'After the Prince Consort's death I wished to die,
but now I wish to live and do what I can
for my country and those I love.'
TOWARDS THE END OF JULY 1900 the Queen received the news that her second son, Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, who had succeeded his uncle as Duke of Coburg seven years before, had died at the Rosenau. An alcoholic, he had been suffering from cancer of the tongue and for some time had been estranged from his wife whom he blamed for the death of their son, 'Young Affie', an unsatisfactory young man who had contracted syphilis and, suffering from 'nervous depression', had shot himself after a furious quarrel with his mother. The Queen felt 'terribly shaken and broken' on hearing of her 'poor darling' second son's death, and at first she 'could not realize the dreadful fact. Following upon the deaths of her youngest son, Prince Leopold, of Princess Alice's little daughter, May, and of Princess Alice herself, who died of diphtheria at the age of thirtyfive on 14 December 1878, the seventeenth anniversary of her father's death -- a lamentable loss which occasioned a letter from her eldest sister to their mother of thirty-nine pages* -- the Duke of Edinburgh's death____________________