From Queen Victoria to the Princess Royal – Buckingham Palace, 2 February 1858
My first occupation on this sad, sad day – is to write to you.1 An hour is already past since you left – and I trust that you are recovering a little, but then will come that awful separation from Papa!2 How I wish that was over for you, my beloved child! I struggle purposely against my feelings not to be too much overcome by them, as it is our duty to do, but I feel very sick when I think all, all is past, all that seemed so distant, all the excitement, every thing – and nothing here but a sad, sad blank! Yes it is very cruel, very cruel – very trying for parents to give up their beloved children, and to see them go away from the happy peaceful home – where you used all to be around us! That is broken in, and you, though always our own dear child, and always able to be at home in your parents’ house, are no longer one of the many, merry children who used to gather so fondly round us!
But we have such reason to be thankful, very very thankful, and this will carry us over the first bitter moments of separation, which are bitter indeed, and the knowledge of your having such a very dear, kind, excellent, tenderhearted husband on whose bosom you can pour out every grief, whom we love and trust as our own son (indeed more than a son, for the husband of one’s own daughters stands to a mother, after her daughter, the nearest of anyone) is a comfort and a satisfaction and a relief which we do most truly realise and appreciate, and which will soothe our sorrow and our anxiety and enable us very soon to look with peace and pleasure (unmixed with the grief we now experience) which filled our hearts with such unbounded joy, when we saw you at Windsor – and since.
Those days at Windsor, so full of joyful recollections to you both, will ever remain most bright and happy ones to us!
It is snowing away and everything is white and dreary! I could not go out – and shall see if I can this afternoon. Poor dear Alice3, whose sobs must have gone to your heart – is sitting near me writing to you.
One thing has been forgot which I am very unhappy about, as I purposely delayed, till today – wrote down not to forget and told Mary4 to remind me of – and just now discovered had been forgotten! viz: your writing your names in my book! It is most vexatious – but I will cut a lead out and send it you to Berlin by the messenger – and you and Fritz5must write in it and date it – today B. Palace, so that it willl be the same. You will write V., Princess Royal, Princess F.W. of Prussia.
Dearest, dearest child, may every blessing attend you both. Continue as you have begun in private and public and you will be happy and succeed in all you undertake!6