Project Gutenberg's The Life of King Edward VII, by J. Castell Hopkins

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Title: The Life of King Edward VII
       with a sketch of the career of King George V

Author: J. Castell Hopkins

Release Date: April 20, 2008 [EBook #25112]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Stacy Brown, Juliet Sutherland and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at

[Pg i]




Author of "Queen Victoria, Her Life and Reign;" "Life and Work of Mr. Gladstone;" "The Story of the Dominion", &c., &c.

Profusely Illustrated

[Pg ii]

Copyright 1910, by
W. E. Scull.


Born November 9, 1841. Ascended the throne January 22, 1901. Died May 6, 1910

[Pg iii]


During a number of years' study of British institutions in their modern development and of British public life in its adjustment to new and changing conditions I have felt an ever-growing appreciation of the active influence exercised by the late Sovereign of the British Empire upon the social life and public interests of the United Kingdom and an ever-increasing admiration for his natural abilities and rare tactfulness of character. King Edward the Seventh, in a sixty years' tenure of the difficult position of Heir to the British Throne, built into the history of his country and Empire a record of which he and his people had every reason to be proud. He had for many years the responsibilities of a Royal position without the actual power; the public functions of a great ruler without the resources usually available; the knowledge, experience and statecraft of a wise Sovereign without Regal environment.

The Prince of Wales, however, rose above the apparent difficulties of his position and for more than a quarter of a century emulated the wise example of his princely father—Albert the Good—and profited by the beautiful character and unquestioned statesmanship of his august mother. As with all those upon whose life beats the glare of ever-present publicity and upon whose actions the press of friendly and hostile nations alike have the privilege of ceaseless comment, the Heir to the British Throne had to suffer from atrocious canards as well as from fulsome compliments. Unlike many others, however, he afterwards lived down the falsehoods of an early time; conquered by his clear, open life the occasional hostility of a later day; and at the period of his accession to the Throne was, without and beyond question, the best liked Prince in[Pg iv] Europe—the most universally popular man in the United Kingdom and its external Empire. Upon the verge of His Majesty's Coronation there occurred that sudden and dramatic illness which proved so well the bravery and patience of the man, and increased so greatly the popularity and prestige of the Monarch.

Since then the late King has yearly grown in the regard of his people abroad, in the respect of other rulers and nations, in the admiration of all who understood the difficulties of his position, the real force of his personality and influence, the power with which he drew to the Throne—even after the remarkable reign of Victoria the Good—an increased affection and loyalty from Australians and South Africans and Canadians alike, an added confidence and loyal faith in his judgment from all his British peoples whether at home or over seas.

In the United States, which King Edward always regarded with an admiration which the enterprise and energy of its people so well deserved, he in turn received a degree of respect and regard which did not at one time seem probable. To him, ever since the visit to the Republic in 1860, a closer and better relation between the two great countries had been an ideal toward which as statesman and Prince and Sovereign he guided the English-speaking race.

The reader of these pages will, I hope, receive a permanent impression of the career and character of one who has been at once a popular Prince, a great King, a worthy head of the British Empire and of his own family, a statesman who has won and worn the proud title of "The Royal Peacemaker."


Toronto, Canada, 1910.

[Pg vii]


The Crown and the Empire 17
Early Years and Education of the Prince 31
Royal Tour of British America and the United States 47
The Royal Marriage 69
Early Home Life and Public Duties 79
Travels in the East 99
Serious Illness of the Prince 117
The Prince of Wales in India 131
Thirty Years of Public Work 162

[Pg viii]

Special Functions and Interests 181
The Prince and His Family 191
The Prince as a Social Leader 203
The Prince as a Sportsman 211
Habits and Character of the Prince 218
The Prince as an Empire Statesman 234
The Prince as Heir Apparent 248
Accession to the Throne 268
The First Year of the New Reign 286
Empire Tour of the New Heir to the Throne 305
The King and the South African War 351

[Pg ix]

Preparations for the Coronation 368
Serious Illness of the King 380
The Coronation 391
The Reign of King Edward 420
The King as a Diplomatist and Peace-maker 432
The Death of King Edward 440
The Solemn Funeral of the King 451
The New King and His Imperial Responsibilities 461

drawing of crown and scepter
At the time of her marriage
From a painting at Windsor by W. P. Firth R.A.

[Pg 17]


The Crown and the Empire

The great development of a political nature in the British Empire of the nineteenth century was the complete harmony which gradually evolved between the Monarchy and a world-wide democracy. This process was all-important because it eliminated an element of internal discord which has destroyed more than one nation in the past; because it permitted the peaceful progress of scattered states to continue through the passing years without having questions of allegiance to seriously hamper their growth; because it trained political thought along lines of stability and continuity and made loyalty and liberty consistent and almost synonymous terms; because it made the Crown the central symbol of the Empire's unity, the visible object of a world-wide allegiance, the special token of a common aspiration and a common sentiment amongst many millions of English-speaking people—the subject of untutored reverence and unquestioned respect amongst hundreds of millions of other races.


The chief factor in this development was the late Queen Victoria, and to the inheritance of the fabric thus evolved came a son who was educated amid the constitutional environment in which she lived and was trained in the Imperial ideas which she so strongly held and so wisely impressed upon her statesmen, her family and her people. King Edward came into responsibilities which were greater and more imposing than those ever before inherited by a reigning sovereign. He[Pg 18] had not only the great example and life of his predecessor as a model and as a comparison; not only the same vast and ever-changing and expanding Empire to rule over; not only a similar myriad-eyed press and public to watch his every expression and movement; but he entered with his people upon a new century in which one of the first and most prominent features is a decay in popular respect for Parliament and a revival of the old-time love for stately display, for ceremonial and for the appropriate trappings of royalty. With this evident and growing influence of the Crown as a social and popular factor is the knowledge which all statesmen and constitutional students now possess of the personal influence in diplomacy and statecraft which was wielded by the late Queen Victoria and which the experience and tact of the new Monarch enabled him to also test and prove. Side by side with these two elements in the situation was the conviction which has now become fixed throughout the Empire that the Crown is the pivot upon which its unity and future co-operation naturally and properly turns; that the Sovereign is the one possible central figure of allegiance for all its scattered countries and world-wide races; that without the Crown as the symbol of union and the King as the living object of allegiance and personal sentiment the British realms would be a series of separated units.

These facts lend additional importance to the character and history of the Monarchy; to the influences which have controlled the life and labours of King Edward; to the abilities which have marked his career and the elements which have entered into the making of his character. He may not in succeeding years of his reign have declared war like an Edward I., or made secret diplomatic arrangements like a Charles II. He may not have manipulated foreign combinations like a William III., or dismissed his Ministers at pleasure like a George III., or worked one faction in his Kingdom against[Pg 19] another like a Charles I. None of these things have been attempted, nor will his successor desire to undertake them. But none the less there lay in his hand a vast and growing power—the personal influence wielded by a popular and experienced Monarch over his Ministry, his Court, his Diplomatic Staff throughout the world, and his high officers in the Army and Navy. The prestige of his personal honours or personal wishes and the known Imperialism of his personal opinions must have had great weight in controlling Colonial policy in London; while his experience of European and Eastern statecraft through many years of close intercourse with foreign and home statesmen undoubtedly had a marvelous effect in the control of British policy abroad.

To the external Empire, as constituted at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Crown is a many-sided factor. The personal and diplomatic influence of the Sovereign is obvious and was illustrated by Queen Victoria in such historic incidents as the personal relations with King Louis Philippe which probably averted a war with France in the early forties; in the later friendship with Louis Napoleon which helped to make the Crimean War alliance possible; in the refusal by the Queen to assent to a certain casus belli despatch during the American War which saved Great Britain from being drawn into the struggle; in her influence upon the Cabinet in connection with the Schleswig-Holstein question, which was exerted to such an extent (according to Lord Malmesbury) as to have averted a possible conflict with Germany.

The political power of the Crown and its wearer is proven to exist in the dismissal of Lord Palmerston for his rash recognition of the French coup d'état; in the occasional exercise of the right of excluding certain individuals from the Government—notably the case of Mr. Labouchere a decade ago; in such direct exercise of influence as the Queen's intervention in the matter of the Irish Church Disestablishment[Pg 20] Bill as related by the late Archbishop Tait. The Imperial influence of the Sovereign has been shown in more than merely indirect ways. The Queen's refusal to approve the first draft of the Royal Proclamation for India in 1858 and her changes in the text were declared by Lord Canning to have averted another insurrection. Her personal determination to send the Prince of Wales to Canada in 1860 and her own visit to Ireland in one of the last years of her reign were cases of actual initiative and active policy. South Africa owed to the late Queen the several visits of the Duke of Edinburgh and the exhibition of her well-known sympathy with the views of Sir George Grey—who, had he been allowed a free hand, would have consolidated and united those regions many years ago and averted the recent disastrous struggle.

Australia owed to her the compliment of various visits from members of the Royal family, the kindly personal treatment of its leaders and a frequently expressed desire for its unity in one great and growing nationality—British in allegiance and connection and power; Australian in local authority, patriotism and development. India was indebted to its Queen-Empress for continued sympathy and wise advice to its Governors-General; for the phraseology in the Proclamation after the Mutiny, already referred to, which rendered the new conditions of allegiance comprehensible and satisfactory to the native mind; for the important visit of the Prince of Wales to that country in 1877; and for the support given to Lord Beaconfield's Imperial policy of asserting England's place in the world, of purchasing the Suez Canal shares in order to help in keeping the route to the East and of paving the way for that acquisition of Egypt and the Soudan which has since made Cecil Rhodes' dream of a great British-African empire a realizable probability. The Colonies, as a whole, owed to Queen Victoria a condition of government which made peaceful[Pg 21] constitutional development possible; which extinguished discontent and the elements or embers of republicanism; which gradually eliminated the separative tendencies of distance and slowly merged the Manchester school ideas of the past into the Imperialism of the present; which made evolution rather than revolution the guiding principle of British countries in the nineteenth century.


How has the Crown become such an important factor in the modern development of British peoples? The answer is not found altogether in personal considerations nor even in those of loyalty to somewhat vague and undefined principles of government. These considerations have had great weight but so also has the traditional and actual power of the Monarchy in moulding institutions and ideas during a thousand years of history. To a much greater extent than is generally understood in these democratic days has this latter influence been a factor. Through nearly all British history the Sovereign has either represented the popular instincts of the time or else led in the direction of extended territory and power under the individual influence of royal valour or statecraft. The history of England has not, of course, been confined to the biography of its Kings or Queens, but it would be as absurd to trace those annals without extended study of the rulers and their characters as it would be to write the records without reference to the people and popular progress. And the Monarchy has done much for the British Isles. Its influence has effected their whole national life in war and in peace, in religion and in morals, in literature and in art. The individual achievements and actions of some of these rulers constitute the very foundation stones in the structure of modern British power. Others again have helped to build the walls of the national edifice until the Sovereign at the beginning of the[Pg 22] twentieth century has become the pivot upon which turns the constitutional unity of a great Empire and which forms the only possible centre for a common allegiance amongst its varied peoples.

At first this monarchical principle was embodied in the form of military power, was based upon feudal loyalty, and was associated with the noble ideals, but somewhat reckless practices, of mediæval chivalry. The victories of Egbert and Alfred the Great transformed the Heptarchy into a substantial English Kingdom. The military skill of William the Conqueror gave an opportunity to blend the graces of Norman chivalry, and a somewhat higher form of civilization, with the rougher virtues of the Saxon character. Henry II. personally illustrated this combination, with his ruddy English face and strong physical powers, and impressed himself upon British history by the conquest of Ireland. Richard Cœur de Lion gave his country many famous pages of crusading in the East, and embodied in his life and character the adventurous and daring spirit of the age. Edward I. dominated events by his energy and ability, subdued Wales, and for a time conquered the Kingdom of Scotland. Edward III., in his long reign of fifty years, carried the British flag over the fields of France, and won immortality at the battles of Crecy and Poictiers. Henry V. gained the victory of Agincourt, and won and wore the title of King of France. Then came the Wars of the Roses and the turbulent termination to a period of six centuries during which the English Monarchs had represented the military spirit of their times, and had led in the rough process of struggle and conquest out of which was growing the United Kingdom of to-day.

With the reign of Henry VIII. commenced the period of religious change—the struggles for religious liberty against ecclesiastical dominance. Limited as were the achievements of Henry and Elizabeth, in this respect, by prevailing bigotry[Pg 23] and narrowness of view as well as by diverse personal characteristics, they none the less did great service to the country and the people. The rule of Cromwell—who, in the exercise of Royal power and the possession of regal personal ability, may properly be included in such a connection—gave that liberty of worship to a portion of the masses with which previous Sovereigns had more especially endowed the classes. During the reign of the Stuarts religious dissensions and ecclesiastical controversies and intermittent persecutions, illustrated the predominant passion of the period; and forced the weak or indifferent monarch of the moment to be an unconscious factor in the progress towards that general toleration which the Revolution of 1688 and the crowning of William and Mary finally accomplished. But, whether it was Henry persecuting the monks, or Elizabeth the Roman Catholics, or Mary the Protestants, or Cromwell the Episcopalians, or Charles II. the Dissenters, each ruler was being led, to a great degree, by the undercurrent of surrounding bigotry and was, in the main, representative of a strong, popular sentiment of the time. Henry voiced the national uprising against Rome, just as the second Charles embodied popular reaction against the Puritans, and as William of Orange was enabled to lead a successful opposition to the gloomy and personal bigotry of the last of the Royal Stuarts.

The third period of British monarchical history in this connection was that marked by the growth toward constitutional government under the sway of the House of Hanover. Coupled with this was the equally important foundation of a great Colonial empire, and the loss of a large portion of it in the reign of George III. But the development of constitutional rule under the Georges should not be confounded with the growth of the popular and Imperial system which exists to-day. The latter is simply a progressive evolution out of the aristocratic and oligarchical government of the Hanoverian[Pg 24] period, just as that system had been a step from the kingly power of the Tudors and the Stuarts, which, in turn, had arisen upon the ruins of feudalism and military monarchical power. It is this gradual growth, this "gently broadening down from precedent to precedent," which makes the British constitution of to-day the more or less perfected result of centuries of experience and struggle. But that result has only been made possible by a peculiar series of national adjustments in which the power of the Monarchs has been modified from time to time to suit the will of the people, while the ability of individual Sovereigns has been at the same time given full scope in which to exercise wise kingcraft or pronounced military skill. It has, in fact, been a most elastic system in its application and to that elasticity has been due its prolonged stability of form under a succession of dynastic or personal changes.


It is a common mistake to minimize the importance and value of the aristocratic rule by which the government of England was graded down from the high exercise of royal power under the Tudors and Stuarts to that beneficial exercise of royal influence which marks the opening of the present century period. To the aristocracy of those two centuries is mainly due the fact that the growth from paternal government and personal rule to direct popular administration was a gradual development, through only occasional scenes of storm and stress, instead of involving a succession of revolutions alternating with civil war. Somers and Godolphin, Walpole and Chatham, Pitt and Shelburne, Eldon and Canning, Grey and Liverpool, Wellington and Durham, Melbourne and Palmerston, were all of this aristocratic class, though of varying degrees in rank and title and with varied views of politics. They filled the chief places in the Government of the country during a period when the people were being slowly trained in[Pg 25] the perception and practice of constitutional and religious liberty. At the best such processes are difficult and often prove bitter tests of national endurance; and it was well for Great Britain that the two centuries under review produced a class of able and cultured men who—though naturally aristocratic at heart—were upon the whole honestly bent upon furthering the best interests of the masses. And this despite the mistakes of a Danby or a North.

Yet, even towards the close of this period of preparation, popular government, as now practised, was neither understood by the immediate predecessors of Queen Victoria, nor by the nobles who presided over the changing administrations of the day. It was not clearly comprehended by Liberals like Russell and Grey; it was feared by Wellington and the Tories as being republican and revolutionary; it was dreaded by many who could hardly be called Tories and who, in the condition of things then prevalent, could scarcely even be termed Loyalists. Writing in 1812, Charles Knight, the historian, described the fierce national struggle of the previous twenty years with Napoleon and expressed a longing wish for the prop of a sincere and spontaneous loyalty to the throne in the critical times that were to follow. But such a sentiment of loyalty was not then expressed, and could hardly have been publicly evoked by a ruler of the type of George IV., whether governing as Prince-Regent or as King.

There is, however, no doubt of its having existed, and there seems to have been, even through those troubled years, an inborn spirit of loyalty to the Crown as being the symbol of the State and of public order. Its wearer might make mistakes and be personally unpopular, but he represented the nation as a whole and must consequently be respected. This powerful feeling has often in English history made the bravest and strongest submit to slights from their Sovereign, and has won the most disinterested devotion and energetic action from[Pg 26] men who have never even seen the Monarch in whose personal character there was sometimes little to evoke or deserve such faith and sacrifice. For ages this loyalty had been the preservative of society in England, and it is still indispensable to the tranquility and permanence of a state, whether given in its full degree to the Sovereign of Great Britain, or in a more divided sense to the elective and partisan head of a modern republic.

In the time of the Georges, as well as in the middle ages and at the present moment, loyalty was and is a sincere and honest patriotism, refining the instincts and elevating the actions of those who were willing to waive self-interest on any given occasion in order to guard what they believed to be the true basis of national stability and order. Certainly, a Monarchy which could survive the wars and European revolutions, the internal discontents and personal deficiencies, of the period which commenced with the reign of George I. and closed with that of William IV., must have possessed some inherent strength greater than may be gathered from many of the superficial works which pass for history. But, whatever that influence was, it does not appear to have been personal. With the close of the reign of Queen Anne the brilliant prestige of personal authority and power wielded by the Sovereign had passed quietly away and, up to the death of William IV. and the accession of Victoria, had not been replaced by the personal influence of a constitutional ruler.


Out of all these changing developments has come a military position in which the Sovereign no longer leads his forces in war but in which he commands a sentiment of loyalty as hearty, in the breasts of the Colonial soldiers ten thousand miles away from his home at Windsor, as ever did the personal presence of an Edward I., or a Richard the Lion-Hearted. Out of them has come a religious position in which the Sovereign is head of a particular Church and yet, as such, gives[Pg 27] no serious offence to masses of his subjects who belong to other faiths and who receive through his Governments around the world absolute freedom of religious worship—almost as a matter of course. Out of the constitutional evolution has come the adaptation of the Monarchy to not only new conditions but to countries separated by oceans and continents from the mother-state, and the evolution of a system which combines 420,000,000 people under one Crown and one flag. In August, 1884, the Times spoke of a correspondent amongst the Khirgese of Central Asia who stated that the people of that region had not the remotest idea of where or what England was—but they had heard of Queen Victoria; and a few years later Mr. Henry Labouchere, the inconsistent and bitter Radical, told the Forum of New York that "were a Parliamentary candidate to address an electoral meeting on the advantages of a republic he would be deemed a tilter at a windmill."

Such is a summary of the history and position of the British Monarchy. A thousand years ago it combined the seven little Kingdoms of England into one; to-day it combines the Kingdoms and Dominions and Commonwealths and Islands of a quarter of the earth's surface into one. The power of the Crown was once chiefly employed in making war and compelling peace by force of arms and military skill; to-day it is largely utilized in promoting peace and controlling diplomacy. The position of the Monarch was once that of the head of a class, or the leader of some distinct manifestation of public feeling, or the military chief of a great faction; to-day it is that of embodying the power of a united people, giving dignified interpretation to the policy of a nation, and serving as the symbol of unity to the masses of population in an extended empire.

One of the interesting features in the Crown's popularity and influence is the absence of serious criticism or controversy[Pg 28] over the expense of its maintenance. Perhaps the only practical expression of disapproval affecting the Monarchy heard during Queen Victoria's long reign was an occasional grumbling as to the paucity of Court functions, the absence of Royal splendour and expenditures from the City of London, the sombreness and quiet which characterized the ordinary, everyday life of the Sovereign. The total financial cost of the Monarchy has been placed at a million pounds sterling per annum, but this total includes various large sums which could just as properly be charged to the ordinary governing requirements of the country without reference to the particular form of its institutions. Against this sum may also be placed the proceeds of the Crown Lands which were surrendered to Parliament upon the accession of William and Mary and which had before that been recognized as a personal estate of the Sovereign over which Parliament had no control. In addition to these Crown Land revenues other sums were voted as required. Upon their surrender to the nation (during the life of each Sovereign) it has become the custom, since 1868, to vote a permanent Civil List for the ensuing reign and out of this sum the ordinary Court and personal expenses are supposed to be met. In the case of Queen Victoria the amount was £385,000 a year, supplemented, however, by other votes and special allowances to herself and the Royal family from time to time.

Upon her accession the Queen retained out of the old Crown Lands, or revenues, those of the Duchy of Lancaster and they have risen in value from £20,000 to £50,000 per annum. The Royal palaces are maintained apart from the Civil List and the building of Royal yachts and other similar expenses are considered as additional items. The revenues of the Duchy of Cornwall, which have always pertained to the Prince of Wales, and the incomes or special sums voted to the members of the Royal family, make up an amount nearly as[Pg 29] large as the Civil List. But these apparently large sums have not in recent years created any feeling of dissatisfaction; nor has any been expressed save by certain individuals of the Labouchere type, who possess little influence and less sincerity. Upon the whole the situation in this connection possesses considerable interest to the student of history, or of popular sentiment, as showing how a practical, business-loving, money-making people can become devoted to an institution which must in the nature of things be expensive and which, in the ratio of its dignity and effectiveness as an embodiment of growing national power, must be increasingly so as the years roll on.

The reason for this condition of feeling is the combination which the Monarchy has during the past century come to present to the minds of the public. Tradition and history reaching down into the hearts and lives of the people may be considered the basic influence; a general belief in the superiority of British institutions over all others may be stated as a powerful conservative force; while personality and character in the Sovereign may be described as the chief constructive element in this process of increasing loyalty to the Crown. Convenience, custom, love of ceremony, belief in stability and aversion to change, are lesser factors which may be mentioned. The result is that Mr. George W. Smalley, for so many years the American correspondent of the New York Tribune in London, could write recently in the Century the belief of a foreigner and a republican that "England is a very democratic country, but there does not exist in England the vestige of a republican party."

King Edward, therefore, came to the throne of Great Britain and its Empire at a time when the influence of the Sovereign was growing in proportion as the influence and popularity of Parliament appeared to be waning. Fifty years before his accession it was a truism to assert that power in[Pg 30] England was being steadily concentrated in the House of Commons; to-day it may be said with equal truth that the position of the Crown is growing steadily in a power which is wielded by personal influence and popularity and which, while it touches no privilege, nor right, nor liberty of Parliament, increases in proportion as the latter body is relegated to the back-ground by public opinion and popular interest. Vast responsibility, therefore, rests to-day in the hands of a British Sovereign and the results for good or ill, depend largely upon his character, his training, his previous career and his present sense of duty. Alarm has even been expressed upon this point by historical theorists such as Professor Beesly and Dr. Goldwin Smith. Certain it is, however, that in the hands of King Edward this growing power was safe. If prolonged experience and acquired statecraft and intimate knowledge of his people can be considered sufficient guarantees for its exercise, it is also safe in the hands of King George.

[Pg 31]


Early Years and Education of the Prince

The married life of Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort was one of the happiest recorded in history or known in the private annals of individual lives. It was a love-match from the first and it lasted to the end as one of those beautiful illustrations of harmony in the home which go far in a materialistic and selfish age to point to higher ideals and to conserve the best principles of a Christian people. His affection was shown in myriad ways of devoted care and help; her feeling was well stated in a letter to Baron Stockmar—"There cannot exist a purer, dearer, nobler being in the world than the Prince." From such a union was born Albert Edward, the future King and Emperor, on November 9th, 1841. The Queen's first child had been the Princess Royal, and there was naturally some hope that the next would be a male heir to the Throne. There was much public rejoicing over the event which was announced from Buckingham Palace at mid-day of the date mentioned; the Privy Council met and ordered a thanksgiving service; the national anthem was sung with enthusiasm in the theatres and public places; telegrams of congratulation poured in from Princes abroad and peers and peasants at home; and Punch perpetrated verses which well illustrated the public feeling:

"Huzza! we've a little Prince at last
A roaring Royal boy;
And all day long the booming bells
Have rung their peels of joy."

[Pg 32]

On December 8th following, the little Prince was created by letters-patent Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester—the titles of Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Saxony, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince, or Great Steward of Scotland, being his already by virtue of his mother being the reigning Sovereign at the time of his birth. During six hundred years there had been from time to time a Prince of Wales. The first was the son of Edward I., but the title was never made hereditary, and there have been periods, totalling altogether 288 years, in which it lay dormant. The Black Prince was perhaps the best known of the line. The new Prince of Wales—destined to hold the designation for nearly sixty years and to make it one of the best known in the world—was solemnly baptized on January 25th, 1842, in St. George's Chapel, Windsor, by the simple names of Albert Edward. The first was after his father, the second in memory of the Queen's father, the Duke of Kent. The scene was one of splendour, and the uniforms and glittering orders and gleaming gems and beautiful dresses harmonized well with the stately setting of the Chapel Royal.


Besides the Royal party, which included Frederick William IV., King of Prussia, there were a throng of Ambassadors, Knights of the Garter, Members of the Privy Council, Peers and Peeresses, statesmen and heads of the Church. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the Bishops of London, Winchester, Oxford and Norwich were in special attendance, and the sponsors for the young Prince were the King of Prussia, the Duchess of Kent (proxy for the Duchess of Saxe-Cobourg), the Duke of Cambridge (proxy for the Duchess of Saxe-Gotha), Princess Augusta of Cambridge (proxy for Princess Sophia) and Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Cobourg. The cost of[Pg 33] this gorgeous christening ceremony and attendant functions was said to have been fully two million dollars. A part of this was, however, due to the entertainments accorded King Frederick William IV., who, as the chief Protestant monarch of the Continent, was given a particularly cordial and elaborate welcome. In connection with the christening of the future King it is interesting to note that an ecclesiastical newspaper, of Toronto, called The Church, referred to the event on March 19th, 1842, and declared that should the Prince live to be King he would be known as Edward VII. On February 3rd Queen Victoria opened Parliament in person with the following as the preliminary words in the Speech from the Throne: "I cannot meet you in Parliament assembled without making a public acknowledgment of my gratitude to Almighty God on account of the birth of the Prince, my son; an event which has completed the measure of my domestic happiness and has been hailed with every manifestation of affectionate attachment to my person and Government by my faithful and loyal people."


The early events of the Prince's life were followed with much interest by the public and with a personal and individual feeling which grew in volume with the ever-increasing popularity of the young Queen. The Court in those years was a gay one and events such as the Queen's famous Plantagenet Ball of 1842; the state visit to King Louis Philippe of France in 1843; the coming of Nicholas I., Czar of all the Russias, to the Court of St. James in 1844, followed a little later by William, Prince of Prussia—afterwards William I. of Germany, and by a return visit of the King and Queen of the French; kept the social demands of the period up to a very high pitch. Yet the quiet, careful surroundings of an almost ideal home were given to the young Prince and to those who afterwards came to the family circle, by a mother who, in the[Pg 34] midst of many national cares and private anxieties could write to her much-respected friend and uncle—Leopold of Belgium—that "my happiness at home, the love of my husband, his kindness, his advice, his support and his company make up for all and make me forget all."

The Princess Victoria, afterwards for a brief year Empress of Germany, had been born on November 21, 1840; the Prince of Wales was the next child; the Princess Alice, who afterwards married the Grand Duke of Hesse, was born on April 25, 1843; Prince Alfred—Duke of Edinburgh and of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in later years—followed on August 6, 1844; the Princess Helena came next on May 25, 1846, and afterwards became the wife of Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein; the Princess Louise, who married the Marquess of Lorne and future Duke of Argyll, was born on March 18, 1848; Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, followed on May 1, 1850; Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, on April 7, 1853; Princess Beatrice, afterwards wife and widow of Prince Henry of Battenberg, was born on April 14, 1857, and completed the Royal family for the time.

The greatest care and attention was given to the youthful Prince. Writing to King Leopold soon after his birth—on December 7, 1841—the Queen had said: "I wonder very much who my little boy will be like. You will understand how fervent are my prayers, and I am sure every one's must be, to see him resemble his father in every respect, both in body and mind." From the earliest period the child grew into his life of ceremony and state, but it was a process carefully graded to suit the development of natural faculties. Nothing appears to have been allowed to unduly burden his gradual growth in experience and knowledge and certainly a more pleasant domestic environment and life could hardly be imagined. At a later period his studies were so varied in character as to excite some slight apprehension in a part of the public mind.

[Pg 35]

The first public appearance of the Prince was on February 4, 1842, when the Queen was inspecting some troops near Windsor and the babe was held up by his nurse from a window of the Castle so that the crowd could see him. He has been described in many prints and stories as being a very lively infant and child. Lady Lyttelton[1], a sister to Mrs. Gladstone, was in charge of the Royal nursery as a sort of trusted Governess during the first six years of his life and everything was conducted with regularity and care. The Queen personally supervised the arrangements, whether for instruction, pleasure or exercise, though she often had to express in diary or letter her regret at not being able to be as much with her children as she desired. Simplicity was, perhaps, the guiding principle of this early training, though it was combined with a certain amount of familiarity in matters of ceremony and formality. In September, 1843, when the Queen and Prince Consort were in France the Royal children were at Brighton in charge of Lady Lyttelton and the people used to take great delight in waiting for the daily outing of the little Prince and his sister and the presentation of a loyal salute by the raising of hats and the waving of handkerchiefs. The child had been taught to raise his chubby fist to his forehead in reply and a journalist of the time veraciously declares that he did it with "evident enjoyment and infantile dignity." A little later, on December 20th, a party of nine Ojibbeway Indians were presented to the Queen at Windsor Castle and the Chief gravely referred to the toddling Royal infant in his speech as "the very big little White Father whose eyes are like the sky that sees all things and who is fat with goodness like a winter bear."

Another attractive event in these annals of childhood was a visit of Tom Thumb to Buckingham Palace on March 23,[Pg 36] 1844. Not long afterwards, on June 5th, the little Prince saw his first Review, on the occasion of the Emperor of Russia's visit, and clapped his hands and shouted at the splendid spectacle. On March 24, 1846, he was given that first and greatest pleasure of all children, a visit to the circus (Astley's). He applauded liberally and when the clown was brought to the Royal box at his request, the little Prince gravely shook hands with him and thanked him "for making me laugh so much." Similar stories might be multiplied in many pages. Every trifling incident of the Royal childhood seems, indeed, to have been treasured by some one. Late in 1846 a visit was made on the Victoria and Albert yacht to the coast of Cornwall and, after the landing, the Royal party went to Penrhyn where the little Prince, as Duke of Cornwall, was formally welcomed by Mayor and Corporation as their feudal lord. In August of the succeeding year he was taken by the Queen and Prince Consort on a tour around the west coast of Scotland and during a visit to Cluny Macpherson's Scottish home, he received one of the first of a multitude of interesting presents—a ring containing a miniature of Prince Charles Stuart. In August 1844, he accompanied his parents on a visit to Ireland, where he met with splendid acclamation from the people and was created Earl of Dublin by the Queen. It has been said that the reception was so enthusiastic as to have left a profound impression on the child's mind.

On October 30, 1849, when nearly eight years old, the Prince of Wales performed his first public function. Accompanied by the little Princess Royal and his father he proceeded in state from Westminister in a Royal barge rowed by watermen. All London turned out to see the youthful royalties—"Puss and the boy" as the Queen called them in her Diary—and Lady Lyttelton in a letter to Mrs. Gladstone has left a charming picture of the pleasure expressed by the little Prince at his reception and at the various quaint customs[Pg 37] revived for the occasion. It was at this time that Miss Louisa Alcott, author of Little Women, wrote home that the Prince was "a yellow-haired laddie, very like his mother. Fanny and I nodded and waived as he passed and he openly winked his boyish eye at us, for Fanny with her yellow curls waving looked rather rowdy and the poor little Prince wanted some fun." Two years later, on May 1st, the youthful Heir to the Throne assisted the Queen at the brilliant ceremonies attending the opening of the first and great Exhibition of that year.


Meanwhile, the important matter of education had been occupying the attention of the Queen and her husband. After careful inquiry during nearly a year the Rev. Henry Mildred Birch was selected and on April 10, 1844, the Prince Consort wrote, in a private and family letter, that "Bertie will be given over in a few weeks into the hands of a tutor whom we have found in Mr. Birch, a young, good-looking, amiable man who was a tutor at Eton and who not only himself took the highest honours at Cambridge but whose pupils have also won special distinction. It is an important step and God's blessing be upon it, for upon the good education of princes and especially of those who are destined to govern, the welfare of the world in these days very greatly depends." This gentleman acted until 1852 when, upon the advice of Sir James Stephen, the appointment was given to Mr. Frederick W. Gibbs, who retained it for the succeeding six years. In special lines of study such as Art and Music there were various instructors for the young Prince as well as for the rest of the family—the Rev. Charles Tarver being his classical tutor, Sir Edwin Landseer an instructor in the art of painting and Mr. E. H. Corbould his teacher in water-colours.

The descriptions of the Prince of Wales in these childhood days vary greatly; probably in natural accordance with[Pg 38] the variable temperament of his age. Lady Lyttelton who, perhaps, knew him best, described him to Mr. Greville in 1852—though that interesting litterateur is not always reliable—as being "extremely shy and timid, with very good principles and, particularly, an exact observer of truth." The description is, however, so much in harmony with his bringing up that it may well be accepted as accurate. These years, however, passed rapidly away in a commingling of instruction, ceremonial and innocent recreation. The Baroness Bunsen in her Memoirs gives a pleasant picture which illustrates the character of the amusements current in the Royal family at their different homes at Windsor, Osborne, or Balmoral. This particular incident was a Masque devised by the children, when Prince "Bertie" was twelve years old, in honour of the anniversary of their parents' marriage. The Prince who represented Winter and was clad in a coat covered with imitation icicles, recited some verses from Thomson's Seasons. Princess Alice was Spring; the Princess Royal, Summer; Prince Alfred, Autumn; while Princess Helena, representing St. Helena, the traditional mother of Constantine and native of Britain, called down Heaven's benediction upon the Royal couple.

About this time the Prince of Wales made his first appearance in the House of Lords, sitting beside the Queen as she received Addresses from Parliament concerning the impending war with Russia. He seems to have taken a keen interest in that conflict and, in March 1855, went with his parents to visit the wounded at Chatham Military Hospital. In August he accompanied the Queen and Prince Consort upon the first visit paid by an English Sovereign to Paris since the days of Henry II. and shared in the splendid reception given by the Emperor Napoleon and the French people. Even here, however, his tutor was with him and idleness or pleasure was not allowed to occupy the field entirely. With the Princess Royal, he was present at a splendid ball given in[Pg 39] Versailles—the first since the days of Louis XVI—and they sat down at supper with the Emperor and Empress. The young Prince enjoyed the visit so much and liked his Imperial hosts so well—a liking which he never forgot in later years of sorrow and suffering—that he begged the Empress to get leave for his sister and himself to stay a little longer. The Queen and his father, he explained, had six more children at home and they could, he thought, do without them for a while.

Of course, this was not possible. The Prince Consort, however, was greatly pleased with the way in which the children had behaved and wrote to Baron Stockmar, shortly after, expressing his belief that the Prince had been a general favourite. To the Duchess of Kent he wrote that "the task was no easy one for them but they discharged it without embarrassment and with natural simplicity." From this it is evident that the shyness spoken of by Lady Lyttelton had largely passed away from the manner of the Prince. During this year the latter—now fourteen years old—took an incognito walking tour through the west of England accompanied by Mr. Gibbs and Colonel Cavendish. The next two or three years were spent in a happy life of mixed pursuits in England and Scotland, or in travel abroad, alternating, according to the place and season, between fishing and shooting, ponies and picnics, deer-stalking and juvenile dances, studies, tours and occasional functions. Many pictures of the Royal family in these days of childhood and youth have been preserved from the brushes of Winterhalter, Richmond, Landseer, Saul and others.


Not the least important of the educative influences of this period were the tours undertaken by the young Prince. In the autumn of 1856, accompanied by those who could best instruct him in the matters witnessed, he visited the great[Pg 40] seats of industry in Provincial England including mills, ironworks, coal mines and engineering centres. In April 1857 he enjoyed a tour through the beautiful Lake region and especially appreciated the hill-climbing in Cumberland. During June he accompanied the Queen on a state visit to Manchester and witnessed the first distribution of the Victoria Cross medals in Hyde Park, London. In July the Prince left England for Konigswinter with a short European tour in view for "purposes of study," as the Prince Consort put it in a private letter. With him were General Grey, Colonel (afterwards Sir Henry) Ponsonby, his tutors and Dr. Armstrong. During the tour several young men joined him as companions—the late Mr. W. H. Gladstone; Mr. Charles Wood, now Lord Halifax; Mr. Frederick Stanley, now Earl of Derby and Governor-General of Canada; and the present Earl Cadogan, Viceroy of Ireland. The Prince on this occasion went up the Rhine and through Germany and Switzerland. Upon his return, in October, he attended lectures on science by Dr. Faraday while continuing his regular studies. Early in the succeeding year he attended the marriage of his sister, the Princess Royal, to the Prussian Prince who afterwards became the Emperor Frederick, and parted from the sister "Vicky," to whom he was much attached, with evident sorrow.

On April 1, 1858, when nearly seventeen years of age, the Prince was confirmed in the Chapel Royal at Windsor. Writing of this ceremony, the Prince Consort observed to Baron Stockmar that Lord Derby, Lord Palmerston and Lord John Russell were amongst those who were present and that the event "went off with great solemnity and, I hope, with an abiding impression on his mind." At the examination before the Archbishop of Canterbury and his Royal parents the Prince was described as acquitting himself "extremely well." On the succeeding day he took the Sacrament. Shortly afterwards followed a two weeks walking tour in the south of Ireland[Pg 41] in which the Prince was accompanied by Mr. Gibbs, Captain de Ros—afterwards Lieutenant-General Lord de Ros—and Dr. Minter. Succeeding this came a short period of steady study and the formal establishment of the young Prince at White Lodge in Richmond Park, under the tuition of Mr. Gibbs and Mr. Tarver and with three companions carefully selected by his father—Lord Valletort, the present (1902) Earl of Mount Edgecumbe, Major Teesdale V.C. and Major Lindsay V.C. Of the first named the Prince Consort wrote privately that he had been much on the Continent and was "a thoroughly good, moral and accomplished man," who had passed his youth in attendance on his invalid father. He also referred to the manner in which Major Teesdale had distinguished himself at Kars and Major Lindsay at Alma and Inkerman and of the latter said: "He is studious in his habits, lives little with the other young officers, is fond of study and familiar with French and Italian."[2] These considerations are interesting as indicating with what care the companions of the young Prince were selected by his wise father from time to time. Here the Prince had, amongst his elements of instruction, lectures on History from the Rev. Charles Kingsley, the well-known author of Westward Ho and, for ten years following, Professor of History at Cambridge. They were given by special desire of the Queen and must have proved deeply interesting. Canon Kingsley was, during the rest of his life, an object of special liking to the Prince and always an honoured guest at Sandringham and Marlborough.

In Sailor's Dress
Represents the Prince as feeding a pet rabbit
In Highland costume

On November 9, 1859, the Prince of Wales completed his eighteenth year and attained his legal majority. The Queen wrote him a letter which Charles Greville, in his Diary, describes as "one of the most admirable ever penned." On the same day he was appointed a Colonel in the Army and[Pg 42] given the Order of the Garter—that most distinguished of all orders of knighthood. At the same time Colonel the Hon. Robert Bruce, brother of the Lord Elgin who had proved so successful a Governor-General of Canada and India, was appointed Governor to the Prince and was described by the Prince Consort as possessing amiability with great mildness of expression and as being "full of ability." He had been Military Secretary to Lord Elgin in Canada and was at this time in command of a battalion in the Grenadier Guards.[3] A month later the Prince started on a Continental tour accompanied by the Rev. Mr. Tarver as his chaplain and director of studies. He stayed some time in Rome, where he visited the Pope, on May 7 reached Gibraltar, and from thence visited the south of Spain and Lisbon. He reached home in the middle of June and took up a serious course of study at Edinburgh, with the late Lord Playfair as his instructor in chemistry, and with other equally distinguished teachers in specific lines or subjects. The public was at this time taking much interest in these studies of the Heir Apparent and fear was expressed that he might, perhaps, be over-educated. Punch expressed this feeling in the following lines:

"To the south from the north, from the shores of the Forth,
Where at hands Presbyterian pure science is quaffed,
The Prince, in a trice, is whipped to the Isis,
Where Oxford keeps springs mediæval on draught.

Dipped in grey Oxford mixture (lest that be a fixture),
The poor lad's to be plunged in less orthodox Cam.,
Where dynamics and statics, and pure mathematics,
Will be piled on his brain's awful cargo of cram."

After three months of Edinburgh training the Prince Consort went down and held a sort of conference with the[Pg 43] teachers. He wrote as to the result[4] that they all spoke highly of their pupil, who seemed to have shown zeal and goodwill. "Dr. Lyon Playfair is giving him lectures on chemistry in relation to manufactures and, at the close of each special course, he visits the appropriate manufactory with him so as to explain its practical application. Dr. Schmitz gives him lectures on Roman history. Italian, German and French are advanced at the same time; and three times a week the Prince exercises with the 16th Hussars who are stationed in the city." It was of this period that Sir Wemyss Reid, in his biography of Lord Playfair, tells an amusing story. The Prince and Dr. Playfair were standing near a cauldron containing lead which was boiling at white heat. "Has Your Royal Highness any faith in science," said the Professor and the reply was, "Certainly." The latter then carefully washed the Prince's hand with ammonia and said:

"Will you now place your hand in this boiling metal and ladle out a portion of it?"

"Do you tell me to do this?" asked the Prince.

The answer was in the affirmative and the Prince instantly put his hand into the boiling mass and ladled out some of it without sustaining any injury. Following this period of study at Edinburgh University came the celebration of the Prince's nineteenth birthday and a hunting party in the Highlands. Thence the Prince went to Oxford for a time and was admitted a member of Christ Church College where he joined freely in the social life and sports of the institution. On January 16, 1861, after his return from Canada, he became an under-graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, and was allowed, by special favour, to live in a neighbouring village with his Governor—Colonel Bruce. Here lectures were again given to the Prince by Canon Kingsley and the young man was kept pretty close to his studies during the winter of that year. In the summer[Pg 44] he went on military duty in Ireland and the Queen thus recorded in her Diary a visit paid to him at Curragh on August 26th: "At a little before three we went to Bertie's hut which is, in fact, Sir George Brown's. It is very comfortable—a nice little bedroom, sitting-room, drawing-room, and a good sized dining-room where we lunched, with our whole party. Col. Percy commands the Guards and Bertie is placed specially under him. I spoke to him and thanked him for treating Bertie as he did, just like any other officer, for I know that he keeps him up to his work in a way, as General Bruce told me, that no one else had done; and yet Bertie likes him very much."


This was the last birthday of the Prince Consort and it was spent travelling to Killarney with the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the younger members of the Royal family. A few days there and then the young Prince returned to camp. In the autumn he visited the Rhine manœuvres of the German army and met his future bride, the Princess Alexandra. He then returned to Cambridge and from thence journeyed in haste to Windsor on December 13th to be present at his father's death-bed on the following evening. No sadder event has occurred in the history of English royalty than this premature and much-mourned death of the good and really great Prince Consort. To the young Heir Apparent it meant the loss of a loving father, a careful guardian, a watchful and wise adviser. To the wife and widow it meant the ruin of a great happiness and a sorrow which no passing years could ever remove. Sir Theodore Martin's beautiful description of the scene at the death-bed, at which knelt the Queen, the Princess Alice, the Princess Helena and the Prince of Wales, may well be given here: "In the solemn hush of that mournful chamber there was such grief as has rarely hallowed any death-bed. A great light, which had blessed the world, and which the mourners[Pg 45] had but yesterday hoped might long bless it, was waning fast away. A husband, a father, a friend, a master, endeared by every quality by which man in such relations can win the love of his fellow-man, was passing into the Silent Land, and his loving glance, his wise counsels, his firm, manly thought should be known among them no more. The Castle clock chimed the third quarter after ten. Calm and peaceful grew the beloved form; the features settled into the beauty of a perfectly serene repose; two or three long, but gentle breaths were drawn; and that great soul had fled to seek a nobler scope for its aspirations in the world within the veil, for which it had often yearned, where there is rest for the weary, and where 'the spirits of the just are made perfect.'"

Not long before his death the Prince Consort had readily agreed to his son's wish for a visit to the Holy Land and had planned the preliminaries of the tour before he was stricken by the disease which carried him off. After that sad event it was felt by the Queen that such a journey would now be doubly wise and proper and she made arrangements for General Bruce to accompany the Prince, together with Major Teesdale, Captain Keppel and a small suite. By special wish of the Prince Consort and at the urgent request of the Queen, the Rev. Dr. Arthur Penrhyn Stanley consented to accompany the Prince. He joined the Royal party at Alexandria on February 28, 1862, and they at once proceeded to Cairo and from thence visited the Pyramids. A little later Palestine was reached and, following in the historic steps of Richard Cœur de Lion and Edward I., another Heir to the British Throne finally reached Jerusalem. The closely-guarded Cave of Macphelah was opened to the Prince of Wales as well as the famous Mosque of Hebron which for nearly seven hundred years had been closed to even Royal visitors. Lake Tiberias, Bethany, Bethlehem, the Groves of Jericho, were visited and some time was spent in tents upon the journey to Damascus.[Pg 46] From thence the party traveled to Beyrout, visited Tyre and Sidon, and proceeded to Tripoli. The journey was made by the Prince so as to include Patmos, Ephesus, Smyrna, Constantinople, Athens and Malta. From every place where it was possible the Prince collected flowers which he carefully sent to his sister, the Princess Royal. Of His Royal Highness during this interesting tour Dean Stanley put on record his opinion at the time: "It is impossible not to like him and to be constantly with him brings out his astonishing memory of names and persons.... I am more and more struck by the amiable and endearing qualities of the Prince."


[1] Sarah, Lady Lyttelton, daughter of the second Earl Spencer and wife of the third Lord Lyttelton. Born 1787, Died 1870.

[2] This officer afterwards became Major-General Sir C. C. Teesdale V.C., K.C.M.G., C.B. and was A.D.C. to the Queen in 1877-87. Major Lindsay was better known in later years as Colonel Sir Robert Lloyd-Lindsay K.C.B. In 1885 he was raised to the Peerage as Lord Wantage.

[3] He afterwards became a Major-General in the Army and died in 1862 of fever caught while with the Prince of Wales during his Eastern tour.

[4] Martin's Life of the Prince Consort.

[Pg 47]


Royal Tour of British America and the United States

The first important public event in the career of the young Prince was one which, during forty years, has held a marked place in Canadian memories and a prominent place in Canadian and American history. In some respects the tour of the Prince of Wales, in 1860, through the scattered and disconnected Provinces of British America has wielded an influence far out of proportion to the contemporary judgment of the event; beyond, perhaps, what the Queen and Prince Consort in their wise and patriotic policy of the time hoped to achieve. It was, in reality, the first break in the hitherto steady progress of the Manchester school theory regarding ultimate Empire disruption; the first check given to the widely accepted doctrine that the Colonies were of no use except for trade and, in any case, were like the fruit which ripens only to fall from the parent stem.

Mr. Bright, Lord John Russell, Sir George Cornewall Lewis, Mr. Cobden, Lord Ashburton, Lord Ellenborough, Lord Derby, and many others, were at this time touched with the blight of these theories and to them there was no sense, and nothing but expense, in trying to cultivate Colonial loyalty or promote Colonial co-operation.


To this school—and it was one embracing many able men and thinkers—trade was more important than any other consideration, and the greatest object of external policy was the[Pg 48] development of friendly relations with the United States. American extension of territory was not looked upon with alarm even when it took a slice of the Maine boundary and threatened trouble over that of Oregon. The Republic had not yet gone in seriously for high protection and did not, therefore, vitally touch the pockets of patriots who could not foresee, even in their keen regard for commerce and its development, that trade and territory were in the future to be most intimately related.

The Queen and Prince Consort did, however, understand something of the future of the Empire—dimly it might be but still effectively. It had been announced during the progress of the Crimean War that a Royal tour of British America might be arranged within a few years, and the Canadian Legislature, on May 14th, 1859, took advantage of the coming completion of the great Victoria Bridge across the St. Lawrence, at Montreal, to tender a formal invitation to the Sovereign herself to be present at the opening ceremonies; to receive a personal tribute of the unwavering attachment of her subjects; and to more closely unite the bonds which attached the Province to the Empire. This unanimously-passed address was taken to London by Mr. Speaker Henry Smith, and the response elicited was most favourable to the indirect request of the Assembly and Legislative Council—the initiative in the matter being due to a motion by the Hon. P. M. M. S. Vankoughnet in the latter House. The Governor-General received a reply, dated January 30th, 1860, and signed by the Duke of Newcastle, Colonial Secretary, which stated that Her Majesty greatly regretted that her duties at the Seat of the Empire would prevent so long an absence, but that it might be possible for H. R. H. the Prince of Wales to attend the ceremony at a later date. "The Queen trusts that nothing may interfere with this arrangement for it is Her Majesty's sincere desire that the young Prince, on whom the Crown of[Pg 49] this Empire will devolve, may have the opportunity of visiting that portion of her dominions from which this Address has proceeded and may become acquainted with a people in whose progress towards greatness, Her Majesty, in common with her subjects in Great Britain, feels a lively and enduring sympathy."


Preparations were at once commenced in the British Provinces to properly receive the Royal guest. By the 9th of July all arrangements in England had been made, including the acceptance of an invitation to visit the United States—as a private gentleman under the title of Lord Renfrew. On that date the Prince sailed from Plymouth in the ship Hero after replying to a farewell address, when he declared that he was proceeding to "the great possessions of the Queen in North America with a lively anticipation of the pleasure which the sight of a noble land, great works of nature and human skill and a generous and active people must produce." The Royal suite was composed of the Duke of Newcastle—practically guardian to the youthful Prince; the Earl of St. Germans, Lord Chamberlain to the Queen; General, the Hon. Robert Bruce; Dr. Auckland and two Equerries—Major Teesdale, V.C., and Captain Grey.

Newfoundland was first reached on July 23d. An enthusiastic reception was given to the Royal visitor at St. John's by ringing bells, lusty cheers, waving flags and evening illuminations. The Prince was received by the Governor, Sir Alexander Bannerman, and then passed in procession through beautiful arches and decorations to Government House. A levée was held, many addresses received and a collective reply given, in which the Prince made the statement that "I shall carry back a lively recollection of the day's proceedings and your kindness to myself personally; but, above all, of these hearty demonstrations of patriotism which prove your deep-rooted [Pg 50]attachment to the great and free country of which we all glory to be called sons." A ride around the town followed, without ceremony, and in the evening a state dinner and ball were given. The attendance at the latter was very large and the Prince delighted everyone, and particularly the ladies, by dancing with evident zest and pleasure until three o'clock in the morning. During the day thus commenced he left the Island amid every evidence of popularity and loyalty—after accepting a handsome Newfoundland dog as a present from the people and presenting Lady Bannerman with a set of jewels in commemoration of his visit.


The Royal squadron arrived at Halifax on the morning of July 30th and, despite unpleasant weather, the entire city turned out to welcome the Queen's son. The streets were lined by the regular soldiers and volunteers and were beautifully decorated with arches, transparencies and evergreens. The arches numbered seventeen and included one which the Roman Catholic Archbishop Connolly had erected at his own expense. The Prince was received by His Excellency the Earl of Mulgrave—afterwards Marquess of Normanby—and Rear-Admiral Sir Alexander Milne, Major-General Trollope and the members of the Provincial Government. Mayor Caldwell read an address expressing "devotion to the British throne and attachment to British institutions" and His Royal Highness in reply referred to the noble Harbour of Halifax in which all the navies of Great Britain could "ride in safety." There was much enthusiasm shown in the streets and at one point 4000 children sang an adaptation of the National Anthem as a sort of welcoming ode. At Government House the Hon. William Young read an address from the Executive Council of the Province in which special reference was made to the Nova Scotians who had won laurels "beneath the[Pg 51] Imperial flag" in the recent Crimean campaign. It was signed by the Hon. Joseph Howe, the Hon. A. G. Archibald, the Hon. J. McCully, the Hon. William Annand and others and, in replying, the Prince made a significant allusion to the Confederation policy of several years later when he expressed hopes for their happiness as a loyal and united people.

On the following day a Royal review was held and in the evening a state dinner and ball were attended while illuminations turned the darkness of the outside night into brightness. At the ball the ladies selected as partners, according to a contemporary historian, were "principally the wives and daughters—much oftener the latter—of gentlemen connected with the staff or with the Government of the Province." The same writer[5] states that when the Prince adjourned to supper he begged that the ball might not proceed in his absence "as he would not be long away and his programme was full." The third day in Halifax included a Levée at Government House; the reception of the addresses from the Church of England, King's College, Windsor, the Masons, the Methodist Conference, the Free Church of Scotland, the Kirk of Scotland, the Roman Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church, and Acadia College. A visit followed to the one-time residence and grounds of H. R. H. the Duke of Kent and a Regatta was witnessed. A state dinner and reception at Government House, a torch-light procession of Firemen and a display of fireworks in the evening closed the events of the visit. Early in the morning of August 2nd, His Royal Highness left for St. John—stopping on the way at Windsor, which was beautifully decorated, to receive an address and partake of a banquet. An address was also accepted at Hautsport.

On the following morning the Prince was welcomed at St. John by Mr. Manners-Sutton, the Lieutenant-Governor, the members of the Government, the Judges, etc. At one point[Pg 52] during the procession to his temporary residence 5000 school children sang patriotic airs and threw flowers at their Royal guest. The usual addresses and evening illuminations followed—the latter eclipsing those of Halifax, or St. John's, Newfoundland. August 4th and the Sunday which followed were spent at Fredericton. The Anglican Cathedral was attended there and a sermon from Bishop Medley listened to. On the following day the Executive Council presented an address in which it stated that "if the necessity should ever arise all the available resources of New Brunswick will be freely offered for the defence of Imperial interests and the maintenance of national honour." The address from the City referred to "the universal heart-throb of our Empire of perpetual sunlight" and another address was presented from the Anglican clergy. The Prince replied appropriately to each and afterwards held a Levée at Government House and attended a grand ball held in his honour. On Tuesday, August 7th, he started from Prince Edward Island, being enthusiastically welcomed on the way at Indiantown and Carleton in New Brunswick, and at Truro and Picton in Nova Scotia.

The Prince of Wales arrived at Charlottetown on the morning of August 9th and, despite pouring rain, was received by crowds in a tastefully decorated city. He was formally welcomed by Lieutenant-Governor George Dundas, Chief Justice Hodgson, Premier, the Hon. Charles Palmer, and all the dignitaries and officials of the Island. As the procession passed to Government House 2000 children sang the National Anthem and the crowds cheered enthusiastically. A Levée was held on the following day, a review of the volunteers proceeded with, and addresses received from the Provincial and Civic authorities. A ball at the Provincial Building concluded the festivities and the Prince danced until three in the morning. The Royal visitor then departed for the Upper Provinces[Pg 53] and arrived in Gaspé Bay, on August 12th, after seeing much that was beautiful in the way of scenery. Here the Prince was formally welcomed to the Canada of that day by His Excellency Sir Edmund W. Head, Governor-General of all British America, and by the Canadian Ministry, which included the Hon. John A. Macdonald, George E. Cartier, A. T. Galt, John Ross, N. F. Belleau, J. C. Morrison, L. S. Morin and others of historic name. A visit to the gloomy and splendid scenes along the Saguenay followed and on August 17th, after passing further up the St. Lawrence, Quebec was reached by the Royal fleet. The succeeding day was marked by His Royal Highness' first public entry into Canada.


No more splendid natural setting for a national event can be found in the world than that afforded by the crowning heights, the broad sweep of river, the ancient and towering fortress of Quebec. Upon this occasion the old-fashioned French city, nestling upon the sides of the cliff, was vivid with flags and the narrow streets filled with arches, while crowds of interested people thronged every part of the place. The Heir to the Throne was formally received at the wharf by the Governor-General, who was accompanied by the Canadian Ministry in their uniforms of blue and gold; Lord Lyons, the British Minister at Washington; Lieutenant-General Sir W. Fenwick Williams, Commander of the Forces; Sir A. N. McNab, Sir E. P. Taché, Major H. L. Langevin and others prominent in the public life of the Provinces. In a special Pavilion which had been erected, the Prince was presented by Major Langevin—better known to a subsequent generation as Sir Hector Langevin, M.P.—with an address describing the loyalty of the French population to British institutions and connection. In his reply the Royal guest spoke of the differences of origin, language and religion as being "lost in one[Pg 54] universal spirit of patriotism which had knit all classes to the Mother-land in common ties of equal liberty and free institutions." During the procession through the city which followed there was much cheering, and in the evening, despite the rain which had poured all day, the illuminations were exceedingly good.

On the following day the Anglican Cathedral was attended by His Royal Highness with the Governor-General and their suites. The succeeding day was again stormy but a visit was paid to the Chaudière Falls and on Tuesday a Levée was held at the old Parliament Buildings attended by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy of the Province of Quebec in a body, clad in purple robes, and followed in order by the Judges and members of the Legislative Council and Assembly of the United Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada—as Ontario and Quebec were then generally called. An address was presented on behalf of the Council by its Speaker, the Hon. N. F. Belleau and replied to by the Prince, after which he conferred the honour of knighthood upon Mr. Belleau. An address was then presented on behalf of the Assembly by its Speaker, the Hon. Henry Smith, who also received the distinction of being personally knighted by the Royal visitor. Other addresses were presented and later in the day a visit was paid to the beautiful Falls of Montmorenci—the route to which was ornamented with arches, flags and evergreens. In the evening a grand ball was given and the Prince danced through almost the entire programme. On the following day a visit was paid to Laval University and an address received from the Roman Catholic Hierarchy at the hands of Bishop Horan of Kingston, as well as one from the University. The former document stated that the Church was always careful to teach that Kings reign by God's will and that, therefore, "entire submission is due to the authority they have received from on high." They believed "traditional respect for the[Pg 55] high moral principle of legitimate authority" to be the real strength of Canadian society. The Prince responded in fitting terms to both addresses. The Ursuline Convent was also visited and an address received. In the evening a display of fireworks was given and on the morning of August 23rd His Royal Highness departed for Three Rivers.


The trip up the River was a pleasant one and, after a brief stay at Three Rivers where the Mayor—Mr. J. E. Turcotte M.P.P.—presented an address, the journey was resumed to Montreal. Accompanying the steamer Kingston (which had been specially fitted up for this occasion) from Three Rivers was another containing the members of the Legislature. All along the shores of the St. Lawrence were little crowds of habitants striving for a glimpse of the Royal visitor and, when nearing Montreal, he was received by a fleet of vessels crowded with cheering people. The reception in the city commenced on the morning of August 25th and was marked by the gathering of numerous crowds and intense interest. An address was presented by Mr. Charles S. Rodier, the Mayor of Montreal, in a handsome Pavilion specially erected for the purpose, and surrounded by the entire military and volunteer force of the district and city. The Mayor in his scarlet robes, the Ministers in their new Windsor uniforms, the officers in their varied military dress and Bishop Fulford and the Anglican clergy in their gowns, made quite a brilliant spectacle on the dais. After the Prince had replied to the address the Royal procession passed through the city to the Crystal Palace, the streets being gay with flags, banners, evergreens, transparencies and eight, more or less, handsome arches.

At the new building, or Crystal Palace, an Exhibition was duly opened by the Prince, who then proceeded to the Victoria[Pg 56] Bridge station where he was met by the Hon. John Ross, President of the Grand Trunk Railway, and other officials. An address was presented descriptive of the great structure across the St. Lawrence and, after his reply, the Prince was taken from the station to the Bridge in a carriage lined with crimson velvet and there proceeded to formally open it for public use. An elaborate luncheon, attended by 600 persons and presided over by Sir Edmund Head, followed. After receiving an address from the workmen employed in the undertaking His Royal Highness returned to the city and in the evening witnessed illuminations which made Montreal a blaze of light. On Sunday, the 26th, the Prince attended Christ Church Cathedral and heard a sermon from Bishop Fulford. During the succeeding day he witnessed a lacrosse game by Indians, watched a procession of Temperance organizations, and held a Levée at the Court House where addresses were presented from the Church of England, McGill College, the inhabitants of Red River Colony—now the City of Winnipeg—and others.

In the evening one of the finest balls ever given on the Continent of America was attended by the Prince. The decorations were gorgeous and yet tasteful and the Royal guest is stated to have danced incessantly until half-past four in the morning. On Tuesday he visited Dickenson's Landing in a special car built by the Grand Trunk Railway and from thence went down the Rapids of the St. Lawrence in the steamer Kingston. The evening saw a Grand Musical Festival in his honour and on the following day a Royal review of 1600 troops took place. A visit followed to Sir George Simpson's residence at Isle Dorval, accompanied by a canoe excursion down the St. Lawrence under the auspices of the Hudson's Bay Company, of which Sir G. Simpson had so long been head. The evening witnessed a torch-light procession of Montreal Firemen. On August 30th the Royal visitor, the [Pg 57]Governor-General and their suites, took a special train for St. Hyacinthe where the Prince was enthusiastically received and several addresses presented at the Roman Catholic College. At Sherbrooke, in the afternoon, flags were flying everywhere and arches had been erected on all the principal streets. An address was read by the Mayor, Mr. J. G. Robertson—afterwards for many years Treasurer of the Province. A visit was then paid to the residence of the Hon. A. T. Galt, Minister of Finance, and on the way thither His Royal Highness was almost smothered in bouquets of flowers thrown at him by young women along the route. A Levée was held here and hundreds of people presented. At Montreal in the evening, a great display of fireworks took place and on the following morning the Prince left the city finally.

When visiting Canada in 1860


At every village and town and tiny settlement on the way to Ottawa crowds turned out to welcome and cheer the passing visitor; while flags and arches and decorations indicated the pleasure of the people in more practical shape. Near the capital of the United Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada—seven years hence to be the capital of the new Dominion—the Prince of Wales was received by a fleet of steamers and 1200 lumbermen and Indians in birch-bark canoes and was escorted into the city in a most picturesque style. Mayor Workman presented an address and a procession through the capital followed. On September 1st the corner stone of the splendid Parliament Buildings, which afterwards graced the hills of the Chaudière, was laid by the Royal visitor amid scenes of considerable dignity and much enthusiasm. Amongst those present were H. E. Sir Edmund Head, Lord Mulgrave, General Sir Fenwick Williams, Hon. John A. Macdonald and the other members of the Ministry. In the afternoon a state luncheon was given by the Government at which the Governor-General [Pg 58]presided and the toasts proposed were presented respectively by His Excellency, Sir N. F. Belleau, Sir Henry Smith and the Prince himself. A visit to the Chaudière Falls followed and the usual illuminations were given in the evening. On Sunday Christ Church Cathedral was attended and early in the succeeding day the journey was resumed—Arnprior, Almonte and Brockville being visited and addresses received.

At this point in the tour occurred an unfortunate misunderstanding with the Orangemen of Kingston and Toronto. While in Montreal the Duke of Newcastle—who was practically in charge of the Prince's movements so far as they affected state and public interests—heard that the members of the Loyal Orange Order proposed to erect arches along the route of the Royal procession in Toronto and Kingston and to decorate them with Orange colours and regalia. The Duke at once wrote to Sir Edmund Head that this would not do. "It is obvious that a display of this nature on such an occasion is likely to lead to religious feud and breach of the peace; and it is my duty to prevent, so far as I am able, the exposure of the Prince to supposed participation in a scene so much to be deprecated, and so alien to the spirit in which he visits Canada." He added that if the policy was persisted in he would advise the Prince not to visit the places in question.

Sectarian feeling, it may be added, was very strong at this time in Upper Canada and the Catholics and Orangemen were drawn up in two distinctly hostile camps of religious and political thought. This was especially the case in Toronto and Kingston. The Governor-General at once wrote the Mayors of these two towns under date of August 31st and, in the course of his letter said: "You will bear in mind, Sir, that His Royal Highness visits this Colony on the special invitation of the whole people, as conveyed by both branches of the Legislature, without distinction of creed or party; and it would be[Pg 59] inconsistent with the spirit and object of such an invitation, and such a visit, to thrust on him the exhibition of banners or other badges of distinction which are known to be offensive to any of Her Majesty's subjects." Roman Catholics called meetings to protest at the intended action of the Orangemen; the latter met in public and private and convinced themselves that the representatives of the former were being allowed to control the Prince's movements. They pointed to their own well-known loyalty to the Crown and British institutions and to the fact that Roman Catholics had been permitted every privilege in welcoming the Prince in Lower Canada. Eventually, although the Duke of Newcastle made every effort to smooth matters over, the City Council of Kingston and the Orangemen of that place refused to give way and the steamer Kingston, after sixteen hours had been given for consideration, passed in her course to Belleville without the Prince landing in the gaily decorated and historic town.

Writing from the steamer on September 5th, before leaving for the next destination in the Royal tour, the Duke wrote to the Mayor a long letter in which the following sentence occurs: "What is the sacrifice I asked the Orangemen to make? Merely to abstain from displaying in the presence of a young Prince of 19 years of age—the heir to a sceptre which rules over millions of every form of Christianity—symbols of religious and political organization which are notoriously offensive to the members of another creed!" He expressed regret that the City Council had not accepted the suggestion to present their address on board the steamer as had been done by the Church of Scotland Synod. The reply of the Mayor, Mr. O. S. Strange, disclaimed sympathy with the Orangemen while defending a refusal to approve the advice given to the Prince of Wales. It also pointed out that the garbs and flags of the Orange Order were no more compromising to the Royal visitor than were the robes and insignia[Pg 60] of the Catholic Hierarchy of Quebec during the reception in that Province.


Belleville was reached on September 5th, but no landing was effected on account of Orange troubles of the same kind as at Kingston. The disappointment of the people was extreme, as the preparations had been elaborate and the decorations costly. Visits followed to Cobourg, where a ball was given; to Rice Lake, where an address was received from the Mississaga Indians; to Peterborough, Whitby and Port Hope, which were most lavishly decorated. Toronto was reached on September 7th and the greatest reception of the tour given to the Royal visitor. As the centre of Orange sentiment in Upper Canada some difficulty was feared, and as a matter of fact there was a misunderstanding between the Duke of Newcastle and Mayor Wilson—afterwards Sir Adam Wilson, Chief Justice of Ontario—regarding the Orange arch; but this was ultimately smoothed over. The city was gay with flags and decorations; nine arches had been erected in the principal streets; a large amphitheatre was built for the purposes of the formal reception; and the city was crowded with people. At the amphitheatre an address was received from the city and replied to by the Prince in a speech in which he referred to the generous loyalty of his welcome as the Queen's representative—"a loyalty tempered and yet strengthened by the intelligent independence of the Canadian character." A welcome was sung by 5000 school children and a procession through Toronto followed. Brilliant illuminations in the evening made the town bright and in the ensuing morning the Prince held a Levée at which one thousand gentlemen were presented.

Addresses were presented during this function from the Upper Canada Bible Society, the Church of England Synod[Pg 61] Trinity University, the Presbyterian Synod, the St. George's Society, the Temperance organizations, the County Council of York, and Knox College, and were duly replied to. In the afternoon His Royal Highness attended a reception given by the Law Society and in the evening a dance under the same auspices at Osgoode Hall. On the next day, Sunday, the Prince attended service at St. James Cathedral and listened to a sermon from Bishop Strachan. On Monday, an excursion was made to Collingwood, on the Georgian Bay, and the Prince was accompanied by the Governor-General, Sir Fenwick Williams and the Hon. Messrs. A. T. Galt, P. M. Vankoughnet, W. B. Robinson, J. Hillyard Cameron and others, as well as by his suite. At Newmarket, Aurora, Bradford and Barrie addresses were received and at every point along the Northern Railway there were decorations and crowds of people.

At Collingwood there was luncheon and an enthusiastic reception and the Prince then returned to Toronto, where he watched the games of the Canadian Highland Society for a time. September 11th was a very wet day, but the Royal visitor attended a Regatta held under the auspices of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, opened Queen's Park, and laid a pedestal for a statue to the Queen. He also reviewed the Toronto Volunteer Corps, and visited the University of Toronto where he received an address as well as one from Upper Canada College. A visit to the Educational Department of the Province and Knox College followed and a busy day was concluded by a great ball in the evening, at which the Prince danced until four in the morning.


On September 12th His Royal Highness left Toronto for a trip through the western portion of Upper Canada (Ontario) and was welcomed at every station by decorations and cheering[Pg 62] crowds. Arches were everywhere and salutes were fired with frequency. A short stop was made at Guelph and Stratford and an address was received at the German settlement of Peterburg, to which the Prince replied in the same language. In the afternoon London was reached and an enthusiastic reception given which included a torchlight procession and evening illuminations. Sarnia was visited on the following day and, besides the usual addresses, one was presented from the Indians of Upper Canada. At London, in the evening, a ball was given and the young Prince danced with the animation which he had displayed at all the entertainments of this character given in his honour. On September 14th he proceeded to visit Niagara Falls in a new and beautiful car specially constructed by the Great Western Railway Company.

Woodstock, Paris, Brantford, Dunnville and Port Colborne were visited en route, and at the Falls in the evening most exquisite illuminations were exhibited for the pleasure of the visitor—lines of fire running along the cliffs while other kinds of light intensified the natural splendour of the scene. During his several days at this point, the Prince saw Blondin cross the chasm on a rope; attended service at the little church in the Canadian village; paid a brief visit to the American fort on the other side of Niagara River; saw the Welland Canal and visited Queenston Heights and the tomb of Sir Isaac Brock. At the latter place he received an address from one hundred and sixty survivors of the War of 1812 at the hands of Chief Justice Sir J. Beverley Robinson and, on September 18th, laid the corner-stone of an obelisk in honour of the chief Canadian hero of that contest. A visit to Port Dalhousie and Hamilton followed, and at the latter place the reception was marked by splendid decorations and much enthusiasm.

In his reply to the address the Royal visitor was more than usually impressive—no doubt realizing that the end of[Pg 63] this visit to a great country of the future was close at hand. "I can never forget," he said, "the scenes I have witnessed during the short time in which I have enjoyed the privilege of associating myself with the Canadian people, which must ever be a bright epoch in my life. I shall bear away with me a grateful remembrance of kindness and affection which, as yet, I have been unable to do anything to merit; and it shall be the constant effort of my future years to prove myself not unworthy of the love and confidence of a generous people." Fire-works, a state concert, a visit to the Central School, a luncheon at the Royal Hotel, a visit to the waterworks and a grand ball in the evening were amongst the events of the stay in Hamilton. On September 20th the last address received and answered by His Royal Highness in Canada was presented by the Agricultural Society of Upper Canada. To its loyal phrases the King and Emperor of a distant future made this final response: "My duties as representative of the Queen, deputed by her to visit British North America, cease this day; but in a private capacity I am about to visit, before I return home, that remarkable land which claims with us a common ancestry and in whose extraordinary progress every Englishman feels a common interest. Before I quit British soil let me once more address through you the inhabitants of United Canada and bid them an affectionate farewell. May God pour down his choicest blessings upon this great and loyal people."


Windsor was reached in the evening and after words of loyal greeting had been received from its people, the Prince of Wales left Canadian soil and, accompanied by the Governor of Michigan and the Mayor of Detroit, crossed the river to United States territory and was welcomed there as Lord Renfrew—one of his many minor titles. This part of the Royal tour had been arranged as a result of an invitation received by the[Pg 64] Queen from President Buchanan dated June 4th, 1860, and expressing the hope that His Royal Highness' visit would be extended to the Republic. This had been agreed to by the Queen who intimated in reply that, while in the United States, the Prince would drop all Royal state and travel under the name of Lord Renfrew as he was accustomed to do on the Continent of Europe. It may be said, in passing, that this incognito was very slightly observed and that the Royal visitor was welcomed everywhere as the heir to the British throne and the son of a much-respected and friendly Sovereign.

At Detroit the Prince parted from the Governor-General of Canada and the members of the Canadian Government who had hitherto accompanied him and, after a drive around the city and a brilliant illumination in the evening, departed on the morning of September 21st for Chicago. A special car was provided by the Michigan Central Railway. At Chicago there was no formal welcome or function; no particular enthusiasm or crowds. The Prince was driven around the great new city of the West and enjoyed his first experience of the panorama of American development which that centre even then presented. He did not stay long and on the 22nd departed for Dwight, in the same State, where four days were spent in shooting. On September 27th he arrived at St. Louis, then a place of about seventeen thousand people, and here His Royal Highness visited the State Fair. There were estimated to have been twenty-eight thousand persons in the amphitheatre of the Fair and a curious incident of the visit is recorded by a writer, already quoted, who states that a vain search of the city had been made for a Union Jack to place beside the American flag on the central building.

From St. Louis the Prince proceeded to Cincinnati, in Ohio, and on the evening of September 29th attended a ball given by an enterprising citizen who had just erected a handsome new theatre. On Sunday, St. John's Church was visited[Pg 65] and a sermon preached by Bishop McIlvaine. Pittsburg was reached on October 1st and an enthusiastic but informal reception accorded. Harrisburg was the next place visited and it was noted that, as the Prince and his suite went further east and south, the curious crowds gave place to increasingly enthusiastic crowds. At Baltimore immense throngs of people had gathered and thence on October 3rd the Royal party proceeded to Washington which they reached in the afternoon. The Prince, who had been accompanied through American territory by Lord Lyons, the British Minister, was welcomed to the capital by General Cass and then driven to the White House where, in the evening, a state reception was given in his honour.

On the following day the President held a Levée, accompanied by "Lord Renfrew," and a great number of people attended. Afterwards a visit was paid to the handsome public buildings of the city. On October 5th, President Buchanan, his niece, Miss Harriet Lane, the Prince of Wales and many members of the American Cabinet and Diplomatic Corps, as well as the Duke of Newcastle and Lord Lyons, visited Mount Vernon. There, for a few moments, the descendant of George III. stood with uncovered head before the tomb of George Washington. In the evening a state dinner was given by Lord Lyons and on the following day the Prince left Washington for Richmond. Here his most enjoyable experience is said to have been, not the historical explanations and hospitable companionship of Governor Letcher, but the first taste of a mint julep mixed by a negro of much local fame in the preparation of this cooling drink. Baltimore was visited on October 8th and Philadelphia on the 10th. At some of these centres of population the Prince was able to spend a part of the day, incognito, amongst the people who, in perfect ignorance of his presence, no doubt taught the future King of Great Britain much that he would never otherwise have known as to[Pg 66] public opinion in a country where the courses of freedom were uncontrolled by custom and unshackled by precedent or tradition. A feature of the visit to Philadelphia was a splendid concert given in the Opera House, at which Patti and others sang to a brilliant audience amidst striking decorations. To the verses of "God Save the Queen" were added the following lines:

"Long may the Prince abide,
England's hope, joy and pride,
Long live the Prince;
May England's future King,
Victoria's virtues bring,
To grace his reign.
God save the Prince."

On October 11th the Prince of Wales arrived in New York and was welcomed on his steamer by General Winfield Scott and a reception committee. At the landing place Mayor Fernando Wood received him with the simple words: "As Chief Magistrate of this city, I welcome you here and believe that I represent the entire population without exception." The guest's reply was equally brief and then, clad in a Colonel's uniform, the Prince was driven through crowded streets to the City Hall, where six thousand soldiers were reviewed, and thence to the Fifth Avenue Hotel. The only unpleasant incident of the visit was the refusal of an Irish regiment to turn out upon this occasion with the other troops. During the following day His Royal Highness visited the University of New York, the Astor Library and the Cooper Institute. At the first-named institution he listened to an address on the electric telegraph from Professor Morse. In the evening a splendid ball was given at the Academy of Music where brilliant decorations vied with the beautiful costumes.

On the following day the Prince, with his suite, visited Brady's photograph gallery and Barnum's Museum and, in[Pg 67] the evening, witnessed a torch-light procession of five thousand Firemen. At the first-named place he inspected and asked for portraits of the eminent men of the United States and especially inquired for one of Secretary W. L. Marcy. Trinity Church was attended on Sunday and a sermon heard from the Rev. Dr. Francis Vinton—assisted in the service by a number of other clergymen. The church was crowded and ten thousand people waited outside to see the Royal visitor. New York was left on the following morning and West Point and Albany visited. In the afternoon of October 17th the Prince and his suite arrived at Boston and were formally welcomed by the Governor of Massachusetts as representing a country with which the American people were, he declared, united by "many ties of language, law and liberty." At luncheon the Hon. Edward Everett was one of the guests as the Hon. W. H. Seward had been at a dinner in Albany. In the afternoon a children's concert was given at the Music Hall in honour of the Prince and an Ode written by Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes was sung with enthusiasm to the air of the British National anthem. It commenced with the following verse:

"God bless our fathers' Land,
Keep her in heart and hand,
One with our own.
From all her foes defend,
Be her brave people's friend,
On all her realms descend
Protect her throne!"

A ball was given in the evening at the Boston Theatre and, on the following morning, a flying visit paid to Cambridge and to Harvard University. Incidentally, it may be added, the Prince met Longfellow, Emerson, Holmes and others during his stay in Boston. On October 20th he reached Portland and, amid roaring cannon, ringing bells and crowds[Pg 68] of cheering people passed from the shores of America to his ship in the ranks of a British squadron and thence home to the British Isles. On November 15th, His Royal Highness arrived at Plymouth and shortly afterwards the Duke of Newcastle received the Order of the Garter from the Queen as a token of her appreciation of his conduct during the Royal tour. Under date of December 8th Her Majesty communicated to the American President, through Lord Lyons, her great satisfaction at "the feeling of confidence and affection" which had been shown upon this occasion by the people of the United States towards herself and her country.

Speaking on the same date at Nottingham, England, the Duke of Newcastle stated that during his recent visit to British North America he had "witnessed such devotion to the Sovereign and these realms as no one who had not witnessed it himself would be willing to believe. It was a demonstration of the attachment of the entire people to the throne of England and of their veneration for the lady who at present occupied it. It was a loyalty not of creed, nor of party, nor of race." As to the United States the influence of the Queen's personality had been even more striking. The reception of the Prince there had been an extraordinary one. "With one solitary exception they met with nothing but enthusiasm and, in fact, he did believe that the visit of the Prince of Wales to America had done more to cement the good feeling between the two countries than could possibly have been affected by a quarter of a century of diplomacy."


[5] Robert Cellem in Visit of the Prince of Wales to Toronto, Canada, 1861.

[Pg 69]


The Royal Marriage

Three years after the birth of the Heir to the British Throne, in one of the historic palaces of his family and country, there was born on December 1st, 1844, in a comparatively humble home at Copenhagen, the Princess Alexandra Caroline Marie Charlotte Louisa Julia of Denmark. The house was called a palace, her father was Heir to the Throne of Denmark, and became King Christian IX. on November 15th, 1863, but the mansion was, none the less, a quiet and unostentatious place, and the Prince a personage with hardly more resources or a larger revenue than many an English country gentleman.

Simplicity and domesticity were the guiding principles of the Princess Alexandra's education and training. Her mother, the late Queen Louise of Denmark, was beautiful, graceful and clever, and seems to have possessed that love of home which is more rare than even the striking combination of qualities just mentioned. She was passionately fond of music, while Prince Christian was fond of drawing, and these subjects, together with languages and needle-work and all the essentials of the most simple home work and management, were taught to the girls who were respectively to become Empress of Russia, Queen of Great Britain, and Duchess of Cumberland in after years.

As the years passed on the Princess Alexandra became probably the most beautiful girl in the Courts of Europe, and one of the least known outside a limited family circle. When hardly seventeen, and at a period in which the marriage of the[Pg 70] young Prince of Wales was being seriously thought of by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, he chanced to see a portrait of the Princess. There seems to be no doubt that it was purely by accident—unless the wise and far-seeing Prince Consort indirectly controlled the incident—and that the picture of the lovely young girl, smiling from out of simple surroundings and a simple costume, had an immediate effect. He kept the photograph, and a little later saw a miniature of the Princess at the home of a friend. In a surprisingly short time the Prince had heard that the original of the picture was "the most beautiful girl in Europe," and was on his way to Prussia to attend the military manœuvres of the season. The Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark happened to be travelling in the vicinity at the time.


On September 24th, 1861, the Prince of Wales and his party met the Danish Royal party in the Cathedral of Worms, and the former had a first glance at his future wife. Then followed a few days at the Castle of Heidelberg, where they were all guests together, and about which a note in Prince Albert's Diary of September 30th says that "the young people seem to have taken a warm liking for each other." Less than three months after this entry the writer had passed away, but the sad event only made the widowed Queen more anxious for her son's marriage. Further meetings occurred at the Princess Frederick's—the English Crown Princess—and elsewhere, and on September 9th, 1862, the betrothal took place; although it was not publicly announced until November 8th. The Prince was then just twenty-one and the Princess not yet eighteen, and it was understood that some months would elapse before the marriage. Meanwhile, in August, Queen Victoria had first met and been charmed by her future daughter-in-law at the Laacken Palace of the King of the Belgians.[Pg 71] The Danish people were naturally delighted at the news, and, poor as they were in a national sense, they at once subscribed a total sum of £8,000 to constitute what was called the People's Dowry. This the Princess accepted with cordial thanks to the nation, but asked that a substantial portion of it be allotted to provide a dowry for six poor girls whose weddings should take place on the same day as her own.


Meantime the English people were expressing their pleasure at the news in various ways. The House of Commons voted the Prince of Wales a yearly income of £40,000 and his bride-to-be £10,000 for herself. Including the £40,000 from the Duchy of Cornwall this made a reasonable sum, while Sandringham and Marlborough House were allotted as Royal residences—requiring, however, much remodelling and improvement. Preparations of the most elaborate and splendid sort were made to welcome the lovely Danish Princess and into these arrangements the whole people seemed to throw themselves with mingled excitement and pleasure.

In the little Copenhagen palace this turmoil was hardly known; the preparations certainly were not comprehended; and the quiet family were preparing in the most simple way for the great occasion—not the least excitement of the moment being the fact of their all going to England together. The wedding day was fixed for the 10th of March, and a few days before this the Princess left Denmark for her new home; passing over carpets of flowers strewn in her way by pressing and cheering crowds of affectionate people; receiving addresses everywhere, and smiles and tears and good wishes from simple peasants, who had decorated even their hedgerows and who made the departure look like a triumphal procession. Then King Frederick VII., presented her with a necklace of[Pg 72] diamonds and a facsimile of the Dagmar Cross—that precious relic of early days and of the first Christian Queen of Denmark.

The Princess arrived in the Thames on board the Victoria and Albert—which had been escorted from Flushing by a squadron of war-ships—on the morning of March 1st, and was welcomed at Gravesend by an outburst of enthusiasm which literally astounded her. A stately and formal reception she had, of course, anticipated but the splendour of what actually appeared, the elaborate character of the preparations, the surprising interest shewn by the people, were indeed revelations of the changed conditions into which the bride of the Heir Apparent had come. At Gravesend the dense crowds which lined the shores, or at least some portion of them, saw a sight which has been well described as pretty—"A timid girlish figure, dressed entirely in white, who appeared on the deck at her mother's side and then retiring to the cabin, was seen first at one window then at another, the bewildering face framed in a little white bonnet; the work of her own hands."


When the Prince's yacht approached and he was seen to rush across the gangway, catch his bride in his arms and kiss her, the delight of the onlookers was unconstrained. As the Royal couple landed, girls strewed flowers under their feet. Then followed the glittering procession from Gravesend to London and thence to Windsor through long lines of decorated houses, garlanded and festooned roadways, flashing sabres and gorgeous uniformed soldiers. In London the streets were packed with people; triumphal arches, banners and devices were everywhere. In the poorer streets, in the homes of the artisan and the factory girl, there was the same effort to show pleasure in the happiness of the Princess and appreciation of her grace and beauty as there was in the great [Pg 73]residential squares. At Eton there was a triumphal arch and a loyal gathering of enthusiastic boys; at Windsor the Queen received the Princess and conducted her to the suite of rooms which had been lately occupied by the Princess Alice. The first part, the popular reception, was over and it had proved how accurately the Poet Laureate had grasped the situation when he wrote of "the sea-king's daughter from over the sea" and gave that lordly command to the nation:

"Welcome her; thunders of fort and of fleet!
Welcome her; thundering cheer of the street!
Welcome her; all things youthful and sweet!
Scatter the blossoms under her feet."
The Honored Mother of Edward VII
From a painting by F. Winterhalter
These Jewels of untold value are kept to a well protected case in the Tower of London. They include the ancient and modern Crowns
King Edward received his crown at the hands of the venerable Archbishop of Canterbury, at Westminster Abbey, on August 9, 1902, in the presence of representative peers and commoners of the Empire


The marriage was celebrated in St. George's Chapel, Windsor, on March 10th, the ceremony being performed by Dr. Longley, Archbishop of Canterbury, assisted by the Bishops of London, Winchester and Chester and by Dean Wellesley of Windsor. The Queen, owing to the Prince Consort's recent death, took no part officially but looked on from the Royal closet. The historic Chapel was a blaze of colour and jewels and the wedding guests numbered nine hundred of the highest rank and station and reputation in the land. Mr. Speaker Denison, afterwards Lord Ossington, in his Diary gives a description of the scene. "It was a very magnificent sight—rich, gorgeous and imposing. Beautiful women were arrayed in the richest attire, in bright colours, blue, purple, red, and were covered with diamonds and jewels. Grandmothers looked beautiful: Lady Abercorn, Lady Westminster, Lady Shaftsbury. Among the young, Lady Spencer, Lady Castlereagh, Lady Carmarthen, were bright and brilliant. The Knights of the Garter in their robes looked each of them a fine picture. As each of the Royal persons, with their attendants, walked up the Chapel, at a certain point each[Pg 74] stopped and made an obeisance to the Queen—the Princess Mary, the Duchess of Cambridge, the Princess of Prussia, the Princess Alice of Hesse, the Princess Helena, the Princess Christian, etc., each in turn formed a complete scene. The Princess Alexandra, with her bridesmaids, made the best and most beautiful scene. The Princess looked beautiful and very graceful in her manner and demeanour." The bridesmaids were eight in number—Lady Victoria Scott, Lady Victoria Howard, Lady Agneta Yorke, Lady Feodora Wellesley, Lady Diana Beauclerk, Lady Georgina Hamilton, Lady Alma Bruce, and Lady Helena Hare. They represented many of the noblest houses in England and wore dresses described as being of "white tulle over white glacé silk" and trimmed with roses, shamrocks and white heather. Each of them also wore a locket presented by the Prince of Wales and composed of coral and diamonds so as to represent the red and white national colours of Denmark. It is interesting to note that, in 1898, all these ladies were still living.

