Queen Victoria: A Personal History

By Christopher Hibbert | Go to book overview

9
CORONATION

'What was called an Altar
was covered with sandwiches, bottles of wine, etc.'

AFTER A DISTURBED NIGHT in which she had 'a feeling that something awful was going to happen tomorrow', the Queen was woken up at four o'clock in the morning in her bedroom at Buckingham Palace by the sound of guns in the Park, and 'could not get much sleep afterwards on account of the noise of the people, bands etc. etc.'. It was Thursday, 28 June 1838 and she was to be crowned that day in Westminster Abbey. Thousands of people had travelled to London the day before until, as the diarist Mary Frampton told her mother, there were 'stoppages in every street . . . Hundreds of people waiting . . . to get lifts on the railway in vain . . . Not a fly or cab to be had for love or money. Hackney coaches £8 or £12 each, double to foreigners.' 1

'The uproar, the confusion, the crowd, the noise are indescribable,' Charles Greville confirmed. 'Horsemen, footmen, carriages squeezed, jammed, intermingled, the pavement blocked up with timbers [for the spectators' stands], hammering and knocking and falling fragments stunning the ears and threatening the head . . . The town all mob, thronging, bustling, gaping and gazing at everything, at anything, or at nothing. The Park one vast encampment, with banners floating on the tops of tents and still the roads are covered, the railroads loaded with arriving multitudes.' He found the racket 'uncommonly tiresome', yet he had to concede that the 'great merit of this Coronation is that so much has been done for the people [the theatres, for example, and many other places of entertainment were to be free that night]. To amuse and interest them seems to have been the principal object.' 2

-70-

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Queen Victoria: A Personal History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations xi
  • Author's Note and Acknowledgements xv
  • Queen Victoria's Prime Ministers xviii
  • Part One - 1819-1861 1
  • 1 - The Family 3
  • 2 - The Parents 9
  • 3 - The Child 17
  • 4 - Conroy 25
  • 5 - Progresses 30
  • 6 - Uncles 41
  • 7 - The Young Queen 53
  • 8 - Melbourne 60
  • 9 - Coronation 70
  • 10 - The Hastings Affair 76
  • II - A Pleasant Life' 85
  • 12 - A Headstrong Girl 90
  • 13 - German Cousins 98
  • 14 - Prince Albert 107
  • 15 - The Bridegroom 111
  • 16 - Honeymoon 120
  • 17 - Robert Peel 130
  • 18 - The Prince and the Household 137
  • 19 - Royal Quarrels 148
  • 20 - Osborne 157
  • 21 - Travelling 165
  • 22 - Balmoral 175
  • 23 - The Prince of Wales 183
  • 24 - Palmerston 193
  • 25 - Chartists 199
  • 26 - Pam is Out 204
  • 27 - The Great Exhibition 210
  • 28 - Scenes 216
  • 29 - Crimean War 221
  • 30 - Napoleon III 230
  • 31 - The Princess Royal 238
  • 32 - Indian Mutiny 248
  • 33 - The German Grandson 256
  • 34 - Death of the Duchess 264
  • 35 - The Disappointing Heir 268
  • 36 - Death of the Prince 276
  • Part Two - 1861-1901 283
  • 37 - The Grieving Widow 285
  • 38 - Seances and Services 293
  • 39 - Princess Alexandra 298
  • 40 - The Recluse 307
  • 41 - Disraeli 314
  • 42 - John Brown 321
  • 43 - The Royalty Question 331
  • 44 - The Princely Pauper 338
  • 45 - Typhoid Fever 342
  • 46 - Maids-Of-Honour 349
  • 47 - Secretaries and Ministers 353
  • 48 - Regina Et Imperatrix 360
  • 49 - The Half-Mad Firebrand 367
  • 50 - Golden Jubilee 379
  • 51 - Die EnglÄnderin 384
  • 52 - The Daughters 391
  • 53 - The Sons 396
  • 54 - The Grand Children 414
  • 55 - Would-Be Assassins 420
  • 56 - Holidays Abroad 428
  • 57 - Death of Brown 440
  • 58 - The Munshi 446
  • 59 - Diamond Jubilee 455
  • 60 - Life at Court 461
  • 61 - Dinner Parties 468
  • 62 - Books 477
  • 63 - Bookmen 481
  • 64 - Failing Health 484
  • 65 - Death 492
  • 66 - Funeral and Burial 495
  • References 503
  • Sources 523
  • Index 535
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