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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Regina

Queen Victoria’s Journal - The birth of Prince Albert Edward, 2nd December 1841

“Until today I have been unable to write my Journal, on account of my confinement, but I will now proceed, with the help of rough notes, to write up from where I stopped. On the 9th I was awoke several times quite early & sent for Mrs Lilly, who advised Lucock being summoned. I will not say much, but my sufferings were really very severe. I don’t know what I should have done, but for the great comfort & support my beloved Albert was to me, during the whole time. At last, at 12 m. to 11, I gave birth to a fine large boy. Oh! how happy, how grateful did I feel to that Almighty Providence Who has so greatly blessed me & preserved me so mercifully through so many dangers & trials. Though tired & shaken, I felt very well, once the child was there. It was taken to the Ministers for them to see, & I only saw it after it was dressed again. Mrs. Driscoll is the Monthly Nurse for the Child, – a quiet unassuming sermon.-Dear Mama came at once to see me, l also saw Lehzen for a moment. – Albert gave me a beautiful broach in the shape of our Boys’ crest, in enamel, jewelled. – Slept a good deal the rest of the day. – On the 10th I awake after a fairly good night. Saw both children, – “Pussy “terrified at, & not qat all pleased with her little brother. – Albert waited in vain for the Ld Mayor, who never came, & alas! to be away a good deal during the day. On the 11th, I passed a nice quiet day after having slept well. – Albert saw Ld Melbourne to whom he showed the little Boy, & Ld M. accepted being one of the Trustees of the Duchy of Cornwall; then he saw Ld Lyndhurst, who is also as Ld Chancellor to be one of the Trustees. Albert received the Ld Mavor in uniform & showed the Child to him. Mama sat with me, for a little.

Prince Albert Edward by Wilhelm Hensel, dated 1843 © Royal Collection Trust / HM King Charles III

On the 12th I was going on satisfactorily, after a good night. – Albert saw Ld Aberdeen. – “Pussy” was brought down to me for a moment. The little boy also came, he has large dark, blue eyes, a good high forehead, a pretty, but rather large nose, & a nice little mouth & chin. I pray & hope he may in every respect, be like his dearest, excellent Father. – Mama came to me, & | saw Stockmar for a moment. – Albert read a little aloud to me. On the 13th all going well with me. – “Pussy” has got her 6th tooth. – Poor Albert has a troublesome cold. – The day passed, as usual, & I saw both children & Mama. – Albert saw Sir Robert Peel, in the evening, & before, & after dinner read to me. On the 14 th Albert read Prayers &c to me, before going to Church. – Saw dear “Pussy”, but she was not well. – Mama come to me, & later, Albert read aloud. On the 15th I was moved on to another bed & wheeled into the sitting room, which was a nice change, but I was feeling rather weak & depressed. – Saw “Pussy” on her way out, & when she came in. – Albert saw the Duke of Meiningen who had came over, in consequence of the very alarming accounts of the poor Queen Dowr but she is going on far better now. – Mama came to me. – Albert read aloud. – Un the 16th I put on a dressing gown & was moved on to the sofa for the 1rst time, being rolled into my sitting room. – Albert read to me but of Chamisso’s Poems. – On the 17th did the same as yesterday. Saw dear “Pussy” for some time in the morning & again in the afternoon. – Albert saw Sir Robert Peel. – We have settled that our little boy shall be called Albert Edward & his Sponsors are to be: the King of Prussia, Uncle Cambridge, Uncle Ferdinand, our Mama Marie, our Grandmother the Dss of Gotha, & Aunt Sophia. – The Breast was finally settled, & Albert read me the papers concerning it. – All the Doctors came to see me for the last time today. – Albert read to me out of St Simeon’s Memoirs. – 18th Slept well, & feeling well, on the whole. – Saw “Pussy” for sometime in the morning. – We lunched together, & then Albert went to the Ridina School. – He read to me again out of St. Simon.