During the ceremony, the Prince of Wales was supported by his uncle, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg, and his brother-in-law, the Crown Prince of Prussia. He wore the uniform of a British General, the Collar of the Garter, the Order of the Star of India and the rich, flowing purple velvet mantle of a Knight of the Garter. Princess Alexandra was given away by her father and wore a white satin skirt trimmed with garlands of orange blossoms and puffings of tulle and Honiton lace, the bodice being draped with the same lace, while the train of silver moire antique was covered with orange blossoms and puffings of tulle. She wore also the diamond and pearl necklace, earings and brooch, given her by the bridegroom and the rivière of diamonds presented by the Corporation of London, as well as three bracelets given, respectively, by the Queen, the ladies of Leeds and the ladies of Manchester. Her beautiful hair was very simply dressed and on it lay a wreath of[Pg 75] orange blossoms covered by a veil of Honiton lace. The bridal bouquet was composed of orange blossoms, white rosebuds, orchids and sprigs of myrtle. The actual ceremony was a very short one, the Prince giving his responses clearly, though the Princess was at times almost inaudible. The whole function had been a brilliant one—the first marriage celebrated in this Chapel since that of Henry I. in 1122—and no touch of mourning was allowed to mar the pageantry of the scene and the bright colours of uniforms and dresses.

The wedding breakfast was held in the State dining-room and in St. George's Hall and, while it was proceeding, the King of Denmark was lavishly entertaining both rich and poor in the home country of the Royal bride. Throughout Great Britain that night bon-fires blazed, bells rang, houses were illuminated, balls and festivities were held, school children treated and banquets spread. Edinburgh excelled itself and some one has said that a pen of fire dipped in rainbow hues would have been needed to describe its pyrotechnic display. Meanwhile, the Prince and Princess of Wales had taken their departure for Osborne, which had been lent them by the Queen, and there the brief honeymoon was spent. At Reading, on the way thither, thirty thousand people met the train and presented the Princess with a bouquet. Writing of this most popular of historic weddings Canon Kingsley said in a private letter, dated March 12th, that "one real thing I did see, and felt too, the serious grace and reverent dignity of my dear young Master, whose manner was perfect. And one other real thing—the Queen's sad face. I cannot tell you how auspicious I consider this event or how happy it has made the little knot of us (the Prince's Household in which he had recently become a Chaplain) who love him because we know him. I hear nothing but golden reports of the Princess from those who have known her long." A few days later, on March 25th, Lady Waterford wrote to a friend that she had just seen at a[Pg 76] reception "the graceful, charming young Princess of Wales" and that she had been in no way disappointed as to the beauty of which all England was talking. "There was something charming in that very young pair walking up the room together. Her graceful bows and carriage you will delight in and she has—with lovely youth and well-formed features—a look of great intelligence beyond that of a mere girl. She wore the coronet of diamonds and a very long train of cloth of silver trimmed with lace, pearl and diamond necklace, bracelet and a stomacher and two love-locks of rich brown hair floated on her shoulders."


The Royal pair did not stay very long on the Isle of Wight and, after a visit to Buckingham Palace and Windsor, entered their new home at Sandringham on March 28th. Here the beautiful personality and character of the Princess soon impressed themselves upon the life of the house and its more public environment. She proved to be a model housewife, later on a model mother, and always and everywhere a model of tactful action and conversation. Pliability and adaptability were useful and important qualities which she found more than serviceable in these early years of her transition from a comparatively humble home to one of continuous splendour and almost constant state. Difficulties there naturally were of many minor sorts and formidable they no doubt were in the sum total. New customs to comprehend and adopt; new intricacies of a not entirely familiar language to become acquainted with; new and varied responsibilities in both domestic and public life to understand and put in practice; qualities of natural diffidence and reserve to overcome. But these and other obstacles were conquered with an apparent ease which concealed any real trouble in the struggle, and the Princess threw herself into the life and work of her husband[Pg 77] and the spirit of the English people in a way which has ever since ensured to her the lasting love of those in her immediate circle and the deep-seated affection of the many-sided British public.

During the three or four immediately following years the public appearances of the Prince and Princess of Wales were not numerous. Philanthropic interests were taken up and maintained, but domestic and home interests seemed to hold the first place. In August, 1864, a visit was paid to the Highlands and some weeks spent at Abergeldie. Here, Dr. Norman Macleod was amongst their guests and here they saw much of the Earl and Countess of Fife, parents of their future son-in-law, the present Duke of Fife. An autumn visit to Denmark followed and the Prince for the first time saw his wife's early home. A good deal of shooting was indulged in at and around Bernsdorff and from Elsinore, after a few weeks, the Royal couple went in their yacht to Stockholm on a visit to the King and Queen of Sweden. The infant, Prince Albert Victor, had been with them up to this time but he was now sent home in charge of the Countess de Grey and the Prince and Princess returned by way of Germany and Belgium. A short stay was made with the Prince and Princess Louis of Hesse at Darmstadt and another at Brussels. Sandringham was reached in time to celebrate the twentieth birthday of the Princess.

An incident of this year was the personal subscription of £10,000 by the Prince of Wales toward the erection of the Frogmore Mausoleum in honour of his father and, it may be added, a very marked and significant feature of all his speeches during these years was deep respect and admiration for the Prince Consort's life and memory. In 1865 the Prince made his first State visit to Ireland and on May 9th opened the International Exhibition at Dublin. The weather was beautiful, the loyal demonstrations in the streets were most enthusiastic, the great hall where the ceremony took place was[Pg 78] decorated with the flags of the nations and filled with the most distinguished gathering which Ireland could produce. The Duke of Leinster, the Earl of Rosse, and all the leading noblemen of the country were there, as well as the Lord Mayor and Corporation of Dublin in their civic robes, the Mayors of Cork and Waterford and Londonderry, the Lord Mayors of London and York and the Lord Provost of Edinburgh. When His Royal Highness took his place in the Chair of State an orchestra of one thousand voices performed the National Anthem and ten thousand other voices joined in song. After the ceremony, during which the Prince made two brief speeches, he attended in the evening a ball at the Mansion House given by the Lord Mayor. Meanwhile the city was brilliantly illuminated. In the morning he reviewed a number of troops in Phœnix Park and was received with much enthusiasm by the enormous crowds gathered around the scene.

A little later, on May 19th, the Prince attended the opening of an International Reformatory Exhibition at Islington and received and answered an address from its President, Lord Shaftesbury. Three days afterwards he opened the Sailors' Home in the East End of London and was greeted by great crowds of cheering people. On June 5th, he marked his liking for the Drama by inaugurating the Royal Dramatic College at Woking and six days later received a banquet at the hands of the Fishmongers' Company in London. On July 3rd he was distributing prizes at Wellington College attended by the Bishop of Oxford, the Earl of Derby, Earl Stanhope, Lord Eversley and others.

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Early Home Life and Varied Duties

During the years immediately succeeding his marriage the career of the Prince of Wales was one of initiation into the responsibilities of home life and the duties of public life. It was a period of moulding influences and a round of functions—some perfunctory, some pleasant. It was a time of trial for a very young man placed in a very high position, and with temptations which might easily have led him into temporary and even permanent forgetfulness of the responsibilities of the future. Several causes, apart from his own natural strength of character, combined to avert such a result. The sympathetic and gracious character of his wife and the perfection of management and detail which she introduced into the home life of Sandringham and the more public and social life of Marlborough House, were factors of importance. The recollection of his father's teachings and high ideals and the knowledge of his Royal mother's character and devotion to principle were important influences. The growth of family ties had its effect, and, finally, the shock of a sickness in 1871, which brought him to the verge of death and showed him the loving affection of the nation, completed the process of education in that difficult and dangerous road which the youthful Heir to a great Throne must always travel.

Of the Princess of Wales in these years it is hard to speak too highly. Fond of domestic life, retiring by disposition and character, caring more for husband and family than for all the glitter and glory of the world's greatest functions or positions,[Pg 80] she yet lived in the blaze of a continuous publicity without possible or actual criticism and with a ceaseless and ready charm of manner, a never-failing courtesy to high and low, an ever-increasing popularity. Amid all the innumerable duties and difficulties of her position there has never been a visible mistake committed. The right people have been cultivated and encouraged; the wrong people treated in a way which could not be resented nor misunderstood. The right thing has been said so often that it has come to appear the natural thing. An atmosphere of ideal refinement has always surrounded her, and its subtle influence has pervaded many a brilliant home and circle where other influences might easily have prevailed. In a time when calumny would attack an Archangel, and when its bitter barbs have been known to reach even the humanly perfect life of Queen Victoria, no shadow has ever crossed the curtain of her character. Of her tact—a quality which she possesses in common with the Prince of Wales—stories are innumerable, and of her quiet, unostentatious, continuous charity and natural kindliness of heart there are as many more.


The married life of the Prince and Princess was a busy one. Sandringham had to be remodelled and various public duties attended to by the Heir-Apparent. One of the first visitors at their country home was the Rev. Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, who had been so intimately associated with the education and early life of the Prince, and who was destined to always possess the privileges of a personal friend. Of this Easter Sunday, following the wedding, Dean Stanley wrote in his Diary that "the Princess came to me in a corner of the drawing-room with Prayer Book in hand and I went through the common service with her, explaining the peculiarities and the likenesses and differences from the Danish service. She was most simple and fascinating. My visit to Sandringham[Pg 81] gave me intense pleasure. I was there for three days. I read the whole service, preached, then gave the first English Sacrament to this 'angel in the Palace,' I saw a great deal of her, and can truly say she is as charming and beautiful a creature as ever passed through a fairy tale."


One of the first public appearances of the Prince of Wales after his marriage was attendance at the Royal Academy Banquet on May 2nd, 1863. Sir Charles Eastlake, the President, proposed the usual loyal toast, and in responding the young Prince is said to have spoken in a particularly clear and pleasing manner. Of the important personal event to which reference had been made he declared that neither the Princess nor himself could "ever forget the manner in which our union has been celebrated throughout the nation." Amongst the other speakers were Lord Palmerston, Mr. W. M. Thackeray and Sir Roderick Murchison. The first really important public event in the Prince's life at this period was the presentation of the freedom of the City of London on June 8th. Invitations had been issued to a couple of thousand of the most eminent persons in the public, social and diplomatic life of the country and exceedingly costly preparations were made for the reception, and for the ball and banquet which followed. The Prince and Princess of Wales were accompanied by Prince Alfred, the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke and Princess Mary of Cambridge and other Royal personages. The Princess was clad in white, with a coronet and brooch of diamonds and a necklace of brilliants—the one her husband's wedding present and the other that of the City of London. The reply to the address and presentation was very brief but appropriate and the events which followed were remarkable for their splendour and air of general joyousness.

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A week later the Royal couple attended the Commemoration at Oxford and the Prince of Wales was presented with the degree of D.C.L. in the presence of a brilliant assemblage of Professors and visitors, and an enthusiastic throng of students. The latter gave the Princess a reception which made her flush with mingled nervousness and pleasure though it could not affect her natural dignity of bearing. She had not yet become accustomed to the overwhelming character which British enthusiasm sometimes assumes and, indeed, is said to have never absolutely overcome a personal shrinking from the publicity which was inseparable from her position and popularity. However that may be, the feeling was never shown to the people and, if a fact, can only be considered as enhancing the graciousness of manner which has been so marked a characteristic of her life in England. During this brief visit to Oxford Their Royal Highnesses distributed prizes to the Rifle Volunteers, opened a bazaar in aid of the Radcliffe Infirmary, inspected the exhibits at the Horticultural Show, and went over the Prince's one-time college residence at Frewen Hall.

A hasty visit to the North of England in August was made to include the opening ceremony for a new Town Hall at Halifax and here the Royal couple received a most hearty welcome. Another function was the opening of the British Orphan Asylum on June 24th by the Prince, who became its Patron and promoted large subscriptions to its work—one of which from Mr. Edward Mackensie totalled $60,000. Though this was a very quiet year in comparison with those of the future, His Royal Highness extended his patronage, usually accompanied by liberal subscriptions, to eight public charities, eight hospitals and asylums, five agricultural societies and eleven learned and scientific societies—including the Society of Arts of which he became President. His first work in this latter connection was to promote and obtain a fund for sending[Pg 83] a number of British workmen to the Paris Exhibition with a view to improving their mechanical and technical knowledge. He also associated himself with the Mendicity Society by means of which all the innumerable appeals for aid which came to him from time to time were investigated, sifted, and reported upon before action was taken. On May 18, 1864 the Prince presided for the first time at the Royal Literary Fund banquet and thus commenced a long period of active patronage toward an institution which has served a most useful purpose in England—the quick and secret dispensing of aid to literary men who from some cause or other might be destitute, or in need. Its objects were not local but international and in his speech on this occasion His Royal Highness pointed how well and quietly the work had been done.


Early in the year the first-born child of the Royal couple arrived on the scene. The event had been expected for March 1864 but the infant was born at Frogmore on January 9th and was christened on March 10th as Albert Victor Christian Edward. From infancy the Prince was somewhat delicate and, no doubt for that reason, was always supposed to be his mother's favourite child. The Princess of Wales was, at this time, not yet twenty but was devoted to her domestic duties and especially to the new arrival in their home. She would rather visit the nursery at any time than attend a State function or ball. Other children came in the following years. Prince George Frederick Ernest Albert, afterwards Prince of Wales, was born on June 3, 1865; Princess Louise Victoria Alexandra Dagmar, afterwards Duchess of Fife, on February 20, 1867; Princess Victoria Alexandra Olga Mary on July 6, 1868; and Princess Maud Charlotte Mary Victoria, sometime to be Princess Charles of Denmark, on November 26,[Pg 84] 1869. In 1871 Prince Alexander John Charles Albert was born, but only lived for one brief day.

As these children came one by one they found a most happy home circle and a devoted mother. In all their little amusements and games the Princess took part; in their training and education she took a watchful share; in their lives as a whole simplicity was made the guiding principle, as it had been in the Royal family of the past generation. From all accounts which are open to us she delighted much more in the nursery than in society. Dr. William Jenner saw the Royal children whenever necessary but the "coddling" so often seen in modern homes was unknown at Sandringham. The Prince believed as much in simplicity of bringing up as did his wife and, by special order, the Household and servants never used the prefix of "Royal Highness" to the children but addressed them as Prince Eddy, or Princess Louise, or whatever the name might be. The little girls, as their father always called them, had their tea with the nurses and were given few toys and never allowed to accept presents. No fuss was made over the little accidents inevitable to childhood and in every way life was kept devoid of state formality, or anything that would breed a sense of childish self-importance. When the Prince and Princess were away from home, as they frequently had to be, letters were daily exchanged with the head nurse. The result of this general system and of the later plan of making the young Princesses more and more companions of their mother and the boys, as far as circumstances would permit, of their father, created and maintained at Sandringham one of the most pleasant home circles in all England. An illustration of the spirit in which domestic anniversaries and incidents were approached may be found in lines composed by the Princess, on one occasion, for Prince George when the family were commencing to celebrate the birthday of the[Pg 85] husband and father. The thought was admirable even if the poetry was not quite perfect:

"Day of pleasure, brightly dawning,
Take the gift of this sweet morning,
Our best hopes and wishes blending
Must yield joy that's never ending."

During these years the Prince of Wales was gradually assuming many of the duties and public tasks which would have devolved upon the Queen, or in earlier days have been performed with such fidelity and care by the Prince Consort. At this time the Queen was living in strict retirement and for a long period still to follow she maintained the same sorrowing seclusion in a more or less modified form. Toward the close of 1865 the death of Lord Palmerston removed a statesman in whom the Prince had found a personal friend and whom he had consulted and greatly trusted in private matters. In February, 1866, the Queen made one of her rare public appearances and opened Parliament, in person, accompanied by the Prince and Princess of Wales. A little later came the cholera epidemic which killed one hundred thousand people in Austria and caused a number of deaths in England. To the Mansion House Relief Fund, which ultimately reached the total of $350,000 and to another Fund, the Prince contributed $17,500. In August the Royal couple visited Studley Royal, the seat of the Earl de Grey and Ripon—better known afterwards as the Marquess of Ripon—and were given a great reception in the City of York. An incident of the latter occasion was a sudden downpour of rain during which the Prince stood up in his carriage, bareheaded, so that the people should not be disappointed.


A little before this, on May 9th, the President and Council of the Institution of Civil Engineers entertained the Heir[Pg 86] Apparent at a banquet in London and amongst the other guests were the veteran Field Marshal Sir John Burgoyne, the Dukes of Sutherland and Buccleuch, Earl Grey, Lord Salisbury, Sir John Pakington, Sir Edwin Landseer, Sir Richard Owen and many other eminent scientists and leaders of the time. During his speech the Prince paid a tribute to the work of Brunel and Stephenson and, in the latter connection, referred to the great bridge across the St. Lawrence, in Canada, which he had inaugurated in 1860 and to which he gave the credit for an opportunity to visit British America and the United States. On June 11th His Royal Highness had also laid the foundation of the new building of the British and Foreign Bible Society in London. He was received formally by the President, the Earl of Shaftsbury, the Lord Mayor, the Archbishop of York and others and, in the course of his speech, pointed out that the Society had already spent $30,000,000 in the promotion of its objects and in the translation of the Bible into two hundred and eighty different languages and dialects. After referring to the efforts in this cause by his grandfather, the Duke of Kent, the Prince went on to say that "it is my hope and trust that, under Divine guidance, the wider diffusion and deeper study of the Scriptures will, in this as in every age, be at once the surest guarantee of the progress and liberty of the mind and the means of multiplying in the present time the consolations of our holy religion."

The next function shared in was the anniversary gathering of the Clergy Corporation, attended by the Archbishops of Canterbury, York and Armagh, the Marquess of Salisbury and other dignitaries. In his speech the Prince pointed out that there were ten thousand clergymen in the United Kingdom whose benefices were of less value than $750 a year and urged the usefulness of an institution which distributed $20,000 per annum to orphans and unmarried daughters of clergymen as well as temporary aid to necessitous clergymen themselves.[Pg 87] The result of his appeal was a subscription of $6,000 to which he contributed $525 personally. On June 18th he inaugurated a Warehousemen and Clerks' School at Croydon at a gathering presided over by Earl Russell and ten days later visited the Merchant Seamen's Orphan Asylum in the suburbs of London. In August the Prince and Princess of Wales made one of their first public appearances in the County where they had made their country home and where the Prince so well embodied the hearty, healthy life of the English gentleman. During the month, therefore, they paid a visit to Norwich as the principal town of Norfolk and, accompanied by the Queen of Denmark and the Duke of Edinburgh, attended one of Sir Michael Costa's oratorios, opened a Drill-hall, planted memorial trees and in other ways helped to make the occasion memorable to the people of the ancient town.

A visit followed in the autumn to the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland, at their splendid Castle of Dunrobin, in the north of Scotland. In driving twenty-five miles from the station to the Castle a most enthusiastic welcome was received along the entire route. In reviewing the Sutherland Volunteers during his stay the Prince expressed a wish that the Corps would wear the kilt as their uniform and this was, of course, done with the greatest pleasure. Shortly after the return from Scotland the Queen of Denmark came again to England and stayed for some time at Sandringham with her daughter. Late in the year (November) the Prince of Wales went to St. Petersburg to attend in an official capacity the marriage of the Princess Dagmar of Denmark—sister of his wife—to the Czarewitch who afterwards became Alexander III. The cold was deemed a sufficiently strong reason for the Princess not to accompany him. In his suite were Lord Frederick Paulet, the Marquess of Blandford, Viscount Hamilton, and Major Teesdale. He was welcomed at the station by the Emperor, the Czarewitch and others of the Imperial family and[Pg 88] given splendid quarters at the Hermitage Palace. After the marriage he visited Moscow, accompanied by the Crown Prince of Denmark, went over the historic Kremlin and called on the Metropolitan, the highest dignitary in the Russian Church, who received his Royal visitor in a cell and gave him his blessing after a brief conversation.

The year 1867 was marked by a painful illness of the Princess through acute rheumatism and inflammation of a knee-joint. During the serious period of the illness the Prince devoted himself to the invalid, never leaving her side unless compelled to do so and having his desk brought into the sick-room so that he might carry on his correspondence in her presence. It was not until July that the Princess was able to drive out and during the rest of the year the Royal couple lived very quietly and made as few public appearances as possible. It was in the beginning of this year that Princess Louise, afterwards Duchess of Fife, was born. Some functions had to be performed, however, and they included the presiding at a meeting of the National Lifeboat Institution and at the one hundred and fifty-second anniversary festival of the Welsh Society of Ancient Britons, on March 1st; a visit to the International Exhibition at Paris in May; and the presence of the Prince at the laying of the foundation stone of the Albert Hall, in London, later in the same month. On July 10th His Royal Highness inaugurated the London International College, which had been organized by Mr. Cobden and M. Michel Chevalier, as a branch of an international institution. At the luncheon were the Duc d'Aumale, the Prince de Joinville and the Comte de Paris as well as Professor Huxley and Dr. Leonard Schmitz, the head of the institution. In his speech the Prince pointed out the usefulness of a College which would more or less devote itself to the teaching of modern languages at a time when the interests of varied nationalities were becoming so intermingled.

Queen Alexandra received her crown at the hands of the venerable Archbishop of York at Westminster Abbey, August 9, 1902, immediately after the crowning of the King by the Archbishop of Canterbury
At the Opening of Parliament
Queen Victoria, Prince of Wales, Duke of York and Prince Edward
Containing the Stone of Scone on which traditional Irish Kings, Scotch Kings and British Kings have been crowned

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An interesting event occurred in July when Ismail Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, visited England, as his father had done twenty-one years before. At a banquet in the Mansion Home, on July 11th, a distinguished gathering met to do him honour and amongst them were the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar and many men eminent in politics and diplomacy. In his speech the Prince spoke of his personal indebtedness to the late Khedive for kindness received during his own visit to Egypt in 1862 and, also, of the national importance of the facilities given by that country to England in the transit of troops to India. He then referred to the illness of the Princess and to the words in that connection used by the Lord Mayor. "I know I only express her feelings when I say that she has been deeply touched by that universal good feeling and sympathy which has been shown to her during her long and painful illness. Thank God, she has now nearly recovered and I trust that in a month's time she will be able to leave London and enjoy the benefits of fresh air."


The Prince of Wales early in his public life showed his sympathy with the people of Ireland. He had already visited Dublin in 1865 and, on March 17, 1868, while planning a State visit to that country, attended a brilliant celebration of the anniversary of St. Patrick's birth, in Willis's Rooms, London. Amongst those present were the Archbishop of Armagh, the Bishop of Derry, the Earl of Longford, the Earl of Mayo and Lord Kimberley. The Prince, in his speech, expressed the belief that despite disagreeable occurrences of the past few years the people of Ireland generally were "thoroughly true and loyal." On April 15th the Prince and Princess of Wales landed at Kingstown and were received with tremendous acclaim. With his usual tact the Prince asked that no [Pg 90]troops should be present in the streets. The Princess, who was dressed in Irish poplin, was presented with a white dove, emblematic of peace, and fairly captured the hearts of the populace. The visit lasted ten days and included amongst its functions a gorgeous installation of the Prince as a Knight of St. Patrick, when he used the sword worn by George IV. on a similar occasion; his presence at the Punchestown races—where the Royal couple appeared in open carriages and received an enthusiastic welcome; attendance at the Royal Hibernian Academy's rooms and at the Royal Dublin Society's Conversazione; a visit to the Catholic University and the receipt of an LL.D.—together with the Duke of Cambridge and Lord Abercorn, the Lord Lieutenant—from Trinity College; a visit to the Cattle Show and a Royal review of troops; attendance at Sunday service in historic Christ Church; personal visits to Lord Powerscourt's beautiful place in Wicklow and to the Duke of Leinster at Carton; a formal visit to Maynooth College and the unveiling in Dublin of a statue of Edmund Burke.

The London Times described the crowded life of those ten days in rather interesting language: "There were presentations and receptions, and receiving and answering addresses, processions, walking, riding and driving, in morning and evening, in military, academic and mediæval attire. The Prince had to breakfast, lunch, dine and sup with more or less publicity every twenty-four hours. He had to go twice to races with fifty or a hundred thousand people about him; to review a small army and make a tour in the Wicklow Mountains, everywhere receiving addresses under canopies and dining in state under galleries full of spectators. He visited and inspected institutions, colleges, universities, academies, libraries and cattle shows. He had to take a very active part in assemblies of from several hundred to several thousand dancers and always to select for his partners the most important personages. [Pg 91]He had to listen to many speeches sufficiently to know when and what to answer. He had to examine with respectful interest pictures, books, antiquities, relics, manuscripts, specimens, bones, fossils, prize beasts and works of Irish art. He had never to be unequal to the occasion, however different from the last, or however like the last, and whatever his disadvantage as to the novelty or dullness of the matter and the scene."

On April 25th the Royal visitors returned to Holyhead and on their way home stopped at Carnarvon, the birthplace of the first Prince of Wales, where a banquet was received and a brief speech made by the living successor of a great King's son. Among the incidents connected with this visit was the fact that while the Prince was freely passing through and amongst the people of the Irish capital his brother, the Duke of Edinburgh, was shot at Clontarf, Australia, by an Irishman named O'Farrell, while he was accepting the hospitality of a local Sailors' Home. Another was the tact and judgment displayed by the Heir Apparent in forwarding a cheque to the Dublin Hospital Sunday Fund after his return home. This institution had then and has since exercised a most beneficial effect upon Irish hospital affairs; but the marvel was that the Prince should have found time amid his multifarious duties and functions to look into its management and influence. May the 5th, saw the Prince attending the sixty-second anniversary of the "Society of Friends of Foreigners in Distress" and pointing out in a preliminary speech that the Queen had taken deep interest in this charity ever since her accession in 1837. In proposing the health of the Prince and Princess of Wales, Sir Travers Twiss, the Advocate-General, said that though it was not generally known, he would take the liberty of stating that during His Royal Highness' Eastern travels he had passed through no great city without visiting and helping any institutions which might exist in aid of suffering humanity.

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Eight days later the Prince presided at the annual banquet of the Governors of St. Bartholomew's Hospital—after visiting and inspecting the wards. During the same day His Royal Highness attended a great state function in the laying of the foundation of St. Thomas' Hospital by the Queen in person. The last important matter in which the Prince took part before leaving for his second Eastern tour was the laying of the foundation stone of new buildings for Glasgow University on October 8th. They cost over two millions of dollars and in the stately proceedings accompanying this event, the Princess of Wales was able to participate. From November 1868 to May 1869 the Royal couple were in the distant East, but, on the Queen's birthday in the latter year, the Prince of Wales was able to be present at the anniversary banquet of the Royal Geographical Society and to receive congratulations on having been instrumental in effecting the appointment of his late travelling companion, Sir Samuel Baker, to the government of the Soudan region in Africa, under the control of the Egyptian Government and with the object of suppressing the slave trade. His Royal Highness warmly eulogized Sir S. Baker—who had also just received the Society's medal for the year—and the events of the evening were considered to have made the occasion memorable. Prince Hassan of Egypt was present and amongst the speakers were Sir Roderick Murchison, Admiral Sir George Back, Professor Owen, the Duke of Sutherland, Dr. W. H. Russell, Sir Francis Grant P.R.A., and Sir Henry Rawlinson.

The next two or three years saw the Prince participating in many public and more or less important events. Accompanied by the Princess of Wales he laid the foundation of new buildings in connection with the Earlswood Asylum, in Surrey, on June 28, 1869. An incident of this event was not only the usual gift of a hundred guineas by the Prince but a procession of ladies who passed up to the dais in single file and deposited[Pg 93] upwards of four hundred purses, which they had collected for the Charity, under the influence of Royal patronage and encouragement. On July 7th Their Royal Highnesses visited Lynn, inaugurated the new Alexandra Dock, and took part in several local events. A state visit to Manchester followed, on July 29th, and the Prince opened the annual exhibition of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, of which he was President, and was given a warm welcome in and around the city. On the succeeding day he inaugurated a new dock at Hull.

Meanwhile, on July 23rd, the Prince had visited London in order to unveil a statue of George Peabody, the distinguished American philanthropist. At the ceremony Sir Benjamin Phillips, Chairman of the Committee, addressed the Prince formally and thus concluded: "Let us hope that this statue, erected by the sons of free England to the honour of one of Columbia's truest and noblest citizens, may be symbolical of the peace and good will that exist between the two countries." In replying His Royal Highness spoke of Mr Peabody as a great American citizen and of his gift of over a quarter of a million pounds sterling to the charities of a country not his own, as being unexampled, and concluded as follows: "Be assured that the feelings which I personally entertain toward America are the same as they ever were. I can never forget the reception which I had there nine years ago and my earnest wish and hope is that England and America may go hand in hand in peace and prosperity." Following the example of King William IV., when Duke of Clarence, and of the late Dukes of Kent, Sussex and Cambridge, the Prince of Wales presided on November 30th at the anniversary banquet of the Scottish Corporation—or as it was popularly called the Scottish Hospital—in order to mark his approval of an institution which had done much to assist, by means of pensions, poor and aged natives of Scotland living in London; to afford temporary relief to Scotchmen in distress; or to educate poor Scottish[Pg 94] children. On this occasion there was a large gathering which included Prince Christian and the Duke of Roxburghe and, after a speech from the Prince describing the objects and work of the institution, it was announced that $12,500 had been specially subscribed to the purposes of the Hospital—including $500 from the Prince of Wales himself.

Exhibitions, in the years between his coming of age and his accession to the Throne, were always favourite objects of attention and support at the hands of Heir Apparent. He had already studied closely his father's conduct of the first great International Exhibition, and had himself opened one of the same kind at Dublin, and been present at an International Reformatory gathering and at the Paris Exhibition. On April 4th, 1870, he presided at a meeting of the Society of Arts called to promote an International Educational Exhibition for the succeeding year. Resolutions were passed to this end, and after an explanatory speech from His Royal Highness and, it may be added here, the Exhibition was duly opened on May 1st, 1871, by the Prince of Wales, with imposing pageantry and with details worked out by his assistant in various future undertakings Sir Philip Cunliffe-Owen. On May 16, 1870, the Prince presided at the annual banquet of the Royal General Theatrical Fund, established as far back as 1839, for the relief and assistance of members, and of widows and orphans of members, of the dramatic profession. During the evening, after a speech from the Royal chairman, Mr. Buckstone, the well-known actor, spoke in warm words of the kindness of the Prince in attending their function: "The duties he has to perform are so numerous and fatiguing that we only wonder how he gets through them all. Even within these few days he has held a Levée; on Saturday last he patronized a performance at Drury Lane in aid of the Dramatic College; then had to run away to Freemasons' Hall to be present at the installation of the Grand Master; and now we find him in the chair this[Pg 95] evening; so what with conversaziones, laying foundation stones, opening schools, and other calls upon his little leisure, I think he may be looked upon as one of the hardest working men in Her Majesty's dominions." This was a fact or condition not recognized very generally in those days; in after years it became a truism in popular opinion.

St. George's Hospital received the combined patronage of the Prince and Princess on May 26th. The former occupied the chair and made an earnest appeal for aid to this most deserving institution. The Earl of Cadogan, who was one of the Treasurers, announced a little later in the evening that the Prince of Wales had handed him a check for two hundred guineas, the Princess one for fifty guineas, and the Marquess of Westminster—afterwards the first Duke of that name—one for two hundred guineas. Amongst the other speakers on this occasion were Earl Granville, the Earl of Derby, the Earl of Carnarvon and Mr. W. H. Smith, M.P. On June 21st, His Royal Highness opened a new building in connection with Dulwich College in Surrey; nine days later he and the Princess opened new schools for the children of seamen near the London Docks; on July 1st they visited in state the ancient town of Reading and laid the foundation stone of a new Grammar School. A week later the Prince had the congenial task of giving the Albert gold medal of the Society of Arts to M. de Lesseps. As President of the Society he addressed the father of the Suez Canal, in French, and congratulated him upon the completion of his great undertaking, not only in a public capacity, but "as a personal friend." In his reply, M. de Lesseps said that he had received much private encouragement from the late Prince Consort in the early stages of his enterprise, and that he could never forget that fact. It may be added here that the presentation of this Medal was always a peculiar pleasure to the Prince of Wales, and that amongst those in after[Pg 96] years who received it at his hands were Sir Henry Bessemer, M. Chevalier and Sir Henry Doulton.

On July 13th His Royal Highness, on behalf of the Queen, and accompanied by the Princess Louise and the grand officers of the Household, opened with elaborate ceremony the new Thames Embankment. Three days later he opened the Workmen's International Exhibition at Islington in the name of the Queen. During this year the war between France and Germany caused the Prince and his family keen interest and many natural anxieties. He arranged for a special telegraph service so that news might reach him at once and took an active part in associations and subscription lists for aid to the wounded on both sides. The Royal family had such close relations with that of Prussia through the Princess Royal and with that of France through long personal friendship with the Emperor and Empress that the position of individual members, like the Heir Apparent, and his wife could be easily understood.

The Royal Albert Hall of Arts and Sciences was opened with stately and imposing ceremony by the Queen on March 29th, 1871. When Her Majesty, accompanied by the Princess of Wales and other members of the Royal family, had taken her place on the dais of a Hall containing eight thousand people and an orchestra of twelve hundred persons, under Sir Michael Costa, the Prince of Wales advanced and, as President of the Provisional Committee, detailed the origin and history of the project. He then, after receiving a formal reply, declared the Hall open in the name of the Queen. On May 7th, following, the Prince presided at a dinner in aid of the Artists' Orphan Fund and, after explaining its useful objects, expressed the wish that further contributions would be offered for the purpose in view. At the close of the affair the Treasurer announced subscriptions to the amount of $60,000, of which a check for $525 was from the Royal chairman. The Earlswood[Pg 97] Asylum for Idiots was again visited by the Prince on May 17th, when he presided at the anniversary dinner of the institution in London and explained its continued progress. Subscriptions of $21,000 were announced, of which $525 were given by the Prince. The same result followed his chairmanship of a dinner in aid of the Farningham Homes for Little Boys on June 2nd. He pointed out that the institution was still in need despite a recent anonymous contribution of $5000. Before the close of the evening some $17,000 had been subscribed, including $750 from His Royal Highness. Such incidents, often repeated, indicate better than many words the value attached to the Prince's presence and support of deserving charities, and they also afford some proof of the generous expenditure of his private means for public benefit. On June 28th, the Prince acted as Chairman of the anniversary festival of the Royal Caledonian Asylum in London. There were three hundred and fifty guests present, mostly in Highland costume, and amongst them were Prince Arthur and the Duke of Cambridge, the Dukes of Buccleuch and Richmond, the Marquess of Lorne and Marquess of Huntly, the Earls of Fife, Mar, and March.

On July 31st His Royal Highness again paid a visit to Dublin. He was accompanied by the Princess Louise, the Marquess of Lorne, and the young Prince Arthur—better known in later years as the Duke of Connaught. An address was presented at Kingstown by the Lord Mayor and Corporation and, on the following day, the Royal visitors witnessed a cricket match, lunched with the officers of the Grenadier Guards and inspected the cattle, horses, and sheep of the Royal Agricultural Society's annual show. In the evening the Prince of Wales presided at a great banquet of four hundred and fifty guests, with galleries thronged with ladies. He made several brief speeches and a particularly happy one in proposing the health of Earl Spencer, the Lord-Lieutenant of[Pg 98] Ireland. A series of engagements and entertainments followed, amongst which were a brilliant military review in Phœnix Park and the installation of the Prince as Grand Patron of the Masonic Institution in Ireland. This was the last important event taken part in by His Royal Highness before the serious illness which, a little later, so greatly stirred the nation and affected himself.

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Travels in the East

Before he came to the Throne the Prince of Wales had long been the most travelled man in Europe. He had visited every Court and capital and centre upon that Continent; he had toured the North American Continent from the capital of Canada to the capital of the United States and from the historic heights of Quebec to the great western centre at Chicago; he had visited the most noted lands of the distant East.


In 1862, his first visit to Egypt and the Holy Land had taken place, and now, six years later, he was to make a more imposing and important tour of those and other countries in the company of his wife. On November 17th, 1868, the Prince and Princess of Wales, accompanied by their three eldest children and by Lady Carmarthen, General Sir W. Knollys, Lieut.-Col. Keppel and Dr. Minter, left for the Continent and reached Compiègne on the morning of the 20th inst., in order to pay a visit to the Emperor and Empress of the French. An incident of the hunt which took place that afternoon was the rush of a stag at the Prince who, with his horse, was completely knocked over. Amongst the shooting party were Marshal Bazaine, the Baron Von Moltke, the Marquess of Lansdowne and other well-known men of the day. After a stay of a few days here and at Paris the Royal party proceeded on their journey and reached Copenhagen on November 29th. The birthday of the Princess was celebrated two days later in her old home.

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Stockholm was reached on December 16th, and a visit of some days' duration paid to the King of Sweden. On December 28th the Prince and Princess were back again with the Royal family of Denmark and attended a State Ball at the Christianborg Palace. In the middle of January they embarked in the yacht Freya, and at Hamburg the Royal children were sent home in charge of Lady Carmarthen, Sir William Knollys and Colonel Keppel. At Berlin, on January 17th, they were welcomed by the Crown Prince and Princess of Prussia—the Princess Royal of England—and by Lord Augustus Loftus, the British Ambassador. On the following day His Royal Highness was invested with the famous order of the Black Eagle by the King of Prussia. Amongst the limited number of Knights Grand Cross who were present at the Chapter were the Baron Von Moltke, General Von Roon, Count Von Waldersee, and Count Von Wrangel. From Berlin, where the Prince and Princess were joined by those who were to accompany them on their further journey and including Colonel Teesdale, V.C., Captain Ellis, Lord Carington, Mr. Oliver Montague, Dr. Minter and the Hon. Mrs. William Grey, the Royal party went to Vienna which was reached on January 21st. At the station they were received by the Emperor Francis Joseph and various members of the Austrian Royal family together with Prince Von Hohenlohe and Lord Bloomfield, the British Ambassador. State visits, dinners, the theatre, skating and a private visit to the King and Queen of Hanover in their retirement at Hietsing, constituted the programme of the next few days. Vienna was left on January 27th, and from Trieste, on the following day, sail was made on board H.M.S. Ariadne and Alexandria reached on February 3rd.


After their formal reception at Alexandria by Mehemet Tewfik Pasha, Shereef Pasha, Mourad Pasha, Sir Samuel[Pg 101] Baker and others, the Prince and Princess proceeded to Cairo where they were warmly welcomed by the Khedive, and met by the Duke of Sutherland and his son, Lord Stafford, Professor Owen, Colonel Marshall and the special correspondent, Dr. W. H. Russell. The latter gentlemen joined the Royal party and were to proceed with them on the journey up the Nile together with Prince Louis of Battenberg and Lord Albert Gower. Before starting on this voyage, however, the Prince and Princess were privileged in witnessing the curious Procession of the Holy Carpet and the departure of a portion of the annual stream of pilgrims for Mecca. The Princess and Mrs. Grey were also invited, on February 5th, to dine at the Harem with the Khedive's mother and the ceremonies, as described by Mrs. Grey in her Diary of the tour, were exceedingly interesting. A multitude of smartly dressed female slaves in coloured satin and gold; services of silver and gold; dishes of the most peculiar and varied composition and taste; music by bands of girls and dances by other bands of women—some of whose motions were described by Mrs. Grey as graceful and others as "simply frightful;" drinks of curious character and pipes and cigarettes with holders ornamented by masses of precious gems; costumes which partook of both the Eastern and Western character; jewels and gold in every direction and upon every possible kind of object—such were some of the things seen during the visit. In the evening of the same day the Royal couple and suite went to the theatre, and afterwards the Prince had supper with the Khedive at the Palace of Gizerek, accompanied with elaborate ceremonies and a succession of dancing spectacles.

Meanwhile, every care had been exercised by the Khedive in preparing comforts for the Royal guests up the Nile. The chief barge was occupied by the Prince and Princess and the Hon. Mrs. Grey, who was in attendance upon the latter; a second was occupied by the Suite; a third by the Duke of[Pg 102] Sutherland's party; a fourth was used as a store-boat and contained 3,000 bottles of champagne, 20,000 bottles of soda-water, 4,000 bottles of claret and plenty of ale, liquors and light wines. Sir Samuel Baker, who was at this time Governor of the Soudan region, accompanied the Prince and had with him an abundance of guns and nets for capturing crocodiles, etc. During the slow progress up the river there was plenty of sport, and His Royal Highness won fine specimens of spoonbills, flamingoes, herons, cranes, cormorants, doves, etc.


During the early part of the trip there was not much that was interesting; apart from the shooting expeditions which were undertaken from time to time. The sight of frightened children, timid women, labouring slaves, mosques and villages of huts and occasional ruins of more or less interest were all that was visible along the low banks of the river as they passed. The caves, or grottoes, of Beni Hassan were visited on February 10, and the life of ancient peoples seen in a panorama of carved monuments. Then came a more beautiful, cultivated and populous part of the region watered by the Nile. Thebes, Luxor, Karnak, however, were names and places which made up for much. For two days, ending February 19th, the heir to a thousand years of English sovereignty wandered amidst these tombs and monuments of the rulers of an African empire which had wielded vast power and created works of wonderful skill and genius three, and five thousand years before. The great hall and collonades and pillars of Karnac, the obelisk of Luxor, the famous tombs of the Kings, the Temples of Rameses, the colossal statues of Egyptian rulers, were visited by daylight, and, in some cases, the wondrous effect of Oriental moonlight upon these massive shapes and memorials of a mighty past was also witnessed.

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Philæ with its interesting ruins, Assouan with its modern history, Korosko, Deré, the early capital of Nubia, the great Temple at Aboo Simbel, were seen, and, finally, after the Prince had killed his first crocodile, on February 28th, and the party had made an uncomfortable trip across a hot waste of desert, Wady Halfah was reached on March 2nd, and the journey back was commenced. On their return a special trip was made by the Prince and Princess to the Pyramids of Ghizeh, accompanied by Mehemet Tewfik, the Khedive's son, with an escort from Cairo. The Prince ascended the biggest of the Pyramids and the party was royally entertained afterwards in a pavilion specially erected for the purpose.


The Prince and Princess also visited the Royal chambers in the great Pyramid. A delightful drive to Cairo followed, and the party soon found themselves comfortably installed in the Esbekiah Palace. On the following day a visit was paid to the great Mosque where lie the revered bones of Mehemet Ali, under an embroidered velvet catafalque. One of the graceful minarets was ascended and a splendid panorama of the city seen. On March 18 the Tombs of the Caliphs, with their picturesque but ruined mosques, were visited, and in the evening the theatre was attended, in company with His Highness, the Khedive. A visit to the Baulak Museum followed and was rendered thoroughly interesting by the presence of the learned Orientalist, Marriette Bey, who showed the Prince and Princess a bust of the Pharaoh "who would not let the children of Israel go," and one of the other Pharaohs, who was a friend of Moses. Sir W. H. Russell is authority for the statement that the slightly incredulous smile of the Princess brought out a most concise, learned and convincing explanation of history and hieroglyphics in this connection.

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On the evening of March 19th the Khedive gave a State Dinner in honour of his Royal guests at the Garden Kiosk of the new Palace of Gizeh. The grounds were brilliantly illuminated, those present included all that was eminent in the life of Egypt, the viands were served upon the richest plate, the native fireworks sent up afterwards were most attractive. The Hon. Mrs. Grey, in her Diary, says that "standing in the outer marble court, with its beautiful Moorish arches and its pillars of rich brown colour, their bases and capitals profusely and brilliantly decorated, and looking on every side at the tastefully illuminated gardens, the effect produced was indeed most splendid and carried one at once back in imagination to one of the scenes you read of in the Arabian Nights. It is quite impossible to describe it, but I shall never forget this beautiful sight." The writer then goes on to describe the splendid architecture and tasteful furniture of the building and rooms. Most of the latter were decorated in white and gold, with myriads of mirrors, rich silk curtains and furniture with all the soft and brilliant colourings of the old Arabesque style. There were fountains everywhere, and the floors were inlaid marble, porphery and alabaster.

Following this function came a visit to the British Mission School, where the Princess greatly charmed the children; a state visit to the races in a carriage drawn by six horses, and with coachmen and postilions wearing most gorgeous liveries of scarlet and gold. The Suite were also splendidly equipped in regard to carriages and outriders, and the streets were lined with troops. The races were well conducted and the general ceremonies of the occasion worthy of Ismail, the Khedive. This was to have been the last function prior to departure for the Suez Canal, but it was now decided to accept the pressing invitation of His Highness and stay three days longer. Following upon this decision came a series of visits paid by the Princess of Wales to the wives, or harems, of[Pg 105] certain distinguished Egyptian gentlemen, and, finally, to the harem of the Khedive.

Amongst the places visited were the homes of Murad Pasha, Abd-el-Kader Bey and Achmet Bey. On March 23d the Princess, with a couple of attendant ladies, visited the Khedive's mother—the real ruler of his harem. It was a sort of Eastern drawing-room function, with slaves in brightly-coloured dresses everywhere about, and a number of Princesses, or daughters and relations of the Khedive, present, together with many other ladies of Egyptian rank and position. Mrs. Grey described them as mostly pretty—which was not, in her experience, the case as a rule—and as looking cheerful and happy. In the evening the Princess attended a State Dinner given by the four wives of the Khedive at the Palace of Gizerek. The presence of innumerable slaves, coffee and pipes, music and cherry jam served on a large gold tray with a gold service inlaid with diamonds and rubies, were the initial features of the entertainment. At dinner the guests sat on chairs instead of on the floor, as at a previous affair of the kind, but still had to pull the meat from the turkey with their fingers, while the odour of garlic and onions in many of the dishes was very unpleasant. There was some singing during the meal, with music and Oriental dancing after it. Meanwhile the bazars had been visited privately by the Princess; the people having no idea who the inquiring and interested European lady was.


On the same day the Prince of Wales attended in state at a formal reception held by the Khedive, and thus conferred a somewhat marked compliment upon one who was not actually an independent Sovereign. He was accompanied by the Marquess of Huntly and the Earl of Gosford, who had just arrived from India on their way home, and proceeded through[Pg 106] the streets in all the pomp of scarlet and gold outriders, troops in brilliant uniforms and a general environment of state which compelled unusual respect from the impassive Oriental onlookers. Royal honours were given to the Prince on his arrival, and he was met by some 5,000 troops and the strains of the British national anthem, while the Court itself was brilliant in blue and gold uniforms and rich in the luxuriance of gold and gems upon every possible article of service or personal use. In the evening the Prince dined with his Vice-regal host on a yacht in the river, and the Minister of Finance gave a brilliant banquet, at which were present the great officers of state, such as Shereef Pasha, Zulfikar Pasha, Abdallah Pasha and others, together with British visitors or members of the Royal suite, such as Lord Carington, Lord Huntly, Lord Gosford, Prince Louis of Battenberg, Sir Samuel Baker and Colonel Teesdale, V.C.

This event closed the visit to Cairo and, after formal farewells on the following morning, the train was taken for Suez, where the Royal visitors were received by the Governor and M. de Lesseps. In the morning they left for Ismaila amidst all possible honours, and accompanied by the great canal promoter. There a triumphal arch had been erected and a crowd of people and troops were found lining the route through the city. They were driven out to the Khedive's chalet on Lake Timsah, where dinner was served and the night spent, and thence back to Ismaila, and, in a steamer, down the Suez Canal to Port Said. The great enterprise was not then completed, and, in fact, the opening of the canal did not take place for many months, but the Royal tourists were fortunate in seeing the pioneer activities of creation in full operation and of being able to understand something of the immense initial difficulties which had been overcome by the genius and energy of De Lesseps.

Alexandria was reached on March 27th, and visits were[Pg 107] paid to Ras-el-Teen, the old palace of Mehemet Ali, to Cleopatra's Needle and Pompey's Pillar. Then the Ariadne was boarded once more and a farewell dinner given to Mourad Pasha, the representative of the Egyptian Government, who had done so much for the comfort of the Royal guests; the health of the Khedive was drunk and the last word said to the ancient land of the Nile and the Pyramids. The impressions left by this visit to Egypt were pleasant to the Prince of Wales and useful to his country. Ismail, the Khedive, was at this time a most enterprising ruler but the predominant influence in the country was French and there can be no doubt that the stately reception given the Heir to the British Crown proved a substantial service to the present and future residents of his nationality in that part of the world. The Prince, himself, must have benefited greatly by the insight into Oriental methods of government which he obtained and by the curious efforts at an adaptation of western ideas which were going on all around him; while the picture left upon his mind of ancient traditions and the history of a mighty past could not but have been impressive and interesting.

On boarding the Ariadne, off Alexandria, and starting for Constantinople the Royal party lost Sir Samuel Baker, Lord Gosford, Sir Henry Pelly and Lord Huntly, who were leaving for other points of destination. During the next few days the vessel passed through the "Isles of Greece" and by various famous or historic spots. Patmos and Chios were seen for a time in the distance and, on March 31st, the Dardanelles were reached and salutes fired from shore to shore—from Europe to Asia—as the Royal yacht steamed between the Turkish forts. Upon anchoring, the British Ambassador, the Hon. Henry Elliot, came on board, together with Raouf Pasha, who attended to offer the earliest compliments of his Imperial master the Sultan. At the next landing, off Chanak, the Prince was formally welcomed by Eyoub Pasha, Military Governor of the[Pg 108] Dardanelles, and his staff and guard of honour. Salutes from the Forts followed and the Prince returned to his vessel which steamed up to Gallipoli, where another stop was made and a visit paid to the French and British cemeteries of the Crimean War. Early on the morning of April 1st the towers and minarets of Constantinople were sighted and various tugs and boats containing British residents and others surrounded the Royal vessel and joined in singing "God Save the Queen" as the Prince and Princess appeared on deck. Their stepping into a barge to row ashore was the signal for a general salute from the Turkish iron-clads and, amidst flying colours, fully-manned yards and swarming caiques and steam-boats the journey to the shore was made—with some private speculation as to what would happen to the Life Guardsmen of the Prince's suite if they should be upset in the water with all their cumbrous "toggery" on.

When abreast of the Palace of Saleh Bazar the Royal barge was met by the state caique of the Sultan, followed by other gorgeously decorated and equipped vessels, containing the Grand Vizier, Aali Pasha, and other officials dressed in blue and gold and wearing numerous ribands, stars and crosses of knightly orders. Amidst cheers from crowded tugs and boats and ships the Royal visitors were transferred to the caique and thence to the landing place of the Palace where a guard of honour, a crowd of officers and a gorgeous staff surrounded the Sultan who, like the Prince of Wales, was in full uniform. His Majesty, after various gracious greetings, which were translated by the Grand Vizier, led his guests up the staircase of the Palace and then retired. Shortly afterwards the Prince and his suite were driven to the Dolmabakshi Palace where they were received by the Sultan with much state and, after a brief visit, returned to Saleh Bazar. Luncheon followed and the Prince and Princess called at the British Embassy. On their way back in the Sultan's carriages the[Pg 109] streets were lined with impassive people who saluted in silent respect. At the Palace an admirable dinner was served on gold and silver plate. During the entire stay of the Royal visitors here they were supplied with every luxury and requirement—guards of honour, carriages, saddle-horses, caiques, a band of eighty-four splendid musicians and an immense staff always on duty and clad in gorgeous uniforms of green and gold.

Every morning there were presents from the Sultan of most exquisite flowers and the finest fruit. Mr. W. H. Russell thus described the surroundings in one of his letters to the London Times: "The valetaille, in liveries of green and gold, with white cuffs and collars, throng the passages and corridors, and black-coated Chibouquejees are ready at a clap of the hands to bring in pipes with amber mouth-pieces of fabulous value, crested with hundreds of diamonds and rubies, and coffee in tiny cups which fit into stands blazing with similar jewels. The cuisine cannot be surpassed and the wines are of the most celebrated vintage. All the persons attached to the Palace speak French or English. There are Turkish baths inside ready at a moment's notice. Equerries, aides-de-camp, officers of the Body-Guard, radiant in gold lace and scarlet, in blue and in silver lace, flit about the saloons and corridors. Human nature can scarce sustain the load of obligations imposed on it by such attention. If the Prince is seen on the water guards are turned out along all the batteries and the strains of music are borne on every breeze that blows. Yards are manned and crews turned out on the slightest provocation. The least wish is an order."

On April 2nd the Sultan went in state to the Mosque in honour of his Royal guests. The streets were lined with five thousand troops and the Prince and Princess, with their suite, were driven to the Palace of Beshik Jool, from a beautiful room in which they could see the Imperial procession pass by.[Pg 110] The sloping ground on the opposite side of the road was filled by groups of women clad in varied colours and looking from a distance like animated flowers. The Sultan came, presently, preceded by brilliantly garbed Circassian troops, announced by the blast of a trumpet and the acclaim of the Turkish populace and riding a magnificent horse, which an English spectator described as a "marvel of beauty." He wore a splendid military uniform and his jewelled orders and sabre-hilt shone brightly in the rays of the sun, while immediately before and behind him were the officers of state. After the pageant had passed, little Prince Izzedin—the eldest son of the Sultan and a delicate, intelligent-looking child—came over to visit the Prince and Princess. The troops then filed past the Palace windows. Later in the day a deputation of British residents was received by the Prince and in the evening a special performance at the Theatre was attended and witnessed from the Sultan's box.

Early in the morning of April 3rd, the various foreign Ambassadors and Ministers called on the Prince of Wales and were presented by Mr. Elliot. Amongst them was General Ignatieff, of Russia. A visit to Seraglio Point followed, and from its heights was seen that most exquisite view which embraces the Sweet Waters, the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmora and its islands, the shores of Scutari, the minarets of the city and a general mingling of sea and shore, of light and shade, of softness and Eastern charm which is hardly equalled in the world. The great mosque of St. Sophia was then visited. In the evening a state dinner was given by the Sultan at Dolmabakshi Palace—the first ever given by His Ottoman Majesty to Christian guests. The Prince and Princess were received in the grand drawing-room by the Sultan and all his Ministers. The Princess was taken in by His Majesty and Madame Ignatieff by the Prince. The dinner-room was already renowned for its exquisite candelabra[Pg 111] and lustres in rock-crystal; and its other decorations, combined with plate and flowers of the most beautiful kind, made up a scene well worth remembering. Aside from this, however, it was not very interesting, as none of the Sultan's Ministers—except the Grand Vizier—had ever sat in his presence before and were apparently too much astonished and afraid to speak a word to each other or to any of the twenty-four guests who made up the banquet. After dinner the Princess and Mrs. Grey visited the Harem, or rather the Sultan's wife and mother. Mrs. Grey, in her Diary, declares the dullness and stiffness of the occasion to have been indescribable. There were innumerable slaves, but they were all "hideous," though loaded down with jewels, while other incidents and surroundings were not very unlike a similar reception at a European Court. The whole affair broke up at 10.30.


On the following day the Royal party attended service in the church of the British Embassy, driving through silent and crowded streets. In the afternoon they inspected the Cemetary at Scutari. On the following day the Prince and Princess, attended by Mrs. Grey, and all garbed in the humblest English clothes they could find, visited the Bazaar. "Mr. and Mrs. Williams" seemed to enjoy themselves greatly, the former smoking a long pipe; the latter buying quantities of curios and, as the merchants soon found out, driving an occasional bargain with earnestness. They took in all the entertainments, sipped sherbets and the various unnamable drinks which are sold in such places, and revelled in a few hours of freedom. Later in the day the Prince paid some formal visits and in the evening they again attended the theatre. Meanwhile Sir Andrew Buchanan, British Ambassador at St. Petersburg, had arrived with his wife, on their way home to England, and were welcomed at the Palace. The following day a visit[Pg 112] was paid to Belyar Beg, some distance up the Bosphorus, which has been described as "the most beautiful place in the most beautiful situation in the world." Guards of honour were seen in all directions as the Royal party passed in caiques up the river. The luxury and elegance of the furniture at the Palace and the beauty of both buildings and surroundings evoked expressions of admiration from the Prince and Princess and, perhaps, they even regretted their refusal to stay here in preference for the other and more accessible residence. Tchamlidja, not far away, the summer residence of Mustapha Fazil Pasha, brother of the Viceroy of Egypt, was then visited and a "luncheon" served which proved to be almost wanton in its luxury—the choicest fruits that Paris could produce and the finest wines of the east or the west being served in profusion. Afterwards, the Princess and Mrs. Grey visited the Harem, while the men smoked exquisite cigars and drank the finest obtainable coffee.

The following day included a trip across the Bosphorus in the Sultan's yacht and a state ball at the British Embassy in the evening, which was, for a short time, attended by the Padishah himself. The Royal party did not retire from the gathering until daylight. During the next three days one function continued to follow another. A visit to the British Memorial Church; attendance with the Sultan at a great special performance in the Theatre through densely-crowded streets; a visit to a cricket match in the suburbs; attendance at a state banquet given by the British Ambassador; inspection by the Prince of a Turkish ironclad—Hobart Pasha's flagship; a dinner at the country home of the Grand Vizier. The day of departure fixed upon was April 10th, and, after a stately breakfast with the Sultan at Dolmabakshi, and farewells exchanged amidst all possible pomp and Oriental pageantry, the Ariadne was boarded and slowly steamed away from the Moslem capital to the sound of cheers and thundering[Pg 113] guns from fleet and fort. They were soon in the gloomy waters of the Black Sea on the way to the Czar's dominions.

Arrangements had been under discussion for some time in connection with this visit to the Crimea and Sir Andrew Buchanan's opportune arrival had, no doubt, a good deal to do with the matter. On April 12th Sebastopol was sighted, crowned with its ruined bastions and replete to the Royal tourists with memories of the Redan, the Malakoff, and the Mamelon. Neither flags nor men were visible, however, upon the ramparts as the yacht came to its moorings although elsewhere Russian soldiers could be occasionally seen. Presently, General de Kotzebue, Governor of New Russia and Bessarabia, came on board with his suite—a decorated and energetic survivor of the great siege at which he had been Chief of Staff to Prince Gortschakoff. After the four days programme for the Crimea had been settled the Prince and Princess landed and went first to inspect the Memorial Chapel and then to visit the great cemetery. A drive to some of the scenes of battle during the Crimean conflict followed, with an escort of Tartars and with carriage horses which at times seemed to fly over the ground. General de Kotzebue knew every foot of the soil and was, of course, a splendid host on such an occasion. On this first day the field of the desperate Alma fight was gone over carefully and on the succeeding morning the ruined ramparts and redoubts of the once great Fortress of Sebastopol—not as yet restored—were visited and studied. The Cemetery of Cathcart's Hill was visited and here there were few in the party who did not find the names of friends or relatives in this city of silent streets while the Princess found very many around which associations of some kind were twined. In a small farmhouse, close to the windmill which was almost a centre of battle on the day of Inkerman, the Royal party took lunch.

Afterwards the Prince and some of the gentlemen rode over the ridge around which the famous fight occurred and[Pg 114] General de Kotzebue explained the technical character of the struggle. The Malakoff was next seen as well as the colossal statue of Lazareff—the father of the Black Sea fleet and of that conception of Russian power which was shattered for a time by the success of the Allies. On the 14th the French Cemetery was visited and thence they went across country to the famous British Headquarters—the home for so long of Lord Raglan, General Simpson and Sir W. Codrington. The house was in perfect order and the Prince was shown with care one of the rooms on the wall of which was a tablet with the simple words: "Lord Raglan died." Balaclava was next visited and the scene of the famous charge carefully studied by the Prince. A drive followed through a country of varied and striking beauty to the Imperial Palace of Livadia where the Czar's Master of Ceremonies, Count Jules Stenbock, was waiting to receive the Royal visitors. A ceremonious entertainment was given here in the highest style of refinement and with the somewhat unexpected accompaniments of chamberlains in green and gold and a mass of servants from St. Petersburg, together with every sort of luxury. Here the Czar Nicholas had stayed in 1855 when he went to reconnoitre the position of the Allies. A visit followed to Alupka, the palace of Prince Woronzow and thence, after an exchange of telegrams with the Czar, they went on board the Ariadne once more.

April the 16th saw the Royal party once more in the Bosphorus with blue lights burning along the shores and bands playing a courteous welcome. On the following day the Prince, attended by Colonel Teesdale and Captain Ellis, paid a last formal visit to the Sultan and this was promptly returned by His Majesty amidst much ceremony. Meanwhile, the Princess had taken a last fond "incognito" look at the Bazaars attended by Mrs. Grey and Mr. Moore of the Embassy. The Ambassador came to the yacht to luncheon and soon afterwards Sir Andrew and Lady Buchanan bade farewell. Then,[Pg 115] in the evening, came the second departure from Constantinople, the Ariadne passing through the lately increased Turkish fleet, under Hobart Pasha, amidst a brilliant display of rockets, coloured lanterns and blue lights.


The Port of Athens was reached on April the 20th and here Sir A. Buchanan once more rejoined the party, followed very soon by various Russian, French and Italian officers and diplomatists. Next came the King of Greece—George I., brother of the Princess of Wales—accompanied by a suite and with sounds of distant cheering and the roar of guns echoing around the vessel. After luncheon Athens was visited and found to be gaily decorated and thence the Royal party passed by train to the King's Palace in the country, a beautiful place surrounded by beautiful scenery. In the distance were to be seen the green fields and olive forests of the Attic plain, the Piræus and the Bay of Salamis, the groves of Academus, the ancient Acropolis and Ilissus, and the modern City of Athens. On the following day the Acropolis was visited and the glories of that scene of historic greatness revived in the memories of the Royal travellers. A state banquet followed in the evening and on the next day a number of memorable sights and scenes were visited while the evening was the occasion for a coloured and very striking illumination of the mighty ruins of the Acropolis. Athens was left behind on the 23rd of April and the Royal party, including the King and Queen of Greece, proceeded to Corfu, which was reached on the following day and a more kindly greeting accorded to the visitors. The stay here was a very quiet one enlivened, so far as the Prince of Wales was concerned, by a hunting party on the somewhat wild coast of Albania. May 1st saw a formal leave-taking from the King and Queen of the Hellenes and a departure from this pleasant old-world Island.

[Pg 116]

On the following day Brindisi was reached, and Turin on the 3rd. Accompanied by Sir Augustus Paget, the Minister at Rome, the Royal party crossed the mountains by the Mont Cenis Railway and reached Paris two days afterwards. Here, until May the 11th, they remained in a succession of visits, dinners, reviews and entertainments provided by the Emperor and Empress, and on the following day arrived at Marlborough House after a six months' absence from England. It had been a round of arduous duty mixed with every form of honour and compliment, and including much of genuine pleasure and useful experience, together with the acquisition of practical and valuable knowledge. To the Heir Apparent it was one more step in the training and education necessary for any Prince who is destined to reign over the destinies of an infinitely varied and scattered people.

[Pg 117]


Serious Illness of the Prince

Following his return from foreign travel and the fulfilment of a brief round of public functions and duties came the now historic and really eventful illness of the Prince of Wales. It was a critical period in his career. Boyhood, youth and the first flush of manhood were gone; his marriage had taken place and his family been born into a position of present and future importance; his own training in public duties and experience in foreign travel and observation had been completed up to a very high point of efficiency. The one element which seemed to be a little lacking was that of a full appreciation of his own responsibility to the nation and the Empire. The brilliant light which blazed around the Throne could find no fault in the actual performance of any duty; but the critical eye and caustic pen had been prone for some years to allege an overfondness for pleasure and amusement and the pursuits of social life.

Whether true or false in its not very serious origin this impression had been studiously cultivated in certain quarters at home which had an interest in the theoretical flash-lights of republicanism; and extensively propagated abroad by cabled falsehoods and magnified incidents until actual harm had been done to the reputation and character of the young Prince amongst those who did not know him and could never actually expect to know him except through the journalistic food upon which they were fed.

On the other hand, the English people had hardly learned to appreciate the important place filled by the Prince of Wales in the community, in the daily life of the nation, in the hopes[Pg 118] of his future subjects, and deep down in the hearts of the masses. Something was apparently needed to develop those two lines of feeling—one personal and the other national—and this came in the illness which struck down the Prince in the closing months of 1871. During the Autumn he had paid a visit to Lord Londesborough at Scarborough, and, although not feeling well, nothing was supposed to be seriously wrong. From there the Prince had gone to stay with Lord Carington at Gayhurst and thence returned to Sandringham where he became decidedly ill. The Times of November 22nd was compelled to state that His Royal Highness was suffering from "a chill resulting in a febrile attack" which had confined him to his room. On the following day a bulletin signed by Doctors Jenner, Clayton, Gull and Lowe stated that the Prince was suffering from typhoid.


Amid the anxiety caused by this announcement every one wondered where the disease had been contracted, and ere long it was known that all the guests of Lord Londesborough at the time of the Royal visit had become more or less indisposed; that the hostess herself was seriously ill; that the Earl of Chesterfield, one of the recent guests, was down with typhoid and, finally that Blegg, the Prince's groom, had caught the same disease. Ultimately both peer and peasant died, and the seriousness of their illness as it developed in the public eye added to the gradually growing excitement over the condition of the Heir-Apparent.

The growth of popular feeling in the matter was evidently deep and serious. Bulletins stating that the symptoms of the fever were severe but regular continued for a time amid ever-increasing manifestations of interest and, as the weeks passed slowly by and the Queen had gone to the bedside of her son and something of the devotion of his wife to the sick Prince[Pg 119] became known, this feeling grew in volume. Meanwhile the Princess Alice had also come to lend her brother the sympathetic touch and knowledge of nursing for which she was so well known. For a brief moment on December 1st, the patient roused from his delirium sufficiently to remark that it was the birthday of the Princess, and for a week thereafter the news of improvement in his condition was good. Then came a crisis when the fever had spent itself while the patient had also become worn out. It was impossible to say whether he could live another day. The Royal family were summoned to Sandringham on December 9th, and on the following day (Sunday) prayers were offered up in all the churches of the land and in many other countries, by request of the Archbishop of Canterbury. In the morning, the Vicar at Sandringham Church received a note from the Princess of Wales: "My husband being, thank God, somewhat better, I am coming to church, I must leave, I fear, before the service is concluded that I may watch by his bedside. Can you say a few words in prayer in the early part of the service, that I may join with you in prayer for my husband before I return to him?"


On December 11th the Times stated that "the Prince still lives, and we may, therefore, still hope." During the following days crowds in every town surrounded the bulletins and waited in the streets for the latest newspaper reports; and the Government found it necessary to forward medical statements to every telegraph office in the United Kingdom as they were issued. On the 14th of the month a favourable change seemed apparent, and on the 16th the Prince had a quiet and refreshing sleep. On the following day the Royal family went to church, where, by special request, the Royal patient and his dying groom—Blegg—were prayed for together. The latter died within a few hours, but not before the Princess had[Pg 120] found time to visit him and comfort his relations. Slowly, but steadily, from that time on the Prince began to make headway towards recovery, though it was not until Christmas Day that the danger was thought to be past and his Royal mother could express her feeling to the nation in a letter which was made public on December 26th: "The Queen is very anxious to express her deep sense of the touching sympathy of the whole nation on the occasion of the alarming illness of her dear son, the Prince of Wales. The universal feeling shown by her people during these painful, terrible days, and the sympathy evinced by them with herself and her beloved daughter, the Princess of Wales, as well as the general joy at the improvement of the Prince of Wales's state, have made a deep and lasting impression on her heart which can never be effaced."


The recovery of the Prince took the usual course of the disease and was protracted in character; but on January 14th the last bulletin was issued. The Princess of Wales and the Princess Alice had been his nurses throughout this trying time, and they had never seemed to weary in their devoted care. Nine days after the issue of the last bulletin Dr. William Jenner was gazetted a K.C.B. and Dr. William W. Gull a baronet. There were rumors at this time that the patient had been at one stage actually in extremis, but had been saved by one of those sudden inspirations which sometimes constitute so important a part of medical practice, and which consisted in a vigorous and continuous application of old champagne brandy over the body until returning animation had rewarded the doctor's efforts. The 14th of December, the anniversary of the Prince Consort's death and the day upon which the actual turning point in the disease took[Pg 121] place, was commemorated by a brass lectern in the Parish Church of Sandringham, which bears the following inscription:

To the Glory of God.
A Thank-Offering for His Mercies.
14th December, 1871.
"When I was in trouble I called upon the Lord, and He heard me."

The good news from Sandringham was received throughout the country with expressions of the most unbounded popular satisfaction; and the announcement that an opportunity would be afforded of returning public thanks to the Almighty for his mercy was universally approved. The day for the National Thanksgiving was finally settled for February 27th, and St. Paul's Cathedral as the place; but before that time came Dr. Stanley—who had now become Dean of Westminster—suggested a private visit to the Abbey and a personal expression of his feelings by the Prince. This was done in absolute privacy, with only the Princess and a few members of the Royal family present. A sermon was preached by the Dean in which, as he told an intimate friend, he was able for once to say what he wished to say.


Many of the papers of the country commented upon the event with much the same freedom as the Dean was able to use on this occasion, and it seemed to be felt that the unbounded solicitude and affection so evidently and profoundly shown for the Prince had given a certain right of counsel to the nation. It was generally admitted that the illness had disclosed to the people as a whole something like an adequate knowledge of their own convictions in connection with the monarchy and concerning its maintenance as a permanent and powerful institution of the realm. Whatever[Pg 122] might be the abstract ideas held by individuals in times when Mr. Bradlaugh and Sir Charles Dilke were preaching republicanism and Mr. Chamberlain was suspected of harbouring the same opinions, it had become apparent that the subjects of the Queen in Great Britain were practically a unit in their preference for a constitutional monarchy and in their personal devotion to the Crown and the Royal family. In addition to the event having awakened the nation to the strength of its own sentiment in this regard, it was also believed that an important influence would be found to have been exerted upon the Prince of Wales—a steadying sense of responsibility resulting from holding such a place as he did in the hearts of his countrymen.


The Illustrated London News well embodied this thought in the following comment: "Doubtless what has occurred during the last few weeks has also a meaning for the Heir Apparent to the Throne. No man of the slightest sensibility can witness the emotional effusion of a great nation towards himself without being deeply impressed with the responsibilities of his position. The Prince comes back to the British people from the brink of the tomb, and they who most pathetically lamented his danger hail his return to health with devout thanksgivings and acclamations of joy. Can there be a more powerful incentive to that course of future action which will commend him to their approbation and their love? That he will recognize and respond to it, we cannot allow ourselves to doubt." One of the interesting incidents of the illness was the fact that when the announcement was made that His Royal Highness might only survive a few hours his obituary was, of course, prepared and put in type in all the leading newspaper offices in the land to an extent varying from the pages of a metropolitan daily down to the half dozen columns of the Provincial press. Proofs of the obituaries were, it is[Pg 123] understood, afterwards collected and sent to the Prince, who had them pasted into an immense scrap-book at Marlborough House.

The Thanksgiving Day celebration commenced on February 27th at 12 o'clock, when Her Majesty the Queen, accompanied by the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Princess Beatrice and Prince Albert Victor of Wales, drove through the gates of Buckingham Palace. There were nine Royal carriages in the procession, containing a number of ladies and gentlemen of the Court, and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Arthur, Prince Leopold and Prince George of Wales. With the latter was the Marquess of Aylesbury, Master of the Horse; Mr. Brand, Speaker of the House of Commons; Lord Hatherley, the Lord Chancellor. H. R. H. the Duke of Cambridge, Commander-in-Chief, headed the procession as it passed slowly through Pall Mall, Charing Cross, the Strand, Fleet Street and Ludgate Hill to St. Paul's Cathedral. The streets were lined with dense masses of people, while every shop-window, doorstep, portico and available roof were black with cheering throngs. Decorations there were of every sort and range—squalid or simple or splendid—but all representing pleasure and loyalty. Along Fleet Street and the Strand they took the form of an actual canopy of banners, standards, streamers and strings of flowers. Venetian masts, flying pennons, countless trophies and miniature shields, with varied mottoes and many kinds of loyal wishes, were seen all along the route. A band of school children numbering 30,000 sang the National Anthem in Green Park, while soldiers lined the roadway from the Palace to the Cathedral. Hearty and enthusiastic cheers greeted the Royal party, and the Queen and Princess were described as looking bright and happy, and the Prince as being pale, but not thin. The Queen wore a black velvet dress trimmed with white ermine, the Princess of Wales was in blue silk covered[Pg 124] with black lace, and the Prince was in the uniform of a British General and wearing the orders of the Garter and the Bath.

At Temple Bar the Queen was formally received by the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs of London, and the city sword handed to Her Majesty and returned in the usual way. At one o'clock the Royal party arrived at the Cathedral and passed up a covered way of crimson cloth to the steps, where they were received by the Bishop of London, the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's and the officers of Her Majesty's Household. The vast interior of the building had been arranged to accommodate 13,000 persons, and was crowded to the doors. Space under the dome was reserved for the Queen, the Royal family, the House of Lords, the House of Commons, the Corps Diplomatique and the distinguished foreigners, the Judges and the dignitaries of the law, the Lords Lieutenant and Sheriffs of Counties, the representatives of universities and other learned bodies. The choir was reserved for the Clergy, and the place assigned to Her Majesty and their Royal Highnesses was slightly raised, made into a kind of pew and covered with crimson cloth.

The Royal procession as it moved up the aisle included, besides the members of the Royal family, such well known officials and members of the Court as Major-General Lord Alfred Paget, Lieutenant-General Sir John Cowell, Colonel H. F. Ponsonby, Major-General Sir T. M. Biddulph, General Sir William Knollys, Rear-Admiral Lord Frederick Kerr, the (late) Lord Methuen, General Lord Strathnairn, the Marquess of Aylesbury, the Viscount Sydney, the Countess of Gainsborough, the Lady Churchill, Lady Caroline Barrington, the Hon. Mrs. Grey, the Countess of Morton and Lord Harris. Most of the great names and great personages of England were present at this function. There were 200 Peers and Peeresses; the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and fourteen Bishops; nearly every member of the[Pg 125] House of Commons. Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone were there as were Mr. Disraeli and Viscountess Beaconsfield. Lord Northbrook, Mr. W. E. Forster, Mr. Cardwell, Mr. Chichester Fortescue, Mr. Goschen, and Lord Granville were visible. Throngs of ladies, brilliant in blue and mauve and crimson satin and gems were present, and, as the sun suddenly shone through what had been sullen clouds, the spectacle within those parts of the Cathedral touched by the stream of light was beautiful indeed. It shone upon the bright blue of many dresses—the Royal colour of the day—mixed up in a confusion of effective shadings with the dark blue and burnished gold of the uniforms, the scarlet and white plumes of the officers, the gorgeous robes of the Peers, the white lawn of the Bishops.

After walking up the aisle on the arm of the Prince of Wales, with the Princess on the other side, Her Majesty took her place in the special pew with the chief members of the Royal family on either side. After a brief special service of thanksgiving the Archbishop of Canterbury preached the sermon for the occasion in words of tact and eloquence from which one quotation may be made: "Just as in one of our own homes when death threatens, the whole history of the loved object we fear to lose comes back in the hours of waiting, so England was stirred by a hundred touching memories when danger threatened the Royal house. And God doubtless thus touched our hearts to deepen our loyalty and make us better prize the thousand good things secured in a well-ordered State by love to the head of the State." At the conclusion of the sermon a Thanksgiving Hymn was sung and the benediction given. The following was the concluding verse:

"Bless, Father, him thou gavest
Back to the loyal land,
O Saviour, him Thou savest,
Still cover with Thine Hand:
O Spirit, the Defender,
Be his to guard and guide,
Now in life's midday splendor
On to the eventide."

[Pg 126]

The Royal party then proceeded in due state to their carriages and the procession returned through the streets of the city to Buckingham Palace over the Holborn Viaduct, along Holborn and Oxford street to the Marble Arch, via Hyde Park to Piccadilly, and thence down Constitution Hill. Enthusiastic cheering was heard all along the route and decorations were seen everywhere in the greatest abundance. In the evening London was brilliant with light. The dome of St. Paul's Cathedral, the Mansion House, and the two large triumphal arches were particularly bright and beautiful in their varied colours and illuminations. The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress entertained the Lord Mayor of Dublin and the Provincial Mayors to a banquet at the Mansion House and, all over the United Kingdom, celebrations of a popular or religious character, holiday gatherings, crowded meetings and illuminations, marked the day and the pleasure of the people. Addresses poured in by hundreds and rejoicings were not confined to the Island portion of the Empire. An incident of this celebration was the collection of a Thanksgiving Fund for the completion of St. Paul's Cathedral. To it the Queen gave £1000 and the Prince of Wales £500. Another feature of the event was the splendid behaviour of the millions of people who lined the seven-mile route of the procession and paid loyal tribute to their Queen and to the son who was heir to all the traditions of his race and the greatness of the Royal name. On February 29th Her Majesty wrote to Mr. Gladstone a message intended for the nation:

"The Queen is anxious, as on a previous occasion, to express publicly her own personal very deep sense of the reception she and her dear children met with on Tuesday, February the 27th, from millions of her[Pg 127] subjects on her way to and from St. Paul's. Words are too weak for the Queen to say how very deeply touched and gratified she has been by the immense enthusiasm and affection exhibited towards her dear son and herself, from the highest down to the lowest, on the long progress through the Capital, and she would earnestly wish to convey her warmest and most heartfelt thanks to the whole nation for this great demonstration of loyalty. The Queen, as well as her son and dear daughter-in-law, felt that the whole nation joined with them in thanking God for sparing the beloved Prince of Wales's life."

Perhaps the most beautiful and effective presentations of popular feeling and hopes in connection with this now historic sickness of the Heir Apparent were the sermons preached by Dean Stanley. No one has ever been closer in friendship and in personal knowledge to the Prince of Wales than had this eloquent and saintly ecclesiastic. No one has been more admired and respected in the Church of England in modern days than he; nor has any of its clergy possessed a wider view or more generous heart. Speaking in Westminster Abbey on December 10th, 1871, when the nation was awaiting in deep anxiety the issue of a struggle which seemed to be almost fatally and surely decided, he embodied the popular feeling in beautiful and appropriate words: "On a day like this when there is one topic in every household, one question on every lip, it is impossible to stand in this place and not endeavour to give some expression to that of which every heart is full. We all press, as it were, round one darkened chamber, we all feel that with the mourning family, mother, wife, brothers, sisters, who are there assembled, we are indeed one. The thrill of their fears or hopes passes through and through the differences of rank and station; we feel that, while they represent the whole people they also represent and are that which each family and each member of each family, is separately. In the fierce battle between life and death, for the issues of which we are all looking with such eager expectation, we see the likeness of what will befall every individual soul amongst us; and the[Pg 128] reflection which this struggle, with all its manifold uncertainties suggests, concerns us all alike."

The sermon which followed was a skillful presentation of thoughts suggested by the text, "To live is Christ and to die is gain." It concluded with an earnest hope that the Royal life which might so greatly influence the national destinies might still be preserved—"a life which, if duly appreciated and fitly used, contains within it special opportunities for good such as no other existence in this great community possesses; a life which may, if worthily employed, stimulate all that is noble and beneficent and discourage all that is low and base and frivolous." In these and other words he concluded a sermon which could not but have had its influence in after days upon the life and character of the Prince who so greatly respected and regarded the preacher. A week later the cloud had lifted from Sandringham and the life which had been so much prayed for in so many lands was slowly passing into the region of safety and strength. It gave the opportunity to Dean Stanley to speak again at the historic Abbey in a strain of instruction and to draw a national moral from the events of the past few months. He referred to the spontaneous outburst of every class and every party which had, to his mind, proved the permanent supremacy of the British Crown in a Christian State. "There are nations and there have been times in which the devotion to the reigning family has been a thing separate and apart from the love of country. There have been times and places when the love of country has existed with no loyal feeling to the reigning family. Let us thank God that in England it is not so. Loyalty with us is the personal, romantic side of patriotism. Patriotism with us is the Christian, philosophic side of loyalty. Long may the two flourish together, each supporting and sustaining the other."

On the Sunday following the Thanksgiving Service at St.[Pg 129] Paul's—March 3rd—the Dean preached for the last time upon this subject in Westminster Abbey. After stirring references to the wonderful scene of national enthusiasm lately witnessed and to the gathering in St. Paul's Cathedral of representatives of every creed and religious division in Great Britain (except those of one exclusive body) to offer thanksgivings in "the venerable forms of the National Church" he expressed his belief that the demonstration as a whole was "the response in every English heart to the sense of union—too subtle for analysis yet true and simple as the primitive instincts of our race—which binds the people of England to their Monarchy and the Monarchy to the people." He dealt with the functions and character of that institution in most striking words. "No other existing throne in Europe reaches back to the same antiquity, none other combines with such an undivided charm the associations of the past with the interests of the present. It is the one name and place which, being beyond the reach of personal ambition, beyond the need of private gain, has the inestimable chance of guiding, moulding, elevating the tastes, the customs, the morals of the whole community. It is the one name and place which, being raised high above all party struggles, all local jealousies, over all classes, ecclesiastical as well as civil, is the supreme controlling spring which binds together in their widest meaning all the forces of the State and all the forces of the Church. It is the one institution which by very nature of its existence unites the abstract idea of country and of duty with the personal endearments of family life, of domestic love, of individual character."

It was the greatness of this national possession—one which had steadied national progress and promoted peace in the midst of tumults and freedom in the midst of disorder—which had, Dean Stanley thought, helped to make the people pray that its destined heir should be worthy of his noble inheritance. And then the speaker pointedly and clearly[Pg 130] pictured the increased and increasing responsibilities of the Prince of Wales upon whom, henceforth, "as by a new consecration and confirmation, devolves the glorious task of devoting to his country's service that life which is in a special sense no longer his but ours, for which his country's prayers, his country's thanksgivings, have been so earnestly offered." The sermon concluded with a description of these great responsibilities; an appeal to the Prince to begin life afresh and to take the lead in all that was true and holy, just and good; a warning that "of him to whom much has been given, much shall be required;" a picture of a Christian England fighting evil in every form and in every place and growing greater in all the elements of higher national and individual life.

[Pg 131]


The Prince of Wales in India

To make a Royal tour of the vast British possessions in Hindostan was an inspiring idea. To constitute the Crown a tangible evidence of Imperial power and a living object and centre of Eastern loyalty and respect was a policy worthy of Mr. Disraeli and of the statecraft in which he had once declared imagination to be an essential ingredient. To precede this action by the purchase of the Suez Canal shares in order to safe-guard the pathway to the Indian Empire and to succeed it with such an impressive appeal to Oriental individualism and personal loyalty as the proclamation of Queen Victoria as Empress of India were strokes of statesmanship such as no other Englishman of that time was capable of initiating.


In Bombay, when the project was finally in full fruition, the Prince of Wales told a distinguished audience that "it had long been the dream of his life to visit India," and there seems no room to doubt that it was a part of the original plan mapped out by the keen perceptions of the Prince Consort for the education of his eldest son. It was unquestionably suggested to the former by Lord Canning, when Governor-General of India in the wild days of the Mutiny, but the idea necessarily slumbered until the young Prince was old enough to undertake the heavy duties involved.

By that time his father had passed away; the old-time rule of the East India Company was gone; a new and greater India had expanded in territory and population; while the[Pg 132] loyalty of its native Princes had become a constant marvel to other peoples. Yet there were causes of discontent and grounds for trouble. The myriad masses of Hindostan did not yet fully understand who was ruling over them, nor had they ever fully comprehended how the rule of the Company passed away. The word "Queen" had to them an Eastern significance which did not exactly compel respect, and that personal side of Government which means so much to the Oriental mind had never been brought home to them. The assassination of Lord Mayo proved the possibilities of greater trouble, and there was always the danger of Russian aggression and the existence of border warfare. In the winter of 1874, therefore, the question of a Royal tour was seriously considered, and some correspondence passed between the authorities concerned. To send the Heir to the Throne on such a visit was a unique project, and there were various difficulties to overcome. India was accustomed to visitors of the type of Alexander the Great, of Timour, Baber, Mahmoud of Ghuznee and Nadir Shah; but a peaceful progress of the foreign Heir to its Throne was another matter. Brief and hasty visits to some of its Princes had been made in recent times by Prince Adalbert of Prussia, the King of the Belgians and the Duke of Edinburgh, but there had never been a state tour of the country with all its accompaniments of splendour and costliness, the danger from fanatics and the trying changes of climatic conditions.


