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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Regina

Queen Victoria’s Journal - The Christening of Prince Alfred, 6th September 1844

Updated: Feb 1

On 6th September 1844, Prince Alfred, fourth child and second son of Queen Victoria, was baptised in the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Christening of Prince Alfred, 6 September 1844, by Doyle, James © Royal Collection Trust / HM Ling Charles III

“How thankful do I feel to be so well, exactly a month after I was confined. — We went down to the Mews to see a beautiful Charà bancs, which the King of the French has kindly sent us. We got into it & had 4 horses harnessed to it, & it moved with great facility & rapidity. The King had sent over 2 of his “Piqueers” in charge of it to show, & explain everything. It is so very handsome carriage. — Heard from Sir Robert Peel that the announcement of the amicable settlement of affair with the French, had been very well received in the Hse of C. — Mama come to luncheon. — Albert drove me out & it was very hot. — I was full of agitation at the approaching ceremony. — At ½ p. 5, I began to dress; I wore a white satin dress trimmed with flowers of the wedding lace, in short, just as I wore it on my dear wedding day, now only 4 & ½ years ago, & I reappear in it for the Christening of our 4th Child! I wore my diamond circlet in my hair, & my Turkish diamonds, & big sapphire & diamonds brooch. Dear Albert wore the uniform of Governor of the Round Tower. We took Vicky, Bertie, & Alice, (whom I led) into the Corridor, where were assembled, the Queen Dowr, Mama, Aunt Gloucester, The Cambridges, Augusta & Fritz Strelitz & the Pce of Prussia. I must say, the dear Chicks looked very sweet, the 2 little girls in white satin with lace, & Bertie, looking very handsome too in a white “éfinglé” velvet blouse, with silver braid, white trousers, trimmed with lace & satin shoes. The Children were universally admired & we were very proud of them. We formed a procession to the Chapel, the Pce of Prussia leading me, & good dear little Vicky at my hand, Albert leading the Queen Dowr, with Bertie at his hand. The Sponsors, (Proxies) who were Mama, representing Alexandrine, Uncle Cambridge, representing George, & the Duke of Wellington, representing Charles, went in 1rst. The Chapel looked extremely pretty, lit up, & held the number of people present, wonderfully, but it was very hot.

Prince Alfred with his nurse, Mrs Perkins, dated 1845 by Sir William Ross © Royal Collection Trust / HM King Charles III l mm

I stood between the Prince & Albert. The Children behaved quite admirably, never once opening their lips the whole time. The Archbishop of Canterbury performed the ceremony, & with him were besides, the Bishop of Norwich, the Bishop of Oxford, the Dean of Windsor, Mr Courtenay, Archdeacon Wilberforce, & Ld Wriothesley Russell. The service commenced with “O be joyful”, by Palestrina, & at the conclusion Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus was sung. The Baby looked magnificent, in the same robe & cap worn successively by his sisters & brother at their Christenings, & more like 3 months old, than 1 month. We returned to the Corridor, where good little Alice (who did not go to the Chapel met us again. Little Alfred also appeared, & was greatly admired. May God bless the precious child, & grant that he may grow up to become like his beloved Father. The 2 eldest remained till ½ p. 9, enjoying everything. Bertie asked the Archbishop, pointing to his wig: “What’s that you got on?” & said to me “You are Queen; got a Crown on.” This hurried sketch or rather scrawl, may serve to give some idea of how the Children looked

Sketch of the royal children by Queen Victoria

We remained in the Corridor, until dinner was ready, & at ½ p. 7 we proceeded to St. George ‘Hall, through the Reception Room, where the company Was assembled. I annex the list of those who dined The Pce of Prussia led me in, & I sat between him & Uncle Cambridge. The music after dinner was very fine, including the “Festmarsch” by Meyerbeer, & we sat in the Waterloo Gallery At ½ p. 10, we retired, & I took leave of the truly amiable Pce of Prussia, who went back to London & was to embark next day. All, but the Queen Dowr left. – Felt somewhat tired.”

© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2012

© Bodleian Libraries © ProQuest

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