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The First Christening The Season Of 1841

Youth

Comments Upon The Young Queen By A Contemporaneous Writer In Blackwood

The Queen's First Visit To Scotland

The Queen's First Visit To Scotland

The Proroguing Of Parliament The Visit To Guildhall And The Coronation

Childhood

Childhood

Reign Of Queen Victoria

The Princess Opens The Victoria Park At Bath



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The Condemnation Of The English Duel

Fresh Attempts Against The Queen's Life And The Death Of The Duc D'orleans

The Queen's Sympathy During The Illness Of President Garfield

Marriage Of The Princess Royal

Failing Health Of Prince Albert

Marriage And Delicacy Of The Prince's Position

Allies From Afar And Death And Absence

Queen Victoria Absence From The Coronation Of William Iv

The Emperor And Empress Of France Visit Windsor

Prince Albert






The Proroguing Of Parliament The Visit To Guildhall And The Coronation








Buckingham Palace had been a seat of the Duke of Buckingham's, which was
bought by George II., and in the next reign was settled on Queen Charlotte
instead of Somerset House, and called the "Queen's House." It was rebuilt
by George IV. but not occupied by him, and had been rarely used by King
William. Besides its gardens, which are of some extent, it shares with St.
James's, which it is near, the advantage of St. James's Park, one of the
most agreeable in London, and full of historic memories. Though it, too,
was modernised by George IV., its features have still much interest. It
was by its canal, which has been twisted into the Serpentine, that the
Merry Monarch strolled alone, lazily playing with his dogs, feeding his
ducks, and by his easy confidence flattering and touching his good citizens
of London. On the same water his gay courtiers practised their foreign
accomplishment of skating, which they had brought back with them from the
Low Countries. In the Mall both Charles and his brother, the Duke of York,
joined in the Court game of Palle Malle, when a ball was struck with a
mallet through an iron ring down a walk strewn with powdered cockle-shells.
At a later period the Mall was the most fashionable promenade in London.
While dinners were still early on Sunday afternoons, the fashionable world
walked for an hour or two after dinner in the Mall. An eyewitness declared
that he had seen "in one moving mass, extending the whole length of the
Mall, five thousand of the most lovely women in this country of female
beauty, all splendidly attired, and accompanied by as many well-dressed
men." For, as Mr. Hare, in his "Walks in London," points out, the
frequenters of the Mall were very different in one respect from the company
in the Row: "The ladies were in full dress and gentlemen carried their hats
under their arms."

One relic of the past survives intact in the park--that is, the cow-stalls,
which formerly helped to constitute "Milk Fair." Mr. Hare tells us "the
vendors are proud of the number of generations through which the stalls
have been held in their families."

From Buckingham Palace the Queen went in State on the 17th of July to close
Parliament. The carriage, with the eight cream-coloured horses, was used.
As far as we can judge, this was the first appearance in her Majesty's
reign of "the creams," so dear to the London populace. The carriage was
preceded by the Marshalmen, a party of the Yeomen of the Guard in State
costumes, and runners. The fourth carriage, drawn by six black horses,
contained the Marchioness of Lansdowne, the Duchess of Sutherland, the Duke
of Argyle, Lord Steward and Gold Stick in Waiting. The Queen was
accompanied by the Earl of Albemarle, Master of the Horse, and the Countess
of Mulgrave, the Lady-in-Waiting. The procession, escorted by a squadron of
the Horse Guards, moved into Whitehall, and was cheered in Parliament
Street by deafening shouts from a mass of spectators lining the streets and
covering the house-tops. On arriving opposite the entrance of the House of
Lords her Majesty was received by a battalion of the Grenadier Guards,
whose splendid band, when she alighted, played the National Anthem.

Thus heralded, the young Queen entered the old Houses of Parliament, seated
herself on the throne of her ancestors, and accorded her maiden reception
to her loyal Lords and faithful Commons. This was the first occasion in a
great assembly that people remarked the natural gift which has proved a
valuable possession to her Majesty, and has never failed to awaken the
admiration of the hearers. We allude to the peculiar silvery clearness, as
well as sweetness, of a voice which can be heard in its most delicate
modulations through the whole House. In reply to the Speaker of the House
of Commons' assurance of the Commons' cordial participation in that strong
and universal feeling of dutiful and affectionate attachment which
prevailed among the free and loyal people of which they were the
representatives, the Queen read her speech in an unfaltering voice,
thanking the Parliament for its condolence upon the death of his late
Majesty, and for its expressions of attachment and affection to herself,
announcing her determination to preserve all the rights, spiritual and
civil, of her subjects, touching on the usual topics in a royal speech in
its relation to home and foreign affairs, and making the solemn assertion:
"I ascend the throne with a deep sense of the responsibility which is
imposed upon me, but I am supported by the consciousness of my own right
intentions and by my dependence on the protection of Almighty God." Fanny
Kemble was present at this memorable scene, and has given her impression of
it. Her testimony, as a public speaker, is valuable. "The Queen was not
handsome, but very pretty, and the singularity of her great position lent a
sentimental and poetical charm to her youthful face and figure. The serene,
serious sweetness of her candid brow and clear soft eyes gave dignity to
the girlish countenance, while the want of height only added to the effect
of extreme youth of the round but slender person, and gracefully moulded
hands and arms. The Queen's voice was exquisite, nor have I ever heard any
spoken words more musical in their gentle distinctness than "My Lords and
Gentlemen," which broke the breathless silence of the illustrious assembly
whose gaze was riveted on that fair flower of royalty. The enunciation was
as perfect as the intonation was melodious, and I think it is impossible to
hear a more excellent utterance than that of the Queen's English by the
English Queen."

The accession of Queen Victoria almost coincided with a new era in English
history, art and letters, new relations in politics at home and abroad, new
social movements undreamt of when she was born. In spite of the strong
party spirit, the country was at peace within and without. France, the
foreign neighbour of most importance to England, was also at peace under a
so-called "citizen-king." The "Tractarian" movement at Oxford was startling
the world with a proposed return to the practices of the primitive Church,
while it laid the foundation of the High Church and Ritualistic parties in
the modern Church of England. The names of Newman and Pusey especially were
in many mouths, spoken in various terms of reprobation and alarm, or
approval and exultation. Next to Tractarianism, Chartism--the people's
demand for a charter which should meet their wants--was a rising force,
though it had not reached its full development. Arnold was doing his noble
work, accomplishing a moral revolution in the public schools of England.
Milman and Grote had arisen as historians. Faraday was one of the chief
lights of science. Sir John Herschel occupied his father's post among the
stars. Beautiful modest Mary Somerville showed what a woman might do with
the Differential Calculus; Brewster had taken the place of Sir Humphry
Davy. Murchison was anticipating Robert Dick and Hugh Miller in geology.
Alfred Tennyson had already published two volumes of poems; Browning had
given to the world his "Paracelsus," and this very year (1837) his
Strafford had been performed at Covent Garden, while it was still on
the cards that his calling might be that of a great dramatist. Dickens, the
Scott of the English lower-middle classes, was bringing out his "Pickwick
Papers." Disraeli had got into the House of Commons at last, and his
"Vivian Grey" was fully ten years old. So was Bulwer's "Pelbam"--the author
of which also aided in forming the literary element of the House of Commons
in the Queen's first Parliament. Mrs. Gore, Mrs. Trollope, Miss Mitford,
Mrs. S. C. Hail, and Harriet Martinean represented under very different
aspects the feminine side of fiction. Macready remained the stage king, but
he shared his royalty with the younger Kean. A younger Kemble had also
played Juliet well, but the stage queen was Helen Faucit. In painting,
Turner was working in his last style; Stanfield's sea-pieces were famous.
Mulready and Leslie were in the front as genre painters. Maclise was
making his reputation; Etty had struggled into renown, while poor Haydon
was sinking into despair. Landseer was already the great animal painter.
Sir C. Eastlake had court commissions. Wilkie, too, still had royal
commissions, but his best work was done, and he was soon to set out on his
last travels in a vain search after health and strength.

