make a stand against engaging foreign artists. And he comforted him by saying, "There are two great auxiliaries in this country which seldom fail to promote the success of any scheme — fashion and high example."
ON JANUARY 25, 1842, Prince Albert Edward was christened in St. George's Chapel at Windsor. Lady Lyttelton was appointed to watch over the heir and, a year later, when the baby's character was beginning to develop, she wrote of his being "passionate and determined enough for an autocrat," but allowed that there was "a lovely mildness of temper." The two comments fitted the Prince when he was King, and to the end of his life. The Queen was already planning her son's future, while he was still in her arms. She had written to King Leopold at the time of his birth that her fervent prayer was that the child might be "like his dearest papa." She wished "to see him resemble his father in every, every respect, both in body and mind."
But Hanoverian, not Coburg blood, flowed richest in the baby's veins and it was in memory of the Georges, rather than his father, that Prince Albert Edward was to form his character.
The heir to the throne was born at a time of widespread discontent in Britain and overseas. Peel had not calmed the artisans in Lancashire nor the miners in Wales. Wages were low, food was dear, and there was little work. Half the home forces were needed to keep a semblance of order among the rebellious Irish. The other half were hurried to Staffordshire, South Wales, and Lancashire to check the insurgents. These were signs of the mighty changes to come during the life of Albert Edward as Prince and King. He was born amid the remnants of the old order; he was to live into the age when wealth and industry came into their own.
Abroad also, Britain's possessions were bringing her little but trouble. The war in China and rebellion at the Cape and in the West Indies convinced insular Britons still further that an empire was an embarrassing and unprofitable possession. Nor had the problems with the American colonies died when the Americans gained their freedom. There was one old wrangle that had been going on for fifty-eight years: the dispute over the boundary between Maine and Canada. A few years