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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Regina

Halloween at Balmoral- Queen Victoria’s Journal, 31st October 1876

“A bright but very cold morning. — There came a very startling telegram from Reuter, saying that the official Gazette at St. Petersburg had published that Gen: Ignatieff had been ordered to send out an ultimatum asking for the acceptance of the 6 weeks to 2 months Armistice, & if not agreed to in 48 hours he & the whole Embassy were to leave! Cannot believe this & desired enquiries to be made from the Foreign Office, as to whether it is true. — Walked with Beatrice along the river. — Had a letter from Vicky this morning, before going out & saw the Duke of Richmond, whom I asked to send a copy of it to Ld Beaconsfield. — Painting after luncheon. — News came in, that the Servians had been completely routed & driven back by the Turks, & that a great many Russians had been killed. Another telegram, direct from Sir H. Elliot saying that an agreement had been very nearly come to between the Porte & Gen: Ignatieff regarding an Armistice of 2 months, to be prolonged for 6 weeks, should the progress of negotiations render it necessary & to be further prolonged to another 6 weeks, on an understanding with the 6 Powers. This sounded so well, that I thought there could be nothing in the other report. — Took a hour’s drive with Beatrice & Leila E. to the Garravalt & back to Donald Stewart’s where I had tea. The usual Hallow E’en procession with torches took place, starting from there, preceded by the Pipes, all the others joining up at the Castle. The wind was dreadfully high & cold, so that I was afraid to remain out, & watched the proceedings from the windows of the Hall. A splendid bonfire was lit & reels were danced near it. Remained below till 7. — Ld Beaconsfield sent me the same telegram, we had seen from Reuter this morning, also Ld Derby. Saw the Duke of Richmond about it who still thought the matter might be arranged. — He, the 3 Ladies & Sir T. Biddulph dined. — Felt anxious. After Leila E. had been reading to me, there came a telegram from Sir H. Elliot, repeating alas! the news of the ultimatum, which makes one extremely anxious. —“

© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2012

© Bodleian Libraries © ProQuest

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