoughts at twenty, and because of a reference to Baroness Lehzen. He wrote, "From all one hears of the Coronation it must have been a sight never seen before. She was the only person not in the least tired by the ceremony.
... Papa had a little conversation himself with Victoria in which she