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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Regina

Queen Victoria's Journal- The confirmation of Princess Beatrice, 8th January 1874

Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2023

On this day in 1874, Princess Beatrice was confirmed at St Mildred's Church in Whippingham by The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr John Jackson.

A confirmation is when a person confirms their promises that were made when they were baptised.

'Alas! a bad morning, after the fine days we have had, which was most provoking. Dear little Albert Victor's 10th birthday, which seems to me impossible. May he turn out well. — Breakfasted alone with darling Beatrice, & at 20 m. past 11 started with her in the old Post Chaise (in which I had driven with the 4 others in turn Ap: 1863 with Lenchen, Jan: 1865 with Louise, Ap: 1866 with Arthur, & Jan: 1869 with Leopold) for Whippingham. She looked sweet in a plain white silk dress, without any ornaments & her golden hair plainly parted in front, turned back at the sides & braided at the back. All the others had preceded us to the church, & every thing was arranged as on the former occasions. The Church was beautifully decorated with white flowers & was very full. Beatrice stood in front of the altar as calm as possible, & looked so young & childlike. I was nearly upset during the singing of the 1rst Hymn "Lord shall Thy servant come to Thee?" & the Arch Bishop's very admirable & appropriate Charge, in which he alluded very touchingly to the sorrow which had overclouded her infancy & the duties she was performing in becoming my comfort & my companion. The service was most impressive & concluded with the Hymn "Thine for ever God of love" sung to dear Albert's tune "Gotha." We left as we came. As soon as we got back we went upstairs to dear Albert's room, where we were joined by the rest of the family & our presents for Beatrice were put out. I gave her the customary diamond necklace & earrings which all her sisters have received on the same occasion, the Victoria & Albert order, an Indian shawl, dear Mama's pearl necklace, earrings & brooch (which I had worn till now) & a Bible. — We all lunched together, after which I saw Gen: Ponsonby about various things, & then took a short drive with Beatrice. It was very showery. Had tea with her & Lenchen. Then saw the Arch Bishop & thanked him for his Address. — Bertie had left after luncheon. — Lenchen, Beatrice (all in white) Christian, Arthur, Leopold, the Arch Bishop, Jane C., the Biddulphs & Ly Caroline B. dined. Went into the Drawingroom again. — Felt satisfied & edified by the proceedings of the day & pray God to take my darling Beatrice under His most special care! '

© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2012 © Bodleian Libraries © ProQuest

Photograph of the interior of St Mildred's Church, Whippingham on the occasion of Princess Beatrice's confirmation. The church was decorated with flowers and floral garlands.

Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2023

French poem recalling Princess Beatrice's confirmation.

by Louise Norèle, in French with an English Version, each 4 verses of 4 lines, recalling the Princess at the foot of the Altar, dressed in white "as a lily", and the sincerity of her expression, ending with a prayer that her life may reflect this day, "Que sa vie sous la loi / Rassemble à ce beau jour!",

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