From Queen Victoria to the German Crown Princess – Osborne, 2 July 1862
Poor Alice’s1 wedding2 (more like a funeral than a wedding) is over and she is a wife! I say God bless her – though a dagger is plunged in my bleeding, desolate heart when I hear from her this morning that she is ‘proud and happy’ to be Louis’ wife! I feel what I had, what I hoped to have for at least 20 years more and what I can only have in another world again. All that has been passed since December 143 seems gone – forgotten. What I shall not forget is Alice herself, and her wonderful bearing – such calmness, self-possession and dignity, and how really beautiful she looked, so tall and graceful, and her voice so sweet. The Archbishop of York read that fine service (purified from its worst coarsenesses) admirably, and himself had tears running down his cheeks – for he too lost his dear partner not long ago. I sat the whole time in an armchair, with our four boys near me; Bertie4 and Affie5 led me down stairs. The latter sobbed all through and afterwards – dreadfully.
Dear Uncle Ernest6 is very low, and sad and was much affected. It was a comfort to me that he, darling Papa’s only brother, led her and gave her away! I had rather he than any one else should do it. He was so affectionate at our marriage.
Prince and Princess Charles7 were much affected – but we none of us like her, and Alice not at all. She was very cold, very grand and not at all affectionate to Alice and most unamiable (and I must call it ‘de mauvaise foi’8 about Alice’s living a good deal here and about what is right and proper. But she has nothing to say and Louis is all right about it and most amiable. Alice is very determined and from the first has taken her position vis-à-vis of the ‘mother-in-law’. But I am sorry it should be so. I shall certainly see the Pagets as soon as possible and put General Grey and Sir C. Phipps (he knows more about Bertie even than the other, General Bruce being so very intimate with him) in communication with them.
I must end for today. Tomorrow I shall go over to see the ‘Honey-Couple’, who return here on Friday and on Tuesday evening, 8th, they embark.9