advice, urging him further towards the light of constitutional monarchy and congratulating him on his choice of new ministers. "What an excellent turn all political matters have taken in Berlin," the Prince Consort wrote to Stockmar. "Indeed one cannot sufficiently praise the Prince."
Stockmar had been so delighted with this prospect of a fresh harvest from his old sowing of liberal theories that he hurried to Berlin, to sit beside the Regent and listen to the unburdening of his mind and heart. The old king-maker was so pleased that he bent and kissed the Regent's hand.
The good news from Prussia was soon outstripped by evil reports from France. In his Christmas letter to the Queen, the Emperor Napoleon announced the betrothal of Prince Napoleon, son of Jerome, to Princess Clothilde, daughter of the King of Sardinia, the monarch whose whole ambition was to "free Italy from the Alps to the Adriatic." Napoleon's intentions were no longer secret. The plan to help to expel the Austrians from Italy and gather some of the spoils for himself was now almost openly declared. The year ended with organized risings throughout northern Italy and the clear prospect of war in the spring.
ON JANUARY 27, the Prince Consort complained to Stockmar in a letter, "I am weary and out of heart. "1 Yet it was on this day that his first grandson was born. The Queen was "proud and happy" because it was her daughter who had presented a royal heir to Germany.
While Queen Victoria was writing with gratitude of the blessing chloroform had been to her daughter, in her painful childbirth, the future enemy of the baby Prussian, the Prince of Wales, was preparing for an exciting journey. For the first time an heir to the British throne was to imbibe some of his education in Rome and for the first time since the Reformation, to be received by a Pope. But not alone. Colonel Bruce had to be with him in case the young, spontaneous tongue ran wild. As the Queen said,2 "God knows" what the Vatican might pretend he had said unless there was a witness.
During the visit to Rome there was a good deal of archaeology, which bored the Prince, because he always disliked "mouldering stones." But