It was not an easy matter to arrange, and the probabilities are, that if the Prince of Wales had not himself insisted that it was his duty to go, the project might ultimately have been abandoned. He had by this time come to fill so important a place in the public eye and in the external functions of Sovereignty that his absence for six months, or more[Pg 133] was a serious consideration. The preliminary obstacles, however, were overcome, and on the 16th of March, 1875, the Marquess of Salisbury, Secretary of State for India, announced that the visit would take place, and a little later the Times stated that Sir Bartle Frere would accompany His Royal Highness. The former was widely known in India through administrative duties admirably performed in Bombay and the North-West Provinces. The Duke of Sutherland, a much respected nobleman, was selected as one of the suite, together with Lord Suffield, head of the Prince's Household; Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Ellis, Equerry to the Prince, and who had served in India; Major-General (Sir) D. M. Probyn, V.C., who arranged the details regarding horses, transport and sporting; Mr. Knollys, who has since been so well known as Sir Francis Knollys, the Prince's Private Secretary; Lord Alfred Paget, an old man and most attached friend to the Prince; the Rev. Canon Duckworth, who went as Chaplain; and Dr. Fayrer, who attended in the capacity of guardian to the Prince's health, and afterwards became a well known physician and Sir Joseph Fayrer, Bart., F.R.S., etc.

The Earl of Aylesford, Lord Carington and Colonel Owen Williams were invited, as personal friends of the Prince of Wales, to join the party, while Lieutenant the Lord Charles Beresford, M.P., who had accompanied the Duke of Edinburgh on his preceding hasty visit, also lent his experience and unflagging gayety to the suite, and was aided by Lieutenant Augustus Fitz-George of the Rifle Brigade. Mr. Sydney Hall was the official artist of the tour; Mr. Albert Grey (afterwards Earl Grey) was Private Secretary to Sir Bartle Frere; and the present Sir William Howard Russell was a special correspondent with the nominal duties of Honorary Private Secretary to the Prince. When Parliament met various questions were asked as to whether the expenses of the tour were to be charged to the British or Indian Governments; whether the[Pg 134] Prince would represent the Queen; whether he would supersede the Governor-General for the time being, etc. On July 8th Mr. Disraeli made a full statement for the first time in connection with the subject. He alluded to the previous travels of the Prince of Wales and expressed the opinion that they were the best form of education for a Royal personage. But the rules and regulations and etiquette which sufficed for the Prince in Canada and other countries would not do in India. One important difference was the probably costly character of the ceremonial presents which would have to be exchanged between the visitor and his hosts amongst the native Princes. Money would have to be granted for this, and the sum of £30,000 had been casually estimated for the purpose. The estimate of the Admiralty for the expenses of the voyage and corresponding movements of the fleet was £52,000. He would ask for a vote of £60,000. The Prince would go as the Heir Apparent to the Crown and be the formal guest of the Viceroy from the time of setting foot upon Indian soil. The expenses of the tour were to be charged to the Indian Budget. This statement created some criticism, while the very small amount proposed for expenditure caused still more comment. As a matter of fact, the Prince did not exceed, in the end, the comparatively small amount voted.


On Sunday, October 10th, a farewell sermon was preached at Westminster Abbey by Dean Stanley, who expressed the hope that the visit might leave behind it "on one side the remembrance of graceful acts, kind words, English nobleness, Christian principles, and on the other awaken in all concerned the sense of graver duties, wider sympathies, loftier purposes." On the following day the Prince left London amid marked popular demonstrations of respect and regard, and with every evidence of a deep public interest shown by[Pg 135] the press of the country. At Dover thousands of people cheered the Prince farewell. He took the boat for Calais, accompanied by the Princess, who, however, did not land, but returned home next morning. At Paris he was accidentally met by President MacMahon, who was leaving on the train for another place, and welcomed to France; officially he was received by Lord Lyons, the British Ambassador. On the following day His Royal Highness lunched with Marshal MacMahon at the Elysée. This visit and the ensuing journey through Turin, Bologna and Ancona to Brindisi was carried out in a private and non-official capacity. Nevertheless, at every station there were officials, guards of honour and crowds of people to see the special go through and to do honour to the traveller. The bulk of the Royal suite followed the Prince a little later, and on October 16th the whole party met at Brindisi and the voyage proper commenced.


Later in the same day H. M. S. Serapis, under the command of Captain the Hon. H. Carr-Glyn, accompanied by the Royal yacht Osborne, left Brindisi, and two days later the Prince was being welcomed in Athens by the King of the Hellenes—Otto I—and by a picturesque Court clad in the attractive costumes of the nation. Visits to the Acropolis and to the country house of the King were followed by a State banquet at the Palace, which gathered together all that was eminent in modern Grecian life, glittering with laces, orders and decorations, and including some young men who have since become famous—Tricoupi, Delyannis, Commoundourus and Zaimés. Illuminations of the city ensued, and in the morning, after a Royal reception, the Prince left Athens through crowds of people, who seemed a little more demonstrative than had been the case at first. On October 20th the Piræus was left behind[Pg 136] after a farewell visit from the King and at dawn the next day Crete was in sight. The ship steered steadily ahead and three days later was welcomed at Port Said by Egyptian frigates on sea and Egyptian infantry on shore.

There was no cheering from the people but much curiosity. A formal welcome was offered for the Khedive by Princes Tewfik, Hussein and Hassan, who were accompanied on their visit to the Serapis by the well-known statesman Nubar Pasha, and other officers of the Court. The Prince then transferred himself to a smaller vessel—the Osborne—and with a Royal Standard floating over the ship for the first time since the Empress Eugénie had opened the Suez Canal, he traversed that famous waterway. At Ismaila, the Prince and his suite landed and took a special train to Cairo, where His Royal Highness was welcomed by the Khedive in person, with the towering form of the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia standing behind, and a brilliantly uniformed Court around him. To the Prince of Wales the Gezireh Palace was given as his temporary residence. The succeeding day was occupied with ceremonials of various kinds, a banquet being given by the Khedive at the Abdeen Palace in the evening, when the Prince passed to and fro in a lane of light made by myriad many-coloured lamps.

On October 25th, the Prince of Wales invested Prince Tewfik—afterwards Khedive of Egypt—with the Order of the Star of India amidst all possible state. In a letter he told His Highness that the honour was conferred to mark British appreciation of the Khedive's friendship to England, and his good work in promoting the safety of British communication with India. The next day saw the Royal departure from Cairo after a formal visit from the Khedive, the Princes his sons, and his Ministers, who were again at the station to see him off a little later. Suez was reached in the evening and, amid elaborate preparations from the Pasha of that place,[Pg 137] crowds of people and illuminated men-of-war in the roadstead, the Prince and his party boarded the Serapis and, accompanied by the Osborne, proceeded on the voyage to Aden. Perim, which has been described as "a gigantic blistered clinker," was reached and passed on October 31st, and from the ship the Prince got his first view of Her Majesty's Indian troops. It is to be hoped that the cheering Bombay Infantry drawn up on that vitrified surface, got a fair view of the Prince in return. On the following day the volcanic-like Island of Aden was reached, and its fortifications gazed upon with interest. As the flag flew from the mast-head of the Serapis to announce its arrival the ships and crags rang with the roar of cannon. The Prince landed, clad in uniform of a somewhat mixed character, with Field Marshal's insignia, and accompanied by his suite. Upon, or around, the platform and triumphal arch erected at the landing-place, was every variety of picturesque oriental costume with a background of mountain and blistered rock and white, painted houses. Chiefs from the mainland in gorgeous array, the King's Own Borderer's Regiment, all the ladies of the island in European or Asiatic costume, fierce-looking Arabs, meek-looking Hindoos, sleek Parsees, people from all the regions between the Persian Gulf, Zanzibar and Arabia, were there to welcome him.


A formal address was presented to His Royal Highness by the Resident—a Parsee—and then followed a drive through decorated streets with numerous arches and curious mottoes to the Residency. A Levée was held here and later in the day the ship was again boarded and steamed away from the Indian Gibraltar as it lay bathed in lines of light along all its town and batteries.

Bombay was reached on November 8th, after a voyage which was upon the whole pleasant—certainly as far as[Pg 138] surroundings and comforts could make it. For a few hours official visitors streamed on board, and then in the afternoon Lord Northbrook, Viceroy of India, appeared on the scene and was received with the honours due to his station. There had been some idea abroad that difficulties might arise as to the respective positions of the Heir Apparent and the Viceroy in State ceremonial, but from the day of this first formal meeting there does not seem to have been the slightest trouble upon the point. Each knew perfectly what pertained to the position and rank of the other. Then came the Governor of Bombay, Sir Philip Wodehouse, and with him the Commander-in-Chief of the Presidency, Lieutenant-General Sir Charles Staveley, and the members of the Council. Meanwhile the harbour was filled with ships and boats of all kinds, flags were streaming everywhere, in the distance was a vast triumphal arch spanning the waterway between two piers, and, as the Royal and Vice-regal party stepped into the barge and started for the landing-place, the cannon roared, bands played, guards saluted and crews cheered.

As the Prince of Wales landed the scene was one of the most splendid conceivable. Long lines of seats draped in scarlet cloth stood out under the sides of the gigantic archway and upon them stood a multitude of native notabilities—Chiefs, Sirdars and gentlemen, Parsees, Hindoos, Mahrattas and Mohammedans—a crowd glittering in gems and bright in all the brilliant hues of Oriental garb. Amongst them also were the officers of the Government and Municipality, leading citizens and dignitaries, and all the ladies who could be found within a radius of a hundred miles. Flowers and shrubs and banners and flags were everywhere. An address expressive of loyalty and pride in the British Throne was presented from the Municipality and duly answered, and then the Prince, with Lord Northbrook at his side, walked along a carpeted avenue, speaking to various Princes and Chiefs as they were presented—the[Pg 139] first being Sir Salar Jung, the Prime Minister and representative and famous statesman of Hyderabad. At the end of the avenue, where carriages were taken for the procession of seven miles through the teeming streets of the city, a band of Parsee girls in white were waiting to strew garlands and flowers in the Prince's carriage and on the roadway.

There was no music in this wonderful night procession and its surroundings are difficult to describe. Mr. W. H. Russell, the diarist of the Royal tour, speaks of the spectacle as being absolutely baffling to the eye. "There was something almost supernatural in these long vistas winding down banks of variegated light, crowded with gigantic creatures waving their arms aloft and indulging in extravagant gesture, which the eye—baffled by rivers of fire, blinded with the glare of lamps and blazing magnesium wire and pots of burning matter—sought in vain to penetrate." The piled-up masses of human beings along these miles of streets; the Parsee women in brilliant costumes, which vied with the colours of the surrounding fires and lights; crowds of Mohammedans; Hindoo temples with roofs covered by Brahmins and their votaries; a Jew bazaar, an American store, a European warehouse, or a Japan temple in close proximity to each other and all bearing a burden of people in varied dress; flashed a picturesque and never-ending variety of sight and colour and character to the gaze of the quiet, dignified man who drove through it all as the central figure of a spectacle whose like may never be seen again. A banquet followed in the great hall of Government House, and a state reception closed the varied proceedings of this first busy day in historic Hindostan.

Meanwhile, camp-fires blazed for miles around the city, the fiery furnace of the streets settled into as much of silence as an Oriental centre under such conditions could attain and all over India, in every mart and village and town where a gun could be found, volleys had announced the arrival of the[Pg 140] heir to its Imperial throne. In the morning a Royal reception was held at Government House and, amid splendid surroundings and every form of dignity and severe etiquette necessary to impress the visiting Princes and Chiefs and Rajahs of the great Presidency of Bombay, His Royal Highness stood or sat for hours in the intense heat, clad in a stiff uniform, laden with lace and buttoned up to the throat. With him were the Duke of Sutherland, Major-General Lord Alfred Paget, Sir Bartle Frere, Lord Suffield, Lord Charles Beresford and the rest of his suite. The Oriental dignitaries, each in great state, came with attendants and ceremonies and gifts in accordance with his rank. Each Prince was treated along graded lines of cordiality, courtesy or civility, as was supposed to become his position. The little Rajah of Kolapore; the Maharajah of Mysore; the Maharana of Oodeypore; the Rao of Cutch—who left a sick bed and returned home to die; the little Gaekwar of Baroda, who was described as looking like a crystallized rainbow and was accompanied by the famous statesman, Sir Madhava Rao; Sir Salar Jung of Hyderabad; and the Maharajah of Edur; were received one after the other and then a succession of less important rulers with tremendous names, fierce-looking guards and more or less gorgeous costumes.

At the end of what was a Durbar in all but name the Prince was only beginning his functions for the day. The Viceroy had to be received and many matters discussed; a visit was paid to the Serapis where the men were celebrating the Prince's birthday, as were many millions throughout India; telegrams were exchanged with the Princess at Sandringham; every step was marked by pomp and splendour; a state banquet was held in the evening and another, but less formal, reception afterwards. Meantime, the city, the shipping and the harbour were a blaze of light and general illumination—the great bay looking as if it were filled with rows of fiery[Pg 141] pyramids and the streets as if all India were trying to pass through them. On November the 10th the Viceroy bade farewell to the Prince, who did not see him again until near the end of his tour. He went on a journey himself to parts of India which His Royal Highness was unable to visit. Another formal reception of lesser Rajahs and Nawabs took place in the morning. In the afternoon the Prince drove into Bombay, accompanied by Sir Philip Wodehouse and held a Levée in the Government Buildings. Then followed a visit to the harbour where, in an open space, seven thousand children of all castes, classes, colours and creeds, dressed in brilliant hues and laden with flowers, sang patriotic songs. They almost smothered the Royal guest in flowers as he ascended to his place. State visits were then made to a number of the native Princes who had been already received and, in the evening, a grand European ball, given by the Byculla Club, was attended. Other Chiefs were visited next day by the Prince—those who had not residences or were not of sufficient importance being assigned reception rooms at the Secretariat, or Government Buildings.


After this wearisome and almost unbearably hot business was over the Prince attended a dinner given by the people of Bombay to the sailors of the fleet and the vigorous cheering of these two thousand seamen as His Royal Highness entered the hall must have been a relief after the heavy and sustained etiquette of the past few days. Following this was the laying of the foundation stone of the Elphinstone Docks with Masonic ritual and ceremonies. Then came a visit to the Hyderabad Prime Minister and deputation and to others and a busy day closed with the usual state dinner and reception. On the evening of November 12th the famous Caves of Elephanta were visited and a banquet received by the Prince of[Pg 142] Wales amongst these wonderful and massive efforts of distant ages to embody what seemed to them the divine attributes. Returning to the city the Royal barge passed between two rows of ships, discharging volleys, while the hulls and riggings were brightly illuminated, coloured fires were everywhere and earth and sky seemed merged in a tremendous display of fireworks and rockets. A visit to Poonah followed and this included an inspection of the Temple of Parbuttee, from one of the windows of which the last of the Peishwas had seen his forces routed on the plains of Kirkee below; a review of native troops; a reception in the city characterized by the usual fireworks, triumphal arches, crowded streets and revel of colour.

On the 16th, His Royal Highness was back at Bombay considering plans which had been disarranged by the prevalence of cholera in Southern India. Finally, it was decided to visit Baroda, the capital of a State where the Gaekwar had recently been deposed for his crimes. It was felt that danger might exist, as even the most evil of Eastern rulers has fanatical followers, but the former Resident, Sir R. Meade, expressed the belief that it could be done safely and would be of great service and the authorities and Prince, after much discussion, approved the change of programme. This last day in Bombay saw the presentation of colours to a battalion of Native Infantry amidst an immense concourse of people, and a ball given by the citizens at which natives, Chiefs and gentlemen could see Europeans dancing and amusing themselves. The presents received during this part of the tour numbered over four hundred and included specimens of every variety of Indian workmanship—tissues, brocade, cloths, arms, jewellery, gold, silver and metal. The Rajah of Kolapore, in addition to the gift of an ancient jewelled sword and dagger, had assigned £20,000, or $100,000, to the founding of a Hospital to be called after the Royal visitor.

[Pg 143]

The journey to Baroda was commenced on November 18th and finished early on the following morning. At the station the Prince of Wales was received by the Gaekwar, Sir Madhava Rao, the British agent and other officers, and outside were triumphal arches and a rolling sea of dark, silent faces, topped by turbans of every colour in the rainbow. Outside also was an enormous elephant, with a golden howdah on his back, and into this the Prince and the Gaekwar presently entered. Everything was cloth of gold and velvet. The procession started after a time with a long line of gorgeously-caparisoned elephants following, a way was cleared for them by an advance guard of the 3rd Hussars, while in the rear were some of the Gaekwar's artillery and cavalry and a great crowd of Sirdars and lesser chiefs. The three miles to the Residency was lined by cavalry, and the spectacle must have been a superb one to see for the first time. The whole of the route was bordered by a light trellis work of bamboos, hung with lamps and festooned with flowers, while at certain points were special arches and clusters of flags. On his arrival the Prince held a sort of Durbar, paid a return visit to the Gaekwar and went to the Agga, or arena for wild-beast combats, where he saw Eastern wrestlers, an elephant fight, a buffalo fight, a struggle of fighting rams, and a show of wild or curious animals. The night was brilliant with illuminations, and the Prince accepted an invitation to dine with the 9th Native Infantry—an honour of which they were very proud.

The next day was devoted to sport, and in the evening dinner was taken with another Native regiment. On the evening of the 21st the Prince visited the Gaekwar at the ancient Palace of the Mohtee Bagh, and on the way crossed a bridge spanned by triumphal arches, with men holding blazing torches placed along the parapets. Lamps and lights were everywhere. A great banquet was held, in the course of which Sir Madhava Rao expressed the thanks of the Gaekwar, and[Pg 144] said that "it was now their felicity to see that Prince who was heir to a sceptre whose beneficent power and influence were felt in every quarter of the globe; which dispelled darkness, diffused light, paralyzed the tyrant's hand, shivered the manacles of the slave, extended the bounds of freedom, accelerated the happiness and elevated the dignity of the human race. He had come to inspect an Empire founded by the heroism and sustained by the statesmanship of England; to witness the spectacle of indigenous principalities relying more securely on British justice than could mighty nations on their embattled hosts."


After dinner, various Eastern performances in dancing and juggling were given, and then they departed for the shooting grounds farther south, where "pig-sticking" and other sports were enjoyed. His Royal Highness succeeded in killing one wild boar. On November the 24th the Royal visitor arrived again at Bombay and went on board the Serapis. On the following day he landed to take leave of the Governor, and suddenly, to the dismay of the local authorities who had lined his announced route with troops, intimated his intention to attend the wedding festivities of the son of Sir Munguldass Nuthoobhoy, a great native merchant. The visit proved well worth the trouble, and the undisguised delight of the host and those present was a privilege to see. A farewell incident was the knighting of the energetic Chief of Police, Sir F. H. Soutar. At 6 p.m. the Serapis was on its way to Goa.

The visit to this ancient Portuguese dependency was not prolonged and the incidents of importance were few. But much that was curious was seen and many historical memories revived. On November 28th the little foreign strip of territory was left behind and Beypore was sighted on the following day. It was found, however, that cholera existed along all the[Pg 145] routes which the Prince proposed to take in this part of the country and the medical men would not take the responsibility of advising a continuance of the tour in this direction. The Prince bore his disappointment philosophically, though he had expected much pleasure from the splendid shooting places of the Mysore country. What can be said, however, of the disappointed people and authorities? The Mysore Government had spent thousands of pounds in preparation; Ootacamund, Bangalore, Travancore and other places had laid out much money and the population for hundreds of miles was stirred with expectancy. A visit was paid to the shore and a brief glance taken at the old-time land of Tippoo Sahib, and then the voyage was resumed to Ceylon.

On December 1st the lights of Colombo were sighted, and soon the familiar spectacle of British men-of-war dressed to welcome royalty was seen. The sight at the landing-place was a pretty one, and the long avenue of gaily-decorated and flower-garlanded boats through which the Royal barge first passed was equally so. The Prince was received in a beautiful pavilion under a striking archway and everywhere in sight were arches and flags and palm-leaves, and massed displays of fruits and flowers, and tier on tier of spectators. All the dignitaries of Ceylon were there and the usual addresses and replies were given. Thence the Prince passed to the Government Buildings and took a drive round the town, meeting everywhere an enthusiastic and sincerely generous reception and a wealth of decoration in fruits and flowers and ferns. His Royal Highness gave a state banquet on the Serapis in the evening, while Colombo was illuminated and the ships were a blaze of light. Never were the Cinghelese more happy than on that day and night, and spectators found it hard to describe the revel of light, fantastic, Eastern pleasure. On the following day the railway train was taken for Kandy amid[Pg 146] genuine British cheers from throngs of men clad in petticoats and wearing combs in front of their chignons.

At this splendidly situated town—the ancient stronghold of Chiefs and the seat of more than one rebellion against earlier British rule—the Prince was received by a great number of queerly-clad but distinguished personages and Buddhist priests. The Governor, Mr. W. H. Gregory, who accompanied the Royal traveller, was unusually popular and this, perhaps, helped in the success of the reception. Addresses were received and in the evening the Governor held a state dinner attended by all the notabilities of Ceylon and accompanied outside by the beating of native drums, the blowing of myriad horns, the clang of mighty gongs and sounds of distant cheering. Afterwards the Prince witnessed a grotesque and extraordinary procession of elephants, dancers and priests of the Temple. On the following day he visited the Royal Botanical Gardens and in the evening held an investiture of the Order of St. Michael and St. George at which the Governor was knighted and some lesser honours given. The Chiefs and their stately and dignified wives were then formally presented. From the audience hall he afterwards passed to the Temple and was shown the famous "Sacred Tooth of Gotama Buddha"—an object of veneration to many millions of the human race and of visible fear to the priests who stood around the Prince or took it from its precious and numerous cases. On December the 4th the Prince went on a visit to the interior of this wonderfully beautiful country and enjoyed the excitement of an elephant hunt and of killing some of those colossal creatures of the jungle. Colombo was reached again, three days later, and another state banquet attended in the evening. On the following day the new Breakwater was inaugurated by the Prince and in the evening a farewell banquet received and the city left amid scenes of brilliant illumination and fantastic Eastern beauty.

The Prince of Wales and his suite landed in Tuticorin on[Pg 147] the coast of India, again, on December 9th, and proceeded inland by train without any particular or formal reception. The Tamils were found to be a handsome, mild-natured, respectful people and the land cultivated and apparently prosperous. At Mainachy, a deputation of six thousand native Christians and one thousand boys and girls, headed by the Rev. Dr. Caldwell and the Rev. Dr. Sargent, presented an address and a handsomely-bound Bible and Prayer-book in the Tamil language, to His Royal Highness. A native "lyric" was then sung by the children including words of which the following is a translation: "Crossing seas and crossing mountains, thou hast visited this southern-most region and granted to those who live under the shadow of thy Royal umbrella a sight of thy benign countenance." Madura was reached a few hours later and found to be profusely decorated, one of the arches being made of native work in perforated paper, covered with talc plates and silver plaques in front of a screen of red. The name of the town signified "sweetness" and it turned out to be a place of great charm, imposing buildings and unusual cleanliness. The Rajah of Pudducottah was duly received and during his visit he showed the Prince a book consisting of original letters, dispatches etc., which had passed between Clive and his own ancestor during the times of French and English struggle for supremacy in Southern India. The Prince visited some of the ancient buildings of the place, including the Temple of Minakshee, where Nautch girls scattered flowers before him and garlands were placed over his shoulders, and the Tank of the Golden Lotus and received a number of interesting presents from the Rajah and from the Ranee of Shivagunga. He left on December 11th for Trichinoply, where he arrived in a few hours.

Here, His Royal Highness, after his progress through flowers, arches, crowds, officials and decorations of unusual richness and taste, visited the famous Temple of Seringham[Pg 148] which has been described as "a vast bewildering mass of gate, towers, enclosures, courts, terraces and halls." In one of the last-named there were one thousand columns of granite each consisting of one block and carved with elaborate images of deities. The next place seen was the ancient Palace of the Nawabs of the Carnatic and here presentation of the notabilities of the city took place and an address was received by the future European Emperor of India in the very home of the olden Eastern power. The scene from this place in the evening was very striking—immense multitudes below, a great tank full of boats and blazing with coloured fires and lights, Clive's historic home on the opposite side and, above and over all, the vast pyramidical pile, the Rock of Trichinoply, with its Temple of Ganesa crowning the famous precipice and towering above the city.


On December the 12th, the Royal visitor was again travelling and on the following day reached Madras, where he was formally welcomed by Lieutenant-Governor the Duke of Buckingham, the Rajah of Cochin, the Maharajah of Travancore, the Prince of Arcot, the Rajah of Vizianagram and others. The procession then passed from the station to Government House through the narrow streets of the native town and the wide thoroughfares of the European quarters. A golden umbrella was held over the Prince's head and thus the massed populace—more fortunate than that of Bombay—was able to be certain of his identity. At the Wallahjah Bridge some thousands of students and boys and girls were ranged on both sides, each school with its distinctive banners and badges. The audiences given afterwards at Government House to Native Chiefs, and the return visits, were conducted in the same manner and style as those at Bombay. In the afternoon a crowded Levée was held and in the evening a state banquet[Pg 149] given to which the Governor invited all the chief personages in the City and Presidency. A brief reception followed and then His Royal Highness drove out to the Duke's country residence where he spent the following day in seclusion as being the anniversary of his father's death.

The events of the succeeding day included fashionable and interesting races at Guindy Park which all the Madras world attended under the patronage of the Prince; and in the afternoon a Royal reception of the Chancellor and officers and Fellows of the University; of the Grand Officers of the local Freemasonry; of Commissions or deputations from Mysore and Coorg and Coimbatore. Each of the latter bore gifts and all presented addresses. Formal calls were made upon the principal Chiefs and a memorial foundation stone of the new Harbour works laid. The latter was an impressive scene and on his way home the Prince, despite pouring rain, visited the historic Fort of St. George with its many reminders of past struggle and conquest. Another state banquet and reception followed.

On the following day the Prince enjoyed a spectacle of Indian jugglery and saw feats performed which in a western land would be deemed miraculous. December the 17th saw His Royal Highness lunching at the Madras Club where he tested Indian curries in their highest state of development and in the afternoon he was welcomed at the Park by thousands of children. A little later he reviewed a body of troops accompanied by the Commander-in-Chief, Sir Paul Haines. With the latter he dined in the evening and at ten o'clock drove to the Pier to see the great event of the visit. This was an illumination of the sea. Mr. W. H. Russell in his Diary says: "Man will never see any spectacle more strange—nay awful. Neither pen nor pencil can give any idea of it. It was exciting, grand, wierd and beautiful." Fireworks from the ships looked like volcanoes bursting from the deep, while multiplied[Pg 150] fireboats had an effect upon the stony ink-blackness of the surf, like rolling flames pouring in upon the shores. At midnight the Prince passed from this scene to a special Native entertainment in his honour. The great railway station had been converted into a decorated theatre crowded with many thousand natives. Upon the elevated platform the Prince received an address and an exquisite gold casket and then watched a programme of eastern dancing. At six in the morning the Prince was up and away to attend a meet of the Madras pack and enjoy a few hours' sport—and in the afternoon the Serapis was again his home and Madras was left behind.

After a pleasant voyage up the Bay of Bengal the Prince of Wales arrived at Fort William, passed through a great fleet of vessels and prepared to enter Calcutta, the capital of the great Eastern Empire. Meantime, many eminent Indian officials and unofficial personages called to pay their respects and finally, the Earl of Northbrook, Viceroy and Governor-General. Amidst the thunder of artillery from fleet and forts His Royal Highness then landed and was welcomed by a great multitude of people, luxuriously seated in tiers of seats ranged beside two pavilions draped in scarlet, the canopies of which were upheld by gold pillars wreathed with flowers. Beyond was a massive arch of triumph and the platform and landing stage was carpeted with red cloth. In the surrounding crowd was the whole central machinery of government amongst three hundred millions of people and Rajahs, Chiefs and authorities innumerable. The procession through the "City of Palaces" was marked by the same splendour, the same crowds, the same curious contrasts as had impressed the observer at Bombay. But the absence of the night effect and its wierd illumination and the presence of certain indefinable elements made it more dignified; while the greater number of English people gave a certain leaven of western enthusiasm which had been wanting elsewhere. In the evening a magnificent banquet was given[Pg 151] by the Viceroy and the city was a blaze of light and the scene of general festivity.

The day before Christmas saw a state reception more remarkable than any yet held. The first native prince to be received was the Maharajah of Puttiala—a melancholy-faced man who died soon afterwards. Then followed the Maharajah Holkar of Indore who was said to have £5,000,000 in gold stored away; the Maharajah of Jodhpore, who wore an indescribable glittering mass of gems; the Maharajahs of Jeypore, Cashmere, Gwalior; the Sultana Jehan, Begum of Bhopal, of whom little more than a shawl and a silk hood could be seen; and the Maharajah of Rewah, a dignified personage who was said by some writers to be suffering from leprosy. A Levée was then held and the Prince, for two hours, with the Duke of Sutherland on one side of him and Lieutenant-Governor Sir Richard Temple on the other, stood in full uniform bowing to a steady stream of people. Another state banquet in the evening, and then attendance at an entertainment some miles out of town gotten up by Native gentlemen, brought this Christmas Eve to a close. On the following day the Prince attended service at the Cathedral accompanied by Lord Northbrook and listened to a powerful sermon from Bishop Milman—who died of a fever caught on his Episcopal tour a few weeks later. He then drove to the harbour and went on board the Serapis, which was decked out in imitation of winter, and here had a sort of Christmas dinner. The rest of the day was spent at Barrackpoor, the Viceroy's country residence, but better known as the place where the terrible first signs of the Mutiny were detected. After church on the 26th (Sunday) the Prince made an excursion to the little French territory of Chandernagore—one of the remnants of historic empire.

On the following day His Royal Highness held another reception for Chiefs attended by envoys from the King of Burmah, the Maharajah of Punnah in person, an embassy from[Pg 152] Nepaul, the noble-looking Rajah of Jheend, the Maharajahs of Benares, Nahun, and Johore. This was the last of the Chiefs, for the moment, and the Prince and his wearied suite could rest from a succession of sights and ceremonies in which dark-featured magnates with diamonds, emeralds, rubies and pearls and an infinite variety of Sirdar escorts, must have come to be a mere picturesque and confused medley. Many splendid presents were received and on the two following days return visits were paid in state. On December 21st the Prince witnessed a tent-pegging exhibition by the 10th Bengal Cavalry, made a round of the hospitals and asylums, and wound up with a garden party at Belvidere and a dinner and grand ball at Government House.

On New Year's Day the Prince of Wales held a Chapter of the Order of the Star of India in place of the Durbar which could only be held by the direct representative of the Sovereign. Opposite the entrance to Government House a canopied dais was erected, carpeted with cloth of gold, covered with light-blue satin and supported upon silver pillars. Two chairs with silver arms were placed upon the dais and around it were the marines and sailors of the Serapis while on the left were infantry of the line. At nine o'clock came the processions, each presaged by a flourish of trumpets. First came the Companions of the Order, Native and European, presenting a stream of picturesque uniforms and costumes. Then the Knights Grand Cross entered the Pavilion followed in the case of each Indian dignitary by a small procession of Sirdars in rich and varied dress—the Begum of Bhopal, Sir Salar Jung, the Maharajah of Puttiala, Lord Napier of Magdala, the Maharajah of Travancore, Sir Bartle Frere, the Maharajahs of Rewah, Jeypoor, Indore, Cashmere, and Gwalior. Then came the Prince of Wales wearing a white helmet and plume, and a Field Marshal's uniform almost concealed by his sky-blue mantle. Following him was the Viceroy and the two[Pg 153] took the chairs placed on the dais. His Excellency, as Grand Master of the Order, then went through the ceremonial of opening the Chapter and then, from out the tented field of, literally, cloth of gold which surrounded the Royal pavilion, came one by one the Knights to be. Each in turn left his tent with stately accompaniments, approached, bowed and knelt at the footstool of His Royal Highness who spoke certain prescribed words and placed the Collar of the Order around his neck. As he rose the number of guns to which he was entitled thundered forth their salute. The Maharajahs of Jodhpoor and Jheend were thus invested with the Grand Cross and a number of others were made Knights Commander or Companions of the Order. The proceedings closed with a procession to Government House which lacked no element of Oriental splendour and displayed untold wealth in jewels and unique characteristics in costume.

In the afternoon the Prince unveiled an equestrian statue of the late Lord Mayo and afterwards attended a polo match. In the evening he drove to see the illumination of the fleet and then attended in state a theatrical performance with Charles Matthews as the central figure. On January 2nd, church was attended at Fort William and the arsenal inspected; the Botanical Gardens and Bishop's College visited; and an amateur concert of sacred music listened to at Government House in the evening. The next day's programme included the spectacle of tent-pegging and polo-playing between rival regiments; the reception of an LL. D. degree from the University of Calcutta; a visit to a Hindoo Zenana under arrangements made by Miss Baring, Lady Temple and others; and a farewell reception at Government House.

The Royal special train arrived at Bankipoor station, near Patna, on the morning of January 4th and the Prince was duly welcomed by Sir Richard Temple, Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, his officers and a great concourse of people. He was[Pg 154] driven through an avenue of four hundred elephants, all gaily caparisoned, to the Durbar tent, where, under a canopy and in front of a sort of throne, His Royal Highness held a Levée and marked in every way possible his approval of the splendid work lately done by Sir R. Temple and his officials in stamping out famine. Luncheon followed, and then the train was taken for Benares. Here he arrived at dark and found the magnificent ghauts or terraces alive with lights. The procession drove over the bridge of boats across the Ganges and through crowded streets out to the camp of the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir John Strachey, where a special and beautiful structure had been prepared for the Prince. On the following day an address was presented by the Municipality of Benares and answered, a Levée held, the foundation-stone of a Hospital laid, the Rajah of Vizianagram visited, the famous Temples inspected. At sunset the Prince embarked in a galley and went four miles up the Ganges to the old Fort of Ramnagar, where he was received at a carpeted and decorated landing-place by the Maharajah of Benares and witnessed a beautiful spectacle of illuminated river and battlements. Preceded by spearsmen and banners, carried in gold and silver chairs, passing between lines of cavalry, accompanied by elephants and the constant strains of wild music, the host and his Royal guest then went to the Castle. From the roof was seen another charming sight—the Ganges and its banks and terraces so lit up as to look like a myriad of tiny stars passing between banks of flaming gold. More presents were received and the drive back to the camp commenced.


Next day, the journey was resumed to Lucknow, on the Oudh and Rohilcund Railway. At that much-modernized city the Prince of Wales arrived on January 6th and stayed at what was once Outram's head-quarters. Here, next morning,[Pg 155] he held two Levées—a Native and a European one—and then drove to see the historic spots of the famous city. In the afternoon he laid the foundation-stone of a Memorial to the Natives who fell in defence of the Residency and the Empire during the Mutiny. Lord Northbrook had succeeded in getting together many of the survivors from all over India and they stood around His Royal Highness in their old war-worn uniforms. A touching scene followed the Prince's impromptu intimation that these veterans might be presented to him, and to each he said a word of kindness. In the afternoon a Native entertainment was given in his honour at the ancient Palace of the Kings of Oudh and a crown set in jewels was presented with the formal address. A reception, banquet, and fireworks, followed, and on the next day the Prince enjoyed a little hard riding and "pig-sticking" sport, during which Lord Carington had his collar-bone broken.

Sunday was spent quietly in visiting various interesting places, after church, and on the succeeding day the Prince presented colours to a Native regiment and watched a march-past of troops. In the afternoon Cawnpore was visited, and then the train taken for Delhi, which was reached on the morning of January 11th. The entry into the Imperial City was surrounded with all possible pomp and circumstance. Lines of soldiery kept the streets from the station to the Royal camp, where rows of tents, avenues of shrubs and flowers, marquees and beautiful enclosures, formed a temporary home for the visitor and his suite. The first function was the reception of an address from the Municipality of a city which for one thousand years had been the seat of dynasties and native rule. A Levée followed and then dinner with Lord Napier of Magdala in his own mess-tent. On the following day a grand review was held and for an hour and a half a stream of horse, foot and guns flowed past. Then came a great banquet given by the Prince to the generals and officers[Pg 156] and a ball at Selinghur in those "marble halls of dazzling light" which have been so often described. During the next few days a great sham fight was held; a visit paid to the Kootab, where the Prince mounted the summit of the famous pillar and viewed the wide-spread scene of ruin; the beautiful Mausoleum of Houmayoun was seen; and the illumination of the ancient city witnessed.


On January 17th the beautiful city of tents disappeared and the Prince of Wales was on his way to Lahore. There, he was received with the usual state and drove four miles to Government House under the shade of a golden umbrella and in the gaze of a vast multitude of people. A remarkable spectacle was presented on the way by the encampment of the Rajahs of the Punjaub. In front of them stood a long line of elephants, caparisoned in gold and silver and gems, with armed retainers and a salute for the Royal visitor, which included all that the roll of drums, blare of trumpets and clang and roar of many strange instruments could produce. Amidst the elephants flashed lance and sword and cuirass and other things reminiscent of the days of western chivalry. At Government House an address was presented by the members of the City Council, wearing turbans of gold tissue, brocaded robes and coils of gems around their necks. A European Levée followed and then came the Native Chiefs. Afterwards the Prince visited the citadel and watched the sun set over the plains from a window once used by the Lion of Lahore in his days of power.

The next day saw a return visit to the Chiefs in their picturesque, costly and oriental encampments; the opening of a Soldiers' Industrial Exhibition at Mean Meer; and a beautiful illumination of the exquisite Shalimar Gardens in the evening. On January 20th the Prince left for Jummoo to[Pg 157] visit the Maharajah of Cashmere. Later in the day he was welcomed by this ruler, some seven miles from his capital and, mounted on an elephant preceeded and followed by a stately cortege, the Royal visitor passed through two miles of winding streets, brilliantly lighted and lined by Native troops, while piled-up masses of people showed many types of the Cashmeres, Lamas, Sikhs, Afghans, etc. On the summit of a great ridge was a specially constructed building created at enormous cost for the visitor's accommodation. The usual reception followed together with a great banquet. Sport was the occupation of the next day and in the evening a procession took place through the illuminated city to dine at the Palace with the Maharajah. A feature of the latter's entertainment was an extraordinary sacred dancing drama by Lamas from Thibet. The departure on the following morning occurred amid all the state that Cashmere could present—and that was not little. At Wazirabad, on the way back to Lahore, a brief visit was paid, a great bridge inaugurated and a banquet accepted. Government House was reached in the evening and, with Lieutenant-Governor Sir H. Davies, His Royal Highness then attended a Native entertainment at the College and witnessed fireworks lighting up all the forts and battlements and a sea of heads in the distant darkness.

After a quiet Sunday at Lahore, the departure was made for Agra. On the way Umritzur was visited and the route to the Fort was lined and arched with artificial cypress-trees, gilded branches and garlands. An address was presented from the Municipality in which Sikh, Mohammedan and Hindoo united in expressions of fervent loyalty. Here the Golden Temple was visited. At Rajpoorah a stop was made to accept a banquet from the Maharajah of Puttiala in a beautiful palace of canvas. Early on January 25th Agra was reached and the usual Oriental reception and procession followed. At the camp on the following day a Levée was held and a large[Pg 158] number of Native Chiefs presented. In the afternoon the troops of the latter passed in review before the Prince—a mixture of thousands of men and elephants, camels, horses and bullocks, and knights in armour.

The principal event of the ensuing day was a visit to the famous and exquisite Taj Mahul—"too pure, too holy, to be the work of human hands." During the next few days some time was spent in shooting with the Maharajah of Bhurtpore; a grand ball was given at the Fort; a long interview granted Sir Dinkur Rao, the Native statesman; local convents and schools visited; the tomb of Akbar the Great—described as the grandest in the world—seen at Sekundra; a visit paid to the loyal Maharajah of Gwalior at Dholepoor. The next point visited was the famous old fortress of Bhurtpore and then the beautiful city of Jeypoor. Here the Prince went tiger shooting with the Rajpoot Chiefs and shot his tiger and, in the evening of February 5th, saw illuminations in which every Indian device appeared to have been exhausted. From the hospitalities of the Maharajah the Prince, however, soon turned away with his face towards the Himalayas and his heart in the prospective period of sport and liberty. The land of Kumaoun was the scene and with him was a camp which included twenty-five hundred persons without counting a perambulating army of provision carriers. Bears, elephants, tigers, wild boars and varied birds and game were amongst the trophies of his gun during a period of splendid sport which lasted until March 6th.

On that day the Prince resumed his tour and his Royal state and proceeded to Allahabad where he was met by Lord Northbrood and held a reception and an investiture of the Star of India at which Major-General Sir Samuel Browne, V.C., Major-General Sir D. M. Probyn and Surgeon-General Sir J. Fayrer received the ensignias of knighthood. The route was then continued to Indore and, on the way, the Prince[Pg 159] stopped long enough at Jubalpoor to see seven Thugs who had been in jail for thirty-five years for having committed an immense number of murders—one of them boasted sixty-five. At Indore, His Royal Highness was received by the Maharajah Holkar with due state and went through the usual programme of reception, visits and banquets—important in this case as being the last. Bombay was reached on March 11th and two days later all farewells were made and the future Emperor of India had left the shores of that mysterious, tragic and historical land, after having travelled in seventeen weeks seven thousand six hundred miles by land and two thousand three hundred miles by sea; met more Chiefs and notabilities than all the Indian Viceroys of the past put together; and seen more of the country and its surface life and varied customs than any living man.


Before leaving the Prince addressed a letter to the Viceroy expressing appreciation of the reception given to him and of the loyalty shown by the people. On the way home news came that Lord Lytton, the first representative of the Queen as Empress of India, was on the way out. As a personal friend of the Prince of Wales it was fitting that they should meet at Suez, where the new Viceroy came on board. At Cairo, the Prince was welcomed by the Khedive and his suite and a new round of gaiety commenced, including visits to the Pyramids and a little quiet shooting. At Alexandria, on April 2nd the Prince entertained the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia at dinner on the Serapis. The next point touched was Malta, where the thunder of the saluting fleet and fortress made the heavens ring. Here, seven addresses were presented and much enthusiasm shown by the populace. A great banquet was given by Sir W. and Lady Straubenzee and on[Pg 160] April 7th new colours were presented by His Royal Highness to the 98th Regiment. Other functions followed. On April 15th the Prince was joined by his brother, the Duke of Connaught. The Island was en fête, and one of the events of the visit was the reception of a deputation from the Sultan of Morrocco. The festive proceedings of the time were wound up with a great ball.


The Prince of Wales landed incognito at Cadiz on April 20th and then proceeded, with the Duke of Connaught quietly to visit Seville and Cordova. At Madrid, which was reached on April 25th, the Royal party were formally welcomed by King Alfonso XII. and attended a state reception at the Palace. A military review was held by the King, and then a train was taken for the Palace of the Escurial, where King Alfonso acted as guide for his Royal guests amidst the bewildering artistic and other treasures of that immense and historic pile. Various functions of stately dignity followed the return of the Prince to Madrid, and the departure of the Duke for London, and the incidents of the period included attendance at a sitting of the Spanish Cortes, and the spectacle of a bull-fight. On April 30th His Royal Highness departed for Lisbon, where, on the following day, he was formally welcomed by King Louis of Portugal, his Court, the Foreign Ministers and the British Admirals of the fleet in the Tagus. There were no flags, or arches, or decorations, or tokens of welcome in the streets of Lisbon, but there was a vast mass of silent and respectful people. Many functions followed during the next few days and on May 7th the Serapis started once more for England. Four days later the ship was met by a yacht bearing the Princess of Wales and the Royal children and, in a few hours, the Heir Apparent was again at home from his famous journey and receiving a welcome at Portsmouth which was a fitting prelude to similar greetings in London and elsewhere.

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Such a tremendous experience as this tour had proved could not but have a pronounced and important effect. The burden of a continuous succession of events in which he was the central figure; the strain of a steady succession of brilliant spectacles presenting a kaleidoscopic variety of sight and sound and splendour and incident; the weight of a constant burden of ceremonial and state observances in a land where the slightest carelessness, or indifference, or cordiality—at the wrong moment—meant mortal offense to some important dignitary, caste, or interest; the physical trial of innumerable functions to a man clad in European costumes in a tropical climate; the infinite variety of his duties, the peculiar character of the hours maintained, the lack of sleep and the continuous round of banquets; must have tried the mind and heart and body about equally. In the end the experience must have broadened the conceptions and ideas of the Prince; educated him in a better perception of his immense responsibilities; trained him in an iron school of etiquette and helped to teach him that inflexible routine of duty which must ever face a British Sovereign.

To the people of India the tour brought home a clearer perception of the personal power presiding over their destinies and a vivid picture of the greatness of the authority before which all their greatest dignitaries with the traditions of many thousand years, bowed in loyal obeisance. To the imaginative Indian mind nothing more effective could have been presented than the scenes of that brilliant and triumphal passage through the stamping ground of ancient conquerors. To the people of Great Britain it brought home a more realizable sense of the vastness of their dominions and the equivalent greatness of their national duty and responsibility. It helped to lay the foundation of that Imperial future of which Disraeli then dreamed and for which others have since laboured with a measure of success shown in the events preceding and following the accession of Edward VII., King and Emperor.

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Thirty Years of Public Work

During the years between 1872 and the end of the century the Prince of Wales filled a place in public affairs not unlike that of the Prince Consort in the later and ripest period of his useful life. He grew steadily in the faculties which make for wisdom in council and action while retaining and developing the qualities which make for popularity and, in a Prince, may embody the characteristics and feelings of his nation. In those thirty years he saw much and travelled far; met many men of varied qualities and attainments and character; learned much by personal experience and observation and much from other people's experience; tested almost the pinnacle of earthly splendour in his Indian tour and learned in private something of the suffering which comes to all individuals whether great or little. He created the position of Heir Apparent as now understood; gave it a significance and value never before attained to; and filled it with a tact and ability which no detraction or misrepresentation could practically affect, and which in time made him the admittedly most all-round popular man in the United Kingdom.

Before his illness the Prince had carried out a good many public engagements and helped a great number of useful objects. After that event and the outpouring of popular sentiment which found vent in the National Thanksgiving he became still more devoted to his round of public duties. On July 5th 1872, His Royal Highness visited the new Grammar[Pg 163] School at Norwich and inspected the Norfolk Artillery Militia of which he was Honorary Colonel. At a banquet given by the Mayor he referred to his late illness, in expressing thanks for local sympathy, and added: "It is difficult now for me to speak upon that subject but as it has pleased Almighty God to preserve me to my country I hope I may not be ungrateful for the feeling which has been shown towards me and that I may do all that I can to be of use to my countrymen." On July 25th, he reviewed four thousand boys of the Training ships and Pauper Schools of the Metropolitan Unions at South Kensington, and distributed prizes. The Prince was accompanied by the Princess of Wales and his sons. A little later, on August 11th, the Breakwater at Portland was inaugurated, the Royal yacht being accompanied from Osborne by a splendid fleet of fifteen ironclads. At the conclusion of the ceremony the Prince visited Weymouth, which was gaily decorated, and where he accepted a public banquet.


The next important English function of His Royal Highness was a state visit to Derby on December 17th. The announcement that the Prince and Princess were coming to Chatsworth to stay with the Duke of Devonshire and would also visit Derby created much interest and on the appointed day brought great crowds from Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Nottingham and Chesterfield to swell the population of the city. After driving through the decorated streets and cheering crowds various loyal addresses were received and prizes presented at the City Grammar School. On the evening of March 27th, 1873, the Prince presided at the annual dinner of the Railways' Benevolent Institution. In a somewhat lengthy little speech he explained its purposes and asked for aid in their attainment. The result was a subscription of five thousand guineas to which he himself contributed two hundred guineas.

[Pg 164]

A duty which was congenial in one sense and sad in another was the unveiling of a statue of the late Prince Consort at the entrance of the Holborn Viaduct in London on January 9th, 1874. A luncheon followed in the Guild Hall attended by some eight hundred guests and at which the Prince made a short speech. A few weeks later the Prince and Princess of Wales were at St. Petersburg to attend the marriage of the Duke of Edinburgh with the Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia on January 23rd. The marriage ceremony was performed in much state with the successive rites of the Greek and English Churches—Dean Stanley presiding over the latter. Four future Sovereigns were present on the occasion, the Prince of Wales, the Crown Prince of Prussia, the Czarewitch of Russia and the Crown Prince of Denmark. During this visit the Prince and Princess were treated with great distinction by the Czar and a grand military review was held in honour of His Royal Highness. The anniversary festival of the British Orphan Asylum was attended on March 25th, in London, and a speech was made by His Royal Highness explanatory of the useful objects of the institution. The subscriptions announced during the evening amounted to £2400. An important incident of the year was the visit of the Shah of Persia to England and the splendid entertainments given in honour of an Oriental Sovereign whose friendliness was of serious import in the event of trouble between Great Britain and Russia. The Prince of Wales devoted considerable time to the task of welcoming and entertaining the Royal visitor and gave one great banquet, in particular, at Marlborough House which was remarkable for its effective magnificence.

A dinner was given on March 31st by the Lord Mayor of London to Major-General Sir Garnet Wolseley—afterward Field Marshal, Viscount Wolseley—on his return from the successful Ashantee expedition and the Prince of Wales made[Pg 165] a tactful speech on the occasion expressive of the thanks of the nation for the services of officers and men in that arduous campaign. On April 22nd the Prince presided over a dinner in aid of the funds of the Royal Medical Benevolent Hospital. The leading men of the profession were present and, after a speech from the Prince, donations of £1780 were announced by the Secretary with the usual one hundred guinea subscription from the Royal chairman. A different kind of function was His Royal Highness' attendance at a dinner of the Benchers of the Middle Temple on June 11th. The Master of the Temple, the Rev. Dr. Vaughan, presided and others present were the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord Chief Justice. The Prince, as a Bencher, wore the silk gown of a Queen's Counsel as well as the riband of the Garter and made a brief speech in which he expressed the modest opinion that it was a good thing for the profession at large that he had never been called to the Bar. On August 13th the new Municipal Buildings and Law Courts at Plymouth were opened by the Prince after a formal reception at the hands of the Mayor and a procession through the artistically decorated and densely packed streets of the city.


An interesting event of this year and one which created considerable discussion and comment was the first state visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales to Birmingham. For half a century that city had been a centre of Radicalism, of extreme democratic opinion and, in earlier days, of Chartist turbulence. The Mayor, in 1874, was Mr. Joseph Chamberlain who was then noted for democratic views which were supposed in many quarters to extend to the full measure of republicanism. Doubt was even expressed as to whether the Royal reception would be as cordial as might be desired or the Mayor as courteous, in the sense of loyal phraseology, as was[Pg 166] customary. The visit took place on November 3rd and a most cordial welcome was given by all classes of the people. Mr. Chamberlain presented an address in the Town Hall and at a subsequent luncheon spoke of the Queen as "having established claims to the admiration of her people by the loyal fulfillment of responsible duties." In reference to this and other speeches which he made as chairman the London Times of the succeeding day declared that "whatever Mr. Chamberlain's views may be his speeches of yesterday appear to us to have been admirably worthy of the occasion and to have done the highest credit to himself." They were described as being couched in a line of "courteous homage, manly independence and gentlemanly feeling."

The annual dinner of the Royal Cambridge Asylum was presided over by His Royal Highness on March 13th, 1875; the Merchant Taylors' School in the Charterhouse was visited on April 6th; the German Hospital annual banquet was presided over ten days later and donations of £5000 to its funds announced during the evening—including one hundred guineas from the Prince; the installation of the Heir Apparent as Grand Master of the English Freemasons took place on April 28th. On June 5th he presided at the yearly banquet of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution for providing pensions or annuities for persons ruined by agricultural depression. The Earl of Hardwicke in proposing the Royal chairman's health said that "the position of the Prince of Wales is not one of the easiest. He has no definite duties, but the duty he has laid down for himself is of a very definite nature. It is to benefit, to the best of his power, all his fellow-creatures." In the course of his speeches the Prince made an earnest appeal for aid to the purposes of the institution with the result that £8000 was announced as the total donation of the evening—including the usual one hundred guineas from the chairman.

The next important event in his public life was the visit of[Pg 167] the Prince to India in 1875-6. On his return the Royal traveller received many demonstrations of popular esteem and the City of London entertained him at a great banquet and ball and an address of welcome, in a golden casket of Indian design, was presented. During the remainder of the year the Prince took a much-needed rest and interested himself largely in matters local to his own county of Norfolk. He took in hand the necessity existing at Norwich for a new Hospital and a large sum of money was soon subscribed for this purpose. Later in the year he visited Glasgow and laid the foundation of a new Post Office in that city. In the spring of 1877 what may be termed the moral courage of the Prince was put to a test in his invitation to preside at the annual banquet of the Licensed Victuallers' Asylum. There were many protests made and at least two hundred petitions presented urging His Royal Highness not to patronize or help the liquor interest. He decided, however, that the charity was a useful one and the widows and orphans of licensed victuallers as deserving of succour as those of other classes in the community, and that he could quite well afford to patronize an institution in succession to his own father, the late Prince Consort. Earl Granville was present, three Bishops and many members of the Houses of Lords and Commons and the proceeds of the occasion were over £5000. In one of his speeches the Royal chairman referred to the petitions received from Temperance Societies and remarked: "I think this time they rather overstep the mark because the object of the meeting to-night is not to encourage the love of drink but to support a good and excellent charity."

Early in 1878 the Prince unveiled at Cambridge (on January 22nd) a statue of his late father, who for years had been Chancellor of the University. On June 28th, together with the Princess of Wales, he visited the Infant Orphan Asylum at Wanstead and presided at the luncheon which followed and[Pg 168] at which were Her Royal Highness, the Duke and Duchess of Manchester, the Bishop of St. Albans and Mrs. Claughton, and a large gathering. In his speech the Royal chairman reviewed the history of the institution and afterwards gave one hundred guineas to its funds. As a result of his interest in naval matters the Prince had already placed his sons on the training ship Britannia and, on July 24th of this year, he and the Princess consented to distribute the annual prizes and medals. An address was presented from the City of Dartmouth, on board the Royal yacht Osborne, which had been accompanied into the estuary of the River Dart by a large number of war-ships, yachts, steam-launches and boats. Flags were flying everywhere on sea and shore and in the evening the illuminations were striking. At the Britannia the Royal visitors were received by Mr. W. H. Smith M.P. First Lord of the Admiralty and a distinguished gathering amongst whom were Lord and Lady Charles Beresford and Sir Samuel and Lady Baker. In his speech the Prince referred to the personal expression of confidence in the institution by the Princess and himself in sending their two sons to be trained there and expressed the hope that the latter might do credit to the ship and to their country. A visit to Dartmouth followed and then Prince Edward and Prince George were taken home for their holidays.


During this year the Heir Apparent had the misfortune to lose his much-loved sister the Princess Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse, to whose careful nursing he had owed so much in his own serious illness and the sad features of whose death—as a result of nursing her children through an attack of malignant diphtheria—had proved such a shock to the British public. The Prince and Princess spent some months in retirement after this occurrence and had also to mourn the death of the gallant young Prince Imperial of France, in whose career [Pg 169]they had taken a deep personal interest—not only on account of his loveable qualities, but because of the long friendship between the Royal house of England and the widowed Empress Eugenie, to whose lonely hopes and pride the loss was so terrible. The Prince of Wales helped the stricken lady in the details of the funeral, acted as the principal pall-bearer and showed his sympathy in many ways, of which the wreath of violets sent from Marlborough, with the following inscription, was an incident: "A token of affection and regard for him who lived the most spotless of lives and died a soldier's death fighting for our cause in Zululand. From Albert Edward and Alexandra, July 12, 1879." His Royal Highness strongly supported the proposal to erect a Memorial in Westminster Abbey, but even his great influence could not overcome the international prejudices which the suggestion aroused and he had to wait till January, 1883, when the "United Service Memorial" was erected at Woolwich, and, accompanied by his two sons and the Dukes of Edinburgh and Cambridge, he was able to unveil the statue and fittingly eulogize the Royal French youth who had fought and died for the country which had been so kind to his parents.

The Queen Consort of Edward VII
This is one of the most interesting thoroughfares of London. On all great state occasions it is beautifully and lavishly decorated. In the distance is seen the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral, where a great memorial service was held, attended by the Corporation of London, great numbers of officials and great throngs of mourning people.

On May 5th, 1879, the Prince of Wales presided at the annual banquet of the Cabdrivers' Benevolent Association. On May 23, 1880, he presided at a dinner in aid of the funds of the Princess Helena College and the result of his patronage and the careful speech delivered was a total donation of £2000, to which he contributed his customary one hundred guineas. On June 17th of the same year he visited the new Breakwater and Harbour at Holyhead and, during the visit, there were loyal demonstrations on sea and land and a banquet attended by gentlemen representing most of the leading English and Irish railway companies. During the same month the King of Greece visited England and the Prince had an opportunity of returning some of the many hospitalities which he had received[Pg 170] from His Majesty and of presenting him to the Corporation of London at a great banquet of welcome. As Duke of Cornwall he also laid the first stone of Truro Cathedral in this month. Writing of this and other functions on June 18th the Times declared that the representative duties of British royalty were heavier than the private functions of the hardest-worked Englishman. "In these scenes and a hundred like them a Prince's function cannot be discharged satisfactorily unless he be at once an impersonation of Royal state and, what is harder still, his own individual self. He must act his public character as if he enjoyed the festival as much as any of the spectators. He must be able to stamp a national impress upon the solemnity yet mark its local and particular significance."


New colours were presented to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers by the Prince as they were embarking from Portsmouth for India, on August 16th. On May 24th, 1881, he presided at the festival dinner of the Royal Hospital for Women and Children in London, contributed one hundred guineas to its funds and was able to announce donations totalling £2000. At King's College, London, on July 2nd, His Royal Highness, accompanied by the Princess, distributed the annual prizes and pointed out the history and merits of the institution. On July 18th the Prince, accompanied by the Princess of Wales, laid the foundation of a City and Guilds of London Institute, established for the technical training of artisans, and delivered a speech of considerable range and length. He also accepted the Presidency of the Institute. The seventh annual meeting of the International Medical Congress was formally opened by the Prince, accompanied by the Crown Prince Frederick of Prussia, on August 3rd. He was received by a Committee composed of distinguished medical men such as Sir W. Jenner, Sir William Gull, Sir James Paget and Sir J. R.[Pg 171] Bennett and, during the ceremony, spoke upon the progress made in late years by medical science.

The death of Dean Stanley on July 18th of this year was felt as a personal and severe loss by both the Prince and Princess. The former had no warmer or wiser friend; the latter no greater admirer in the highest sense of the word. It was fitting, therefore, that His Royal Highness should take the lead in raising a suitable Memorial to the distinguished Churchman and he attended and spoke earnestly at a meeting called in the Chapter-house of Westminster Abbey, for that purpose, on December 13th. Dean Bradley presided and there were also present Archbishop Tait of Canterbury, the Marquess of Salisbury, Earl Granville, the Duke of Westminster, the Marquess of Lorne, Mr. J. Russell Lowell, the American Minister, Lord Chief Justice Coleridge and others. In his speech the Prince spoke of his intimate friendship with Dean Stanley over a period of twenty-two years, of their association in the East and of the great charm of his companionship. "As the Churchman, as the scholar, as the man of letters, as the philanthropist and, above all, as the true friend, his name must always go down to posterity as a great and good man and as one who will make his mark on a chapter of his country's history."

During the next few years the public events of the Prince's career continued along very much the same lines, varied by some rapid trip to the continent, or visit to the country home of some noble friend, or a shooting excursion to some place where game was plentiful and companions congenial. The central events, aside from his promotion of the Fisheries and other Exhibitions, were the visit to Ireland in 1885, the support given to an Empire policy by his patronage of the Imperial Institute and similar concerns, his active connection with the Masonic Order and his conduct of the Jubilee of 1887. The International Fisheries Exhibition grew out of a comparatively[Pg 172] small affair at Norwich in which the Prince of Wales had taken an active interest. In July 1881, as a result of his initiative, a meeting was held in London, a committee was formed and the preliminary work done. In February 1882 a second meeting occurred and further organization was effected with the Queen as Patron, His Royal Highness as President and the Duke of Richmond as Chairman of the General Committee. The Exhibition was finally opened on May 13, 1883, by the Prince of Wales, who had around him most of the members of the Royal family, the Foreign Ambassadors, Her Majesty's Ministers and other distinguished persons, His address defined the reasons for the enterprise in a sentence: "In view of the rapid increase of the population in all civilized countries, and especially in these sea girt kingdoms, a profound interest attaches to every industry which affects the supply of food; and in this respect the harvest of the sea is hardly less important than that of the land." In results he thought the Exhibition should enable practical fishermen to acquaint themselves with the latest improvements in both their working craft and life-saving systems. It was a great success. The total visitors numbered 2,703,051 and there was a financial surplus of £15,243. Of this, two-thirds was put aside to assist the families of fishermen who had lost their lives at sea, and £3000 was used to organize a Fisheries Society in order to keep up the interest in the subject and encourage the study of ways and means to help the fishermen.


In replying to an address from the Executive Committee at the closing of the Exhibition, on October 31st, the Prince had suggested that other Exhibitions might very well be held dealing with the three great subjects of Health, Inventions and the Colonies. The first subject dealt with was that of Health. Owing to the death of his brother, the Duke of[Pg 173] Albany, on March 28th, 1884, the Prince could not do much more than initiate the project but it was carried on by the Duke of Buckingham as Chairman of the Committee. Its active progress was marked by the inauguration of the work of the International Juries by the Prince of Wales on June 17th. Like the Fisheries and the "Colinderies" which followed it in 1886, the "Healtheries" proved ultimately a great success. Meanwhile, minor incidents were occurring. On March 1st, 1882, as Colonel of the Corps, the Prince presided over the 21st anniversary dinner of the Civil Service Volunteers and spoke at some length upon the importance of the Volunteer force. Others present on the occasion were the Dukes of Manchester and Portland, Viscount Bury, Lord Elcho and Colonel Lloyd-Lindsay. On March 10th, 1883, the Duke of Cambridge, Commander-in-Chief, called a meeting in London to consider what could be done with the neglected British graves in the Crimea and the Prince of Wales, who had felt the matter keenly during his visit of years before, moved a Resolution declaring that immediate steps should be taken in the matter. He spoke with earnestness, contributed £50 toward the project and was supported by General Sir W. Codrington, Admiral Sir H. Keppel, General Sir L. A. Simmons and Lord Wolseley.

The new City School of London, on the Thames Embankment, was opened by His Royal Highness on December 12th, 1882, accompanied by the Princess of Wales. On May 21st 1883 crowded memories of his Indian tour were revived by the opening of the Northbrook Club for the use of Native gentlemen from the East Indies. In his speech the Prince referred with gratitude to his "magnificent reception" in India and expressed his strong approval of the establishment of a place where natives of that Empire could meet together for purposes of relaxation and intercourse. The City of London College, intended chiefly for young men who could only attend evening[Pg 174] classes, was inaugurated on July 8th of this year. The Princess was also present. In the House of Lords on February 22nd, 1884, the Prince made one of his very few speeches in that Chamber—although a frequent attendant at its sessions. It was in connection with a motion presented by Lord Salisbury for the appointment of a Royal Commission to inquire into the housing of the working classes. His Royal Highness declared that a searching inquiry was very necessary, expressed his pleasure at having been named a member of the Commission, referred to his own experiments at Sandringham, and expressed the hope that measures of a drastic and thorough kind would result. Three days later, accompanied by the Princess, their three daughters, and Her Royal Highness the Marchioness of Lorne, the Prince of Wales visited the Guards' Industrial Home at Chelsea Barracks and distributed the annual prizes.

On March 15th, not for the first time, he presided at the annual meeting of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and spoke strongly of its valuable and important work. Other speakers were the Dukes of Argyll and Northumberland, Admiral Keppel and Lord C. Beresford. The Guilds of London Institute was opened on June 25th and the speech made by the Prince was more elaborate than usual. He was well supported by Lord Carlingford and Mr. A. J. Mundella, M.P. An important and interesting incident of this year was the action of the Prince of Wales in presiding over a densely-crowded meeting in the Guild Hall, London, called to celebrate the Jubilee of the abolition of slavery in British countries and to consider the past and present work of the Anti-Slavery Society. On the platform were many distinguished men in every sphere of the national life and the speech of His Royal Highness was probably the longest he had ever delivered. It was a succinct history of the abolition of slavery in various countries and colonies and contained many expressions of[Pg 175] warm approval toward those who had worked to that end—the extension of "the sacred principle of freedom." Sir Stafford Northcote, Archbishop Benson of Canterbury, Mr. W. E. Forster, M.P., Cardinal Manning and others spoke, and it was afterwards announced by the Lord Mayor that the Prince had consented to become Patron of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society.

The unveiling of the statue of Charles Darwin in the Museum of Natural History on June 9th, 1885, evoked a brief speech and a reference to "the great Englishman who had exerted so vast an influence upon the progress of branches of natural knowledge." On July 4th the Prince and Princess attended the opening of the new building of the Birkbeck Institution in London and the former spoke upon its objects and character. On July 5th of the previous year he presided at the annual dinner in aid of the Railway Guards' Friendly Society and referred in his speech to its nature and valuable work. More than £3300 was subscribed, to which the Royal chairman gave his usual contribution. The Convalescent Home at Swanley was opened on July 13th 1885 and the Prince was accompanied by his wife and daughters. A visit was paid two days later to Leeds and the Prince and Princess stayed at Studley, the seat of the Marquess of Ripon. Various addresses were received at the Town Hall and from thence the Royal visitors went to the Yorkshire College, which the Prince duly inaugurated amid much state. At the succeeding luncheon he spoke of the great importance of the industrial educational work which this institution was carrying on. "I have for a long time been deeply impressed with the advisability of establishing in our great centres of population, colleges and schools, not only for promoting the intellectual advancement of the people, but also for increasing their prosperity by furthering the application of scientific knowledge to the industrial arts."

[Pg 176]

The sad news of the gallant death of General Gordon affected the Prince of Wales as only the loss of a friend who is greatly and personally admired can do. He took much interest in the Committee which was formed to promote a Memorial and finally summoned a special meeting at Marlborough House, on January 12th, 1886, to promote the collection of a fund looking to the permanent establishment of a Gordon Boys' Home. Speeches were made by General Higginson, the Duke of Cambridge and Lord Napier of Magdala, and ultimately the enterprise was fairly placed upon its feet. A little later, with Prince Albert Victor and Prince George, His Royal Highness went to stay with the Duke of Westminster at Eaton Hall. From thence, on January 20th, they visited Liverpool and the Mersey Tunnel was formally inaugurated after a drive through the city and the reception of the usual addresses and popular welcome. A banquet was also received and several speeches made by the Prince. The Institution of Civil Engineers entertained the Prince of Wales at dinner on March 27th and the Royal guest was accompanied by his eldest son and the Duke of Cambridge. Sir Frederick Bramwell presided. On June 28th, following, he laid the foundation-stone of the Peoples' Palace amidst evidences of unbounded personal popularity in the East End of London; with ten thousand people around him—including one thousand delegates from the various Trade, Friendly and Temperance Societies in East London; and with representative persons in attendance such as Dr. Adler, the Chief Rabbi, Cardinal Manning, Archbishop Benson and Mr. Walter Besant.

As a result of his deep and practical interest in agricultural matters the Prince of Wales held a sale of Shorthorn cattle and Southdown sheep at Norwich on July 15th of this year. The sale was a most interesting and successful event from a technical as well as general standpoint and fully proved the right of the Royal owner of Sandringham to be called a[Pg 177] farmer and to act as President of the Royal Agricultural Society of England. A luncheon given to the agricultural celebrities of England followed the sale. On March 12th, 1887, the Prince presided at the Jubilee banquet of the London Orphan Asylum and defined its objects and work while urging more financial assistance to its projects. Amongst those present were the Duke of Abercorn, the Earl of Clarendon, General Sir Donald Stewart and Sir Dighton Probyn. The subscriptions announced during the evening were £5000, including one hundred guineas from the Prince.

On March 30th he opened the new College of Preceptors in London, accompanied by the Princess of Wales and the Princesses Victoria and Maud. The opening of the Manchester Exhibition followed on May 3rd and the Prince and Princesses came to the city from Tatton Hall, where they had been staying with Lord Egerton. The usual hearty welcome was given along the crowded route. On May 22nd the London Hospital's new buildings were inaugurated, the Prince being accompanied by his wife and two daughters and the Crown Prince of Denmark. Six days later Tottenham was visited and the new portion of the Deaconesses Institution and Hospital opened. The Shaftesbury House, or home for shelterless boys, was inaugurated on June 17th and on November 3rd His Royal Highness visited Truro, accompanied by the Princess and his two sons, attended the consecration of the new Cathedral by the Primate of England and spoke afterwards at a luncheon given by the principal residents of the Duchy of Cornwall. On the following day he presented new colours to the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry at Devonport.

On May the 8th, 1888, the Prince and Princess of Wales opened the Glasgow Exhibition and the former spoke interestingly of the industrial development of the time. The statesman whose advice and knowledge had been so greatly[Pg 178] appreciated by the Prince during his Indian tour was fittingly commemorated by the statue on the Thames Embankment which His Royal Highness unveiled on June 5th following. Sir Bartle Frere was described in the speech accompanying the act as "a great and valued public servant of the Crown and a highly esteemed and dear friend of myself." On July 6th a new Gymnasium for the Young Men's Christian Association was opened in London; on May 9th the Prince and Princess visited Blackburn and were enthusiastically received; on May 14th His Royal Highness, accompanied by his wife and daughters, Prince Charles of Denmark and Prince George of Greece, opened the Anglo-Danish Exhibition at South Kensington; on July 17th he inaugurated the new buildings of the Great Northern Hospital at Islington and in the autumn of the year paid a visit to Austria and some of the countries in Southern Europe.

The purely public events of following years may be briefly and partially summarized. In June, 1889, the Prince and Princess of Wales visited the Paris Exhibition in a semi-private capacity, and were present at Athens, on October 27th, at the wedding of the Duke of Sparta and Princess Sophia of Germany. The great Forth Bridge was opened by the Prince in March, 1890, and a short time spent with Lord Rosebery at Dalmeny; a visit was paid to Berlin, accompanied by Prince George, on March 21st; a statue of the Duke of Albany was unveiled at Cannes on April 6th; a new nave in the ancient Church of St. Saviour, Southwark, was inaugurated on July 24th; the new Town Hall at Portsmouth was opened on August 9th; the City of London Electric Railway was inaugurated on November 4th. On November 9th, 1891, the theatrical managers of London presented His Royal Highness with a large gold cigar-box in honour of his fiftieth birthday. In 1892 the Prince visited the Royal Agricultural Society at Warwick with the Duke of York, laid the foundation-stone [Pg 179]of the Clarence Memorial addition to St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, and supervised the re-building of Sandringham after the fire which had consumed a portion of it. One of the events of 1894 was a visit to Coburg in April and attendance at the marriage of his niece and nephew, the Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg and the Grand Duke of Hesse. Another was the opening of the Tower Bridge, London, in June, by the Prince and Princess on behalf of the Queen.

On May 16, 1895, the Prince of Wales reviewed the Warwickshire Yeomanry; on July 8th he laid the foundation-stone of new buildings at the Epsom Medical College; in July he reviewed Italian and British fleets off Portsmouth; on July 22nd he opened the new building of the Royal Free Hospital, Grey's Inn Road, London; in November he presided at a lecture in the Imperial Institute. In 1896 he was formally installed as Chancellor of the University of Wales, and stayed at Balmoral in September during the visit of the Emperor and Empress of Russia to the Queen. In January, 1897, the Prince visited the Duke of Sutherland at Trentham Hall; on May 22nd he opened the Blackwell Tunnel; in June he participated in all the Jubilee functions, was created Grand Master of the Order of the Bath and gave a banquet, in honour of the appointment, to all living Knights Grand Cross of the Order, which was a unique gathering of men distinguished in diplomacy, statesmanship, in the Army and Navy, and in Imperial and civil administration. During the following year he distributed prizes in June at Wellington College and laid the foundation-stone of new buildings at University College Hospital; on December 23rd he attended the opening service of a restored church at Sherbourne. On June 19, 1899, His Royal Highness held a Levée at St. James's Palace; on July 6th he received the freedom of the City of[Pg 180] Edinburgh; and on September 18th he presented new colours to the Gordon Highlanders.

Such was the general character and scope of the Prince's public life. There would have been little object served in elaborating the description of these ceremonial events. They are of value and necessary to a clear comprehension of the position and manifold duties of the Prince of Wales, and quite enough have been given for this purpose. During all these thirty years the work of the Heir Apparent increased in its importance and multifarious character until every interest and element in the population found a place in its performance. It was arduous and unceasing, but the Prince never showed weariness and always appeared with the same unaffected bonhomie and natural dignity whatever the extent of his work or the character of the function. The end of it all was a popularity as unique as it was thoroughly and well deserved.

[Pg 181]


Special Functions and Interests

The Prince of Wales' connection with the Masonic Order was an early one and had always been a close and sincerely interested one. He was first initiated in 1868 by the late King of Sweden when staying at Stockholm. He served several terms as Worshipful Master of the Royal Alpha Lodge, which consisted of a number of Grand Officers, generally noblemen, and in this lodge he personally initiated his eldest son, the late Duke of Clarence and Avondale, in 1885. He was also permanent Master of the Prince of Wales Lodge, to which he initiated the Duke of Connaught in 1874. When the Marquess of Ripon retired from the Grand Mastership of English Freemasons in 1875 the Prince of Wales accepted the post and was installed on April 28th at the Royal Albert Hall. The function was perhaps the most memorable and imposing in the British history of the Order. In the vast Hall there were more than ten thousand members of the craft, of all ranks and degrees, and in costume suited to their Masonic conditions. Many distinguished visitors and deputations from foreign lodges were present in the reserved inclosure. The Earl of Carnarvon performed the initial ceremonies and in the address to His Royal Highness referred to the gathering around them: "I may truly say that never in the whole history of Freemasonry has such a Grand Lodge been convened as that on which my eye rests at this moment and there is, further, an inner view to be taken, that so far as my eyes can carry me over these serried ranks of white and blue, and gold and purple,[Pg 182] I recognize in them men who have solemnly taken obligations of worth and morality—men who have undertaken the duties of citizens and the loyalty of subjects."


In his reply the Prince expressed an "ardent and sincere wish" to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors and the belief that, so long as Freemasons did not mix themselves up in politics, "this high and noble Order will flourish and will maintain the integrity of our great Empire." After deputations had been received from the Grand Lodges of Scotland, Ireland, Sweden and Denmark the new Grand Master appointed Lord Carnarvon to be Pro-Grand-Master, Lord Skelmersdale to be Deputy Grand Master and the Marquess of Hamilton and the Lord Mayor of London to two other chief offices. In the evening a grand banquet was held at which he presided and made several tactful speeches. The Duke of Connaught, the Duke of Manchester, the late Earl of Rosslyn and the representatives of various Grand Lodges also spoke. On July 1st, 1886, His Royal Highness was installed as Grand Master of the Mark Master Masons in the presence of more than one thousand Grand, Past and Provincial Officers from India and the Colonies as well as from the United Kingdom. The Earl of Kintore presided in the early stages of the function and was afterwards appointed Pro-Grand Master, with Lord Egerton of Tatton as Deputy Grand Master and the Duke of Connaught as Senior Grand Warden.

During the Queen's Jubilee, on June 13th, 1887, it was decided to present an address to Her Majesty as Patron of the Order and of various Masonic charities. The formal action was taken at an immense gathering in the Royal Albert Hall, on the date mentioned, when some seven thousand officers and members, representatives of the Lodges of the Empire met and passed a Resolution to that effect. His Royal Highness[Pg 183] the Grand Master, who was accompanied by Prince Albert Victor and the Duke of Connaught, presided and was able to announce, after this part of the business had been disposed of and the National Anthem sung with enthusiasm, that £6000 had that day been paid in by members and was to be entirely devoted to Masonic charities for the children and the aged. Two years later, on July 6, 1888, and in the same place, the Prince of Wales presided over the centennial banquet of the Royal Masonic Institute for Girls. With him were the King of Sweden and Norway, Prince Albert Victor, the Earls of Carnarvon, Lathom and Zetland, Lord Egerton of Tatton, Lord Leigh and many other eminent Masons. One of the speeches of the Chairman was devoted to a history of the institution they were trying to help and to a request for funds to erect additional buildings and better accommodations. The response afterwards announced to the appeal, made before and at this dinner, was £50,472 of which London contributed £22,454 and the Provinces, India and the Colonies the balance.


Another subject in which the Prince always took a great and active interest was that of Art—especially as embodied in the work of the Royal Academy. His first appearance in this connection was at the annual banquet on May 4th, 1863, and it has been noted that at the various subsequent occasions of this kind at which he spoke, despite the sameness of the toasts and subjects, there was always fresh material in his remarks. At the banquet on May 5th, 1866, Sir Francis Grant presided for the first time as President and amongst the speakers besides His Royal Highness were his brother Prince Alfred, the Duke of Cambridge, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Earl Russell and the Earl of Derby. In 1867 and in 1870 he also spoke and on the latter occasion the speakers included Mr. J. Lothrop[Pg 184] Motley, the American Minister, and Charles Dickens. At the banquet in 1871 the Prince spoke and at that of 1874 he drew special attention to the picture, "Calling the Roll," which afterwards made Miss Elizabeth Thompson so famous, and to a statue by J. E. Boehm which was the beginning of that sculptor's rise to distinction.

The Prince of Wales was again present in May, 1875 and then, owing to other pressing engagements, missed four years. At the annual banquet on May 3rd, 1879, which he attended, Sir Frederick Leighton was President of the Academy and the Prince made kindly allusion to the memory of his late predecessor. Amongst the other speakers were Lord Beaconsfield, Mr. W. H. Smith and Lord Chief Justice Cockburn. At the banquet in 1880, Sir F. Leighton paid his Royal guest an unusual compliment: "Sir, of the graces by which Your Royal Highness has won and firmly retains the affectionate attachment of Englishmen none has operated more strongly than the width of your sympathies; for there is no honourable sphere in which Englishmen move, no path of life in which they tread, wherein Your Royal Highness has not, at some time, by graceful word or deed, evinced an enlightened interest." In 1881, the central subject of toast and speech was Sir Frederick Roberts, who had come fresh from the fields of Cabul and Candahar; but the Prince of Wales did not forget an illusion to the death of "that great statesman" the Earl of Beaconsfield. In 1885 His Royal Highness was accompanied for the first time by Prince Albert Victor and in 1888 he was able to refer to the fact of this occasion being not only the year of his silver wedding but the year which marked a quarter of a century since his first appearance amongst them.

The Corporation of Trinity House, which in the time of Henry VIII. had been a guild for the encouragement of the art and science of navigation and had latterly come into the work of building lighthouses and protecting ships along the [Pg 185]coasts of England, was always an object of interest and support to the Prince of Wales. In 1865 he declined the post of Master—which had been held by men like Lord Liverpool, the Duke of Wellington, the Prince Consort and Lord Palmerston—in favour of his brother the Sailor Prince. He attended the next annual banquet, however, together with the King of the Belgians, and two years later was installed as one of the "Younger Brethren" of Trinity House. The Duke of Richmond and Lord Napier of Magdala were amongst the other speakers. The banquet of July 4th, 1869 was especially interesting from the eminent men of all parties whom it brought together. The Prince of Wales presided, in the absence of the Duke of Edinburgh, and the speakers included Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Bright, Mr. Disraeli, Sir Stafford Northcote and Sir John Burgoyne. He again attended and addressed the banquet of Trinity House on June 24, 1871, and presided at that of June 27, 1874. His speech upon the latter occasion contained various important facts and opinions upon the improvement of navigation facilities. At the dinner in 1877 the Prince again presided and in the proposing his health the late Earl of Derby said: "His Royal Highness has not only now, but for many years past done all that is in the power of man to do, by genial courtesies towards men of every class and by his indefatigable assiduity in the performance of every social duty, to secure at once that public respect which is due to his exalted position and that social sympathy and personal popularity which no position, however exalted, can of itself be sufficient to secure." The most interesting event of this occasion was the presence and very brief soldierly speech of General U. S. Grant.

King Edward    Emperor of Germany    Queen Alexandra    King of Spain
Queen of Spain    Empress of Germany    Queen of Portugal    Queen of Norway
In Highland Garb.
King Edward VII, seated between his son King George V and his grandson Edward, heir apparent to the throne

The encouragement of Musical education and the promotion of a public taste for music was one of the subjects in which the Prince of Wales took a deep and practical interest. He believed in the humanizing and civilizing effects of music[Pg 186] and felt that amongst a people who had made a home for Händel and who had in older days loved glees and madrigals and choral compositions there was room, in a more hum-drum age, for the encouragement of popular taste in this direction. The Royal Academy of Music, founded in 1822, had done some good but limited service and, in 1875, he placed himself at the head of a movement to further the love and practice of music amongst the people. A meeting was held at Marlborough House on June 15th for the immediate purpose of establishing free scholarships in connection with the proposed National Training Schools for Music, near the Royal Albert Hall, and there were present the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Christian, the Duke of Teck, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the Lord Mayor of London and many Provincial Mayors, and a numerous company distinguished by public reputation or position. The result of this action was most successful, and in 1878, the Prince endeavoured to complete it by bringing the Academy and the Training Schools into union.


Failing in this, however, he presided on February 28th 1882 at a meeting in St. James's Palace held for the purpose of founding a "Royal College of Music" and attended by one of the most representative gatherings which His Royal Highness had ever brought together. His speech was an able and elaborate statement of the importance of a national cultivation of music and the necessity for its promotion in the United Kingdom. "Why is it," he asked, "that England has no music recognized as national? It has able composers but nothing indicative of the national life or national feeling. The reason is not far to seek. There is no centre of music to which English musicians may resort with confidence and thence derive instruction, counsel and inspiration." The plan was then clearly outlined and enthusiastically accepted—Lord Rosebery, Mr.[Pg 187] Gladstone and Sir Stafford Northcote being amongst those who spoke and supported the project presented by the Royal chairman. A little later, on March 23rd, the Prince invited a number of gentlemen connected with the Colonial part of the Empire to meet him at Marlborough House in order to discuss how best the benefits of the College might be extended and applied to the more distant British countries.

On May 7th, 1883, the Royal College of Music was formally inaugurated after an effort amongst its supporters which had included the holding of forty-four public meetings throughout the country. With the Prince of Wales were present the Princess, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, the Princess Christian and the Trustees, amongst whom were the Duke of Westminster, Sir Richard Wallace, M.P., Sir George Grove and Sir John Rose. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Mr. Gladstone and many others were also present. The Royal founder of the institution spoke at unusual length, referred to the teaching and examining powers of the College, asked for aid in establishing scholarships and extending its usefulness and dilated upon the importance of the objects aimed at. "I trust that the College will become the recognized centre and head of the musical world in this country. Music is, in the best sense, the most popular of all arts. If that government be the best which provides for the happiness of the greatest number, that art must be the best which at the least expense pleases the greatest number." The project proved most successful and the Royal College of Music became one of the recognized institutions of the Empire.


The Royal visit to Ireland in 1885 was an important incident in the public life of the Prince of Wales. It was seventeen years since he and the Princess had visited that much-troubled country and many untoward events had occurred[Pg 188] since then. The proposal for another visit was not popular with a section of the Irish press and politicians, but when it was evident that the generous instincts of the Irish people were going to make the occasion a demonstration of kindly feeling, if not of loyalty after the English fashion, they changed their attitude and recommended a "dignified neutrality." Even this advice was very largely, however, lost sight of in the eventual result. On April 9th the Royal couple, accompanied by Prince Albert Victor, arrived at Kingstown amid the usual decorations and crowds and accepted an address of welcome. In Dublin the address was presented by the City Reception Committee instead of by the Lord Mayor and Corporation. An important clause in this document to which the Prince made no reference in his cautious reply was as follows: "We venture to assure you that it would be a great gratification to Her Majesty's loyal subjects in Ireland if a permanent Royal residence should be established in our country." A visit was paid at the conclusion of these proceedings to the Royal Dublin Society and the Agricultural Show.

