abided by the view she expressed in a letter to Lord Salisbury on June 9, 1890.
"It is a very bad precedent. The next thing will be to propose to give up Gibraltar: and soon nothing will be secure, and all our Colonies will wish to be free."It is perhaps irrelevant to wonder over the possible thoughts of the Queen had she lived until 1947 when Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten was appointed last Viceroy of India, to hand back to the native population the vast country that had given his great‐ grandmother her Imperial Crown.
ON JANUARY I, 1891, Queen Victoria wrote in her journal,
"May God enable me to become worthier, less full of weakness and failings, and may He preserve me yet for some years."Twenty-nine years before, in the darkness of bereavement, she had written,
"The things of this world are of no interest to the Queen . . . her thoughts are fixed above."There were troubles enough for 1890 to hand on to 1891: a split in the Irish Nationalist Party following Mr. Parnell's divorce, alarming signs of vigour in Mr. Gladstone, and a rising of Hindus in the hill state of Manipur. But these anxieties could not touch the deep-rooted happiness that was coming to the Queen in the November of her life. Her grandchildren were helping to make her young again. Sometimes in the morning Princess Beatrice's babies were brought into the Queen's room, to play on her bed, a liberty none of her own children had enjoyed. Her English grandsons were well into their twenties and devoted to healthy pleasures. In October, 1890, when the Queen joined them in an evening party at Balmoral, they "pushed the furniture back, and had a nice little impromptu dance." The Queen left her walking stick leaning against a chair while she took her place in a quadrille with Prince George.
"I did quite well,"she wrote,
"then followed some waltzes and polkas. "1
The zest for pleasure increased and ministers spending the night at Windsor no longer sat through sombre evenings, beyond the edge of the intimidating carpet at their Sovereign's feet. Twice during March, theatrical companies travelled down to the castle. When the Waterloo Chamber rang with the jolly music of The Gondoliers, the