Withal the world was a light-hearted world enough--not so hurried as it is
to-day, though railways were well established, and the electric telegraph
had been hit upon in this same 1837. Young blood continued hot, and play
was apt to be riotous. Witness the fantastic frolics of the Marquis of
Waterford--public property in those years. He had inherited the
eccentricities of the whole Delaval race, and not content with tickling his
peers in England, carried his whims and pranks into Scotland and Ireland
and across the Channel. Various versions of his grotesque feats circulated
and scintillated through all classes, provoking laughter, and tempting to
clumsy imitation, till the gentleman may be said to have had a species of
world-wide reputation in a madly merry way.

The Queen held a review at Windsor on the 28th of September, 1837. She had
dwelt at Windsor before as a cherished guest; but what must it not have
been to her to enter these gates as the Queen? The rough hunting-seat of
William Rufus had long been the proudest and fairest palace in England. St
George's Tower and battlements are the most royal in these realms. St.
George's Hall and St. George's Chapel are the best examples of ancient and
modern chivalry. The stately terrace commanding the red turrets of Eton and
the silvery reaches of the Thames, where George III. and Queen Charlotte,
with their large family and household, were wont to promenade on Sunday
afternoons for the benefit of their Majesties' loyal subjects, where the
blind old King used to totter along supported by two of his faithful
Princesses; the green alleys and glades of the ancient forest, with the
great boles of the venerable oaks--Queen Elizabeth's among them; Virginia
Water sparkling in the sunshine or glimmering in the moonlight, all make up
such a kingly residence, as in many respects cannot be surpassed. What must
it not have been to enter the little Court town, another Versailles or
Fontainebleau, as its liege Lady, to be hailed and welcomed by the goodly
throng of Eton lads--those gay and gallant attendants on royal Windsor
pageants--to pass through these halls as their mistress, and fairly
recognise that all the noble surroundings were hers, with all England, all
Britain and many a great dependency and colony on which the sun never
sets--hers to rule over, hers to bless if she would?

At the review, in compliment to her soldiers whom she saw marshalled in
their disciplined masses, and saluting her as the Captain of their
Captains--even of Wellington himself--the Queen wore a half-military
dress--a tight jacket with deep lappels, the blue riband of the Garter
across one shoulder, and its jewelled star upon her breast, a stocklike
black neckerchief in stiff folds holding up the round throat, and on the
head--hiding nearly all the fair hair--a round, high, flatcap with a broad
black "snout"; beneath it the soft, open, girlish face, with its
single-hearted dignity.

In this month of September the Queen heard that her sister-queen and girl
friend, Donna Maria da Gloria, had received consolation for the troubles of
her kingdom in becoming the youthful mother of a son and heir, Prince
Ferdinand of Portugal.

By November the Court was back at Buckingham Palace, and on the 9th the
Queen paid her first visit to the City of London, which received her with
magnificent hospitality.

Long before the hour appointed for her Majesty's departure for Guildhall,
all the approaches to the palace and the park itself presented dense crowds
of holiday folks. At two o'clock the first carriage of the procession
emerged from the triumphal arch, and in due time came the royal State
carriage, in which sat the Queen, attended by the Mistress of the Robes and
the Master of the Horse. Her Majesty's full-dress was a "splendid pink
satin shot with silver." She wore a queenly diamond tiara, and, as we are
told, looked remarkably well. Her approach was the signal for enthusiastic
cheering, which increased as she advanced, while the bells of the city
churches rang out merry peals. The fronts of the houses were decorated with
bright-coloured cloth, green boughs, and such flowers as November had
spared. Devices in coloured lamps waited for the evening illumination to
bring them out in perfection. Venetian masts had not been hoisted then in
England, but "rows of national flags and heraldic banners were stretched
across the Strand at several points, and busts and portraits of her Majesty
were placed in conspicuous positions." The only person in the Queen's train
who excited much interest was the Duke of Wellington, and he heard himself
loudly cheered. The mob was rapidly condoning what they had considered his
errors as a statesman, and restoring him to his old eminence, in their
estimation, as the hero of the long wars, the conqueror of Bonaparte.
Applause or reprobation the veteran met with almost equal coolness. When he
had been besieged by raging, threatening crowds, calling upon him to do
justice to Queen Caroline, as he rode to Westminster during the wild days
of her trial, he had answered "Yes, yes," without a muscle of his face
moving, and pushed on straight to his destination. For many a year he was
to receive every contrite huzza, as he had received every fierce hiss, with
no more than the twinkling of an eyelid or the raising of two fingers.

The gathering at Temple Bar--real, grim old Temple Bar, which had borne
traitors' heads in former days--was so great that a detachment of Life
Guards, as well as a strong body of police, had work to do in clearing a
way for the carriages. The aldermen had to be accommodated with a room in
Child's old banking-house, founded by the typical industrious apprentice
who married his master's daughter. It sported the quaint old sign of the
"Marigold," and was supposed to hold sheaves of papers containing noble,
nay, royal secrets, as well as bushels of family jewels, in its strong
boxes. It had even a family romance of its own, for did not the great Child
of his day pursue his heiress in her flight to Gretna with the heir of the
Villiers, who, leaning, pistol in hand, from his postchaise in front, sent
a bullet into the near horse of the chaise behind, and escaped with his
prize?

Undisturbed by these exciting stories, the aldermen waited in the dim
interior--charged with other than money-lending mysteries, till the worthy
gentlemen were joined by the Lord Mayor and sheriffs, when they proceeded
to mount their chargers in Temple Yard--perhaps the most disturbing
proceeding of any, with the riders' minds a little soothed by the
circumstance that the horses had been brought from the Artillery barracks
at Woolwich, and each was led by the soldier to which it belonged, in the
capacity of groom.

