'There would be no advantage in having
a totally inexperienced girl of eighteen,
just out of strict guardianship to govern an Empire.'
THE PROSPECT OF an autumn holiday at Ramsgate did little to raise the Princess's spirits, even though her uncle Leopold, whom she had not seen for over four years, was also to be staying in the town at the Albion Hotel.*'What happiness it was for me to throw myself in the arms of that dearest of Uncles, who has always been to me like a father, and whom I love so very dearly,' she wrote in her diary. 'I look up to him as a Father with confidence, love and affection. He is the best and kindest adviser I have . . . I have such great love for him and such great confidence in him.''I love him so very much,' she added later. 'Oh, my love for him approaches to a sort of adoration. He is indeed "il mio secondo padre", or rather "solo padre", for he is indeed like my real father, as I have none.' His young wife, Queen Louise, daughter of Louis-Philippe, King of the French, whom he had married when she was twenty a bare three years before, was also 'quite delightful', 'an Angel' who behaved towards her in the most friendly manner, playing games with her in the evenings, praising her drawings, sending her hairdresser to rearrange her light brown hair and pressing upon her all kinds of presents from her own____________________