Later in the day the Prince, attended only by his eldest son and without notice of his intention, visited some of the poorest parts of the city and saw for himself the condition of the people. It soon became known, however, that he was amongst them and hearty cheers were given him wherever the people caught a glimpse of their visitor. On the following day thirty different addresses were received from various public bodies and in replying to them the Prince said: "In varied capacities and by widely different paths you pursue those great objects which, dear to you, are, believe me, dear also to me—the prosperity and progress of Ireland, the welfare and happiness of her people. From my heart I wish you success and I would that time and my own powers would permit me to explain fully and in detail the deep interest which I feel not only in the welfare of this great Empire at large but in the[Pg 189] true happiness of those several classes of the community on whose behalf you have come here to-day." The next event was the laying of the foundation stone of the new Museum of Science and Art. The route was densely thronged, the houses beautifully decorated and the cheers of the people enthusiastic. An appropriate speech was made and then the Prince and his wife and son, accompanied by the Lord Lieutenant and Countess Spencer, drove to the Royal University where they were received by the Chancellor, the Duke of Abercorn, and the Honorary degree of LL. D. bestowed upon the Prince and that of Doctor of Music upon the Princess.

Succeeding incidents of the visit were a brilliant Levée at Dublin Castle; a Drawing-room held by the Princess of Wales; a state ball given by the Lord Lieutenant, which was a great success; a visit to the Arlane Industrial School; an enthusiastic reception at Trinity College from a great and representative gathering; the presentation of new colours to the Cornwall Regiment, then stationed in Dublin, with a speech—as on most of the other occasions mentioned—from the Prince. On April 13th the Prince and Princess started for Cork and on the way thither, at Mallow, there was some attempt at a hostile demonstration. An effort of the same kind was made at Cork but was nullified by the cordial hospitality of the masses of the people. The Royal visitors left Ireland on April 17th well satisfied with the general loyalty and courtesy of their reception.


In two of the great events which characterized the closing years of the Victorian era and his Mother's reign the Prince of Wales took a prominent and most important part—the Queen's Jubilee of 1887 and the Diamond Jubilee of ten years later. Upon no other occasion has his actual executive ability been better tested than in the latter event. Few, perhaps, can adequately realize the immense amount of work which[Pg 190] devolved upon, or was assumed by, the Prince in this connection. He undertook many of the functions; he was present with the Queen at all the events of a busy, crowded week; he directed most of the detail and guided the complicated etiquette and procedure of the occasion; he personally controlled the arrangements for the splendid procession through the streets of London; he overlooked the plans for the service in the Abbey and for the protection of the massed multitude in the streets; he received and entertained many of the Royal personages who came from abroad. In both of these great events the Prince of Wales appreciated the new and peculiar significance added to the formal or popular British celebrations by the presence of Colonial leaders and troops and visitors. He had, in fact, to stamp the Imperial character and standing of these great demonstrations.

[Pg 191]


The Prince and His Family

The home life of the Prince and Princess of Wales was never an absolutely private one. It was lived in the light of an almost ceaseless publicity. Not that the actual house of the Royal couple was, or could ever be, unduly invaded; but that every visitor was a more or less interested spectator and student of conditions and that every trifling incident, as well as the more important matters, of every-day life were remembered, repeated, or recorded as they would never be in an ordinary household.


Memoirs of British statesmen, leaders in art, or literature, or religion, or the Army and the Navy, teem with references, during forty years, to the life of the Heir Apparent and his wife at Sandringham or Marlborough and, without exception, they convey the impression of honest domestic happiness and unity. Gossip during that long period there had been, of course; unpleasant inuendoes had been uttered in a small and unpleasant section of the press; peculiar and, for the most obvious reasons, impossible stories had been cabled from time to time across the Atlantic; but they were patiently borne by those who were the easy victims of silly statements and they were more than controverted by the tributes published from men who have lived on terms of intimacy with the Royal family and whose death lifted, occasionally, the seal of secrecy from their natural reserve and made the expression of their opinions and experiences possible.

[Pg 192]

The steady growth of the Prince and Princess in popular favour and the fact that even the most irresponsible or unscrupulous purveyor of news to such sheets as Mr. Labouchere's Truth had never dared to reflect upon the Princess of Wales' beauty of character and life sufficed long before the accession of His Royal Highness to the Throne to kill even the surreptitious stories which always float upon the surface of society regarding persons in Royal positions. In this connection may be quoted the interesting reference to the subject made by Mr. G. W. Smalley, the well-known American writer who for so many years acted as London correspondent of the New York Tribune. He was dealing, under date of January 17th, 1892, with the premature death of the young Duke of Clarence and, after referring to the freshness of affection which prevailed throughout the Royal family, he proceeded in these words: "It is known to be strong and pure in all three generations—indeed there are now four—which together make up the Royal family of England. * * * The domestic traditions were followed just as faithfully at Marlborough House as at Windsor. The Prince of Wales's has been not merely a good but a devoted family. The Princess, whose whole life has been beautiful is in nothing more beautiful than in her love for her children. She passed from the bedside of her second son whose life she helped to save—they say that Prince George never rallied till his mother returned to nurse him—to the bedside of her first-born by whose grave she has now to stand."

Sandringham Hall in Norfolk was the real home of the Royal couple and it was there that the children of their marriage spent much of their younger days and received much of the training which was to fit them for lives of more or less public duty and the responsibilities which go with public position. Marlborough House, in London, was the social centre, the official environment, the public residence, of the Prince[Pg 193] and Princess of Wales. But the former place was always the one where they liked to be, where the heart of the Princess always rested with most interest and affection, where the enjoyment of the comforts of country and home life came with most force to the Prince and to his children. Around Sandringham the grounds and woods and park were not allowed to be spoiled by art—the latter was used in just such a degree as would help nature. The house, or palace, was concealed from view until the visitor was quite close to it and its home-like simplicity has always been a much-described quality. There was no elaboration of decoration, or straining after an appearance of stately luxury. Comfort seemed to be the aim and it was most certainly attained. The hall was designed somewhat after the style of the old-fashioned banquetting halls, the various rooms were arranged for convenience and comfort, the decorations were beautiful without being gorgeous, the objects of interest, ornament and curiosity in the drawing-rooms and elsewhere were, of course, simply countless.

Above the porch in front of the Hall was the quaint legend: "This house was built by Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, and Alexandra his wife, in the year of our Lord 1870". The place was originally purchased for £220,000—saved from the revenues of the Duchy of Cornwall by the Prince Consort's management—but further large sums had to be spent in order to make the mansion comfortable and the estate the model which it afterwards became. The former was practically rebuilt in 1870 but not until every cottage or farm-house on the property had been first rebuilt, or repaired. The house contained, particularly, the great hall or saloon decorated with trophies of the chase in all countries and with many caskets of gold and silver containing some of the addresses presented to the Prince from time to time; the dining-room with its high oak roof and great fire-place, walls covered with tapestry given the Prince by the late King of Spain and a side-board covered[Pg 194] with racing and yachting prizes in gold and silver; the chief drawing room with hangings of dull gold silk, furniture brocaded in soft red and gold, large panel mirrors and quantities of exquisite Sévres and Dresden china; the conservatory where tea was often served; a great ball-room and handsome billiard and smoking rooms. The boudoir of the Princess has been described as a dream of grace and simple beauty and everything about the place was arranged with a view to combining comfort with charm of appearance. The hundred servants employed in or out of the house had everything that could make their lives pleasant and happy.


Amidst these surroundings the sons and daughters of the Royal couple were brought up. Upon the education of the boys the Prince of Wales utilized his own knowledge of life as well as the traditions of his father's training of himself. He is said to have believed that the study of men and the ways of the world had not been sufficiently considered in his own case and that he wished his sons, while escaping the nervousness, constraints and adulation which surrounded the Court, should also avoid the sycophancy and flattery which might be expected in their cases at a public school—even of the highest. He therefore decided that a training ship in early youth and the fresh air, vigorous life and wholesome discipline of the Navy in immediately following years would be the best system of education. Prince Albert Victor and Prince George were, consequently, placed on board the Britannia training ship in 1870 and there they spent two years under conditions of study, work, training, mess, discipline and dress exactly similar to those of their shipmates. Their only dissipation was an occasional visit from their parents and the usual holiday period at home. During the two years spent on this ship they learned[Pg 195] carpentering, the details of a ship's rigging and a certain amount of engineering.

At the end of this period it was decided by the Prince to send his sons for a prolonged cruise around the world as midshipmen on H.M.S. Bacchante. They were to have the same duties and treatment as the other midshipmen—except perhaps that their teaching would be more careful and their studies more severe. Special instructors in seamanship, gunnery, mathematics and naval conditions were appointed, with the Rev. J. N. Dalton, M.A., as Governor, in charge while they were on shore and with supervision over their ordinary studies when at sea. Lord Charles Scott, Captain of the war-ship, was, of course, supreme when the Princes were on board his vessel. The cruise of the Bacchante commenced in September, 1879, and terminated in August, 1882. During that period it traversed over fifty-four thousand miles and the Royal midshipmen saw and visited Gibraltar, Madeira, Teneriffe, the West India Islands, Bermuda, the Cape Verde Islands, Monte Video, the Falkland Islands, Cape Colony, Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland and Brisbane, Victoria and Melbourne, New South Wales and Sydney, the Fiji Islands, Japan, Hong-Kong, Shanghai, Canton, the Straits Settlements, Ceylon, Egypt and the Holy Land, Athens, Crete, Corfu and Sicily. In 1886 two handsome volumes, carefully edited by the Rev. Mr. Dalton, and comprising the private journals and diaries of the young Princes, were published in London and were found to contain many sensible reflections and much garnered information upon the many countries visited during this circumnavigation of the globe. It was not all serious study and work, however, during this period, and in almost every place touched at, where the Princes had anything like a chance, there is still to be found some cherished anecdote of Royal jokes or pranks—especially on the part of Prince George.

[Pg 196]

Meanwhile great care and thought had been devoted to the education of the three daughters. From the nursery they passed into a school-room in which French and German, music, history and mathematics were the studies most interesting to their father, while the learning of dressmaking and sewing in various branches, cooking, dairy work, the superintending of a garden and the management of a house were carefully watched over by the Princess of Wales. The Princess Victoria was said, in the days following the completion of her education, to have the most domestic turn of mind of the three sisters, together with a pronounced artistic taste. Latterly she had taken over much of the supervision of household matters at Sandringham and Marlborough from her Royal mother and is, in 1902, the only unmarried member of the family. The Princess Maud was, as a girl, merry, pretty and clever; a capital all-round sportswoman and fond of horses, dogs, birds, yachting and riding; possessed at home of the nick-name "Harry," and said to be the Prince's favourite daughter; fond of incognito experiences, charities and amusements. The Princess Louise was a quieter and less striking character, and, like her younger sister, was afterwards allowed to marry the man of her choice, although he did not possess the high position which the Royal father might naturally have desired.


Following the return of the two Princes from their cruise, Prince Albert Victor was taken by his father to Cambridge, in 1883, and duly installed as an undergraduate of Trinity College. There he read regularly for six or seven hours a day, made himself thoroughly familiar with French and German, and associated himself in a most marked way with the men of intellect and character who were around him—nearly all his companions afterwards becoming distinguished in one way or another. Always modest and retiring he liked to entertain[Pg 197] very quietly and to enjoy any possible musical occasion which presented itself. Hockey, polo and a little riding were his outdoor amusements. He came of age in 1885, the University conferred upon him the honorary degree of LL.D., and, during the next few years, he worked as an officer in the Army. It was on the attainment of his majority that Prince Albert Victor received a most interesting letter, under date of January 7th, from Mr. Gladstone. In it the veteran statesman said to the prospective Sovereign: "There lies before Your Royal Highness in prospect the occupation—I trust at a distant date—of a throne which, to me at least, appears the most illustrious in the world, from its history and associations, from its legal basis, from the weight of the cares it brings, from the loyal love of the people, and from the unparalleled opportunities it gives, in so many ways and so many regions, of doing good to the almost countless numbers whom the Almighty has placed beneath the sceptre of England." He went on to express the earnest hope that His Royal Highness might ever grow in the principles and qualities which should adorn his great vocation.

During the Session of Parliament in 1889, the Prince of Wales was voted £36,000 annually in trust for the use of his children, and at about the same time it was decided to send Prince Albert Victor on a visit to India. On the way thither, at Athens, on October 20th, the latter was present at the wedding of his two cousins, the Duke of Sparta and the Princess Sophia of Prussia, daughter of the Empress Frederick. In the great Eastern Empire he remained until April, 1890; visiting Hyderabad, Mysore, Madras and Calcutta, and meeting with a cordial reception which, however, lacked the great state and ceremony of his Royal father's famous tour. Lord Lansdowne was Viceroy and made a most admirable host and mentor. On May 24th, following, the young Prince was created Duke of Clarence and Avondale and Earl of Athlone, and[Pg 198] commenced to take his place in public life as Heir Presumptive to the Throne. In November of the year 1891 Prince George who had, meanwhile, been pursuing his vocation in the Navy, was taken ill at Sandringham. The Princess was away but, pending her return, his father nursed him personally with care and devotion. Typhoid—the disease which had carried off the Prince Consort and so nearly killed the Heir Apparent, developed and the family anxiety was very great. At this point, on December 8th, the engagement of the Duke of Clarence to his cousin, the very popular and beautiful Princess May of Teck, was announced amidst general congratulations.


Then came one of the saddest events in the history of the British Royal family. The young Duke had only been engaged a few weeks and preparations had been commenced for the stately ceremonial of his marriage, when it was announced that he had caught cold at the funeral of Prince Victor of Hohenlohe and was confined to his room. With but little notice pneumonia developed, the constitutional weakness of his system was unable to throw it off, and within a few days he was dead—January 15th, 1892. Prince George, in the meantime, had recovered, but those who saw the Prince of Wales walking beside his eldest son's body from Sandringham Church to the station, say that his obvious grief was almost pathetic. As to the mother she never really got over the sadness of that death and the removal of her favourite son. If there was, at times, a sad expression in her eyes, years after the event, it was no doubt due to the sudden shock and great loss which then came to her.

Five days afterwards, the following telegram to Sir Francis Knollys was made public: "The Prince and Princess of Wales are anxious to express to Her Majesty's subjects in the United Kingdom, the Colonies, and in India, the sense of[Pg 199] their deep gratitude for the universal feeling of sympathy manifested toward them at a time when they are overpowered by the terrible calamity which they have sustained in the loss of their beloved eldest son. If sympathy at such a moment is of any avail, the remembrance that their grief has been shared by all classes will be a lasting consolation to their sorrowing hearts, and, if possible, will make them more than ever attached to their dear country." The affection of Queen Victoria for this grandson, whom the Times of January 19th described as possessing "modesty, affectionateness, kindness, love of order, the desire to render every man his due, and reverence for age and greatness," is well-known to have been intense, and from Osborne, on January 26th, Her Majesty issued the following letter:

"I must once again give expression to my deep sense of the loyalty and affectionate sympathy evinced by my subjects in every part of my Empire on an occasion more sad and tragical than any but one which has befallen me and mine, as well as the Nation. The overwhelming misfortune of my dearly-loved grandson having been thus suddenly cut off in the flower of his age, full of promise for the future, amiable and gentle, and endearing himself to all, renders it hard for his sorely-stricken parents, his dear young bride and his fond Grandmother to bow in submission to the inscrutable decrees of Providence."

Meantime, on June 27th, 1889, the marriage of the Princess Louise had taken place. Her engagement to the Earl of Fife was somewhat of a surprise to a social world which does not like to be surprised. Though the Princess was twenty-two and the groom forty they had known each other for years and Lord Fife had been a frequent and welcome guest at Sandringham, while the Prince and Princess of Wales had long been on terms of intimacy with his parents. His was the only bachelor's house at which the Princess of Wales had ever been entertained. It could not, of course, be supposed that this first marriage in his family—the children of which might be[Pg 200] very close to the Throne—was quite as lofty a match as the Royal father might wish, yet when he found that the matter was settled so far as the couple were personally concerned, he accepted the situation and asked the Queen's consent to the engagement. The wedding was duly celebrated at Buckingham Palace in the presence of the Queen, the Prince and Princess of Wales and their children, the King of the Helenes, the Crown Prince of Denmark, and the Grand Duke of Hesse. Lord Fife, who was personally very wealthy, was created Duke of Fife and Marquess of Macduff, and his wife shared in the subsequent special grant given to the Heir Apparent for the proper maintenance of his children. Afterwards, on the birth of the first child of the Duke and Duchess it was decided that she should not assume Royal rank but be known by the courtesy title due to her father's place in the Peerage. This child—Lady Alexandra Victoria Alberta Edwina Louise Duff—was born on May 17th, 1891, and on April 3rd, 1893, the Lady Maud Alexandra Victoria Georgia Bertha Duff was born. Meanwhile an interesting event had occurred on March 10, 1888, in the celebration of the Silver Wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales. Illuminations in London and a ball at Buckingham Palace marked the event.

Prince George of Wales was now Heir Presumptive to the Throne and upon him were devolved the more or less arduous duties of that position. Following his brother's death he gave up active service in the Navy and on May 24th, 1892, was created Duke of York, Earl of Inverness and Baron Killarney. The importance of his marriage was now obvious and a year and a quarter after the death of the Duke of Clarence the engagement of his brother to the Princess May of Teck was officially announced. The wedding took place on July 6th, 1893, and there could be no doubt by that time of the popularity of the young couple and of the national pleasure at their union. The decorations in London eclipsed those of the Queen's [Pg 201]ubilee and the crowds were equally great. The ceremony was performed at the Chapel Royal, St. James's, instead of at St. George's, Windsor, where the Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Princesses Helena and Louise and the Dukes of Albany and Connaught had been wedded. Amongst the great gathering present at the ceremony were Her Majesty and the Royal family as a whole, the Duke and Duchess of Teck, Lord Salisbury, Lord Rosebery, Mr. Morley, Mr. Bryce, Mr. Chamberlain, Sir W. V. Harcourt, Lord Ripon, Lord Spencer, Lord Herschell, Mr. Balfour, Mr. Goschen, the Dukes of Argyll, Norfolk and Devonshire, Mr. Gladstone, the Hon. T. F. Bayard, American Minister, several Indian Princes and many others. The Times of July 7th had the following comment upon the event:

"Few Royal weddings of our time aroused such unusual enthusiasm as the union of the Duke of York with the bride of his choice—an English Princess, born and bred in an English home, endeared to all hearts by the now softened memory of a tragic sorrow and richly endowed with all the qualities which inspire the brightest hopes for the future. Fewer still have ever been celebrated with happier omens, or in more auspicious circumstances than that of yesterday. The pomp of a brilliant Court, the acclaim, at once tumultuous and orderly, of the mightiest of cities, spontaneously making holiday and decking itself in its brightest and bravest, the simultaneous rejoicing of a whole people, the sympathy, unbought and yet priceless, of a world-wide Empire, the radiant splendour of an English summer day—all these combined to make the ceremony of yesterday an occasion as memorable as that of the Jubilee itself."

Minoru (Herbert Jones up), Mr. Richard Marsh (Trainer to the late King), Lord Marcus Beresford (Manager of the late King's thoroughbreds), King Edward.
King Edward was not only a great King, but a great sportsman as well. He had a typically British love of outdoor pastimes as an active participator and not a mere looker-on. At various times he was associated with nearly every form of British sport. Yachting and shooting were two of his favorites, but it was his close connection with the turf which most appealed to the general public. Probably no other breeder of thoroughbreds ever had such a trio of equine giants as Florizel II, Persimmon and Diamond Jubilee. And in one year, 1909, he won over £29,000. When his horse Minoru won the Derby in 1909, the people in their enthusiasm surged all over the course after the race, but the King went down amongst them, and himself led his horse in to the paddock.
1. Lieutenant-Colonel George L. Holford, C.I.E., C.V.O., Equerry-in-Waiting to the late King. 2. Lord Burnham, K.C.V.O., principal proprietor of the "Daily Telegraph." 3. Count Albert D. Mensdorff-Pouilly, the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador. 4. Lord Suffield, P.C., G.C.V.O., K.C.B., Lord-in-Waiting to the late King. 5. Mr. Alfred C. de Rothschild, C.V.O., Austro-Hungarian Consul-General. 6. Mr. Arthur Sassoon, M.V.O., a member of a famous Anglo-Indian family. 7. The Marquis de Soveral, G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O., the Portuguese Minister. 8. Lord Allington, K.C.V.O., a great Dorsetshire landowner. 9. Sir Ernest Cassel, G.C.B., G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O., the well-known financier and philanthropist. 10. Lord Farquhar, G.C.V.O., Extra Lord-in-Waiting to the late King, and formerly Master of the Household.
1. Lord Esher, G.C.V.O., G.C.B., Deputy Governor of Windsor Castle. 2. Lord Marcus Beresford, Extra Equerry and Manager of King Edward's thoroughbreds. 3. Earl Howe, G.C.V.O., Lord-in-Waiting to the late King and Lord Chamberlain to Queen Alexandra. 4. The Rev. Canon Edgar Sheppard, D.D., C.V.O., Domestic Chaplain to the late King. 5. Sir Donald Mackenzie Wallace, K.C.L.E., K.C.V.O., Extra Groom-in-Waiting to the late King. 6. Lord Ilchester, who has written some delightful books of biography. 7. Mr. William James, J.P., D.D., C.V.O., the well-known traveler and landowner. 8. Sir Thomas Lipton, Bt., K.C.V.O., the well-known sportsman and yacht-owner. 9. Lieutenant-Colonel F. Ponsonby, Equerry to the late King. 10. Captain Sir David N. Welch, R.N., formerly commander of the royal yacht.

The bridesmaids were all relations of the young couple—the Princesses Victoria and Maud of Wales, Victoria Melita, Alexandra and Beatrice of Edinburgh; Margaret and Victoria Patricia of Connaught; Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein; Victoria and Alexandra of Battenberg. The Duke of York wore a simple Captain's uniform and was supported by his Royal father and the Duke of Edinburgh. The bride was described in the papers of the time as wearing silver and white brocade,[Pg 202] with clustered shamrocks, roses and thistles. On July 10th the Queen addressed one of her usual tactful and gracious letters to the nation expressive of her personal sympathy with the people and of theirs with her and her family.

The eldest child of this marriage—Prince Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David—was direct in succession to the Throne after his father and was born on June 23, 1894. The second child was Prince Albert Frederick Arthur George, born on December 14, 1895. Princess Victoria Alexandra Alice Mary, was born on April 25th, 1897, and Prince Henry William Frederick Albert on March 31, 1900. The Prince of Wales was greatly attached to his grandchildren and nothing in these later years gave him greater pleasure than having around him the youthful scions of the House of Fife, or that of York, and giving them presents and other means of enjoyment. On July 22, 1896, his third daughter, the Princess Maud, was married to Prince Charles, second son of the Crown Prince of Denmark. The ceremony was performed in the private Chapel of Buckingham Palace, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, in the presence of the Queen and most of the members of the Royal family. The Duke and Duchess of Sparta, the Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark, Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone and Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlain were amongst the guests. The bridesmaids were Princesses Ingeborg of Denmark, Victoria of Wales, Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, Thyra of Denmark, Victoria Patricia of Connaught, Margaret of Connaught, Alice of Albany and the Lady Alexandra Duff.

[Pg 203]


The Prince as a Social Leader

The influence wielded upon Society by the Prince of Wales, during nearly forty years of public life, was so marked and important as to merit extended consideration. Society, of course, in such a connection includes much more than any particular set of persons however select, or distinguished, or aristocratic; it means, in fact, all the varied social circles, high and low, which have recognized principles of etiquette and intercourse and common customs of amusement and fashion. Taken in this wide sense of the word, no personage in the history of Europe during the nineteenth century wielded so great an influence as His Royal Highness. He helped to make the unbounded after-dinner drinking of a previous period unpopular and socially un-orthodox; he encouraged in his more youthful days and always enjoyed the pleasures of dancing; he introduced very largely the popular fashion of a cigarette after dinner in place of endless heavy cigars and their accompaniment of liquors; he did much to encourage and popularize a love for music; he led the fashion in the matter of men's dress and, upon the whole, society in most civilized countries has to thank him for simple and dignified customs in this respect; he supported the race-course with courage and persistence and not only made racing more popular but helped to establish its code and operation upon a high plane of honour—by far the highest and cleanest in the world; he made charity and the support of its varied public institutions popular and fashionable; he showed the gilded youth of a great social world that work was a good thing for a Prince[Pg 204] and a peer as well as for a peasant; he, with his beautiful wife, presented for many years a model home and family life to the nation and they, together, discouraged many of the petty vices and small faults which creep into all social systems from time to time.


The official and social centre of this leadership in the British world was at Marlborough House—a large and unpretentious residence in the heart of London. That the place was exquisitely furnished and equipped goes without saying; that it was comfortable in the extreme is equally a matter of course to those acquainted with the taste and house-keeping capacities of the Princess of Wales. It was filled with fine engravings and paintings illustrative of the Victorian era; it teemed with mementoes and memorials of past incidents, travels and friendships in the lives of the Royal couple; it contained rooms suited for every purpose required in the exacting life and multifarious public duties of its occupants. The Prince's study, where only intimates were admitted, has been described as the room of a hard-working man of business. When at Marlborough House, His Royal Highness used to mark out his time, each day, with care and precision and even then it was difficult to fill his many and varied engagements. There were certain public functions such as the Horse Show at Islington, or the Royal Military Tournament, to which the Prince and Princess always went when in London. There were a certain number of state dinners given in place of those which, under other circumstances, would have been given by the Sovereign. Diplomatic dinners were also incidents of the season at Marlborough House as well as dinners which included the Government and Opposition leaders and great banquets held from time to time in honour of foreign guests of the nation or Royal relations visiting the country.

[Pg 205]

The dining-room at Marlborough was handsome but plain, the arrangements of the table setting an example of simplicity which society, in this case, did not always follow. The Prince of Wales never concealed his dislike for the extremely lengthy banquets which were the custom in his youth and succeeded, so far as private dinner-parties were concerned, in revolutionizing the system. To the favoured guest Marlborough House was a scene of historic as well as personal interest. It had been the home of the great Duke of that name; the residence of Prince Leopold, intended husband of the lamented Princess Charlotte, and afterwards King of the Belgians; the dower-house of Queen Adelaide; the choice of the Prince Consort for his son's London home. The general contents of the house were worthy of its history. In one room were splendid panels of Gobelin tapestry presented by Napoleon; in another were the rare and wonderful treasures of Indian work, in gold, silver, jewelry and embroidery, brought home from the Royal visit to Hindostan; elsewhere was a beautiful vase given the Prince by Alexander II. of Russia, enamelled work from the East, richly ornamented swords, trays of solid gold, tables full of presentation keys, medals, trowels and memorials of all kinds.

Socially, the drawing-room was the central feature of interest. Its general effect has been described[6] as being white and gold and pale pink, its floor of polished oak with an Axminster carpet in the centre, and with an appearance of vastness modified by pillars of white and gold. There were innumerable mirrors and the furniture was upholstered in deep red, while rare china, flowers, photographs, statuettes, and small ornaments of gold and silver and enamel were scattered in profusion upon tables, cabinets and mantels. Here the most eminent men and beautiful or clever women of Great[Pg 206] Britain and the world have been entertained and here, or in the well-kept grounds, the intimate friends of the Prince and Princess have gathered from time to time.

The society received at Marlborough was always cosmopolitan in its variety but it was never of the kind which slander sometimes insinuated. No man has ever been more democratic, so far as mere class barriers are concerned, than was the Prince of Wales, but no one knew better than he where to draw the line in his entertainments. The Princess, for her part, was at all times a model hostess, and each knew too well what was due to the other to make the social life of the Palace anything more than a correct embodiment and representation of the social life of London. The liberality of the Prince was made evident in later years in making cultivated and representative Americans or Jews welcome at his functions. His very proper and openly-avowed liking for beautiful women encouraged at one time a social class of "professional beauties," but as soon as this patronage was found to have been misused and vulgarized in certain quarters, he and the Princess quietly dropped those who were making a trade of the Royal recognition. A story has been told illustrating the capacity which the Prince of Wales always showed for keeping people in their proper places. On one occasion, at a great charitable bazaar in Albert Hall, which he had honoured with his presence, he went up to a refreshment stall and asked for a cup of tea. The fair vendor—there was no doubt of her beauty—before handing the cup to His Royal Highness took a drink from it, saying, "now the price will be five guineas!" The Prince gravely paid the money, handed back the cup of tea and said, "Will you please give me a clean cup?"

The Royal etiquette, as to social entertainments and the acceptance of invitations to country houses, or city functions, was always very exact and was carried out along lines fixed by the Prince and Princess in their early married life. Outside of[Pg 207] the aristocracy, or a small list of personal friends, very few hospitable invitations were ever accepted and as such acceptance meant certain admission to the higher ranks of society the pressure upon personal friends or officials can easily be imagined. The Prince always objected to the lavish and extravagant style of such entertainments and this was one important reason for limiting his circle of hosts and hostesses. At the country houses visited from time to time, or at the private dinners to which he accepted invitations, the Prince was supposed to usually see a list of the guests and to always have the right of adding names to it. The delicate and indirect task of attending to this matter was for many years confided to Mr. Harry Tyrwhitt Wilson; who also had the arrangement of details in connection with the visits largely in his hands. One incident of the visits to country houses was an effort on the part of the Prince in recent years to discourage and check the wholesale habit of tipping servants. He took the method of leaving a moderate and suitable sum for the purpose and this was distributed after he had left the place. It may be added that whenever the Prince went anywhere he was always accompanied by an equerry, his own valets, a footman to wait on him at meals, and certain other servants.


The Prince and Princess of Wales, separately or together as the case may be, have visited most of the splendid homes of England. Chief amongst those whom they delighted to visit were the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and Chatsworth; Hardwick Hall and Compton Place have, therefore, more than once seen most brilliant entertainments in their honour. Lord and Lady Cadogan were frequent and favourite hosts. Lord and Lady Londonderry, the Earl and Countess of Warwick, the Duke of Richmond at Goodwood House, the late Duke of Westminster at Eaton Hall, all entertained the Royal[Pg 208] couple upon more than one occasion. Lord Alington, the late Duke of Beaufort, and Sir Edward Lawson gave the Prince frequent and enjoyable shooting. The Duchess of Marlborough and Mrs. Arthur Paget were two American ladies whom His Royal Highness counted as friends and hostesses. Several members of the Rothschild family entertained the Heir Apparent at homes which have been described as models of comfort and museums of art, while Lord Penrhyn was a Welsh magnate whom he once visited with great pleasure, and the late Baron Hirsch, in his Hungarian shootings, gave him splendid sport upon more than one occasion.

No phrase has been more conspicuous in recent years and none have been more abused in meaning and application than that of "the Prince's set." Properly used, it meant his personal friends or those who, along specific and often very diverse lines of sport, society, work, or travel, were necessarily intimate with His Royal Highness. Improperly applied, it was supposed to designate a rather fast and very "smart" set of wealthy social magnates. In this latter guise it had really no existence. Those who were familiar with the Prince of Wales' career and character knew that mere wealth was the last thing which ever attracted him, and the one thing which was a most certainly uncertain basis upon which to gain his patronage; to say nothing of his friendship. Many disappointed millionaires can speak with accuracy upon this point—if they wished to. On the other hand, honest love of racing, or shooting, or yachting; brilliancy of conversation in man or woman and conspicuous beauty or charm of manner in the latter; knowledge of the world and capacity to do the right thing in the right way at the right time were conspicuous factors in obtaining the friendship of the Prince of Wales. Achievements in art, or distinction in the Army and Navy, or great philanthropic interests and undertakings, were always elements of recognized importance.

[Pg 209]

Deer-stalking in the Highlands made friends and hosts such as the late Dukes of Sutherland and Hamilton, Mr. Farquharson of Invercauld and Lord Glenesk. During his annual visits to Homburg, for many years, and in the rest and liberty which he allowed himself there, the Prince's favourite companion, as he was his most devoted friend, was the late Mr. Christopher Sykes. Lord Brampton—the clever, witty and eccentric Judge who was better known as Sir Henry Hawkins—the Right Hon. "Jimmy" Lowther, M.P., Lord Charles and Lord William Beresford, and Sir Allen Young were also special friends of the holiday season. Admiral Sir Henry Keppel was a very old friend of the Prince and his family and this intimacy also included Mr. and Mrs. George Keppel. Lord Rosebery, Lord Beaconsfield, Lord Randolph Churchill and the late Lord Derby could all claim the Royal friendship, while Lord and Lady Farquhar were delightful and favourite hosts of both the Prince and his wife. Colonel Oliver Montagu was a very old and dear friend, and the Earl of Aylesford, Lord Cadogan, General Lord Wantage, Colonel Owen Williams, Earl Carrington, Lord and Lady Dudley and Lord Russell of Killowen ranked in the category of friendship. Lord and Lady Alington had the rare distinction of giving dances to which the Princess of Wales used to take her daughters when they were young girls.

Amongst hostesses other than those already mentioned whose entertainments the Prince liked to attend were Mrs. Bischoffstein and Mrs. Arthur Rothschild. Other personal friends were the late Earl of Lathom, the bright and witty Marchioness of Aylesbury, Lord James of Hereford and the late Sir Charles Hall. Amongst artists whom the Prince greatly favoured were Sir Charles and Lady Hallé and the late Lord Leighton. No closer and more devoted friends of the Prince could be found than the members of his own Household, and the public was long aware of this in the[Pg 210] persons of Lord Suffield, Sir Francis Knollys and Sir Dighton Probyn, in particular. The Prince delighted in doing honour to those whom he accepted as friends. He marked his sorrow at the deaths of Colonel Oliver Montagu and Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild by personally attending their funerals—an exception to the rule which he had set himself in this connection.

His Royal Highness frequently gave his powerful patronage to the promotion of Memorials to those who had been honoured by his friendship and who deserved honour upon national grounds. An early instance of this was the case of Dean Stanley. A later one, on July 13, 1900, was the gathering called at Marlborough House and presided over by the Prince for the purpose of erecting a national memorial in Westminster Abbey to the Duke of Westminster. In speaking, His Royal Highness said: "To me personally the death of the Duke meant the loss of a life-long friend. I had known him from his boyhood and there is no one whose friendship I appreciated more than his. In my judgment there is no one whose public services more fully deserve public recognition by his countrymen."

Fidelity to friends and appreciation of manly qualities and special abilities were always characteristic of the Prince of Wales and, combined with his tact and the unusual qualifications of the Princess as a hostess, made Marlborough and Sandringham, in different ways, the most ideal centres of social entertainment. Taken as a whole, the Prince's leadership of society was emphatically for good. His approval and patronage of the opera or the theatre, the race-course or the shooting-box, may not have been agreeable to some people, but they represented the popular opinion of the great majority. He took things as they were, enjoyed them in a full-hearted and honest way, improved the morale of the social system and the practices in vogue in many directions and left Society infinitely better and more honest than he had found it.


[6] Private Life of King Edward VII. By a member of the Royal Household. D. Appleton & Co. N. Y.

[Pg 211]


The Prince as a Sportsman

In his devotion to the "sport of kings" the Prince of Wales followed the excellent example of Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth, Charles I, Charles II, William of Orange, Queen Anne, the Duke of Cumberland, George IV, and William IV. He represented in this respect an inherent and seemingly natural liking of the English people. With them the manly art of war, the physical excitements of chivalry, and tests of endurance in civil and foreign struggles, have been replaced by the games and sports of a quieter and more peaceful period. Riding to hounds, steeple-chasing and the amateur or professional race-course represent a most popular as well as aristocratic phase of this development. The Prince of Wales, early in his life, took a liking to racing in all its forms and encouraged steeple-chasing at a time when it was neither fashionable nor popular. He became a member of the Jockey Club in 1868. It was not, however, until 1877 that his afterwards famous colours of purple, gold band, scarlet sleeves and black velvet cap with gold fringe, were carried at Newmarket in the presence of the Princess and before a great and fashionable gathering. Five years later His Royal Highness won the Household Brigade Cup at Sandown and thenceforward his interest in the sport was keen, although it was not till some years afterwards that he established his own racing-stable which, in 1890, was placed under the efficient management of Lord Marcus Beresford.

During these years the Prince lost a good deal of money, though the amount was never known or even truthfully guessed[Pg 212] at, but in 1889 his horses began also to win. In that year he won £204, in 1891 £4148, in 1894 £3499, and in the next four years a total of £57,430. In 1892 a Royal stud was founded at Sandringham and there Persimmon and Diamond Jubilee were bred. The Derby of 1896 was perhaps, the most historic of English racing events. Attended by a crowd of three hundred thousand people, raced in with horses owned by such generous patrons of the turf as the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Westminister and Mr. Leopold de Rothschild, watched with unusual interest by the crowd, it resulted in the most popular victory in the history of English sport. The Prince had fought hard for this blue ribbon of the turf, he had faced defeat and discouragement again and again and it was known that he would prize success more than anything within the limits of his ambition. When, therefore, Persimmon carried his colours to the first victory won at Epsom by a Prince of Wales in a hundred years, the delight of the Royal owner was evident. The great gathering of people cheered as if each person present had himself won the race and their obvious enthusiasm was an expression of personal liking as well as loyalty. This was a great year for the Prince whose horses not only won the Derby, the St. Leger and the £10,000 Jockey Club Stakes but also the Newmarket Stakes. In 1897 Persimmon won the Ascot Cup and the Eclipse Stakes (worth together £12,700) and was then retired from the turf. Trained by Richard Marsh and ridden by John Watts, this horse had given his Royal owner not only financial success but—what he valued infinitely more—great victories in a sport which he loved.

From that time on the Prince continued to be lucky with his horses. At the Derby of 1900 Diamond Jubilee won in exactly the same time as the Royal horse of 1896 had done. At this race, on May 30th, the Prince was accompanied by a large number of noblemen and ladies and gentlemen interested in racing. The Duke of Devonshire, Lord Rothschild, Lord[Pg 213] Cheylesmore, the Marquess of Londonderry, the Duke of Portland, Lord Farquhar, the Earl of Chesterfield, the Earl and Countess of Crewe, the Earl and Countess Carrington, and others, came from London in the Royal special train. In the Royal box at the races were the King of Sweden, the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, the Princess Victoria, the Duke of Cambridge and other royalties. The success of the Prince's horse in two minutes, forty-two seconds, was received with tremendous applause and with general congratulation in a large section of the press while, in the same year, the Royal colours were also carried to victory at the Grand National and the Two Thousand Guineas. The whole record was a unique one; the time at the Derby was the fastest in the history of the course; the winner of 1900 was a brother to the winner in 1896; and those who lost money appeared to be as glad that the popular Prince should win as if they had themselves backed his horse.


The part taken by His Royal Highness in sporting matters naturally resulted in many friendships built around a mutual love of racing, of riding, and of the horse. Conspicuous amongst the good sportsmen who were also good friends of the Prince were the names of the Duke of Portland, Sir George Wombwell, Sir Reuben Sassoon, the Rothschilds, the late Lord Sefton, Mr. Henry Chaplin, the Earl of Zetland and Sir Frederick Johnstone. Sir John Astley, Lord and Lady Claude Hamilton, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur James, Sir Edward Lawson, Sir Edward Hulse, Lord and Lady Gerard, the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, Sir William Russell and Lady Dorothy Neville may be mentioned amongst other devotees of the turf who ranked in later years as friends of the Prince of Wales in this particular social "set." In this connection the annual Derby Day dinner must be mentioned. From 1887 to the time of the Prince's accession this Royal banquet to the[Pg 214] members of the Jockey Club was an important institution and a much looked-for event in racing circles. Latterly it was the chief regular entertainment of the year at Marlborough House. The function was elaborate yet not too formal. Evening dress and not uniform was the custom; the guests included about fifty of the leading patrons of the turf and there were generally half-a-dozen of the Royal family present; the great silver dinner service ordered by the Prince at his marriage was always used; and the dining-room with its side-boards laden with gold and silver trophies of the race-course and attendants in scarlet, blue and gold, was a brilliant sight. Dinner did not usually last more than an hour and then the guests adjourned to the drawing-room for whist. In 1896 and 1900 the toast of the Derby winner, which had so often been proposed by the Royal host, had to be given to some one else—greatly to the enthusiasm of the guests.

The Prince of Wales was always a fearless rider and was fond of it from childhood. As an undergraduate at Christ-Church he constantly hunted with Lord Macclesfield's pack and was then considered a hard rider; but in after years his riding was mainly done in connection with military and other functions and for exercise, in a milder way than that of following the hounds. Akin, in some respects to the sport of racing, is that of yachting and to this the Prince of Wales was almost equally devoted. Naturally fond of the sea, trained in ocean travel in days when it was no pleasant drawing-room experience to cross the Atlantic, familiar with every part of a yacht and detail of its management, it was only fitting that the Heir to the throne of the seas should be an accomplished yachtsman. His first racing-yacht was the Aline and his next one, the Britannia, was for a time the most successful of large racing-yachts. Many splendid cups and pieces of plate graced the buffets of Sandringham and Marlborough and marked the victories of the Prince; though any prize moneys won in this[Pg 215] way were always handed over to his Captain and crew as an addition to their already handsome pay.

His Royal Highness was a capital sailor. In returning from his Canadian and American tour in 1860 his ship was driven out of its course by a severe storm and so much alarm was caused by the delay that a British fleet was sent out to search for it; but, different as were the conditions of travel in those days, the Prince was not found to be any the worse for his stormy experience. In after years when cruising along the coasts of Europe, or traversing the Pacific and Indian oceans, he met with many a storm and severe strain, so far as weather was concerned, without effect. It is said, however, that he was troubled somewhat by rough weather in the English Channel. As Commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron his patronage did very much in making the sport popular and fashionable and in creating the Cowes Regatta as a great yachting function. To this Royal Yacht Club every consideration in the way of prizes was given and the Queen, the Prince, the Emperor William of Germany, and Napoleon III. of France, offered prizes or trophies, from time to time. As Commodore—which office he accepted in 1882—His Royal Highness had as predecessors the Earl of Yarborough, the Marquess of Donegal and the Earl of Wilton. The Vice-Commodore for many years was the Marquess of Ormonde.


On July 18th, 1887, the position of the Heir Apparent was recognized and the Navy complimented through his appointment by the Queen as Honorary Admiral of the Fleet. Some criticism was expressed in a portion of the Radical press mainly, it was stated, through ignorance of the Prince's real qualifications as both a seaman and yachtsman. Upon his accession to the Throne no single action was more popular than King Edward's retention of this latter title and the interest[Pg 216] which he continued to show in the Navy. His Majesty took as great interest in Sir Thomas Lipton's efforts to win the America Cup as he had in the previous attempts of Lord Dunraven. Sir Thomas was, apparently, a congenial spirit in this connection and from both Prince and King he received a good deal of favour. It was while cruising with him on board Shamrock II., off Southampton, (May 22, 1901) that a heavy wind unexpectedly strained the spars and gear too much and brought down the top-mast and mainmast in a sudden wreck which crashed over the side of the frail yacht. The danger to the King was very great and a difference of ten seconds in his position would probably have given fatal results. The visit to the yacht was, of course, a private one, but such an incident as this made the affair very widely commented upon. The London Daily Express of the succeeding day embodied a good deal of public opinion in the following remarks:

"King though he be, he is resolute to live the frank and free life of an English gentleman, taking the chances of sport by land and sea as gaily as any undistinguished son of the people, whose life is of no smallest national import. That is the sort of King we want, the sort of King we will die for if need be—a King who holds his own in every manly exercise, loving sport all the more because it contains the element of danger that possesses such a subtle attraction for men of Anglo-Saxon blood."

Shooting was probably the favourite all-round sport of the Prince of Wales and in this he heartily embodied one more characteristic of the typical English gentleman. It has been described as a positive passion with him and as being "the love of his life." His father had been a thorough sportsman, though not a very good shot; the son became not only a thorough sportsman but perhaps the best shot in the United Kingdom. At seven years of age he was taught deer-stalking, at Oxford he frequently did a day's shooting on neighbouring estates, and, in his American and Canadian tour, a great pleasure to the young man was an occasional day's sport. At [Pg 217]Sandringham he early mapped out his estate into a series of drives and soon combined with other famous shots to create and make popular the big battues which were afterwards so well known and which came to constitute so important an event in the shooting seasons at his Norfolk home. But His Royal Highness never confined himself to shooting pheasants, hares, or rabbits. Deer-stalking and shooting grouse were favourite pursuits, and he knew no greater pleasure than to spend a day, or days, upon the moors, accompanied by friends and hosts such as the late Duke of Sutherland, his son-in-law, the Duke of Fife, Mr. Mackenzie of Kintail and Colonel Farquharson of Invercauld. Going out from Abergeldie, or Balmoral, or Mar Lodge on a stalking expedition, the Prince cared neither for exposure to bad weather, nor severe exertion, so long as he could return with a bag of several head of deer. With the German Emperor and the late Duke of Coburg he enjoyed splendid sport in the vast forests of Central Europe from time to time, and with Baron Hirsch, on his great Hungarian estates, he had hunted deer, chamois, wild boar and roebuck, as he had shot game in America, hunted tigers and elephants in India, shot crocodiles in Egypt and hunted in the forests of Ceylon or Denmark.

Photograph by Paul Thompson, New York.
The Rt. Hon. David Lloyd-George (on the right), whose Radical budget made him the storm-centre of England at the time of King Edward's illness and death, is here shown at his new Welsh home with his uncle, Richard Lloyd, who adopted the future statesman after his father's death and educated him.
Photograph by Paul Thompson, New York.
Descending the steps are: at the left, Sir Edward Grey, Bart., Foreign Secretary; in centre, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Churchill, President, Board of Trade; at right, the Earl of Crewe, Colonial Secretary and Lord Privy Seal.
Who was designated by President Taft as Special Ambassador to represent the United States at the Funeral of King Edward VII.
This photograph was taken at the railway station in Paris when the King was on his way to Biarritz (on the Atlantic border between Spain and France). Only a few days after his return from this journey he was taken fatally ill.

[Pg 218]


Habits and Character of the Prince

During forty years of his career as Prince of Wales, King Edward VII. was probably the most talked-of man in the United Kingdom. Good-natured stories, ill-natured anecdotes, criticisms grading down from the malicious to the very mild, praise ranging from the fulsome to the feeble point, falsehoods great and falsehoods small, have found currency not confined to the English language and ranging through "yarns" of gutter journals in London, Paris, Berlin, New York or Calcutta, in varied languages, and in many degrees of fabrication. Outside of the United Kingdom some of these stories have been more or less believed; even in his own national home there were always people ready and willing to accept the worst that they heard about a great public personage. Where he was known best, however, the influence of these things upon the reputation of the Prince of Wales was least and, in fact, so small as to afford little or no excuse for dealing with them. Abroad, however, it had always been different, and in the United States, thirty years before his accession to the Throne, it was conspicuously so. With the passing years, of course, and with growing knowledge of the Prince's position and character, the situation greatly changed.

As a matter of fact the Prince of Wales, from the early days of his manhood, was in his personal and private relations a jovial, honest and honourable English gentleman; possessed of a full sense of his responsibility in much burdensome work[Pg 219] and ceremonial and with a growing appreciation, as years passed, of his place as a sort of impartial Empire statesman; possessed, also, of a large fund of animal spirits and capacity for enjoying the pleasures of life. Within the full limits of his rights and his position he lived his life of work and pleasure, of public responsibility and of private rest and recreation. Yet it was almost always in the blaze of a noon-day publicity and few, indeed, were the times and seasons in which the Heir Apparent could amuse himself in any genuine incognito. Attempt it he might, but if any evil-minded critic were to seriously or conscientiously consider the situation—both of which suppositions are improbable—he might have seen that the best-known and most photographed man in the world would indeed have been foolish to trust to an incognito for any but the simplest and most innocent of objects. The actual impossibility of the Prince of Wales escaping from his entourage, his identity, and his surroundings, were sufficient to make Continental fictions and foreign fancies about him absolutely farcical to those who knew something of his daily life—aside altogether from those who knew and understood his real character.


There was only one matter involving moral considerations which ever emerged from the low region of back-door insinuation to the upper air and it was threshed out in a cause celebre—that of Lady Mordaunt. Her husband, an English baronet, sued for divorce before the Court of Divorce and Matrimonial Causes, alleging the usual grounds, and naming as co-respondents, Viscount Cole and Sir Frederick Johnstone. The case was heard on February 16th, 1870, and following days, and the defence on the part of Lady Mordaunt was insanity. The Prince of Wales, though not specified in the indictment, was so widely gossiped about as being connected with the case that he asked to be heard and swore positively that there had been[Pg 220] no improper relations between himself and the defendant. Two of the Judges on Appeal—Lord Penzance and Mr. Justice Keating—agreed with the jury's verdict that Lady Mordaunt was insane, while Chief Baron Kelly differed. The woman in the case was for years afterwards confined in a lunatic asylum, and it has long since been quite well understood that the only basis for scandal was the fact that a Royal visit which had been paid upon one occasion was made under the invariable rule of etiquette, which prescribes that no other caller shall be received while the visit lasts. Before and after the trouble Lady Mordaunt's sisters, and especially the Dowager Countess of Dudley, were amongst the Princess of Wales' warm friends, while the daughter of the plaintiff in the case was, in later years, received at Sandringham, and was given many beautiful presents by the members of the Royal family upon her marriage to the Marquess of Bath. Such conditions would have been absolutely impossible to imagine with the Princess of Wales had she entertained the slightest belief in the stories floating about regarding that famous trial. During the succeeding thirty years, however, there was never even an apparent excuse for the repetition of such stories, and the happy home life of the Prince and Princess was patent to all who were willing to believe the evidence of their eyes and ears.

What may be said of the characteristics and habits of this many-sided heir to Royal position? Probably his first and most pronounced quality was one of difficult definition—tactfulness. Through its means he led society without rivalry and with unique success; promoted reforms without violence of agitation or the creation of antagonisms; carried out countless varied and delicate duties, with noiseless celerity, in an age of intense and active curiosity. In forty years of ceaseless political change and frequently acute political crises not a whisper of his private views became known to the million-tongued press or[Pg 221] the curious public. He had known every kind of partisan and been liked by leaders of the masses as well as the classes—by Joseph Arch and Henry Broadhurst, as well as by the Earl of Derby or the Marquess of Salisbury. If he visited Mr. Gladstone at Hawarden on one occasion he paid the same honour to Lord Beaconsfield at Hughenden at another time. If Lord Randolph Churchill was a personal friend so also was Lord Rosebery, or Mr. Balfour. His genial manner and sometimes cosmopolitan view of society encouraged a popular opinion as to his natural democracy; while a personal dignity, never forced, or assumed, but always present, prevented the most courageous person from taking undue advantage of the freedom from ceremonial which he sometimes liked to encourage. His preferences in international matters were as little known as his political opinions, and yet, at times, his influence in this respect was very great.


The next and perhaps most prominent characteristic of the Prince of Wales was his love for sports and his embodiment of qualities which, in everyday life, constitute the English country gentleman. Some reference has already been made to his interest in racing, yachting and shooting. But most of the lesser sports and games were also attractive to him at different periods, and there was hardly one with which he was not more or less familiar. Boating and riding in his University days and fox-hunting at Sandringham from time to time in later years, were incidents of this record. Croquet he was an expert in, but never very fond of. Lawn-tennis, when first introduced and for years afterwards, was a game to which he was very partial, and on the Serapis when traversing the route to India he played deck-tennis until everyone else was exhausted. The bowling-alley at Sandringham was one of the best in England and the Prince was always fond of a game of[Pg 222] bowls. Quoits he played well, and billiards he played with frequency and skill—his daughters being also able to handle the cue with success. Hockey was a favourite game, especially on the lakes at Sandringham, and of this sport the other members of his family were equally fond. Skating and hockey parties were frequent during severe winter seasons and the Prince played in many specially arranged hockey matches—one of them against members of the House of Commons in the winter of 1894-5 included Mr. Balfour, Lord Stanley, Lord Willoughby de Eresby and Mr. Victor Cavendish.

Fishing never appealed to him and was, apparently, too quiet and easy a sport. He liked pigeon-flying, and bred some very fine birds at Sandringham for this purpose. Tricycling he was very fond of and kept good machines both at Marlborough and Sandringham. As soon as motor cars came into use he could be frequently seen driving a smart carriage along the country roads of Norfolk. Chess the Prince never mastered nor cared for. In dancing he was an expert, as well as in skating, and was always exceedingly fond of the amusement. At his Sandringham balls he was an indefatigable dancer, and at great balls all over the world he delighted many a partner and varied social circle by his obvious pleasure in the entertainment. From Halifax to Montreal, from Toronto to New York, in Canada and the United States, in Egypt and India, in Turkey and Greece, in all the greater Courts of Europe, from the days of Napoleon III. at Paris, to those of William II. at Berlin, he had been the central figure of some such occasions. Golf was played by His Royal Highness on the links of Musselburgh in early days and at a later time in Windsor Park. Cricket he was fond of in his younger days, but latterly he only showed his interest by patronizing matches as an onlooker. In these and other pursuits the Prince represented in his mode of life and his manner of enjoying himself[Pg 223] the qualities of a distinct type amongst his countrymen and a type most popular throughout the community.

Another characteristic of the Prince was his good manners. The "first gentleman in Europe" always knew how to be pleasant without being familiar, dignified without being pompous, genial without being free. Myriads of stories are told in this connection. At the skating and hockey parties on the Sandringham lakes the farmers' wives and daughters were included and no Duchess in the land would be handed a cup of tea with more courtly manner by the Royal host than would the wife of a tenant on his estates. His servants, in houses and farms and stables, in sport or travel, at home and abroad, were treated in such a way as to make every one of them wish to serve the Prince for a life-time. No more charming incident is on record than the way in which His Royal Highness approached Mrs. Gladstone at the state funeral of her great husband, bowed low before her and kissed her proffered hand. Whether in high circles, or in those of ordinary people, in expected surroundings or amid unexpected conditions, the Prince seemed to always retain this faculty of politeness in the true sense of the word—a product of heart and mind rather than of mere instruction or habit.

His manner and style of public speaking was an incident in the Prince of Wales' career which exercised considerable influence upon his personal popularity. The pronounced factors in his style were not oratory, gestures, or brilliancy. Plain in matter and manner the speeches always were; full of meat and substance they frequently were; neat and effective they were generally considered. Mr. Gladstone once went further than this description would seem to warrant when he declared that there were few speakers whom he listened to with more pleasure. "His speeches are invariably marvels of conciseness, graceful expression and clear elocution". His voice was a good one, clear and distinct and well-trained.[Pg 224] Nervous in his younger days and accustomed to learn the speeches off for delivery, he gradually changed with age and experience into the delivery of impromptu after-dinner remarks and speeches which did not show traces of the midnight oil or earnest preparation—although often full of facts and incidents about the immense variety of subjects with which he had to deal.

Intimately connected with these characteristics of his was the unquestioned ability to judge human nature. This quality enabled the Prince to play his difficult part so well as he did, to keep him in touch with all classes and the masses, to cultivate all the varied elements of a changing national life, and to be as much at home amongst business men as at the Royal Academy—amongst the aristocracy of London as with the farmers of Norfolk. He was ever a good judge of the people around him and, perhaps, no man in modern life was so well and faithfully served. His memory for names and faces was extraordinary and would remind Canadians of the unique faculty in this connection possessed by the late Sir John Macdonald. He always hated affectation and toadyism and liked sincerity and simplicity. Marie Corelli, writing in 1897, used the following expressive words: "To entertain the Prince do little; for he is clever enough to entertain himself privately with the folly and humbug of those he sees around him, without actually sharing in the petty comedy. He is a keen observer and must derive infinite gratification from his constant study of men and manners, which is sufficiently deep and searching to fit him for the occupation of even the throne of England. I say 'even', for at present, till time's great hourglass turns, it is the grandest throne in the world".

Patronage of music, art and the drama were characteristic incidents in the life and work of the Prince. The day for helping literature had perhaps gone when he came upon the scene and newspapers were then supposed to do for budding genius what royalty and aristocracy did for Johnson, Goldsmith, [Pg 225]Swift or Pope. It is a curious fact of later-day democracy that, with the obvious exception of Kipling, most of the greater lights in literature—Browning, Rossetti, Tennyson, Mathew Arnold or Swinburne—were born with fairly comfortable means. This in passing, of course. Something has been said elsewhere as to His Royal Highness's patronage of music and there is no doubt that he taught smart society to support the opera, while his personal enthusiasm for Wagner was pronounced and sincere.


He patronized the theatre for many years with regularity and discrimination; his taste in all matters of light comedy and opera was known to be good; and it goes without saying that his approval of a play or actor made many a reputation and fortune. He used to make his own selection of theatre or play, pay handsomely for his own box, arrive punctually on time and remain till the end, or very near it. His dislike of ostentation soon did away with the old fashion of a manager walking upstairs backward before royalty and his leaving a little early was to avoid causing delay and confusion with their carriages amongst the other guests of the theatre. Actors have greatly exaggerated the extent of his patronage and friendship. But he more than once took supper with Sir Henry Irving and it is understood to have been by his advice that the great tragedian was knighted. He it was who encouraged the late Queen to resume her patronage of the theatre and to begin by having Mr. and Mrs. Kendal appear before her at Osborne. He never liked, however, the appearance of members of the aristocracy on the stage and his daughters are said to have never taken part even in private theatricals. He is said to have enjoyed a private visit and smoke behind the scenes and George Grossmith is stated to have been one of those who were most patronized in this respect.

[Pg 226]

An interesting feature of his many-sided career and character was the Heir Apparent's attention to his religious duties. At Marlborough and at Sandringham prayers were read daily, in the morning, and guests, staff and servants were expected, though not compelled, to be present. On Sunday the Prince invariably attended morning service either at the Chapel Royal in London, or at the quaint and beautiful little Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene, in the country. The latter was filled with handsome Memorial windows and tablets and there, for many years, worshipped the future King with the humblest labourers on his estate. The only distinction made was in the private entrance for the Prince and the reserved pews for his guests and family. His daughters taught in the Sunday School and the Princess had charge of the music. It has been said that the Prince never attended Divine service on a Sunday in any but an Episcopal church. Certainly the records of his travels and habits appear to confirm this statement. Whether in Bombay, or Montreal, or New York, he seems to have always attended the services of the Established Church or its daughter Churches. Even in Rome, where he once spent Easter Sunday, impressive ceremonies conducted by the Pope at St. Peter's did not prevent him from attending a quiet little English church and explaining that when members of the Church were in foreign lands they should be especially particular in encouraging their own form of faith.

Of course, as a traveller of wide experience the Prince visited all the great cathedrals of the Continent and was familiar with the splendid Mohammedan mosques and Hindoo temples and sacred shrines which helped to make the glittering East so attractive. But they were visited on week-days. He was supposed to be broad in his principles as a Churchman and certainly at state weddings and funerals in other countries he shared in various forms of worship. The Princess of Wales was known to have attended ritualistic services before her husband's[Pg 227] accession to the Throne, but she far more often attended Low or Broad Church services. On Sundays at Sandringham the Prince used, in the afternoons, to walk about the grounds with his family or guests, visit the kennels, the bear-pit, the model farms or the Princess's lovely little dairy and its suite of tiny attached rooms where tea would often be served. In London he would sometime attend Divine service again or else pay calls in his private hansom and then dine quietly with friends or have a few of them to dinner at Marlborough. Sunday afternoons at Sandringham were always greatly enjoyed by Sir Frederick Leighton and Lord Beaconsfield but Mr. Gladstone is said to have best liked long, lonely rambles through the woods of the estate.

An important part of the character of a man in the position so long held by the Prince of Wales is the fact of moderation, or otherwise, in eating and drinking. It is a vital factor in the lives of all men but how much more so when great banquets are for months a daily function; when every luxury, or delicacy, or combination of cookery known to the civilized world and the barbaric East is at one time or another offered for his delectation; when the power of rulers and the wealth of millionaires are devoted to the furnishing of choice wines and liqueurs and drinks for his use. The good health always enjoyed by the Prince was perhaps proof enough of his moderation at the table. His habits in this respect became pretty well known. Tea at breakfast and in the afternoon he always liked; Moselle cup he enjoyed and was rather proud of possessing the receipt brought from Germany by the Prince Consort; champagne for many years was almost his exclusive beverage though afterwards claret took its place. Between meals he seldom drank anything though a well-known "cocktail" in the London clubs is credited to his invention. He always strongly disapproved of ladies drinking anything but a little wine and this was well understood by his own guests or by those at houses where he visited.

[Pg 228]

Reference must be made here to one unpleasant incident in the Prince of Wales' later career—unpleasant in its results and in the comments of the press and pulpit. To playing cards for an occasional evening's amusement the Prince was always partial, but not to the extent which was sometimes asserted.


During his journeys abroad he seldom or never played and he made a strict and early rule against playing in clubs. His friends say that he used to frequently dissuade younger men or the sons of old friends from forming a habit in this connection and as a well-known man of the world, without affectation and with wide experience and a naturally commanding influence, his views no doubt had great weight. Hence the most regrettable feature in the famous Baccarat case of 1890 which was, for a time, one of the most talked-of and preached-at incidents in modern social life. To understand the matter it is necessary to look at the Prince's environment. He was the leader of society and society, together with a large proportion of people everywhere, saw no harm in a game of cards, or even in the accompaniment of playing for ordinary money stakes, any more than they saw harm in racing and betting upon the results, or in dancing and its accompaniment of late hours and perhaps frivolous dissipation. Yet to many people in the United Kingdom and the Empire danger and evil lurked in one or all of these amusements and it was a shock to them to find that the Heir Apparent actually indulged in card-playing; although everyone had known that he patronized the other two pursuits referred to.

The history of the affair may be told briefly. On September 8th, during the Doncaster races, Mr. Arthur Wilson, a very wealthy shipowner, was entertaining a large party at Tranby Croft, near Hull, which included the Prince of Wales,[Pg 229] Lord Coventry, General Owen Williams, Sir William Gordon-Cumming, Lord Craven, Lord and Lady Brougham and Lord Edward Somerset. When each day's racing was over and the company had returned to Tranby Croft and finished dinner, Baccarat was introduced as the amusement of the evening and played for a couple of hours. The stakes were moderate—for such a party—and ran from five shillings to ten pounds. About seventeen people, ladies and gentlemen, usually sat down and the Prince of Wales was the life of the party, as he generally was, whatever the occupation or sport. On the date mentioned, Mr. Stanley Wilson, the host's son, thought he saw Sir W. Gordon-Cumming using his counters fraudulently and informed Lord Coventry and General Williams of his suspicions. On the third evening a committee of five—two ladies and three gentlemen—watched the baronet and unanimously agreed that they saw him cheating. He was privately accused of the offence, denied it vehemently, and brought the matter before the Prince, who practically acted as judge and regretfully told him that there could be no doubt of his guilt.

It was, perhaps the most difficult position the Prince of Wales had ever been placed in. To hand a friend and fellow-guest and well-known soldier over to justice meant in this case ruin to the man himself, disgrace to their host and his family and a considerable amount of discredit to the Prince. Of the latter point it is probable that the Prince thought least, as his fidelity to friends was always well-known. Yet to let the apparently guilty man go without punishment or restriction was impossible from every standpoint. The Prince, therefore, tried to square his duty all round by a compromise and made Sir W. Gordon-Cumming sign a pledge to never play at cards again. The natural result followed where at least seven people hold a secret of much importance. It became known, or rather rumored, the resignation of the baronet from the Army was not accepted pending inquiry and, finally, he precipitated[Pg 230] the issue by sueing the committee of five—Mrs. Arthur Wilson, Mr. Stanley Wilson, Mr. and Mrs. Lycett Green and Mr. Berkeley Levett—for scandal. Sir Charles Russell acted for the defence and Sir Edward Clarke for the plaintiff and, after a sensational trial, the action was dismissed.

The case created the most intense interest and for a time His Royal Highness was the most criticised man in the United Kingdom. Press and pulpit thundered forth denunciations of gambling and card-playing, and lectured the Prince upon his duty to the nation and his responsibility for public morality. Every extreme religious speaker or writer, every Radical paper, or pamphleteer, or lecturer found the Heir to the Throne an excellent subject for abuse, while the best papers abroad teemed with reflections which could hardly be termed generous. Speaking of the counters which had been used in these games and which were brought by the Prince personally to Tranby Croft the New York Tribune declared that in them he had "fingered the fragments of the Crown of England." Upon one point all the home papers were united and that was that in trying to arrange and settle the matter the Prince had contravened the Army regulations.

The better class of papers were very serious upon the subject. The London Times declared that the Heir Apparent could not put off his responsibilities as he did his official dress and, while admitting the assiduity and tact and good-humour with which he performed his dull round of routine duties, it yet bitterly regretted the example he had now set. The Daily News thought that the Prince had only been guilty of an indiscretion, so far as his action toward Gordon-Cumming was concerned, but went on to say that what was blameless as an example in meaner men, was very different in one of his exalted position. The Standard denounced the whole affair from beginning to end. "The Prince of Wales is not as other men. His position demands a sobriety, a self-restraint, and a[Pg 231] dignity from which people of less exalted position and lighter responsibilities are absolved." The religious press put no bounds to its denunciation. The Christian World spoke of the matter as an "outrage to the public conscience" and the British Weekly thought it "enough to sober the strongest supporters of the Monarchy." Resolutions were passed at some Church meetings of a similar character.


Then the re-action came. His Royal Highness expressed to the Military authorities and the House of Commons his apologies for an unintentional infraction of Army regulations; it was pointed out that playing a game of cards in a private house was not setting a public example and that the situation was so unique that any man in the Prince's place would have been pardoned in not knowing what to do; the cause of the trouble was dismissed from the Army and expelled from his clubs. The Daily Telegraph pointed out that the carrying of the Baccarat counters, which was apparently deemed the most serious part of the matter by many commentators, was a very common habit with players of this game as the symbols for money tended to moderation in playing, and were better in every way than slips of paper. Years afterwards, Mr. Arnold White stated it as a fact that these famous bits of pasteboard were actually a present from the Princess of Wales. The public came to feel after the first hasty judgment was given that, after all, the Prince had risked a good deal for a friend and the Observer went so far as to say that "under the most difficult and trying circumstances His Royal Highness has acted as ninety-nine Englishmen out of a hundred would have done." The Rev. Dr. Charles A. Berry, the eminent Non-conformist divine, declared that the people were not going to be unduly severe in their judgment. "They recognize the fact that he does a great deal of public work and is compelled[Pg 232] to live almost continually a life of unnatural pressure. It is, therefore, to say the least, understandable that he should seek pleasure and relaxation in some form of excitement."

Then the issue cooled down as suddenly as the tempest had arisen, and before long it would have been hard to recognize that so stormy a stage of criticism had swept over the popular Prince's head. In the Life of Archbishop Benson, published many years afterwards, there appeared a long letter from the Heir Apparent in answer to a note of sympathy received at this time from His Grace. The Prince spoke of the "deep pain and annoyance" which the Baccarat incident had caused him; of the recent trial which had given the press occasion "to make most bitter and unjust attacks upon me, knowing I was defenceless—and I am not sure that politics were not mixed up in it." Speaking of the papers and the Nonconformists, who had been especially strong in their remarks, he added some interesting expressions as to his general view of gambling. "They have a perfect right, I am well aware, in a free country like our own, to express their opinions, but I do not consider that they have a just right to jump at conclusions regarding myself, without knowing the facts. I have a horror of gambling, and should always do my utmost to discourage others who have an inclination for it, as I consider gambling, like intemperance, is one of the greatest curses which a country could be afflicted with. Horse-racing may produce gambling, or it may not, but I have always looked upon it as a manly sport which is popular with Englishmen of all classes, and there is no reason why it should be looked upon as a gambling transaction. Alas, those who gamble will gamble at anything."

Such were some of the characteristics and habits and social incidents in the career of King Edward while he was Prince of Wales. They show how entirely he shared in the life of the majority of the people—a fact all the more illustrated in the[Pg 233] occasions when he departed from his natural and usual course and seemed to participate in matters outside of the accepted and popular pursuits of the people. It is the picture of a man who loved his England, liked life and its pleasures, hated humbug, enjoyed sport, did his duty as it came to him and liked the play, the race-course and all the sports of a healthy, hearty Englishman. They prove the accuracy of that interesting description penned in his Diary by the King of Sweden and which, somehow, became public: "The Heir Apparent to the British Throne is Prince of Wales by name, Prince of Society by inclination, Prince of Good Fellows by nature."

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The Prince as an Empire Statesman

The breadth of view shown by the late Prince Consort was one of his greatest and most marked qualities. He seemed to have the faculty of seeing further into the future than most men and of preparing his own mind for developments which were yet hidden from the view of contemporary statesmen. Hence his famous Exhibition of 1851 and the realization of the fact that to encourage trade and commerce some knowledge of the world's products and resources was not only desirable but necessary. Hence the early perception, which he shared with the Queen, of the coming importance of the Colonies and of the necessity of bringing the Crown into touch with those over-sea democracies which were growing up to nationhood in such neglected fashion and with such little practical concern in the Motherland. Hence the dislike of the Queen and himself—because she had the statesman's understanding as well as her husband—to the Manchester school, and their opposition to the line of thought which said that Colonies were useless except for commerce and not much good for that. Hence the Queen's long-after regard for Lord Beaconsfield and her appreciation of his stirring and romantic Imperialism.

The Prince of Wales unquestionably inherited this capacity for statecraft from his parents. Natural and hereditary pride in his future Crown and in the greatness of the United Kingdom was developed by teaching and study and visits into an intense pride in the vast Empire which grew so rapidly[Pg 235] from year to year around his country and under its Crown. Having a broader and saner outlook than many of those about him, without the spur of ordinary ambitions, or the hampering influence of partisan considerations, he was enabled to view this development more carefully, wisely, and clearly than the busy diplomatist or the much-occupied statesman. Hence the pleasure with which he saw the Imperial Federation League formed in 1884 and watched the efforts of Mr. W. E. Forster and Lord Rosebery to build upon the preliminary principles already evolved by Lord Beaconsfield. It was not long before he saw an opportunity to promote this sentiment of unity and encourage the extension of Imperial trade. He had visited different parts of the Queen's dominions and understood something of the immense possibilities which were still lying dormant. His sons had since travelled over an even larger portion of the Empire and had, no doubt, in private as well as in their published journals, told him much of the more recent progress of those great outlying communities. Contemporaneously, therefore, with the founding of the League just mentioned, His Royal Highness proposed the holding of a great Exhibition which should meet the new needs of the time as his father's had done in 1851. Then, the interests of British trade were cosmopolitan and Colonial development slight and unimportant to the immediate concerns of England. Now, British commerce was contracting with foreign countries and steadily growing with British countries. Hence the new Exhibition should, he thought, be confined to British resources and products and be Imperial instead of international.

On November 10th, 1884, the Queen issued a Royal Commission to arrange for the holding of an Exhibition of the products, manufactures and arts of Her Majesty's Colonial and Indian dominions in the year 1886. The Prince of Wales was to be President and Sir Philip Cunliffe-Owen,[Pg 236] Secretary, of the Commission. The first meeting took place at Marlborough House on March 30th, 1885, with His Royal Highness in the chair. Amongst the members present were F. M. the Duke of Cambridge, the Marquess of Salisbury, the Marquess of Lorne, the Earl of Derby, the Earl of Dalhousie, Earl Cadogan, the Earl of Kimberley, the Earl of Lytton, F. M. Lord Strathnairn, Mr. Edward Stanhope, Sir Stafford Northcote, Mr. W. E. Forster, Sir M. E. Hicks-Beach, Sir H. T. Holland, Sir John Rose, Sir R. G. W. Herbert, Sir Charles Tupper of Canada, Sir Arthur Blyth of South Australia, Sir F. D. Bell of New Zealand, Sir Saul Samuel of New South Wales, Mr. Charles Mills of Cape Colony, Mr. R. Murray Smith of Victoria, Mr. James F. Garrick of Queensland, Sir W. C. Seargeant, Sir G. C. M. Birdwood and many other distinguished representatives of British, Colonial and Indian interests. In the course of his somewhat lengthy speech detailing the objects of the movement and the methods of operation, the Prince described the proposed Exhibition as one by which the "reproductive resources" of the Colonies and India would be brought before the British people and the different countries concerned be able to "compare the advance made by each other in trade, manufactures and general material progress". He pointed out the desire of the Motherland to participate in the development of Colonial material interests and then added: "We must remember that, as regards the Colonies, they are the legitimate and natural homes, in future, of the more adventurous and energetic portion of the population of these Islands."

The Secretary announced that the preliminary list of guarantees provided for £128,000, including £20,000 from the Government of India, £10,000 from that of Canada, £19,000 from the various Australasian Governments and £1000 each from individual subscribers such as Lord Cadogan, Sir Thomas Brassey, Sir Daniel Cooper, the Earl of Derby, Mr. Henry[Pg 237] Doulton, Sir J. Whittaker Ellis, Mr. Samuel Morley and the Earl of Rosebery. This latter list indicated in a most marked manner the personal influence of the Prince of Wales. On May 3, 1886, the eve of the formal opening of the Exhibition was marked by a meeting of the Royal Commission at which the Prince presided, sketched the history and progress of an undertaking to which he had given much time and intimated that the guarantee fund now amounted to £218,000, of which the City of London had recently voted £10,000. In proposing a vote of thanks to the Royal chairman, seconded by Earl Granville, the Duke of Cambridge said: "It is not the first time that His Royal Highness has acted as President in undertakings of this nature, and it is very difficult for any person to praise him in his presence without appearing fulsome; but it is not fulsome to say that he has always devoted his whole energies to bringing everything to a successful issue with which he is connected."


The Colonial and Indian Exhibition was opened on the following day at South Kensington by Her Majesty the Queen in the presence of an immense gathering, representative of all parts of the British realm. It was, in fact, the first of those great fêtes with which the people became so familiar in the next two decades and which did so much to unify and typify the power of the Empire. In the brilliant throng surrounding the Queen and the Prince of Wales, as the latter read an elaborate address of loyal welcome, were the members of the Government, the various Foreign Ambassadors, distinguished men in every walk of life, representatives of Colonies and British islands in all parts of the world—Lord Salisbury, Lord Rosebery, Lord Cranbrook, the Earl of Northbrook, the Dukes of Manchester, Buckingham and Abercorn, the Earl of Iddesleigh, Lord Granville, the Earl of Kimberley, Lord[Pg 238] Napier of Magdala, Sir M. E. Hicks-Beach, Sir F. Leighton, Sir Charles Tupper and Mr. Hector Fabre from Canada, Sir Alexander Stuart, Sir Arthur Blyth, Sir Samuel Davenport, the Hon. James F. Garrick and the Hon. Malcolm Fraser, from Australia, Sir Lyon Playfair, Sir Richard Cross, Sir William Harcourt, Lord Wolseley, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Mr. H. C. E. Childers, the Maharajah of Johore, Rustem Pasha, Count Hatzfeldt, Earl Spencer, and many others. Madame Albani sang that splendid ode by Lord Tennyson beginning:

"Welcome, welcome with one voice
In your welfare we rejoice,
Sons and brothers that have sent,
From isle and cape and continent
Produce of your field and flood,
Mount and mine and primal wood,
Works of subtle brain and hand
And splendours of the Morning Land,
Gifts from every British zone
Britons, hold your own!"

The National Anthem was first sung in English and then in Sanskrit as a compliment to the Indian visitors. The address read by the Prince of Wales referred to the origin and progress of the project, to the development of the Colonies, to the late Prince Consort's interest in Exhibitions and to his own position as President of the present Royal Commission, and concluded as follows: "It is our heartfelt prayer that an undertaking intended to illustrate and record this development may give a stimulus to the commercial interests and intercourse of all parts of Your Majesty's dominions; that it may be the means of augmenting that warm affection and brotherly sympathy which is reciprocated by all Your Majesty's subjects; and that it may still further deepen that steadfast loyalty which we, who dwell in the Mother Country, share with our kindred who have elsewhere so nobly done honour to her name." The[Pg 239] Queen's reply expressed an earnest hope that the Exhibition would encourage the arts of peace and industry and strengthen the bonds of union within the Empire. An interesting feature of the proceedings was the receipt of a telegram from Sir Patrick Jennings, Premier of New South Wales, expressing that Colonial Government's "thanks and appreciation to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales for the profound interest" he had shown in the success of the great project now so auspiciously opened. The London Times on the following day spoke of the "energy and devotion" of the Prince in this connection, and the press as a whole at home and in the external Empire joined in congratulating him upon the issue.

The Exhibition was a great success in every way. Over five and a half million visitors were recorded and the Queen helped, personally, to maintain public interest in it by herself visiting the various Sections repeatedly. The final meeting of the Royal Commission was held at Marlborough House on April 30th, 1897 and the Prince of Wales submitted an elaborate and exhaustive Report which was afterwards published. In his own remarks the President pointed out that the project had served its main purpose in very largely promoting knowledge of the Empire's resources and products and that, incidentally, its success had given the management a surplus of £35,000. This sum, he suggested, should be largely devoted to the advancement of the project for a permanent Exhibition or Imperial Institute—"in the promotion of which the Queen and I both take so warm an interest." Later in the evening the Prince expressed the hope that as the late Exhibition had been, allegorically, burnt that day, "the Imperial Institute may be a Phœnix rising out of its ashes. I trust that it may be a lasting memorial not only of that but of the Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen." Of the sum mentioned, £25,000 was accordingly voted to the new project.

[Pg 240]

The proposal of the Heir Apparent—as first expressed in a letter to the Lord Mayor on September 13, 1886—was that the idea evolved in the Exhibition should be made permanent and be embodied in an Imperial Institute which should be at once a visible emblem of the unity of the Empire, a place for illustrating its vast resources, a museum for exhibiting its varied and changing products and industries, a centre of information and communication for all British countries, an aid to the increase and distribution of national wealth, a medium for combining in joint co-operation older and smaller institutions of tried utility, and a fitting national memorial of the Queen's Jubilee. The movement developed steadily and, on January 12th, 1887, a gathering was held at Kensington Palace, upon invitation of the Prince of Wales, and was one of the most representative over which even he had ever presided. Amongst those present were Lord Herschell, Chairman of the Organizing Committee, the Earl of Carnarvon, Lord Revelstoke, Lord Rothschild, Sir Lyon Playfair, Sir H. T. Holland, Sir John Rose, Sir Henry James, the Right Hon. H. H. Fowler, Sir Frederick Leighton, Sir Charles Tupper, Sir Saul Samuel, Sir Edward Guinness, Sir Ashley Eden, Sir Owen T. Bourne, Sir Reginald Hanson, Lord Mayor of London, Mr. J. H. Tritton, Chairman of the London Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Pattison Currie, Chairman of the Bank of England, Sir Frederick Abel, Mr. Neville Lubbock, Lord Campden, the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, the Lord Mayor of York, the Mayor of Newcastle and nearly two hundred other mayors, or chief magistrates, of British towns.

The Prince of Wales was accompanied by Prince Albert Victor and spoke at length upon the objects to be served and the progress already made in the matter which he had so much at heart. "It occurred to me that the recent Colonial and Indian Exhibition, which presented a most successful display of the material resources of the Colonies and India, might[Pg 241] suggest the basis for an Institute which should afford a permanent representation of the products and manufactures of the Queen's dominions. I, therefore, appointed a Committee of eminent men to consider and report to me upon the best means of carrying out this idea." So much for the initiation of the scheme. The Report had been duly submitted and accepted and he now invited co-operation and assistance in establishing and maintaining the proposed "Imperial Institute of the United Kingdom, the Colonies and India." His Royal Highness pointed out that no less than sixteen million persons had attended the four Exhibitions over which he had presided—the Fisheries, Healtheries, Inventories and Colinderies, as they were popularly called—and expressed the strong belief that they had added greatly to the knowledge of the people and largely stimulated the industries of the country.


"My proposals are that the Imperial Institute be an emblem of the unity of the Empire and illustrate the resources and capabilities of every section of Her Majesty's dominions." The Colonies and Motherland would thus teach other and emigration would also be greatly aided along British channels. He believed that the work upon which he had entered in this connection would be of lasting benefit to this and future generations and, after a careful review of the whole situation, declared that "from the close relation in which I stand to the Queen there can be no impropriety in my stating that if her subjects desire, on the occasion of the celebration of her fiftieth year as Sovereign of this great Empire, to offer her a memorial of their love and loyalty, she would specially value one which would promote the industrial and commercial resources of her dominions in various parts of the world and which would be expressive of that unity and co-operation which Her Majesty[Pg 242] desires should prevail amidst all classes and races of her extended Empire."

A public meeting at the Mansion House followed with the Lord Mayor in the chair and was addressed by Earl Granville, Mr. A. J. Mundella, Mr. G. J. Goschen, and others. Strong resolutions of support and approval were passed, many telegrams of sympathy with the object announced, and a statement of initial subscriptions given which included the names of Lord Rothschild, Sir W. J. Clarke of Australia and Lord Revelstoke. During the next six years the project was steadily pressed forward; large individual subscriptions obtained by the personal influence of the Prince of Wales, supplemented by the growing sympathy with the Colonies and with Empire unity; while grants were given by the British, Indian and Colonial Governments. Gradually, the splendid building in South Kensington, known over the world as the Imperial Institute, approached completion and, on May 9th, 1893, was opened by the Queen amidst stately ceremonial and all the trappings of regal magnificence. Nearly all the Royal family were present and, in the progress through the streets, a particularly enthusiastic reception was given to the Duke of York and Princess May of Teck whose engagement had been very recently announced. Around Her Majesty and the Prince of Wales, as the latter presented the address of the Committee, were ranged the most representative men of England, many Ambassadors, and Indian Princes and Colonial statesmen. Lord Salisbury, Mr. A. J. Balfour, Mr. H. H. Asquith, Sir William Harcourt, Lord Rosebery and Lord Randolph Churchill were there, but not Mr. Gladstone. After a brief description, in the address, of the objects and history of the Institute, the Prince continued as follows: "We venture to express a confident anticipation that the Imperial Institute will not only be a record of the growth of the Empire and of the marvellous advance of its people in industrial and[Pg 243] commercial prosperity during Your Majesty's reign but will, also, tend to increase that prosperity by stimulating enterprise and promoting the technical and scientific knowledge which is now so essential to industrial development." After some brief words from Her Majesty the great building was declared open and another important project initiated by the Prince of Wales had reached completion. The London Times of the succeeding day referred with accuracy, in this connection, to his "clear-sighted initiative and untiring energy" and a member of the Executive Committee, which had the enterprise in hand, wrote to the same paper that during the past six years "every important step in connection with the Institute has been taken under the immediate direction of the Prince of Wales. By his energy men have been moved to action and difficulties apparently insuperable have been overcome. The result of years of devoted labour was accomplished to-day."


These were the two chief products of what may be called the Empire statesmanship of the Prince of Wales. Long before either of them were undertaken, however, he had shown a deep and sincere interest in the unity of the Empire—a natural outcome of his training, his travels, his individual abilities. For many years he acted as President of the Royal Colonial Institute, accepting the position at a time when people were only beginning to awake to the fact that Great Britain was more than an Island and sea-power and when the Institute was the rallying ground and centre for a small group of men like the late Duke of Manchester, Lord Bury, Mr. W. E. Forster and Sir Frederick Young, who devoted much energy and enthusiasm to the promotion of what long afterwards became known as Imperialism. The patronage and support of His Royal Highness did very much to give the movement, in its earlier days, a place and an influence and to establish the[Pg 244] Institute as the factor which history has since recognized it to have been. It was in this connection, on July 16th, 1881, that the Lord Mayor of London—Sir William McArthur M.P.—entertained the Prince of Wales at a banquet attended by many representatives of the Colonies and distinguished guests. In his speech the Prince referred with extreme regret to his not having been able to visit all the Colonies, and especially, Australia. He had greatly desired to accept the invitation extended to him two years before to visit the Exhibitions at Sydney and Melbourne. "Though, my Lords and gentlemen I have not had the opportunity of seeing those great Australian Colonies, which every day and every year are making such immense development, still, at the International Exhibitions of London, Paris and Vienna, I had not only an opportunity of seeing their various products then exhibited, but I had the pleasure of making the personal acquaintance of many Colonists—a fact which has been a matter of great importance and great benefit to myself."

A further reference was made to the sending of his sons to visit Australia and memories of his own tour of British America were revived, with an expression of special gratification at seeing his "old friend," Sir John Macdonald, Prime Minister of Canada, present on this occasion. In August, 1887, the Prince of Wales showed further and practical interest in Australia by accepting the post of President of the Royal Commission appointed by the Queen, in England, to promote and help the Melbourne Exhibition of 1888. The Earl of Rosebery acted as Vice-President and much was done in making the British exhibit a good one. Years before this, speaking at the laying of the foundation stone of the first Melbourne Exhibition—February 19th, 1879—the Governor of Victoria, Sir George F. Bowen, declared it to be well-known that the Heir Apparent was animated by "a desire to visit the Australian Colonies in person should high reasons of state[Pg 245] permit." As illustrating the opinions formed of him by colonial statesmen, the following may be quoted from the autobiography of that uncouth, clever, patriotic personality, Sir Henry Parkes: "I met His Royal Highness on several occasions in London, and he struck me as possessing in a remarkable degree the princely faculty of doing the right thing and saying the right word."

Another matter to which the Prince of Wales gave an Imperial character was the Royal College of Music which he initiated, organized and finally inaugurated on May 7th, 1883. Upon the latter occasion he explained in his speech that the institution was open to the whole Empire, that scholarships had already been provided by Victoria and South Australia, and that he hoped it might become an Imperial centre of musical education as well as a British centre. "The object I have in view is essentially Imperial as well as national, and I trust that ere long there will be no Colony of any importance which is not represented by a scholar at the Royal College." During the years which followed, up to the time of his accession to the Throne, the interest of the Prince of Wales in everything that helped Imperial unity was continuous and most earnest. At the Jubilee periods of 1887 and 1897, he entertained many Colonial statesmen, as he had done at other times when opportunity served, and he was always delighted to meet them and to discuss the affairs of their countries with men who naturally knew them best. It was a process of mental equipment for the government of a vast empire which, in addition to his early travels, must have made the experience and knowledge of Queen Victoria's successor as unique as were the conditions and greatness of his Empire.