"A few minutes before three the approach of the Queen was announced. The
Lord Mayor dismounted, and, taking the City sword in his hand, stood on the
south side of Temple Bar. As soon as the Queen's carriage arrived within
the gateway it stopped, and then, unfortunately, it began to rain." The
Queen's weather, which has become proverbial, of which we are given to
boast, did not attend her on this occasion. Perhaps it would have been too
much to expect of the clouds when the date was the 9th of November.
Regardless of the weather, "the Lord Mayor delivered the keys of the City
to the Queen, which her Majesty restored in the most gracious manner." At
this time the multitude above, around, and below, from windows,
scaffolding, roofs, and parapets, cheered long and loud. The Lord Mayor
remounted, and, holding the City sword aloft, took his place immediately
before the royal carriage, after which the aldermen, members of the Common
Council, and civic authorities formed in procession.

Rather a curious ceremony was celebrated in front of St. Paul's. Booths and
hustings had been erected in the enclosure for the accommodation of members
of the different City companies and the boys of Christ's Hospital. "The
royal carriage having stopped in the middle of the road, opposite the
cathedral gate, a platform was wheeled out, on which were Mr. Frederick
Gifford Nash, senior scholar of Christ's Hospital, and the head master and
treasurer. The scholar, in conformity with an old usage, delivered an
address of congratulation to her Majesty, concluding with an earnest prayer
for her welfare. 'God Save the Queen' was then sung by the scholars and a
great part of the multitude."

But already the dreariness and discomfort of a dark and wet November
afternoon had been too much even for the staunchest loyalty, and had
dispersed the feebler spirits among the onlookers. The Lord Mayor assisted
her Majesty to alight at the door of the Guildhall, where the Lady Mayoress
was waiting to be presented by her husband. We have a full description of
the Council-room and retiring-room, with their draperies of crimson and
gold, including the toilet-table, covered with white satin, and embroidered
with the initials V. R., a crown and wreath in gold, at which the maiden
Queen was understood to receive the last touches to her toilet, while she
was attended by such distinguished matrons as the Duchess of Kent, the
Duchess of Gloucester, and the Duchess of Cambridge. In the drawing-room
the address of the City of London was read by the Recorder, and replied to
by the Queen. At twenty minutes past five dinner was announced, and the
Queen, preceded by the Lord Mayor and the Lady Mayoress, and conducted by
the Lord Chamberlain, in "respectful silence," descended into the hall
where the banquet was prepared. The great old hall, with its "glorious
timber roof," could hardly have known itself. Gog and Magog--compared by
Nathaniel Hawthorne to "playthings for the children of giants"--must have
looked down with goggle eyes at the transformation. These were different
days from the time when Anne Ascue, of Kelsey, was tried there for heresy,
and the brave, keen-witted lady told her judges, when examined on the
doctrine of transubstantiation, she had heard that God made man, but that
man made God she had never heard; or when gallant Surrey encountered his
enemies; or melodious Waller was called to account. It was on the raised
platform at the east end of the hall that the Common Council had expended
its strength of ornament and lavished its wealth. Here London outdid
itself. The throne was placed there. "It was surmounted by an entablature,
with the letters V. R. supporting the royal crown and cushion. In the front
was an external valance of crimson velvet, richly laced and trimmed with
tassels. The back-fluting was composed of white satin, relieved with the
royal arms in gold. The curtains were of crimson velvet, trimmed with lace
and lined with crimson silk. The canopy was composed of crimson velvet,
with radiated centre of white satin enamelled with gold, forming a gold ray
from which the centre of velvet diverged; a valance of crimson velvet,
laced with gold, depended from the canopy, which was intersected with
cornucopia, introducing the rose, thistle, and shamrock, in white velvet.
Beneath this splendid canopy was placed the State-chair, which was richly
carved and gilt, and ornamented with the royal arms and crown, including
the rose, thistle, and shamrock, in crimson velvet. Its proportions were
tastefully and judiciously diminished to a size that should in some sort
correspond with the slight and elegant figure of the young Sovereign for
whom it was provided. The platform on which the throne stood was covered
with ermine and gold carpeting of the richest description." ... In front
of the throne was placed the royal table, extending the whole width of the
platform. It was thirty-four feet long and eight wide, and was covered with
a cloth of the most exquisite damask, trimmed with gold lace and fringe.
The sides and front of the platform were decked with a profusion of the
rarest plants and shrubs. The royal table was on a dais above the level of
the hall. A large mirror at each side of the throne reflected the gorgeous
scene. From the impromptu dais four long tables extended nearly half-way
down the hall, where the Lord and Lady Mayoress presided over the company
of foreign ambassadors, Cabinet Ministers, nobility, aldermen, and members
of the Common Council. The "royal avenue" led up the middle of the hall to
the throne, with the tables on each side. The Queen took her seat on the
throne; the Lord and Lady Mayoress stood on either side of her Majesty, but
were almost immediately bidden be seated at their table.

The company had now time to study the central figure, the cause and
culmination of the assembly. Over her pink and silver she wore the riband
and order of the Garter, with the George appended. Besides her diamond
tiara she had a stomacher of brilliants, and diamond ear-rings. She sat in
the middle of a regal company, only two of the others young like herself.
To the rest she must have been the child of yesterday; while to each and
all she preserved in full the natural relations, and was as much the
daughter, niece, and cousin as of old; yet, at the same time, she was every
inch the Queen. What a marvel it must have seemed--still more to those who
sat near than to those who stood afar. The Queen was supported by the Dukes
of Sussex and Cambridge, the Duchesses of Kent, Gloucester, Cambridge, and
Sutherland; and there were present her two cousins, Prince George and
Princess Augusta Of Cambridge.

After dinner, Non Nobus Domine was sung; and then, preceded by a
flourish of trumpets, the common crier advanced to the middle of the hall
and said, "The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor gives the health of our most
gracious Sovereign, Queen Victoria."

The company simultaneously rose and drank the toast with enthusiasm. "God
Save the Queen" was sung, after which her Majesty rose and bowed repeatedly
with marked goodwill.... The common crier then shouted, "Her Majesty gives
the Lord Mayor and Prosperity to the City of London." Bishop's "When the
Wind Blows" was sung. The only other toast was, "The Royal Family," given
by the Lord Mayor.

At half-past eight her Majesty's carriage was announced. The weather was
unpleasant, the streets were unusually dirty, but a vast crowd once more
greeted her. On arriving at the end of Cheapside, she was hailed out of the
glimmering illumination and foggy lamplight by "God Save the Queen," again
sung by many hundred voices, accompanied by a band of wind instruments, the
performance of the Harmonic Society, and the music was followed all the way
by enthusiastic cheering. The Baroness Bunsen remarked of such a scene long
afterwards, "I was at a loss to conceive how any woman's sides can 'bear
the beating of so strong a throb' as must attend the consciousness of being
the object of all that excitement, and the centre of attraction for all
those eyes. But the Queen has royal strength of nerve." Not so much
strength of nerve, we should say, as strength of single-heartedness and
simple sense of duty which are their own reward, together with the
comparative immunity produced by long habit.

Still it is a little relief to turn from so much State and strain to a
brief glimpse of the girl-Queen in something like the privacy of domestic
life. In the month of November, 1837, the Attorney-General, Lord Campbell,
with his wife, Lady Stratheden, received an invitation to Buckingham
Palace, to dine with her Majesty at seven, and one of the guests wrote thus
of the entertainment: "I went, and found it exceedingly agreeable, although
by no means so grand as dining at Tarvit with Mrs. Rigg. The little Queen
was exceedingly kind to me, and said she had heard from the Duchess of
Gloucester that I had the most beautiful children in the world. She asked
me how many we had, and when she heard seven, seemed rather
appalled, considering this a number which she would never be able to reach.
She seems in perfect health, and is as merry and playful as a kitten."

