From the Queen to the German Crown Princess – Claremont, 7 April 1884
(Describing the funeral of Prince Leopold)
And let me now thank you for your dear, affectionate letter of the 4th which I received this morning. Many, many loving thanks for it. Do not think your dear presence would have been painful, but I felt I should be so upset at a fresh, affectionate meeting and at seeing your grief that as I had to keep up for dear Helena1 and my sakes I was obliged to avoid all resh and additional emotions.
Dear Fritz, whom I was so pleased to see, will tell you all and on Wednesday I will send you some newspapers in which the descriptions are admirable. He will tell you how beautiful and touching the procession up to Windsor and the Albert Chapel was on Friday – the dear coffin and the simple gun carriage, with that most beautiful March by Chopin (which he wished for) once alternated by Beethoven’s splendid one – and it was most affecting how admirably those fine Seafort Highlanders – covered with medals – did their sad work.
The Albert Chapel looked heavenly with its innumerable wreaths and crosses – the gardenias, roses and other richly scented flowers giving a perfume which rose like incense. The dear remains were placed first beyond dear Papa’s cenotaph covered with the Union Jack, his dear Highland bonnet and claymore upon it – as well as a wreath of mine which had gone with it from the station, and a large one of violets from the poor Empress Eugénie which had gone on the gun carriage and then we all places wreaths and crosses. After the short service, at which all the family were, we drove up to the Castle. At half past three, poor dear Helena arrived so touchingly resigned and calm – and at a quarter to five I drove alone with her down to the Memorial Chapel and took her in. It was an awful moment but she bore it like an angel. Her whole behaviour is beyond praise.2