During the last Jubilee the Prince presided, on June 18th, as President of the Imperial Institute, at a banquet given to the Colonial Premiers and other representatives in London. Upon his right sat Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Premier of Canada,[Pg 246] and upon his left Mr. Whitelaw Reid, the special Envoy of the United States. Amongst others present were Lord Salisbury, Sir Hugh Nelson, Premier of Queensland, the Marquess of Lansdowne, Lord Rosebery and Mr. Chamberlain—all of whom spoke; while Lord Ripon, Lord Dufferin, Lord Kimberley, the Marquess of Lorne, Sir W. V. Whiteway, Premier of Newfoundland, Lord Rothschild, Sir Donald Smith (Lord Strathcona) the Archbishop of Canterbury and a splendid array of other representative men in Church and State, army and navy, art and science and literature, were also present. In one of his tactful speeches on this occasion, His Royal Highness referred to the enormous growth of the Colonies during the Queen's record reign and expressed the hope that present peaceful conditions might long continue. "God grant it," he added, "but if the national flag is threatened I am convinced that all the Colonies will unite to maintain what exists and to preserve the unity of the Empire." In little more than a year these words were fully borne out by events.

But the Prince of Wales was never content to make mere speeches in advocacy of a principle. His aid to the Royal Colonial Institute and organization of the Imperial Institute were cases in point. When the Imperial Federation League was formed he could only help its aims indirectly because there were political possibilities in its platform, but when, in 1896, the British Empire League succeeded to its place and mission, with a broader and more general platform, the Queen and the Prince extended their patronage to the organization. On April 30, 1900, a great banquet was given under its auspices to welcome the Australian Delegates who had gone "home" to discuss the Commonwealth Act, and to recognize the services rendered by Colonial troops in the South African war. The Duke of Devonshire occupied the chair, with the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York on either hand, and next to them again the Dukes of Cambridge and Fife. The Marquess[Pg 247] of Salisbury, Lieutenant Colonel George T. Denison, President of the League in Canada, Mr. Chamberlain, Mr. Edmund Barton of Australia and Mr. J. Israel Tarte of Canada were amongst the speakers, and others present included the Right Hon. C. C. Kingston, the Hon. Alfred Deakin, the Hon. J. R. Dickson, Sir John Cockburn and Sir James Blyth of Australia, the Earl of Hopetoun, Lord Lansdowne, Lord Wolseley, Lord Knutsford, Lord Strathcona, the Earl of Onslow, the Earl of Jersey, the Earl of Crewe, Lord Kelvin and Earl Grey. The Prince of Wales was enthusiastically received and congratulated upon his recent escape from assassination at Brussels. After some eloquently appropriate remarks upon this point, he welcomed the Australians in kindly words and then referred to the war. "We little doubt," he went on, "that in a great war like the one we are now waging we should have at any rate the sympathy of our Colonies; but it has exceeded even our expectations. We know now the feeling that existed in our Colonies and that they have sent their best material, their best blood and manhood, to fight with us, side by side, for the honour of the flag and for the maintenance of our Empire." Such words may fittingly conclude a brief record of the Prince of Wales' interest in Empire affairs up to the time of his accession to the Throne.

[Pg 248]


The Prince as Heir Apparent

The Heir to a Throne such as that of Great Britain has an exceptionally difficult place to fill. He has to have the broad sympathies and knowledge and training of a statesman without the right to express himself upon any of the political problems and issues of his time; he has to live in a never-ending blaze of publicity and be liable to unscrupulous, or too scrupulous, criticism without the power of direct reply; he has, perhaps, to suffer in private life and character from the caustic shafts of men at home or abroad who do not like the institution which he represents; he has to officiate in a ceaseless round of functions and public ceremonial; he has to travel constantly from Court to Court in Europe and, in the case of the Prince of Wales, he had to act for several decades the part of the Sovereign in public life without the resources or responsibilities which the actual ruler would naturally possess.

There are, of course, important compensations. He has the foremost place in every leading national event, the privilege of knowing as intimately as he pleases the great men of his own and other countries, in every line of statecraft and human attainment, the pleasure of travel in many lands and amongst varied scenes and people, the opportunity of taking up any matter of a non-political character which he deems useful to the state, the people, or the Empire, with a reasonable certainty of substantial backing. To succeed, however, in the position as did Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, demands a peculiar combination of qualities which very few men possess[Pg 249] in any rank of life. Tact, self-restraint, self-reliance, knowledge of human nature, energy, dignity, good intentions earnest patriotism, are more or less necessary.

How seldom these qualities have all been possessed by Heirs to the British Throne is plain upon the pages of history. There have been amongst them seventeen Princes of Wales of whom the best, before the chief of the line, was the Black Prince, and of whom only four have reached the Throne since the time of Edward VI. They were Charles I, Charles II, George II, and George IV., and the careers of the last two consisted in the establishment of rival Courts, continuous disagreements with their fathers, the headship of political factions, and the possession of characters about which the least said the better. The Prince who became Edward VII. may be said to have created the position of Heir Apparent, as his Royal mother created that of a modern constitutional Monarch.


He established himself as a sort of advisory statesman to the nation, an absolutely impartial leader in questions of high, as distinct from party politics, the first gentleman in the land in society, sports and manners, the leader of philanthropic projects and social reforms. He became the busiest man in England, the most popular personality in the three kingdoms, the head and front of many important public undertakings. Such a development was new to British institutions, but it came about so gradually that only when he ascended the Throne did people fully realize how large a place the Prince of Wales had held in public affairs as well as in their affections. Mr. Chauncey M. Depew, the eloquent American Senator, expressed the personal side of the matter very well when he said, with some surprise, after first meeting His Royal Highness: "I met a thoughtful dignitary filling to the brim the requirements of his exalted position. In fact, a[Pg 250] practical as well as a theoretical student of the mighty forces which control the government of all great countries and make their best history."

There were many sides to this career, and in some of them the Prince never received the credit which he deserved. One was the essentially business-like management of his financial affairs. From the time of attaining his majority the Heir Apparent received £40,000 a year by grant of Parliament; at his marriage a special grant of £10,000 was given the Princess of Wales; when their children grew up the Prince was given £36,000 to apportion amongst them as he saw fit. During his minority the wise management of the revenues of the Duchy of Cornwall—which is an hereditary appurtenance of the Prince of Wales—by the late Prince Consort, gave the Heir Apparent a total of £600,000, of which £220,000 were expended upon the purchase of Sandringham, and a considerable sum upon improvements there. On the Prince's marriage he was voted £23,455 to defray expenses and his allowance for the Indian tour of 1875 was £142,000 of which £69,000 was for presents. Marlborough House was given him by the nation, though he paid taxes upon it like any other citizen. The Duchy of Cornwall was so well managed after it came under his control that it yielded in 1897 a total income of nearly £74,000, or almost double the value of the returns received forty years before. Birk Hall, an estate inherited from the Prince Consort, was sold to the Queen for £120,000. The total public income of the Prince of Wales during many years was about £180,000, or nearly a million dollars, and the management of his finances was always careful. The stories of extravagance and indebtedness were absolutely without foundation. Yet these tales of poverty were always widespread and were probably believed by many millions of people.

The truth is that he was a first-rate business man in money affairs, knew how to make his income go to its furthest[Pg 251] extent, and had an established system on his estates and in his palaces which combined comfort and luxury with judicious economy. A few words upon this point may be quoted, in passing, from an article in the well-known Ladies Home Journal of Philadelphia, written in July, 1897, by Mr. George W. Smalley, an American critic of authority who lived in London for many years: "It is not a subject which I care to touch upon, but I may refer to the stories about the Prince of Wales' financial position. It is a matter with which the American public has absolutely no concern. Nevertheless all sorts of stories are printed here about his debts to this person or that. Such stories were circulated when Baron Hirsch died—so circumstantial that they must have either been based upon minute knowledge or have been pure fabrications. They were not based upon knowledge, minute or otherwise, because they were not true." These stories were rendered more absurd by the fact that a rough calculation of his receipts during forty years of public life would indicate a sum of between thirty and forty millions of dollars.


Of course the expenses of the Heir Apparent were very great even when those are excepted which the nation paid. His personal gifts to benevolent institutions, educational concerns, religious interests, objects of social, moral and physical improvement, hospitals and infirmaries, asylums, orphanages, commercial and agricultural organizations, the relief of children and foreigners in distress, deaf and dumb and blind institutions, memorials and statues, Indian famines, war funds, calamity funds of various kinds at home, in the Colonies, and abroad, have been reckoned by an English student of statistics at £3,200 a year, or £128,000 in forty years—$640,000 spent in response to public appeals alone without reference to the many private charities about which little was known except[Pg 252] that a very large amount of assistance was given yearly by the Prince and Princess in response to all kinds of private and authenticated requests. In this general connection Mr. Gladstone, when Prime Minister, spoke very warmly during the Parliamentary discussion of 1889 upon the Royal grants of that year. "It will be admitted," he said in the course of his somewhat famous speech, "that circumstances have tended to throw upon the Prince of Wales an amount of public work in connection with institutions as well as with ceremonials, which was larger than could reasonably have been expected, and with regard to which every call has been honourably and devotedly met from a sense of public duty."

Reference has been made in the preceding pages to the infinitely varied public functions of His Royal Highness and the aid thus given to charities and benevolent objects. A few instances only were quoted in which many thousands of pounds were obtained for worthy objects through his patronage. The fact is that the Heir Apparent gave his position a rather unique characteristic in this respect by becoming a sort of Grand Almoner of the nation. Almost any charity which he patronized or which the Princess supported with his approval, became a success, and it is probable that every thousand pounds which he gave away became a hundred thousand pounds through the prestige of his example and his often vigorous and effective personal exertions. One of the interests to which he was most devoted was that of the London and other hospitals. Attendance at the festivals, or annual dinners, was frequent, and the consequent subscription to their funds from time to time considerable. During the Diamond Jubilee the Prince thought he saw in this cause a way to fittingly commemorate that great event—as he had already marked that of 1887 by the Imperial Institute.

Under date of February 5th, 1897, therefore, an elaborate statement and earnest appeal appeared in the London Times[Pg 253] and other great papers signed by the Prince of Wales, and asking for organized help in making up the existing deficits of £100,000 in London hospitals. The Royal writer pointed out that the efforts of individual institutions, praiseworthy as they had been, failed to obtain more than a small number of subscriptions from the great population of the metropolis; that the reasons for this was partly the difficulty of choosing amongst so many useful charities, partly the lack of definite opportunity for giving annual subscriptions to the cause as a whole, partly a feeling that small sums were not worth contributing; that it was proposed to establish this "Prince of Wales Hospital Fund" in order to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Queen's reign by obtaining permanent annual subscriptions of from £100,000 to £150,000. He also announced that Lord Rothschild had accepted the post of Treasurer, that a commencement in subscriptions had been made, and that the Lord Mayor had promised his active assistance.

The success of the movement thus inaugurated by the Heir Apparent was pronounced. The annual Report of the Council of the Fund, which was issued on May 2nd, 1899, stated that during the past two years £89,000 had been distributed, and that the hospitals had been enabled to re-open and maintain two hundred and forty-two beds. It had, however, not come up yet to the requirements and, on March 1st, of this year, the Prince made another effort to help the hospitals. He called a large and representative meeting at Marlborough House, and placed before it a plan for the establishment of an Order to be called the League of Mercy. Its object would be to reach locally persons who did not subscribe to minor Funds, or individual institutions, and to do this by offering an honour in the form of this decoration, "as a reward for gratuitous personal services rendered in the relief of sickness, suffering, poverty or distress." These services would be apart, altogether, from gifts of money, (although the latter[Pg 254] would be gladly accepted) and must be continued during five years. The Queen was to be head of the Order and the Heir Apparent its Grand President. All names were to be submitted to Her Majesty and the honour itself was not to confer any rank, dignity or social precedence. The plan was approved, and its success marked despite some caustic and unjust criticisms in certain Radical papers. On December 1st (1899), following, the annual meeting of the Hospital Fund was held at Marlborough House, with His Royal Highness in the chair, and attended by Lord Rowton, Lord Iveagh, Cardinal Vaughan, Lord Lister, Lord Reay, the Chief Rabbi and others. Lord Rothschild submitted a statement which showed the year's receipts to be £47,000, the first distribution from the League of Mercy to be £1,000, and the total amount of the Fund to be £217,000. The meeting of December 18th, in the following year, showed receipts of £49,468; of which £6,000 came from the League of Mercy. In his speech upon this occasion Lord Rothschild heartily congratulated the Royal chairman upon his "wisdom and foresight" in forming this League. In passing, it may be said that Grey's Hospital, London, was one of the individual institutions which the Prince undertook personally to help, and at one special banquet, at which he presided for this purpose, he was enabled to announce total subscriptions to the extraordinary amount of £151,000.


There was no part of his public career more creditable to the Prince of Wales than his sincere, unforced friendship and sympathy with the workingman. Like his philanthropic work, it was the natural product of a generous disposition, and won the honest liking of men who had always looked with suspicion upon aristocratic, to say nothing of Royal, efforts in their behalf. This was another illustration of the difference between Heirs Apparent to the Throne. Imagination fails to grasp[Pg 255] the thought of the Stuarts or the Georges, when holding that position, trying to help the poor or uplift the labourer! Speaking at a meeting in London on January 12th, 1887, Lord Mayor, Sir Reginald Hanson, said: "All those who have been engaged in this scheme (the Imperial Institute) know that the Prince of Wales is one of the first in this country who looks to the interests of the working classes." For many years, indeed, he had been an annual subscriber to the Workingmen's Club and Institute Union and to the Workingmen's College in Great Ormond Street. In the Alexandra Trust, founded by Sir Thomas Lipton, at the instance of the Princess, much interest was taken by the Heir Apparent as well as his wife, and, on March 15th, 1900, they privately and unexpectedly visited the Restaurant in City Road and inspected this praiseworthy effort to supply wholesome food at low prices to the poor. After walking about and speaking to many of the people, they enjoyed a "three-course dinner" costing four pence half-penny, and left amid a scene of great enthusiasm.

More than once the Prince aided workingmen's institutions by visiting them. On one occasion he heard that an Exhibition in South London, promoted by workingmen, was languishing for want of patronage and at once arranged to visit it unofficially. He went through it carefully, buying a number of articles and expressing much interest in the project. There was no further neglect of the institution by the general public. There was, perhaps, no single work in which he more appreciated the opportunity of doing good than that connected with the Housing of the Poor Commission to which he was appointed in 1884. He more than once presided at its meetings and took an active part in the investigations which were necessary. He attended every sitting and studied quietly and privately the whole condition of the poor in the poorest quarters of London and other cities. The Prince never hesitated to[Pg 256] criticize those who neglected their charitable duties, or to praise those who lived up to the level of their opportunities, and in connection with an institution which he opened at Deptford, in 1898, his condemnation of the wealthy people in that neighbourhood was severe.

On March 4th, 1900, the working-class dwellings built in Shoreditch by the City Council were opened by the Prince of Wales. They were largely the product of the Royal Commission in which he had taken such interest and whose proposals were the basis of so much progress in this direction. His Royal Highness was accompanied on this occasion by the Princess and Lord Suffield and was surrounded on the platform by Lord Welby, the Earl of Rosebery, the Bishops of London and Stepney, the Earl and Countess Carrington and others. In his speech the Prince was expressive and vigorous upon the necessity of better housing for the poor. "I am satisfied, not only that the public conscience is awakened on the subject but that the public demands, and will demand, vigorous action in cleansing the slums which disgrace our civilization and the erection of good and wholesome dwellings such as those around us, and in meeting the difficulties of providing house-room for the working-classes, at reasonable rates, by easy and cheap carriage to not distant districts where rents are reasonable." He concluded an elaborate speech upon the question generally by expressing the hope that the Legislature would deal with and punish those who were responsible for insanitary property. Speaking at a banquet of the London County Council on December 3rd of the same year, the Prince again urged attention to the improvement of dwellings in various city areas. A part of this generous desire to aid the poor was the Princess of Wales' dinner to three hundred thousand persons in London at the Jubilee of 1897. Contributions poured in unceasingly to the project and amongst others was the gift of twenty thousand sheep from the pastoralists[Pg 257] of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. The organization of the dinner was in the hands of the Lord Mayor of London and it proved a great success.

The gifts of a statesman were cultivated by the Prince of Wales upon every proper opportunity. His Empire unity ideas and projects were abundant evidence of this while a not less distinct proof of statecraft was the apparent absence of it—the absolute non-partisan position of the Heir Apparent. No one was ever able to say that he held political views of any particular type. His delicate tact was particularly shown in his kindness and courtesy to Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone. When the aged statesman finally retired from politics the Prince visited him again at Hawarden Castle and was photographed in a family group. He and the Princess attended his funeral and showed the greatest respect for his memory and services. When the time came, in 1900, for Mrs. Gladstone to be laid beside her husband in Westminster Abbey one of the incidents of a sad occasion was the wreath sent in by their Royal Highnesses with the following inscription:

In Memory of Dear Mrs. Gladstone.
"It is but crossing with abated breath
And with set face, a little strip of sea,
To find the loved ones waiting on the shore
More beautiful, more precious than before."

In preparing a national memorial to the eminent Liberal leader the Prince of Wales accepted the post of President of the General Committee with the Duke of Westminster as Chairman of the Executive. With Mr. Cecil Rhodes, he was long upon terms of intimacy and never concealed his admiration for the great Imperialist's career and objects. There can be no doubt that he knew much of South African affairs and was instrumental in the Duke of Fife taking a place on the Directorate of the South African Chartered Company. The[Pg 258] only occasion upon which the Prince ever withdrew from a prominent Club was his retirement from the Traveller's because they had black-balled Mr. Rhodes. Not the smallest evidence of statecraft which the Prince of Wales showed, in a semi-personal way, was his warm sympathy with the emancipation of the Jews and his belief in their absorption into the life and interests of England. His presence at the marriage of Mr. Leopold de Rothschild caused, long since, a sensation in Jewish circles but it was only the first of many compliments which the Heir Apparent bestowed upon the "chosen people" up to the days when one of them became Prime Minister and a daughter of the House of Rothschild married a future Premier—the Earl of Rosebery. The late Baron Hirsch, the present Lord Rothschild. Sir Reuben Sassoon and Sir Moses Montefiore were amongst his personal friends and he made a thorough study of the position of the Russian Jews—showing them practical sympathy in various indirect ways. Of course, this partiality was open to misconstruction and the rumour of indebtedness to Jewish financial interests was so prevalent at one time that Sir Francis Knollys had to write a correspondent, who directly asked the question, an official statement as Private Secretary to the Prince, that the latter had no debts worth speaking of and could pay every farthing he owed at a moment's notice.

There is no question, however, that this friendship with a powerful financial class, ruling great interests in every nation, gave the Prince of Wales a much enhanced influence abroad. In the same way his obvious liking for American men and women of standing and ability was marked and did undoubted service in promoting good feeling between the two countries—where it was not grossly and untruthfully misrepresented by sensational journals. Really distinguished visitors from the United States, whether rich or poor, always found a welcome at the hands of His Royal Highness and amongst those whom[Pg 259] he appears to have especially liked were James Russell Lowell, Thomas F. Bayard, Whitelaw Reid and Chauncey M. Depew. American women who have been absorbed into English life and society like Lady Harcourt, Mrs. Chamberlain and the Duchess of Marlborough were always treated with marked courtesy by both the Princess and himself. His visit to the United States in 1860 had also taught him something of conditions there which those around him were not always fully aware of. Hence the value of the message which was sent to the New York World in the name of the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York during the Venezuelan crisis. If it be true that a private letter, a word spoken in season, or a brief drawing-room conversation, is often more influential than a cloud of newspaper writing, then the Prince of Wales was for years a potent force in promoting good-will between the Empire and the Republic.

As a diplomatist there can be no doubt of the Heir Apparent's influence. He succeeded, in fact, to much of the power held in that respect by the Prince Consort. It was the post of an unofficial and secret personal mediator between the Sovereign of Great Britain and those of other countries. Thoroughly acquainted with the personality of foreign rulers, related to the majority of those in Europe, knowing their degrees of national influence and personal power, familiar with the statesmen's position in Court and Legislature, associated more and more closely as the years went on with Queen Victoria's personal view of foreign policy, the Prince's position was one of very great indirect power. Through his heirship to the British throne he was naturally upon terms of something like equality with those whom he met as rulers at Berlin or St. Petersburg, at Paris or Vienna, and more in sympathy with their point of view than men of less than Royal rank. To quote Mr. George W. Smalley in McClure's Magazine of March, 1901: "His is a strange nature. He has, very fully[Pg 260] and strongly, the pride of Kings and what the pride of Kings is, a republican who has lived all his life in a republic can hardly conceive. He has behind him, moreover, the loyalty of an expectant nation." Upon the other hand he knew more about the people and was more of them than any other hereditary ruler or prospective ruler in the world. Hence the strength of his position when conferring with a German Emperor, or a Russian Czar, or talking quietly with some Foreign Minister at a time of crisis.


This personal influence of the Heir Apparent was a factor often ignored. "Again and again," says Mr. Smalley, from the point of view of one who watched for years at the source of power in London, "the Prince has gone abroad as—in effect, though of course never in name—an Ambassador from the Queen to some Sovereign on the Continent. He has laid her views at some critical moments before the German Emperor and carried home the Emperor's response." This sort of personal intercourse must, many a time, have solved vital and serious issues. When William II. visited Windsor in 1899 and the Queen, with the aid of the Prince of Wales, Lord Salisbury and Mr. Chamberlain, evolved the terms upon which the countries were to stand in regard to the coming South African war, can there be any doubt as to the place in these negotiations which the Heir Apparent held, or as to the advantage which his many earlier visits to Berlin in the days of Bismarck and the Kaiser's initiatory years of rule, must have been to him? The result of this intercourse was, in the end, the turning of a possible national enemy into a friend; the change of the Emperor who wrote the famous Transvaal cablegram into the ruler who took the first train and boat to Windsor and bowed his head at the death-bed of Queen Victoria.

[Pg 261]

Another interesting incident in this connection may be found in the friendship known to have existed between the Prince of Wales and the Czar of Russia. Nicholas II. bore the same relationship of nephew to him that was borne by William II. and, like the other Imperial ruler, came to bear a similar feeling of respect and regard for his uncle—sentiments not always felt between relations, royal or otherwise. It was on August 31st, 1894, that the Princess of Wales received a despatch from her sister, the Czarina, that Alexander III. was nearing his end in the far-away Palace of Livadia. As rapidly as train and ship could carry them the Royal couple travelled to Russia, but only in time for the prolonged and splendid ceremonial of a state funeral. In this great and solemn pageant, lasting a week, and extending from Livadia to St. Petersburg, the Czar and the Prince were constantly together, in the most intimate relations, at a moment when the former was just emerging—as yet a young and inexperienced man—into the responsibilities of perhaps the most difficult position in the world. It was little wonder if the youthful autocrat of ninety millions took counsel of his experienced and genial relative, and found in his society comfort and knowledge and the basis of a lasting friendship. Let Mr. W. T. Stead in the Review of Reviews, of January, 1895, describe the situation:

It was fortunate for every one that he stood where he did, as no one outside the Royal Castle could have been to the young Czar what the Prince was at Livadia, and afterwards. In the long and almost terrible pilgrimage to the tomb which followed, when the corpse of the dead Czar was carried in solemn state from the shores of the Black Sea to the tomb in the Cathedral that stands on the frozen Neva, the Prince was always at the right hand of the Czar. Alike in public or in private, the uncle and the nephew stood side by side. After the first gush of grief had passed, it was impossible but that thoughts of the relations between the two Empires should not have crossed the minds of both. These two men share between them the over lordship of Asia. To the Czar, the north from the Oural[Pg 262] to the far Sagahlien; to the other, the south from the Straits of Babel Mandeb to Hong Kong. No two men on this planet ever represented so vast a range of Imperial power as the first mourners at the bier of Alexander the Third.

At St. Petersburg, the Duke of York joined the mourning group of Royal personages, and there, on November 26th, the young Czar was married to his cousin, Princess Alix of Hesse, and a still closer tie of relationship formed with the Royal House of England. From this time forward the diplomatic relations of Russia and Great Britain steadily improved and there has never been any doubt amongst those in a position to judge that it was very largely due to the close friendship between the Prince of Wales and his Imperial nephew. In France, and especially amongst its leading men, His Royal Highness was for long an influential factor in keeping the wheels of international relations moving smoothly. Personally popular, his tactful course at critical periods helped greatly in maintaining official amity. The root of this wide-spread influence and practical statecraft, in addition to elements already indicated and covering more directly the personal equation, was well described by Mr. Smalley in an article already quoted: "First of all, the impression of real force of character. Next, that combined shrewdness and good sense which together amount to sagacity. Third, tact. Add to these firmness and courage, and base all of these gifts on immense experience of life by one who has touched it on many sides and you will have drawn an outline of character which cannot be much altered. Add to it the Prince's constant solicitude about public matters and his intelligent estimate of forces—which last is the chief business of statesmanship. Add to this again the effect upon the hearer of conversation from a mind full, not indeed of literature, but of life; a conversation of wide range, of acuteness, of clear statement and strong opinion, of infinite good humour."

[Pg 263]

To these varied lines of useful statesmanship and personal labour in which the Heir Apparent was engaged for so many years, may be added the personal influence which he exercised over men of the Empire from time to time, and his constant inculcation of pride in country and of patriotic principle. There will then be seen a total record worthy of his later place as the hereditary ruler of vast dominions. In the former connection one incident may be mentioned as told by a correspondent during the Indian tour: "The Prince's tact is remarkable, and the news of his friendliness soon spread over India; one officer of great experience in Indian affairs declared that in asking the Maharajah Scindia to ride down the lines with him at Delhi, His Royal Highness performed an act which was worth a million sterling." Upon the latter point his speeches during forty years to innumerable military bodies—Militia, Volunteer, or Naval—may be mentioned. His earliest deliverance of this character was in presenting colours to the 100th, or Prince of Wales' Royal Canadian Regiment, at Thorncliffe, on January 10th, 1859. His first speech as an officer of the Army was, therefore, of an Imperialistic character: "The ceremonial, in which we are now engaged, possesses a peculiar significance and solemnity because in confiding to you for the first time this emblem of military fidelity and valour, I not only recognize emphatically your enrollment into our national force but celebrate an act which proclaims and strengthens the unity of the various parts of this vast Empire under the sway of our common Sovereign." The fact that this address of the youthful Prince—he was not eighteen—was probably revised and approved by the Prince Consort and the Queen, illustrates how early his education in Imperialism began, and how far in advance of public opinion the Queen and her sagacious husband were.

Through the years that followed the Prince of Wales was never backward in urging efficient military and naval protection[Pg 264] for British interests. Upon the question of the Navy two speeches, delivered in 1899, may be referred to as indicating the patriotic statesmanship of the Heir of the Throne Speaking at the Middlesex Hospital banquet on April 12th he said: "In this country it depends on our Navy and our Army to uphold the honour and prestige of our nation and to protect the interests which have made it the vast empire it is. I rejoice to think that Her Majesty's Government have thought fit to increase our Navy. I realize by your applause how heartily you reciprocate what I have said, and I believe that this feeling exists not only in this room but throughout the length and breadth of Her Majesty's dominions. In strengthening our Navy, God forbid that it should imply in any way that we threatened other countries—just the reverse—for, in order to be at peace, we must be strong. Therefore, the best policy is to strengthen our first line of defence—the Navy. I hope the motto of which our Volunteers are so proud may ever be retained by the Navy; that of defence, not defiance." A little later, as President of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, he presided over a banquet in London on May 1st. In proposing the toast of the Army and Navy he declared that the country owed them much. "I am sure the desire of every Englishman is to see both in a high state of efficiency and that he does not grudge putting his hand in his pocket to maintain them, because he knows that if he has a good fleet and a good army he is safe and the honour of the Empire is safe."

An incident occurred on April 4th, 1900, which afforded abundant proof of the popularity of the Prince of Wales and indicated the importance his position had attained in the eyes of the world. He had been travelling to Denmark accompanied by the Princess, and his train had arrived at Brussels en route from Calais to Copenhagen. The carriage was a special one and was leaving the station at a slow, preliminary rate when a youth named Sipido jumped on the foot-board of the [Pg 265]car and fired two shots, in rapid succession, point-blank at the traveller who was just taking a cup of tea with his wife. He was about to fire a third time, but was seized by the stationmaster, arrested and sent to prison. The man turned out to be a Belgian, expressed no regret for his attempted crime, said that he was willing to try again, and stated, under cross-examination, that his object was to avenge the thousands of men "whom the Prince had caused to be slaughtered in South Africa." He was afterwards tried under the laws of Belgium and acquitted. After sending dispatches to the Queen and the Duchess of York, containing assurance of safety, the Prince and Princess proceeded on their way to Denmark.

On August 9, 1902, amidst all possible pomp and solemnity the Sovereign of the British Empire and his beloved Consort received the joyful homage of their subjects
When the Primate came to do homage to Edward VII and was about to exhort the King to "stand firm and hold fast" he was quite overcome, and his Majesty to prevent his falling, stretched forth his hand to assist him.

The event created a profound sensation in Great Britain and throughout Europe and the British Empire. The first feeling was of astonishment that one of the most popular members of the world's Royal circle should be the object of such an attempt; the second that more care had not been taken by those responsible for his safety in travelling; and the third was admiration for the perfect coolness and obvious bravery which he showed during and after the ordeal. Everywhere tributes of sympathy were tendered in language of unstinted appreciation of the Heir Apparent's public services and character. Speaking at Acton, on the same evening, Lord George Hamilton, M.P., said: "What could have induced any foreigner to raise his hand against the Prince of Wales passed his comprehension. If there was one individual who had utilized his position and abilities to promote the welfare of the poorer section of society it was the Prince of Wales. No kinder, no more philanthropic, no more humane man existed on the face of the earth." At other meetings which were going on, sympathetic allusions were made to the event, amidst loud cheers, by Lord Strathcona, Sir William Wedderburn, M.P., the Earl of Hopetoun, and Sir Wilfrid Lawson. Telegrams poured in at Windsor and Marlborough House[Pg 266] from every point of the compass. Resolutions of congratulation were passed in every portion of the Empire during the next few days, and "God bless the Prince of Wales" rang loudly through the United Kingdom and many a distant country.

King Leopold of Belgium was one of the first to express his deep regret at the occurrence; the Governments of Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland, New Zealand, Tasmania, Cyprus, Mauritius and Barbados, the President of France, the Portuguese Parliament, the Town Councils of Ballarat and Bendigo in Australia and Durban in South Africa, the Agents-General of all the Colonies in London, the Australian Federal Delegates in London, the Masonic Grand Lodge of New Zealand, the Corporation of London, the Government of Servia, the High Commissioner for South Africa and the Hon. W. P. Schreiner, Premier of Cape Colony, the Governor-General of Canada, the Governor of Malta, and some eight hundred other Governments, public bodies, or prominent persons, telegraphed messages of congratulation or formal Resolutions. The references of the British and Colonial press were more than sympathetic. The London Standard thought that "the veneration felt for the Queen as well as the general regard for the Prince's personal qualities and his universal popularity might be supposed to give him absolute immunity, even in these days of frenzied political animosity and unscrupulous journalistic violence. The Prince is almost as well-known on the Continent as he is at home, and his invariable courtesy and unaffected kindness of heart have been appreciated and acknowledged in capitals where his country is not regarded with affection." The London Daily News pointed out the utter absence of all excuse for such an attempt. "The Prince had refrained with admirable tact and discretion from interference with public affairs. All sorts of charitable and philanthropic concerns have found in his Royal Highness a sympathetic friend."

[Pg 267]

Returning home, on April 20th, the Prince of Wales was given a pleasant surprise at Altona where, as his train stopped on German soil, he found the Emperor William and Prince Henry of Prussia waiting with their suites to welcome him to Germany and, at the same time, to offer personal congratulations upon his escape. This occurrence created wide comment in Europe generally, and was taken to mean a desire by the German Emperor to express friendly national as well as friendly personal feelings. When His Royal Highness arrived at Dover, the welcome was immense in numbers and enthusiastic in character. The same thing occurred at Charing-Cross Station, London, where he was met by the Duke of York and the King of Sweden and Norway and wildly cheered by thousands of people on his way to Marlborough House. As the Standard put it next day: "No address of congratulation, presented by dignitaries in scarlet and gold, could have been nearly as eloquent as that sea of friendly faces and the ringing cheers of loyal men." In response to the innumerable congratulations received, as well as to this reception, the Prince of Wales issued a personal and public note of thanks in the following terms:

"I have been deeply touched by the numerous expressions of sympathy and goodwill addressed to me on the occasion of the providential escape of the Princess of Wales and myself from the danger we have lately passed through. From every quarter of the globe, from the Queen's subjects throughout the world, as well as from the representatives and inhabitants of foreign countries, have these manifestations of sympathy proceeded, and on my return to this country I received a welcome so spontaneous and hearty that I felt I was the recipient of a most gratifying tribute of genuine good-will. Such proofs of kind and generous feeling are naturally most highly prized by me, and will forever be cherished in my memory."

[Pg 268]


Accession to the Throne

The death of Queen Victoria and the accession of King Edward were the first and perhaps the greatest events in the opening year of the new century. Before the formal announcement on January 18th, 1901, which stated that the Queen was not in her usual health and that "the great strain upon her powers" during the past year had told upon Her Majesty's nervous system, the people in Great Britain, in Canada, in Australia, in all the Isles of the Sea and on the shores of a vast and scattered Empire, had become so accustomed to her presence at the head of the State and to her personality in their hearts and lives that the possibility of her death was regarded with a feeling of shocked surprise.

During the days which immediately followed and while the shadow of death lay over the towers of Windsor, its influence was everywhere perceptible throughout the press, the pulpit and amongst the peoples of the Empire—in Montreal as in Winnipeg, in busy Melbourne and in trouble-tossed Cape Town, in Calcutta and in Singapore. When the Prince of Wales, on Thursday evening, the 22nd of January, telegraphed the Lord Mayor of London that "My beloved mother, the Queen, has just passed away," the announcement awakened a feeling of sorrow, of sympathy and of Imperial sentiment such as the world had never seen before in such wide-spread character and spontaneous expression.

Yet there was no expression of uneasiness as to the future; no question or doubt as to the new influence and power that must come into existence with the change of rulers; no fear[Pg 269] that the Prince of Wales, as King and Emperor, would not be fully equal to the immense responsibilities of his new and great position. Perhaps no Prince, or statesman, or even world-conqueror, has ever received so marked a compliment; so universal a token of respect and regard as was exhibited in this expression of confidence throughout the British Empire.


Public bodies of every description in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and other British countries rivalled each other in their tributes of loyalty to the new Sovereign as well as of respect for the great one who had gone. The press of the Empire was practically a unit in its expression of confidence, while the pulpit, which had during past years, expressed itself occasionally in terms of criticism, was now almost unanimous in approval of the experienced, moderate and tried character of the King. The death which it was once thought by feeble-minded, or easily misled individuals, would shake the Empire to its foundations was now seen to simply prove the stability of its Throne, and the firmness of its institutions in the heart of the people. The accession of the Prince of Wales actually strengthened that Monarchy which the life and reign of his mother had brought so near to the feelings and affections of her subjects everywhere.

On the day following the Queen's death the new Sovereign drove from Marlborough House to St. James's Palace; accompanied by Lord Suffield and an escort of the Horse Guards. He had previously arrived in London from Windsor at an early hour accompanied by the Duke of Connaught, the Duke of York, the Duke of Argyll, Mr. Balfour and others. The streets were densely crowded with silent throngs of people; crape and mourning being visible everywhere, and the raised hat the respectful recognition accorded to His Majesty. Later[Pg 270] in the day the people found their voices and seemed to think that they could cheer again. At St. James's Palace the members of the Privy Council had gathered to the number of 150 and were representative of the greatest names and loftiest positions in British public life.


Members of the Royal family, the members of the Government, prominent Peers, leading members of the House of Commons, the principal Judges and the Lord Mayor of London—by virtue of his office—were in attendance. Lord Salisbury, Lord Rosebery, Mr. Chamberlain, Mr. Balfour; the Dukes of Norfolk, Devonshire, Portland, Northumberland, Fife and Argyll; the Earls of Clarendon, Pembroke, Chesterfield, Cork and Orrery and Kintore; Lord Halsbury, Lord Ashbourne, Lord Knutsford, Sir M. E. Hicks-Beach, Lord Balfour of Burleigh, Lord George Hamilton, Mr. St. John Brodrick, the Marquess of Lansdowne, Mr. W. H. Long, M.P., Lord Ridley, Sir. H. Campbell-Bannerman, Sir J. E. Gorst, the Marquess of Ripon, Lord Goschen, Mr. H. H. Asquith, Lord Pirbright, Lord Selborne, Sir R. Temple, Mr. W. E. H. Lecky, Sir Drummond Wolff, Sir Charles Dilke, Lord Stalbridge, Sir M. E. Grant-Duff, Mr. John Morley, Earl Spencer and Earl Carrington were amongst those present. After the Council had been officially informed by its President of the Queen's death and of the accession of the Prince of Wales, the new Sovereign entered, clad in a Field Marshal's uniform, and delivered, without manuscript or notes, a speech which was a model of dignity and simplicity. Its terms showed most clearly both tact and a profound perception of his position and its importance was everywhere recognized:

"Your Royal Highnesses, My Lords and Gentlemen: This is the most painful occasion on which I shall ever be called upon to address you. My first melancholy duty is to announce to you the death of my beloved[Pg 271] mother, the Queen, and I know how deeply you and the whole nation, and, I think I may say, the whole world, sympathize with me in the irreparable loss we have all sustained. I need hardly say that my constant endeavour will be always to walk in her footsteps. In undertaking the heavy load which now devolves upon me I am fully determined to be a constitutional Sovereign in the strictest sense of the word, and, so long as there is breath in my body, to work for the good and amelioration of my people.

I have resolved to be known by the name of Edward, which has been borne by six of my ancestors. In doing so I do not undervalue the name of Albert, which I inherit from my ever to-be-lamented, great and wise father, who by universal consent is I think, and deservedly, known by the name of Albert the Good, and I desire that his name should stand alone. In conclusion, I trust to Parliament and the nation to support me in the arduous duties which now devolve upon me by inheritance, and to which I am determined to devote my whole strength during the remainder of my life."

After the oath of allegiance had been taken by those present, the proclamation announcing the accession of the new Monarch was signed by the Duke of York—now also Duke of Cornwall,—the Duke of Connaught, the Duke of Cambridge, Prince Christian, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Mayor of London, and the other Privy Councillors present. The Houses of Parliament met shortly afterwards and the members took the oath of allegiance, while all around the Empire the same ceremony was being gone through in varied tongues and many forms and strangely differing surroundings. There was wide-spread interest in His Majesty's choice of a name, and the designation of Edward VII. was almost universally approved—the exceptions being in certain Scotch contentions that the numeral could not properly apply to Scotland as a part of Great Britain. The name itself reads well in English history. Edward the Confessor, though not included in the Norman chronology, was a Saxon ruler of high attainments, admirable character and wise laws. Edward I, was not only a successful soldier [Pg 272]and the conqueror of wild and warlike Wales, but a statesman who did much to establish unity and peace amongst his people. Edward II. was remarkable chiefly for the thrashing which the Scots gave him at Bannockburn while Edward III. was the hero of Crecy, the winner of half of France, and a brave and able ruler. Edward IV. was a masterful, hard and not over-scrupulous monarch, and Edward V. was one of the unfortunate boys who were murdered in the Tower of London. Edward VI. was a mild-natured and honest youth who did not live long enough to impress himself upon a strenuous period, or upon interests with which his character little fitted him to deal. The last of the name had reigned, therefore, before the Kingdom of England got out of its national and religious swaddling clothes; before the reign of Henry VIII. had freed it from connection with Rome, or that of Elizabeth had founded the maritime and commercial empire which, in time, was to create the mighty realm over which the new Edward now assumed sway.


The Proclamation of the King in the cities of the United Kingdom and at the capitals of countries and provinces and islands all around the globe was a more or less stately and ceremonious function, and the Proclamation itself was couched in phraseology almost as old as the Monarchy. "We, therefore, do now with consent of tongue and heart, publish and proclaim that the high and mighty Prince, Albert Edward, is now, by the death of our late Sovereign of happy memory, become our only lawful and rightful Liege Lord, Edward the Seventh." At the ceremony in London, Dublin, Liverpool, Derby and other cities, immense crowds assembled and "God save the King" was sung with unusual heartiness. Meanwhile, following his address to the Privy Council, the King had returned to Osborne with the Duke of Cornwall and[Pg 273] York, and there he found the German Emperor awaiting him. The latter had come post-haste from Berlin and been in time to see the Queen before she passed away. He had now decided to stay until after the funeral and thus to tender every respect in his power to the memory of his august grandmother. Parliament had been called immediately upon the King's Proclamation, and it met hurriedly and briefly on January 24th to enable the members to take the oath of allegiance while, all around the Empire, similar proceedings were taking place in Courts and Legislatures and Government buildings.

On the following day Parliament met in brief Session and the Marquess of Salisbury in the House of Lords and Mr. A. J. Balfour in the Commons read a Royal message: "The King is fully assured that the House of Lords will share the deep sorrow which has befallen His Majesty and the nation by the lamented death of His Majesty's mother, the late Queen. Her devotion to the welfare of her country and her people and her wise and beneficent rule during the sixty-four years of her glorious reign will ever be held in affectionate memory by her loyal and devoted subjects throughout the dominions of the British Empire." In moving an address of mingled sympathy and congratulation, in reply, Lord Salisbury spoke with sincere and weighty words as to the qualities and power of the late Queen, her position as a constitutional ruler and her "steady and persistent influence on the action of her Ministers in the course of legislation and government." Upon the position of the new Sovereign the speaker was explicit: "He has before him the greatest example he could have to follow, he has been familiar with our political and social life for more than one generation, he enjoys a universal and enormous popularity, he is beloved in foreign countries and foreign Courts almost as much as he is at home, and he has profound knowledge of the working of our institutions and the conduct of our affairs."

[Pg 274]

The motion was seconded by Lord Kimberley as Liberal Leader in the House, and spoken to by the Archbishop of Canterbury. In the Commons Mr. Balfour referred at length to the great reign and character of Queen Victoria and to the Sovereign's influence upon public affairs. "In my judgment the importance of the Crown in our Constitution is not a diminishing but an increasing factor." Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, the Opposition Leader, seconded the motion, dealt with the late Queen's personal character, referred to Queen Alexandra as having long reigned in the hearts of the people, and paid high tribute to King Edward: "For the greater part of his life it has fallen to him not only to discharge a large part of the ceremonial public duty which would naturally be performed by the head of the State; but also to take a leading part in almost every scheme established for the national benefit of the country. Religion and charity, public health, science and literature and art, education, commerce, agriculture—not one of these subjects appealed in vain to His Majesty, when Prince of Wales, for strong sympathy and even for personal effort and influence. We know how unselfish he has been in the assiduous discharge of all his public duties, we know with what tact and geniality he has been able to lend himself to the furtherance of these great objects."

The tactful and obviously sincere language of the King's address to his Council had, meanwhile, won the warmest and most loyal commendation in all parts of the Empire—the unanimity of approval being extraordinary in view of the diversity of peoples and interests involved. Other messages which followed from His Majesty were of the same statesmanlike character. To the Army, on January 25th, he issued a special message, as Sovereign and as constitutional head, thanking it for the splendid services rendered to the late Queen and describing her pride in its deeds and in being herself a soldier's daughter. "To secure your best interests will[Pg 275] be one of the deepest objects of my heart and I know I can count upon that loyal devotion which you ever evinced toward your late Sovereign." On the following day the Navy received a message of thanks for the distinguished services rendered by it during the long and glorious reign of the late Queen and concluding with these words: "Watching over your interests and well-being I confidently rely upon that unfailing loyalty which is the proud inheritance of your noble Service."

An incident followed which once more showed the tactfulness of character so desirable and important in a Sovereign. The presence of William II. of Germany in England, at this particular period, was creating much discussion abroad and his evident friendship for the King, whom he had just made an Admiral of the German fleet and with whom he had been having prolonged conferences—in company on one occasion with Lord Lansdowne who had been hastily summoned to Osborne—increased this interest. On January 28th the situation was accentuated by the announcement that the German Emperor had been made a Field Marshal in the British Army and his son, the Crown Prince, a Knight of the Garter. In personally conferring the latter honour King Edward made a brief speech in which he expressed the hope that the kindly action of the Emperor in coming to London at this juncture and his own presentation of this ancient Order to the Prince might "further cement and strengthen the good feeling which exists between the two countries."

Between the time of the King's accession and the funeral of Queen Victoria, on February 1st, the press and public of the Empire were busy taking stock of the great loss sustained and measuring the character and possibilities of the new Sovereign. There was, in both connections, a curious and striking unanimity, as may be inferred from what has been already stated. A few expressions of authoritative opinion about the new King may, however, very properly be quoted here[Pg 276] in addition to the references made in Parliament. The London Times, on the day following the Queen's death, spoke of the long training undergone by the Prince of Wales, of his wide experience and his acquaintance with the ceremonial functions of Royalty. "Endowed as he is with many of the most lovable and attractive qualities of his mother—with warm sympathies, with a kind heart, with a generous disposition, and with a quick appreciation of genuine worth—the nation is happy in the confidence that, in spirit as well as in form, it may count upon the maintenance of that conception of Royalty which is the only one which most of us have ever known. To these qualities the King adds perfect tact, wide knowledge of men and the business virtues of method, prompt decision, punctuality and great capacity for work."


Speaking on January 24th at the City Temple, the Rev. Dr. Joseph Parker, Chairman of the Congregational Union of England and Wales, spoke of the King's great opportunities and personal powers. "As Prince of Wales he has played a difficult part with strict sagacity and unfailing good-nature. He is a man of great compass of mind. Let us welcome him with our warmest appreciation." From across the Atlantic came the voice of the Prime Minister of Canada, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, in his eloquent speech in Parliament on February 8th: "We have believed from the first that he who was a wise Prince will be a wise King, and that the policy which has made the British Empire so great under his predecessor will also be his policy." From the still more distant Melbourne, Australia, came the kindly and loyal words of the Argus on February 1st: "In the eyes of his subjects, near and far, he is clothed with the kindliness, the tact, the sympathy with social progress, the practical intelligence, the political impartiality, and the keen sense of duty he displayed during the[Pg 277] many years in which he helped his mother in the discharge of the Royal tasks. His people know that he possesses the amiability, the dignity, the clear vision and the industry which befit the occupant of a most exacting as well as exalted position." From all over the world came testimonies of similar feeling, and within British dominions the opinions and tributes everywhere partook of one quality—that of trust and confidence in the new Sovereign.

During this first week of his reign the work which devolved upon the King was tremendous. The signing and consideration of necessary documents which had been delayed during the illness of the Queen was alone a serious task. The slight sickness of the Duke of Cornwall and York detached him from the help which he might have given in many ways, and the presence of the German Emperor increased the burden of discussion and of questions to be dealt with. The King also took charge of the large and complicated arrangements connected with the funeral ceremonies and supervised the immense variety of details with his usual business-like ability and energy. This great function, which eclipsed the Jubilee in solemn splendour and exceeded any demonstration in history in its unquestioned weight of public sorrow, commenced on Friday, February 1st, when the remains of the Queen were removed from Osborne to the Royal yacht Alberta.

The coffin was carried by Highlanders and blue-jackets, followed by the King, the German Emperor, the Duke of Connaught, the German Crown Prince, Prince Henry of Prussia, Prince Christian, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Prince Arthur of Connaught, Prince Charles of Denmark, Prince Louis of Battenberg, and then Queen Alexandra and the Princesses. The Alberta passed across the Solent to Portsmouth, through a long and continuous avenue of saluting warships, and was followed by another vessel with the Royal mourners on board. The members of the Lords[Pg 278] and Commons were on vessels placed amongst the warships. On Saturday the body of the late Sovereign was brought from Portsmouth to the metropolis and borne with solemn state to Paddington station through millions of black-garbed, silent and mournful people, and between lines, along the entire route, of thirty-three thousand Regular troops and volunteers. It was followed by the King, the German Emperor and the Duke of Connaught, riding abreast, the Kings of Portugal and Greece, forty Princes representing every Royal House in Europe, seventeen representatives of the Colonies, a long array of Ambassadors and foreign representatives, the Queen, the Princesses, the King of the Belgians, the Duke of Cambridge, Lord Roberts, Lord Wolseley. The coffin was taken by train to Windsor where, in St. George's Chapel, the funeral service was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Winchester. The actual interment took place on Monday afternoon in the Royal Mausoleum of Frogmore, where the remains of the great Queen were laid in death beside those of the husband whose memory she had so long cherished in life.

These prolonged obsequies—the most splendid and impressive in history—passed off with a smoothness of procedure which, under the circumstances of sorrow and crowding duties, indicated more than ordinary powers of concentration and management in the new King, as well as a most marvellous sentiment and sympathy amongst the people. Throughout the Empire, as that solemn procession passed along the purple-draped streets of London, funeral services were being held and sermons of sorrow preached in an uncounted multitude of churches darkened with all the habiliments of mourning. As the Standard well put it on February 5th: "The nation is conscious of its debt to the King, whose tactful perception and devoted labour gave it so splendid an opportunity of showing its reverence for the Sovereign who has just passed[Pg 279] away. The King on his side has found strength and comfort in those eloquent demonstrations of the sympathy of his subjects which have reached him, in innumerable ways, from all parts of his dominions." Immediately after the last ceremonies had been performed the King issued a series of Messages which, for tact and courtesy and kindliness, have rarely been excelled—even by the experienced eloquence of his Royal mother. They were all dated February 4th and the first was addressed "To my People." It commenced by saying: "Now that the last scene has closed in the noble and ever-glorious life of my beloved mother, the Queen, I am anxious to endeavour to convey to the whole Empire the extent of the deep gratitude I feel for the heart-stirring and affectionate tributes which are everywhere borne to her memory." His Majesty proceeded to speak of the recent magnificent display by sea and land and the inspiration of courage and hope which the public sympathy had been to him during the recent trying days. "Encouraged by the confidence of that love and trust which the nation ever reposed in its late and fondly-mourned Sovereign, I shall earnestly strive to walk in her footsteps, devoting myself to the utmost of my powers to maintaining and promoting the highest interests of my people and to the diligent and zealous fulfilment of the great and sacred responsibilities which, through the will of God, I am now called to undertake."

A second Message was addressed "To my People beyond the Seas." After referring to the countless dispatches which had been received from his "Dominions over the Seas" and the universal grief felt throughout the Empire, the King spoke of the "heartfelt interest" always evinced by the late Sovereign in the welfare of Greater Britain, in the extension of self-government, in the loyalty of the people to her Throne and person, in the gallantry of those who had fought and died for the Empire in South Africa. He concluded as follows: "I have already declared that it will be my constant endeavour[Pg 280] to follow the great example which has been bequeathed to me. In these endeavours, I shall have a constant trust in the devotion and sympathy of the people and of their several representative assemblies throughout my vast Colonial dominions. With such loyal support, I will, with God's blessing, solemnly work for the common welfare and security of the great Empire over which I have now been called to reign."

The next and last of these historic documents was a letter to the Princes and peoples of India in which His Majesty informed them that through the lamented death of his mother he had inherited a Throne "which has descended to me through a long and ancient lineage" and then proceeded: "I now desire to send my greeting to the ruling Chiefs of the Native States and to the inhabitants of my Indian dominions, to insure them of my sincere good will and affection and of my heartfelt wishes for their welfare." He spoke of his illustrious predecessor as having first taken upon herself the direct administration of Indian affairs and assumed the title of Empress in token of her closer association with the government of that country; referred to the loyalty of its people and the services rendered by its Princes in the South African war and by its native soldiers in other countries; and concluded in the following expressive words: "It was by her wish and with her sanction that I visited India and made myself acquainted with the ruling Chiefs, the people and the cities of that ancient and famous Empire. I shall never forget the deep impressions which I then received and I shall endeavour to follow the great Queen-Empress, to work for the general well-being of my Indian subjects of all ranks and to merit, as she did, their unfailing loyalty and affection."

Following these incidents came the return home of the German Emperor, a letter of thanks from the King to Earl Roberts for his management of the military part of the funeral arrangements, and a most enthusiastic reception to His [Pg 281]Majesty and Queen Alexandra during a rapid passage through London to Marlborough House on February 27th. From this time on, during weeks of crowded work and the assumption of new responsibilities and functions, the King received many addresses of mingled condolence and congratulation. One of the first was from the Royal Agricultural Society of England which the King had done so much to aid as Heir Apparent. The President, Earl Cawdor, in speaking to the Council on February 6th, referred to "the keen personal interest which the King had ever taken in all that related to the welfare of the agricultural interests of the country at large, and especially of the Royal Agricultural Society. They had made many and many calls upon his time and thought." Canterbury Convocation referred to the pending visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York to Australia, New Zealand and Canada. The County of Derby the Royal Society, the Benevolent Society of St. Patrick—all sorts of organizations, political, financial, commercial, religious, scientific, official, artistic, benevolent and literary—expressed their admiration for the late Queen and their loyalty to the new Sovereign.

The favourite residence of King Edward while he was Prince of Wales. The King is at right of the centre, and the Duke of Cornwall and York, now King George V. at the left side of the picture
At Westminster, where the Peers of the Realm assemble in their law-making capacity
The cornerstone was laid by King Edward VII in 1860


On January 13th the King received, in state, at St. James's Palace, the Corporation of London and the London County Council. In response to the addresses His Majesty made a direct reference to the Housing of the Poor Question, which he described as one in which "I have always taken the deepest personal interest." At a meeting of the Mark Master Masons of England on February 19th, with the Earl of Euston in the chair, the usual address was passed, and then a letter was read from Sir Francis Knollys, saying that the King felt it necessary to resign the Grand-Mastership, but that he would remain a Patron of the Order. Five days later the King[Pg 282] received at St. James's the loyal address of the University of Oxford, presented by its Chancellor, the Marquess of Salisbury; of the University of Cambridge, presented by its Chancellor, the Duke of Devonshire; of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, presented by the Right Rev. Dr. Norman Macleod; of the Corporation of Edinburgh and the Royal Society. Each of the deputations presenting these addresses was large and distinguished in membership, and to each His Majesty addressed a brief and tactful speech.

On March 12th another brilliant function was held at the same Palace, when the King received addresses from the Convocation of Canterbury, presented by the Archbishop, and that of the Northern Convocation presented by the Archbishop of York; the University of London, the English Presbyterian Church and the Society of Friends. Eight days later the great event in this connection, amidst surroundings of state and splendour, was the reception of over forty addresses from cities, boroughs, institutions and various public bodies. Included in the list of deputations presenting addresses were those from the Universities of Edinburgh, Dublin, Victoria and Wales, the Dutch Reformed Church, the Baptist Union, the Congregational Union of England and Wales, the National Council of the Evangelical Free Churches, the Cities of York, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Belfast, Cardiff, Exeter, Chester and Doncaster, the Bank of England, the Royal Asiatic Society, the Incorporated Law Society of the United Kingdom, the Coal Exchange, the United Grand Lodge of Freemasons and the Ancient Order of Foresters. General replies were given to each address and to only a few separately. Amongst the latter were the Freemasons, to whom the King said: "I have felt much regret at relinquishing the high and honourable post of Grand Master which I have held since 1874, and I shall not cease to retain the same interest that I[Pg 283] have felt in Freemasonry." He also expressed great satisfaction at being succeeded by the Duke of Connaught.

Further addresses were presented in similar state on May 3d. The Roman Catholic deputation was headed by Cardinal Vaughan and the Duke of Norfolk and included Lord Llandaff and fourteen Bishops—a brilliant picture in red and purple and black. Their address was of peculiar interest and contained the following paragraph: "Your Majesty's life has been spent in the midst of your people, sharing in their happiness and prosperity, actively engaged in ameliorating the condition of the lowly and in promoting their comfort in sickness and suffering. All classes of the population—the leisured, the professional, the industrial and the poor—have been the object of your sympathy and interest." A deputation from the Jews of Great Britain included Lord Rothschild, the Hon. L. W. Rothschild, M.P., the Chief Rabbi, Sir G. Faudel-Phillips, Sir Edward Sassoon, M.P., Mr. B. L. Cohen, M.P., and Sir J. Sebag-Montefiore. Addresses were also presented by the Presbyterian Church of England, and on behalf of a large number of cities and towns.

Meanwhile, King Edward had been conferring honours or positions upon some of his old friends and faithful servants, re-organizing his Household generally for the still more onerous and important work now before them, and not forgetting to conspicuously reward the best and oldest servants of the late Sovereign. In this delicate task he showed his usual tact and consideration. First in this respect, as she had been for so many years wherever he could properly place her in the front, was his wife—and to Queen Alexandra was given the first honour of the new reign in her creation, under special statute, on February 12th, as Lady of the Most Noble Order of the Garter—the greatest order of Knighthood in the world. Three days later the Royal Victorian Order in its highest form—G.C.V.O.—was given to the Duke of Argyll and the[Pg 284] Duke of Fife. Lord Edward Pelham-Clinton, Major-General Sir John Carstairs McNeill, V.C., Sir Fleetwood Edwards and Sir Arthur J. Bigge, for many years important members of Queen Victoria's Household, received the same honour, as did the King's own devoted Secretary, Sir Francis Knollys.

On February 18th, a number of appointments were made to the Household including Lord Suffield as Lord-in-Waiting with General the Right Hon. Sir D. M. Probyn, Sir John McNeill, Lord Wantage, V.C., Sir Fleetwood Edwards and Sir Arthur Bigge as Extra Equerries to His Majesty. General, Viscount Bridport and General the Duke of Grafton were appointed Honorary Equerries and Major-Generals Sir Henry P. Ewart and Sir Stanley Clarke to other positions at Court. Queen Alexandra appointed the members of her Household under date of March 8th and they included the Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry as Mistress of the Robes, the Countesses of Antrim, Macclesfield, Gosford and Lytton and the Lady Suffield and Dowager Countess of Morton as Ladies of the Bedchamber, Lord Colville of Culross as Lord Chamberlain, the Earl of Gosford as Vice-Chamberlain, the Earl de Grey as Treasurer, and the Hon. S. R. Greville as Private Secretary. Numerous appointments of an honorary kind in connection with the Army and Navy followed and on July 24th the Earl of Pembroke was announced as Lord Steward of His Majesty's Household, the Hon. V. C. W. Cavendish M.P. as Treasurer, Viscount Valentia M.P. as Comptroller, Lord Farquhar as Master of the Household, the Earl of Clarendon as Lord Chamberlain, Major-General Sir Arthur Ellis as Comptroller of Accounts, the Duke of Portland as Master of the Horse, the Duke of Argyll as Governor of Windsor Castle and the following as Lords-in-Waiting: the Earl of Denbigh, the Earl of Kintore, Earl Howe, Lord Suffield, Lord Kenyon, Lord Churchill and Lord Lawrence.

[Pg 285]

Many of these names may be recognized as amongst the friends or officials of the King, in his later years as the Heir Apparent, or as companions in some of his travels. On March 24th, following the custom of British Sovereigns, several special Embassies were appointed and announced to carry to European Courts the official intimation of His Majesty's accession. That to Denmark, Sweden and Norway, Russia, Germany and Saxony, included the Duke of Abercorn, the Earl of Kintore, Major-General Sir Archibald Hunter and the Marquess of Hamilton, M.P. and that to Belgium, Bavaria, Italy, Wurtemberg and the Netherlands, included the Earl of Mount Edgecombe, Viscount Downe and Admiral Sir Michael Culme-Seymour. Earl Carrington, the Earl of Harewood and others were appointed to France, Spain and Portugal and Field Marshal Lord Wolseley, Viscount Castlereagh and others to Austro-Hungary, Roumania, Servia and Turkey.

[Pg 286]


The First Year of the New Reign

The first year's reign of a Sovereign must always be important, and when that Sovereign rules over a third of the earth's surface and a quarter of its population, it is more than usually so. King Edward VII., when he came to the Throne, found himself the first of Mohammedan rulers, with more Moslem subjects than the Sultan of Turkey; the first of Brahmin and Parsee Sovereigns; the head of various Confucian colonies and the possessor of the most sacred of Buddhist shrines; the ruler of Christian sects and idolatries of every conceivable kind and variety. Almost every race in the world was included in his Empire—English, Scotch and Irish everywhere, French in the Channel Islands and in Canada, Italians and Greeks in Malta, Arab, Coptic and Turkish subjects in Egypt, Negroes of all descriptions in the Soudan and elsewhere, subjects of infinitely varied Asiatic types in India, Chinese in Hong-Kong and Wei-Hai-Wei, Malays in Borneo and the Malay Peninsula, Polynesians in the Pacific, Red Indians in Canada and Maoris in New Zealand, Dutch, Zulus, Basutos and French Huguenots in South Africa, Eskimos in Northern Canada. The complicated issues involved in such a Government as that of the British Empire, with its curiously non-centralized system, were certainly sufficient to make a Sovereign inheriting the position, the opportunities, and much of the capacity of Queen Victoria, feel that he had, indeed, assumed heavy responsibilities.

His first step had been a most wise one, and in direct line with a policy carried out as Heir Apparent—the cementing of[Pg 287] close and cordial relations with the German Emperor during his long and much-discussed visit to the dying Queen and mourning family. To this friendship and the enthusiastic and popular reception given William II. when leaving London on February 5th, 1901, was undoubtedly due the restraining influence held over a part of the press of Germany during the succeeding period of vile abuse of England regarding the South African War. Following this, on February 24th, was the departure of King Edward on a visit to his sister, the Empress Frederick, at Frederichshof, near Cronberg, where he was joined by the Emperor William. The King was accompanied by Sir Frank Lascelles, Ambassador at Berlin, and by his physician, Sir Francis Laking. The Empress was found to be very ill, but not dying, and after a few days her Royal brother and son returned to their respective capitals.


The first Parliament of the new reign was opened by the King in brilliant state and with much dignified ceremonial on February 14th. The pageantry of the occasion was picturesque and splendid. The staircase in Parliament House, up which the Royal pair passed in their progress, was lined with a living hedge of men in blue and silver uniforms, topped with red plumes and shining with the burnished steel accoutrements of the Horse Guards. Before them were stately, robed officials, such as Lord Salisbury and the Duke of Devonshire and some of the brilliant colours of the Court. The King wore a short ermine cape over his Field Marshal's uniform, and beneath the cape a sweeping cloak and train of Royal purple. Queen Alexandra, beautiful always, was more than usually sweet and dignified in her garb of mingled black and purple. In the House of Lords the evidences of mourning for the late Queen were very apparent. The ladies were dressed in black though they were permitted to blaze with jewels. The Peers' robes[Pg 288] of red and ermine, gave a little colour to the scene, helped by those of the judges in black and gold, or red and white, and the bright uniforms of the Ambassadors in a distant corner. Hand-in-hand the King and Queen entered the Chamber and took their places upon the chairs of state. The Commons were called in, and their the Lord Chancellor presented and the King repeated and signed the somewhat famous Declaration against the Mass and other Roman doctrines, or observances, as provided by the Bill of Rights. It was as follows:

"I do solemnly and sincerely in the presence of God, profess, testify and declare that I do believe that in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper there is not any transubstantiation of the elements of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ at or after the consecration thereof by any person whatsoever; and that the invocation or adoration of the Virgin Mary or any other saint and the sacrifice of the mass as they are now used in the Church of Rome are superstitious and idolatrous, and I do solemnly in the presence of God, profess, testify and declare that I do make this Declaration and every part thereof in the plain and ordinary sense of the words read unto me as they are commonly understood by English Protestants, without any evasion, equivocation, or mental reservation whatsoever and without any dispensation already granted me for this purpose by the Pope or any other authority or person whatsoever, or without any hope of any such dispensation from any person or authority whatsoever, or without thinking that I am or can be acquitted before God or man, or absolved of this Declaration or any part thereof, although the Pope or any other person or persons or power whatsoever should dispense with or annull the same, or declare that it was null and void from the beginning."

The next proceeding was the reading of the King's speech to his Parliament in strong, full tones which impressively[Pg 289] and clearly filled the Chamber. This part of the ceremony was rendered unusually interesting, in view of the fact that the King was understood to have had more to do with the wording of his speech than had been customary, and to have changed the conditions by which it had become usual to give an advance summary of its contents to the press. Reference was made to the death of the Queen and to his own accession, to the progress of the South African War, the Chinese troubles, the establishment of the Australian Commonwealth, the sending of additional Contingents from the Colonies to the front, the famine in India, the relief of the Coomassie garrison, and to his intention to carry out the late Sovereign's wish regarding the Imperial tour of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York. The whole function was of a solemn and impressive and splendid character, in keeping with the traditions of the Crown and in harmony with the known intentions of the King to assume the full ceremonial and dignity of his position. The Times, on the following morning, referred to the enthusiastic reception of the King and Queen as they drove to Westminster and to the inspiring and exhilarating character of the scene in the House of Lords. "The present generation has seen hardly anything, not even excepting the processions of 1887 and 1897, at all comparable in splendour and solemnity with the pageant yesterday at Westminster."

The session of Parliament which followed was closely and continuously associated with subjects arising out of the King's accession. An early and prominent topic was the Declaration taken against Roman Catholicism. Under date of February 20th, Cardinal Vaughan issued a letter to his Diocese declaring that "patriotism and loyalty to the Sovereign are characteristic of the Catholics of this country and are to be counted on, quite independently of passing emotions of pain or pleasure, because they are rooted in a permanent dictate and principle[Pg 290] of religion;" that Catholics had, however, been made unhappy by the "recent renewal of the national act of apostacy" in the Sovereign's branding by solemn Declaration their religious doctrines as superstitious and idolatrous; that the Catholic Peers had done well in protesting to the Lord Chancellor against the continued use of this Declaration; that British legislators in all parts of the Empire and the twelve million Catholic subjects of the Crown throughout the world should take further measures of constitutional protest; that the evil so greatly deplored was the result of an anachronism and of a barbaric law which had remained accidentally unrepealed; and that there was reason to hope that "this remnant of a hateful fanaticism" would soon be removed from the statute-book.

In Canada and Australia protests were prepared and presented through the Cardinal—that from the Dominion being signed by all the members of the Hierarchy. In the House of Lords a Committee was appointed, on motion of Lord Salisbury, to deal with the matter although no Catholic Peers would serve upon it. They reported early in July that a modification of the Declaration might be made so as to omit the adjectives and objectionable phraseology without affecting the strength of the pledge itself. A Government measure was prepared along these lines and submitted to the House. It was opposed by Lord Rosebery on August 1st, on the ground that nothing could really bind conscientious convictions, that the King might change his views and not be bound by this Declaration in future, and, that it did not repudiate the temporal or spiritual supremacy of the Pope. The Archbishop of Canterbury did not like the changes, the Duke of Norfolk did not care for the new form and the Roman Catholics generally, in and out of the House, objected to the compromise as useless. The result was that Lord Salisbury eventually withdrew his measure and the matter dropped out of public discussion for the time—although the Canadian House of Commons and[Pg 291] other public bodies in the Empire had meanwhile protested against the continued maintenance of the Declaration.


Another duty which faced the early consideration of Parliament was the Civil List. Queen Victoria's Civil List had been £385,000, given as a permanent yearly income for her reign, and in return for the formal surrender of the revenues of the Crown Lands for the same period. In this connection, the Daily News of February 14th, pointed out that the late Sovereign had received during her long reign £24,000,000 from the people while the revenues of the surrendered Crown Lands had totalled £20,000,000. Speaking for the Liberals and Radicals this paper declared that there was "no disposition to deal grudgingly with a Monarch who has fully borne the share that belongs to him in the country's affairs," that it might be well to adhere closely to the late Queen's Civil List, and that the example of "a moderate and sober Court" would be of the highest value to the nation. On March 11th Sir M. E. Hicks-Beach moved the appointment of a House of Commons' Committee to deal with the question, composed of Mr. Balfour, Sir W. Hart Dyke, Sir F. Dixon-Hartland, Sir S. Hoare, Mr. W. L. Jackson, with seven other members and himself, as representatives of the Government party and Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Sir William Harcourt, Sir Henry Fowler, Sir James Kitson, Mr. H. Labouchere, and three others, as representing the Opposition. The Times of the following day said that there were two reasons for somewhat increasing the sum to be voted—the fact of the King having a Consort of whom the nation was proud, while Queen Victoria was unmarried at the time of the former vote, and the fact, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer put it to the House, that the King was now the head of a world-wide Empire.

[Pg 292]

As finally decided in the Report of the Select Committee the new Civil List was placed at £470,000 for the Sovereign—of which £110,000 was to go to the Privy Purse in place of £60,000 received by Queen Victoria; the Duke of Cornwall and York was to receive £20,000 annually, and the Duchess £10,000—in addition, of course, to the £60,000 coming to the Heir Apparent from the Duchy of Lancaster; the King's children, the Duchess of Fife, Princess Victoria and Princess Charles of Denmark, were each to have £6,000 a year for life; while the contingent annuity of £30,000 provided in the event of Queen Alexandra surviving her husband, was to be increased to £70,000 and a similar contingent grant of £30,000 arranged for the Duchess of Cornwall and York. The only apparent opposition in the Committee to these proposals was from Mr. Labouchere, who suggested certain variations and reductions. There was little influential criticism of the changes proposed—the Daily News, from which opposition might, perhaps have come, speaking of one special increase of £50,000, as follows: "The Queen must have a separate Household if the Monarchy is to be maintained, as most people wish that it should be maintained, in its ancient splendour; and the gracious kindness of Queen Alexandra, who has endeared herself to all the subjects of her husband, will make the tax-payer in her case a cheerful giver."

On May 9th Resolutions based upon these recommendations were presented to the Commons by Sir M. E. Hicks-Beach and eventually carried by three hundred and seven to fifty-eight—the latter being composed of Irish members and Mr. Labouchere. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his introductory speech, referred to the Monarchy as "the most popular of all our great institutions" and then proceeded to enlarge upon the situation as follows: "Throughout the Empire there has grown up a feeling, and I think a very right and proper feeling, of the enormous importance of the Crown[Pg 293] as the main link of the relations with all the people of which the Empire is composed. Therefore, I think it happened that, in the brief debate in which this subject was dealt with at the commencement of the present Session, there was no sign of any difference of opinion as to the necessity of making a sufficient and adequate provision for the maintenance of the honour and dignity of the Crown." He mentioned the fact that the late Sovereign had bequeathed Balmoral and Osborne House to her successor and that he had to maintain these residences as well as his old-time home at Sandringham; that King Edward had no personal fortune and that the late Queen's savings had been willed to her younger children. He concluded by expressing approval of the proposals as moderate and fair. Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, on behalf of the Opposition, declared them to be reasonable and added: "I do not doubt at all that the prevailing desire in this House and in the country is to see that a provision should be made for maintaining that state and dignity of the British Crown which shall fittingly represent the loyal attachment of the people." Mr. J. E. Redmond followed and declared that not only had the Irish members refused to act upon the Committee but they would now vote against the Resolutions because of the unrepealed statute and Declaration regarding Roman Catholicism. Mr. Labouchere spoke against them at length and was joined in speech and vote by two Labour members—Messrs. Keir Hardie and Cremer—who, amidst laughter and interruptions, declared themselves to be republicans and expressed regret that the working classes liked Royalty.

The next subject discussed in Parliament, as it was also being discussed throughout British countries generally, was that of the Royal titles. As they stood when the King ascended the throne the only countries of the Empire recognized were Great Britain, Ireland and India. It was pointed out that Queen Mary in the days of Spanish marriage relations[Pg 294] and power possessed, with King Philip, titles which included England, France, Naples, Jerusalem, Ireland, Spain, Sicily, Austria, Milan &; that Emperor Francis Joseph was not only Emperor of Austria but King of Hungary, Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Sclavonia, Gallicia, Illyria and Jerusalem; that the three principal countries of the Empire were now strong enough and prominent enough to be properly and permanently represented in this way; that it would enhance the dignity of Great Britain while placing Canada and Australia in a more equal and national position within the Empire; that some such recognition had been supported in 1876 by Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Disraeli in the House of Commons; and that it had been proposed by the Colonial Conference of 1887.


Within a short time of the King's accession—on January 29th—a dispatch was sent by Mr. Chamberlain to the Governors-General of Canada and Australia saying that the moment was opportune to consider the matter of the Monarch's titles, so as to recognize the "separate and greatly increased importance of the Colonies" and suggesting, personally, the phrase: "King of Great Britain and Ireland and of Greater Britain beyond the Seas." Mr. Chamberlain also expressed the belief that there were considerable difficulties in the way of such designations as King of Canada and King of Australia, owing to the smaller Colonies which would desire to be also specially mentioned. Lord Minto, in his reply, expressed his Government's doubt as to the use of the word "Greater Britain," their preference for the title "King of Canada" and their willingness, in case of jealousies elsewhere, to propose that of "Sovereign of all British Dominions beyond the Seas." Lord Hopetoun stated that his Government preferred the designation of "Sovereign Lord of the British Realms beyond the Seas." The Colonial Secretary then communicated with[Pg 295] Cape Colony, Newfoundland and New Zealand where the Governments all favoured some general designation.

On July 27th, Lord Salisbury introduced a measure in the House of Lords authorizing the Sovereign "to make such addition to the style and title at present appertaining to the Imperial Crown of the United Kingdom and its Dependencies as to His Majesty may seem fit." Speaking unofficially, the Premier intimated that the Royal title would probably be "Edward VII., by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and of all the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India." During a short discussion in the House, two days later, Lord Rosebery suggested the title of "King of all the Britains" Lord Salisbury did not consider this admissible, however, and the measure passed its second reason without opposition. Eventually the bill became law and was the subject of general approval at home and in the Colonies. The title was then officially proclaimed in the terms mentioned by Lord Salisbury. Speaking of this action, Sir Horace Tozer of Queensland told the Daily News of July 31st that the Commonwealth Act declared the desire of the Australian people, in its first words, to unite in one indissoluble Commonwealth "under the Crown" and he expressed the opinion that this action would "ratify and give expression" to that deliberate decision.

On May 10th, a Dublin newspaper called The Irish People published an article about the King which was not only seditious in language but abominable in its allegations and statements—they could hardly be dignified with the name of charges. The paper was at once seized, and on the following day the Irish members precipitated a debate in Parliament upon the action thus taken. Mr. John Dillon pointed out that this paper was the recognized organ of the Nationalist movement, claimed that the action of the Government was grossly[Pg 296] illegal, and declared that it was a blow struck at the freedom of the press. Mr. W. Redmond took much the same ground. Mr. George Wyndham, the Chief Secretary for Ireland, spoke of the article as containing "outrageous, scurrilous, gross and coarse remarks," and as using language more foul than that of certain foreign papers which had been so complained of during the year. He had ordered it to be seized because it was guilty of "seditious libel," because it was his duty to prevent such a nuisance from being inflicted upon the public, and because similar action had been taken in the past year upon an article attacking the late Queen Victoria. Mr. John Redmond declared that the action was taken too late, anyway, and that plenty of copies had gone through the mail to America and the Continent. Mr. Balfour supported Mr. Wyndham and asked, if "obscene libel" and "a foul and poisoned weapon" were necessary aids to Irish agitation. He pointed out that the Sovereign was incapable of replying to this sort of statement, and declared that the publication was "a gross offense against public decency and public law and loyalty." Mr. H. H. Asquith, on behalf of the Opposition, took the ground that those concerned could appeal to the Courts, if injured, and that he could not but accept the Government's description of the article and support them in their action. Messrs. Bryn-Roberts, Labouchere and John Burns criticised the Government, and the vote stood two hundred and fifty-two to sixty-four in approval of their action.

The debate in the Imperial Parliament was, however, not the end of the matter. A newspaper in Melbourne, Australia, called The Tocsin, republished the article in question, and its proprietor, Mr. E. Findley, M.L.A., was at once expelled from the Victorian Legislature. The discussion and vote took place on June 25th, when Mr. Findley disclaimed responsibility as being publisher and not Editor, but defended the newspaper's statement that suppression of the Dublin paper[Pg 297] was an illegal act. He expressed regret, however, that the article had appeared in his journal, in view of its having given offence to the House. The Premier of Victoria, Mr. A. J. Peacock, at once declared that no apology was sufficient unless it included unqualified disavowal and disapproval of the article in question, and moved the following Resolution: "That the Honourable member for Melbourne, Mr. Edward Findley, being the printer and publisher of a newspaper known as The Tocsin, in the issue of which, on the 20th instant, there is published a seditious libel regarding His Majesty the King, is guilty of disloyalty to His Majesty and has committed an act discreditable to the honour of Parliament, and that he, therefore, be expelled from this House."

Mr. Irvine, Leader of the Opposition, endorsed the action of the Government, and declared that the republication—even to the appearance of a second edition of the paper—was a deliberate attempt to give currency to this "foul and scandalous libel" as being a fact. Many others spoke, and Mr. Findley in another speech said he had no sympathy whatever with the article, and was extremely sorry that it had appeared. Orders had come from outside for thousands of copies of the paper and had not been filled. The House, however, was determined to take action, and he was expelled by a vote of sixty-four to seventeen. Mr. Findley ran again as a Labour candidate in East Melbourne and was opposed by Mr. J. F. Deegan—a man of no particular politics, but known for his loyalty, and supported on the platform by both party Leaders. The latter candidate was elected by a substantial majority. A very few other Australian papers had, meanwhile, republished the article, and perhaps half a dozen Canadian ones.

The first Parliament of the reign closed on August 17th shortly after the King had suffered the loss of his distinguished sister, the Empress Frederick. With this event, which occurred on August 8th, there passed away what the Times[Pg 298] well termed "a life of brilliant promise, of splendid hopes, of exalted ideals"—overruled with relentless rigour by a hard fate which brought her liberal principles into conflict with the iron will of Bismarck, nullified her capacity by the opposition of the Court of Berlin, and removed her husband by death at the very moment when the opportunity of power and position seemed to have come. The King, accompanied by Queen Alexandra and Princess Victoria, at once left for Frederickshof. They were received at Homburg by the Emperor William and conducted to the Castle. The funeral took place amid scenes of stately solemnity on August 13th and the Emperor and the King were present as chief mourners. While the obsequies were proceeding memorial services were held in England at the Chapel Royal, St. James's, in St. Giles's Cathedral, Edinburgh and in various other churches throughout the country.


Meanwhile, various incidents illustrative of the King's tact and influence upon public affairs had occurred. His well-known interest in American affairs was shown on June 1st by an official reception given at Windsor Castle to the members of the New York Chamber of Commerce who were visiting England as guests of the London Chamber of Commerce. Accompanied by Lord Brassey and the Earl of Kintore, some twenty-five gentlemen were presented to His Majesty and Queen Alexandra. They included General Horace Porter, Mr. Morris K. Jessup, the Hon. Levi P. Morton, the Hon. Cornelius N. Bliss and Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan. Some of the American expressions of opinion upon this not unusual courtesy to distinguished foreigners were extremely amusing. Others, such as that of the N. Y. Tribune were dignified and appreciative. Immediately upon hearing of the attempt on President McKinley's life on September 6th, the King sent a[Pg 299] despatch of deepest sympathy and instructed the Foreign Office to keep him informed as to the President's condition. He was at the time spending a week with the King of Denmark at Copenhagen and to that place the bulletins were duly cabled from Washington.

On September 11th His Majesty telegraphed to the American Ambassador at London: "I rejoice to hear the favourable accounts of the President's health. God grant that his life may be spared." After Mr. McKinley's death, three days later, the King immediately cabled the Ambassador: "Most truly do I sympathize with you and the whole American nation in the loss of your distinguished and ever-to-be-regretted President." In his reply Mr. Choate declared that "Your Majesty's constant solicitude and interest in these trying days have deeply touched the hearts of my countrymen." The King ordered a week's mourning at Court and soon afterwards received a message from Mr. Choate voicing Mrs. McKinley's personal gratitude for the sympathy expressed. In replying, the King declared that the Queen and himself "feel most deeply for her in the hour of her great affliction and pray that God may give her strength to bear her heavy cross." On September 27th the American Ambassador was granted a special audience by His Majesty in London and presented the formal thanks of Mrs. McKinley and of the people of the United States for "the constant sympathy which you have manifested through the darkest hours of their distress and bereavement."

During these months the King had not forgotten to show his continued appreciation of many of the interests to which, as Heir Apparent, he had given so much aid. At a General Council meeting of the Prince of Wales' Hospital Fund on May 11th, presided over by the Duke of Fife and attended by Lord Rothschild, Lord Farquhar, Lord Iveagh, Lord Reay, Mr. Sydney Buxton and others the chairman stated that it[Pg 300] was held by His Majesty's wish in order to announce his resignation of the Presidency and consent to take the position of Patron. The King's place was to be taken by the Duke of Cornwall and York. Lord Rothschild spoke at some length upon the importance of the work initiated in this connection by the King and of the valuable aid which they had consequently been able to give the hospitals and suffering poor of London. On June 10th a letter was made public, written by Sir Dighton Probyn on behalf of the King, expressing to the Royal Agricultural Society of England his earnest hope that it would succeed in raising the £30,000 which was needed for building purposes, subscribing two hundred and fifty guineas toward this end, and expressing not only His Majesty's interest in its future welfare but his pleasure at having been associated with it during twenty two years of progress. On July 3rd the King and Queen Alexandra, accompanied by Princess Victoria and the Duchess of Argyll, received at Marlborough House some eight hundred nurses belonging to the Training Institute inaugurated by the late Queen. Badges were presented by Her Majesty to a couple of hundred and an address read and graciously answered. An incident typical of the King's courtesy and thoughtfulness was seen in his intimation to the Marquess of Dufferin, who, during the early part of the proceedings was standing bare-headed in the sun, to put on his hat—the King resuming his in order to create the opportunity.

His Majesty took great interest during the year in the proposed National Memorial to his Royal mother. He had early appointed a special Committee of representatives to deal with the preliminaries and, on March 6th, a Report was submitted by Lord Esher, as Hon. Secretary, recommending that a statue of Queen Victoria should be the central feature of such a Memorial, and the location be either the vicinity of Westminster Abbey or that of Buckingham Palace. Accompanied by Mr. Balfour, Mr. Akers-Douglas and Lord Esher,[Pg 301] the King visited the suggested sites that afternoon and finally approved a general position near Westminster Abbey. Large amounts were subscribed toward the project during the succeeding months. An interesting incident occurred on July 28th when a small deputation of ladies, including the Countess of Aberdeen, Lady Taylor and others connected with the National Council of Women in Canada, were received at Marlborough House by Queen Alexandra and tendered an address signed by twenty-five thousand women of the Dominion expressive of their earnest loyalty to the King and affection for his Consort. In replying, Her Majesty referred with special pleasure to the tribute paid the late Queen and spoke of the beauty of the volumes in which the address was incorporated.


Toward the end of the year it was announced in the British Medical Journal that a gentleman who did not at present wish his name disclosed—afterwards understood to be Sir Ernest Cassel—had presented the King with a donation of £200,000 for some philanthropic purpose to be selected, and that His Majesty had decided to devote the money to the erection of a Sanatorium in England for Consumptive patients. On January 22nd, 1902, the first Anniversary of Queen Victoria's death, the Times paid the following well-deserved tribute to the new Sovereign: "During the year that has gone by he has sedulously and successfully set himself to fulfill all the duties of a constitutional Sovereign. He has spared no pains to make himself familiar with his people, to study their needs, to discover their wishes, to express their instincts and their ideals. He has been able, in many ways, to promote national objects to a greater extent than, perhaps, would have been possible even with Queen Victoria. It is no secret that he is in cordial sympathy with the feelings of the immense majority[Pg 302] of his subjects on the supreme issues which now dominate international politics. He has a high and keen perception of the honour of the nation, so closely bound up with that of the Royal House and with his own."

The succeeding six months were very largely devoted to preparations for the Coronation, but the King, nevertheless, found time to do some travelling and visiting in the country and to carry out some very brilliant Court functions. As an illustration of the way in which he sought to do every possible honour to his Queen-Consort, there may be instanced a letter written, by command, in reply to an inquiry from the Lord Mayor of London as to whether in drinking the second of the loyal toasts at public gatherings the company should stand or not. Sir Dighton Probyn observed in his letter that the King had no doubt as to what was right, and that in his opinion the toast of "Her Majesty, Queen Alexandra, the Prince and Princess of Wales and the other members of the Royal family" should be received standing, with a few bars of the National Anthem and "God bless the Prince of Wales." On February 11th King Edward held the first Levée since his accession, and it was made the occasion for a revival of much old-time splendour. The Prince of Wales who had since his return home from the Colonies merged his title of Duke of Cornwall and York in the more historic and familiar designation, was present together with a great and representative gathering. Bishops in lawn sleeves and scarlet hoods attended by chaplains in long black gowns and white bands, great lawyers in wigs and flowing robes, foreign officers and diplomatists in gorgeous and varied uniforms, British generals and admirals, and the picturesque Windsor uniforms of the Privy Councillors, lent a brilliant appearance to a function at which most of the eminent men of the Kingdom were to be seen.