Prince Albert Edward, later King Edward VII, by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, dated 1843 © Royal Collection Trust / HM King Charles III

19th Dear “Pussy” got her 7th took. – We lunched again together & will continue doing so. – Saw Ly Charlemont, & then Henrietta, who is going to be married to Sir Arthur Brooke. 1 am very sorry to lose her. Saw “Pussy”, the little Boy & Mama. – Albert read to me, & then we played a little at “Ecarté”. – 20th Saw the Dss of Buccleuch. I have appointed Georgiana Liddell, (Ly Normandy’s young or sister) Maid of Honour in Henrietta’s place. – “Pussy” came down to me – I saw Mama, – & Albert read to me out of St. Simon. – 21st 1rst anniversary of our dear precious little girl’s birth. May God bless & protect our dear Child & may He preserve her from all harm, both bodily & spiritually. It is the earnest Praver of both my beloved Husband, & myself. He brought in dear little “Pussy”, dressed in such a smart frock, given her by Mama, & sat her down on my bed. She was so dear & good, all alone with us. Thank God, she is so much better, growing nice & fat again, & she can stand almost alone. – Next along in a chair, to my sitting room. – Albert read me a very fine sermon. – Saw Aunt Gloucester & Aunt Sophia, the former giving “Pussy” a necklace & bracelets of pearls, having belonged to Queen Charlotte. The little boy was brought in, as well as her. – Albert read me letters from Uncle Leopold & other relations. He wrote for one to Ld Aberdeen & Sir J. Graham. – Mama sat with me. -22nd Albert saw Sir Robert Peel in the afternoon, & 1, the Children, in the course of the day. – Albert received letters from his Father, &c, from Coburg, all, quite delighted at a Prince being born in the Saxon House of Coburg & Gotha, for our little boy is naturally in the succession. All the good people of Coburg, since so much pleased. – Saw Mama as usual, after dinner. – At luncheon had sat up for the Irst time in an arm chair. – 23rd Albert so dear & kind, always lifting me in & but of bed & putting me in my chair. Walked a few steps with good success. Saw the Children during the day, & did a little signing. – We looked at drawings & played at Dominos, after dinner. – Did much the same the next days.

Queen Victoria with Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, by Robert Thorburn, dated 1844-45 © Royal Collection Trust / HM King Charles III

26th. Walked quite well alone. – The news of the Queen Dowr seem much better. Saw Mama, & rested for some time on the sofa. – Went over to Albert’s room for a little change. We played 3 games of Domino, after dinner. – 27th. Have felt rather weak & depressed these last days, but far better today. – Saw the little Boy, & signed. – Walked in to luncheon, & rested afterwards. – Saw little Mary Cambridge, whose 8th birthday it was, & gave her a watch. She is very much grown. – “Pussy” came down. – Mama dined with us.-28th Albert brought “Pussy” into my room & placed her on my bed, where she remained a little while.- Went with Albert to see our little boy dressed; he is such a fine Baby. – Received letters from Uncle Leopold & Louise. – We walked a little in the Gallery & large rooms. – Both Children were brought to my setting room.-29th Slept well & feeling stranger. – Went over to Albert’s room & later walked up 3 or 4 steps of the staircase, to please Mrs Lilly, who was quite unhappy to think that I should go downstairs before I had gone upstairs, which she said, was unlucky.- At ¼ to 1, drove out with Albert, in a closed carriage, for ½ an hour. – Mama again dined with us. – 30th Slept badly part of the night & felt rather out of sorts. – Took another drive, as yesterday. – Saw the Children after my luncheon. – Rested & read. – Dinner together as usual Dee:Irst. After a very good night, felt quite myself again, – really, for the first time. – Read Despatches & rested. – Wrote to Sir Robert Peel, “Pussy” came down & was very dear, she also later, came down with her brother to see Pss Sophia Matilda. – Rested. – We played for the first time on the piano. – Dined in Albert’s room,”

© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2012

© Bodleian Libraries © ProQuest

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