Amongst the other innumerable engagements which engrossed every moment of
the Queen from the time of her accession, she had been called on to sit for
her portrait to many eager artists--among them Hayter and Sir David Wilkie.
The last has recorded his impression of her in his manly, unaffected,
half-homely words. "Having been accustomed to see the Queen from a child,
my reception had a little the air of that of an early acquaintance. She is
eminently beautiful, her features nicely formed, her skin smooth, her hair
worn close to her face in a most simple way, glossy and clean-looking. Her
manner, though trained to act the Sovereign, is yet simple and natural. She
has all the decision, thought, and self-possession of a queen of older
years, has all the buoyancy of youth, and from the smile to the
unrestrained laugh, is a perfect child. While I was there she was sitting
to Pistrucci for her coin, and to Hayter for a picture for King Leopold."

The mention of the coin recalls the "image and superscription" on the gold,
silver, and copper that passes through our hands daily, which we almost
forget to identify with the likeness of the young Queen. About this time
also commenced the royal patronage of Landseer, which resulted later in
many a family group, in which numerous four-footed favourites had their
place. At the exhibition of Landseer's works after his death, the sight of
these groups recalled to elderly men and women who had been his early
neighbours, the days when a goodly cavalcade of ladies and gentlemen, with
their grooms, on horseback, used to sweep past the windows, and the word
went that the young Queen was honouring the painter by a visit to his
studio.

On the 20th of November the Queen went in State to the House of Lords to
open Parliament for the first time, with as great a crowd of members and
strangers present as had flocked to witness the prorogation in July. In the
course of the month of December the bills were passed which fixed the
Queen's income at three hundred and eighty-five thousand pounds a year, and
further raised the Duchess of Kent's annuity from twenty-two thousand,
which it had been latterly, to thirty thousand a year. On the 23rd of
December the Queen went to give her assent to the bills, and thank her
Parliament personally, according to old custom on such an occasion. On
presenting the bill the Speaker observed that it had been framed in "a
liberal and confiding spirit." The Queen simply bowed her acknowledgement.

Lord Melbourne, "with the tears in his eyes," told Lord Campbell that in
one of his first interviews with the Queen she had said to him, "My
father's debts must be paid." Accordingly the late Duke of Kent's debts
were paid by his daughter, in the name of herself and her mother, in the
first year of Queen Victoria's reign. In the second year she discharged the
debts which the Duchess of Kent had incurred in meeting the innumerable
heavy calls made upon her, not only as the widow of one of the Royal Dukes,
but as the mother of the future Sovereign.

The summer of 1838 was gay with the preparations for the Queen's
coronation. All classes took the greatest interest in it, so that splenetic
people pronounced the nation "coronation mad." Long before the event
coronation medals were being struck, coronation songs and hymns written,
coronation ribands woven. Every ingenious method by which the world could
commemorate the joyful season was put in practice. The sentiment was not
confined to the inhabitants of the United Kingdom. "Foreigners of various
conditions, and from all quarters of Europe, flocked in to behold the
inauguration of the maiden monarch of the British Empire. In the Metropolis
for some weeks anterior to the event the excitement was extreme. The
thousand equipages which thronged the streets, the plumed retainers of the
ambassadors, the streams of swarthy strangers, and the incessant din of
preparation, which resounded by night as well as by day, along the intended
line of the procession, constituted by themselves a scene of no ordinary
animation and interest, and sustained the public mind in an unceasing
stretch of expectation."

Some disappointment was experienced on the knowledge that the ancient
custom of a royal banquet in Westminster Hall on the coronation day was to
be dispensed with. But the loss was compensated by a procession--a
modification of the old street pageant--on the occasion.

On the morning of the 28th of June the weather was not promising. It was
cold for the season, and some rain fell; but the shower ceased, and the day
proved fresh and bright, with sunshine gilding the darkest cloud. The Tower
artillery awoke the heaviest City sleepers. It is needless to say a great
concourse, in every variety of vehicle and on foot, streamed from east to
west through the "gravelled" streets, lined with soldiers and policemen,
before the barriers were put up. "The earth was alive with men," wrote an
enthusiastic spectator; "the habitations in the line of march cast forth
their occupants to the balconies or the house-tops; the windows were lifted
out of their frames, and the asylum of private life, that sanctuary which
our countrymen guard with such traditional jealousy, was on this occasion
made accessible to the gaze of the entire world."

At ten o'clock the Queen left Buckingham Palace in the State coach, to the
music of the National Anthem and a salute of guns, and passed beneath the
Royal Standard hoisted on the marble arch. A marked feature of the
procession was the magnificent carriages and escorts of the foreign
ambassadors: the splendid uniform of the German Jagers delighted the
populace. A deeper and subtler feeling was produced by the sight of one of
Napoleon's marshals, Soult, Wellington's great adversary, rearing his white
head in a coach the framework of which had belonged to the State carriage
of the Prince de Conde, and figured in the beaux jours of Louis XVI.
The consciousness that this worthy foe had come to do honour to the young
Queen awoke a generous response from the crowd. Soult was cheered lustily
along the whole route, and in the Abbey itself, so that he returned to
France not only full of personal gratification at the welcome he had
received, but strongly convinced of the goodwill of John Bull to Frenchmen
in general. How the balls of destiny roll! Soult feted in London, Ney dead
by a traitor's death, filling his nameless grave in Pere la Chaise. The
procession, beginning with trumpeters and Life Guards, wound its way in
relays of foreign ambassadors, members of the royal family and their
suites--the Duchess of Kent first--the band of the Household Brigade, the
Queen's bargemaster and her forty-eight watermen--honorary servants for
many a day--twelve carriages with her Majesty's suite, a squadron of Life
Guards, equerries, gentlemen riders and military officials, the royal
huntsmen, yeomen-prickers, and foresters, six of her Majesty's horses, with
rich trappings, each horse led by two grooms; the Knight-Marshal,
marshalmen, Yeomen of the Guard, the State coach--drawn by eight
cream-coloured horses, attended by a Yeoman of the Guard at each wheel, and
two footmen at each door--the Gold Stick, Viscount Combermere, and the
Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard, the Earl of Ilchester, riding on either
side. In the coach sat the Queen, the Mistress of the Robes (the Duchess of
Sutherland), the Master of the Horse (the Earl of Albemarle), and the
Captain-General of the Royal Archers (the Duke of Buccleugh). The whole was
wound up by a squadron of Life Guards. In this order of stately march,
under the June sky, emerging from the green avenues of the park, the
procession turned up Constitution Hill, traversed Piccadilly, St. James's
Street, Pall Mall, Cockspur Street, and by Charing Cross, Whitehall, and
Parliament Street, reached the west door of Westminster Abbey--

Where royal heads receive the sacred gold.