Ten days afterwards His Majesty visited Lord and Lady Burton at Rangemore, and while there inspected the famous[Pg 303] Bass and Company brewery and started a special brew to be called "the King's Ale"—only to be used on special occasions. Early in the year it had been decided by the King to pay what might be termed a Coronation visit to Ireland, accompanied by his wife. Unfortunately, unpleasant conditions of local agitation developed, and then came the outburst of Nationalist sympathy for the Boers, in the House of Commons, when Lord Methuen's defeat was announced. The result was that his Ministers advised the King not to undertake the trip at the time proposed, and its postponement was announced on March 12th, greatly to the regret of many in Ireland and out of it. Commencing on March 7th the King and Queen Alexandra paid a brief visit to the West of England and were loyally welcomed at Dartmouth, Plymouth, Stonehouse and Davenport, where certain official functions were performed.

On March 14th, King Edward and Queen Alexandra held their first Court, and it was expected that the occasion would be the most stately and splendid in the modern social history of the nation. It fully equalled these anticipations, and the scene in the ball-room of Buckingham Palace eclipsed even the traditions of the French Imperial Court in the days of Napoleon III. It was well managed, it was attended by the greatest and best representatives of English public and social life, it was unusually brilliant in jewelry, in dresses and in uniforms, it was stately in its setting and more animated and brighter in character than any similar function of the late Sovereign's reign—since its early years at least. The same success attended succeeding and similar occasions, and it might be distinctly appropriate to quote here views expressed by the Daily News of February 15th, 1901, when it spoke of the new reign as opening with splendid promise for the highest interests of the country and with component elements in its Court for a period of extraordinary social brilliancy. "King Edward,"[Pg 304] observed this Radical organ, "is one of the most popular of Sovereigns, and his beautiful Queen sheds a lustre upon his Court for which it would be difficult to find a parallel. Amiable, tender-hearted, actively philanthropic, and possessing exquisite taste, the Queen Consort is eminently qualified to be the bright particular star in the shining galaxy of our Court. The Royal Princesses are most highly accomplished and amiable ladies, each one of whom has achieved for herself a high place in the affections of the nation."

[Pg 305]


The Empire Tour of the New Heir to the Throne

If Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, had been enabled at different times in his career to visit various portions of his future realms and to create influences and receive impulses which have told for good in the upbuilding of the British Empire, his son and heir was destined to make a tour in 1901 which was still more impressive in character and influential in import. The single visits of the Prince of Wales to India and Canada were made in days when they partook of an almost pioneer character, and they were chiefly important in moulding crude opinions into a more matured and organized form. The tour of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York was, on the other hand, a result of clearly developed conditions of Colonial power; an embodiment of existing aspirations toward Empire unity; an expression of the loyalty existing between Mother Country and the Colonies and toward the Crown and British institutions.


It was on September 17th, 1900, that the Colonial Office first announced the assent of Her Majesty the Queen to the request presented by the combined Australian Colonies that H. R. H. the Duke of York should open their newly-established Parliament in the spring of 1901. It was stated in this announcement that "Her Majesty at the same time wishes to signify her sense of the loyalty and devotion which have[Pg 306] prompted the spontaneous aid so liberally offered by all the Colonies in the South African war and of the splendid gallantry of her Colonial troops." After the death of the Queen it was feared that the time might not be considered opportune for so distant a journey by the Heir to the Throne, but on February 14th, 1901, the King announced in his speech to Parliament that the proposed Australian trip would not be abandoned, and that it would be extended to the Dominion of Canada. "I still desire to give effect to her late Majesty's wishes * * * as an evidence of her interest, as well as my own, in all that concerns the welfare of my subjects beyond the seas."


As finally constituted the Royal suite consisted of H. S. H. Prince Alexander of Teck, brother of the Duchess; Lord Wenlock, a former Governor of Madras; Lieutenant Colonel Sir Arthur Bigge, so well known as the Private Secretary for many years of the late Queen Victoria; Sir John Anderson, a prominent official of the Colonial Office; Sir Donald Mackenzie Wallace, the eminent journalist and author; Captain, the Viscount Crichton, and Lieutenant, the Duke of Roxburghe, who acted as Military Aides; the Hon. Derek Keppel and Commander Sir Charles Cust, R.N., who acted as Equerries; the Rev. Canon Dalton as Chaplain; Commander Godfrey-Tansell, R.N., A.D.C., and Major J. H. Bor, A.D.C.; Lady Mary Lygon, Lady Catharine Coke and Mrs. Derek Keppel as Ladies-in-Waiting to the Duchess. Chevalier de Martino, a marine artist; Mr. Sidney Hall and Dr. A. R. Manby were also attached to the staff. On March 7th the Duke of York—who had now become also Duke of Cornwall—left Portsmouth accompanied by his wife and his large suite to make a nine-months' tour of the Empire; to cover a distance of 50,000 miles by sea and shore under the[Pg 307] British flag; and to meet with varied experiences and an enthusiasm of popular welcome which stamped the whole journey as the most remarkable Royal progress on record.

Three days after leaving Portsmouth the Ophir, which was commanded by Commander A. L. Winslow, most luxuriously fitted up and accompanied by H. M. S. Juno and the St. George, sighted the coast of Portugal, sailed into sunny waters off the shores at Lisbon and reached Gibraltar on March 13th, where the Royal visitors were welcomed by General Sir George White, of Ladysmith fame, and who had been Governor for about a year. From the Rock the Ophir was escorted by two other ships of the Royal Navy to Malta, where Admiral Sir John Fisher and the Mediterranean fleet helped to render the welcome interesting and imposing, and from thence to Port Said and through the Suez Canal to Aden. Here a picturesque reception was given to the Duke and Duchess in a pavilion festooned with lights and filled with Indian and Arab ladies in robes of silks, officers in white uniforms, the Sultans of two tributary States and their dusky retinues. Surrounded by a guard of honour from the West Kent Regiment, with towering mountains of brown lava in the distance, and with groups of Somalis, Arabs, Hindoos and Seedees gazing at "the great lord of the seas," the Prince received an address of welcome. From here, through sweltering days and heated nights, the Royal yacht traversed the Indian Ocean until Ceylon—"the pearl set in sapphires and crowned with emeralds"—was reached on April 12th.

At Colombo, amidst a revel of Oriental colour and a luxurious waste of Eastern vegetation; with guards composed of planters in kharki, Bombay Lancers in turbans, and Lascoreen troops in crimson and gold; surrounded by dense crowds of dancing and shouting natives, His Royal Highness received the official welcome of the Legislature and Municipal Councils and the Chamber of Commerce. Thence the Royal party[Pg 308] proceeded inland to Kandy, winding their way upward through an exquisite mountain region where the fantastic shapes and eternal green of the mountain sides and the valleys and the gorges gleamed and radiated with colour from a myriad tropical trees, gorgeous orchids, climbing lilies and enormous ferns. The town itself was a bower of beauty, and here the visitors saw the Temple of the Tooth, which is an object of adoration to hundreds of millions in Burmah, China and India; the procession of the Elephants—a weird portion of the Buddhist ritual; the devil dancers, who excel the Dervishes of the Soudan in the fantastic nature of their antics. On the succeeding day the Duke received an address from the planters of the Island, enclosed in a beautiful coffer of ivory; presented colours to the Ceylon Mounted Infantry, and medals to men who had returned from South Africa; and in the evening held a Durbar, at which the native Chiefs were presented.


From Kandy back to Colombo went the Royal visitors, and at the capital they found "the white streets and blood-red earth were rivers of light and colour," as one picturesque correspondent described the scene. The British flag was there, and British merchants and the British Governor in the person of Sir J. West Ridgeway were there; but all else was a wild sea of Eastern colour; a myriad-voiced tribute of the torrid and brilliant tropics to the power of Western civilization. After a night on board the Ophir, with the war-ships in the harbour a blaze of colour and festooned with fire, the visitors left for Singapore on April 16th and arrived there five days later. Through the Straits of Malacca an experience was had of the most intense heat and keen tropical discomfort. The Duke and Duchess were received at Singapore in a pavilion hung with flags and flowers, by the Governor, Sir Frank Swettenham, and by the Sultans of Pahang, Perak and Selangor.[Pg 309] This interesting trading centre, with its four hundred and fifty million dollars' worth of commerce and its population of mingled Chinese, Dutch and Germans, was ablaze with decorations and filled with holiday-makers. A Royal reception was held in the Town-Hall on April 22nd attended by Chinese, Arabs, Malays, Tamils and representatives of all the medley of blood which makes up the East. There were a dozen deputations bringing addresses and adding to the steadily accumulating caskets of gold and silver and ivory and precious stones which the Duke was destined to possess in a measure only excelled by his Royal father's collection in the past.

The Malays contributed an elephant's tusk set in gold, the men of Penang a great bamboo set in gold, and the Chinese of Malaya a fire-screen worked with Oriental skill and beauty. After this ceremony, and including dinner, the Duke and Duchess drove through the Chinese quarters and in the evening witnessed the strange procession of figured reptiles and demons, dragons and monsters of distorted fancy, which marked Chinese pleasure and indicated the loyalty of the coolies as their costly decorations and caskets and the presence at functions of richly-dressed men and women had already illustrated the loyalty of the merchant class. An incident of the afternoon was the singing by five thousand school-children of mixed Eastern races and the presentation of a bouquet to the Duchess. The effect of "God Save the King" in their quaint, native accents was described as being strangely pathetic. On the following morning the Ophir steamed out of the harbour bound for Australia and left eastern civilization behind for the forms and customs of England transplanted upon Australian soil. The shores of Sumatra were coasted, the Straits of Banka, the Sea of Java and the beautiful Straits of Sunda were traversed; the Equator was crossed and His Royal Highness willingly subjected to the quaint and immemorial usages of the occasion; the Indian Ocean traversed and two[Pg 310] thousand five hundred miles of this part of the journey experienced before the shores of the island-continent were sighted on May 1st.

The formal landing at Melbourne, for which all Australia was looking, took place on May 6th and the splendour of the reception far exceeded all expectations. For many weeks the people of the Commonwealth had been legislating, planning decorating and preparing for the visit of the Heir to the British Throne and his wife; the dormant loyalty of years, aroused and developed by the events of the war and the despatch of thousands of troops to the front, had grown to a white-heat of interest and excitement; the completion of confederation and the union of the Colonies in one great Commonwealth, which was now to be marked by the opening of the first Federal Parliament and stamped through this visit with Royal approval and British sympathy, enhanced the public interest. There was a great and stately setting at Melbourne for the functions which graced the occasion and, as the Ophir rested in the waters of the bay, surrounded by British and foreign warships, with roaring salutes and a myriad of fluttering flags, there were excellent scenic preliminaries to the impressive landing ceremonies. From the St. Kilda Pier, through miles of beautiful, decorated streets, great arches and hundreds of thousands of cheering people, the Royal couple passed to Government House, welcomed also on the way by a gathering of thirty-five thousand school children singing "God Save the King."

The whole spectacle was an extraordinary one. Mr. E. F. Knight, correspondent of the London Morning Post said that "it was a day of splendid pageants, stirring and impressive, and the extraordinary enthusiasm of the ovation given to the Duke and Duchess by the hundreds of thousands of Australians who packed the streets along the entire eight miles of route must ever stand out vivid in the memory of all who[Pg 311] witnessed it." Mr. W. Maxwell, the correspondent of the Standard, declared that: "I have seen many Royal progresses but never have I seen one more hearty and spontaneous than that of the multitude of well-dressed men, women and children who thronged the streets daily for nearly two weeks." The scheme of decorations was splendid, the triumphal arches were authoritatively stated to be better and more numerous than anything yet seen in London itself, the gathering of Australian troops lining the streets was representative and effective, the spectators were almost everywhere dressed in black or dark clothing as a tribute to the late Queen, the evening illuminations were on a magnificent scale—buildings and arches and decorations being a flashing, gleaming mass of light and fire and varied brightness. A state dinner was given at Government House by Lord Hopetoun in the evening and, on the succeeding day, a great Levée was held and addresses received. All the leaders of Australian life and society were presented and every form or phase of loyalty was embodied in the addresses presented from public institutions. Another state dinner followed at Government House and on May 8th the University of Melbourne was visited and an honorary degree conferred upon His Royal Highness. A great procession of various trade and labour associations was then witnessed and the third day of the visit concluded with a well-managed and stately Royal reception at Government House.


On May 9th the central ceremony of the tour was performed and a new British Commonwealth started upon its national course. The streets through which the Royal progress was made were packed with enthusiastic masses of people; the great Exhibition Building in which the Parliament of Australia was to be formally inaugurated was filled with twelve thousand persons, representative of every form of Australian life and[Pg 312] character and achievement; the scheme of decoration—blue and golden yellow and chocolate—was effective and bright, the black and white and purple of the universal mourning was brightened here and there amongst the people by scattering bits of uniform in blue and scarlet and gold. At noon, the distant sound of cheers and the blare of trumpets announced the approach of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York. Amidst the strains of the National Anthem, and accompanied by the Governor-General and Countess of Hopetoun, they took their places upon the dais. Around the King's son and his wife were all the leaders of Australia; in front of them, the Parliament, the classes and a substantial section of the masses. The Earl of Hopetoun read some formal prayers and then gave place to His Royal Highness who, in clear and distinct tones read his speech to Parliament and the people. In it he spoke of himself as fulfilling the wish of the late Queen Victoria and his father, the King, and as representing their deep interest in Australia and warm appreciation of Australian help in the war and loyalty to the Crown. Of the future, His Majesty felt assured.

"The King is satisfied that the wisdom and patriotism which have characterized the exercise of the wide powers of self-government hitherto enjoyed by the Colonies will continue to be displayed in the exercise of the still wider powers with which the United Commonwealth has been endowed. His Majesty feels assured that the enjoyment of these powers will, if possible, enhance that loyalty and devotion to his Throne and Empire of which the people of Australia have already given such signal proofs. It is His Majesty's earnest prayer that this union, so happily achieved, may, under God's blessing, prove an instrument for still further promoting the welfare and advancement of his subjects in Australia, and for the strengthening and consolidation of his Empire."

The Duke then declared the Parliament open in the name and on behalf of his Majesty. He also read a cablegram just received from the King: "My thoughts are with you on the day of the important ceremony. Most fervently do I wish[Pg 313] Australia prosperity and happiness." The members of Parliament then took the oath of allegiance administered by Lord Hopetoun. Meanwhile, as His Royal Highness declared the Houses of Parliament open, and while the immense standing audience was making the building echo with a mighty cheer, the Duchess touched an electric button, and from every school-house in the Commonwealth there waved the Union Jack as a sign that the great function was completed. Amidst cheering multitudes the Royal couple then drove back to Government House. In the evening a brilliant concert was given under the auspices of the Commonwealth Government. On the following day fifteen thousand Australian troops were reviewed in the presence of one hundred and forty thousand people—infantry, mounted men, engineers, army service corps, army medical corps, ambulance corps and cadets—representative of all the States and of all branches of the system together with blue-jackets and marines from the Royal Navy.

Then came a state dinner at Government House. On May 11th an afternoon reception was given by the Victorian Government and Parliament at the same place, and on Monday May 13th, His Royal Highness and the Duchess visited the famous golden city of Ballarat, inspected one of its great mines and laid the foundation-stone of a monument to Australian soldiers who had fallen in South Africa. Tuesday saw an interesting school-children's fête and a reception by the Mayor and Corporation of Melbourne. On May 14th, Their Royal Highnesses presented prizes to the scholars of the united Grammar Schools of Victoria, and the Prince spoke to the boys of the stately and historical events of the past few days. "Keep up your traditions and think with pride of those educated in your schools who have become distinguished public servants of the state, or who have fought, or are still fighting, for the Empire in South Africa." To another great gathering of twenty thousand children the Duke was both eloquent and[Pg 314] impressive. "May your lives be happy and prosperous, but do not forget that the youngest of us have responsibilities which increase as time goes on. If I may offer you advice I should say: Be thorough, do your level best in whatever work you may be called upon to perform. Remember that we are all fellow-subjects of the British Crown. Be loyal, yes, to your parents, your country, your King and your God."

After a rousing farewell from the people of Melbourne, a special train was taken on May 18th by the Royal couple for the capital of Queensland.


Every town, or settlement, or mining camp on the way contributed its cheers and shouts from crowds of sturdy Australians, and on May 20th, Brisbane was reached and an enthusiastic welcome received in the drive through crowded and beautifully decorated streets. At Government House, where the Royal guests were received by Lord Lamington, Lieutenant-Governor of the State, twenty-two deputations attended to present addresses—as compared with forty-eight at Melbourne. In the evening, a brilliant illumination of the city marked the event. On the following day a review of troops took place, and the Duke and Duchess enjoyed the patriotic singing and happy sports of some five thousand children. The evening saw an aboriginal Corrobberee performed for their benefit, and on the 23rd of May, the foundation-stone of a new Anglican Cathedral, which was being erected as a memorial to the late Queen Victoria, was laid by His Royal Highness amid appropriate and dignified ceremonial. In the afternoon the Agricultural Exhibition was visited and a splendid demonstration of welcome received from over thirty thousand people. The following and last day at Brisbane included a Levée, an afternoon reception and a concert. Each evening had seen a formal state banquet.

[Pg 315]

On May 24th the route was taken for Sydney, and a stop was made near Combooya for a picnic in the bush, or "billy tea." Newcastle gave the Royal couple a rousing reception, and at Haukesbury the Ophir was boarded and the trip up the splendid harbour of Sydney commenced—escorted by warships and welcomed by the roar of cannon from ships and shore. As the Duke and Duchess landed amid cheering sailors, pealing bells and the shouts of a massed concourse of people stretching far back from the landing-place, they were received at a sort of graceful portal, decked with flags, flowers and semi-tropical foliage, by the Governor-General, the Federal and State Governors and Premiers, the Mayor and others. The procession then passed along a three-mile route to Government House with bands at intervals playing the ever-present National Anthem, with beautiful decorations and arches, and with cheering crowds, fluttering handkerchiefs and waving flags in every direction. In the evening there was the usual state dinner and more than usually striking illuminations. Of this reception the Sydney Morning Herald said the next day: "The acquisition of territory is a triumph of national achievement; but it is a small thing beside this re-creation of a new Britain in another hemisphere. The demonstration in Sydney yesterday embodied the message to this effect which our people desire to transmit by favour of the Duke and Duchess to the centre of Empire."

The ensuing event was a Royal review of nine thousand troops with the presence of one hundred and fifty thousand people as observers. Then came a brilliant Reception at Government House, and on the morning of May 29th a Levée attended by two thousand citizens and at which twenty-four addresses were received—including the various denominations, the Masons, and the Orangemen. That of the city was in a beautiful gold and jewelled casket. To these His Royal Highness replied in eloquent language, and then knighted the[Pg 316] Mayor of Sydney, Dr. James Graham, as he had already done the Mayor of Melbourne. A state dinner followed with continued evening illuminations. The naval depot at Garden Island was visited in the morning, and in the afternoon a naval review witnessed. A second Reception followed at Government House, and on the succeeding day the commemoration-stone of a Queen Victoria Memorial addition to the Prince Alfred Hospital was laid by the Duke. In his speech he expressed a doubt "whether anymore fitting memorial to that great life could have been chosen, for sympathy with the suffering was an all-pervading element in the noble and beautiful character of her who was your first Patron and with whose name the Hospital will now be associated for all time." At the University of Sydney the Royal visitor was given an honorary degree amid the amusing chaff of a reception which was as hearty and enthusiastic as it was hilarious. A Citizen's Concert followed in the evening, and on the next day His Royal Highness conferred fourteen hundred medals upon volunteers who had returned from the war. In the afternoon there was a brilliant garden party at Government House. On Sunday a sermon was listened to at St. Andrew's Cathedral, preached by Archbishop Saumarez Smith, and Monday being the Duke's birthday was observed as a public holiday. In the afternoon a visit was paid to the Young People's Industrial Exhibition where five thousand school children sang a special Ode for the occasion. In the afternoon the Duke departed for a couple of days shooting, and the Duchess visited the neighbouring Blue Mountains.

On June 6th, after a very cordial "send-off" from the people, the Royal party boarded the Ophir and started for Auckland, New Zealand. Five days later they found that loyal city alive with enthusiasm, crowded with people and decorated to the extreme limit. They were welcomed by the Governor, Lord Ranfurly and the Premier, Mr. R. J. Seddon.[Pg 317] The latter presented an address in a superb casket made of New Zealand wood and gold, silver, and enamel, in the shape of a Maori war canoe. The ceremony of presentation and the reply occurred on board ship. Immediately upon landing the Duchess touched the key of a telegraph instrument, and flags waved and guns roared a welcome in every city and town of New Zealand. The popular welcome in the streets was tumultuous and the arches particularly impressive, while one of the incidents of the Royal progress to Government House was a living Union Jack composed of two thousand children dressed to fit the design. In the afternoon eleven addresses were received, and during his reply the Duke said: "I look forward to making known to His Majesty how strong I have found the feeling of common brotherhood and readiness to share in the responsibilities of the Empire, and earnestly trust that the results of the journey maybe to stimulate the interest of the different countries in each other, and so draw even closer the bonds which now unite them."


A state dinner followed this event and an evening Reception. The succeeding day a Royal review of forty-three hundred troops occurred, with twelve thousand spectators, and was followed by a luncheon to four hundred veterans of the South African and Maori wars, at which the Duke of Cornwall and York made one of the several impromptu speeches delivered during his tour. Speaking of the combination of old veterans and young soldiers he said: "There is nothing like a chip of the old block"—to which some one responded with "You're one yourself"—"when one knows that the old block was hard, of good grain and sound to the core, and if, in the future, whenever and wherever the Mother-hand is stretched across the sea, it can reckon on a grasp such as New Zealand has given in the present." This speech evoked tremendous cheering.[Pg 318] Later, the foundation-stone of the Queen Victoria School for Maori Girls was laid, and in the evening, after a state dinner at Government House, the Royal visitors attended a Reception given by the Mayor, and drove through splendidly illuminated streets. The next few days were spent amongst that most picturesque, gallant and chivalrous of native peoples—the Maoris. Expressions of the most intense and unaffected loyalty and contentment with British rule were universal. Most interesting sights were witnessed and Maori customs studied—including war and other dances, songs of welcome and of challenge to enemies, and mimic battles fought with native skill and zest.

Wellington was reached on Waterloo Day (June 18th) and the route to Government House was spanned by a dozen handsome arches—two of which had been erected by the enthusiastic Maoris. After the conferring of some knighthood honours the Royal visitors in the afternoon watched a procession of Friendly Societies and laid the foundation-stone of a new Town Hall. In the evening there were the usual state dinner, Reception and illuminations. On the following day three hundred medals were presented to South African veterans and seventeen deputations received. A state Reception was attended at the Parliament Buildings in the evening and the next day was devoted to visiting certain great industries and charitable institutions. On June 20th the foundation-stone of new Government Railway offices was laid amid torrents of rain and then the departure was made for Christchurch which was reached in a few hours amid the welcome of pealing bells, cheering people and roaring guns. Here the foundation-stone of a statue of Queen Victoria was laid in the presence of a great throng of people. The Sunday sermon of next day was preached by the Bishop of Christchurch and, on Monday, June 24th, a review of eleven thousand troops was held (including three thousand cadets) in the presence of sixty thousand[Pg 319] spectators. A feature of the drive to the review ground was a welcome sung by eight thousand school children. A luncheon to the war veterans was also given here and militant New Zealand was well represented in the speeches.

Dunedin was reached by train on the following evening and in the Royal saloon the Hon. John Mackenzie—whose health had prevented him attending the formal ceremony at Wellington—was knighted by the Duke and personally invested with his Order. The city was found to be spanned everywhere with arches. Several functions were combined here and His Royal Highness received addresses in a special pavilion, presented medals and inspected the veterans. The Corporation address was in a box modelled after a Maori meeting-house and made of gold, silver and bronze. Another military luncheon followed and in the afternoon a children's demonstration was attended and the Pastoral and Horticultural Shows visited. At Lyttleton, on the following day, another foundation-stone of a Queen Victoria statue was laid and then the Royal couple left for Tasmania after the Duke had issued a farewell address speaking of the enthusiasm of his reception, the loyal and military spirit of the people, the splendid qualities of the Maoris and the exquisite beauty of New Zealand scenery.

The Hobart welcome was given on July 3rd and a most tasteful, loyal and enthusiastic one it was. There were a dozen triumphal arches and the civic address was presented in a beautiful pavilion specially erected. The usual state dinner and Reception followed. In the morning a Levée was held and thirty addresses received from the Churches and Friendly Societies, the Freemasons and the Orangemen, the Half-castes and the Chinese. During his reply the Duke referred to the Island's entry into the Commonwealth and said: "I trust that the hopes and aspirations which prompted her people to enter this great national union may be fully realized in the future prosperity of the Commonwealth and in the greatness,[Pg 320] power and solidarity of the Empire." In the afternoon the foundation-stone of a statue to Tasmanian soldiers who had fallen in the war was laid by the Duke and an eloquent speech delivered in which reference was made to the event as being a testimony to "that living spirit of race, of pride in a common heritage and of a fixed resolve to join in maintaining that heritage; which sentiment, irresistible in its power, has inspired and united the peoples of this vast Empire." A log-chopping contest was then witnessed followed by an impromptu visit to inspect an arch in a poor and squalid part of the city. Another Reception was held in the evening accompanied by illuminations on sea and land. The succeeding day saw a review of two thousand troops, the presentation of war medals, a children's demonstration, a trades' procession, a Reception by the Mayor in the City Hall with the singing of a special Ode, and illuminations and a fire brigade procession in the evening. Sunday was spent quietly and then the Royal yacht sailed for Adelaide, the capital of South Australia.


Here the Duke and Duchess were formally received on July 8th by the Lieutenant-Governor, Lord Tennyson, and his Ministers, and enthusiastically welcomed in crowded and tastefully decorated streets, bathed in a bright and genial sunshine. There were four arches—though £2000 of the grant had been expended on the poor instead of on temporary decorations. At the Town-Hall an address was received and at the the same time twelve hundred homing pigeons were liberated to carry news of the Royal arrival to all parts of the State. A state banquet followed in the evening and after the Levée on the next day a number of addresses were received. Meanwhile the Duchess visited the two local hospitals. Her Royal Highness also attended a football match in the afternoon and received a brilliant assemblage of people in the evening—the[Pg 321] Duke being compelled to have a tooth extracted. On the succeeding day the Art Gallery was visited and a bust of the late Lord Tennyson unveiled and an honorary degree accepted from the Adelaide University by His Royal Highness, who also laid the corner-stone of a new building in connection with this institution. Later, a demonstration of six thousand children was attended and a Reception held in the evening. The next day was devoted to shooting and to seeing an exhibition of sheep-shearing, bullock-riding and buck-jumping, with a military Tattoo in the evening and the usual spectacle of brilliant illuminations. The last day, but one, in South Australia included in its programme the laying of a foundation-stone for a Maternity Home in memory of Queen Victoria, and the review of four thousand troops with a state concert at night. On Sunday, a recently-completed Nave in St. Peter's Cathedral was dedicated by the Bishops of Adelaide and Newcastle and a tablet to South African heroes unveiled by the Duke.

The voyage was then resumed for Freemantle and Perth, in Western Australia, but stress of weather on July 2nd caused the Ophir to put in at Albany, instead, and there the surprised and delighted people gave the Duke and Duchess a rousing welcome as they took the train for Perth. The State capital was reached two days later and, amid perfect weather, through great crowds and a dozen splendid arches, the Royal progress was made to the Town Hall where the inevitable address was received. In the evening there was the usual state dinner given by the Governor, Sir Arthur Lawley, and ensuing Reception. On the following day the programme included a Levée, the reception of addresses, the laying of the foundation-stone of the State's monument to its sons lying on the South African veldt, the presentation of war medals and a civic Reception and state concert. The last two days of the visit were devoted to attendance at a state service in St. John's[Pg 322] Cathedral where the Duke unveiled a brass tablet in memory of South African heroes, laying the foundation-stone of a new building connected with the Museum, a visit to the Mint, an enthusiastic welcome given by a children's demonstration and a visit to the Zoological Gardens. Before sailing for South Africa on July 26th, the new Heir Apparent addressed a formal farewell to the people of Australia in the form of a letter to the Earl of Hopetoun. Reference was made at some length to the twenty-five thousand troops reviewed during the visit, to the educational systems of the States, to the loyalty exhibited to the King and the generous personal reception given by the people, to the hospitality of Governments and the good management and kindness of officials. Finally he said:

"We leave with many regrets, mitigated, however, by the hope that while we have gained new friendships and good will, something may also have been achieved towards strengthening and welding together the Empire, through the sympathy and interest which have been displayed in our journey both at home and in the Colonies. The Commonwealth and its people will ever have a warm place in our hearts. We shall always take the keenest interest in its welfare, and our earnest prayer will be for its continued advancement not only in material progress, but in all that tends to make life noble and happy."

The response of the press to this Message was pronounced and may be represented by the statement of the Melbourne Argus on June 29th, that from first to last "the Australasian visit was a success, in every way worthy of its statesmanlike conception and purpose." The Royal couple came from King and Empire, and their mission was personally performed with unique success. "Everywhere they were received with demonstrations of delighted loyalty. They were living symbols of British unity. From all they will take back a reciprocal message to King and Empire. There is not a single blemish upon the record of the visit. Not one imprudent word was spoken, not one slight left a stinging recollection."

Mauritius was reached on August 4th, and the brightly-decorated streets of the capital were crowded with Creoles,[Pg 323] Mohammedans, Hindoos, and Chinese, while the French language was everywhere, and the English tongue seldom heard. Tropical flowers and foliage were brilliant and plentiful in the plans of decoration, and the streets were lined with a combination of Bengal Infantry, Royal Artillery and Engineers. At Government House the first investiture of knighthood in the Island's history was held and various addresses received. The foundation-stone of a statue of Queen Victoria was then laid, a procession of Hindoo and Chinese children witnessed and a drive taken through the town. The next four days were spent in strict privacy at the residence of Sir Charles Bruce, the Governor, with the exception of a state dinner and Reception on the first evening.


War-tossed South Africa was sighted on August 13th and the landing took place at Durban, where the welcome was enthusiastic. There were many arches and excellent decorations, eleven thousand singing children, crowded streets and shouting spectators who included Zulus, Kaffirs of all kinds, Indian coolies and the whole white population. In a Royal pavilion, specially constructed, addresses were presented and answered, and the train was taken to Pietermaritzburg after luncheon with the Mayor and a distinguished gathering. A deputation of ladies had, meanwhile, presented the Duchess with a table-gong made of pompom shells mounted on a rhinoceros horn. The railway to the capital of Natal was patrolled by mounted troops, and the drive through the illuminated city and densely-packed streets to Government House was done at night. On the following day the place was found to be handsomely decorated with many arches and the first function was the Royal inauguration of a new Town Hall. The cheering of the people was intense and continuous in the streets. Afterwards addresses were presented—that of the[Pg 324] Corporation in a singularly beautiful casket of ivory and gold. In his eloquent speech the Duke referred to the events and sacrifices of the war. They had not been in vain. "Never in our history did the pulse of Empire beat more in unison; and the blood which has been shed on the veldt has sealed for ever our unity, based upon a common loyalty and a determination to share, each of us according to our strength, the common burden." An address was also presented from Johannesburg and specially replied to.

In the afternoon there was an extraordinary assemblage, composed of the dignitaries of political and social life and the pick of the great British army in South Africa—a quarter of a million fighting men. It was a gathering of eleven holders of the V.C., and forty-three holders of the honour next in degree for bravery in the field—the D.S.O. These famous medals were conferred by the Duke of Cornwall and York, and then a great deputation of Zulu Chiefs, clad in barbaric war paraphernalia, presented loyal congratulations. A reception was held in the evening and the city illuminated. The next day the voyage was resumed, and Simon's Bay reached on August 19th. After landing, through a guard of one thousand bluejackets, and receiving an address from the Mayor, the special train was taken to Cape Town. There the formal reception was given by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, the President of the Legislative Council, the Archbishop, the Chief Justice, the Mayor, the President of the Africander Bond and other officials or public men. The reception in the streets was enthusiastic, and it has been said that more Union Jacks were displayed than at any other point on the tour. A Levée was held in the afternoon at the Parliament Buildings and two thousand citizens were presented, while addresses were received from many public bodies in Cape Colony, Orange River Colony, and Rhodesia.

[Pg 325]

A memorable event occurred on the succeeding day, when in the Government House grounds, His Royal Highness and the Duchess received over one hundred native chiefs who had come from all parts of South Africa, laden with unique and peculiar gifts, clad in extraordinary costumes and led by Lerothodi of the Basutos and Khama, the famous Chief of Bechuanaland. Short speeches were interchanged, and then the Duke and Duchess drove to Grootschur, to visit Mr. Cecil Rhodes. On the following day the Duke accepted an honorary degree from the University of Cape Town—of which he was already Chancellor—and in the afternoon received some six thousand school children, Colonial and Dutch, who sang an Ode of welcome and presented a gift of Basuto ponies for the Royal children in far-away London. There was also an evening reception and the same splendid illuminations which had graced the previous night. The last day of the visit included the laying of the foundation-stone of a Nurse's Home in memory of the late Queen, and of the corner-stone of the new St. George's Cathedral. Despatches were interchanged with Lord Kitchener, and a letter written by His Royal Highness to the Governor, Sir Walter Hely-Hutchinson, expressive of the deep gratitude of his wife and himself for their reception and the earnest hope that peace would soon be restored. An investiture of knighthood was also held, and on August 23rd the Royal couple were once more on the Ophir heading for distant Canada.


After a voyage in which every kind of ocean weather was experienced, or suffered, the mighty St. Lawrence was reached, and finally the City of Quebec, on the 15th of September. The arrival was the commencement of a continental tour which proved a fitting crown to the whole splendid Empire progress and a more than appropriate continuation of the King's visit[Pg 326] of forty years before—in which he had touched only the smaller central Provinces of the great railway-girdled Dominion which now welcomed his son and his son's Consort. On Monday, September 17th, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, accompanied by the Earl of Minto, Governor-General, and Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the Prime Minister—who had gone down the river to meet them—set their feet upon Canadian soil. The Dominion Ministers were present to join in the welcome, and the procession then passed through the city, many thousands of people lining the streets, and three thousand French children at the St. Louis Gate singing "O Canada, Land of Our Ancestors." At the Parliament Buildings, the Hon. S. N. Parent, Mayor of Quebec and Premier of the Province, read a lengthy address which referred to this visit as a proud privilege, expressed the renewed devotion of the citizens to the Crown and person of their Sovereign, and spoke of French-Canadians as "a free, united and happy people, faithful and loyal, attached to their King and country, and rejoicing in their connection with the British Empire and those noble self-governing institutions which are the palladium of their liberties." In his reply the Duke referred to the success of the Canadian troops at Paardeberg, and spoke with sorrow of the death of President McKinley. "It is my proud mission to come amongst you as a token of that feeling of admiration and pride which the King and the Empire feel in the exploits of the Canadians who rushed to the defence of the Empire."

A Royal procession to the Citadel followed and in the afternoon the Duke and Duchess visited Laval University, where they were received by Archbishop Bégin, the Rector, and five hundred clergymen of the Arch-diocese. In the address which was read by the Archbishop reference was made to the late Queen, to the accession of the present Sovereign, to the triumphal welcome on the banks of the mighty St. Lawrence[Pg 327] which was being prepared for the nation's guests, and to the pleasure of the Church in sharing that welcome. "To the history of our Catholic Church belongs the honour of having forged between the English Throne and a French Canadian people solid bonds which neither adversity nor bribery can sever." Faith in the Church and loyalty to the Crown were the lessons they desired to inculcate. The University address was then read by the Rev. O. E. Mathieu, the Rector. His Royal Highness in replying and accepting the honorary degree of LL. D., paid a high tribute to Roman Catholicism in Canada. "I am glad to acknowledge the noble part which the Catholic Church in Canada has played throughout its history; the hallowed memories of its martyred missionaries are a priceless heritage; and in the great and beneficial work of education and in implanting and fostering a spirit of patriotism and loyalty, it has rendered signal service in Canada and the the Empire." In the evening, a state dinner was held at the Citadel.

During the ensuing morning the Royal review took place on the Plains of Abraham. It rained during the greater part of the proceedings and this, together with the cancellation of the proposed Reception, for which fifteen hundred invitations had been issued, threw a measure of gloom over the City. But neither the rain nor the sad death of the President of the United States could be helped and certainly the Duke never flinched from the discomforts of the former. There were some five thousand troops on the ground under command of Major-General O'Grady-Haly assisted by Lieutenant-Colonel the Hon. M. Aylmer as Adjutant-General. After the parade was over, His Royal Highness distributed the South African medals to the men and presented Lieut.-Colonel R. E. W. Turner, of the Queen's Own Canadian Hussars, with his V.C. and D.S.O. and a sword of honour from the City of Quebec. In the evening, as on the previous one, the city was brilliantly[Pg 328] illuminated and the ships and river showed sudden blazes of light amid the blackness of surrounding night and through the flash of fireworks and gleam of electricity. The Royal couple gave a farewell dinner on the Ophir to a select number and in the morning started for Montreal. The journey was made in the splendid train built by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company for the special purposes of this tour and destined to carry the Royal visitors all over the Dominion. Their immediate train of cars was preceded, as elsewhere throughout the country, by one bearing the Governor-General and Lady Minto.


Very few stops took place on the way to Montreal, where some change in the programme was to be made owing to the President's funeral. At Port Neuf, Three River's and Lanoraie, however, a few minutes' pause had been arranged. At the Montreal station the Royal couple were received by Mr. Raymond Prefontaine, M.P., Mayor of the city, in gorgeous official robes. With him were Archbishop Bruchési, Vicar-General Racicot, Archbishop Bond, Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal, Mr. T. G. Shaughnessy, Senator Drummond, Rev. Dr. Barclay, Principal Peterson, Sir William Hingston, Sir W. C. Van Horne and Sir Wilfrid Laurier. The Civic address was read in French and the Duke replied in English. Other addresses were presented from the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society, the Daughters of the Empire and the Baron de Hirsch Institute. There was an immense crowd present and the proceedings concluded with the introduction of a number of Indian chiefs to His Royal Highness and the presentation of medals to the South African veterans.

The procession through the streets to Lord Strathcona's house, where the Royal visitors were to stay, was a rather swift drive and the throngs of people were not given very much time to see the Duke and Duchess. Elsewhere in[Pg 329] Canada the rate was slower. Several beautiful arches decorated the route. The cheers of the Laval students and the enthusiasm of five thousand school children on Peel Street were the most marked incidents of this parade through gaily decorated streets. In the evening Lord Strathcona entertained at dinner in honour of his Royal guests and the whole city was a blaze of light from electric illuminations and the fireworks on Mount Royal. The Reception in the evening was cancelled owing to the President's funeral. A visit was paid to the mountain in the morning and then followed the formal functions of a busy day. At McGill University an address was read by its Chancellor, Lord Strathcona, and an honorary degree received. Then followed an address from the Medical Faculty, read by Dr. Craik, and including the presentation of a casket of Labradorite—a native Canadian product. The Duke also formally opened the new Medical building.

At Laval University the decorations were most elaborate and there was a great assemblage of local clergy. Archbishop Bruchési extended a verbal, instead of written, welcome and informed the Duke that the clergy and Professors devoted themselves to training the youth of the University "in science and in arts, in loyalty to the throne, as well as in love of religion and country." An honorary degree was also given and accepted. Another place visited was the Royal Victoria Hospital which, like McGill University and its Medical Faculty, owed much to Lord Strathcona. At the Diocesan Institute an address was presented from the assembled Provincial Synod of Canada by the Lord Bishop of Toronto. In the afternoon the Duke and Duchess drove out to the Ville Marie Convent where they were received by the Archbishop of Montreal, the Lady Superior and Sir Wilfrid Laurier. An address was presented and, as at Laval, the Duke replied informally though here, for the first time, he said a few words in French. A[Pg 330] torchlight procession of the people, general illumination of the city and more fire-works, followed in the evening. At nine o'clock on the succeeding morning the Royal couple started for Ottawa.

They remained in Ottawa from September 20th until September 24th. On the way to the capital a brief stop was made at Alexandria and an address received. The arrival at Ottawa and the Royal progress through the city was marked by brilliant decorations, cheering crowds and finer weather than had been the case either at Quebec or Montreal. The Civic address was read by Major W. D. Morris in a pavilion erected on the Parliament grounds and eighteen other addresses were received. The reply of His Royal Highness was sympathetic and eloquent in language. It was, he said, impossible for him not to think of the difference between forty years ago and the present time. "Ottawa was then but the capital of two Provinces, yoked together in uneasy union. To-day it is a capital of a great and prosperous Dominion, stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, the centre of the political life and administration of a contented and united people. The Federation of Canada stands permanent among the political events of the century just closed for its fruitful and beneficent results on the life of the people concerned." He hoped that mutual toleration and sympathy would continue and be extended to the Empire as a whole and that, more than ever, the people would remain "determined to hold fast and maintain the proud privileges of British citizenship."

On leaving for Government House the Duke and Duchess were greeted with "The Maple Leaf," sung by thousands of school children and were given a great cheer by the students of Ottawa College. In the afternoon a visit was paid to the Lacrosse match between the Cornwalls and Ottawas and at night a state dinner was held at Government House. The city was illuminated on this and subsequent evenings in a way[Pg 331] to rival the famous effects of the Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo. On the following morning an investiture of knighthood was held at Government House followed by a drive through Hull. At noon the statue of Queen Victoria on the Parliament grounds was unveiled amid the usual surroundings of state and soldiers and crowds. South African medals were presented by the Duke and to Lieutenant E. J. Holland was given his V.C. as well as medal. His Royal Highness was then lunched by a number of prominent gentlemen at the Rideau Club and in the afternoon a garden party was held at Government House. In the evening there was a quiet dinner and drive through the city to see the illuminations.

On the following day, Sunday was quietly observed and Christ Church Cathedral attended in the morning by the Royal couple and the Governor-General and Lady Minto. Bishop Hamilton officiated and the sermon was preached by the Rev. Mr. Kittson. The morning of September 23 was notable for the entertainment given by the lumbermen of Ottawa. The Duke and Duchess travelled on a special electric car to their destination, went in canoes with voyageurs through the rapids, descended the famous lumberslides of the Chaudiére, witnessed a race of war canoes, saw tree cutting and logging, watched the strange dances of the woodsmen, ate a lumbermen's lunch in a shanty, heard the jolly songs of the voyageurs, and listened to a speech from a habitant foreman which made them and all Canada laugh heartily. In the evening a brilliant Reception was held in the Senate Chamber.

At noon on the following morning the Royal couple left for Winnipeg through crowded streets and cheering people. Before her departure the Duchess of Cornwall was given a handsome cape by the women of Ottawa. The presentation was made by Lady Laurier, on behalf of the contributors, at Government House. In Montreal a beautiful gift had also been made to her in the shape of a corsage ornament composed of a[Pg 332] spray of maple leaves made of enamel and decorated with 366 diamonds and one large pearl. It was presented by Lady Strathcona and Mrs. George A. Drummond. The Royal journey across the continent commenced with the departure from Ottawa and, between the capital of the Dominion and the metropolis of the West, a number of places were passed at a few of which the Royal visitors paused for a brief time. At Carleton Place there was a cheering crowd and gaily decorated station and singing school children; at Almonte the town was en fête and cheering could be heard from even the roofs of the distant cotton mills; at Arnprior the whole population turned out and the decorations were extensive; at Renfrew and Pembroke the same thing occurred; at Petawawa and Chalk River crowds of country people had gathered; at Mattawa and North Bay the stations were gaily decorated and bands played their welcome.

Everywhere in the wilds of Algoma and along the rocky shores of Lake Superior little groups of settlers might be seen at the lonely stations watching for a sight of the Duke and Duchess. At Missanabie, a stop was made to see a Hudson's Bay post and stockade and at White River, the coldest place in Canada east of the Yukon, a picturesque party of Indians was seen. A stop was made at Schrieber, and the whole population turned out to see an address presented to the Duke and a bouquet to the Duchess. Late in the evening of the 25th Fort William was reached and the school children of the town sang "The Maple Leaf" from an illuminated stand at the station. At Port Arthur the Duke accepted a case of mineral specimens. Winnipeg was reached at noon of the next day after a quick journey through the "Lake of the Woods" district and a splendid welcome was accorded the Royal visitors. Flags flew everywhere and decorations abounded throughout the city. At the station about a hundred of Manitoba's leading men were gathered. The Governor-General and Lady[Pg 333] Minto and Sir Wilfrid Laurier were also present to assist in the welcome, as their trains had preceded the Royal party to Winnipeg. The same order was observed in this connection throughout the Canadian tour.


The Royal procession then passed along the wide main street of the city, through splendid arches of wheat, to the City Hall, where Mayor Arbuthnot presented the address to the Duke. Archbishop Machray then presented an address from the Church of England in Rupert's Land, expressive of welcome and attachment to the Throne and Empire. Archbishop Langevin, on behalf of the Catholics of Manitoba and the West, in his address dwelt upon the French pioneer labours in the Northwest, and declared the pride felt by the people of his Church in having defended England's noble standard, even at the expense of their blood. "We thank God for the amount of religious liberty we enjoy under the British flag." In his reply, the Duke of Cornwall and York spoke of the marvellous progress made by Winnipeg—"the busy centre of what has become the great granary of the Empire, the political centre of an active and enterprising population in the full enjoyment of the privileges and institutions of British citizenship." Then followed the presentation of South African medals and a luncheon at Government House attended by many leading citizens. In the afternoon the University of Manitoba was visited and an address read by Archbishop Machray, Chancellor of the University. A state dinner was given in the evening at Government House and about ten o'clock the Royal visitors passed through the crowded and illuminated streets of the city to the train, followed by a torchlight procession and the sound of many cheers.

At Regina, on September 27th, a loyal welcome was received. The procession to Government House was followed[Pg 334] by the reception of twelve addresses from Territorial centres and the distribution of South African decorations. A luncheon was given by Lieutenant-Governor Forget, and at 3 p.m., the Royal visitors departed for Calgary. There, on the following morning, they witnessed a thoroughly typical Western scene and received a Western welcome. The streets were gaily decorated and many cheers followed the Duke and Duchess as they proceeded to Victoria Park, where a review of 240 Mounted Police was held, medals presented to the South African veterans and Major Belcher decorated with his C.M.G. At another point near the city the Duke then met a large party of Indians and received from them an address which recited their past privations and present progress and expressed the hope that when His Royal Highness should accede to the Throne it would be "to long reign over us, our children, and the other many peoples of the British Empire in peaceful security and abundant happiness."

Speeches were made by a number of the Chiefs and the Duke replied in most picturesque terms. "The Indian is a live man, his words are true words and he never breaks faith. And he knows that it is the same with the Great King, my father, and with those whom he sends to carry out his wishes. His promises last as long as the sun shall shine and the waters flow. And care will ever be taken that nothing shall come between the Great King and you, his faithful children." Indian children then sang the National Anthem, and, after witnessing an extraordinary spectacle of broncho busting and cow-boy riding, the journey was resumed to the Rockies towering up on the horizon. Sunday was spent in traversing the marvellous panorama of nature which spreads out through the Rockies and Selkirks, the mighty glaciers, rushing rivers, lightning changes of colour and varied splendours of scene. A stop was made at Banff and at Laggan and Field, the stations were tastefully decorated with evergreens and flags. Revelstoke[Pg 335] was passed, the lower levels of the mountains traversed, the plains reached, and on the morning of September 30th the Royal train drew into Vancouver.

Mounted Police and blue-jackets from the fleet were there and as the procession left for the Court House, where addresses were to be received, the deep-mouthed guns of the fleet in the harbour, the ringing bells of the city churches and the cheers of the people sounded a combined welcome. Through several arches and gay decorations—the Japanese and Chinese arches being noteworthy—the parade proceeded, with the Premier of Canada in a carriage at its head. At the pavilion, in front of the Court House, the Royal visitors were received by Mayor Townley, an address was presented and a bouquet given to the Duchess as well as a handsome portfolio of British Columbia views from the Local Council of women. The Duke was very brief in his reply. The next thing on the programme was the opening of the new Drill-Hall and the presentation of South African medals. The Boy's Brigade was also inspected. After luncheon a visit was paid to the Hastings Saw-Mill, and a drive taken through the splendid trees and vistas of Stanley Park. At Brockton Point a drill of school children was held in sight of some seven thousand persons and a grand stand full of children looking on. Here the Duke presented a silken banner to the school which had won the prize for drilling and was given an enthusiastic reception. As the C. P. R. steamer, Empress of India, with the Royal party on board, passed in the evening across the Bay of Victoria the waters were illuminated with multitudes of lighted craft and the city was a vision of golden light with a background of surrounding blackness.

Accompanied by five warships, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall arrived at Victoria on the morning of October 1st and were greeted by Lieut.-Governor Sir Henri Joly de Lotbiniére as they landed. The drive through the decorated streets[Pg 336] to the Parliament Buildings was the scene of much cheering and at the destination Their Royal Highnesses were received by the officials of the Province and an immense surrounding crowd. Mayor Hayward presented the Civic address and various deputations followed him. In his reply the Duke made no allusion to the international relations mentioned in one of the addresses but declared that Canadian sacrifices in South Africa had "forged another link in the golden chain which binds together the brotherhood of the Empire." Medals were distributed and the school children inspected. A drive followed through the gay streets of the city out to Esquimalt, where a barge was taken to the Admiral's flagship and luncheon served, with Real-Admiral Bickford as the host.

In the afternoon the Agricultural Exhibition at Victoria was opened and in the evening the city and Parliament Buildings were brilliantly lighted up by electricity and fireworks. After a state dinner at the Lieutenant-Governor's residence a Reception was held at the Parliament Buildings. The following day was a very quiet one. Her Royal Highness called on Mrs. Dunsmuir, wife of the Prime Minister, to express sympathy over a terrible disaster which had occurred at the Extension Mines and, after luncheon, the Duke and Duchess visited the Royal Jubilee Hospital. During the day the latter was presented by the miners of Atlin with a bracelet of gold nuggets. Late in the afternoon farewells were made and the voyage back to Vancouver commenced. From Vancouver they departed in the morning, the Duchess going to Banff where she stayed for a couple of days and the Duke going on to Poplar Point, Manitoba, forty miles from Winnipeg, where he enjoyed a couple of days' shooting with Senator Kirchhoffer. Winnipeg was reached on October 8th. They were cordially welcomed again and a visit was paid to Oglivie's Mill—said to be the largest in the Empire—and the direct journey for Toronto was then commenced. From North Bay, through[Pg 337] the Muskoka region and on to the capital of Ontario, there were cheering crowds at every station. Huntsville, Bracebridge, and Gravenhurst were marked in this respect. At Orillia, Barrie and Newmarket short stops were made and, amidst gay decorations, singing children and cheering throngs, the Duke and Duchess appeared on the platform, received a few presentations and in the case of Her Royal Highness accepted bouquets of flowers.


The occurrences at Toronto during the Royal visit were of a character to make history. The morning of October 10th, when the Duke and Duchess arrived was gloomy and later on the rain poured with steady and depressive persistence. But it did not seem to affect the patience of the waiting crowds or dampen the enthusiasm of the reception. A special and beautiful station had been erected at the head of St. George Street and here, amid the patriotic songs of 6000 children, the Royal visitors were received by the Hon. G. W. Ross, Premier of Ontario and a number of his Ministers. The Vice-regal party and Sir Wilfrid Laurier had, as usual, arrived first. The procession followed through miles of decorated streets and throngs of cheering people until the City Hall was reached and a scene of colour and serried masses of people witnessed such as Toronto had never known. The streets were lined with ten thousand troops stretching from the station to the Hall and the Alexandra Gate, erected by the Daughters of the Empire, and the Foresters' Arch, erected by the Independent Order of Foresters, were notable features of the welcome. At the City Hall the Royal couple were received by Mayor O. A. Howland and welcomed by the singing of a large trained chorus of voices. An immense crowd was present and addresses were handed in by eleven deputations and replied to at some length.

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During the afternoon a presentation was made to the Duchess by Miss Mowat, daughter of the Lieutenant-Governor, on behalf of the women of Toronto. It consisted of a writing set made of Klondike gold and Canadian amethysts and chrystal. The case was made of Canadian maple. A state dinner was given at Government House in the evening by Sir Oliver Mowat and the Royal couple afterwards attended a Concert at Massey Hall where Madame Calvé and others sang. The streets were filled with enthusiastic crowds far into the night and the illuminations were something unequalled in the history of the city and unexcelled by any others during the Royal tour in Canada. Powerful search-lights from the top of the City Hall tower were an unique feature of the demonstration.

On the following morning—October 12th—the Royal review took place on the Exhibition grounds. It was unquestionably the most brilliant and effective military spectacle ever seen in Canada. Nearly eleven thousand men were mustered under command of Major-General O'Grady-Haly. Before the review commenced His Royal Highness presented the South African medals to a number of the soldiers and the V.C. to Major H. C. Z. Cockburn. To the latter also was given a sword of honour on behalf of the City Council. Colours were presented to the Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry and the Royal Canadian Dragoons in the name of the King and as a mark of appreciation for their services in the war. The march past then took place. There were said to be twenty-five thousand people on the grounds and the streets and approaches were lined with many other thousands. In the afternoon the Duke and Duchess visited the Bishop Strachan School and the Duke planted a tree in Queen's Park and reviewed the Fire Brigade. Then came the state visit to Toronto University, the presentation of an address by the Chancellor, Sir William Meredith, and the bestowal of the honorary degree of LL. D.

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In the evening a Reception was held in the Parliament Buildings when two thousand people shook hands, amid brilliant surroundings, with the Heir to the Throne and his wife. Prior to this a very large state dinner had been held in the halls of the same building with His Excellency the Governor-General as host. The city was again most brilliantly illuminated and filled with waiting throngs anxious to see and cheer the Royal visitors. Early in the following morning they left Toronto for a rapid trip through Western Ontario. As the Royal train rushed through the populous centres, or quiet villages of this rich section of the country, every railway station was crowded with cheering people anxious for a sight of their future Sovereign and his Consort. At Brampton a short stop was made, and a mass of beautiful roses, carried by eight children, was presented to the Duchess from the well-known rosaries of the town. At Guelph a platform had been erected near the station, and here two thousand school children sang patriotic songs. At Berlin there was another chorus and another exquisite bouquet of flowers for the Duchess. There was a great crowd of people at this point, and the children carried branches of maple leaves, as well as flags, which they waved while the singing was going on and the presentations were being made by Mayor Bowlby. The City of Stratford had a gaily decorated station, eight thousand cheering citizens and children singing "The Maple Leaf." An arch had been erected festooned with evergreens and flowers. The visit to London was a matter of more formality and length. The city was packed with people from outlying points, and the reception to the Royal couple as they drove through decorated streets to the Victoria Park was most enthusiastic. There an address was proffered by Mayor Rumball. After the Duke's reply colours were presented to the 7th Regiment and the departure took place through the same kind of cheering throngs which had previously lined the streets.

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From London the route was taken up to Niagara. Every station was crowded with people, and in the vineyard and fruit region a brief stop was made at Grimsby. Finally, the Royal train ran into the historic village of Niagara-on-the-Lake, and there, at the Queen's Royal Hotel, the visitors found elaborate preparations for their comfort during the ensuing day of rest. Masses of flowers and fruit were displayed as further proof of the diverse productions of the Dominion. Sunday was, however, a busy day in some respects. In the morning the steamer was taken to Queenston, and from thence a special electric car conveyed the Royal couple along the banks of the mighty Niagara, past Brock's monument and the scene of the historic conflict upon Queenston Heights, and on to the famous whirlpool where half an hour of sight-seeing was spent. In Queen Victoria's Park there were crowds of people waiting to see the Duke and Duchess, but only a few minutes' glance at the Falls was taken. A visit to Loretto Convent followed with songs from the pupils and luncheon afterwards. Archbishop O'Connor of Toronto assisted in the reception. The rest of the day was spent in viewing and admiring the ever-changing glories of Niagara Falls, and the return took place in the evening. On the 14th of October Hamilton was visited and three hours spent in receiving one of the most enthusiastic welcomes of the whole tour. Thousands had gathered in the spacious grounds surrounding the station and in the streets, and the cheering was hearty and continuous. The usual address was presented by Mayor J. S. Hendrie at the City Hall. The Royal visitors then lunched at "Holmstead," the residence of Mr. William Hendrie, and afterwards the Duke presented new colours to the 13th Regiment. The departure took place amidst the cheers of thousands.

At St. Catharines there was a short stop and the whole city turned out, business was suspended and the colleges and schools attended in a body. There was a guard of honour at[Pg 341] the station, cheers from eight thousand throats, a beautiful bouquet presented to the Duchess and a few citizens introduced by Mayor McIntyre. Brantford had its station handsomely decorated, and three thousand children massed on the platform to sing patriotic songs as the train rolled in. Another bouquet for the Duchess was presented and also a casket containing a silver long-distance telephone from Professor Bell, the father of its inventor, who was born in Brantford. Their Royal Highnesses here signed the Bible which was given in 1712 by Queen Anne to the Mohawk Church of the Six Nations and which already contained the autographs of the King and the Duke of Connaught. A very brief stop was made at Paris, where the school children were gathered and a large crowd cheered the Royal couple. At Woodstock the whole population turned out and the train entered the station amid the cheers of ten thousand people. Mayor Mearns presented some of the citizens and his little daughter handed a beautiful bouquet of roses to the Duchess. A thousand school children waved flags and sang the National Anthem.


From the West to the East travelled the Royal train during the night, and on the morning of October 15th reached Belleville, where some eight thousand people had assembled to welcome the Duke and Duchess. Presentations by Mayor Graham, a guard of honour, cheers and a bouquet for the Duchess, with singing school children, were the familiar features of the reception. An address from 250 deaf and dumb children was, however, an interesting exception. At Kingston the Royal couple drove through the crowded and decorated streets to a pavilion in front of the City Hall, where three thousand children sang, cheered and waved flags, while flowers were given to the Duchess and several addresses presented to the Duke. Following this ceremony the Royal procession[Pg 342] passed on through the historic city to Queen's University where his Royal Highness was given an honorary LL.D. and presented with an address by the Chancellor, Sir Sandford Fleming. In replying to the latter the Duke expressed the regret of himself and the Duchess at the absence through illness of the Very Rev. Principal Grant. He then laid the corner-stone of a new building donated to the University by the citizens of Kingston. There was tremendous cheering from the students and gay decorations along the route which was then taken to the Royal Military College.

At the College the Royal visitors witnessed a march past and gymnastic display from the Cadets. A spontaneous and unexpected incident occurred in the private visit of Their Royal Highnesses to Principal Grant at the General Hospital. They talked with him a few minutes and then the Duke personally conferred upon him the C.M.G. which had been recently granted by the King. About one o'clock the Royal party reached the wharf where they embarked on the steamer Kingston, which had been most elaborately decorated and fitted up for the occasion, and started for a trip through the Thousand Islands of the St. Lawrence. At six o'clock the steamer arrived at Brockville, and the Duke and Duchess were greeted with a brilliant display of fireworks from the shore. At the landing-place they were met by Mayor Buell, Senator Fulford and other prominent citizens. A bouquet was given the Duchess and the procession from the wharf to the station passed through cheering people and the departure was made in a blaze of fireworks. At Cornwall, which was reached on the morning of October 16th, there were some four thousand people at the station, and Mayor Campbell presented the Duke and Duchess with a complete set of lacrosse sticks for the Royal children. They were enclosed in a gold-mounted case. The next stoppage was at Cardinal, where thousands[Pg 343] had assembled from the same surrounding country and the school children sang national songs.

On the way from Ontario to the Provinces by the Atlantic a pause was made at Montreal on October 16th to visit the Victoria Jubilee Bridge—a reconstruction of the one into which His Majesty the King had driven the last rivet when visiting Canada in 1860. The Duke of Cornwall and York was now presented with a gold rivet by Mr. George B. Reeve, General Manager of the Grand Trunk Railway system, as a souvenir of that event and of his present visit. The Bridge, which was called one of the wonders of the world at the time of its construction, now had a double track and double roadway. During the afternoon half-an-hour was spent at Sherbrooke, where the station was gaily decorated. Mayor Worthington presented the address and during his reply the Royal speaker declared that "among the many pleasant experiences of our delightful visit to Canada one will remain most deeply graven in our memories—the solemn declaration of personal attachment to my dear father, the King, and of loyalty to the throne of our glorious Empire." A beautiful bear-skin was then presented to the Duchess by Mrs. Worthington on behalf of the ladies of Sherbrooke. Some South African veterans were decorated with the medal and a delegation from the Caughnawaga Indians received.

From Sherbrooke the Royal party then travelled straight through to St. John, New Brunswick, which they reached in the afternoon of October 17th. After they had arrived and the echoes of the roaring guns had died away the Royal procession was formed and passed through the usually crowded and decorated streets to the Exhibition Buildings where Mayor Daniel, in his official robes, welcomed the Duke and Duchess and presented an address from the City as did Mayor Crocket from Fredricton. Some nine other local addresses were also presented and replied to. His Royal Highness then[Pg 344] presented colours to British Veterans from Massachusetts. There was to have been a review of troops in the afternoon but, owing to some mistake in the arrangements, a Royal presentation of South African medals, of colours to the 62nd Battalion, and of a sword of honour to Captain F. Caverhill Jones, comprised the proceedings. The return from the Exhibition grounds to Caverhill Hall, which had been specially fitted up by the Provincial Government for the visitors, was through crowds of more or less enthusiastic people. In the evening there were fireworks and electrical displays and a Reception at the Exhibition Building attended by a large representation of New Brunswick society. Late in the afternoon a deputation of ladies waited upon Her Royal Highness and presented her with a beautiful mink and ermine muff on behalf of the women of St. John. At noon on the following day the Duke and Duchess left the city amid much cheering and the farewells of a representative gathering at the station. On the way to Halifax the City of Moncton, N. B., celebrated the arrival of the Royal tourists with a half holiday, a decorated station and a mass of cheering people. Mayor Atkinson presented a number of prominent people and the Duchess received a couple of handsome bouquets. At Dorchester, as the train arrived it passed through a gaily decorated station, cheering crowds and local officials ranged along the platform. At Amherst, N. S., a short stop was made.


When Halifax was reached, on the morning of October 19th, the reception was beautiful and impressive as well as loyal. Thousands of soldiers with glittering bayonets lined the streets, together with hundreds of sailors armed with cutlasses and rifles, and many thousands of crowding and cheering citizens. As the Royal visitors arrived at the station they were welcomed with a roar of guns from the magnificent citadel[Pg 345] heights and defences of Halifax and from the vessels of the most formidable fleet of war-ships which, it was said, had ever graced a Canadian port. They were received by the Vice-regal party, Vice-Admiral Sir Frederick Bedford and his staff, Colonel Biscoe and his staff, Lieutenant-Governor the Hon. A. G. Jones, of Nova Scotia, Lieutenant-Governor P. E. McIntyre of Prince Edward Island, the Hon. G. H. Murray and the members of his Government, Mayor Hamilton of Halifax, the Mayor of Charlottetown and various other officials and representative men. At the platform in front of the station various addresses were presented amid cheers from an immense gathering. The Duke, in replying, did so separately to the Prince Edward Island welcome and to that from Nova Scotia. To the former he expressed the "true regret" which they felt at not being able to visit that well-remembered Province, and to the latter he made a really eloquent response. "It is perhaps fitting that we should take leave of Canada in the Province that was the first over which the British flag waved, a Province so full of moving, checquered, historic memories, and that, embarking from your capital which stands unrivalled amongst the naval ports of the world, we should pass through waters that are celebrated in the annals of our glorious Navy." He also spoke of the "affectionate sympathy" with which they had been received throughout the Dominion.

Following this function the Royal couple passed through streets lined with troops and sailors and cheering crowds and at times presenting the appearance of a net-work of colour, a canopy of bunting. In the grounds of the Provincial Building His Royal Highness laid the foundation-stone of a monument erected by the Government and people of Nova Scotia in honour of the Provincial heroes who had fallen in South Africa. The procession then passed on to a handsome arch, guarded by a detachment of Royal Engineers, where the Duke inspected the members of the British Veterans' Society who[Pg 346] were drawn up on parade. Conspicuous amongst them was a negro holder of the V.C. Thence the parade continued to the Dockyard where the Royal couple went on board the Ophir, which had come up from Quebec during the long inland tour. In the afternoon a great review and massing of many thousands of soldiers and sailors, infantry, cavalry and artillery, was held on the Halifax Common in the presence of a crowd of spectators—probably twenty-five thousand in number. The troops were under the supreme command of Colonel Biscoe, and the Royal Naval Brigade included four thousand sailors from twelve of Britain's most modern cruisers. It was a sight such as had never been witnessed in Canada before and the review eclipsed in effect the previous military spectacle at Toronto; while the environment of great fortifications and a harbour full of war-ships enhanced the character of the scene. Near the Royal pavilion was a stand containing six thousand school children who sang patriotic songs.

After the review the Duke presented colours to the 66th Princess Louise Fusiliers and was informed by the Lieutenant-Governor that H.R.H. the Duke of Kent had conferred a similar honour upon the Regiment in the early part of the preceeding century. His Royal Highness then handed the war medals to the South African veterans and presented a sword of honour to Major H. B. Stairs. In the evening a state dinner was given by the Lieut.-Governor at Government House when occasion was taken by the Duke to present the Hon. Dr. Borden with the medal won by the gallant son who had lost his life in South Africa. A Reception was held afterwards in the Provincial Buildings amid scenes of striking beauty and brightness. The city and fleet were brilliantly illuminated and the spectacle one of the most beautiful of the whole Canadian tour. The next day was Sunday and was spent very quietly on board the Ophir. At night the Duke dined with Vice-Admiral Bedford on board his flag-ship. On[Pg 347] the following morning the Royal visitors left the shores of Canada in their yacht, accompanied by the fleet of battleships and with the cheers of many thousands of people, the roar of guns and the sound of bands playing on sea and shores, echoing out over the waters of the harbour.


Before leaving Halifax, and under date of October 19th, the Duke of Cornwall and York sent a communication to the Earl of Minto expressive of the regret felt by the Duchess and himself at bidding farewell to "a people who by their warm-heartedness and cordiality have made us feel at home amongst them from the first moment of our arrival on their shores." He referred to the loyal demeanour of the crowds, the general manifestations of rejoicing and the trouble and ingenuity displayed in the illuminations and street decorations. They were specially touched by the great efforts made in small and remote places to manifest feelings of kindness toward them. "I recognize all this as a proof of the strong personal loyalty to the throne as well as the deep-seated devotion of the people of Canada to that unity of the Empire of which the Crown is the symbol." Thanks were tendered to the Dominion Government, the Provincial authorities and municipal bodies and to various individuals for the care and trouble bestowed upon the varied arrangements. Of the Militia His Royal Highness spoke in high terms. The reviews at Quebec, Toronto and Halifax had enabled him to judge of the military capacity of the Dominion and of the "splendid material" at its disposal. Their hearts, he added, were full at leaving Canada and their regrets extreme at having to decline so many kind invitations from different centres. "But we have seen enough to carry away imperishable memories of affectionate and loyal hearts, frank and independent natures, prosperous and progressive communities, boundless productive territories, glorious scenery,[Pg 348] stupendous works of nature, a people and a country proud of its membership in the Empire and in which the Empire finds one of its brightest offspring."

On the way home Newfoundland was visited and an enthusiastic reception given by the people of St. John's and the Government of the Island. The usual addresses, decorations and functions followed and then the Ophir steamed away over the last stretch of ocean in this long, strenuous and memorable Royal progress of over fifty thousand miles on sea and land. When in sight of English shores again the King and Queen and the Royal children, accompanied by the Channel squadron of thirteen warships, met the travellers and escorted them to Portsmouth. After eight months of separation the Royal family of three generations were again together. The popular welcome at Portsmouth was brilliant and enthusiastic as well it might be. As the Times put it on November 1st—the day of the arrival home—"The Duke and Duchess have made the greatest tour in history; they have accomplished an act of high statesmanship without statecraft but by simple arts which are better than any statecraft; they have been under many skies and seen many strange, lovely and impressive sights; they have been greeted and acclaimed by many peoples, races and languages." In his speech to the Civic deputation waiting upon him on the following day His Royal Highness stated that their journey had covered thirty-three thousand miles by sea and twelve thousand five hundred by land. "Everywhere we have been profoundly impressed by the kindness, affection and enthusiasm extended to us and the universal declarations of loyalty to the Throne; and by the conscious pride in membership of our great Empire which has constantly displayed itself."

A dinner was given by the King and Queen on board the yacht Victoria and Albert in honour of the Royal travellers' return and, in the course of a speech of welcome, His Majesty[Pg 349] referred to the cordiality and loyal enthusiasm of their reception everywhere. "The accounts of their receptions, regularly transmitted to me by telegrams and letters and amply confirmed in my conversations to-day, have touched me deeply and I trust that the practical result will be to draw closer the strong ties of mutual affection which bind together the old Motherland with her numerous and thriving offspring". The special train was then taken to London and from Victoria station to Marlborough House the Royal couple drove through numerous crowds of cheering people and gaily decorated streets, with little Prince Edward beside them—for the first time making a public appearance and accepting the acclamations of the public with becoming gravity. It was a triumphal ending to a triumphant progress. A sort of climax to this termination was afforded, however, in the great banquet given by the Lord Mayor of London at the Guild Hall on December 5th, to him who had been created Prince of Wales on the 9th of November preceding by his father the King. There were only four toasts—the King, proposed by Sir Joseph Dimsdale, the Lord Mayor and chairman; Queen Alexandra and the Royal family, responded to by the new Prince of Wales; the Colonies, proposed by the Earl of Rosebery and responded to by Mr. Chamberlain; the Lord Mayor and Corporation proposed by the Marquess of Salisbury.

Besides the speakers and the members of the Royal suite during this famous tour there were present the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, Mrs. Chamberlain, Lord James of Hereford, Mr. John Morley, Lord Knutsford, Lord and Lady Tweedmouth, Lord and Lady Lamington, Lord Brassey, Lord Avebury, Sir Frederick Young and many other interesting or important personages. The speech delivered by the Prince of Wales was one which startled England from its directness of statement and its eloquence of style and delivery. It was not merely a clear, or good description of the tour; it was the[Pg 350] utterance of one who was both statesman and orator. His Royal Highness referred to the historic title which he now bore, to the voyage, unique in character and rich in experience, to the loyalty, affection and enthusiasm of the greetings everywhere, to the special characteristics of the visit in each country. He analysed Colonial loyalty as being accompanied by "unmistakable evidences of the consciousness of strength; of a true and living membership in the Empire; and of power and readiness to share the burden and responsibility of that membership". He spoke of the influence of Queen Victoria's life and memory, of the qualities of the sixty thousand troops whom he had reviewed, of the openings for better commercial interchange. "I venture to allude to the impressions which seemed generally to prevail among our brethren across the seas that the Old Country must wake up if she intends to maintain her old position of pre-eminence in her Colonial trade against foreign competitors". The need of more population in the Colonies was referred to and an urgent appeal made to encourage the sending out of suitable emigrants. "By this means we may still further strengthen, or at all events, pass on unimpaired, that pride of race, that unity of sentiment and purpose, that feeling of common loyalty and obligation which knit together and alone can maintain the integrity of our Empire".

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The King and the South African War

No event in many years has created such keen interest amongst, and been so closely followed by, the Royal family of Great Britain as the war in South Africa. Apart from Queen Victoria's natural and life-long dislike of the horrors of war, there was the earnest sympathy which she felt in the last two years of her reign with thousands of her subjects who had suffered in the loss of husband, or brother, or father, or friend; and the womanly sorrow which she herself felt for the many promising young officers whom she had personally known or liked, or whose relations and friends had been upon terms of intimacy with members of the Royal circle. The matter was still more brought home to her, in a personal sense, by the death of her grandson, Prince Christian Victor, who, after months of hard campaigning and with the reputation of an able, modest and hard-working officer, succumbed in the autumn of 1900 to enteric fever, and was buried, at his own request, upon the South African veldt. But these personal considerations had never been so potent with the Queen as had her broader sympathies for her people, and there can be no doubt the gloomy days of Colenso and Spion Kop told severely upon the sensibilities of a Sovereign who was as proud of the nation's position and as keen to feel national humiliation, or sorrow, as was the humblest and most loyal of her subjects. And the fact that her duty to the people and the Empire lay in supporting her Ministers and pressing, if necessary, for a still more vigorous prosecution of the[Pg 352] struggle, could not but have its effect upon the constitution of a Queen who felt her responsibilities very keenly and who was an aged woman as well as a great ruler.

Where she could help in keeping behind her Ministers a united people Queen Victoria did her utmost. Early in March, 1900, the Royal recognition of Irish valour in South Africa, shown in the order to the soldiers of the Empire to wear the Shamrock on St. Patrick's day, was as tactful and wise a step as statesmanship ever initiated. The ensuing postponement of Her Majesty's spring visit to sunny Italy and her prolonged stay in Dublin during the month of April were pronounced appeals to Irish loyalty. Her Christmas present of chocolate to the troops in the field, her ever-thoughtful telegrams, and occasional letters and speeches upon public occasions, were also of great value to the cause of national unity and action in differing degrees. Meantime, the Duke of Connaught had volunteered early in the period of trouble which eventually developed into war, but the Queen did not wish him to go to the front and, though he had offered to waive his rank and seniority in order to do so, his mother's wishes, of course, prevailed.


The Prince of Wales was exceedingly active during this period in paying every possible compliment to departing troops, in welcoming home the veterans of the war, in conferring medals and in helping the many charities, hospital interests and military organizations which the situation evoked. As soon as the war broke out the Princess of Wales had commenced to organize a hospital ship for the care of the wounded at Cape Town and, on November 22d, 1899, Her Royal Highness visited the vessel prior to its departure. She was accompanied by the Prince with Princess Victoria, the Duchess of York and the Duke and Duchess of Fife. Badges and gifts were presented to the nursing sisters and the men of the Royal[Pg 353] Army Medical Corps and St. John Ambulance Brigade and a brief speech delivered by the Prince. To this object, it may be added, the Princess had given £1000, and a Committee formed by her and composed of Lady Lansdowne, Lady Wolseley, Lady Wantage, Sir Donald Currie and others, had raised the large additional sum required. At Windsor, on December 15th, the Prince of Wales, accompanied by his wife, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Christian, presented to the Grenadier Guards the medals they had won in the Soudan. On January 26th, 1900, he reviewed six hundred officers and men of the Imperial Yeomanry under command of Colonel, Lord Chesham. He thanked them for making him their Hon. Colonel, and then added: "You have all, like true men, volunteered for active service to do your duty to your Sovereign and your country. I feel sure that when you leave your homes and country you will feel that a great duty devolves on you—to maintain the honour of the British flag—and that you will ably assist the Regular forces of Her Majesty abroad and do credit to your country and your corps."

A little later, on February 9th, another contingent of Yeomanry, under Colonel Mitford, were inspected by the Prince ere they departed for South Africa. "Most heartily" he said to them, "do I hope that the services you intend to render your Sovereign and your country will bring credit upon yourselves. I feel sure that, under your commanders, you will know that one of the first principles is good discipline. Then, I hope you are good shots and good riders." In the afternoon, at Devonshire House, His Royal Highness received the one hundred and fifty nurses and men connected with the Imperial Yeomanry Hospital. When the Princess of Wales' Hospital Ship returned with its sorrowful burdens of wounded men the Prince and Princess were the first to visit it and do what was possible by kind thought and word and action to soothe the suffering of the soldiers. Netley Hospital they visited again[Pg 354] and again, and more than one Canadian or Australian, or other Colonial soldier of the Queen, will always speak of the gracious personal kindness of the Royal couple.

When the Naval Brigade returned in triumph from its achievements at Ladysmith there was added to the seething, cheering, enthusiastic popular welcome the formal reception and inspection by the Heir Apparent, accompanied by the Princess and other members of the Royal family and the Lords of the Admiralty. After brief speeches from Mr. Goschen and His Royal Highness the former, as First Lord of the Admiralty, entertained the officers of the Brigade and the Prince of Wales at luncheon. On November 2nd, following, the Prince presided at a great banquet given in London to the officers and men of the Honourable Artillery Company and the City Imperial Volunteers. Colonel Mackinnon of the latter force sat on the right of the Royal chairman and the Lord Mayor on the left. In his speeches the Prince gave a brief history of the origin and the war achievements of the Artillery and the City Imperial Volunteers, congratulated many of the officers by name, spoke of the opportunity they had been given of taking part in "a great and important war and of maintaining the honour of the British flag," and referred in pathetic terms to the death of Prince Christian Victor—who had been through five campaigns and was under thirty-four years of age.

When the Composite Regiment of the Household Cavalry went to war in November 1899 they had been inspected by the Heir Apparent. Upon their return, December 3rd 1900, he paid them the same compliment, accompanied by various members of the Royal family and leading officers of the Army. He expressed pride at being Colonel-in-Chief of a corps which had so greatly distinguished itself—in the distant past as well as the near present. Following them came the Royal Canadian Regiment, commanded by Colonel W. D. Otter. To[Pg 355] them the Prince made a neat and patriotic speech. "I am well aware of what you have gone through and the splendid way in which you have served in South Africa and I deeply regret and mourn with you the loss of so many brave men." Ever anxious, like the Queen and her own husband, to promote the well-being of the soldiers and sailors the Princess of Wales had acted since the beginning of the war as President of the Soldiers and Sailors' Families Association and, on December 31st, 1900, reported through the press that £500,000 had been directly subscribed to their purposes, £190,000 given through the Mansion House subscription, and £50,000 through a special Lord Mayor's Fund. The whole of this sum had now been expended in caring for the wives and families of those at the front and distributed through the voluntary services of eleven hundred ladies and gentlemen throughout the United Kingdom. At least £50,000 was still being expended monthly and Her Royal Highness made and personally signed an earnest appeal for the further funds required.

When Lord Roberts left to take command in South Africa, the Prince of Wales personally saw him off at the station—accompanied by the Duke of Connaught, who had been again praying the Military authorities to allow him to go to the front in the new crisis which had arisen and who had even obtained Lord Roberts' approval to his taking a place upon his Staff. But the War Office would only say that with so many general officers out of the country His Royal Highness could do better service by remaining with the Army at home.

There were many reasons for the Prince of Wales taking a keen interest in the war apart altogether from the natural and patriotic reason. A peculiarly large number of the sons of personal friends were at the front and many of them were fated to fall from time to time. The reputation of the officers engaged in the struggle was necessarily very dear to[Pg 356] him. He knew them all and had many associations with their regiments and themselves. A blow to Sir George White, a disaster to Sir Redvers Buller, a danger to Col. Baden Powell, a threatened illness in the case of Lord Roberts, were all matters of personal concern to him as well as of national or patriotic interest. The central figure in the beginning of the war—the great personality of Mr. Cecil Rhodes—had long been a friend and had been received by the Prince upon a kindly social footing. Through the Duke of Fife's connection with the South African Chartered Company, the Prince must have been closely interested in all the earlier developments of the struggle and it could only have been by special permission that his son-in-law held a Director's place up to the actual outbreak of the war. Mr. Chamberlain and Lord Milner were both men who had been closely associated with his own Imperialistic projects and ideals and there can be little doubt—though it was never publicly expressed—that the Prince of Wales sympathised with the policy which has since made South African expansion and empire possible.

The Prince of Wales had seen Lord Roberts off upon his career of successful action; on January 3rd, 1901, accompanied by the Princess, the Duke and Duchess of York and the Duke of Connaught, he welcomed him home and on behalf of the Queen received him as a Royal guest at Buckingham Palace. A magnificent banquet followed, given by the Prince, in honour of the Field Marshal—who had just been created an Earl and a Knight of the Garter—and six months later as King of Great Britain, he was able to send a special message to Parliament recommending a grant to Earl Roberts of £100,000. Shortly after this reception came the much-mourned death of the Queen and the accession of His Royal Highness to the Throne. It was not long before the King was showing his appreciation of South African soldiers by inspecting or addressing them before their departure, or upon[Pg 357] their return. On February 15th, accompanied by Queen Alexandra, the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, the Duke of Cambridge, Princess Louise, the Duchess of Argyll, the Duke of Argyll, Lord Roberts, Sir Redvers Buller, Lord Strathcona and Mr. Chamberlain, he inspected Lord Strathcona's Regiment of Horse and presented a King's colour to Colonel Steele. His Majesty's speech to the officers and men was tactful and gracious: "I welcome you here on our shores on your return from active service in South Africa. I know it would have been the urgent wish of my beloved mother, our revered Queen, to have welcomed you also. That was not to be; but be assured she deeply appreciated the services you rendered as I do. It has given me great satisfaction to inspect you to-day, to have presented you with your war-medals and also with the King's colour. I feel sure that in entrusting this colour to you, Colonel Steele, and to those under you, you will always defend it and will do your duty as you have done in the past year in South Africa and will do it on all future occasions. I am glad that Lord Strathcona is here to-day, as it is owing to him that this magnificent force has been equipped and sent out." The King then presented Colonel Steele, personally with the M.V.O. decoration.


Following this and other similar events came the re-organization of the Army, in which the King no doubt took a great deal of interest though it would only be shown the form of advice or expressions of opinion. By Mr. St. John Brodrick's scheme, as outlined on March 9th, and ultimately accepted in the main, it was decided to have the military forces so organized that three Army corps could be sent abroad at any time; that the artillery and mounted troops should be increased and the medical and transport service reformed; that officers should be better trained, with less barrack-square drill and[Pg 358] more musketry, scouting and individuality. It was proposed also to "decentralize administration, centralize responsibility;" to increase the Militia from 100,000 to 115,000, to increase the pay of the soldiers, to utilize the Yeomanry and to affiliate, if possible, the Colonial forces. The new arrangements would provide, it was hoped, a home force of 155,000 Regulars, 90,000 Reserves, 150,000 Militia, 35,000 Yeomanry and 250,000 Volunteers—a total of 680,000 men.

Meanwhile, peace negotiations had been progressing. On February 28th a long interview took place between Lord Kitchener and General Louis Botha who, according to the British general's despatch, "showed very good feeling and seemed anxious to bring about peace." The question of government, grading from a Crown Colony system up to full self-government, was discussed; the licensing of rifles for protection and hunting; the use of English and Dutch languages; the enfranchising of Kaffirs; the protection of Church and trust funds and the guarantee of legal debts and notes of the late Republics; the question of a war-tax on the farms and the time of return of prisoners of war; pecuniary assistance to the burghers, so as to enable them to start afresh; the question of amnesty and the proposal to disfranchise Cape rebels; were all freely discussed. After considerable interchange between Lord Kitchener and Mr. Brodrick and Lord Milner and Mr. Chamberlain, a definite statement of terms was offered General Botha and by letter, dated March 16th, declined. The details of this cabled correspondence and the proposed terms were, of course, submitted to the King and approved by His Majesty, and it is certain that had the war then ended the Coronation would have taken place at an earlier date than was afterwards fixed.

The question of honours conferred by the Crown in peace or war has always been one of considerable discussion in Colonial, if not in home circles. How far the Sovereign acts[Pg 359] in this connection with, or without the advice of responsible Ministers, cannot be exactly known. The action is unquestionably guided by circumstances based primarily upon the admitted fact that all honours and titles, constitutionally as well as theoretically, lie in the hands of the Sovereign. It is probable that the recommendations made are generally accepted; that the name of any one known to be disapproved of by the King would never be submitted; that the slightest hint of disapproval would suffice for any name to be at once dropped; that any suggestion made by the Sovereign is at once included in the official list as a matter of course; that the interest taken by the Sovereign in the honours bestowed depends somewhat upon whether they are conferred in the ordinary way for routine services or granted for special reasons of action or state; that Colonial honours are seldom changed as they come from the hands of the Governor-General or Viceroy.

On the other hand it may be reasonably assumed that King Edward took more interest in this subject than did the late Queen. His many years of active association with public life and men of all classes and political opinion had made him keenly and impartially aware of personal claims and merits and more than usually able to judge amongst the great numbers who desire or deserve Royal recognition from time to time. His Majesty's first Honour List dealt with services in the South African War under terms of a multitudinous catalogue submitted by F. M. Lord Roberts up to November 29th, 1900. Amongst those who were made Knights Commander of the Bath, or K.C.B. were Lieut.-General Charles Tucker, Lieutenant-General Lord Methuen, Major-General Reginald Pole-Carew, Major-Generals W. G. Knox and H. J. T. Hildyard, Lieut.-General Ian S. M. Hamilton, Major-General Hector A. Macdonald, Lieut.-General J. D. P. French, Brigadier-Generals Henry S. Settle, Edward Y. Brabant and J. G. Dartnell—all well-known officers in the South African conflict. The Grand[Pg 360] Cross of St. Michael and St. George, or G.C.M.G. was conferred upon General Sir Redvers Buller, Lieut.-General Lord Kitchener, Lieut.-General Sir Frederick Forestier-Walker and General Sir George White. The K.C.M.G., or Knight Commandership in the same Order, was given to Major-General Sir C. F. Clery, Major-General Sir Leslie Rundle, Major-General E. T. H. Hutton, Lieut.-Colonel E. P. C. Girouard and others. A number of minor honours were bestowed upon British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and South African officers and men and an Investiture of various Orders was held at St. James's Palace on June 3rd, 1901. In such a list much discrimination was necessary and it is probable that the tact and knowledge of the King would have a very controlling influence apart altogether from his constitutional rights and powers.


