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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Regina

Queen Victoria's Journal - The birth of Princess Victoria of Hesse, 5th April 1863

On 5th April 1863, Princess Victoria of Hesse, eldest child of Princess Alice and granddaughter of Queen Victoria, was born in the Tapestry Room at Windsor Castle.

Princess Victoria with her nurse, Mrs Moffat, when she was three weeks old © Royal Collection Trust / HM King Charles III

"The brightest room shone in at the windows & continued till the sum rose. - At 2 I went over to dear Alice, who seemed terribly tried & worn out, poor dear child. At 3 saw Dr Farre, who had arrived about 2 hours before, & then went to my room to have a little tea, lying down, dressed as I was, an my bed, but I had hardly lain there a moment before I was summon in, & I hurried off as fast as I could. I stood close to the bed, stroking darling Alice's shoulder & feeling terribly agitated, but I was able to control myself completely, thank God! At last at ¼t.5 the child was born a little girl, who cried vehemently. Dear Alice was too exhausted & half stupefied by the chloroform to take any notice. I embraced good Louis whose face showed signs of deep emotion, though he had been perfectly calm, & full of devotion & affection. The Baby wrapped in the velvet & ermine cloak, in which all our Children had been carried, was taken by Mrs Clark into the next room. where Ld Sydney, Sir G. Grey & Baron Ricou were assembled I went back to dear Alice, who seemed very tired & listless but at once recognised me & kissed me. The Baby was brought round for her to look at & she seemed very pleased. Neither seem to regret its being a daughter. Dr Farre whom I like very much, he is so calm & clever, remained with Alice. Everyone was so happy & thankful & Easter Day was such a beautiful day, on which to came into this world! Went to make Affie, who was fast asleep & told him Alice had got a little girl. - Augusta B. came with me to my room, & we settled down to send off same telegrams, after which I undressed & went to bed, it being already to ¼ to 6. Got some sleep, though I awoke often. After a late breakfast which I took alone, Baby sitting with me, I went over to dear Alice, who was quiet & comfortable. The little Baby was just dressed & I showed it to Beatrice, whom I also took in to Alice. - Out with Lenchen, who drove me down to the Mausoleum, & being there did me good & quieted me, for 1 was feeling so wretched & sad, that my beloved one should not be there to share our joy, & bless his new grandchild. - Went again to dear Alice, when I came in. She said she had thought so much of her dear Papa & had felt he was so near her, during all the time she was so ill! - Rested on the sofa, feeling dear tired & having a headache. - Read Prayers & a sermon, for was not up to going to the Chapel. - Telegrams pouring in. - The Greek question anything but settled. Ps Christian makes the same conditions only more positive even, than dearest Albert made. - After luncheon, again over to Alice. - Out in the pony chair, good Louis & Affie walking with me. - Augusta B. dined with us & afterwards went over to see after Alice, who was asleep. The Baby doing nicely. - Louis & Affie left me early."

© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2012

© Bodleian Libraries © ProQuest

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