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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Regina

Queen Victoria’s Journal - The death of Prince Alfred, 30th July 1900

On 30th July 1900, Prince Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, fourth child and second son of Queen Victoria, died aged 55 at Schloss Rosenau. His death coincided with multiple tragic deaths that filled Queen Victoria’s final year. Her journal shows just how painful and heart breaking his death was.

Prince Alfred taken around the late 1890s-1900 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Queen Victoria’s journal Tuesday 31st:


“A terrible day! When I had hardly finished dressing Lenchen & Beatrice knocked at the door & came in. I at once asked whether there were any news & Lenchen replied, he has slept away! “Oh! God! my poor darling Affie gone too! My 3rd Grown up child, besides 3 very dear sons-in-law. It is hard at 81! I amuse Sir Condie Stephen’s telegram to Sir F. Edwards, which the latter brought to Lenchen. It is so merciful that dearest Affie died in his sleep without any struggle, but it is heartrending. Poor darling Marie who knew of no real danger, when she left, such a short while ago, without a fear. It is too terrible also for the poor daughters, who adored their Father! I was greatly upset, — one sorrow, one trial, one anxiety, following on another. It is a horrible year, Nothing but sadness & horrors of one kind & another. I think they should never have withheld the truth from me, as long as they did. It has come such an awful shock. I pray God to help me to be patient & have trust in Him, who has never failed me! Everyone is quite stunned & telegrams began to pour in, already even from India, & the whole day question to be answered & messages sent. Felt terribly shaken & broken, & could not realise the dreadful fact. Recollections of dear Affie’s childhood & youth, & nowhere more vivid than here, crowded in upon me. People are so dreadfully shocked & the Navy feels it deeply, for he was much beloved in the service, & greatly admired, having been such an excellent Officer. He had been in better health since that bad illness 2 years & more, ago, at Nice. The whole day was spent in writing & answering telegrams. Lenchen & Beatrice, who feel this sad loss dreadfully, were most helpful.Took a short drive with them after tea round by the sea, & we 4 dined alone together. Afterwards Lenchen read me some very pretty articles out of the “Globe”, “Pall-Mall,” & “St. James’s”. – Iasked Bertie to came here, but he said he was too unnerved to come today, but would do so tomorrow. – Dear Drino arrived for his holidays this morning."


Telegram from Sir C. Stephen to Sir F. Edwards. July 31. 1900


Please convey following to Her Majesty with expression of profound sorrow & sympathy. The Duke had been setting in garden with Duchess, from 5.30. to 6.30, retiring to bed at 7. p.m. After taking some food H.R.H. was in a very weak condition & had to be lifted into bed. He soon fell asleep & at 9.30 was still sleeping quietly. But at 9.45., when Dr Florschütz went in, he noticed that H. R. H. was breathing heavily & very soon afterwards, the Duke passed away quite peacefully.”



© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2012

© Bodleian Libraries © ProQuest

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