“My dear Lord Clarendon,— The Queen wishes me to send you the enclosed letters, with the request that they may be sent by messengers to Coblentz.
I may tell you in the strictest confidence that Prince Frederic William has yesterday laid before us his wish for an alliance with the Princess Royal with the full concurrence of his parents, as well as of the King of Prussia. We have accepted his proposal as far as we are personally concerned, but have asked that the child should not be made acquainted until after her confirmation, which is to take place next Spring, when he might make it to her himself, and receive from her own lips the answer which is only valuable when flowing from those of the person chiefly concerned. A marriage would not be possible before the completion of the Princess’s seventeenth year, which is in two years from this time. The Queen empowers me to say that you may communicate this event to Lord Palmerston, but we beg that under present circumstances it may be kept a strict secret. What the world may say we cannot help. Ever yours, etc., Albert"