From Queen Victoria to the German Empress – 13 April 1889

(public domain)

From Queen Victoria to the German Empress – Windsor Castle, 13 April 1889

I just begin these lines before going to Kew for the last sad ceremony. I never was at any funeral (in England) nor at any royal one, but at my poor darling child’s1 five years ago and this is the only other one. And she2 is the last one above me. Uncle George (Augusta’s son) and I are now the old ones, and we must feel that. Few mothers live to their son’s 70th birthday, as she did. Nothing but kind and loving words have been said of her by all. Full of years and honours she is borne to her grave. We shall be back before luncheon and then I will finish this. Many loving thanks for your letters of the 9th. I can well understand how dreadful that luncheon must have been. But that is inevitable and I am glad you went. To see the wicked Great Man3 was worse; still, that even should be wished to show respect. That all in the public are delighted to see you I do not wonder at. I never you how pleased I was at your inheritance from the duchesse de Galliera being settled. How much is it in English money? And I hear you have likewise got some beautiful jewels. It is really very kind of her.

Later. The sad ceremony is over. We returned at half past one. It was simple, not long and very impressive: just as at darling Leopold’s. I enclose a Ceremonial and the Service. The church was very full. I was between poor Augusta4 and Mary5 with Alix6 and Beatrice7 behind us, the only ones who had seats on chairs, quite close to the coffin, which was placed facing the Altar, all the others being in pews. There were quantities of beautiful wreaths. Beatrice and I placed ours just after the second hymn when the coffin was carried up three steps (a difficult task for the Guardsmen) and placed close to the Alter at the back of the mausoleum, containing the remains of Uncle Cambridge8, was and something had been taken out of the reredos so that the coffin went a little down into and slid gently down. They sang beautifully. Poor Uncle George was very much upset. Mary was also moved, but Augusta and George the most. The last hymn (Now the labourer’s task is o’er) is the most beautiful. I was very thankful to have been there with my poor cousins, the two eldest my contemporaries, and it was a help to them.9

  1. Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany
  2. The Duchess of Cambridge, born Augusta of Hesse-Kassel had died on 6 April. She was Queen Victoria’s aunt
  3. Otto von Bismarck – Chancellor of the German Empire
  4. Augusta’s namesake and daughter
  5. Augusta’s other daughter, Duchess of Teck
  6. The Princess of Wales
  7. Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Beatrice
  8. Augusta’s husband had died in 1850
  9. Beloved and Darling Child – Edited by Agatha Ramm

About Moniek 1271 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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