At the Abbey door, at half-past eleven, the Queen was received by the great
officers of State, the noblemen bearing the regalia, the bishops carrying
the patina, the chalice, and the Bible. Her Majesty proceeded to the
robing-room, and there was a hush of expectation in the thronged interior,
where the great persons who were to play a part in the ceremony and the
privileged ticket-holders had been waiting patiently for long hours.

Underneath the galleries and below the platform were ranged lines of Foot
Guards. The platform (under the central tower) was the most conspicuous
object. It was covered with cloth of gold, and bore the chair of homage, or
throne, facing the altar. Farther on, within the altar-rails, was "St.
Edward's Chair," or the chair decorated by "William the Painter" for
Edward. Enclosed within it is the "Stone of Destiny," or Fatal Stone of
Scone--a sandy stone, supposed to have formed the pillow on which Jacob
slept at Bethel, and long used in the coronation of the Scotch kings. In
this chair all the kings of England, since the time of Edward I., have been
crowned. The altar was covered with massive gold plate.

The galleries of the Abbey were arranged for the members of the House of
Commons, the foreign ambassadors, the judges, Knights of the Bath, members
of the Corporation, &c. &c. The floor of the transepts was occupied by
benches for the peers and peeresses, who may be said to be in their glory
at a coronation; the space behind them was for the ticket-holders.

Harriet Martineau has preserved some of the splendours and "humours" of the
coronation with her usual clever power of observation and occasional
caustic commentary. "The maids called me at half-past two that June
morning, mistaking the clock. I slept no more, and rose at half-past three.
As I began to dress the twenty-one guns were fired, which must have
awakened all the sleepers in London. When the maid came to dress me she
said numbers of ladies were already hurrying to the Abbey. I saw the grey
old Abbey from the window as I dressed, and thought what would have gone
forward within it before the sun set upon it. My mother had laid out her
pearl ornaments for me. The feeling was very strange of dressing in crape,
blonde, and pearls at five in the morning.... The sight of the rapidly
filling Abbey was enough to go for. The stone architecture contrasted
finely with the gay colours of the multitude. From my high seat I commanded
the whole north transept, the area with the throne, and many portions of
galleries, and the balconies which were called the vaultings. Except a mere
sprinkling of oddities, everybody was in full dress. In the whole
assemblage I counted six bonnets. The scarlet of the military officers
mixed in well, and the groups of the clergy were dignified; but to an
unaccustomed eye the prevalence of Court dresses had a curious effect. I
was perpetually taking whole groups of gentlemen for Quakers till I
recollected myself. The Earl-Marshal's assistants, called Gold Sticks,
looked well from above, lightly fluttering about in white breeches, silk
stockings, blue laced frocks, and white sashes. The throne--an arm-chair
with a round back, covered, as was its footstool, with cloth of gold--stood
on an elevation of four steps in the centre of the area. The first peeress
took her seat in the north transept opposite, at a quarter before seven,
and three of the bishops came next. From that time the peers and their
ladies arrived faster and faster. Each peeress was conducted by two Gold
Sticks, one of whom handed her to her seat, and the other bore and arranged
her train on her lap, and saw that her coronet, footstool, and book were
comfortably placed. I never saw anywhere so remarkable a contrast between
youth and age as in these noble ladies." Miss Martineau proceeds to remark
in the strongest and plainest terms on the unbecoming effect of full dress,
with "hair drawn to the top of the head, to allow the putting on of the
coronet" on these venerable matrons. She goes on to express her admiration
of a later generation of peeresses. "The younger were as lovely as the aged
were haggard.... About nine the first gleams of the sun slanted into the
Abbey and presently travelled down to the peeresses. I had never before
seen the full effect of diamonds. As the light travelled each peeress shone
like a rainbow. The brightness, vastness, and dreamy magnificence of the
scene produced a strange effect of exhaustion and sleepiness.... The great
guns told when the Queen had set forth, and there was renewed animation.
The Gold Sticks flitted about, there was tuning in the orchestra, and the
foreign ambassadors and their suites arrived in quick succession. Prince
Esterhazy crossing a bar of sunshine was the most prodigious rainbow of
all. He was covered with diamonds and pearls, and as he dangled his hat it
cast a dancing radiance all round.

"At half-past eleven the guns told that the Queen had arrived, but as there
was much to be done in the robing-room, there was a long pause before she
appeared."

A little after twelve the grand procession of the day entered the choir.
The Prebendaries and Dean of Westminster and Officers-at-Arms, the
Comptroller, Treasurer, Vice-Chamberlain, and Lord Steward of her Majesty's
Household, the Lord Privy Seal, the Lord President, the Lord Chancellor of
Ireland, came first. When these gentlemen were peers their coronets were
carried by pages. The Treasurer bore the crimson bag with the medals; the
Vice-Chancellor was attended by an officer from the Jewel Office,
conveying, on a cushion, the ruby ring and the sword for the offering. Then
followed the Archbishops of Canterbury, York, and Armagh, with the Lord
Chancellor, each archbishop in his rochet, with his cap in his hand; the
princesses of the blood royal, all in "robes of estate" of purple velvet
and wearing circlets of gold; the Duchess of Cambridge, her train borne by
Lady Caroline Campbell and a gentleman of her household, her coronet by
Viscount Villiers; the Duchess of Kent, her train borne by Lady Flora
Hastings, and her coronet by Viscount Morpeth; the Duchess of Gloucester,
her train borne by Lady Caroline Legge, and her coronet by Viscount Evelyn.
(The royal generation next that of George III. was fast dwindling away when
these three ladies represented the six daughters and the wives of six of
the sons of the old King and Queen. But there were other survivors, though
they were not present to-day. The Queen-dowager; Princess Augusta, an aged
woman of seventy; Princess Elizabeth, Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg, nearly
as old, and absent in Germany; the Queen as well as the King of Hanover,
who had figured formerly as Duke and Duchess of Cumberland; and Princess
Sophia, who was ten years younger than Princess Augusta, and resident in
England, but who was an invalid.) The regalia came next, St. Edward's
staff, borne by the Duke of Roxburgh, the golden spurs borne by Lord Byron,
the sceptre with the cross borne by the Duke of Cleveland, the third sword
borne by the Marquis of Westminster, Curtana borne by the Duke of
Devonshire, the second sword borne by the Duke of Sutherland, each
nobleman's coronet carried by a page, Black Rod and Deputy-Garter walking
before Lord Willoughby d'Eresby, Lord Great Chamberlain of England, with
page and coronet.

The princes of the blood royal were reduced to two. The Duke of Cambridge,
in his robe of estate, carrying his baton as Field-Marshal, his coronet
borne by the Marquis of Granby, his train by Sir William Gomm; the Duke of
Sussex, his coronet carried by Viscount Anson, his train by the Honourable
Edward Gore.