On May 24th, His Majesty helped to make the welcome home to Sir Alfred Milner splendid and impressive and worthy of the statesman who had toiled amidst personal danger and depressive surroundings, public disasters and continuous misrepresentation, to maintain British rights and justice in South Africa. The High Commissioner was received at the station by Lord Salisbury, Mr. Chamberlain, Lord Roberts, Lord Lansdowne, Mr. Balfour and many others. Thence he was driven to Buckingham Palace and received by the King in a prolonged and private audience. The honour of a peerage was conferred upon him and on the following day Lord Milner was entertained at a large luncheon given by the Colonial Secretary and Mrs. Chamberlain and attended by the most eminent public men of the Metropolis—outside of the Liberal party ranks. On the same day the King presented colours to the Third Scots Guards.

On June 13th a most imposing ceremony was held by His Majesty on the Horse Guards Parade when thirty-two hundred [Pg 361]officers and men from South Africa were presented with war medals by the King amid scenes which had not been duplicated since the memorable function when the late Queen Victoria and the Crimean soldiers had been the central figures. The Royal platform was covered with crimson cloth and in its centre was spread a beautiful Persian silk carpet above which a canopy of crimson and gold, supported on silver poles, had been erected. Around the platform was a bewildering display of splendid uniforms and, after the arrival of the King and Queen Alexandra, accompanied by Princess Victoria, the distribution of the medals lasted over two hours—Major-General Sir Henry Trotter handing them to His Majesty who, in turn, presented them to the officer or soldier as he filed past. The first recipients were Lord Roberts, Lord Milner and Sir Ian Hamilton. A most brilliant and successful function concluded with cheers and the National Anthem.

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Ireland at the time of King Edward's Death
Ninety-fourth Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of England under King Edward, 1903-10.
Prime Minister of Canada during King Edward's Reign
The King's Representative in Canada, 1904-10

The war now dragged on its weary way. Victories and occasional defeats marked the stages of attrition by which the bravery and obstinacy of a determined foe was gradually worn down. On August 16th, 1901, Lord Kitchener issued his proclamation banishing all Boer leaders taken in arms after September 15th: three days later the Duke of Cornwall landed at Cape Town; on August 27th Lord Milner returned to take up his arduous duties. Mr. Cecil Rhodes died on March 26th, 1902, and on April 9th Boer delegates met at Klerksdorp under safe conducts from Lord Kitchener, and there Mr. Steyn, General Delary and General De Wet, and others, conferred upon the possibilities of peace. Three days later they proceeded to Pretoria and were given every facility for discussion and consultation by the British authorities. On April 18th they temporarily dispersed to consult their Commandos after being given the terms and concessions which it was decided to grant. There were supposed to be, at the most liberal computation—London Times of April 25th—some[Pg 362] 10,000 Boers in the field at this time, while the women, children and Boer residents of the refugee camps, who were being fed and cared for by the authorities, numbered 110,000.

The keenest interest had been taken by the King in the course of the war during this period and in the negotiations which ensued. He had been hoping for its termination before his Coronation and, some months prior to this, on January 15th, had addressed a re-inforcement of the Grenadier Guards in rather sanguine terms: "I trust that the duties you will be called upon to perform will be less arduous than those of some of the men who have gone before you and that the war will shortly be brought to a close. But, whatever duties you may be called upon to perform, I am sure you will fulfil them efficiently and will keep up the old spirit and traditions for which the Guards are famous." His wishes, like so many entertained throughout the Empire, were not speedily realized, but it is safe to say that His Majesty would no more have unduly hurried the course of negotiations or changed their effective and final character in order to attain his natural desire for a peaceful celebration of the Coronation—as was asserted in some sensational quarters—than he would have cut his own hand off.

It is sometimes forgotten that the King not only embodies the authority of his vast realm in his position, but must concentrate in his own person a natural strength of pride in his Empire so great as to be far beyond the possibility of a reflection upon its patriotism. He would hardly be human in his qualities if the most intense patriotic pride in the unity and power of his realms was not the first and strongest instinct of his nature. But this in passing. Lord Salisbury illustrated the attitude of both the Sovereign and his Ministers when speaking at the Albert Hall, London, on May 7th, during the pending negotiations: "I only wish to guard against misapprehension which I think I have seen, to the effect that the willingness we have shown to listen to all that may be said to[Pg 363] us is a proof that we have retreated or receded from our former position and are willing to recognize that the rights we claimed are no longer valid. There is no ground for such an assertion. We cannot afford after such terrible sacrifice, not only of treasure but of men, after the exertions, unexampled in our history, that we have made—we cannot afford to submit to the idea that we are to allow things to slide back into a position where it will be in the power of our enemy again, when the opportunity suits him and the chance is favourable to him, to renew again the issue that we have fought this last three years."


Meanwhile the negotiations were proceeding. At first the Boer delegates proposed that the two Republics should merely concede what had been demanded before the outbreak of the war. When this was refused, even as a matter for consideration, and they were referred to previous statements as to terms, the request was made that some of the leaders be allowed to consult their friends in Europe, or at least to have one of the European refugee leaders come over and assist them in their decision. To this Lord Kitchener gave an instant veto, and intimated that unless their proposals were to be serious the negotiations had better drop. Then they asked for an armistice in order to consult the burghers in the field, but Lord Kitchener would not stop military operations a moment further than to allow the delegates to hold meetings of their Commandos. But in that event they were to return to Pretoria armed with full powers to conclude peace—if they returned at all. As a result of this decision the leading officers of the Boer forces met their respective Commandos, and delegates were duly appointed to a total number of one hundred and fifty. These met on May 16th at Vereeniging and spent a couple of weeks in discussion, in obtaining absolutely final terms for acceptance or rejection from the[Pg 364] British authorities, and in presenting these again to the Commandos. The opponents of peace during these preliminaries were generally believed to include Mr. Steyn and Commandants Wessels, Muller, Celliers and Herzog, while Generals Delarey and De Wet were in favour of accepting the British terms. Finally, on May 31st, the conditions of surrender were signed. Mr. Steyn was the only important absentee from the final conferences at Pretoria.

Thus ended a war in which Great Britain had spent £200,000,000, raised and equipped some three hundred thousand men, of whom one-sixth were Colonial troops, and performed the unparalleled feat of supplying quick and satisfactory transport and subsistence for this great body of troops to a distance of seven thousand miles from the seat of Government. The people had never wavered, the Government had, apparently, never hesitated, the credit of the country had not been affected, even the prosperity of Great Britain had not been touched. Speaking of the conduct of the people in this connection the Times of July 2d paid the following personal tribute: "A splendid example of patriotism and devotion was set them by our late Sovereign Lady, and they nobly followed it. It is worth recalling now that, while she deplored the necessity of war, she never wavered to the end in her conviction that it must be fought through. It is to her, perhaps, above all others, that we owe the calm dignity of temper with which the peoples of her Empire have passed through the greatest ordeal they have been called upon to undergo since the days of Napoleon. Her son, King Edward, has inherited her spirit and kept before his subjects the ideals she held up to them."

The terms of peace included the promise by Great Britain of self-government in gradual stages and "as soon as circumstances will permit"; the exemption of burghers from civil or criminal proceedings in connection with the war (with certain specified exceptions); the recognition of English as the official[Pg 365] language, and the promise that Dutch should be taught in the schools when desired; the granting of arms, under license, to the burghers and the postponement of native franchise questions until the period of free government had arrived; the grant of £3,000,000 to be expended by Commissioners in the work of repatriation and the supply of shelter, seed, stock, etc., to the returning burghers; and the reference of rebels to their own Colonial Courts for trial, with the proviso that the death penalty should not in any case be inflicted.

The settlement was well received by the burghers, of whom fully twenty thousand came in and gave up their arms in the course of a week or two. Many of the Commandos fraternized with the British troops and joined them in singing "God Save the King." As soon as the decision for peace had been ratified Lord Kitchener paid a visit to Vereeniging and addressed the assembled Boer leaders. He congratulated them upon the splendid fight they had made. "If he had been one of them himself he would have been proud to have done as they had done. He welcomed them as citizens of a great Empire and hoped they would do their duty to the Sovereign as loyally as they had to the old State." Messrs. Schalk-Burger and Louis Botha had, meanwhile, written farewell letters to the burghers which concluded by asking them to be obedient and respectful to their new Government.

Immediately on receipt of the information that peace had been signed King Edward issued the following message: "The King has received the welcome news of the cessation of hostilities in South Africa with infinite satisfaction, and trusts that peace may be speedily followed by the restoration of prosperity in his new dominions, and that the feelings necessarily engendered by war will give place to the earnest co-operation of all His Majesty's South African subjects in promoting the welfare of their common country." At the same time His Majesty cabled Lord Milner: "I am overjoyed at the news[Pg 366] of the surrender of the Boer forces and I warmly congratulate you on the able manner in which you have conducted the negotiations." A similar despatch went to Lord Kitchener, with hearty congratulations on the termination of hostilities: "I also most heartily congratulate my brave troops under your command for having brought this long and difficult campaign to so glorious and successful a conclusion." The King also announced that he had created Lord Kitchener a Viscount and promoted him to be full General. Following the public announcement of peace on Sunday, June 1st, came a flood of congratulatory telegrams to the King from public bodies and private individuals, and celebrations were held all over the United Kingdom and the British Empire.

On June 8th, by order of the King, a special thanksgiving service was held in St. Paul's Cathedral and His Majesty attended in person accompanied by Queen Alexandra, Princess Victoria, the Prince and Princess of Wales, Prince and Princess Charles of Denmark, the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, the veteran Duke of Cambridge, and other members of the Royal family. A great gathering of representative Britons was present in the crowded Cathedral, including most of the members of the Houses of Lords and Commons and the Corporation of London. Amongst many other notabilities were the Duke and Duchess of Argyll, Mr. Balfour, the Earl of Rosebery, the Marquess of Lansdowne, Earl and Countess Roberts, Earl and Countess Carrington, Lady Macdonald of Earnscliffe, Sir Redvers and Lady Audrey Buller. A short and eloquent sermon was preached by Bishop Winnington-Ingram, of London, in which he referred to the blessings of peace for the people and the completion of the causes for rejoicing at the approaching Coronation. Meanwhile, on June 4th, the King had followed up the honours already conferred on Lord Kitchener by sending a special message to the House of Commons at the hands of Mr. A. J. Balfour, the[Pg 367] Government Leader, to the following effect: "His Majesty taking into consideration the eminent services rendered by Lord Kitchener and being desirous, in recognition of such services, to confer on him some signal mark of his favour, recommends that he, the King, should be enabled to grant Lord Kitchener £50,000." The vote was carried by a majority of three hundred and eighty-two to forty-two and marked the final stage in the war—its prolonged struggles, its negotiations, its honours and its rewards. To the King this result was the one thing needful and seemed to leave a fair field, a peaceful Empire, a loyal people, waiting without a shadow on the sun to share in the splendid celebration of his approaching Coronation. To the Lord Mayor and Corporation of London and the London County Council His Majesty addressed, on June 13th, some words in reply to their expressions of loyalty and congratulation at the conclusion of peace, which may appropriately be quoted here:

"I heartily join in your expression of thankfulness to Almighty God at the termination of a struggle which, while it has entailed on my people at home and beyond the seas so many sacrifices, borne with admirable fortitude, has secured a result which will give increased unity and strength to my Empire. The cordial and spontaneous exertions of all parts of my dominions, as well as of your ancient and loyal city, have done much to bring about this happy result."

"You give fitting expression to the admiration universally felt for the valour and endurance of the officers and men who have been engaged in fighting their country's battles. They have been opposed by a brave and determined people, and have had to encounter unexampled difficulties. These difficulties have been cheerfully overcome by steady and persistent effort, and those who were our opponents will now, I rejoice to think, become our friends. It is my earnest hope that, by mutual co-operation and good-will, the bitter feelings of the past may speedily be replaced by ties of loyalty and friendship and that an era of peace and prosperity may be in store for South Africa."

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Arrangements for the Coronation

The preparations for the Coronation of the King were of a character which eclipsed anything in the history of the world. It was unquestionably his aim and intention to make the event an illustration of the power of the British Empire, the loyalty of its people and the unity of its complex races. The pride of the King in his great position, the knowledge which he had acquired of the Empire in his innumerable travels, the statecraft which he had inherited and developed, were all factors in the determination to make this occasion memorable. Connected with the splendour of the event, as planned, was the personal relationship and friendship of most of the Sovereigns of Europe with and for His Majesty and, associated with every detail of its anticipated success, was the enthusiastic loyalty of Indian Princes and great self-governing British dominions beyond the seas. Finally, the end of the South African War came as if to add the one thing wanting to the entire success of the most magnificent Coronation in all history. Preparations went on apace from the beginning of Spring, 1902. The mere material evidences of the coming event transformed busy and commercial London into a forest of boards and poles and platforms. Westminster Abbey was changed inside and out and a special entrance was made for the King and Queen Alexandra to enter through, and so made as to harmonize with the general architecture and character of the building.

[Pg 369]

A thousand great beacon lights were built over the United Kingdom so that from shore to shore the news of the crowning of the King might be flashed in flames of light to the people. In London and other centres every kind of device for electrical display and illumination was prepared and, toward the middle of June, flags and bunting in myriad forms began to show themselves. In other parts of the Empire almost every city and town and village arranged for some kind of demonstration. Banquets and garden parties and band concerts and processions and military reviews and all the varied means by which the English-speaking person expresses his feelings were in full tide of preparation as the time of the Coronation grew near. India had its own unique and Oriental modes of expressing loyalty and the feeling there was enhanced by the news that the new Prince of Wales was going to repeat the state visit of his father, the King, in December of this year and see the people of practically the only part of the British realms which he had not yet visited. South Africa was to celebrate peace and loyalty at the same time and the great centres of Australia were not behind the rest of the Empire despite the existing gloom of draughts and sheep famine.

The guests invited to attend the great function might be divided into two classes—those who came to a common centre for the celebration of their Sovereign's crowning, for the presentation of a picture of Imperial unity, and for the discussion of questions incident to the wide-spread dominions of the King; and those who came from foreign nations as a tribute to the position of Great Britain in the world and as a token of their friendship for its people as well as their respect for its ruler. In the first list the first place may be given to India because of the element of gorgeousness and Oriental pomp which its representatives were to bring to the function. Calcutta was to be represented by Maharajah Kumar Tagore;[Pg 370] Bombay by Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy, the scion of a series of great merchants; Madras by Rajah Sir Savalai Ramaswami Mudaliyar; Bengal and the Presidencies of Bombay and Madras by distinguished gentlemen of long names and varied titles; the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh by the Hon. N. M. D. F. Ali Khan, who had served in both the Provincial and Supreme Councils, and by Rajah Pertab Singh; the Punjab sent two representatives of whom Sir Harnman Singh Ahluwalia belonged to the Viceroy's Legislative Council and represented indirectly the native Christians; the Central Provinces, Assam, Burmah and the new North-West Frontier Province also appointed representatives. Other guests from India included the Sultan Muhammad Agha Khan of the Khoga Community.

The special Royal guests from the Colonies were General Sir Francis W. Grenfell, representing Gibraltar, Malta and Cyprus; Sir Joseph West Ridgeway, representing Fiji and various Eastern Colonies and Protectorates; Sir Walter J. Sendall, for the West Indies, Bermudas, British Honduras and the Falkland Islands; Sir William MacGregor, representing the West African Colonies and Protectorates; the Right Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Prime Minister, representing the Dominion of Canada; the Right Hon. Edmund Barton, Prime Minister, representing the Commonwealth of Australia; the Right Hon. Richard J. Sedden, Prime Minister, representing New Zealand; the Right Hon. Sir J. Gordon Sprigg, Prime Minister, representing Cape Colony; Sir Albert H. Hime, Prime Minister, representing Natal; and Sir Robert Bond, Prime Minister, representing Newfoundland. Other British guests were His Highness the Sultan of Perak and Lewanika, Chief of the Barotzes, in Africa. There were many invitations accepted outside of the list of special names mentioned who were privileged as the King's guests and as such were to be put up in state at the Hotel Cecil and be provided with Royal carriages[Pg 371] and servants and escorts. Governors of various minor Colonies and dependencies; Native Princes of India apart from the official representatives of its Cities and Provinces; Premiers of Australian States and Canadian Provinces; were all invited to be present and many of them came to grace the occasion. Amongst those from Canada who accepted the invitation and were in London, with the others already referred to, as the day for the ceremony approached, were the Hon. G. W. Ross, Premier of Ontario, the Hon. H. T. Duffy, representing the Premier of Quebec, the Hon. R. P. Roblin, Premier of Manitoba, the Hon. James Dunsmuir Premier of British Columbia, the Hon. L. J. Tweedie, Premier of New Brunswick and the Hon. G. H. Murray, Premier of Nova Scotia.

Every foreign country or state of importance had its official representative appointed and they poured into London and were received with varying degrees of state and ceremony as the eventful day approached. Prominent amongst them were the Hon. Whitelaw Reid, special Ambassador from the United States and, in an unofficial capacity, Senator Chauncey M. Depew. From Russia came the Grand Duke Michael, Heir Presumptive to the Throne; from Italy His Royal Highness the Duke d'Aosta; from Greece the Crown Prince and Heir to the Throne; from Bulgaria, the reigning Prince Ferdinand I.; from Belgium, Prince Albert of Flanders; from Germany, Prince Henry of Prussia; from Denmark the Crown Prince Frederick, Heir to the Throne; from Roumania the Crown Prince; from Austria the Arch-duke Francis Ferdinand, Heir Presumptive; from France, Admiral Gervais, special Ambassador; from Rome, Mgr. Merry del Val; from Abyssinia, Ras Makonnen, the victorious general and special envoy of the Emperor Menelik; from Bavaria, Prince Leopold; from Sweden and Norway the Crown Prince; from Portugal, the Crown Prince.

[Pg 372]

Other foreign representatives were Duke Albert of Würtemberg, Prince Waldemar of Denmark, General Dubois of France, Field Marshal Count Von Waldersee and Admiral Von Koeter of Germany, Prince George, Prince Nicholas and Prince Andrew of Greece, the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Prince Danilo of Montenegro, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Princess Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg, Prince George of Saxony, the Prince of the Asturias from Spain, Prince Chen of China, Prince Mohamed Ali of Egypt, Prince Akihito Komatsu of Japan, Prince Yo Chai-Kak of Korea, Baron de Stein of Liberia, the Prince of Monaco, the Crown Prince of Siam and special Ministers from Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Turkey, Honduras, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Persia, Servia and Uruguay.

Soldiers of the King from all parts of the Empire were present in England for the occasion. The Indian troops, quartered at Hampton Court, numbered nine hundred strong and represented every phase of the military and native life of Hindostan. Sikhs, Dogras, Jats, Pathans, Mohammedans from the Punjaub, the Deccan and Madras, Mahrattas, Rajpoots, Garwhal's, Gurkhas, Afridis, Tamils, Moplahs, Hazaras and Beloochis, were each represented in uniforms of their local regiments. Scarlet, yellow, blue, grey, green and red, were some of the colours to be seen. At the Alexandra Palace were soldiers from a great variety of countries. Canada sent six hundred and fifty-six men, representative of all its regiments, under command of Lieut.-Colonel H. M. Pellatt and Lieut.-Colonel R. E. W. Turner V.C., D.S.O.; Australia sent one hundred and forty men under Colonel St. Clair Cameron C.B.; New Zealand seventy-nine men under Colonel Porter; Cape Colony one hundred and fifty under Major-General Sir Edward Y. Brabant; Natal, ninety-nine under Lieut.-Colonel E. M. Greene; Rhodesia twenty-six, Ceylon fifty-four, Malta forty-six, and Cyprus fourteen men. Native contingents[Pg 373] included variously coloured and clad soldiers from the Gold Coast of Africa, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Lagos, British Central Africa, British East Africa, Uganda, Somaliland, Straits Settlements, Bermuda, British Borneo, the West Indies, Fiji, Hong-Kong and Wei-hai-Wei. The Colonial troops, with their interesting war record, their varied and striking uniforms, their varieties of race and colour and country, their differences of physique and appearance, were not the least remarkable of the Empire contributions to a great function. The Duke of Connaught was in command of all the Forces for the occasion and with him were associated Lord Roberts, Lord Wolseley, Sir Francis Grenfell, Sir William Butler, Major-General W. H. Mackinnon, Sir Edward Brabant and other officers connected with the late war. Colonel and Maharajah Sir Pertab Singh represented India on this Staff and Lieutenant-General Sir Archibald Hunter was in immediate command of the Colonial Contingents.

Various Foreign regiments were to be represented including the 1st Prussian Dragoons of Germany, the 12th Hussars of Austria, the Guard Hussars of Denmark and the forces of Russia and Portugal. All the great British regiments were to be included, either in the procession as cavalry, or along the route as infantry. Preparations for the great Naval Review were elaborate. The Channel, Home and Cruiser squadrons were to be in attendance with Admiral Sir Charles Hotham as Commander-in-Chief. Besides a number of Foreign warships, which were specially sent to participate in the function, the British battle-ships numbered twenty-one, the cruisers twenty-six, the torpedo gun-boats seventeen, the torpedo boat destroyers twenty-eight and the sea-going training vessels ten. Amongst the Foreign contributors to the Review were Germany, the United States, Russia, Sweden and Norway, Denmark, Greece, France, Japan, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, Chili, Austro-Hungary and the Argentine.

[Pg 374]

All the complex arrangement of the details in connection with these and other elements of the Coronation festivities were in the hands of an Executive Committee appointed on June 28th, 1901, at a meeting of the King and his Privy Council and attended by most of the members of the Cabinet, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the Dukes of Norfolk, Portland and Fife, the Earls of Rosebery, Selborne and Carrington, Earl Roberts, Earl Spencer, Lord Alverstone, Sir W. V. Harcourt, and Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman. Amongst the members of this Executive of fifteen were the Duke of Norfolk (chairman) Lord Esher, the Bishop of Winchester, Lord Farquhar, Mr. Schomberg K. McDonnell, Colonel Sir Edward Bradford, Sir Francis Knollys, Sir Edward W. Hamilton, Colonel Sir E. W. D. Ward, Major-General Sir Arthur Ellis and Rear-Admiral W. H. Fawkes. Later on Sir Montagu Ommanney, Sir William Lee-Warner, Sir Kenelm Digby, Lieut.-General Kelly-Kenny, and others, were added. Their work was, of course, closely overlooked by the King who was in constant communication with the Duke of Norfolk and Sir Francis Knollys. The following programme of leading events was finally announced as approved by His Majesty:

June 23 State Dinner at Buckingham Palace.

June 24 The King and Queen to receive Foreign Envoys and Deputations. State Dinner at Buckingham Palace.

June 25 Royal Reception of Colonial Premiers. Dinner by Prince of Wales to Princes and Envoys at St. James's Palace.

June 26 The Coronation.

June 27 Procession through London, Luncheon at Buckingham Palace. Dinner at Landsdowne House to King and Queen. Lady Lansdowne's Reception.

June 28 The Naval Review.

June 29 Ambassadors and Ministers give Dinners to their respective Princes.

June 30 The King and Queen proceed from Portsmouth to London. Gala Opera.

[Pg 375]

July 1 Royal Garden Party at Windsor Castle.

July 2 Dinner at Londonderry House to the King and Queen.

July 3 The King and Queen to attend a Special Service at St. Paul's Cathedral and a Luncheon at the Guildhall given by Lord Mayor and Corporation.

July 4 Reception at the India Office in honour of the Indian Princes to be attended by the King and Queen.

July 5 The King's Coronation Dinner to the Poor.

Many other functions developed around these central ones until the weeks before and after the event were to be crowded with every sort of festivity and celebration—partly in honour of the occasion, partly as evidences of hospitality to Colonial, Indian and Foreign visitors. At Portsmouth arrangements were made for a banquet in the Drill-hall, on June 26th, to one thousand men from the Foreign war-ships, with five hundred British seamen and marines as hosts. On the following day there were to be athletic sports for the sailors and a garden party by the Mayor and Mayoress for the officers of the fleets and distinguished visitors. Following the Review, on June 28th, arrangements were made for a garden party at Whale Island, for an Admiralty ball in the Town-Hall, for a luncheon to the officers, a Civic entertainment to the men and a ball given by the Mayor and Mayoress. In London a Coronation bazaar, in aid of the Sick Children's Hospital, was announced with various stalls in charge of Princess Henry of Pless, the Duchess of Westminster, Lady Tweedmouth, Mrs. Harmsworth, the Countess of Bective, Mrs. Choate, the Duchess of Somerset and Countess Carrington. The King's Dinner to the Poor of London was planned upon an enormous scale and His Majesty stated that he would spend £30,000 in thus entertaining half-a-million of his poorer subjects. Sir Thomas Lipton, who had been in charge of a smaller affair at the Diamond Jubilee, was given control of the details. Similar preparations, upon a minor scale of course, were going on[Pg 376] all over the Empire and in New York a Coronation Ode was issued by Mr. Bliss Carman—a Canadian by birth—which did the subject noble justice and commenced with the following verse:

"There are joy-bells over England, there are flags in London town;
There is bunting on the Channel where the fleets go up and down;
There are bon-fires alight
In the pageant of the night;
There are bands that blare for splendour and guns that speak for might;
For another King of England is coming to the Crown."

Meanwhile, a Colonial Conference had also been arranged to take place during these weeks of celebration and the delegates were to be special Royal guests for the Coronation—Sir Francis W. Grenfell, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Mr. Seddon, Mr. Barton, Sir W. J. Sendall, Sir William MacGregor, Sir Gordon Sprigg, Sir Albert Hime, Sir Robert Bond, and Sir West Ridgeway—together with Mr. Chamberlain and the Earl of Onslow, Under-Secretary of the Colonies. The official programme, published a few days before the date set for the Coronation, gave the details of the Royal procession on that and the following days. On June 26th, in passing from Buckingham Abbey, there were to be eight carriages containing the Royal visitors and members of the Royal family, the Prince and Princess of Wales and then the state coach with the King and Queen—having the Duke of Connaught riding to its right and a considerable staff and brilliant escort of Life Guards behind.

The procession of the following day was to be essentially an Imperial pageant and was to pass over a popular city route. The Colonial portion came first on the programme, headed by Lieut.-General Sir A. Hunter, and with detachments of Canadian artillery and cavalry and Australian cavalry preceding a carriage containing Sir Wilfrid and Lady Laurier and Mr. and Mrs. Barton. Then followed carriages with Sir R. Bond and [Pg 377]Mr. and Mrs. Seddon, Sir Gordon and Miss Sprigg, Sir Albert and Miss Hime, Sir W. Ridgeway and Sir F. Grenfell, Sir W. Sendall, and Sir W. MacGregor, the Sultan of Perak and King Lewanika—each preceded or followed by detachments of New Zealand, Cape, Natal, Ceylon, Trinidad, Cyprus and other Colonial cavalry, in accordance with the country represented. Then was to come the Indian portion of the procession including varied detachments of Native cavalry, and with carriages containing the Maharajahs of Jaipur, Kolapore and Bikanur. Following these was to be a long line of British artillery and Aids-de-Camp to the King, representing the Volunteers, Yeomanry, Militia and Regular forces and the Marines. The Head-Quarters staff came next, then Field Marshals in the Army, Foreign naval and military attachés, deputations of Foreign officers, then Indian Aides-de-Camp to the King—the Maharajahs of Gwalior, Gooch and Idur—and several members of the Royal family on horseback. Then came thirteen carriages containing Royal visitors, special Ambassadors and members of the Royal family, followed by special escorts of Colonial and Indian troops and Royal Horse Guards. The King and Queen were to come next, in a splendid state coach drawn by eight horses, with the Duke of Connaught riding on one side of them and the Prince of Wales on the other.

Chief Justice of Canada, 1902-1906
Finance Minister of Canada during King Edward's Reign
Postmaster-General and Minister of Labour in Canada during King Edward's Reign
The King's Representative in India, 1905-10
The King's Representative in Ireland, 1905-10


Some of the incidents connected with the Coronation as preliminaries were carried out by the King with apparent energy and in the midst of what were known to be very heavy labours. On May 30th His Majesty presented colours to the Irish Guards, received the Maharajah Sir Pertab Singh, held an investiture of the Garter in great state, visited Westminster Abbey to see the Coronation preparations, and gave a large dinner party. During the next three days he presented medals to the St. John Ambulance Brigade and held a Levée[Pg 378] and investiture of the Bath. On June 4th he gave audiences to various Ministers, proceeded with the Queen to the Derby, gave a dinner to the Jockey Club and then joined the Queen at the Duchess of Devonshire's dance. On June 6th the King received the Indian Princes at Buckingham Palace and afterwards, with Queen Alexandra, held a stately Court function. Two days later the King and Royal family attended a service of thanksgiving for peace at St. Paul's Cathedral. Other incidents followed and on June 14th His Majesty, accompanied by Queen Alexandra, the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, Princess Victoria and Princess Margaret, of Connaught, visited Aldershot to inspect the forty thousand troops which had been slowly gathering there for weeks. A stormy and wet day changed to brightness as the Royal party arrived and the town was found to be prettily decorated and filled with enthusiastic people. A great Tattoo was held in the evening with massed bands and myriad torch-lights, but with not very pleasant weather.

On the following day it was announced in the Times that the King could not attend church owing to a slight attack of lumbago caused by a chill contracted the night before. Queen Alexandra attended the service, however, and in the afternoon visited several charitable institutions. Monday the 16th saw His Majesty still too much indisposed to take his part in reviewing the troops and this function was fulfilled by the Queen, accompanied by the Prince and Princess of Wales. In the afternoon the King and Queen returned to Windsor and in the evening His Majesty was able to be present at a dinner party in the Castle. On the following day the Times expressed editorial pleasure at the King's apparent recovery but urged caution and suggested that, despite the disappointment of the people, it might be better if Ascot were not visited by him on that day and the next but a substantial rest taken instead. The same idea seemed to occur to the Royal[Pg 379] physicians because not only was the visit to Ascot cancelled but also a long-expected visit to Eton which had been arranged for June 21st.

Other functions were postponed or cancelled and it was announced that His Majesty was resting quietly and preparing himself for the essential and heavy functions of the Coronation week. Such was the apparent position of affairs in connection with this great event as massed myriads of people roamed the streets of London and the other and varied millions of the British Empire threw themselves into the final stages of preparation. Such was the position on June 21st when the Toronto Globe, in a very fitting editorial, embodied the popular feeling of Canada. It declared that on the following Thursday the historic Abbey of Westminster and the streets of London would see "the greatest ceremonial which our times have known"; that no King "ever ascended a throne with the more universal consent of the governed than does Edward VII."; and that the British people had never been fickle in their feelings toward him who was once Prince of Wales and was now King. "Their affection for him has never faltered and they will feel gratified on Thursday that the concluding ceremony of Coronation has fixed him firmly on the most glorious of earthly thrones".

[Pg 380]


The Illness of the King

If the almost fatal sickness of the Prince of Wales in 1871 was historic, from the sympathy it evoked and the influence it wielded, that of the King in June 1902 was infinitely more memorable. At the latter period the attention of the whole civilized world was focussed upon the figure of the Sovereign who was about to be crowned amid scenes of unprecedented splendour; the press of the Empire and the United States was filled with the record of his movements; the representatives of the Courts of Europe had arrived or were arriving; the Prime Ministers of a dozen countries and the Governors of many other countries of his far-flung realm were in London; dense crowds were swarming through the streets of the gaily-decorated metropolis; the approaching day was being looked forward to by many millions of people in many lands as an evidence, in its successful splendour, of the power and prosperity of the Empire. Three days before the 26th of June the King and Queen Alexandra had arrived in London from Windsor and the Coronation festivities proper had commenced. His Majesty had looked well and had smiled and bowed freely to the welcoming multitudes along the line of route. Rumors of his having caught cold had prevailed, it is true, and in certain sensational quarters there had been statements as to serious illness and even allegations of paralysis.

But the evidence of that drive through the cheering streets of London was deemed conclusive and during that[Pg 381] afternoon and the next morning the crowds increased and the excitement grew until sober-minded observers who had seen the celebrations of the Queen's Jubilee and the Diamond Jubilee and knew something of the millions then gathered together were dismayed at the prospect of the massed multitudes of Coronation day. It was at 12.45 p.m. on June 24th, when the streets were packed with moving, happy, holiday crowds and the decorations were nearing completion and their full effect and force becoming apparent to the on-lookers, that an official bulletin was posted at the Mansion House which seemed to reach every one in London at the same instant—so rapidly was the news spread. News that almost on the steps of the throne, within a day of the mightiest festival ever designed by human government and helped by a willing people, the King had been stricken down! It appeared incredible. The people of England and of the Empire were almost as dumb-founded as the masses on the streets of the Metropolis. But there was no way of getting beyond the simple words of the bulletin signed by Lord Lister, Sir Thomas Smith, Sir Francis Laking, Sir Thomas Barlow and Sir Frederick Treves: "The King is suffering from perityphlitis. His condition on Saturday was so satisfactory that it was hoped that with care His Majesty would be able to go through the ceremony. On Monday evening a recrudescence became manifest rendering a surgical operation necessary to-day."

The trouble approximated to the disease known in the United States and Canada as appendicitis and was of a character which made certainty as to recovery quite impossible and left the widest scope for fears and discussion and speculation. It was analysed by Dr. Cyrus Edson, a well-known New York physician, as follows: "Perityphlitis is inflammation, including the formation of an abscess of the tissues around the vermiform appendix and hence it is very hard to distinguish from appendicitis. Usually an operation is necessary to ascertain[Pg 382] whether the appendix or the surrounding tissue is diseased." The King's physicians gave the public all the information they wisely could. The operation was performed by Sir Frederick Treves, the most eminent living surgeon in this connection, shortly after the first bulletin was issued and at six o'clock it was announced that "His Majesty continues to make satisfactory progress and has been much relieved by the operation." Five hours later the physicians stated that the King's condition was "as good as could be expected after so serious an operation." It would be some days, however, they added, before it would be possible to say he was out of danger. The doctors remained at Buckingham Palace all that night and but little news crept out from the silence surrounding the great pile of buildings to that stirring outer world which had grown so suddenly and strangely quiet.

Following the startling announcement of the King's illness came the necessary statement that the Coronation ceremony was indefinitely postponed and the further intimation that the King himself had asked that celebrations in the Provinces outside London might be continued. In London, he had specified his wish, before the operation took place, that the dinner which was to be given to half-a-million of poor people should not be postponed and His Majesty had expressed keen sorrow, not at what he had already suffered himself or was likely to suffer, but at the disappointment which his people would everywhere feel. Gradually it came out that for over a week he had been ill; that the pain had been very great at times; that the physicians had acceded to his determination to go on with the ceremonies and the Coronation until longer delay in operation would have made the result fatal; that the King's one anxiety had been not to disappoint the millions who would be in London and the millions who would look on from abroad during the long-looked for event.

[Pg 383]

The story of the illness as it developed was made known by the Lancet on June 27th. It seems that on Friday June 13th His Majesty had gone through a particularly arduous day and next morning was attended by Sir Francis Laking who found him suffering from considerable abdominal discomfort. In the afternoon he felt better and went to Aldershot where the unfortunately wet and cold weather at the Tattoo caused a distinct revival of the trouble in the early morning accompanied by severe pain. Sir F. Laking was sent for and in turn telegraphed Sir Thomas Barlow. On the 15th, the Royal patient had a chilly fit but on Monday returned to Windsor and bore the journey well. Two days later he was seen by Sir Frederick Treves who found symptoms of perityphlitis. These, however, gradually disappeared and on Saturday, the 21st, His Majesty was believed to be on the road to rapid recovery and to be able to go through the Coronation ceremonies.

"Sunday was uneventful. On Monday the King travelled from Windsor to London. Next day the necessity for an operation became clear." The Lancet gave no reason for this sudden change in condition and it may have been the excitement and strain of the drive through cheering masses of the London populace. "At ten o'clock Tuesday morning (24th) the urgency of an operation was explained to His Majesty. Recognizing that his ardent hope that the Coronation arrangements might not be upset must be disappointed he cheerfully resigned himself to the inevitable. Before the actual decision upon an operation was arrived at Sir Frederick Treves took the advice of two other sergeant-surgeons to the King, Lord Lister and Sir Thomas Smith. They, as well as Sir Thomas Barlow and Sir Francis Laking, came to the unanimous conclusion that no course but an operation was possible in all the circumstances. To delay would, in fact, be to allow His Majesty to risk his life." Such appears to have been the plain[Pg 384] statement of this serious incident. Following the operation the course of the disease was steadily towards recovery and without serious complications of any kind. Danger at first there was and neither physicians, nor family, nor the public could feel anything like assurance of recovery.


The London Times went out of its way to warn the people against over-confidence in the result, and the bulletins were cautious in the extreme. On June 25th the King was said to have been very restless and without sleep during the early part of the night. He was, however, free from pain, and his five physicians declared that, under all the circumstances, he might be described as "progressing satisfactorily." On June 26th they reported His Majesty's condition as satisfactory, his strength as having been well maintained, and the wound as doing well. The reports of June 27th showed a normal temperature, no disquieting symptoms and, finally, a substantial improvement. On the next day the five physicians issued the following bulletin: "We are happy to be able to state that we consider His Majesty out of immediate danger. His general condition is satisfactory. The operation wound, however, still needs constant attention and such concern as attaches to His Majesty's case is connected with the wound. Under the most favourable condition His Majesty's recovery must of necessity be protracted." The bulletins thenceforward were regular in their statements of slow and steady improvement. On July 2d it was announced that the wound was beginning to heal; then only daily reports were issued; and finally, on July 13th, the Royal patient was taken by private train from Buckingham Palace to his yacht at Portsmouth and, during the next few weeks, while it was anchored or quietly cruising off Cowes, the King was steadily growing stronger and better.

[Pg 385]

The bare details of an illness such as this can give no idea of the burden of apprehension which it entailed upon millions of people, the financial losses which it meant to thousands of merchants and others in all parts of the world, the dislocation of a political, social, and general character which it involved in London, the consternation which it naturally caused in every centre in the Empire. The first effect of the King's illness was to create a new tie of sympathy between himself and his subjects. Human suffering borne so patiently during that week of concealed sickness and with such earnest determination to go through what must have come to appear the frightful ordeal of the Coronation appealed strongly to people everywhere in the Empire, while the externally dramatic passage from preparations for the greatest of national festivities down into the valley of the shadow of death came home to the hearts of every one with peculiar force. This was particularly apparent in Westminster Abbey where the last rehearsal of the great Coronation choir, in the presence of the Bishop of London and under the musical direction of Sir Frederick Bridge, was proceeding at noon on June 24th. Suddenly, Lord Esher entered and told the sad news to the Bishop, who, in a few words, turned the service of national rejoicing into one of solemn intercession. Everywhere there were similar services and similar sudden changes. Coronation day, despite the King's kindly wish that demonstrations and functions outside of London should proceed, was turned into a season of special service and prayer in Great Britain and in the many other countries of the Empire.

A pathetic service was held in St. Paul's Cathedral on the evening of the announced illness, and the Bishop of Stepney spoke in most impressive terms. "As the days have passed, our thoughts and, I trust, our prayers have been centred in the King as he has moved to his Coronation watched by millions of eyes. Only yesterday we welcomed him to[Pg 386] London with heartfelt joy. All around us is the glamour of preparation for a splendid festival. The very air is vivid with the glow of popular enthusiasm. From all parts of the earth our brethren have come to rivet anew the links which bind them to our ancient Monarchy. And now come the tidings that this King is laid low with sickness and that the great day has been postponed. We are bewildered. We cannot realize, except in imagination, the dislocation of the life of a whole Empire." Meanwhile, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York had asked their clergy to hold intercessory services on June 26th, and Cardinal Vaughan, for his Church, had given similar orders. "The finger of God," he wrote to his clergy, "has appeared in the midst of our national rejoicing and on the eve of what promised to be one of the most splendid pageants in English history. This is in order to call the thoughts of all men to Himself. The King's life is in danger. Danger being imminent, let us have immediate recourse to the Divine mercy and by public prayer seek His Majesty's recovery." The Chief Rabbi held special Jewish supplications and the Chairman of the Congregational Union of England and Wales telegraphed to Sir Francis Knollys their hope that it might please God to spare the King's valuable life so "that he may rule for many years over his devoted people."

Telegrams of inquiry and sympathy poured into the Palace, the Departments of the Government, and the Guildhall, for days after the eventful incident of the operation. On the day that should have witnessed the stately splendour of the Coronation, St. Paul's Cathedral was the scene of a solemn service of intercession for the recovery of the King. The Bishops of London and Stepney, the Archdeacon of London and Canons Holland and Newbolt were the officiating clergy and with them were the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and a dozen other Bishops. The Lord Mayor of London was present officially and the Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Teck. So[Pg 387] were the special missions of France, Spain, Germany, Mexico and other countries, the Hon. Whitelaw Reid and Mr. Choate, the American Ambassador. Lord Selborne, Lord Cadogan and Mr. Ritchie represented the Cabinet while the Premiers of Canada, Australia, Cape Colony, Natal, New Zealand, Western Australia, and South Australia, with the Sultan of Perak, the Rajah of Bobbili, Sir Jamesetjee Jejeebhoy, and others represented the Colonial and Indian Empire. A large number of the leaders in the public, social and general life of the country were also there. At the same time a similarly impressive service was held in Margaret's, Westminster, the official church of the House of Commons, attended by the Lord Chancellor and Speaker, the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, Sir H. Campbell-Bannerman, Lord and Lady Londonderry, and many members of both Houses of Parliament. A multitude of other churches held intercessory services at home and abroad on this day—notably, perhaps, one arranged by the National Council of Free Churches and held in the City Temple. Orders were given by the heads of all kinds of denominations in all kinds of countries to pray for the King on the succeeding Sunday and, in most of the great Colonies of the Crown, that day was specially set apart for the purpose.


Meanwhile, the messages continued to pour in from Governments as well as individuals or institutions. General Sir Neville Lyttelton for the Army in South Africa, Lord Hopetoun for the Government and people of Australia, Sir Edmund Barton, the Premier of Australia, the Legislature of New South Wales, the Governors of the other Australian States and New Zealand, the Governors of Fiji, Gambia, Cape Colony, Mauritius, Bermuda, Newfoundland, and Gibraltar, the Administrators of Sierra Leone, Seychelles, Ceylon, Hong-Kong and Wei-hai-Wei, the Governor of the Straits Settlements and the[Pg 388] Premier of Natal sent despatches of sympathy and regret. In the United States much kindly feeling was expressed. Papers such as the New York Commercial-Advertizer, Tribune and Post were more than kindly and generous in their regrets; others were merely sensational. The President hastened to cable an expression of the nation's sentiments and, at Harvard University on June 25th, said: "Let me speak for all Americans when I say that we watch with the deepest concern and interest the sick-bed of the English King and that all Americans, in tendering their hearty sympathy to the people of Great Britain will now remember keenly the outburst of genuine grief with which all England last fall greeted the calamity which befell us in the death of President McKinley." Prayers were also offered up for His Majesty in the Senate and House of Representatives. Germany was largely silent in its press but outspoken and warmly sympathetic in the person of its Emperor. Austria was more than friendly and at Rome a Resolution passed unanimously through both Houses expressing earnest wishes for "the prompt recovery of the head of the State which has long been Italy's best friend." The French press was moderately sympathetic and dwelt upon King Edward's love of peace, while the leading Russian newspapers paid tribute to the same elements in his character and laid stress upon his high qualities as a man and a Sovereign.

On the Sunday following the serious stage in the King's illness the metropolis was the scene of many special services. At Marlborough House Chapel, Queen Alexandra, the Prince and Princess of Wales and other members of the Royal family were present in the morning, together with a crowded gathering of members of the Court and old friends of His Majesty. Bishop Randall Davidson of Winchester preached a sermon of eloquent retrospect—a picture of the events of the past few days and weeks. Almost from his seat on a great throne their Sovereign had passed to a hushed sick-room; during a crowded[Pg 389] week the people had passed from bouyant expectancy to crushing disappointment, from loyal admiration of a splendid occasion to personal sympathy with a stricken King. At the Chapel Royal the Bishop of London preached and drew a lesson of humility from the tragic event, while in St. Paul's Cathedral the Bishop of Stepney preached to an audience which included various Indian Chiefs and King Lewanika of Barotze. Mgr. Merry del Val, the Papal Envoy to the Coronation, addressed a gathering at the Brompton Oratory attended by Sir Wilfrid and Lady Laurier and Mr. Justice Girouard of Canada, Sir Nicholas O'Conor, British Ambassador at Constantinople, Lord Edmund Talbot, Lord Walter Kerr, first Sea Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Howard Glossop and Lord Clifford of Chudleigh. The Reverend Bernard Vaughan, at the Warwick Street Roman Catholic Church, dwelt upon the great loyalty of his people to the Throne and declared that much might and should be done by Roman Catholics "to build up and consolidate an Empire where every man could breathe the air of freedom, claim his share of justice and practice his religion in peace."

Amongst the special incidents of the day were prayers for King Edward in all the principal towns of Greece as well as in the churches of Athens and prayers and sermons upon the subject in many of the churches of New York. On July 3rd Cape Town was brilliantly illuminated as an expression of pleasure at the King's recovery. Four days later the Prince and Princess of Wales visited Grey's Hospital and His Royal Highness in speaking to the institution, for which the King had done so much when Heir Apparent, referred to the occasion as the first on which he had been able to attempt an expression of the unbounded gratitude which they all felt for "the merciful recovery of my dear father, the King." He spoke of the important work undertaken by the Hospital and then proceeded: "I wish to take this first opportunity to say[Pg 390] how His Majesty the King, the Queen, and whole of our family have been cheered and supported during a time of severe trial by the deep sympathy which has been displayed towards them from every part of the Empire. And I should like to say that we who have watched at the sick bed of the King fully realize how much, humanly speaking, is due to the eminent surgical and medical skill, as well as to the patient and highly-trained nursing which it has been His Majesty's good-fortune to enjoy".

[Pg 391]


The Coronation

In the middle of July it was announced that the Royal patient had recovered sufficiently to be able to fix a date once more for the Coronation ceremony and that, with the advice of his physicians, August 9th had been decided upon. Many of the events surrounding and connected with the central function originally proposed for June 26th had already taken place by special wish or consent of the King. Deeply regretting the disappointment of his people and keenly thoughtful, as he always had been, for the feelings and anticipations of others, His Majesty had specially ordered the carrying out of two incidents of the Coronation festivities upon the date arranged—the Dinner to the London poor and the publication of the Coronation honours. In both cases much disappointment would have followed delay though it would necessarily have been different in degree and effect. On June 26th, as already decided upon and expected, the Honour List was made public and the names of those whom the King desired to especially compliment were announced. The promotion of the Earl of Hopetoun to be Marquess of Linlithgow, was well deserved by his services as Governor-General of Australia and the creation of Lord Milner as a Viscount by his work in South Africa. A number might almost be called personal honours. Sir Francis Knollys, the veteran and efficient Private Secretary became Lord Knollys; Lord Rothschild and Sir Ernest Cassel, old friends of the King when Prince of Wales, were made members of the Privy[Pg 392] Council; Lord Colville of Culross, Chamberlain to the Queen Alexandra since 1873, was made a Viscount; Sir Francis Laking and Sir Frederick Treves, the well-known surgeons, and Sir Thomas Lipton, the King's yachting companion upon more than one occasion, were created baronets; the Earl of Clarendon, Lord Chamberlain to the King, and General the Right Hon. Sir Dighton Probyn, so long the faithful official of his Household, were given the G.C.B.; Viscount Esher was made a K.C.B. General H. R. H. the Duke of Connaught, brother of the King and Commanding the Forces in Ireland, was made a Field Marshal, and H. R. H. the Prince of Wales, was created a General.


In the more general list every rank and profession was represented—the Army and the Navy in honours conferred upon a large number of officers; Art in the creation of Sir Edward Poytner as baronet, and the knighting of Sir F. C. Burnand and Sir Ernest Waterlow; Literature in the knighting of Sir Conan Doyle, Sir Gilbert Parker and Sir Leslie Stephen; Medicine and Surgery in the same honour conferred upon Sir Halliday Croom, Sir Thomas Fraser, Sir H. G. Howse and Sir William Church; Science in the person of Sir Arthur Rucker; Music in that of Sir Charles Villiers Stanford; Architecture in that of Sir William Emerson; the Stage in that of Sir Charles Wyndham, The Colonies were amply honoured. Australia saw knighthoods bestowed upon Sir E. A. Stone, Sir J. L. Stirling, Sir Henry McLaurin, Sir A. J. Peacock, Sir Arthur Rutledge, Sir John See, Sir A. Thorpe-Douglas, Sir N. E. Lewis. In New Zealand, Captain Sir W. Russell-Russell and Sir J. L. Campbell received their knighthoods. Sir John Gordon Sprigg of Cape Colony, received a G.C.M.G., as did Sir Edmund Barton of Australia. In Canada, Sir D. H. McMillan, Sir F. W. Borden and Sir William[Pg 393] Mulock received the K.C.M.G. The King also announced the establishment of a new Order of Merit, restricted in numbers and for the purpose of special Royal recognition of distinguished and exceptional merit in the Army and Navy services, and in Art, Science and Literature. The first list of members included Lord Roberts, Lord Wolseley, Lord Kitchener, Lord Rayleigh, Lord Lister, Lord Kelvin, Admiral Sir Henry Keppel, Mr. John Morley, Mr. W. E. H. Lecky, Admiral Sir E. H. Seymour, Sir William Huggins and Mr. George Frederick Watts.

A very important event connected with the Coronation—though not exactly a part of it—and which proceeded in spite of the King's illness, at his earnest desire, was the Colonial Conference composed of General Lord Grenfell, Sir J. W. Ridgeway, Sir W. J. Sendall and Sir William McGregor representing the lesser Colonies, Protectorates and Military posts and the Premiers of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Natal, Cape Colony and Newfoundland. It was called by Mr. Chamberlain, largely as a result of so many Colonial leaders being in London at this time, and partly because of negotiations between Australia and Canada looking to a discussion during the Coronation period of such questions as trade relations between the Commonwealth and the Dominion, the establishment of a fast mail service, the organization of a better steamship service between Canada and Australia, the establishment of a line of steamers from Australia to Canada via South Africa, and the position of the Pacific Cable scheme. The Conference met a few days after the King's illness was announced and proceeded to discuss these and other questions in secret session during the next few weeks.

A great many of the functions surrounding and forming part of the Coronation festivities took place during the period immediately following the Coronation day, which was to have been, and these increased in number and brilliancy as the days[Pg 394] of actual danger passed away. On June 26th it was determined not to disappoint the twelve hundred children from Orphanages and Homes who had been looking forward for many weeks to an entertainment promised them by the Prince and Princess of Wales in Marlborough House grounds. They were according received on that day and another twelve hundred on the succeeding day, and enjoyed their feasts and games to the uttermost. On July 1st, amid perfect weather, immense and enthusiastic crowds and in the presence of Queen Alexandra and the Prince and Princess of Wales, a parade of Colonial troops took place at the Horse Guards. The route was lined by Regular troops and the Colonial force of about two thousand men was headed by General Sir Henry Trotter and the Canadian Contingent. The Duke of Connaught commanded the whole and was supported by a brilliant staff.

The Queen came first on the review ground accompanied by many members of the Royal family, and soon afterwards there appeared a glittering cavalcade headed by the Prince of Wales in general's uniform. With him were Lord Roberts, Commander-in-Chief, the Duke d'Aosta, the Crown Princes of Denmark, Greece, Sweden and Roumania, the Grand Duke of Hesse, Prince Nicholas and Prince Andrew of Greece, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg, Prince Akihitu Komatsu of Japan, Prince Christian and Prince Albert of Schleswig-Holstein and two Indian Princes. After the inspection the Prince of Wales personally conferred the Distinguished Service Order, the Victoria Cross, the Companionship of the Bath and the Distinguished Conduct Medal upon a number of Colonial officers and men who had won them in the South African War. The parade followed and men from Canada and Australia, New Zealand, Cape Colony and Natal, Ceylon, Cyprus and many other parts of the British world filed past the Queen and the Heir Apparent—special cheers greeting the gallant Sir Edward Brabant of Cape Colony. Well might the Times[Pg 395] in its description express the keen regret of all at the absence of the King, and then add: "Perhaps never in the whole history of the world has there been such a display of Empire power as was witnessed yesterday. Here we had men of every colour, creed, denomination and descent, all answering to the same word of command, all performing the same manœuvre, all animated with the single object of paying homage to the head of the greatest Empire the world has ever seen."

Meanwhile, on June 30th, some fifteen hundred Colonial officers and men and one thousand Indian troops had embarked on special transports to see the great fleet at Spithead and to obtain an insight into that mighty naval power of England which the Coronation review was to have brought before the world once more. In the evening a multitude of bon-fires around the Kingdom, intended to celebrate the Coronation, were fired to mark the King's having passed the danger-point in his illness, and they afforded a most weird and striking effect. On the evening of July 1st a number of important festivities took place. At the Inner Temple the Colonial Premiers and distinguished visitors were banquetted. Amongst the guests were the Lord Chancellor, Mr. Chamberlain, Lord Cross, Lord Davy, Lord Macnaghten, Lord Lindley, Lord Knutsford, Lord Robertson, and Sir Edmund Barton of Australia, Sir John Forrest of Australia, Sir Robert Bond of Newfoundland, Sir Albert Hime of Natal, Sir West Ridgeway, General Sir Francis Grenfell, Sir W. J. Sendall, Sir John Carrington, Sir William MacGregor, Sir Julian Salomons, Mr. Justice Girouard of Canada, the Hon. Arthur Peters and Hon. F. W. G. Haultain. The Premiers of Australia, Newfoundland and Natal spoke and paid loyal tributes to the King and the Empire. In his speech Mr. Chamberlain referred to Sir Albert Hime's statement that the Colonies would be glad to join the Councils of the Motherland. "If that be[Pg 396] their feeling, I say—and I know I speak the view of the whole of the people of Great Britain—we shall welcome them. They have enjoyed all the privileges of the Empire; if they are now willing to take upon themselves their share of its responsibilities and its burdens we shall be only too glad of their support." The Canadian Dinner, to celebrate Dominion Day, was held the same evening; as was Lady Lansdowne's Reception. At the first-mentioned event, the speakers included Lord Strathcona, Sir Charles Tupper, the Hon. G. W. Ross, the Earl of Dundonald, Sir F. W. Borden, the Earl of Minto, the Duke of Argyll, Sir W. Mulock and Mr. Seddon.


Lady Lansdowne's function was given in the magnificent drawing-rooms of Lansdowne House in honour of the special Envoys to the Coronation and the Colonial and Indian guests of the King. Nearly all the Colonial Premiers were present at some period during the evening and the Crown Princes of Roumania, Sweden, Japan and Siam, Mgr. Merry del Val, King Lewanika, the Duke and Duchess d'Aosta, the Maharajahs of Gwalior, Jaipur, Kolapore, Bikanur, and Kuch Behar, Sir Pertab Singh, and Mr. and Mrs. Whitelaw Reid. The Ambassadors of France, Austria, Turkey, Spain, United States, Germany, Persia, Belgium and half the countries in the world were also in attendance on what had been originally intended to be a reception by the Foreign Secretary and his wife in honour of the Coronation. After the Dominion Day banquet Lord Strathcona also held a Reception in Piccadilly attended by a great gathering of Canadian and other Colonial celebrities.

The Review of the Indian Coronation Contingent on July 2nd by the Queen and the Prince of Wales was a brilliant spectacle, the enthusiasm of the reception accorded the members of the Royal family as great as on the preceding[Pg 397] day, the massed crowds even larger than on that occasion, the kaleidoscopic colour and glittering splendour of the scene even more marked. The ordinary incidents of the parade were much the same as in that of the day before but British officers from British countries were superseded by a staff of native Princes blazing with gems, while the white soldier in ordinary British uniform, with only an occasional contingent of Houssas, or Fiji troops, or some other dark-coloured Colonial subjects, were replaced by an Oriental combination of varied uniform and complex colours. They numbered twelve hundred strong and the Eastern side of the display was one which the stricken King—deeply sensitive to the Imperial significance of the Coronation as he was—would have greatly appreciated and understood. The Times description was an eloquent one: "To those sitting in the stands it appeared as if a great rich ornamental carpet of kaleidoscopic colour had been suddenly unrolled across the gravel of the parade-ground; a line of dazzling tints, before which the impressive grandeur of Household uniforms with attendant cuirasses, bear-skins, scarlet and bullion, dwarfed into insignificance. The front of the Asiatic line was crested with fluttering lance pennons, and beneath these flags were stalwart frames in vermillion, rich orange, purple-drab, French-grey, and gold-tipped navy-blue, dressed shoulder to shoulder, making a nether border of snow-white or orange breeching."

One after another the representatives of famous Indian regiments passed by and no Roman Emperor, or conqueror of old, ever had such a triumphal gathering in victorious procession through his ancient capital as this which passed the windows of the room where the Emperor-King lay slowly verging toward recovery. Finally, they had all passed—Rajpoot, Sikh, Pathan, Afridi, Jat, Hazura, Gurkha, Dogra, Multani, Madrassee, Baluchi, Dekani—and, after a great cheer for the Emperor of India and to the strains of the[Pg 398] National Anthem and personal cheering of another kind, the Queen and Princess of Wales drove from the grounds followed by the Prince and the rest of the Royal family.

In the evening a ball was held at the Crystal Palace, the proceeds of which were to go to King Edward's Hospital Fund, as a sort of Coronation tribute to His Majesty's well-known interest in this subject. The function, which had been managed by Mrs. Arthur Paget, Lady Maud Wilbraham and others was a great success. During the same day Mr. W. H. Grenfell M.P. entertained the Colonial Premiers and visitors, on behalf of the British Empire League, at a water-party on the Thames and a luncheon at Taplow Court. The King's Dinner to the poor people of London took place on July 5th and constituted probably the most remarkable event of the kind in all history. A statistician estimated that six hundred thousand persons sat down at ninety miles of tables served by eighty thousand voluntary waiters. The cost of the occasion was about £30,000 and how the guests enjoyed their substantial meal of meat, potatoes, bread, cheese, pudding, beer, lime-juice, chocolate, cigarettes and tobacco can be better imagined than stated. There were eight hundred separate feasts and eighteen thousand people entertaining the guests while thirteen members of the Royal family devoted themselves to representing the King and giving the pleasure of their presence to the crowded and happy multitudes.

The day was beautiful, the arrangements, which had been so largely in the hands of Sir Thomas Lipton, were excellent, and the assistance abundant. The Coronation mugs gave tremendous pleasure and it would be a problem in psychology to say why the mere sight of Royalty should give the intense satisfaction which it unquestionably afforded the crowds—especially the women. Decorations were everywhere and the Prince and Princess of Wales drove in semi-state all through East London. The final climax to the day was the physicians'[Pg 399] announcement from the Palace that the King was out of danger. Princess Christian, the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, the Duke and Duchess of Fife, the Prince and Princess Charles of Denmark, the Duchess of Albany, the Duke and Duchess of Argyll did more than their duty in visiting the various points and giving the feasters a glimpse of those who represented, even indirectly, their Royal host. On the following day Lord Knollys wrote the Lord Mayor, by command of the King, expressing the greatest satisfaction at the success of the affair and at the energy, foresight and skill displayed by those who had taken it in hand. "I am further commanded", he wrote, "to repeat how sincerely His Majesty regretted his inability to be present at any of his dinners and how deeply also he has been touched by the loyal and kind feeling so universally displayed when the bulletin of yesterday morning was read at the various dining-places."

On the following day and at various times and places in the succeeding weeks the Queen entertained thousands of young servants at tea. Mayors and other officials or prominent persons presided, and each guest, after listening to a musical programme, was sent away happy with a box of chocolate bearing Queen Alexandra's portrait in colours. A function of a different character was the great state dinner given by the Prince and Princess of Wales at St. James's Palace on July 8th in honour of the Colonial guests and visitors. The leading members of the suite during the late Empire tour were present together with the Countess of Hopetoun, the Earl and Countess of Onslow, the Earl and Countess of Minto, the Lord and Lady Lamington, the Lord and Lady Strathcona, Mrs. Chamberlain, Sir Wilfrid and Lady Laurier, Sir Edmund and Lady Barton, Mr. Seddon, Sir Gordon and Miss Sprigg, Sir Albert and Miss Hime, Sir R. Bond, Sir John and Lady Forrest, General Sir Edward Brabant, Sir W. Mulock, the Hon. Mr. Fielding and Hon. Mr. Paterson. During this week[Pg 400] the Countess of Jersey gave three garden parties at Osterley Park in honour of the visitors, and Lady Howard de Walden entertained the Colonial and Indian dignitaries at a reception and concert on July 7th. Three days later the Queen opened the Imperial Coronation Bazaar which was held on behalf of the Ormonde St. Hospital for Sick Children. Her Majesty was accompanied by Princess Victoria, the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, the Princess Christian and other members of the Royal family, and the occasion was successful despite a storm of wind and rain. In the evening the Prince and Princess of Wales held a Reception of some nine hundred more or less distinguished people at St. James's Palace in honour of the Colonial visitors. Most of the members of the Royal family were present as well as Royal representatives of Roumania, Denmark, Greece and Mecklenburg-Strelitz, and the Colonial Premiers and other officials or visitors from the outside Empire. It was a really brilliant function, delightful in its surroundings, decorations and illuminations, and elaborate in its final incident of supper. On the preceding day a detachment of troops from Australia and New Zealand, under arrangements made by Lord Carrington and the Duke of Argyll, visited Windsor Castle and were given luncheon in the town with the former nobleman as host. About the same time twelve thousand Kensington school-children were entertained under the auspices of Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, and revelled in a pleasure such as had perhaps never come before to the most of them.

There were various functions and incidents of interest in the second week following the postponed Coronation. One of the most picturesque scenes ever witnessed in London occurred on July 3rd, when the Fijian soldiers, who had come to the Empire capital for the great event, were being driven around the city. On reaching Buckingham Palace they expressed a wish to sing an intercessory hymn for the King. With their[Pg 401] bare heads, legs and feet, their long and frizzy hair, their white cotton skirts and quaint tunics, they made a most unique appearance as they turned toward the Palace and chanted words of which the following is a rough translation:

"The King is great, and noble, and good.
May he find favour in the sight of the Ruler of Kings;
May he wax strong and stay the tears of us all, for his people are sad.
Mighty is the King and his people shall be glad."

Other parties of West African and Indian troops were driven up and cheered the bare walls of the Palace with fervour. The Duke of Connaught, and afterwards the Duke of Cambridge, visited the Indian troops at Hampton Court. On July 9th, Colonel Lord Binning and the officers and men of the Royal Horse Guards provided an entertainment for the Colonial contingents at the Albany Barracks. Entertainments for the Colonial Premiers were almost continuous. The Duke and Duchess of Westminster gave an afternoon party in their honour at Grosvenor House; Lady Lucy Hicks-Beach gave a garden party at the official residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer; parties of the King's Indian guests were taken at different times by Lord Esher and Lord Churchill to see Windsor Castle; Sir Gilbert Parker gave a dinner in honour of the Premiers of Australia and Canada; Lady Wimborne gave a dinner and reception for the Colonial Premiers; the Constitutional Club on July 7th entertained the guests from the Colonies at a banquet presided over by the Duke of Marlborough. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, in the course of his speech, made a notable declaration: "The bond of the British Empire, let me tell you this my fellow-countrymen, and accept it from a man not of your own race, the bond of union of the British Empire is allegiance to the King without distinction of race or colour." The Primrose League in London entertained the[Pg 402] visiting Premiers at a banquet; and the Fishmonger's Company did the same. An interesting incident was the visit of Mr. R. J. Seddon, Premier of New Zealand, and his wife and daughters to Windsor Castle whence, on July 3rd, they were driven to Frogmore Mausoleum and placed a wreath of lilies and rosebuds on the tomb of the Queen and on behalf of the people of New Zealand.

The Empire Coronation banquet was the great event of these weeks in the way of dining and speaking, although Mr. Chamberlain's unfortunate accident and absence created a serious void. The Earl of Onslow presided, and amongst the speakers were Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the Maharajah of Kolapore, Sir Gordon Sprigg and Sir Edmund Barton. Earl Cromer and Lord Lansdowne, Lord Minto, Lord Kelvin and the Maharajahs of Bikanur and Cooch-Behar were also present together with a distinguished array of Colonial dignitaries.

An event of historic importance occurred on July 11th when the Marquess of Salisbury waited upon the King and tendered his resignation of the post of Prime Minister. The fact that His Majesty was able to receive him and deal with the questions involved also served to indicate his progress toward recovery. Mr. A. J. Balfour was at once sent for and, after an interview with Mr. Chamberlain, accepted the task of forming a new Ministry. It had been pretty well understood that Lord Salisbury intended to resign when peace had come and the Coronation ceremonies were disposed of. Delay had naturally occurred owing to the King's illness, but His Majesty's progress toward recovery and the fact of the principal Coronation functions having been disposed of—outside of the event itself—induced the Premier to feel that he could now lay down his burdensome position. Mr. Balfour was received again by the King on July 12th and a little later in the day General Lord Kitchener, after passing in triumphal procession through the streets of London on his return from South Africa, was also[Pg 403] admitted into audience by the King and personally decorated from his couch with the special Coronation honour—the new Order of Merit. Lord Kitchener then dined with the Prince of Wales, as representing His Majesty, at St. James's Palace.

Meanwhile, the King had been winning golden opinions from all sorts and conditions of men. His plucky conduct at the beginning of the illness, his thoughtful consideration for others through every stage of its continuance, his evidently strong place in the hearts of his subjects, combined to increase the personal popularity of the Sovereign at home while enhancing or promoting respect for him abroad. As the New York Tribune put it on the day before the Coronation: "The King is showing himself 'every inch a King' in some of those respects which are most prized and cherished by all men of his race, and which unfailingly command admiration among all men and all races. Those are the qualities of unselfishness, and indomitable and uncomplaining pluck." He had struggled long and earnestly against the malady—not for his own sake, because safety and ease would have early been found in surrender to its natural course. When that became finally necessary, and recovery then succeeded the period of suspense, his whole desire seemed to be the re-assuring of the popular mind and the relieving of public inconvenience. On August 6th the King and Queen Alexandra had landed at Portsmouth from the Royal yacht and proceeded to London. The stations were profusely decorated, and dense crowds were awaiting their arrival in the capital. At the Metropolitan station the King walked easily to the end of the platform and to his carriage, helped the Queen to enter, and followed himself without any apparent difficulty. The route to Buckingham Palace was lined with great throngs of people, and His Majesty acknowledged the continuous cheering with a most cheerful expression and by frequently raising his hat. He was described as looking better than for a long time past—while the Queen appeared[Pg 404] positively radiant. On the evening of August 8th, the King issued an autograph message of thanks and appreciation to the nation, through the Home Secretary, couched in the following terms:

"To My People:—On the eve of my Coronation, an event which I look upon as one of the most solemn and most important in my life, I am anxious to express to my people at home and in the Colonies and India, my heartfelt appreciation of the deep sympathy they have manifested towards me during the time my life was in such imminent danger.

"The postponement of the ceremony, owing to my illness, caused, I fear, much inconvenience and trouble to all those who intended to celebrate it, but their disappointment was borne by them with admirable patience and temper.

"The prayers of my people for my recovery were heard, and I now offer up my deepest gratitude to Divine Providence for having preserved my life and given me strength to fulfil the important duties which devolve upon me as Sovereign of this great Empire.


While this tactful and sympathetic letter was being written by the Sovereign, his people in London were preparing for the great event of the morrow. The streets were crowded with moving masses of people; the decorations, though not as numerous or imposing as in June, were nevertheless effective; the streets were illuminated to a considerable extent, and the stands were nearly all sold out of their seating capacity. During the afternoon the King walked in the grounds of Buckingham Palace and held an Investiture, at which he gave the Order of the Garter to the Dukes of Wellington and Sutherland and of the Thistle to the Duke of Roxburghe and the Earl of Haddington. A little later, he received in audience Ras MaRonnen, the Abyssinian Envoy. Two interesting announcements were also made at this time—that Lord Salisbury was unwell and would be unable to attend the Coronation, and that Bramwell Booth had been granted special permission by the King to appear at Westminster Abbey in Salvation Army[Pg 405] garb. The first incident marked the closing of an era of statecraft; of an age marked by the name and fame of Queen Victoria and her Ministers. The other illustrated the tact of the Sovereign as it proved the existence of a religious toleration and equality characteristic of the new period in which the new reign was commencing.

On August 9th the great ceremony finally took place. Though shorn of some of the International splendour of the first arrangements and without some of the military and naval glory which would have then surrounded the event its Imperial significance was in some respects enhanced and there was a deeper note in the festivities and an even more enthusiastic tone in the cheering than would have been possible on the 26th of June. The solemn ceremony in the ancient Abbey—which had not been used or opened to the public since that final practice of the choir—was brilliant in all the colours and shadings and dresses and gems and uniforms of a Royal function while it presented that other and more sacred side which all the traditions and forms of the Coronation ceremony so clearly illustrate. The enthusiasm of the people in the streets can hardly be described but the spirit and thought and feeling were well summed up in the words of a Canadian poet—Jean Blewett:

"Long live the King!
Long live the King who hath for his own
The strongest sceptre the world has known,
The richest Crown and the highest Throne,
The staunchest hearts, and the heritage
Of a glorious past, whose every page
Reads—loyalty, greatness, valour, might."

The day opened with brilliant promise and bright sunshine, but became overcast and gloomy by the time the Royal progress from the Palace had commenced. The crowds gathered early, and soon every seat in the many stands were filled[Pg 406] with expectant and interested people who numbered in the end fully half a million. Picked troops, chiefly Household Cavalry and Colonial and Indian soldiers of the King, to the number of 30,000, guarded the route, with a picturesque line of white, black, brown and yellow men of many countries and varied uniforms. When the King and Queen appeared in their gorgeous state coach from out the gates of Buckingham Palace they were greeted with tremendous cheers from the multitude, and these cheers continued all along the way to the Abbey. In the Royal procession were the Prince and Princess of Wales with thirty-one other members of the Royal family. The Princess was beautiful in a long Court mantle of purple velvet trimmed with bands of gold and a minever cape fastened with hooks of gold over a dress of white satin embroidered in gold and jewelled with diamonds and pearls. Then followed Lord Knollys and Lord Wolseley and Admiral Seymour, Lord Kitchener and General Gaselee and Lord Roberts, with many other notabilities. The Indian Maharajahs, who acted as Aides-de-Camp to the King, were brilliant in red and white and brown and blue and gold and jewels. Immediately in front of the King was the Royal escort of Princes and Equerries with a body of Colonial and Indian troops. The arrival at the Abbey was marked by great enthusiasm in the massed multitudes surrounding the famous building and seated in the crimson-covered stands which had been built on every side.

The scene in the interior was indescribable. The blend of many colours in costume mixed with the time-mellowed harmonies of shade and substance in the mighty structure, while the air was permeated with the solemn sounds of the recently sung Litany and the slowly pealing bells of loyal welcome. Around were the greatest men and noblest and most beautiful women of Great Britain, and in the stalls was a veritable roll-call of fame in a world-wide Empire. Lord[Pg 407] Salisbury was practically the only British personage of historic repute who was not present while the veteran Duke of Cambridge appeared as one of the two living links present between the Coronation which had marked the beginning of the Victorian era and that which was now to illustrate the birth of a new period. Into this scene of splendour and revel of colour came the King and the state officials of his realm.

The procession as it passed from the west door of the Abbey through the standing and brilliantly-garbed gathering was one of the most stately spectacles recorded in history. First came the Clergy of the Abbey in copes of brown shot with gold, the Archbishops in purple velvet and gold, the gorgeously-clad officers of the Orders of Knighthood, and the Heralds. Then came the Standard of Ireland, carried by the Right Hon. O'Conor Don, the Standard of Scotland by Mr. H. S. Wedderburn, the Standard of England by Mr. F. S. Dymoke and the Union Standard borne by the Duke of Wellington. Various great officials and nobles followed, the coronet of each borne by a beautifully dressed page. They included the Lord Privy Seal, the Lord President of the Council the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, the Lord Archbishop of York, the Lord High Chancellor, the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury. Then came the Earl of Gosford as Lord Chamberlain, Lord Harris carrying the Queen's regalia and the Duke of Roxburghe carrying Her Majesty's Crown. The Queen herself followed in robes of exquisite character and splendour and looking as only the most beautiful woman in England could look. On either side of her were the Bishops of Oxford and Norwich with five gentlemen-at-arms to the right and left of them and Her Majesty's train was borne by the Duchess of Buccleuch assisted by eight youthful personages of title or heirship to aristocratic position. The Ladies of the Bedchamber followed and then came the King's regalia, carried by the Earl of Carrington, the Duke of Argyll, the Earl of Loudoun, Lord Grey[Pg 408] de Ruthven, Viscount Wolseley, the Duke of Grafton and Earl Roberts.

The next personage in this splendid procession of rich-robed noblemen and gorgeously-clad officials was the Lord Mayor of London and then came the Marquess of Cholmondeley, as Lord Great Chamberlain, the Duke of Abercorn as High Constable of Ireland, the Earl of Erroll as High Constable of Scotland, the Earl of Shrewsbury as Lord High Steward of Ireland, the Earl of Crawford as Lord High Steward of Scotland (Deputy to the Duke of Rothesay and Prince of Wales), the Duke of Norfolk as Earl Marshal of England, the Marquess of Londonderry carrying the Sword of State, and the Duke of Fife as Lord High Constable of England. Following these high officers of state came central figures in the procession—the Duke of Marlborough as Lord High Steward carrying St. Edward's ancient Crown, the Earl of Lucan carrying the Sceptre, and the Duke of Somerset bearing the Orb. The Bishop of Ely followed bearing the Patina, the Bishop of Winchester bearing the Chalice, the Bishop of London carrying the Bible and then, behind him came the Sovereign of the mighty little Islands and of an Empire girdling the world in power and wealth and service to civilization.

His Majesty was clad in Royal crimson robes of state and wore the Order of the Garter. His train was borne by the Earl of Portarlington, the Duke of Leinster, the Marquess Conyngham, the Earl of Caledon and Lord Somers, with Viscount Torrington and Hon. P. A. Spencer, as Pages of Honour and Lord Suffield, Master of the Robes. On either side of the King walked the Bishop of Bath and Wells and the Bishop of Durham and beside them again ten gentlemen-at-arms. Following the bearers of the Royal train came Admiral Sir Michael Culme-Seymour, the Duke of Portland, General Lord Chelmsford, the Duke of Buccleuch, Earl Waldgrave, Lord[Pg 409] Belper, various Lords-in-Waiting, Lord Knollys, Sir D. M. Probyn and Major-General Sir Arthur Ellis.

The services and ceremonies in the Abbey were beautiful and impressive in the extreme. Enriched with a thousand years' traditions, moulded upon ancient forms of a sacred and essentially religious character, symbolizing and expressing a solemn compact between the Sovereign and his subjects, registering by forms of popular acceptance, homage and ecclesiastical ritual the final consecration of the King to the government of his nation, it was a ceremony of exceeding solemnity as well as of impressive splendour. The great Abbey had been transformed by tier above tier of seats, covered with blue and yellow velvet, and so arranged as to form one dazzling mass of brightness and colour when filled with the peers in their gorgeous robes and peeresses in their crimson velvet mantles, ermine capes and beautiful gowns. As the King and Queen entered the Abbey on this eventful day and moved toward their chairs the choir of trained voices sang with exquisite feeling and sound the anthem: "I was glad when they said unto me, we will go into the house of the Lord." The King at different times during the ceremonies was clad in vestments combining an ecclessiastical character with Royal magnificence. The dalmatic was a robe of cloth of gold, the stole was lined with crimson cloth and richly embroidered, the alb, or sleeveless tunic of fine cambric, was trimmed with beautiful lace. The whole effect was one of harmonized colour and splendour.

After brief prayer, kneeling on faldstools in front of their chairs, the King and Queen took their seats and then the Archbishop of Canterbury turned north, south, east and west and, while the King stood, he said to the people: "Sirs, I here present unto you King Edward, the undoubted King of this Realm; wherefore all you who have come this day to do your homage, are you willing to do the same?" Ringing[Pg 410] acclamations of "God save the King," to the sound of trumpets strongly blown, greeted this part of the ceremony. The Bible, Patina, Chalice and Regalia were then borne to the Altar, and the Communion service of the Church of England proceeded with. Then followed the taking of the Coronation Oath, the Archbishop of Canterbury first asking His Majesty if he was willing to do so and receiving an affirmative reply. The questions and answers were as follows, the King holding a Bible in his hands:

Archbishop. Will you solemnly promise and swear to govern the people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the Dominions thereto belonging, according to the statutes in Parliament agreed on and the respective laws and customs of the same?

The King. I solemnly promise to do so.

Archbishop. Will you to your power cause law and justice, in mercy, to be executed in all your judgments?

The King. I will.

Archbishop. Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the laws of God, the true profession of the Gospel, and the Protestant Reformed religion established by law? And will you maintain and preserve inviolably the Settlement of the Church of England and the doctrine, worship, discipline and government thereof as by law established in England? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England and to the Church therein committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges as by law do, or shall appertain to them or any of them?

The King. All this I promise to do.

His Majesty, when he had said these words passed to the Altar, knelt down and with his hand on the Bible said: "The things which I have here before promised I will perform and keep. So help me God." After signing the Oath the King returned to his chair. A hymn, a prayer by the Archbishop and an anthem followed. Meanwhile His Majesty, after being relieved of his crimson robes by the Lord Great Chamberlain and of his cap of state, proceeded to King Edward's Chair, near the Altar and, and while four Knights of the Garter in[Pg 411] their magnificent robes and insignia—the Earl of Rosebery, Earl of Derby, Earl of Cadogan and Earl Spencer—held over him a Pall of golden Silk, the Archbishop, assisted by the Dean of Westminster, anointed him with holy oil on the crown of the head, on his breast and on his hands. His Grace of Canterbury concluded this part of the ceremony with the words: "And as Solomon was anointed King by Zadok the Priest and Nathan the Prophet, so be you anointed, blessed and consecrated King over this People whom the Lord your God hath given you to rule and govern. In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Ghost, Amen." The King, after a brief prayer by the Archbishop then resumed his place in King Edward's Chair and was robed by the Dean of Westminster with cloth of gold and symbolic girdle.


Various typical or symbolic functions were then performed. The Lord Great Chamberlain touched the King's feet with a pair of golden spurs as constituting the ancient emblems of Knighthood; a Sword of State, with scabbard of purple velvet, was then handed with elaborate ceremony to the Archbishop who, after placing it upon the Altar and delivering a short prayer proffered it to His Majesty about whom it was girt by the Lord Great Chamberlain, His Grace of Canterbury giving the following injunction: "With this sword do justice, stop the growth of iniquity, protect the Holy Church of God, help and defend widows and orphans, restore the things that are going to decay, maintain the things that are restored, furnish and reform what is amiss and confirm what is in good order; that by doing these things you may be glorious in all virtue; and so faithfully serve our Lord Jesus Christ in this life that you may reign for ever with him in the life that is to come." The King then placed the Sword upon the Altar from which it was presently taken and held drawn[Pg 412] from the scabbard before him during the rest of the ceremony. The Dean of Westminster then invested His Majesty with the Armilla, or gold bracelets, and with the Imperial mantle of cloth of gold, while the Archbishop presented the Orb of Empire—a golden ball, made originally for Charles II. with a band covered with gems and a cross set in brilliants. As he did so His Grace said: "Receive this Imperial Robe and Orb; and the Lord your God endow you with knowledge and wisdom, with majesty and with power from on high; the Lord clothe you with the robe of righteousness and with the garments of salvation."

The next incident was the placing of a gold ring—carried off by James II. in his flight, and afterwards recovered in Rome by George IV.—upon the fourth finger of the King's right hand with an Episcopal injunction to receive the ring as "the ensign of kingly dignity and of defence of the Catholic faith." Then came the presentation of the Sceptre by the Archbishop as the ensign of kingly power and justice, and the rod of equity and mercy, while the Duke of Newcastle as Hereditary Lord of the Manor of Worksop, had the privilege or right of placing a glove upon the King's hand. Following this came the central and most dramatic feature of the ceremonies—the placing of the Crown upon His Majesty's head by the Archbishop of Canterbury. As the action was performed the venerable Abbey shook with the acclamation of "God Save the King" while the trumpets blared and the scene, already brilliant with varied splendours, flashed in added beauty when the Peers and Peeresses put on their glittering coronets. A brief prayer and the presentation of a copy of the Bible by the Archbishop followed with a benediction ending in the words: "The Lord give you a fruitful country and healthful seasons; victorious fleets and armies and a quiet Empire; a faithful Senate, wise and upright Counsellors and magistrates, a loyal nobility and dutiful gentry; a pious and learned[Pg 413] and useful Clergy; an honest, industrious and obedient community."

After the Te Deum was sung by the choir, His Majesty for the first time took his place upon the Throne surrounded by the leading officials, nobles and clergy, and listened to a brief exordium from the Archbishop, ending with the hope that God would "establish your Throne in righteousness that it may stand fast for evermore." Then came the impressive ceremony of Homage. First the Archbishop of Canterbury, kneeling in front of His Majesty with all the Bishops in their places, repeated an oath of allegiance. Then the Prince of Wales, taking off his coronet, knelt in front of the King and the other Princes of the blood royal knelt in their places and repeated the quaint mediæval formula in which they swore "to become your liege man of life and limb and of earthly worship, and faith and truth I will bear unto you, to live and die against all manner of Folks." At this point occurred an abbreviation of the ceremony as well as an impromptu change in the proceedings. As the Prince rose from his knees touched the Crown on his father's head and kissed his left cheek in the the formal manner prescribed, the King rose, threw his arms round his son's neck for a moment and then took his hand and shook it warmly. After the homage of the Heir Apparent each Peer of the realm should have followed the traditionary form in the order of his rank and touched the Crown and kissed the King's cheek. This was modified, however, so as to enable each grade of the nobility to perform the function through its representative of oldest patent—the Duke of Norfolk, the Marquess of Winchester, the Earl of Shrewsbury, the Viscount Hereford and the Baron de Ros. After this had been done the trumpets once more sounded their acclaims and the audience joined in shouting "God save King Edward."

A short but stately ceremony of crowning the Queen then followed. The Archbishop of York officiated and four[Pg 414] Peeresses upheld the Cloth of Gold over Her Majesty as she was anointed upon the head. A ring was placed upon her finger with a brief prayer, and a sceptre in her hand with the following words: "Grant unto this thy servant Alexandra, our Queen, that by the powerful and mild influence of her piety and virtue, she may adorn the high dignity which she hath obtained, through Jesus Christ our Lord." Her Majesty was then escorted from the Altar to her own Throne, bowing reverently to the King as she passed him to take her place.

The King and Queen then passed to the Altar together, taking off their Crowns and kneeling on faldstools and His Majesty formally offered the Sacrament of Communion to the Archbishop. After thus indicating his headship of the National Church, the King returned with his Consort to their chairs and listened to some brief prayers. Thence they returned to the Altar, received Communion from the Archbishop of Canterbury and then passed into the Chapel of Edward the Confessor accompanied by a stately procession. There they were arrayed in Royal robes of purple and velvet, in place of the mantels previously worn, and passed with slow and stately dignity down the nave, out to their carriage and thence through masses of cheering people to Buckingham Palace.

There were several incidents in connection with the Coronation ceremonies which deeply impressed the onlookers. One was the spontaneous and obvious sincerity of the King's affectionate greeting to his son. Another was the enfeebled condition of the aged Archbishop of Canterbury. With his massive frame, brilliant intellect, and piercing eyes Dr. Temple had lived a life of intense mental activity and religious zeal, but in these declining days the massive form had become bent and trembling, the memory and the eyes found difficulties in the solemn words of the service, and his shaking hands could hardly place the Crown upon the head of his[Pg 415] King. But the latter's solicitude and anxious care to save the Primate any exertion, not absolutely essential, were marked and noticed by all that vast assemblage. The Royal patient was transformed, by kindly sympathy, into a guardian of the Archbishop's weakness. When tendering his homage as first of all the subjects of the King, the aged Primate almost fainted and was unable to rise from his knees until His Majesty assisted him. Prior to the actual Coronation, Mr. Edwin A. Abbey, R.A., who had been commissioned by the King to paint a picture of the historic scene, was allowed to take note of the surroundings. Another incident of the event was the presence of the Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz—placed by desire of Queen Alexandra in a seat at the exact spot which she had held during the Coronation of Queen Victoria.

