against her mother seemed to die and the quiet old lady, so long satisfied with her duets, flower vases, and games of whist, was drawn closer into the more magnificent life of her daughter. The past was forgiven and forgotten. Conroy was a shade and Lehzen was a pensioner, already arranging countless photographs of the Queen in her house near Hanover. Prince Albert sometimes rode beside his aunt's phaeton, talking of the old days in Coburg, or the Queen and the Prince would walk down to Frogmore and surprise the Duchess, sitting in the Flower Room with her ladies. Prince Albert was teaching his wife, through her emotions rather than her mind, to comprehend the mysteries of the human heart.
PRINCE ALBERT still had fields to conquer. Another child was to be born in April so the Prince was obliged to take the Queen's place at the spring levées. Some of the aristocracy, who looked with patronage on what they described as a bourgeois Court, decided to make excuses and stay away 1 lest they might have to kneel before the Prince. The Queen told her Prime Minister she would not allow any peer to snub her husband and Sir Robert Peel had to assure her 2 that only a "person of deranged intellect" could have a "hostile feeling" towards Prince Albert. But he suggested a compromise: that the English aristocracy might be excused from kneeling and kissing the Prince's hand.3
On April 25, Prince Albert wrote to his brother,
"At four o'clock this morning, Victoria was confined with a little daughter. She suffered much, but for only a short time, and now she feels as well as can be expected. The child is said to be very pretty. "4
Even this happy event led to fresh hurt for Prince Albert. The remaining Hanoverian royalties had to be invited to the christening, including the Duchess of Cambridge, who had once refused to stand up to drink the Prince's health at dinner, and the Duke of Cumberland, King of Hanover. The King arrived at Buckingham Palace after the ceremony was over. Prince Albert thought he looked "miserable and old." At first he was "in a good humour," but this did not last. The King's first fall from grace came when he had to swear fidelity and