The High Constable of Ireland, the Duke of Leinster; the High Constable of
Scotland, the Earl of Errol, with their pages and coronets. The
Earl-Marshal of England, the Duke of Norfolk, with his staff, attended by
two pages; the sword of State, borne by Viscount Melbourne, with his page
and coronet; the Lord High Constable of England, the Duke of Wellington,
with his staff and baton as Field-Marshal, attended by two pages. The
sceptre with the dove, borne by the Duke of Richmond, page and coronet; St.
Edward's crown, borne by the Lord High Steward, the Duke of Hamilton,
attended by two pages; the orb, borne by the Duke of Somerset, page and
coronet. The patina, borne by the Bishop of Bangor; the Bible, borne by the
Bishop of Winchester; the chalice, borne by the Bishop of London.

At last the Queen entered, walking between the Bishops of Bath and Wells
and Durham, with Gentlemen-at-Arms on each side. She was now a royal maiden
of nineteen, with a fair, pleasant face, a slight figure, rather small in
stature, but showing a queenly carriage, especially in the pose of the
throat and head. She wore a royal robe of crimson velvet furred with ermine
and bordered with gold lace. She had on the collars of her orders. Like the
other princesses, she wore a gold circlet on her head. Her train was borne
by eight "beautiful young ladies," as Sir David Wilkie called them, all
dressed alike, some of them destined to officiate again as the Queen's
bridesmaids, when the loveliness of the group attracted general attention
and admiration. These noble damsels were Lady Adelaide Paget, Lady Fanny
Cowper, Lady Anne Wentworth Fitzwilliam, Lady Mary Grimston, Lady Caroline
Gordon Lennox, Lady Mary Talbot, Lady Catherine Stanhope, Lady Louisa
Jenkinson. The Ladies of her Majesty's Household came next in order, the
Duchess of Sutherland, the Mistress of the Robes, walking first, followed
by Lady Lansdowne as first Lady of the Bed-chamber. Other ladies of the
Bed-chamber, whose names were long familiar in association with that of the
Queen, included Ladies Charlemont, Lyttelton, Portman, Tavistock, Mulgrave,
and Barham. The Maids of Honour bore names once equally well known in the
Court Circular, while the office brought with it visions of old
historic Maids prominent in Court gossip, and revealed to this day
possibilities of sprightliness reined in by Court etiquette, and innocent
little scrapes condoned by royal graciousness and kindness. The Maids of
Honour at the Queen's coronation were the Honourable Misses Margaret
Dillon, Cavendish, Lister, Spring Rice, Harriet Pitt, Caroline Cocks,
Matilda Paget, and Murray. One has heard and read less of the Women of the
Bed-chamber, noble ladies also, no doubt, but by the time the superb
procession reached them, with the gathering up of the whole in Goldsticks,
Captains of the Royal Archers, of the Yeomen of the Guard, of the
Gentlemen-at-Arms, though pages and coronets still abounded, the strained
attention could take in no more accessories, but was fain to return to the
principal figure in the pageant, and dwell with all eyes on her.

"The Queen looked extremely well, and had an animated countenance." The
scene within the choir on her entrance was so gorgeous, that, it is said,
even the Turkish Ambassador, accustomed we should say to gorgeousness,
stopped short in astonishment. As the Queen advanced slowly toward the
centre of the choir, she was received with hearty plaudits, everybody
rising, the anthem, "I was glad," sung by the musicians, ringing through
the Abbey. "At the close of the anthem, the Westminster boys (who occupied
seats at the extremity of the lower galleries on the northern and southern
sides of the choir) chanted Vivat Victoria Regina. The Queen moved
towards a chair placed midway between the chair of homage and the altar, on
the carpeted space before described, which is called the theatre." Here she
knelt down on a faldstool set for her before her chair, and used some
private prayers. She then took her seat in the chair and the ceremonial
proceeded.

First came "the Recognition" by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who advanced
to the Queen, accompanied by the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Chamberlain, the
Lord High Constable, and the Earl-Marshal, preceded by the Deputy-Garter,
and repeated these words: "Sirs, I here present unto you Queen Victoria,
the undoubted Queen of this realm, wherefore all you who are come this day
to do your homage, are you willing to do the same?" Then burst forth the
universal cry from the portion of her Majesty's subjects present, "God save
Queen Victoria." The Archbishop, turning to the north, south, and west
sides of the Abbey, repeated, "God save Queen Victoria," the Queen turning
at the same time in the same direction.

"The Bishops who bore the patina, Bible, and chalice in the procession,
placed the same on the altar. The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishops
who were to read the Litany put on their copes. The Queen, attended by the
Bishops of Durham and Bath and Wells, and the Dean of Westminster, with the
great officers of State and noblemen bearing the regalia, advanced to the
altar, and, kneeling upon the crimson velvet cushion, made her first
offering, being a pall or altar-cloth of gold, which was delivered by an
officer of the Wardrobe to the Lord Chamberlain, by his lordship to the
Lord Great Chamberlain, and by him to the Queen, who delivered it to the
Archbishop of Canterbury, by whom it was placed on the altar. The Treasurer
of the Household then delivered an ingot of gold, of one pound weight, to
the Lord Great Chamberlain, who having presented the same to the Queen, her
Majesty delivered it to the Archbishop, by whom it was put into the
oblation basin.

"The Archbishop delivered a prayer in the prescribed form. The regalia were
laid on the altar by the Archbishop. The great officers of State, except
the Lord Chamberlain, retired to their respective places, and the Bishops
of Worcester and St. David's read the Litany. Then followed the Communion
service, read by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishops of Rochester
and Carlisle. The Bishop of London preached the sermon from the following
text, in the Second Book of Chronicles, chapter xxxiv. verse 31: 'And the
king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after
the Lord, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his
statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words
of the covenant which are written in this book.'

"In the course of his sermon from this text, the Bishop praised the late
king for his unfeigned religion, and exhorted his youthful successor to
follow in his footsteps. At the conclusion of the sermon 'the oath' was
administered to the Queen by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The form of
swearing was as follows: The Archbishop put certain questions, which the
Queen answered in the affirmative, relative to the maintenance of the law
and the established religion; and then her Majesty, with the Lord
Chamberlain and other officers, the sword of State being carried before
her, went to the altar, and laying her right hand upon the Gospels in the
Bible carried in the procession, and now brought to her by the Archbishop
of Canterbury, said, kneeling:

"'The things which I have here before promised I will perform and keep. So
help me God.'

"The Queen kissed the book and signed a transcript of the oath presented to
her by the Archbishop. She then kneeled upon her faldstool, and the choir
sang 'Veni, Creator, Spiritus.'

"'The Anointing' was the next part of the ceremony. The Queen sat in King
Edward's chair; four Knights of the Garter--the Dukes of Buccleugh and
Rutland, and the Marquesses of Anglesea and Exeter--held a rich cloth of
gold over her head; the Dean of Westminster took the ampulla from the
altar, and poured some of the oil it contained into the anointing spoon,
then the Archbishop anointed the head and hands of the Queen, marking them
in the form of a cross, and pronouncing the words, 'Be thou anointed with
holy oil, as kings, priests, and prophets were anointed; and as Solomon was
anointed king by Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, so be you
anointed, blessed, and consecrated Queen over this people, whom the Lord
your God hath given you to rule and govern, in the name of the Father, and
of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.'

