son to claim that as he was a Prince of the country he should take precedence over his father.
After almost eighteen years of service, Prince Albert was not allowed to accept the title of Prince Consort without a sarcastic comment in The Times. His own announcement to his brother showed no pleasure. "I am to have the title Prince Consort of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland," he wrote. "This ought to have been done, as you thought yourself, at our wedding. " 5
There had been another domestic rejoicing, in April, when Princess Beatrice was born. She was the last of the big family, at a time of big families. (The population of England, Scotland, and Wales rose from 17 millions to 23 millions between 1841 and 1861.) In July, Prince Albert crossed to Belgium for the wedding of the Archduke Maximilian to King Leopold's daughter, Princess Charlotte. Queen Victoria was at Osborne and she ordered wine for the servants and grog for the sailors on her yacht to celebrate the day. "At this very moment," she wrote to King Leopold, the "knot is being tied which binds your sweet loving child to a thoroughly worthy husband." Six years later the "sweet loving child" and the "thoroughly worthy husband" became Empress and Emperor of Mexico — a rash enterprise that was to end in madness and assassination.
WHILE Queen Victoria was pinning medals on the tunics of the Crimean heroes, in May, news came of mutiny among the Indian regiments at Meerut. English officers, women, and children had been massacred and the rebels had retreated to Delhi to gather more supporters. News of the cruelty of the Sepoys and of the death of General Anson, Commander-in-Chief in India, reached England, and the government had to turn its attention from a victory to a new source of disaster. Once more the impetus came from the Court. The Queen complained, "If we had not reduced in such a hurry this spring, we should now have all the men wanted." The Prince Consort wrote, "The Ministry [is] too calm for my notions. We are constantly digging our spurs into their sides." Lord Clarendon admitted, "We are utterly defenceless." In one month, 30,000 native troops had disappeared from the army in northern India. While the ghastly story moved on to massacre at