' Lord Melbourne was very funny about the statue.
AT THE BEGINNING of 1845 the Duke was busy preparing to receive the Queen and Prince Albert at Stratfield Saye. The Queen had already paid a brief visit to Walmer Castle to give her children a taste of the bracing sea air when an outbreak of scarlet fever had prevented them going to Brighton. On that occasion her carriage had got stuck in the Castle entrance; but otherwise the visit had been a success, even though the building had had to be 'pulled to Pieces' to suit her convenience and was a scene of the most utter confusion when she arrived, with trunks and baggage in every room and 'Abigails, Maids, Nurses of all ages and descriptions running about'. 1
The Duke, however, had not been in attendance then, having merely lent the Castle to an attenuated Royal Household and moved out to the Ship Hotel in Dover. But he was now in 1845 to act as host at Stratfield Saye.
He would have liked to forgo the honour. It was not that he was concerned about the house's comforts: the central heating system he had installed was perfectly efficient. The windows were now doubly glazed. The principal rooms were lit by colza-oil lamps. The conservatory, where he was in the habit of dealing with his correspondence of a morning, was also kept warm by an Arnott stove; and every one of the guest bedrooms had its own water-closet of blue patterned china. But there were only nine of these bedrooms, and the reception rooms were by no means large: they would seem almost minute when compared with what the Queen was used to in her own castles and palaces. His protestations of inadequacy were brushed aside: her Majesty 'smiled and continued to be very gracious but did not give a Hint of postponing the Visit'. 2 So 'bells had to be hung from H.M. Apartments