"The Archbishop then said the blessing over her.

"The spurs were presented by the Lord Chamberlain, and the sword of State
by Viscount Melbourne, who, however, according to custom, redeemed it with
a hundred shillings, and carried it during the rest of the ceremony. Then
followed the investing with the 'royal robes and the delivery of the orb,'
and the 'investiture per annulum et baculum,' by the ring and
sceptre.

"The Coronation followed. The Archbishop of Canterbury offered a prayer to
God to bless her Majesty and crown her with all princely virtues. The Dean
of Westminster took the crown from the altar, and the Archbishop of
Canterbury, with the Archbishops of York and Armagh, the Bishops of London,
Durham, and other Prelates, advanced towards the Queen, and the Archbishop
taking the crown from the Dean reverently placed it on the Queen's head.
This was no sooner done than from every part of the crowded edifice arose a
loud and enthusiastic cry of 'God save the Queen,' mingled with lusty
cheers, and accompanied by the waving of hats and handkerchiefs. At this
moment, too, the Peers and Peeresses present put on their coronets, the
Bishops their caps, and the Kings-of-Arms their crowns; the trumpets
sounding, the drums beating, and the Tower and park guns firing by signal."

Harriet Martineau, who, like most of the mere spectators, failed to see and
hear a good deal of the ceremony, was decidedly impressed at this point.
"The acclamation when the crown was put on her head was very animating; and
in the midst of it, in an instant of time, the Peeresses were all
coroneted--all but the fair creature already described." The writer refers
to an earlier paragraph in which she had detailed a small catastrophe that
broke in upon the harmonious perfection of the scene. "One beautiful
creature, with transcendent complexion and form, and coils upon coils of
light hair, was terribly embarrassed about her coronet; she had apparently
forgotten that her hair must be disposed with a view to it, and the large
braids at the back would in no way permit the coronet to keep on. She and
her neighbours tugged vehemently at her braids, and at last the thing was
done after a manner, but so as to spoil the wonderful effect of the
self-coroneting of the Peeresses."

To see "the Enthronement," the energetic Norwich woman stood on the rail
behind her seat, holding on by another rail. But first "the Bible was
presented by the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Queen, who delivered it
again to the Archbishop, and it was replaced on the altar by the Dean of
Westminster.

"The Benediction was delivered by the Archbishop, and the Te Deum
sung by the choir. At the commencement of the Te Deum the Queen went
to the chair which she first occupied, supported by two Bishops; she was
then 'enthroned,' or 'lifted,' as the formulary states, into the chair of
homage by the Archbishops, Bishops, and Peers surrounding her Majesty. The
Queen delivered the sceptre with the cross to the Lord of the Manor of
Worksop (the Duke of Norfolk), and the sceptre with the stone to the Duke
of Richmond, to hold during the performance of the ceremony of homage. The
Archbishop of Canterbury knelt and did homage for himself and other Lords
Spiritual, who all kissed the Queen's hand. The Dukes of Sussex and
Cambridge, removing their coronets, did homage in these words:--

"'I do become your liege man of life and limb, and of earthly worship; and
faith and truth I will bear unto you, to live and die, against all manner
of folks, so help me God.'

"They touched the crown on the Queen's head, kissed her left cheek, and
then retired. It was observed that her Majesty's bearing towards her
uncles was very kind and affectionate. The Dukes and other Peers then
performed their homage, the senior of each rank pronouncing the words; as
they retired each Peer kissed her Majesty's hand. The Duke of Wellington,
Earl Grey, and Lord Melbourne were loudly cheered as they ascended the
steps to the throne. Lord Rolle, "who was upwards of eighty, stumbled and
fell on going up the steps. The Queen immediately stepped forward and held
out her hand to assist him, amidst the loudly expressed admiration of the
entire assembly."

"While the Lords were doing homage, the Earl of Surrey, Treasurer of the
Household, threw coronation medals, in silver, about the choir and lower
galleries, which were scrambled for with great eagerness.

"At the conclusion of the homage the choir sang the anthem, 'This is the
day which the Lord hath made.' The Queen received the two sceptres from the
Dukes of Norfolk and Richmond; the drums beat, the trumpets sounded, and
the assembly cried out--'God save Queen Victoria!'" [Footnote: Annual
Register.]

Harriet Martineau, from her elevated perch, says, "Her small dark crown
looked pretty, and her mantle of cloth of gold very regal; she, herself,
looked so small as to appear puny." (At a later stage of the proceedings
the same keen critic notes that the enormous train borne by her ladies made
the figure of the Queen look still less than it really was.) "The homage
was as pretty a sight as any: trains of Peers touching her crown, and then
kissing her hand. It was in the midst of that process that poor Lord
Rolle's disaster sent a shock through the whole assemblage. It turned me
very sick. The large infirm old man was held up by two Peers, and had
nearly reached the royal footstool when he slipped through the hands of his
supporters, and rolled over and over down the steps, lying at the bottom
coiled up in his robes. He was instantly lifted up, and he tried again and
again, amidst shouts of admiration of his valour. The Queen at length spoke
to Lord Melbourne, who stood at her shoulder, and he bowed approval; on
which she rose, leaned forward, and held out her hand to the old man,
dispensing with his touching the crown. He was not hurt, and his
self-quizzing on his misadventure was as brave as his behaviour at the
time. A foreigner in London gravely reported to his own countrymen, what he
entirely believed on the word of a wag, that the Lords Rolle held their
title on the condition of performing the feat at every coronation."

Sir David Wilkie, who was present at the coronation, wrote simply, "The
Queen looked most interesting, calm, and unexcited; and as she sat upon the
chair with the crown on, the sun shone from one of the windows bright upon
her."

Leslie, another painter who witnessed the scene, remarked, "I was very near
the altar, and the chair on which the Queen was crowned, when she signed
the coronation oath. I could see that she wrote a large, bold hand.... I
don't know why, but the first sight of her in her robes brought tears into
my eyes, and it had this effect on many people; she looked almost like a
child."

"The Archbishop of Canterbury then went to the altar. The Queen followed
him, and giving the Lord Chamberlain her crown to hold, knelt down at the
altar. The Gospel and Epistle of the Communion service having been read by
the Bishops, the Queen made her offering of the chalice and patina, and a
purse of gold, which were laid on the altar. Her Majesty received the
sacrament kneeling on her faldstool by the chair."

Leslie afterwards painted this part of the ceremony for her Majesty. In his
picture are several details which are not given elsewhere. The Peers and
Peeresses who had crowned themselves simultaneously with the coronation of
the Queen, removed their crowns when she laid aside hers. Among the
gentlemen of the royal family was the Duc de Nemours.