On the day following the great event a final bulletin was issued by Sir F. Laking and Sir F. Treves, which stated that "His Majesty bore the strain of the Coronation ceremony perfectly well, and experienced but little fatigue. The King has had a good night, and his condition is in every way satisfactory." Being Sunday, special services were held in the St. James's Chapel Royal, at St. Paul's Cathedral, in Marlborough House Chapel, and at St. Margaret's, Westminster. On Monday, a Royal message to the nation was made public through Mr. Balfour, the Prime Minister. Dated on Coronation Day, it described the Osborne House estate, on the Isle of Wight, as being the private property of the Sovereign, and expressed his wish to establish this once favourite residence of the late Queen as a National Convalescent Home for Officers of the Army and Navy—maintaining intact, however, the rooms which were in her late Majesty's personal occupation. "Having to spend a considerable part of the year in the capital of this Kingdom and in its neighbourhood, at Windsor, and having also strong home ties in the County of Norfolk, which have existed now for nearly forty years, the King feels he will[Pg 416] be unable to make adequate use of Osborne House as a Royal residence, and he accordingly has determined to offer the property in the Isle of Wight as a gift to the nation." Following the Coronation came multitudes of editorial comments upon the event, and one of the most concise and expressive was that of the London Times: "The significance of the Coronation ceremony on Saturday lay in its profound sincerity, as a solemn compact between the Sovereign and his subjects, ratified by oath, and blessed by the highest dignitaries of the National Church. It was a covenant between a free people, accustomed for long centuries to be governed according to statutes in Parliament agreed on, and their hereditary King, and a supplication from both to God that the King may be endowed with all princely virtues in the exercise of his great office. Though the details of the ceremony do not mean to us all they meant to our forefathers, the ceremony itself is a no less strong and enduring bond between the King and subjects. The most striking feature of the Coronation was that it was the first to be attended by the statesmen of self-governing Colonies, and by the feudatory Princes of India."

With the event also came an Ode from Mr. Alfred Austin, entitled "The Crowning of Kingship." On August 11th the King held a Council at Buckingham Palace, attended by the retiring and new members of the Cabinet; invested many distinguished personages with their Coronation honours; and gave an audience to Sir Joseph Dimsdale, Lord Mayor of London, who presented the City's Coronation gift of $575,000 toward the King Edward Hospital Fund, in which His Majesty had so long taken so deep an interest and to which, on this occasion, there was contributed 20,000 penny donations from the poorest quarters of London.

Various functions of a Coronation character or connection ensued. On August 12th some 2000 Colonial troops who were present at the event, in a representative capacity,[Pg 417] from British dominions beyond the seas, were received by the King on the grounds of Buckingham Palace. Under the Royal canopy were the Queen and the children of the Prince of Wales, and in attendance were Earl Roberts, Lord Kitchener, Mr. Chamberlain and various Colonial Premiers, including Sir Wilfrid and Lady Laurier. After the march past, the King pinned a Victoria Cross on the breast of Sergeant Lawrence, and the Prince of Wales conferred Coronation medals upon the officers and men. His Majesty then addressed the troops as follows: "It has afforded me great pleasure to see you here to-day and to have the opportunity of expressing my high appreciation of your patriotism and the way you distinguished yourselves in South Africa. The services you have rendered the Mother-Country will never be forgotten by me, and they will, I am sure, cement more firmly than ever the union of our distant Colonies with the other parts of my great Empire."

On the following day the Indian troops sent from the great Eastern realm to honour the Coronation of its Emperor were reviewed at the same place. His Majesty wore a jewelled sword which cost some $50,000, and had been presented to him on the previous day by the Maharajah of Jaipur. The scene was a most brilliant and picturesque one. The British notables present wore military or Levée dress; the great lawn of the Palace was a splendid spectacle in red, yellow, green and blue; the Eastern Princes were gorgeous in jewels and many-coloured raiment, and the little Princes Edward and Albert of Wales constituted themselves Aides of the King and brought several general officers up to have an audience. After the march past and the distribution of medals at the hands of the Prince of Wales, His Majesty addressed the troops in the following words: "I wish to convey to all ranks the high satisfaction it has given me to see this splendid contingent from India. I almost feared, owing to my serious illness, that I[Pg 418] would be prevented from having the advantage of seeing you, but I am glad to say that by God's mercy I am well again. I recognize among you many of the regiments I had the advantage of seeing at Delhi during my tour of India." During the next few days various minor functions took place, and the Colonial leaders especially were feasted and entertained in every possible way.

On August 17th the final event occurred in connection with the Coronation. It was the mighty greeting of a great fleet to the Sovereign of a wide-flung realm. It was the inspection of a naval force which a generation before could have dominated the seas of the world and put all civilized nations under tribute. Gathered together from the Home Station, the Channel squadron and the Cruising squadron; without the detachment of a ship from foreign waters or Colonial stations, it included 20 battleships, 24 cruisers and 47 torpedo crafts, with an outer fringe of foreign vessels contributed in complimentary fashion to honour the occasion. From Spithead to the Isle of Wight the horizon was black with great grim vessels of war decked out with flags, and as the King's yacht approached the first line of ships, a hundred Royal salutes made a tremendous burst of sound such as probably the greatest battle-fields of history had never heard. As the King, in Admiral's uniform, stood upon the deck of his vessel and passed slowly down the lines, a signal given at a certain moment evoked one of the most impressive incidents which even he had ever encountered—a simultaneous roar of cheers from the powerful throats of 50,000 enthusiastic sailors. The sound rolled from shore to shore, and ship to ship, was echoed from 100,000 spectators on land and sea, and repeated again from the battleships. The King was deeply moved by this crowning tribute of loyalty, and at once signaled his gratification to the fleet and an invitation to its flag officers to come aboard his yacht and receive a personal expression of[Pg 419] his feelings. In the evening electric and coloured lights of every kind and in countless number combined with flashing searchlights to illuminate the great fleet and to cast a glamour of fairy land over the splendid scene.

Meanwhile, in the morning, His Majesty had received on board his yacht the celebrated Boer Generals, Botha, De Wet and De la Rey. Afterwards, in company with Lord Kitchener and Earl Roberts they had returned to London greatly pleased with the cordiality of their reception and especially gratified at the kind manner of Queen Alexandra. Following the official Naval Review, the King on the next day visited the fleet in a stormy sea and watched it go through certain manœuvres of a practical kind before being dispersed to its different local stations. On his return to London he found the Shah of Persia a guest of the nation and awaiting formal reception at the hands of its Monarch. And thus King Edward took up again his unceasing round of duty and ceremonial and high responsibility. In the past year or two he had gone through every variety of emotional experience and official work and brilliant ceremony—his mother's death and the consequent mourning of a nation and empire; his own assumption of new and heavy duties; the special labours of an expectant period; the time of serious illness and the anxieties of complex responsibility to a world-wide public; the realization of his Coronation hopes; the change from an old to a new period stamped by the change in his national advisers and the presence of his Colonial Premiers. He now entered upon his further lifework, with chastened feelings in a personal sense but, it is safe to say, with high and brilliant hopes for the future of his own home country and its far-flung Empire.

[Pg 420]


The Reign of King Edward

The history of this reign—not long in years—is yet crowded with events, rich in national and Imperial developments, conspicuous in the importance of its discussions and international controversies. The first brief months, which have been already reviewed, saw the completion of the memorable Empire tour of the new Prince of Wales and the settling down of Australia to a life of national unity and progress; the conclusion of the South African War and the beginning of an extraordinary process of unification which was in a few years to evolve the Union of South Africa; the almost spectacular incidents of the Coronation and the important proceedings of the Colonial Conference of 1902. In July of this latter year the Marquess of Salisbury retired and was succeeded in the Premiership by his nephew, Arthur J. Balfour. To the King this meant the removal of a strong arm and powerful intellect and respected personality from his side and increased the importance of his own experience and prestige as a statesman.

Something has already been said of the qualities with which King Edward entered upon his task and with which it was conducted to the moment when in passing to his rest he said: "It is all over, but I think I have done my duty." The unique feature of his career in a personal sense was his amazing popularity, the real affection with which every class in the great community of the British Isles regarded him. In the days of his unofficial labours as Prince of Wales, Lord Beaconsfield greatly esteemed him and Mr. Gladstone was "devotedly[Pg 421] attached" to him. At the latter's funeral the Prince went up to Mrs. Gladstone and in a spirit of spontaneous courtesy bent over her hand and kissed it with an air of sympathy so great as to be beyond the expression of words. It was little acts such as this that won unstinted liking for the man as well as loyalty to the King. It was this magnetism of the kindly heart, this instinctive courtesy of character, coupled with a remarkable dignity of bearing at the right moment and in the right place, and a rare memory for faces and incidents and peoples and places, that made King Edward so truly the Sovereign of his people. In this connection a religious orator of the Radical type in London—Rev. R. J. Campbell—told an audience in Toronto, Canada, on July 22, 1903, that "Queen Victoria is gone but her son remains and I would not exchange King Edward, with all the criticism that has been directed against him, for any Sovereign ruler on the face of the earth or any President of any Republic on either side of the water."

Following the visit to Paris of this year, which paved the way for better relations in the future between Britain and France, the King made a successful tour of a part of Ireland—July 21st to August 1st—and impressed himself upon the mercurial temperament of the sons of Erin. In September came the memorable retirement of Mr. Chamberlain from the Balfour Government; his declaration of devotion to the new-old ideal of limited protective tariffs for the United Kingdom plus preferential duties in favour of the external Empire; the split in the Conservative party and the presentation of a great issue to the people which, however, was clouded over by other policies in either party and had not, up to the time of the King's death, won a clear presentation to the people as a whole. Mr. Chamberlain's letter to Mr. Balfour dated September 8th expressed regret that the all-important question of fiscal reform had been made a party issue by its opponents; recognised the present political force of the cry[Pg 422] against taxing food and the impossibility of immediately carrying his Preferential policy; suggested that the Government should limit their immediate advocacy to the assertion of greater fiscal freedom in foreign negotiations with a power of tariff retaliation, when necessary, as a weapon; and declared his own intention to stand aside, with absolute loyalty to the Government in their general policy but in an independent position, and with the intention of "devoting myself to the work of explaining and popularizing those principles of Imperial union which my experience has convinced me are essential to our future welfare and prosperity." In his reply the Premier paid high tribute to Mr. Chamberlain's services to the Empire, sympathized personally with his Imperial ideals and agreed with him that the time was not ripe for the Government or the country to go to the extreme length of his Preferential policy.

Mr. Chamberlain's action and policy gave a thrill of pleasant hopefulness to Imperialists everywhere; it stirred up innumerable comments in the British, Colonial and Foreign press; it made Germany pause in a system of fiscal retaliation and tariff war into which she had intended to enter with Canada—and with Australia and South Africa if they presumed to grant a tariff preference to Britain. Meanwhile, the King had suffered the loss, a personal as well as national one, of Lord Salisbury's retirement from office and his death not long afterwards; the Balfour-Chamberlain Government had struggled along until the Tariff Reform movement, as above described, broke in upon and dissipated the party's unanimity of opinion and uniformity of action; a long series of Liberal victories at bye-elections reduced the Conservative majority from 134 as it was in 1900 to 69 in November, 1905; Mr. Balfour, in his Newcastle speech of November 14th, defined his fiscal policy as (1) Retaliation with a view to compelling the removal of some of the restrictions [Pg 423]in Foreign markets and (2) the calling of a Conference of Empire leaders to arrange, if possible, a closer commercial union of the Empire. As to himself he had never been and was not now "a protectionist." In December he resigned and the King called on Sir H. Campbell-Bannerman, the Liberal Leader in the Commons, to form a Government.

A general election followed in which the Liberals swept the great towns of the country—excluding London and Birmingham—and came back with the largest majority in modern English history; the total of the Labour, Home Rule, Liberal and Radical majority being 376 over the supporters of Tariff Reform. The result, however, evoked on February 14, 1906, a declaration from Mr. Balfour in favour of "a moderate general tariff on manufactured goods and the imposition of a small duty on Foreign corn," and this united the Conservative or Unionist party with the exception of about sixteen Free-trade members who still followed the Duke of Devonshire. The rise of the Labour Party began at this election; the serious illness of Mr. Chamberlain followed and hampered Conservative work and progress; the retirement of the Premier took place early in 1908 and, on April of that year, the King called on Mr. Asquith to form the Ministry which carried its election in 1910 by so small a Liberal majority. The reconstruction of 1908 was notable for the rise or promotion of the fighting, aggressive, youthful elements in the new Liberalism—men like David Lloyd-George, Winston Churchill and Reginald McKenna. There followed the establishment of Old-Age Pensions at an initial expenditure of $40,000,000 a year; the prolonged and ultimately successful struggle to increase the taxation upon landed interests, property, and invested income by means of the much-discussed Budget of 1909; the natural resentment of the Lords, the Conservatives, and many who were neither—as illustrated in the subsequent wiping out of the Liberal majority in England itself; the constitutional[Pg 424] issue which the Liberals so cleverly forced to the front with the House of Lords as their chief antagonists and which relegated Tariff Reform temporarily to the background; the prolonged period in which King Edward took minute and anxious and personal interest in the question.

There can be no doubt as to this interest or as to the natural and valid reasons for it. A House of Lords, either abolished or existing without power in the constitution, would leave no check upon the Commons except the King and this might be bad for both the Commons and the Sovereign. Over and over again in English history the people have reversed the action or vote of the Commons but if this was ever to be done in future it could only be through the interjection of the King's veto, and the bringing of the Crown into the hurly-burly of party struggle. This would be the very thing which all parties had hitherto endeavoured to prevent and for at least seventy years had been successful in preventing. Then came the general elections of 1909-10, with their continual query as to what the King would do if the Liberals did win. Would he accept the Government's policy and the proposed Commons legislation as to the Lords and thus take an active part in the destruction of one portion of the constitution which he was pledged to guard—through and by means of the creation of hundreds of peers to swamp the Conservative vote in that House? Or would he take the situation boldly in hand and insist on another election with this question of practical abolition of the Lords as the distinct issue before the people? It was little wonder that His Majesty's physicians should declare after his death that the political situation had been one of its causes! It must be remembered that in all countries the Upper House and the aristocracy are natural and inevitable, if not necessary, adjuncts to and supporters of a Throne. Where, as in Britain, that House and that aristocracy have upon the whole much to be proud of in[Pg 425] personal achievement, much to be credited with in social legislation and still more to be approved of in the individual public work of its Salisburys, Roseberys, Devonshires, and a multitude of other historic personalities with, also, a close and vital interest in the country through large landed responsibilities, the situation can readily be appreciated. Not that the Monarchy was an issue in itself; but there can be no doubt, despite such speeches as the following quotation from Mr. Winston Churchill's address at Southport on December 8, 1909, that King Edward felt the danger of weakening his immediate, natural and fitting environment of (with certain exceptions) an energetic and patriotic aristocracy surrounding a popular Throne:

"There is no difficulty in vindicating the principle of a hereditary monarchy. The experience of every country and of all the ages show the profound wisdom which places the supreme leadership of the state beyond the reach of private ambition and above the shocks and changes of party strife. And, further, let it not be forgotten that we live under a limited and constitutional monarch. The Sovereign reigns but does not govern; that is a maxim we were all taught out of our school-books. The British monarchy has no interests divergent from those of the British people. It enshrines only those ideas and causes upon which the whole British people are united. It is based upon the abiding and prevailing interests of the nation and thus, through all the swift changes of the last hundred years, through all the wide developments of a democratic state, the English monarchy has become the most secure, as it is the most ancient and the most glorious monarchy in the whole of Christendom."

While all this political change and controversy was going on the King was performing a multitude of personal and social and State duties. There was always the vast amount of[Pg 426] detailed study of current documents—all of which he looked into before signing as had Queen Victoria before him; there was the strenuous and incessant round of State functions including the reception of visiting Sovereigns and ambassadors, and special deputations, visits to cities and towns and the private houses of his greater subjects, State dinners to men and women of every school of thought and life in its higher branches, frequent trips to the Continent and continuous conferences with public men. In this connection it is interesting to note that just before the General Elections—towards the close of 1909—he did what no Sovereign had done for many a long year and did it not only without criticism but with public approval when he called Lord Lansdowne, Lord Rosebery and Mr. Balfour into quiet conference regarding the political situation. How many others of all parties he may have invited to similar discussions in the privacy of Buckingham or Windsor only such a personage as his faithful and old-time Secretary, Lord Knollys, really knows. Military and Naval reviews were amongst the more important general functions of these years coupled with gracious and conciliatory visits to Ireland in 1904 and 1907. In this latter year he reviewed a magnificent fleet of warships at Portsmouth eleven miles long, headed by the first of the Dreadnaughts, and manned by 35,000 officers and men. Upon another occasion in 1909, the greatest fleet ever gathered together in any waters in the history of the world was also reviewed by His Majesty as, perhaps, a comment on the recently revealed crisis caused by German Naval construction. As to this the King was intensely concerned and we can safely assume that if one cause of his latter ill-health was political worry another cause may well have been the Naval rivalry of a Power which boasted 4,000,000 of a trained Army to Britain's 250,000 men.

With all these varied home duties and his many diplomatic efforts King Edward never forgot his own external[Pg 427] Empire, never overlooked his vast interests overseas. To India in 1908 had gone a vivid and statesmanlike Royal Message, on November 2d, which recalled to the minds of its Princes and peoples their fifty years of progress under the Crown, the obligations which they were under to the liberty-loving rule of Britain, and the pride of their Emperor in governing so vast a congeries of races and interests. To them also in 1906 he had sent the Prince and Princess of Wales in a tour which repeated his own triumphs of 1876. To South Africa, upon frequent and appropriate occasions, came expressions of the King's interest in the people's welfare, in their strivings for unity, in their efforts to retrieve the misfortunes of war. It was King Edward's Imperial policy that dictated the sending of the Prince of Wales to open the first Parliament of the Union of South Africa—a policy which his own death rendered impossible—as curiously enough, it had been Queen Victoria's last public duty to send the Duke of Cornwall—as he then was—to open the first Parliament of the Australian Commonwealth. It was the King who sent the Duke of Connaught to visit East Africa in 1906 and Prince Arthur of Connaught to return from Japan via Canada in the same year. To the people of Australia Lord Northcote, the new Governor-General, on January 28, 1904, conveyed a Royal Message of greeting and then proceeded to say that: "Every constitutional process having for its object the linking together of the different component parts of this great Empire is sure to be sympathetically regarded by our Sovereign and I know his hope is that his people who live outside the narrow seas of Great Britain may believe that His Majesty regards them primarily, not as inhabitants of colonies or dependencies of the Mother-country, but as equally valued component parts of one mighty nation."

As to Canada and King Edward much might be said. On July 22, 1905, His Majesty was at Bisley and presented the[Pg 428] Kolapore Cup to the proud Canadian team which had won it and to whose Commander, Lieutenant-Colonel A. G. Hesslein, a few kind and tactful words were addressed. About the same time it was announced that the London Hospital Fund in which the King had for many years taken a deep personal interest, and in the maintenance of which he was really the chief power, had received a gift of $1,000,000 from Lord Mount Stephen of Canadian Pacific Railway fame. In 1906 His Majesty showed special interest in Canadian affairs. A cablegram through Lord Elgin, on January 2d, expressed the King's regret at the sudden death of the Honorable R. Prefontaine; he received Canadian delegates to the Empire Commercial Congress at Windsor on July 13th, when Sir D. H. McMillan, Sir Sandford Fleming, Messrs. R. Wilson-Smith, G. E. Drummond, F. H. Mathewson, J. F. Ellis and W. F. Cockshutt were presented; a deputation of Indian chiefs from British Columbia was received by him on August 13th and submitted an address and a petition; a number of shire-horses were lent by His Majesty in the autumn for exhibition at Toronto and as a proof of his interest in that branch of Canadian development. But the chief event of the year in this respect was Canada's invitation to the King, and Queen Alexandra, to pay the country and its people a visit. In the House of Commons on April 18th, the Hon. N. A. Belcourt, seconded by Mr. W. B. Northrup, moved a Resolution expressive of Canadian loyalty and devotion to the King's person and of the hope that His Majesty and the Queen would be pleased to visit Canada at such time as might be found possible and convenient.

In his short speech the Prime Minister laid stress upon the King's personal qualities and his work in the cause of peace. Sir Wilfrid Laurier then made a reference which was probably of more consequence in the final decision than was supposed at the time, "I believe it is the opinion of all who[Pg 429] sit in this House that if the King were to visit Canada—and he could not visit Canada without visiting the United States also—the effect would be to bring more closely together than they are at the present time—and they are more so than ever before—the two great branches of the Anglo-Saxon race on both sides of the Atlantic." This additional suggestion involved tremendous considerations of travel, functions, ceremonial, time, and responsibility. After being spoken to by men of such opposite opinions as Colonel S. Hughes and Mr. H. Bourassa, as well as warmly endorsed by the Opposition Leader, the Resolution was passed unanimously, as it was later in the Senate. All the Provincial Legislatures, then in session, joined in this invitation, while centres such as Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Quebec, Three Rivers, St. Hyacinthe, Valleyfield, Hamilton, London, Guelph, Woodstock, Halifax, Sydney, St. John, Fredericton, Regina, Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria and about forty others warmly endorsed the request; as did every newspaper of standing in Canada. In reply Lord Elgin, Colonial Secretary, under date of July 7th wrote a long despatch to the Governor-General in which he expressed the King's appreciation of the invitation, his pleasant memories of the Royal visit to Canada in 1860, and his comprehension of the wonderful growth of the country since that time, and continued:

"I need scarcely remind Your Lordship of two circumstances which must not be overlooked in the consideration of these proposals. In the first place the current business of the Empire, which is continuous and incessant, imposes a heavy tax on the time and strength of its Sovereign and it is well known that the absence of His Majesty from this country for any length of time is difficult, if not impossible except under very definite limitations and restrictions; even when considerations of health and the need for comparative rest[Pg 430] can render it expedient. In the second place it must be remembered that there can be practically no limits within the habitable globe of the distance which must be traveled to reach all parts of the British Empire and that it would be very difficult to visit one important part and decline to visit the other. In spite of the many and strong inducements which prompt him to gratify the loyal wishes of his Canadian subjects, I am to say that the King feels unable at present to entertain the idea of a journey to Canada."

It would be quite impossible to indicate here the great regret expressed by the Canadian press, and the people generally, at this result of the invitation. Many reasons were adduced, other than those given in the despatch, and including diplomatic requirements in Europe, Royal visits and delicate negotiations then pending, Eastern troubles and complications, Australian jealousy if omitted from such a tour, as well as the difficulties involved in any possible visit to the United States. During the year a full-length portrait of the King was received at Government House, Ottawa, painted by Luke Fildes, R.A., and the portraits of the King and Queen, specially painted by J. Colin Forbes, the Canadian artist, were also received and hung in the Parliament Houses. In 1907 King Edward visited the Canadian pavilion at the Dublin Exhibition of that year and inspected its exhibits while Queen Alexandra accepted from one of the Departments the gift of a rug made by French-Canadian women. In the next year much practical appreciation was shown in Canada of His Majesty's special arrangement under which the "Life and Letters of Queen Victoria" was offered for sale at a low popular price; a Royal cablegram of sympathy was sent to the sufferers by the Fernie (B. C.) fire; the Edward Medal, established by the King for the recognition of courage in saving or trying to save life in quarries or mines, was extended to[Pg 431] Canada and all parts of the Empire. In the last year of his reign the King's third Derby victory was a popular one in Canada and throughout the Empire and his establishment of a Police Medal for the recognition of "exceptional service, heroism or devotion to duty" was also applied to Canada and all the British Dominions. During the year His Majesty presented a gift of money to T. L. Wood, a blacksmith at Port Elgin, N. S., and accepted a horse-shoe of exquisite workmanship which had been wrought by him while lying on a sick-bed; visited and praised the exhibition of British Columbia fruit at Islington on December 6th.

On October 21, 1909, a Tuberculosis Institute, established at Montreal by Lieutenant-Colonel J. H. Burland, was opened by the King through special electric communication between the Library of West Dean Park, Colchester, where he was staying, and the Institute at Montreal, with a cablegram which read as follows: "I have much pleasure in declaring the Royal Edward Institute at Montreal now open. The means by which I make this declaration testifies to the power of modern science and I am confident that the future history of the Institute will afford equally striking testimony to the beneficent results of that power when applied to the conquest of disease and the relief of human suffering. I shall always take a lively interest in the Institute and I pray that the blessing of the Almighty may rest upon all those who work in and for it and also upon those for whom it works. Edward R. & I." On November 20th His Majesty sent a personal despatch to Sir Wilfrid Laurier in the following terms: "Let me express my hearty congratulations to you on the anniversary of your birthday. I hope you will be spared for many years to come to serve the Crown and Empire, Edward." The Premier replied with an expression of "humble duty and deep gratitude."

[Pg 432]


The King as a Diplomatist and Peace-Maker.

In the olden days Kings used to very often be their own Generals; in these modern times King Edward has set an example by means of which they may well be their own Ambassadors. He had every qualification of capacity, intellect and trained experience to serve him in such conditions. If Queen Victoria, remaining very largely at home, could wield an immense and undoubted personal influence in Europe, partly because of an ability which made the late Lord Tennyson describe her as "the greatest statesman in Europe" and the Earl of Rosebery say that in matters of foreign policy she advised her Minister of Foreign Affairs more then he advised her,[7] how much more was King Edward entitled to personal prestige in Europe and fitted for diplomatic work amongst its rulers. His Royal Mother had known many Sovereigns and seen many Kings and statesmen come and go; he had also met and known many of them more intimately than she could possibly do in the semi-seclusion of her quiet Court. He was uncle to the German Emperor, the mother of the Russian Czar was Queen Alexandra's sister, the King of Norway was a son of Queen Alexandra's brother the King of Denmark, the King of Spain was married to his niece and King George of Greece was his wife's brother. Even more important were the friendships which, as Prince of Wales, the King had made in all the Courts of Europe, the statesmen whom he knew like a book, the policies of which he understood the origin and every detail of development.

[Pg 433]

In 1902 King Edward had received the German Emperor in England and had entertained other visiting monarchs and statesmen and diplomats. Early in 1903 he visited Rome, was received by His Holiness, the Pope, and by the King of Italy, and managed the difficult situation of the moment with a delicacy and tact which prevented even a hint of unpleasantness; and served to greatly increase the traditional friendship of Italy and Britain while sending a glow of appreciation throughout the Roman Catholic world which lives under the British flag, and helping to settle troubles which had arisen in Malta between the Government and the Italian residents. A little later he was in Portugal and proved a prime factor in promoting an understanding in Lisbon which substantially facilitated arrangements at far-away Delagoa Bay which, in turn, were of great advantage to South Africa. Then, on May 1st, came his famous visit to Paris and the commencement of an era of new and better feeling. It was not an easy task or one entirely without risk. French sentiment had been greatly excited during the South African war, the Parisian populace had not been friendly to Britain, the press had, at times, been grossly abusive and relations were undoubtedly strained. Through all the formal ceremonies of this visit, however, the King showed his usual tact and powers of conciliation. A difficult situation was successfully met; ill-feeling engendered by the misrepresentations of the War period were greatly ameliorated; the friendly settlement of controversial questions rendered probable. In his speech to the British Chamber of Commerce in Paris, on May 1st, His Majesty touched the key-note of the visit:

"A Divine Providence has designed that France should be our near neighbour and I hope always a dear friend. There are no two countries in the world whose mutual prosperity is more dependent upon each other. There may have been misunderstandings and causes of dissension in the past but[Pg 434] all such differences are, I believe, happily removed and forgotten, and I trust that the friendship and admiration which we all feel for the French nation and their glorious traditions may in the near future develop into a sentiment of the warmest affection and attachments between the peoples of the two countries. The achievement of this aim is my constant desire."

Such an incident, followed by the cordial expressions of the French press and by a visible rapprochement between the two countries, could not but be of special interest to the French-Canadians of Quebec. Naturally monarchists at heart, the incident seemed to increase the personal loyalty already existing there. The Toronto Globe of April 20, 1903, voiced a strong feeling in Canada when it hoped for a future Royal visit to the Dominion and declared that "it would be a mistake to suppose that Edward VII. is merely an urbane gentleman, not to say a lover of the common people; he is a statesman and diplomat of breadth of view, depth of insight, and quickness of intuition. He knows how to time his visits in the interest of the peace of the world for which he humanely and seriously labours." From July 6th to 9th President Loubet of France was the guest of the King and his reception in London tended to still further promote good feeling. On October 14th came the signature of an Arbitration Treaty between England and France. In this connection much praise was accorded to the King as one of the chief factors in its evolution. Mr. W. R. Cremer, M.P., the well-known Radical, made the following comment in the Daily News as to this victory for Arbitration: "It has been the privilege and joy of others to do the spade work in this beneficent movement, but to King Edward the opportunity was, at the psychological moment, presented to complete the work of thirty years. How well and how nobly His Majesty performed his[Pg 435] part the history of the past nine months clearly shows. Indeed, the King seems likely to distinguish himself by efforts of a character not recorded in the reigns of any other English or Foreign monarch." Addressing a British Parliamentary Delegation to Paris on November 26th, the Premier, M. Combes, eulogized King Edward and toasted him as the sovereign to whom they owed the treaty. At the annual banquet of the British Chamber of Commerce in Paris on December 3d, its president, Mr. O. E. Bodington, made a similar reference to the King. To the Montreal Witness on December 7th, Senator Dandurand, who had just returned from England, paid the following French-Canadian tribute to His Majesty: "The King is the most popular crowned head in Europe to-day. He is beloved at home, he is admired and praised in France, he is respected by every Power on the Continent."

But the Continental tour of 1903 by King Edward did more than effect great results in France. The signing of a Treaty of Arbitration with Italy in January, 1904, with Spain in March, and with Germany on July 12th—following upon the King's visit to Berlin in June—were supposed to be largely due to His Majesty's personal influence with the rulers of those countries and to a popularity with the masses which, in two cases at least, helped greatly in soothing current animosities. On April 8th of this year a Treaty was signed with France, in addition to the Arbitration Treaty already mentioned, which disposed of all outstanding and long-standing subjects of dispute and as to which, while Lord Lansdowne was the negotiator, King Edward was a most potent factor. Under this arrangement Egypt was freed from foreign control and practically admitted to be British territory, while Newfoundland was finally relieved of its coast troubles and conflicts of a century. On November 9th, preceding, Sir W. McGregor, Governor of Newfoundland, had,[Pg 436] during a banquet at St. John's, conveyed a personal message from the King which assured the people of that colony of his earnest endeavours to promote a settlement of the French Shore question. To Canada this matter was also one of the most vital importance, because of its large French population. In the controversy with Russia over the Hull fishing fleet outrage of October 23, 1904, which so nearly plunged the Empire into a great war, it may be said that the King's influence, coupled with the statecraft of Lord Lansdowne, as exhibited in the latter's historic speech of November 9th, alone held the dogs of war in leash. The remark of a member of the Trades' Union Congress at Leeds on September 7th of this year that in his opinion "King Edward was about the only statesman that England possessed" was significant in this connection even if it was unfair. Still more significant was the description of His Majesty in the Radical News of London, on November 10th, as "the first citizen of the world and the chief Minister of Peace."

During 1905 King Edward continued his public services along these lines of international statecraft. On April 30th he paid an unofficial visit to Paris, accompanied by the Marquess of Salisbury as Minister in attendance. A great banquet was given at the Elysée by President Loubet and there followed a general press discussion of the entente between England and France. In June the King of Spain visited England and at a state banquet given by King Edward at Buckingham Palace, on June 6th, the latter said: "Spain and England have often been allies; may they always remain so; and above all march together for the benefit of peace, progress and the civilization of mankind." On August 7th a French fleet arrived in the Solent and its men fraternized with those of the British cruiser squadron while the King gave a banquet on board the Royal yacht to the chief French officers. On the following day His Majesty reviewed two fleets which[Pg 437] together made a splendid aggregation of seventy warships; while the press of the civilized world commented upon the new friendship of the two nations and very largely credited King Edward with the achievement.

Early in 1907 the King's visit of two months' duration in Europe did more service in the cause of international friendliness; later on the German Emperor visited England, as did the King and Queen of Denmark, and the King and Queen of Portugal. In June a triple agreement was concluded between Great Britain, France and Spain for the joint protection of their mutual interests in the Mediterranean and on the Atlantic. This arrangement and the improved relations with Germany were credited largely to the efforts of King Edward, just as the entente cordiale with France had previously been conceded to be greatly due to his tact and popularity. In October he was able to crown his work by accepting a Convention with Russia which dealt primarily with the affairs of Persia, Afghanistan and Thibet, but really made future war between the two Powers a matter of difficulty. The year 1908 saw state visits to Copenhagen, Stockholm and Christiana in April; the King's opening of the Franco-British Exhibition in London on May 26th and reception of President Fallières of France; his visit, with Queen Alexandra and a large suite, to Russia—the first of the kind in British history—and a meeting with the Czar at Revel on June 8th; his conference with the German Emperor at Cronberg on August 11th and with the Austrian Emperor at Ischl on the 12th. During the last year of his reign, King Edward's personal intercourse and diplomatic meetings with other rulers were undoubtedly conducive to continued peace and to better mutual understandings. His Majesty met the German Emperor at Berlin on February 8, 1909, the French President at Paris on March 6th, the King of Spain at Biarritz on March 31st, the King of Italy on April 29th, the Emperor of Russia at Cowes on[Pg 438] August 2d. Just as Britain was an American Power at this time because of Canada, an Asiatic Power because of India and an African Power because of many possessions, so Canada was an European Power because of its connection with Great Britain, and Australia an Eastern Power because of its proximity to China and Japan, and a European Power because of the nearness of Germany in New Guinea and of France in New Caledonia. Hence, to all these countries and for obvious reasons of common interest, the importance in an Empire sense of the King's personality and diplomacy during these years.

King Edward's training was of a nature which fitted into his personal characteristics in this respect. His Royal mother had cultivated his boyhood memory for faces and names most carefully; from the days of his youth he was thoroughly conversant with many foreign languages; from his coming of age he was in constant touch with the best of British and European leaders. He had not reached maturity before experiencing the difficulties of a tour of Canada and the United States in days when there was no royal road mapped out by precedent for the management of the tour and at a time when Orange and Green were in frequent conflict in the British-American provinces and feelings of international kindliness were not quite so strong in the United States as they were at the close of his reign. In 1876 he had toured India amidst gorgeous ceremonial and amid an infinite variety of racial and religious occasions, or incidents, which only rare tact could successfully meet. How much exercise there was of this Royal statecraft behind the scenes during his nine years of sovereignty only the distant future can reveal and then but partially. His Secretaries of State for Foreign Affairs, Lord Salisbury, Lord Lansdowne and Sir Edward Grey, were all men of exceptional capacity and rare experience.

It is probable, in view of the broad statecraft and high[Pg 439] standing of these Ministers and the uniformity of policy which they pursued, that advice was frequently given by the King and consultations continuously held. They were only too glad, as was Lord Rosebery during the late Queen's reign, to benefit personally by his knowledge and experience; they were only too happy that the Nation and other nations should benefit by his tactful conduct of delicate negotiations with monarchs and rulers abroad. The alliance with Japan may or may not stand to his credit; the probabilities are that it does, in part at least. It safeguarded British interests in the East, checkmated the, at that time, dangerous ambitions of Russia, put up a barrier against certain efforts of Germany. The French entente cordiale and subsequent treaties gave British interests in the Mediterranean and Northern Africa an ally against German plans and settled the Newfoundland troubles while solidifying Britain's position in Egypt. Italy was partially separated from its German alliance; Spain was brought close to Britain by the young King's marriage with the Princess Ena; Russia was swung into the circle of a friendship which not even the Japanese alliance has broken; Norway made King Edward's son-in-law its King. If Germany did not become one of this circle of friendly nations it was not due to any lack of diplomacy, or effort, or desire on the part of the British Sovereign; it was because of national ambitions and an aggressive personal leadership by the Kaiser which had other ends in view. Nominally, at any rate, the friendly relations existed, and it is safe to say that there was no greater admirer of King Edward's character and statecraft in Europe than the Emperor William.


[7] Personal statements made to the writer of these pages.

[Pg 440]


The Death of King Edward

There had been rumours flying around London early in 1910 as to the King's health, but it would seem that only a limited circle understood that, while there was no serious disease involved, there was a general weakness of the system which rendered great care necessary and made it easy to see danger in any otherwise trifling illness. Occasional cablegrams to this Continent were largely disregarded and looked upon as more or less sensational and little was thought of the attack of bronchitis at Biarritz in March. There seems small reason to doubt that the political situation hastened the end though it did not actually cause the sad event. The conditions of weakness were there; the worry of a great and urgent responsibility was added to the King's normal work and subjects of thought. Though the constitutional crisis was probably not as serious as the press and politicians made out, it must undoubtedly have had its effect upon a ruler conscientiously devoted to his duty. On May 5th, it was announced that the King was again ill with bronchitis and that his condition caused "some anxiety;" a few hours afterwards it was officially stated that "grave anxiety" was felt; on May 6th, near midnight, there came the sorrowful announcement of his physicians that the King had passed away in the presence of Queen Alexandra, the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Princess Royal [Duchess of Fife], Princess Victoria and the Princess Louise [Duchess of Argyll].

So unexpected was any serious or immediate issue of His[Pg 441] Majesty's condition that the Queen was still on the Continent when he was taken ill and the King himself was transacting state business in an arm-chair the day before he died. A pathetic incident of the latter date was the bearing of the well-known purple and gold colours to victory at Kempton Park Races by "The Witch of the Air." When the news came it was hard to believe. People throughout the Empire were entirely unprepared. In Britain, Canada, Australia, etc., public functions and social arrangements were at once cancelled; black and purple drapings rapidly covered the important buildings—and many that were even more important as representing individual and spontaneous feeling—of the British world; mourning was seen everywhere in the United Kingdom and to a lesser extent in the other countries; papers appeared universally draped in black. In Canada, H. E. the Governor-General cabled to Lord Crewe an official expression of regret—one which was real as well as official: "The announcement of the death of King Edward VII, which has just reached Canada, has created universal sorrow. His Majesty's Canadian Ministers desire that you will convey to His Majesty, King George, and the members of the Royal family, an assurance that the people of Canada share in the great grief that has visited them. In discharge of the duties of his exalted station His late Majesty not only won the respect and devotion of all British subjects, but by his efforts on behalf of international harmony and good-will he became universally esteemed as a great Peacemaker. Nowhere was this gracious attribute of Royal character more deeply appreciated than in His Majesty's Dominion of Canada."

Every kind of loyal tribute was paid to the late King by the Press and in the pulpit of all the countries concerned, while from the United States came expressions of admiration and respect very little short of those dictated by the natural loyalty and knowledge of his own subjects. In[Pg 442] Canada the Premiers of the Provinces were amongst the first to express their feelings. At Quebec Sir Lomer Gouin, supported by the Opposition Leader, moved the adjournment of the Legislature on May 6th: "Those who love in a Chief of State the greatest qualities, peace, goodness, nobility and entente cordiale, all feel his loss. It is for that reason that we cannot do otherwise than suspend our sittings, and I am convinced that all the Members of this House will endorse this proposal for adjournment."

In Toronto Sir James Whitney, the Provincial Premier, declared that "it would be difficult to express the feeling of love, respect, and admiration entertained by British peoples for their late sovereign, who in his comparatively short reign, has so borne himself and has so done his part, that the whole human race has participated in the benefit resulting from the wisdom shown by him. Probably no wiser monarch ever reigned over a nation." To the New Brunswick press the local Premier, Hon. Douglas Hazen, said: "King Edward's reign was a comparatively short one, but the verdict of history will undoubtedly be that he was one of the wisest and greatest rulers that ever sat upon a throne. He took a most keen and active interest in all his country's institutions, endeavouring at all times to promote the well-being of his subjects and to show his appreciation of the British Dominions beyond the Seas." The Hon. A. K. Maclean, Acting-Premier of Nova Scotia, stated that "to his pacific tendencies and his powerful mediation is due the existence of friendly relations between Great Britain and other nations and the removal of many long-standing differences and historic prejudices." The Conservative leader at Ottawa, Mr. R. L. Borden, gave eloquent expression to his feelings:

"The tidings of sorrow which have just been flashed across the ocean come to the people of Canada with startling suddenness. [Pg 443]Words of foreboding had hardly reached us before the last message came; 'God's finger touched him and he slept.' To the people of the overseas Dominions the Crown personifies the dignity and majesty of the whole Empire; and through the Throne each great Dominion is linked to the others and to the Motherland. Thus the Sovereign's death must always thrill the Empire. But to-day's untimely tidings bring to the people of Canada the sense of a still deeper and more personal bereavement. They gloried in their King's title of Peacemaker, and they believed him to be the greatest living force for right within the Empire. In him died the greatest statesman and diplomat of Europe."

The Hon. R. Lemieux, Postmaster-General and a Liberal leader in Quebec, added this succinct description: "As a peacemaker and as a constitutional king he had no equal in the history of modern times." He expressed the hope that "in the common sorrow of his subjects at the death of an exemplary Sovereign the ties making for unity and common interest throughout the Empire may be strengthened and his influence for good find continued fruition." The Hon. G. P. Graham, Minister of Railways, also touched on the Empire thought: "His part in the growth and increasing solidarity of the Empire in matters of defense, of trade, of common effort for the common interest, must bulk large in history. Since his assumption of the throne there has been a steady growth in Canada's loyalty to the Sovereign based on esteem for his personal character, confidence in his judgment and statesmanship, and pride in his commanding position among the world's sovereigns." From Mr. Richard McBride, Premier of far-away British Columbia, came the declaration that King Edward was infinitely tactful and always patient, the first gentleman and best beloved monarch of his time; that he was "an unusually gifted ruler who performed unostentatiously[Pg 444] and with inspired ability his part in the making of British history." To Archbishop Bruchési of Montreal he was "a great and good King;" to the Rev. Dr. Carman, Canada's Methodist leader, he was "royally born and ruled royally over a free, loyal and loving people;" to Archbishop McEvay (Roman Catholic) of Toronto he was a ruler "trusted and loved by all his subjects;" to President R. A. Falconer, of Toronto University, there was a special appeal in his "experience, sympathy and broad humanity."

There is no need to largely quote the tributes of Britain, Australia or South Africa. Their people thought and felt and acted as Canada's did. Great Britain felt the loss, of course, in a more strictly personal sense than the Dominions beyond the Seas. The reverent crowds with bared heads, and every sign of severe personal grief, standing outside Buckingham Palace grounds could hardly be exactly duplicated abroad, though the scenes in countless churches, as memorial sermons were delivered and memorial services held amidst tokens of obvious and sincere sorrow, came very near to it. In particular, was the open-air service in Toronto facing the Parliament Buildings and attended by silent masses of people, with respectful and sympathetic addresses, with drapings and evidences of mourning on every hand, with the solemn strains of muffled music from many bands, and the presence of thousands of loyal troops, an indication of the popular feeling shown throughout the Dominion on May 20th, which was appointed to be a day of mourning, a holiday of sorrow for the people. But this is anticipating. Perhaps, in England, the tribute of Mr. Premier Asquith, at the special meeting of Parliament on May 11th, was most significant of the innumerable tributes of earnest loyalty and appreciation expressed at the passing of one who was not only a great King but a much-loved personality.

After pointing out the nature of events in recent years,[Pg 445] the growth of international friendships and new understandings and stronger safeguards for peace, together with the ever-tightening bonds of corporate unity within the British realms, Mr. Asquith went on to say that: "In all these multiform manifestations of national and Imperial life, the history of the world will assign a part of singular dignity to the great ruler Great Britain has lost. In external affairs King Edward's powerful influence was directed not only to the avoidance of war, but to the causes of and pretexts of war, and he well earned the title by which he will always be remembered, the Peace-maker of the World." Continuing, the Premier said, that within the boundaries of the Empire his late Majesty, by his broad and elastic sympathies, had won a degree of loyalty and affectionate confidence which few Sovereigns had ever enjoyed. "Here at home," he added, "all recognized that above the din and dust of their hard-fought controversies, detached from party, and attached only to the common interest, they had in the late King an arbiter ripe in experience, judicial in temper, and at once a reverent worshipper of their traditions, and a watchful guardian of their constitutional liberties." King Edward's life as a devotee of duty, as a sportsman in the best sense of the word, as an ardent and discriminating patron of the arts, as a good business man at the head of a great business community, possessed of intuitive shrewdness in the management of men and difficult situations, as a keen social reformer with "no self apart from his people," was then dwelt upon. It would be impossible in any limited space to analyze the views of the British press. The Times declared that "his people loved him for his honesty and kindly courtesy. To all he was not merely every inch a King but every inch an English King and an English gentleman. His influence was not the same as that of Queen Victoria, but in some respects it was almost stronger." The Daily Mail considered that "to his initiative his subjects and the Empire owe[Pg 446] the pacification of South Africa and the final reconciliation with the Boers. The system of understandings with foreign powers which is our security to-day was in a great part his handiwork." To the Radical Daily News he was "the supreme example of a people's King by common consent" and this the Liberal Morning Leader echoed with a further tribute to "the sheer instinctive deference paid to his proved wisdom, his large-minded statesmanship, his unequaled knowledge of the world, and the tact that never failed him in the greatest or the least occasion."

A notable incident of this first week of mourning, during which the people were waiting to pay their final tribute of loyal sympathy on the day of the Royal interment, was the unanimous Resolution of the Legislature of Quebec. Coming from a French-Canadian people, amongst whom special interest had been aroused by King Edward's creation of the entente cordiale with France, something earnest and sympathetic as well as loyal in expression might have been expected and, if so, the hope was certainly realized. The Legislature in its address to King George V. (May 10th) put the feelings of the people of the Province in the following expressive words:

"We mourn the loss in him of a monarch whose chief aim was to draw all the nations closer together and to promote universal peace. Ever mindful of the great principles of the British constitution, through his broad-mindedness, his tolerance, and the exquisite charm of his personality, he succeeded in creating a potent bond of union between the various parts of our common country, and in closely consolidating the different branches of the greatest Empire that ever existed. Representing as we do the Province of Quebec it gives us pleasure to recall that the development of the idea of a powerful Canadian nation, devoted to the interest of the Mother-Country, was favoured by that great King. Imbued with the[Pg 447] grandeur and nobility of his mission he won our admiration and our love through his solicitude in respecting our laws and our dearest traditions, aspirations and liberties."

The individual utterances of the Ministers were equally patriotic in terms. Sir Lomer Gouin spoke along the lines of his earlier tribute and declared that King Edward's reign had been "a glory to his people and a blessing to humanity." Mr. J. M. Tellier, the Opposition leader, joined the Premier in expressing the "confidence and sincere affection" of his people for this "the most powerful King of the most powerful of Empires" and in presenting to the new King "the allegiance, the faith and the heartfelt wishes of Canadians." Mr. H. Bourassa, the Nationalist representative, Hon. P. S. G. Mackenzie, the English-speaking member of the Cabinet, and Hon. J. C. Kaine and Hon. C. R. Devlin, the Irish Ministers, joined in these tributes.

The view of Foreign countries was unique in its friendliness, in its expressions of admiration for the great qualities of heart and head in the late Sovereign, for appreciation of his broad sympathies and international statecraft. One of the earliest official telegrams of sympathy to King George was from President Fallières of France: "I learnt with emotion of the death of your beloved Father. The French Government and the French people will regret profoundly the demise of the august Sovereign who upon so many occasions has given them evidence of his sincere friendship; and associate themselves fully in the great grief which his unexpected loss brings to you, the Royal family, and the entire British Empire. It is with a heart full of sadness that I ask Your Royal Highness to accept my personal condolences, those of the French Government and of all France." From the President of the United States came a prompt message of condolence to Queen Alexandra, and from the American[Pg 448] Congress a unanimous Resolution of adjournment and expressive words of sympathy with the British people "in the loss of a wise and upright ruler whose great purpose was the cultivation of friendly relations with all nations and the preservation of peace"; from ex-President Roosevelt, speaking at Stockholm on May 8th, came words of regret and of regard for the people "who mourn the loss of a wise ruler whose sole thought was for their welfare and for the good of mankind, and the citizens of other nations can join with them in mourning for a man who showed throughout his term of Kingship that his voice was always raised for justice and peace among the nations."

From United States newspapers, the exponents of public opinion in a great kindred nation, came a wonderfully unanimous and kindly expression of real feeling. To the New York Herald the late King appeared as blessed with "a genial personality, a kind heart and a strong common sense, together with that highest quality of supreme importance in a ruler and statesman—tact"; to the Buffalo News King Edward was "the ablest Royal ruler England has known in centuries;" to the Baltimore American "he was, and the world to-day generously accords him the distinction, the first diplomatist of his time, the man who beyond all others shaped the policies of the world." To the Indianapolis News he had "served his country and the world wisely and well, and will go into history as one of the most successful monarchs that England has ever had." The New York Journal of Commerce paid special and high tribute to King Edward's diplomacy and, after dealing with the French entente cordiale went on as follows: "Even more marvelous than the closing of the secular feud with France was the termination of that with Russia, which seemed more bitter and more hopeless of adjustment. The seemingly impossible was, nevertheless, accomplished, and the power which but a few short years[Pg 449] before had been the chief menace to the safety of British India became one of the guarantors of its immunity from attack. It will be reckoned one of the miracles of history that Russia could have been induced to abandon a policy which she had steadfastly supported and been ready to concede that the affairs of Afghanistan were purely a British interest and those of Korea exclusively Japanese."

In most of these tributes of regard and respect—British, Imperial or Foreign—there was a reference of affectionate admiration for the Queen Consort who, at this moment, allowed it to be understood that she would like in future to be known as the Queen Mother. The far-famed beauty of person, the charm and graciousness of manner, and nobility of mind and character, which had won a way so quickly and permanently into the hearts of the British people and had been such potent forces in the life of King Edward and of her own family, brought to Queen Alexandra at this time a world-tribute of sympathy and regard. British subjects all over the Empire, multitudes outside of its bounds, were ready to echo those famous words of Lord Tennyson, applied to the similar sorrow of Queen Victoria:

May all love,
His love, unseen but felt, o'ershadow Thee,
The love of all Thy sons encompass Thee
The Love of all Thy Daughters cherish Thee
The Love of all Thy people comfort Thee
Till God's love set Thee at his side again.

Few more touching words have been written than the Queen's Message to the Nation which was made public on May 10th: "From the depth of my poor broken heart," she wrote, "I wish to express to the whole Nation and our own kind people we love so well, my deep-felt thanks for all their[Pg 450] touching sympathy in my overwhelming sorrow and unspeakable anguish. Not alone have I lost everything in him, my beloved husband, but the nation, too, has suffered an irreparable loss in their best friend, father, and Sovereign thus suddenly called away. May God give us all his Divine help to bear this heaviest of crosses which He has seen fit to lay upon us. His will be done. Give to me a thought in your prayers which will comfort and sustain me in all that I have to go through. Let me take this opportunity of expressing my heartfelt thanks for all the touching letters and tokens of sympathy I have received from all classes, high and low, rich and poor, which are so numerous that I fear it would be impossible for me ever to thank everybody individually. I confide my dear Son to your care, who I know, will follow in his dear Father's footsteps, begging you to show him the same loyalty and devotion you showed his dear Father. I know that both my dear son and daughter-in-law will do their utmost to merit and keep it."

It may be added that the surviving children of King Edward and Queen Alexandra at the time of the King's death were his successor—George Frederick Ernest Albert, Prince of Wales; Princess Louise, Duchess of Fife, who was born in 1867 and married in 1889; Princess Victoria, who was born in 1868 and was unmarried; Princess Maud, Queen of Norway, who was born in 1869 and married in 1896 to Charles, then Crown Prince of Denmark. King Edward's only surviving brother was H. R. H., the Duke of Connaught, who was born in 1850. His surviving sisters were Princess Helena, married to Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein; Princess Louise, married to the Duke of Argyll; and Princess Beatrice, widow of the late Prince Henry of Battenberg.

[Pg 451]


The Solemn Funeral of the King

The death of King Edward was an event of more than British importance, of more than Imperial significance. His funeral was a stately, solemn and splendid ceremony preceded by two weeks of real mourning throughout his Empire, of obvious and sincere regret throughout the world. In London and Cape Town, in Melbourne and Toronto, in Wellington and Dawson City, in Ottawa and Khartoum, in Calcutta and in Cairo; wherever the British flag flies, efforts were made to mark the funeral as one of individual and local and national sorrow. All the great cities of the Empire, the smaller towns, and even the hamlets, had their drapings of purple and black. In every church and chapel and Sunday meeting-house during the two weeks of mourning at least one service was given up to the memory of the late King. In all foreign countries preparations were made for the formal expression of the general admiration which the qualities and reign of the dead monarch had aroused. Formal resolutions, public meetings, the appointment of national representatives to the coming funeral were world-wide incidents.

At home in London the casket to contain the Royal remains was fashioned of British oak from the Forest of Windsor and on May 14th, the body of King Edward was removed from the room in which he died to the Throne Room of Buckingham Palace, and there placed on a catafalque in front of a temporary altar where it was guarded night and day by four Royal Grenadiers. On May 16th, amidst a solemn and imposing but preliminary pageant the late King was carried from the[Pg 452] Palace where he died to Westminster Hall, where the remains were to lie in solemn state. A farewell family service had been held by the Bishop of London and then the body at 11.30 in the morning was transported to its new resting-place between double lines of red-coated soldiers, flanked by dense and silent masses of mourning people, with buildings on every hand heavily draped.

Preceded by the booming of minute guns, the slow pealing of bells and the roll of muffled drums the procession passed to its destination. It included the Headquarters Staff of the Army with Lord Roberts leading, the Admiralty Board, the great officers of Army and Navy, dismounted troops, Indian officers. These preceded the plain gun-carriage on which rested the Royal remains, the coffin covered with a white satin pall and the Royal Standard, on which rested the Crown, the Orb and the Sceptre. Drawn by eight magnificent black horses and flanked by the King's Company of the Royal Grenadiers the bier was followed by King George on foot with his two eldest sons and behind them were the Kings of Denmark and Norway, the Duke of Connaught, various visiting royalties, or representatives, and the household of the late King. A mounted escort succeeded and then came a carriage containing the Queen-Mother, her sister the Dowager Empress of Russia, the Princess Royal and Princess Victoria, another with Queen Mary, and others with the Queen of Norway and various members of the royal family. Last of all came a body of mounted troops. All along the route, which was scarcely half a mile in length, the attitude of the uncounted multitude was one of deep personal grief. No word was spoken and after heads had been uncovered, the masses of people were described as looking like an assembly of graven images. At the noble Hall, famous in British history for more than 800 years, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Duke of Norfolk received the coffin and preceded it to the catafalque. No attempt at funeral [Pg 453]decoration marred the noble simplicity of the grand interior. The spacious floor was laid with dull grey felt. In the centre, on a slightly elevated dais spread with a purple carpet stood the lofty purple draped catafalque. No flowing draperies softened its outlines and it appeared like smoothly chiselled blocks of purple granite.

The west front of Buckingham Palace, showing the windows of the room in which King Edward died. (Nos. 1 and 2, King Edward's bedroom; No. 3, Queen Alexandra's bedroom.)
The Private Chapel of Buckingham Palace, where the family service was held on the Sunday following King Edward's death.
Photo by Paul Thompson. N. Y.
Monarchs in the funeral procession of King Edward. King George, the German Emperor and the Duke of Connaught are seen in the center of the photograph.
Photo by Paul Thompson, N. Y.
The funeral procession of King Edward passing the Marble Arch. The gun carriage bearing his body is seen in the foreground, followed by the late King's horse with empty saddle.
Photo by Paul Thompson. N. Y.
King Edward's funeral procession moving into Edgeware Road, flanked by thousands of military and tens of thousands of mourning citizens.

Slowly and quietly a great company assembled and then the Westminster Abbey choir of men and boys clad in white surplices and scarlet cassocks, took its position. On the left, preceded by the mace-bearer with his glittering mace, came the Speaker of the House of Commons in his flowing robes of black and gold, followed by 400 members of the same House led by the Prime Minister. All the members of the Cabinet were there while Radical, Labour and Unionist members mingled behind the low purple barrier. A little later the Lord Chancellor, wearing his full-bottomed wig and black and gold gown and preceded by the mace-bearer, led the Peers down the staircase in front of the choir to an enclosure on the right side of the catafalque. On bars immediately opposite each other rested the masses of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Behind each there was arranged a nearly equal number of Commoners and Peers. Between them stood the catafalque. Presently, amid a deep hush, great military and naval officers led the procession into the hall. Proceeded by the Garter King-at-Arms, and Heralds they marched slowly and ranged themselves in a glittering array over the steps below the choir while the coffin was borne in by soldiers. Behind it was carried by other soldiers the covering of the coffin on which rested the crown, sceptre and orb. Very gently the heavy coffin was raised to the catafalque and the glittering emblems of royalty replaced on its top. Then, leaning on either side of the catafalque, and resting on the ground, were placed two plain wreaths of cypress. Behind the coffin followed the Queen Alexandra, King George and the Dowager Empress Marie of Russia, each[Pg 454] holding one of her arms. The purple carpeted dais was occupied by the dead King's family and royal visitors. A short service followed and the first part of the royal funeral was over while from the heart and pen of the great poet of the Empire—Rudyard Kipling—came verses addressed to and representing the people of which a few lines may be quoted:

And God poured him an exquisite wine, that was daily renewed to him
In the clear welling love of his peoples, that daily accrued to him.
Honour and service we gave him, rejoicingly, fearless;
Faith absolute, trust beyond speech, and a friendship as peerless.
And since he was master and servant in all that we asked him
We leaned hard on his wisdom in all things, knowing not how we tasked him.
For on him each new day laid command, every tyrannous hour
To confront, or confirm or make smooth some dread issue of power.
To deliver true judgment aright at the instant unaided
In the strict, level, ultimate phrase that allowed or dissuaded;
To foresee, to allay, to avert from us perils unnumbered;
To stand guard at our gates when he guessed that our watchman had slumbered;
To win time, to turn hate, to woo folly to service, and mightily schooling
His strength to the use of his nations; to rule as not ruling.
These were the works of our King; earth's peace is the proof of them.
God gave him great works to fulfil and to use the behoof of them.

[Pg 455]

Following these events Westminster Hall for two days was thrown open to the public and a continuous procession of half a million mourners passed the coffin and looked for the last time upon the face of their well-loved Sovereign. Into Windsor, meanwhile, there poured innumerable evidences of the peoples' sympathy from the costliest tribute of wealth and aristocracy to the thousands of simple green wreaths sent in by the poorer classes. To Westminster Hall, on May 19th, the Emperor William of Germany, soon after his arrival, proceeded with King George, stood for a while in the private enclosure as the countless stream of people passed slowly by, then descended to the floor of the Hall—the Kaiser carrying a wreath of purple and white flowers—and together knelt within the rails while the stream of passers-by was temporarily suspended. When the two monarchs arose the Emperor William held out his hand which King George clasped and held for some moments.

By May 20th the preparations were all in readiness for the final functions and splendid ceremonial. The streets were draped from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, and thence to Paddington Station, in great masses of purple and white and black; Venetian masts lined the route on which hung masses of funeral wreaths from the people; half-masted flags were everywhere. The town of Windsor was almost buried from sight in the purple trappings of grief and royalty. On the day itself solemn, silent multitudes of men and women, estimated at from three to five millions, were massed along the route of the procession with 35,000 soldiers lining the streets and a parade which even London had never equalled for mingled splendour and solemnity. At 9:10 a. m., the deep-toned bell[Pg 456] of Westminster announced the beginning of the royal obsequies. King George, Queen Mary, the Queen Mother, the royal family and the visiting monarchs and representatives of the powers and the Empire, left Buckingham Palace and proceeded with a small escort to Westminster Hall amidst the tolling of bells and the firing of minute guns. Only Queen Alexandra, the Princess Victoria, the King and the Emperor William entered the Hall and saw the body removed from the catafalque to the gun-carriage outside where it rested under conditions similar to those of the earlier removal from Buckingham Palace. Outside, the Queen Mother entered her coach and, as the body-guard of Kings wheeled around and passed her carriage, three by three, each saluted her with silent reverence.

The procession left Westminster at 9.30 headed by a long column of troops and bluejackets and the greater officers of the Army and Navy. Bands of the Household cavalry, the new Territorial troops, Colonial soldiers, were first and then came various volunteer corps, the Honourable Artillery Company, officers of the Indian regiments in their picturesque uniforms and turbans, followed by detachments of infantry, Foot Guards, Royal Engineers, Garrison, Field and Horse Artillery. Naval representatives came next with the military attaches of the foreign embassies, the officers of the Headquarters Staff of the Army and the Field Marshals and massed bands playing solemn funeral marches. Then followed the chief officers of State, followed by the Duke of Norfolk and succeeded by a single soldier carrying the Royal Standard; the gun-carriage carrying the mortal remains of the King came next and just behind it walked a groom leading his favourite charger and another with his favourite dog "Caesar"; King George followed, riding between the German Emperor and the Duke of Connaught, all clad in brilliant uniforms with a long and unique line of nine Monarchs, Princes of great States and special Ambassadors and Imperial representatives. They rode in the following order:

[Pg 457]

The Duke of Connaught, King George and the Emperor William.

King Haakon of Norway, King George of Greece, and King Alfonso of Spain.

King Ferdinand of Bulgaria, King Frederick of Denmark and King Manuel of Portugal.

Prince Yussof Zvyeden, the Heir Apparent of Turkey, King Albert of Belgium and Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austro-Hungary.

Prince Sadanaru Fushimi of Japan, Grand Duke Michael of Russia, the Duke of Aosta, representing Italy, the Duke of Sparta, Crown Prince of Greece, and the Crown Prince Ferdinand of Roumania.

Prince Henry of Prussia representing the German Navy, Prince Charles of Sweden, Prince Henry of Holland, the Duke of Saxe-Cobourg-Gotha, the Crown Prince of Montenegro and Crown Prince Alexander of Servia.

Prince Mohammed Ali, Said Pasha Zulfikar, Watsen Pasha of Egypt and the Sultan of Zanzibar. Then followed the Princely and Ducal representatives of a dozen German States, the members of the British Royal family, the Duc D'Alencon, and Prince Bovaradej of Siam.

The mounted group was followed by twelve State carriages. The first was occupied by the Queen-Mother, Alexandra, and her sister the Russian Dowager Empress Marie, the Princess Royal and the Princess Victoria; the second carriage contained Queen Mary of Great Britain, Queen Maud of Norway, the Duke of Cornwall, heir to the British Throne, and the Princess Mary; the next four carriages carried Royal ladies and ladies-in-waiting; the seventh carriage contained Prince Tsai-Tao of China and his suite; the eighth carriage was shared by Special American Ambassador Theodore Roosevelt, M. Pichon, French Foreign Minister, and the representative of Persia; the ninth carriage was occupied by Lord Strathcona, High Commissioner [Pg 458]for Canada, Sir George Reid, High Commissioner for Australia and William Hall-Jones, High Commissioner for New Zealand.

The train to Windsor contained a funeral car upholstered in purple and white silk with a catafalque on which the casket was placed and around it were grouped the near members of the Royal Family and eight Sovereigns of Foreign States. From Windsor station to the Castle the procession formed in the previous order except that the Royal mourners walked while sailors drew the gun-carriage to the famous home of Britain's monarchs and to the entrance of the historic St. George's Chapel. Here, where King Edward was christened and married and shared in so many stately functions, the final religious ceremonies were performed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. While the coffin rested on a purple catafalque before the altar, which was almost buried in floral emblems, and minute guns boomed and bells tolled, the briefest service of the Church of England—at Queen Alexandra's request—was proceeded with and the body slowly, reverently, lowered into the vault. A prayer was then uttered for the new King and the Benediction pronounced by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

What can be said of the day elsewhere? A full record would fill many volumes. In Canada, in Australia, in South Africa, in New Zealand, in Newfoundland, in all British countries and territories, there was a great similarity of solemn and popular demonstration. Everywhere factories and financial institutions and commercial establishments closed their doors. Wherever that was impossible in Canadian factories work was stopped at a certain stage in the funeral ceremonies and every man stood in silence, with bared head for the time arranged; on all the great railways of Canada at the moment when the King's body was lowered into his grave, and for three minutes, everything stopped, every kind of work ceased, every one of at least 40,000 men stood in reverent silence. Military[Pg 459] parades took place with muffled drums and passage through long lanes of silent people, in Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton, Chatham, London, St. Catharines, Kingston, Woodstock, Ottawa, St. Thomas, Winnipeg and Victoria, and other places. Memorial services were everywhere held; in Ottawa, Vice-Royalty and the Ministers took part in a great open-air ceremony in front of the Parliament Buildings, with troops and massed bands and superb drapings, to still further emphasize the solemnity of the occasion. Toronto had 100,000 people attend a similar service under the auspices of the Government in front of its Parliament Buildings and so with other centres. It may be added here that besides Lord Strathcona, Canada had as representatives at the funeral ceremonies Hon. A. B. Aylesworth, Minister of Justice; Sir Charles Fitzpatrick, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; Hon. C. Marcil, Speaker of the House of Commons; Hon. S. A. Fisher, Minister of Agriculture; Sir D. M. McMillan, Lieut.-Governor of Manitoba; Mayors Geary of Toronto, Sanford Evans of Winnipeg, and Guerin of Montreal.

In other parts of the Empire similar scenes occurred. Throughout South Africa the most solemn memorial services were held and attended by vast congregations. There were scenes of heartfelt sorrow and hundreds of magnificent wreaths were deposited on the statue of the King at Cape Town. Funeral services were held throughout India, the Hindus joining in the services in a remarkable manner. All military trains were halted for fifteen minutes. In Australia the Governor-General and all the Ministers assembled on the great tier of steps at the Parliament Buildings, Melbourne, in the presence of perhaps the most solemn assembly ever gathered together in that country. For a long space there was a reverent silence and the crowd then sang the National Anthem. The day was observed as a day of mourning in Sydney, bells were tolled from noon to sunset, and salutes of sixty-eight minute guns fired in[Pg 460] the afternoon. A hundred thousand persons attended the memorial service in Centennial Park at Wellington, New Zealand. Services were general throughout that Dominion while every outpost of the Empire flew the Union Jack at half-mast and paid a tribute to the dead Sovereign's memory.

Thus there passed away and was buried a great King, a man of whole-souled, genial and honourable type, a character rich in graces granted to few in this world, a ruler who combined intellect with heart and knowledge with discrimination, a Briton who could love and believe in the greatness of his own country and Empire without antagonizing the legitimate pride and aspirations of other nations, a diplomatist made by nature's own hand to soothe international acerbities and embody the ideal of peace in an age of preparation for war.

Photo by Paul Thompson, N. Y.
Funeral procession of King Edward VII from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall for the public lying-in-state. King George, Prince Edward and Prince Albert are seen following immediately behind the gun carriage.
Photo by Paul Thompson, New York.
Bearing the Coffin of King Edward into St. George's Chapel, Westminster. The Dowager Queen Alexandra and other royal mourners following the body.
Photo by Paul Thompson, N. Y.
The lying-in-state of King Edward VII at Westminster Hall.
Photo by Paul Thompson, N. Y.
The gun carriage bearing King Edward's body drawn by sailors from Windsor Station.

[Pg 461]


The New King and His Imperial Responsibilities

In assuming the burden of his great position and manifold duties King George V had the disadvantage of succeeding a great monarch; he had also the advantage of having been trained in statecraft, diplomacy, and the science and practice of government, by a master in the art. He was young in years—only forty-five—strong, so far as was known, in body and health, equipped with a vigorous intelligence and wide experience of home and European politics and, what was of special importance at the time of his accession, instinct with Imperial sentiment and acquainted, practically and personally, with the politics and leaders of every country in the British Empire—notably India, Canada, South Africa and Australia. He was not known to the public as a man of genial temperament but rather as a strong, reserved, quiet thinker and student of men and conditions. Great patience and considerable tact, common sense and natural ability, eloquence in speech and fondness for home life and out-door sports, he had shown as Prince of Wales or Duke of Cornwall. He spoke German, French, and, of course, English with ease and accuracy; he had seen much service in the Royal Navy and was understood to be devotedly attached to the wide spaces of the boundless seas; his Consort was beautiful, kindly, and graceful in bearing, with a profound sense of the importance of her place and duties and a sincere belief in the beneficence and splendid mission of British power.

The Prince of Wales became, of course, King at the moment of his Father's death; on May 7th His Majesty met[Pg 462] the Privy Council, signed the proclamation relating to his Accession and accepted the oath of fealty from the Lords and gentlemen assembled. To them he delivered a brief address expressive of his personal sorrow and sense of his onerous responsibilities: "In this irreparable loss, which has so suddenly fallen upon me and the whole Empire, I am comforted by the feeling that I have the sympathy of my future subjects, who will mourn with me for their beloved Sovereign, whose own happiness was found in sharing and promoting theirs. I have lost not only a Father's love, but the affectionate and intimate relations of a dear friend and adviser. No less confident am I of the universal and loving sympathy which is assured to my dearest Mother in her overwhelming grief.

"Standing here, little more than nine years ago, our beloved King declared that so long as there was breath in his body he would work for the good and amelioration of his subjects. I am sure that the opinion of the whole nation will be that this declaration has been fully carried out. To endeavour to follow in his footsteps, and at the same time to uphold the constitutional government of these realms will be the earnest object of my life. I am deeply sensible of the heavy responsibilities which have fallen upon me. I know that I can rely upon the Parliament and on the people of these Islands and my Dominions beyond the Seas for their help in the discharge of these arduous duties and their prayers that God will grant me strength and guidance. I am encouraged by the knowledge that I have in my dear wife one who will be a constant helpmate in every endeavour for our people's good."

This speech, delivered with obvious feeling and indicating a real understanding and appreciation of his late Father's character and career, made a most favourable impression upon the Council, the Nation, and the Empire. It was followed by others—all showing tact and a clear grasp of the[Pg 463] fundamental conditions of the time and of his new responsibilities. To the British Army King George issued the following Message: "My beloved Father was always closely associated with the Army by ties of strong personal attachment, and from the first day he entered the service he identified himself with everything conducive to its welfare. On my accession to the Throne I take this earliest opportunity of expressing to all ranks my gratitude for their gallant and devoted service to him. Although I have been always interested in the Army, recent years have afforded me special opportunities of becoming more intimately acquainted with our forces both at home and in India, as well as in other parts of the Empire. I shall watch over your interests and efficiency with continuous and keen solicitude and shall rely on that spirit of loyalty which has at all times animated and been the proud tradition of the British Army." To the Royal Navy His Majesty's Message was issued with special and personal interest. He was devoted to that arm of the service. From the year 1877 when he entered as a Cadet of twelve years old, and 1879 when, with Prince Albert Victor—afterwards Duke of Clarence—he went around the world in H. M. S. Bacchante, and 1885 when he became a Midshipman, he had delighted in the Naval service, imbibed the free air of the seas of the world and become instinct with pride in England's naval record and achievements. He had been attached to and served in several great battleships; in 1888 he commanded a torpedo boat and in 1890 the gunboat Thrush; in succeeding years he held more important commands and finally in 1897 had become an Admiral. To his Navy King George spoke as follows:

"It is my earnest wish on succeeding to the Throne to make known to the Navy how deeply grateful I am for its faithful and distinguished services rendered to the late King,[Pg 464] my beloved Father, who ever showed great solicitude for its welfare and efficiency. Educated and trained in that profession which I love so dearly my retirement from active duty has in no sense diminished my feelings of affection for it. For thirty-three years I had the honour of serving in the Navy, and such intimate participation in its life and work enables me to know how thoroughly I can depend upon that spirit of loyalty and zealous devotion to duty of which the glorious history of our Navy is the outcome. That you will ever continue to be, as in the past, the foremost defenders of your country's honour I know full well, and your fortunes will always be followed by me with deep feelings of pride and affectionate interest."

Parliament met in special Session on May 11th to tender its combined condolences and congratulations to the new Sovereign. The Addresses from both Houses were identical in terms and referred eulogistically to the great work of the late King in building up and maintaining friendly Foreign relations. To them His Majesty replied briefly as to his personal grief and the national sorrow and then added: "King Edward's care for the welfare of his people, his skill and prudent guidance of the nation's affairs, his unwavering devotion to public duty during his illustrious reign, his simple courage under pain, will long be held in honour by his subjects both at home and beyond the Seas." Meanwhile an infinite variety of articles were being written about the new King. In Canada and the United States the same despatches, practically, came to the leading papers; in Canada were reproduced many of the attractive articles written by special American correspondents in England. Some of them could hardly have come from personal knowledge; others contained much of current gossip, passing stories, hasty impressions; all were interesting. A remarkable feature of nearly[Pg 465] all that was written regarding His Majesty was the absence of serious criticism or the slightest cause for condemnation in a life of forty-five years lived in the continuous white light which beats upon Royalty with such merciless precision.

The facts are that King George was and had been essentially a sailor Prince; that he had in his younger days been open-handed, free, and possessed of a certain natural and bluff and pleasant geniality which was, however, quite different from the urbane, charming, courtly geniality of King Edward; that something of this characteristic had disappeared from public view after the death of his brother, the Duke of Clarence, and his own assumption of public duties and public work as heir presumptive—functions greatly enlarged by the accession of his father to the Throne; that in his travels through the outer spaces, the vast Colonial Dominions, of the Empire he was too hedged about with etiquette, too much surrounded by a varied, and constantly changing, and bewildering environment to exhibit anything except devotion to the immediate duty of the moment; that under the circumstances of his Imperial tours, amidst political conditions wherein a wrong word or even an unwise gesture might, upon occasions, evoke a storm, where not even his carefully-selected suite could be expected to understand all the varied shades of political strife and the infinite varieties of public opinion, it would have been more than human for him to show continuous geniality—as that word is interpreted in democratic countries; that upon many occasions and despite these obstacles he did thoroughly indicate a personal and unaffected enjoyment very different in manner from that of a prince receiving a formal address—notably so in his drives around Quebec during the Tercentenary; that the responsibilities of his position, the personal limitations of his environment, the difficulties always surrounding an heir to the throne, had however, and upon the whole, sobered the one-time [Pg 466]"jolly" Prince into a serious and thoughtful personage—a statesman in the making; that he was, what none of the Royal family had ever been, something of an orator as he proved by his splendid speech in London upon returning from the Empire tour of 1901 and by his delivery of otherwise routine addresses upon many occasions; that there could be absolutely no doubt as to his love of home, his devotion to wife and family, his personal preference for a quieter life than that which destiny had given him. King George was married to Princess May of Teck, on July 6, 1893, and the children of the Royal pair at the Accession were as follows:

H. R. H., Edward Albert Born June 23, 1894
H. R. H., Albert Frederick " Dec. 14, 1895
H. R. H., Victoria Alexandra " April 25, 1897
H. R. H., Henry William " March 31, 1900
H. R. H., George Edward " Dec. 20, 1902
H. R. H., John Charles " July 12, 1905

Of the new Queen Mary much might be said. Unspoiled by the social adulation, the personal power of her environment; devoted to her home, its duties and its responsibilities, and believing her children to be the first object and aim of a woman's study and attention, she yet found time to master the underlying principles of her future position, to become thoroughly conversant with all the details of sovereignty—not only in the ordinary sense but in that new meaning which has come to stamp the British Monarchy with such an international and Imperial prestige. The future Queen had some special qualifications for her position. She was British by birth and training and habit of thought—the first Queen-Consort who could claim these conditions in centuries of history. A great-granddaughter of George the Third she was the popular child of a popular mother—Princess Mary of Teck—and was born in Kensington Palace on May 26, 1867, [Pg 467]in a room adjacent to that in which Queen Victoria first saw the light of day. Interested in the theatre, in music, and the drama, charitable by nature and incessant in her work for, and amongst, the poor, a cheerful though not exactly eager participant in social affairs and presiding at the Marlborough House functions with tact and distinction; winning during her tour around the Empire the unstinted liking and respect of the people; the mistress and careful head of her household, a constant friend and adviser and associate of her Royal husband, a loving and devoted mother; the Princess of Wales before she entered upon her inheritance of power had well proved her right to help in holding the reins of a greater position and in setting the example of leadership in her natural and important share of the duties surrounding the throne of Britain and its far-flung realm.

Son and successor of Edward VII upon the throne of England
King George V and the Queen when they visited Toronto, Canada, October 10, 1901, as Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York
In this interesting old photograph King George (on the left), and his older brother, the Duke of Clarence (on the right), are shown as boys on the "Britannia," where they were thoroughly taught the principles of seamanship. The Duke of Clarence, who was Heir to the Throne, died in 1892 at the age of 28 years, leaving the right of succession to his younger brother.
Photograph by Paul Thompson, New York.
Reading from left to right: Their Royal Highnesses, Henry William; Albert Frederick; Edward Albert, Prince of Wales; John Charles; Victoria Alexandra, George Edward.

What can be said of the future? It may be assumed that King George V will know his people well. He is thoroughly English in life, character, feelings; he knows Europe and the Empire better perhaps than any other living man; he is in sympathetic touch with rich and poor alike and has taken for many years deep interest in philanthropic and other schemes for the betterment of the poor; he has been trained in the school of constitutional monarchy by the personal teachings of his father and the potent example of Queen Victoria. The London Daily Telegraph said of him at the time of his accession—speaking probably with the knowledge of Lord Burnham, its proprietor, who had for many years been on intimate terms of friendship with the Royal Family—that the new King had undergone sedulous training and been educated to rule by learning to obey. "The country will discover in him what those admitted to his confidence have always realized—admirable traits of kindliness and strength; wise common sense, practical judgment of affairs; shrewd insight into character; and a singularly upright and lofty conception of[Pg 468] his kingly duty. He has a frank, generous, unspoiled nature, is quick in apprehension, deliberate in thought, careful in expression, controlled by a far-reaching consciousness of duty and is animated by a vivid sense of his exalted mission. He is a keen sportsman, an admirable father and husband, and a lovable man."

King George has also been trained Imperially. He has trod the soil of his empire in every part of the globe and visited seas and lands which no other British sovereign ever saw; he has seen the courage and commercial skill and success of his more distant peoples, the pioneering activities and growing civilizations of new states and territories thousands of miles apart; he has obviously learned from them lessons of great import. It required considerable courage in 1902 to make that speech of "Wake up, England," to a people who do not readily take advice from their rulers and who notoriously dislike being hurried along the lines of their development. In other directions there is much to be hopeful for. His Majesty has chosen his friends well. They are said, in an intimate sense, to be few in number, but the fact of Lord Rosebery being one of them augurs well of the others. He has a strong sense of duty, his addresses indicate the principle of Imperialism in its best sense, his life has commanded the respect of his people. It may well be, and surely will be in his case, as with the late Queen, with Wellington and Nelson and King Edward himself, that

"Not once or twice in our fair Island's story
The path of duty was the road to glory."

To the political situation at his accession, therefore, King George brings a trained intelligence, detailed and intimate knowledge, a keen perception of the basic interests and feelings of his people. No one knows, no one can know, what are his political opinions. The probabilities are that his principles[Pg 469] are not those of any so-called party. If they were closely analyzed in the light of environment, education, instincts, and natural predelictions the King's policy might, perhaps, be found to be something like this: (1) The maintenance of British power, including a strong Navy and a United Empire; (2) the maintenance of the Monarchy in all its essential rights and privileges and absolute independence of party. These two lines of ambition would really be, and are, one, as in his opinion and, indeed, in that of most thinking men who are not blinded by passing party phantoms the interests of Great Britain, of the Empire, and the Monarchy, are identical.

In the political crisis of 1910 two questions are uppermost—a constitutional change and a fiscal change. In order to defeat the latter proposals the Liberals in part have created the former situation. The King can act only upon the advice of his Ministry unless tacitly and by unusual agreement, as latterly was the case with King Edward, he acts as a conciliatory force. If the Government asks him to create 300 peers so as to compel the acceptance of legislation curbing and crippling, if not abolishing, the Upper House, he can either assent or refuse. Assent means the destruction of a portion of the Constitution—and a portion very close to the Throne and which acts as a real buffer against the hasty action of an impetuous and sometimes imperious Commons. Refusal means that the Ministry must resign or go to the country on an issue in which it is quite possible the people will not support them.

Against the Government, also, in this contest will be urged the full force of the growing fiscal feeling, the desire for Tariff Reform, the development of an Imperial sentiment which wants some means of giving the Colonies a preference in the British market, the pressing need for some weapon of retaliation upon highly protective foreign nations. Whatever course the King takes under all these conditions will[Pg 470] bring the Crown into the conflict—either as yielding to the Liberals and thus antagonizing the Conservatives, or by refusing the demands of the former, raising up a party—small but vehement—against the Monarchy itself. There is another element in the situation to be remembered. England, "the dominant partner," is not really behind the Asquith Government. Its majority at the recent elections was infinitesimal; what there was came from Wales and Ireland and Scotland; and that of Ireland was divided upon the fiscal issue. The whole situation is, therefore, very much clouded to the eye.

So far as one writer can estimate the end of such a crisis it will probably be one of compromise. Almost everything in the British constitution is in the nature of a compromise. Constitutional monarchy in its essence is a half-way house between Autocracy and Republicanism and its great advantage to the minds of its supporters is that the system has the extremes of neither, the best qualities of each, and all the advantages of that strength and permanence which moderation and toleration always afford. In Britain the system certainly has the affection and devotion of the great mass of the people. Mr. Asquith is not an extremist, Mr. Haldane and Sir Edward Grey are moderate forces in the Cabinet, and though Messrs. Lloyd-George and Winston Churchill are more heard of it does not follow, and it certainly is not the fact, that they are more influential. They hold the same place in Liberalism that Mr. Chamberlain with his republican tendencies (which they do not profess) and his "three acres and a cow" held to Mr. Gladstone and the Liberal leaders of thirty or forty years ago. The Conservatives, also, are not desirous of pushing the issue too far. They believe in and have tested the affection of rural England for the aristocracy and the preference of nearly all England for a second Chamber of some kind. But they do not intend to fight the issue on the hereditary [Pg 471]principle. The acceptance, by a very large majority, of Lord Rosebery's motion in the Lords declaring that "the possession of a peerage should no longer, of itself, give the right to sit and vote in the House of Lords," removes this point from the actual conflict and leaves the Conservatives as urging a strong, reformed and democratised Upper House against the Liberal policy of a weakened, emasculated echo of the House of Commons.


Whereas it has pleased Almighty God to call to His Mercy our late Sovereign Lord King Edward the Seventh, of Blessed and Glorious Memory, by whose Decease the Imperial Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland is solely and rightfully come to the High and Mighty Prince George Frederick Ernest Albert:

We, therefore, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of this Realm, being here assisted with these of His late Majesty's Privy Council, with Numbers of other Principal Gentlemen of Quality, with the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens of London, do now hereby, with one Voice and Consent of Tongue and Heart, publish and proclaim, That the High and Mighty Prince George Frederick Ernest Albert, is now by the Death of our late Sovereign of Happy Memory, become our only lawful and rightful Liege Lord George the Fifth by the Grace of God, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and of the British Dominions Beyond the Seas, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India:

To whom we do acknowledge all Faith and constant Obedience, with all hearty and humble Affection; beseeching God, by whom Kings and Queens do reign, to bless the Royal Prince George the Fifth with long and happy years to reign over Us.


The third proclamation by the Heralds was made from the Royal Exchange and was witnessed by an enormous crowd. The ceremony opened with a fanfare of trumpets, after which Somerset Herald read the proclamation. He then lifted his hat and cried, "God save the King." Three cheers were then given for King George V, followed by three more for Queen Mary.
Reading from left to right—Sir Almeric Fitzroy (Clerk of the Privy Council), Earl Beauchamp (Lord Steward), Viscount Althorp (Lord Chamberlain), the Earl of Crewe (Lord Privy Seal), the King, Prince Christian, Lord Loreburn (the Lord Chancellor), the Earl of Granard (Master of the Horse), the Duke of Fife, the Duke of Argyll, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
According to ancient procedure a meeting of the Privy Council was held at St. James's Palace on Saturday, May 7th, the morning after King Edward's death. After the Earl of Crewe had officially informed the Council of the death of the late King, and of King's George's accession, His Majesty entered the Council Chamber and after addressing the Councillors, took the usual oath for the security of the Church of Scotland.

Genealogical Chart


There is plenty of room for compromise in this, and there is every possibility that something will be done along the lines of, perhaps, restricting the financial veto of the Lords, leaving the other questions open, and, meantime, reforming the structure of the House. Whatever the developments of the future, the new King may be depended upon to preserve the general principle of a second chamber; to conserve the legitimate interests and influence of the aristocracy and landed classes in the state—when, of course, they do not conflict with the well-being of the people as a whole; to stand for stability and gradual reform rather than change for the sake of change; to prefer and enforce evolution rather than revolution. In all this His Majesty will voice the deliberate and well-known opinions—instinct it may almost be said—of his people in general. Be it also said, in conclusion, that these thoughts are generalizations; that the King's opinions are his own and are not known to the people; that newspaper writers in England, the United States, or Canada, who proclaim an intimate acquaintance with his views, and hidden qualities, and private conversations, only betray their absolute ignorance of actual conditions. King George is an honest, honourable and patriotic Englishman, guarding the greatest birthright that a man can have, watching over the evolution of the greatest of world-empires, sitting at the heart of vital and powerful political movements. The steps he takes, or does not take, will be carefully considered, and all public knowledge[Pg 472] of the new King's character and life leads one to believe that they will be wisely taken—in this respect following the precedents left by his august father and grandmother and realizing the principles and training and looming responsibilities of a lifetime.

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