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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Regina

Queen Victoria's Journal - The confirmation of Prince Ernst Louis of Hesse and by Rhine, 25th April 1885

On 25th April 1885, the confirmation of Prince Ernst Louis, son of Princess Alice and grandson of Queen Victoria, took place at New Palace Darmstadt.

"A day of great emotions. Dear beloved Alice's birthday & her darling boy to be confirmed, & Irst grandchild, christened. But she not there to see it! - Irène breakfasted with us. - Louis gave Beatrice & me his female order of the Golden Lion, which is a golden lion on an open ground, to be worn on the shoulder attached to a red ribbon bow. - At ¼ p. 11 drove off with him & Ernie, (in the same way as at Victoria's marriage, only there was no escort, & no troops were out,) to the Schloss, to the private entrance, where we got out. Joined all the rest of the family, who were assembled in one of the drawingrooms. In a few minutes we proceeded to the Chapel, Ernie going in with Louis & me, & all the others following. We sat in a half circle, facing the altar, just behind where Ernie stood, all alone, wearing an evening tailed coat, for the first time. The music was very good. The form of service was just the same, as in Victoria & Ella's confirmation, only that poor Ernie had to answer the questions alone, & such long answers they were. Herr Superintendent Sell performed the ceremony & delivered a very fine address, in which he made touching allusions to dear Alice & Pss Charles, who had been looking forward so much to this day. When the service was concluded, dear Ernie came up to Louis & me, & we kissed him very warmly. Got home by ½ p. 12. I went upstairs & gave Ernie my present, a small marble bust of myself, & an English New Testament. - Then, lay down & rested. - Went downstairs with Louis at 1.30. Ernie had put on his uniform & looked so tall & broad. He is now the same height as his father. The whole family, numbering 17, lunched in the big Diningroom, below, - a very handsome luncheon. I sat between Ernie & Serge. After talking a little in the Drawingroom, went upstairs to rest a little. [...]

Prince Ernst Louis in September 1885 © Royal Collection Trust / HM King Charles III

[...] At 4, we came down again for the Christening of Victoria & Ludwig's dear little Baby, which took place in the same room, in which we lunched. At the upper end of the room, an altar had been placed, on which stood the beautiful old rock crystal crucifix, which, as well as the silver brocade altar cloth (made out of her wedding dress) had belonged to Pss Charles. Dr Bender, who had christened Victoria herself, at Windsor performed the service, which was very short. Louis, Pce Alexander, Ps Battenberg, Ella, Marie Erbach, & myself were sponsors & stood together, while Victoria (with a little cap on, looking very pretty,) Ludwig, Beatrice, William of Hesse, Liko & Franzjos, stood opposite. The suites, Ministers, & some of the servants, were also present. The very nice nurse held the Baby, & handed her to me. She received the names of Victoria, Alice, Elisabeth Julie Marie, but she is to be called Alice.

Afterwards we all went into the Drawingroom & talked to the different people, & signed the Register. Ices, & lemonade, were handed round.

Felt very exhausted by the heat, when I got upstairs to my room. - Later, took a short drive, by Kranichstein, with Beatrice, Ernie & Alicky. it was very fine, & still very hot. - Resting. - Victoria, Ludwig, Ella, Serge, & Liko, dined with us 2. The others came up afterwards. Thus closed, this eventful day. May God bless & protect dear Ernie, whom his darling mother so adored, & may he be kept good & free from all evil! He is such a dear affectionate Boy. -"

© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2012

© Bodleian Libraries

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