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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Regina

Queen Victoria's Journal - The confirmation of Princess Alice, 21st April 1859

On 21st April 1859, the confirmation of Princess Alice, second daughter of Queen Victoria, took place at Windsor Castle. "An eventful day. Sad that politics should disturb the serenity of it all!

We feel very anxious. - Fine bright morning. - Albert hid the Easter eggs, which the Children all looked for, including our precious little Baby. - We walked out with Ernest, Mary, & George. Everything so fresh & green. - When we came in, we gave dear Alice a pretty Prayer Book. At 12 all was ready, dear Mama looking so well & smart, in lilac silk, while I wore green, & the 2 little girls, white & lilac striped frocks. Albert went to fetch dear Alice, who looked very nice & pretty in a white muslin dress, trimmed with lace, over white silk. He led her into the Chapel, Ernest Coburg me, - & George, Mama. We 2 & the 3 children stood on one side, Ernest, Mama, & -c. opposite. The music very fine, the whole ceremony very impression & moving, reminding me so much of dear Vicky's Confirmation. The poor Archbishop delivered his charge very indistinctly, so that only those who were close by, could hear it. Dear Alice seemed much moved when she came out of the Chapel & we kissed her. We talked with the company, including Ld Clarendon, who hoped things would come right, - a vain hope! At that very moment, Albert was called out by Ld Derby whose face, told nothing but bad news, & he soon returned saying, that without answering us, Austria had sent a letter summoning Sardinia to disarm, giving them 3 days time to give their answer, at the end of which time, the Austrians would march on Turin!! This is really too bad. They cannot have known of Sardinia's readiness to disarm (& this we since hear, was the case) Terribly distressed & bouleverse, on such a day, - & at such a moment! We went to the King's rooms, where all Alice's presents were laid out. From us, the family order (our cameo with diamonds), a row of diamond solitaires & earrings, just the same as we gave Vicky. [...]

Princess Alice at her confirmation © Royal Collection Trust / HM King Charles III

L...] After remaining a little while, we went to see Lord Derby & talked over what could be done! Alas! but little. We must protest strongly to Austria, whose conduct is most distressing as she puts herself in the wrong, though one can hardly be surprised at it, as she so distrusts France, who she believes would go to war, the moment she was ready, - & we cannot, God knows, tell her to trust France! Every thing that could, would be done, - always hoping that the misfortune of war, may be prevented. - We all then lunched, including Mama & Ernest Leiningen. Nothing else talked of, but this lamentable state of affairs. We have to thank the Empr Napoleon for all. - Dear Alice so pleased with all her presents, so thankful, & in such a charming frame of mind. - We drove out with her & Ernest, visiting the fine new Flemish Farm. Splendid afternoon, no wind & a hot sun. - Just as I was dressing for dinner, heard from Ld Derby, after the Cabinet at which it was decided to protest strongly to Austria, - to caution Sardinia, asking her to appeal to Treaty of Paris. Hübuer told Ld Cowley we should threaten Austria if she persisted & assist Sardinia, but we cannot do this. - Sat between the 2 brothers at dinner, which I have not done for years. - Pleased & thankful that this dear day had gone off so well, but grieved it should have been so sadly disturbed.-"

© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2012

© Bodleian Libraries © ProQuest

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