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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Regina

Queen Victoria’s journal - The death of Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, 18th January 1892

Prince Albert Victor on his deathbed Source: Pinterest

The Prince fell ill with influenza during the 1889-1892 pandemic. As time passed, his symptoms worsened and eventually developed into pneumonia. Prince Albert Victor died at Sandringham House on 14th January 1892, less than a week after his 28th birthday. He was surrounded by his parents; his brother, George; his sisters, Maud and Victoria; and three physicians and three nurses. The nation was shocked by his sudden death and fell into a state of mourning. The Prince of Wales wrote to his mother, the Queen, exclaiming how “gladly would I have given my life for his”. George was equally as devastated and wrote “how deeply I did love him”. Alexandra never recovered from her son’s death and continued to keep his room as a shrine.

'A never to be forgotten day! When I asked at ½ p. 8 in the morning, if there was no telegram, they said there was one from Dr Broadbent to Dr Reid, which contained the following "Improvement continued till 2, when collapse affecting chiefly respiration, with complete unconsciousness came on. There has been a rally, but condition extremely grave." It was a fearful disappointment. Very soon after, another telegram came, dated this morning 7.20.: "There have been fluctuations since telegraphing at 4, "but Patient now sinking." — Too awful! — Whilst I was dressing Lenchen came in bringing the following heart rending telegram from poor dear Bertie: "Our darling Eddy has been taken from us. We are broken hearted." Words are for too poor to express one's feelings of grief, horror & distress! Poor, poor Parents, poor May, to have her whole bright future to be merely a dream. Poor me, in my old age, to see this young promising life cut short! I, who loved him so dearly & to whom he was so devoted! God help us! This is an awful blow to the Country too! We are all greatly upset. — My 3 daughters breakfasted with me. Soon 100s of telegrams of condolence came pouring in. The feeling of grief immense. Had a telegram from Bertie, whom I had enquired after, saying they were all "fairly well, but very tired & exhausted. Just had a beautiful service, where our dear Boy is lying. Anxious to have last sad ceremony at Windsor. Pray do not think of coming. Weather to inclement to run risks." — Heard also from Dr Laking that poor Bertie & Alix were bearing up wonderfully. Georgie better, all fairly well, including May Teck, for whom this is such a tragedy. —'

Prince Albert Victor on his deathbed © The Museum of London
Cenotaph of Albert Victor in the Albert Memorial Chapel, St George’s Chapel, Windsor © Royal Collection Trust / HM King Charles III

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