After receiving the communion, the Queen put on her crown, "and with her
sceptres in her hands, took her seat again upon the throne. The Archbishop
of Canterbury proceeded with the Communion service and pronounced the final
blessing. The choir sang the anthem, 'Hallelujah! for the Lord God
omnipotent reigneth.' The Queen then left the throne, and attended by two
Bishops and noblemen bearing the regalia and swords of State, passed into
King Edward's chapel, the organ playing. The Queen delivered the sceptre
with the dove to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who laid it on the altar.
She was then disrobed of her imperial robe of State and arrayed in her
royal robe of purple velvet by the Lord Chamberlain. The Archbishop placed
the orb in her left hand. The gold spurs and St. Edward's staff were
delivered by the noblemen who bore them to the Dean of Westminster, who
placed them on the altar. The Queen then went to the west door of the Abbey
wearing her crown, the sceptre with the cross being in the right and the
orb in the left hand.... It was about a quarter to four o'clock when the
royal procession passed through the nave, in the same order as before, at
the conclusion of the ceremony in the Abbey."

The coronation lasted three hours, and must have been attended with great
fatigue of mind and body to the young girl who bore the burden of the
honours. Even the mere spectators, who, to be sure, had been in their
places from dawn of day, the moment the stimulus of excitement was removed,
awoke to their desperate weariness. "I watched her (the Queen) out at the
doors," said Harriet Martineau, "and then became aware how fearfully
fatigued I was. I never remember anything like it. While waiting in the
passages and between the barriers, several ladies sat or lay down on the
ground. I did not like to sink down in dust half a foot deep, to the
spoiling of my dress and the loss of my self-respect, but it was really a
terrible waiting till my brothers appeared at the end of the barrier."

But the day's business was not ended for the great world, high and low. The
return of the procession, though the line was broken, had the special
attraction that the Queen wore her crown, and the Peers and Peeresses their
coronets. The Queen's crown was a mass of brilliants, relieved here and
there by a large ruby or emerald, encircling a purple velvet cap. Among the
stories told of the coronation, foremost and favourite of which was the
misadventure of poor Lord Rolle, and the pretty gentle way in which the
young Queen did her best to help the sufferer; an incident was reported
which might have had its foundation in the difficulties described by Miss
Martineau as besetting the fair Peeress in the Abbey. It was said that the
Queen's crown was too cumbrous, and disturbed the arrangement of those soft
braids of hair, the simple, modest fashion of which called forth Sir David
Wilkie's praise, and that as her Majesty drove along in her State carriage,
she was seen laughingly submitting to the good offices of her beautiful
companion seeking with soft hands to loop up afresh the rebellious locks
which had broken loose. Leslie, from whom we have already quoted, gives an
anecdote of the Queen on her coronation-day, which serves at least to show
how deeply the youthfulness of their sovereign was impressed on the public
mind. He had been informed that she was very fond of dogs, and that she
possessed a favourite little spaniel which was always on the look-out for
her. She had been away from him longer than usual on this particular day.
When the State coach drove up to the palace on her return, she heard his
bark of joy in the hall. She cried, "There's Dash!" and seemed to forget
crown and sceptre in her girlish eagerness to greet her small friend.
[Footnote: In the list of Sir Edwin Landseer's pictures there is one, the
property of the Queen, which was painted in 1838. It includes "Hector,"
"Nero," "Dash," and "Lorey" (dogs and parrot).]

In spite of the ordeal her Majesty had undergone, she entertained a party
of a hundred to dinner, and witnessed from the roof of Buckingham Palace
the grand display of fireworks in the Green Park and the general
illumination of London. The Duke of Wellington gave a ball at Apsley House,
followed next day by official dinners on the part of the Cabinet ministers.
The festivities lasted for more than a week in the metropolis. Prominent
among them was a fancy fair held for the space of four days in Hyde Park,
and visited by the Queen in person. On the 9th of July, a fine, hot day
there was a review in Hyde Park. The Queen appeared soon after eleven in an
open barouche, with her aides-de-camp in full uniform. The Dukes of
Cambridge and Wellington, the Duc de Nemours, Marshal Soult, Prince
Esterhazy, Prince Schwartzenburg, Count Stragonoff, were present amidst a
great crowd. The Queen was much cheered. The country's old gallant foe,
Soult, was again hailed with enthusiasm, though there was just a shade of
being exultingly equal to the situation, in the readiness with which, on
his having the misfortune to break a stirrup, a worthy firm of saddlers
came forward with a supply of the stirrups which Napoleon had used in one
of his campaigns. And there might have been something significant to the
visitor, in the rapturous greeting which was bestowed on the Iron Duke,
round whose erect, impassive figure the multitude pressed, the nearest men
and women defying his horse's hoofs and stretching up to shake hands with
"the Conquering Hero" amidst a thunder of applause.

The rejoicings pervaded every part of the country from John o' Groat's to
Land's End, from the Scilly Isles to Sark. There was merry-making among the
English residents in every foreign place, as far as the great colonies in
the still remote continents.

To many simple people the Queen did not seem to reign, hardly to exist,
till she had put on her crown and taken up her sceptre. It was to do the
first honour to their youthful liege lady that June garlands were swung
over every village street, bonfires gleamed like carbuncles on mountain
cairns, frightening the hill foxes, or lit up the coast-line and were flung
back in broken reflections from the tossing waves, scaring the very fish in
the depths of the sea, where hardy islanders had kindled the token on some
rock of the ocean.

Pen and pencil were soon busy with the great event of the season. Elizabeth
Barrett Browning wrote later:--

The Minster was alight that day, but not with fire, I ween,
And long-drawn glitterings swept adown that mighty aisled scene;
The priests stood stoled in their pomp, the sworded chiefs in theirs,
And so the collared knights--and so the civil ministers;
And so the waiting lords and dames--and little pages best
At holding trains--and legates so, from countries east and west;
So alien princes, native peers, and high-born ladies bright
Along whose brows the Queen's new crown'd, flashed coronets to light.
And so, the people at the gates, with priestly hands on high,
Which bring the first anointing to all legal majesty;
And so, the Dead--who lay in rows beneath the Minster floor,
There verily an awful state maintaining evermore--
The statesman, with no Burleigh nod, whate'er court tricks may be;
The courtier, who, for no fair Queen, will rise up to his knee;
The court-dame, who for no court tire will leave her shroud behind;
The laureate, who no courtlier rhymes than "dust to dust" can find;
The kings and queens who having ta'en that vow and worn that crown,
Descended unto lower thrones and darker, deeper adown;
"Dieu et mon Droit," what is't to them? what meaning can it have?
The king of kings, the dust of dust--God's judgment and the grave.
And when betwixt the quick and dead the young fair Queen had vowed,
The living shouted, "May she live! Victoria, live!" aloud,
And as these loyal shouts went up, true spirits prayed between,
The blessings happy monarchs have, be thine, O Crowned Queen!

In the autumn and winter of 1838 Leslie went down to Windsor to get
sittings for his picture of the coronation. He had been presented to the
Queen on her first visit to the Academy after her accession, as he mentions
in one of his pleasant letters to his kindred in America. He was now to
come into nearer contact with royalty. He slept at the Castle Inn, Windsor,
and went up daily to the Castle. If he found her Majesty and any other
sitter engaged, he improved the occasion by copying two of the Queen's fine
Dutch pictures, a De Hooghe and a Nicholas Maas. He wrote his experience to
his wife in





Next: The Maiden Queen

Previous: The Accession



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