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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Regina

Queen Victoria’s Journal - The Delhi Durbar of Queen Victoria, proclaiming her Empress of India, 1st January 1877

“Never since my beloved Mother & Husband were taken from me have I spent this day here. May God bless this new year to us all, long preserve my dear ones & help me to improve & do my duty! — Unfortunately a dreadful day of violent showers & fearful wind. — Gave and received many cards. — My thoughts much to taken up with with the great event at Delhi today, & in India generally, where I am being proclaimed Empress of India, also with the grave anxieties about the Eastern question. I have for the first time today signed myself as V.R. & I. — Dear Lenchen came at ½ p. 10 to wish me a happy new year. — Drove with Beatrice down to the Mausoleum, where I specially longed to go on this day, & then we walked about a little in the garden, in the shelter. The wind was rising to a perfect gale. — A telegram came from Ld Salisbury to the effect that the Turks in their counter project, showed no desire for a compromise, though Sir H. Elliot had telegraphed yesterday that they did & were ready to do so. Ld Salisbury adds that Sir H. Elliot’s views were biased by his partiality for the Turks. This is unsatisfactory. They evidently do not pull well together. — Arthur arrived before 2, having had a fearful crossing. I had been quite alarmed about it. — Drove in the afternoon with him & Beatrice, in frequent showers. — After tea we went to the White Drawingroom where the Xmas tree was lit & I had his presents laid out on a table. Then the ornaments were cut off the tree, for which the Ponsonby children, Freda Biddulph & the little Cowell with their mothers came. Another & very unsatisfactory telegram from Ld Salisbury. The 1rst full Conference had taken place. Midhat Pacha had declared that he had not even power to discuss the proposals of the 6 Powers & that they must take time to consider. Ld Salisbury had seen Midhat & warned him of the extreme danger of their refusal, for they could not rely on England. Midhat answered “that he was resigned to the will of God if the “Empire was to fall. But that no Turk would yield one of the points,” Ld Salisbury “read over to him.” Still it seems there is hope of their finally yielding, as is their way. They have adjourned to the 4th. — Saw Ld Beaconsfield & talked over the telegrams. He considered matters very serious, but was not without hope. Whatever happened the Govt would stand very well with the Country. He talked of some Church appointments, about which he was very sensible. — Lenchen & Christian, Janie E., Ld Beaconsfield, Ld George Hamilton, (Secretary of State for India) very pleasing & intelligent, Ld Dunmore, the Ponsonbys, Harriet P. & May L. dined. I wore the Star of India, which I conferred on Arthur this morning, & some of the beautiful gifts brought back by Bertie. At desert Arthur gave out my health as “Queen & Empress of India.” — Just before dinner I received 2 very long & gratifying telegrams from the Vice Roy. —”

© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2012

© Bodleian Libraries © ProQuest

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