From Queen Victoria to the German Empress – Buckingham Palace, 10 March 1888
(On 9 March 1888, the Crown Princess’s father-in-law had died, making her husband the new Emperor of Germany and she its Empress.)
It is difficult for me to know how to begin my letter. My heart is very, very full. May every blessing be yours and may you now be able to see the right thing done for beloved Fritz1 as it should be, and every possible help and care that is needed afforded. While I write I know you are on your journey (to Berlin) – an anxious one, but I will hope that with great care it may be easily accomplished. The arrival will be very trying. How suddenly this all comes!
Doubtless, beloved Fritz must feel deeply the loss of his beloved father, my kind old friend, who was always most kind to me. But, on the other hand, the relief from the extraordinary and incompressible thraldom and tyranny and from the worries etc must and will be enormous. I know how kind and good and forgiving you are, but I beg you both to be firm and put your foot down and especially to make those of your children, who were always speaking of the Emperor and Empress to remember who they are now. Many there are who will have to learn this and I fancy that you will be firm.
My own dear Empress Victoria – it does seem an impossible dream – may God bless her. You know how little I care for rank or titles, but I cannot deny that after all that has been done and said, I am thankful and proud that dear Fritz and you should have come to the throne. The poor old Empress2, what will she do? Alas, how many enemies she had made. I hope Hedwig (Countess Brūhl) will be made to feel how ill she has behaved and will be somewhat éloignée (set at a distance).
We went over to Bertie and Alix3 this morning and presented our jug (a silver wedding present) with which they were delighted. Alix looks as young as this day 25 years ago. They have received beautiful presents. They all lunched with me. We dine en famille with them tonight quite quietly and we go back tonight to Windsor at a quarter to eleven from Marlborough House.4