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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Regina

Queen Victoria’s Journal - The christening of Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, 27th April 1863

On 27th April 1863, Princess Victoria of Hesse, eldest child of Princess Alice and granddaughter of Queen Victoria, was baptised in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle.

"Went over to see dear Alice, who was to keep quiet. - Took a short drive with the little Sardinian ponies, with her. Then went to look at all the preparations for the Christening. Had to make all the arrangements unaided, when my beloved one, had he still been with us, would have settled & done everything himself. Received a beautiful letter from Mr Disraeli - At 1, Alice, Louis, & the dear Baby came to my room, the former looking so pretty nice grey dress. They went at once into the Green Drawing room (Baby waiting till she was sent for). A table was placed in front of the large Vase in the window, covered with a white cloth & the altar plate on it. In front of it stood Hofprediger Bender & Pfarrer Walhaum, of the German Church in London, & in front of him was placed the Fount, the same out of which all our Children were christened. Pce Alexander & the other sponsors stood next to me, Alice & Louis opposite, with the other members of the family. The service began with a Hymn, followed by a short address, in which I thought Dr Bender made too many allusions. Then the same questions were put to the sponsors, as we have in our service. I held the sweet little Baby, who behaved so well & was dressed in a lace robe over white satin (my gift) & enveloped in a lace wrap, worn by all Pss Charles's children. She was christened in my arms, her cap being removed, & the clergyman sprinkling her head 3 times. The following are the names she received: Victoria, Alberta, Elisabeth, Matilda, Marie. A Prayer followed & then the Blessing, after which Luther's Hymn "Eine feste Burg" (the English translation) was sung. It was a trying ceremony for me, for I always kept thinking how different it would have been, had I not been alone, without our beloved one to rejoice in his grandchild, & the blank, & sorrow left by his loss, overshadowing everything! [...]"

The Christening of Princess Victoria of Hesse, at Windsor Castle, 27 April 1863 by George Housman Thomas Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2024

[...] The Royalties left the Green Drawing room first, & I afterwards followed with Alice & Louis. Besides all our children, Aunt Cambridge, George, & Mary, Nemours & Marguerite, & Ernest Leiningen were present. The sponsors were myself, Mary, Pce Alexander, (representing the Gd Duke of Hesse) Bertie, & Louis' brother Henry. The whole family gathered in the White Drawing room where a Register in German, brought by Hofprediger Bender was signed. The Baby was brought in to be looked at & was much admired. I gave her a diamond cross attached to a small string of pearls. - All went to a family luncheon, including Alice herself, but 1 lunched alone with darling little Beatrice. - Saw Sir C. Locock & the Dss of Sutherland, after which I went over to dear Alice, where I found Mary. Gave brooches to the 3 nurses. Mrs Clark had carried the Baby, attended by the permanent nurse, Moffat, an excellent person. - Took a quiet little drive with Alice in her nice new small carriage & stopped to get out at the Mausoleum. - Dined with her, Louise, Arthur, & Katherine B., in the Oak Room, Baby appearing for a short while, & being so funny when she drank her new niece's health.-"

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