From Queen Victoria to the Empress Frederick – Balmoral, 11 September 1898
I feel numb with horror at this horrible event. Such too you must feel, having seen the poor dear Empress, whose sorrows have been great, so lately. What a fatality in her family. Her cousin drowned1, her son murdered or committed suicide2, her sister burnt3 and herself stabbed to death. How the poor, good Emperor, whose life has been so full of trials and sorrows (will bear it)….
It is too, too awful. It seems she did not see what happened and so was able to walk on board the steamer but soon after fainted and then a stain of blood was discovered on her dress. (They took her) to the hotel where she died in about two hours never recovering consciousness. I am so anxious for details. They say the poor Emperor bears up with wonderful fortitude. Many thanks for your last dear letter and the account of your dreadful fall. You have indeed had a merciful escape and you must never risk that horse again… All (the) details of (the) great victory come in by degrees. It was a fearful battle and the memorial service (for General Gordon) in Khartoum must have been very touching.4