'The systematic idleness, laziness -- disregard of everything is enough to break one's heart, and fills me with indignation.'
' BERTIE CONTINUES such an anxiety,' the Queen had written to the Crown Princess Frederick in April 1859 when the Prince of Wales was seventeen years old.
I tremble at the thought of only three years and a half before us -- when he will be of age and we can't hold him except by moral power! I try to shut my eyes to that terrible moment! He is improving very decidedly -- but Oh! it is the improvement of such a poor or still more idle intellect. Oh! dear, what would happen if I were to die next winter. It is too awful a contemplation. His journal is worse a great deal than Affie's [Prince Alfred's] letters. And all from laziness! Still we must hope for improvement in essentials; but the greatest improvement I fear, will never make him fit for his position. His only safety -- and the country's -- is his implicit reliance in everything, on dearest Papa, that perfection of human beings. 1
'I feel very sad about him,' she told her daughter on another occasion, 'he is so idle and so weak. God grant that he may take things more to heart and be more serious for the future.' He was such 'a very dull companion' compared with his brothers, who were 'all so amusing and communicative'. 'When I see [ Affie] and Arthur and look at . . .! (You know what I mean!) I am in utter despair! The systematic idleness, laziness -- disregard of everything is enough to break one's heart, and fills me with indignation.' 2 Even his physique depressed her. She complained of