The day before Victoria’s accession as Queen, Victoria wrote to her uncle King Leopold I of Belgium.
The King’s state, I may fairly say, is hopeless; he may perhaps linger a few days, but he cannot recover ultimately. Yesterday the physicians declared he could not live till the morning, but today he is a little better; the great fear is his excessive weakness and no pulse at all. Poor old man! I feel sorry for him; he was always personally kind to me, and I should be ungrateful and devoid of feeling if I did not remember this.
I look forward to the event which it seems is likely to occur soon, with calmness and quietness; I am not alarmed at it, and yet I do not suppose myself equal to all; I trust, however, that with goodwill, honesty and courage I shall, at all events, fail. Your advice is most excellent, and you may depend upon it I shall make use of it, and follow it.1