From Queen Victoria to the Princess Royal – Buckingham Palace, 14 April 1858
And now I must again come with a little scold; you have not written me one single word, for more than a week!! I am vexed, for you could easily have managed – if you would but be a little more expert – to say: “I am well – had a good journey and am delighted with it etc.” And this could have been done in 1 minute, and would have given me pleasure, and this you did even on your fatiguing journey from England every day! You seem to think that if you can’t write me a long letter you are not to write at all. And yet I (and also Papa) wrote volumes from Osborne to say I only wished to hear regularly (I have, from the ladies) and yet here – you again relapse into the same fault.
I only want one word – one sign of life to cheer up the long waiting – and when you wrote to Papa from Gotha, you forgetful child (whom I see by all this is still unchanged in some respects) never sent me a word! Now promise me – you won’t do this again – only one word I want – even don’t direct it, if you haven’t time, but just to say “I am well, I’m happy – I have no time to describe anything today, but will from Berlin” – I should have been perfectly satisfied. I know I should certainly have done it for you.
Now let this not happen again promise me and answer me this.
When do the Badens1 come? If Louise and Fritz William talk of a certain subject2 – be sure and tell me all. You know what I think and feel, though I don’t breathe it. You have not answered me about the little Princess of Hesse – though I asked nearly 3 weeks ago – and repeated it – now don’t forget – also tell me all about the Weimar children, but they are much too young; whoever has the happiness of marrying B3 must be nearly his age; this we all and Mr Tarver said it to me the other day. I must own I feel greatly relieved at his absence; he is so insupportable with the younger ones. It is most odious but they have spread a report that you and I are both in what I call an unhappy condition! It is odious and though it is naturally denied by me and all who are well informed – Lady Caroline told me – as regards me, people say they know it is so! Really too bad. Good Sir James and all who love – hope that you will be spared this trial for a year yet, as you are so very young and I know you would feel all the homesickness – and every other little trial so much if you were ailing and in a state of constant malaise. If I had had a year of happy enjoyment with dear Papa, to myself – how thankful I should have been! But I was 3 years and a half older, and there I was in for it at once – and furious I was. I really hope you are not getting fat again? Do avoid eating soft, pappy things or drinking much – you know how that fattens.
I have been interrupted by the levée; it was a small one but there were six officers from India all badly wounded one with only his fore-finger and thumb of his right hand left! Major Alison secretary to dear old Sir Colin, with his left arm off at the shoulder. We are now going to the Kensington Museum to open 3 rooms which are full of fine old china. This evening we have a large dinner. Yesterday evening we went to the Opera where we had really a treat for they gave “The Huguenots” every note of which we both are so fond of, and were so glad to hear again, extremely well- the orchestra was extremely good, new dresses and decorations and Valentine beautifully sung by a new actress a Mademoiselle Tietjens an Austrian, who is a very fine actress and singer with a fine and graceful figure but not a pretty face. Giuglini sang very well as Raoul but has not enough voice – and Beletti was good as St Bris. I mean to go again tomorrow.
Dear Papa has told you of a project of his – which I know will make you jump with joy – and believe me, my dearest child, that the greatest proof of my love and affection for you is, that I have encouraged him in it- though you know how miserable and (from my isolated position) lost I am without my master; but I rejoice to think of the happiness and comfort it will be to him and you – and the joy for both to see Coburg.4