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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Regina

Queen Victoria’s Journal - The engagement of Victoria, Princess Royal, to Prince Friedrich of Prussia, 29th September 1855

On 29th September 1855, Victoria, Princess Royal, and Prince Frederick of Prussia (later Frederick III, Empror of Germany and King of Prussia) became engaged at Balmoral.

Photograph taken on the occasion of the engagement of Princess Victoria to Prince Frederick William of Prussia. © Royal Collection Trust / HM King Charles III 2024

“This has been a most eventful as well as very happy week, which I shall never forget! – A heavy mist early but the day turned out beautiful. – We & Fritz, all received the kindest & most delighted letters from the dear Prince & Princess, in answer to our’s. The King who is at Stolzenfels had also received the news with the greatest pleasure. – Shortly before 12 we took an hour’s walk with Fritz, part of the time however was taken up, with our being photographed with Fritz & the 4 elder Children. – Whilst we were walking he told me he hoped to come here again, next year, which we said we should be delighted he should do. It gives me great satisfaction to think of that, when he will be able to make a longer stay, & there need be no concealment of the young people’s feelings. In the afternoon, soon after luncheon, we started with Fritz & Vicky, driving as far as near the Den, where we mounted our ponies & proceeded to ascend Craig na Ban. Albert had never been up it before. Quite at the top we got off & sat down for a few minutes, looking at the splendid view on all sides. We walked down the steep part & then remounted our ponies, riding across to Glen Girnoch. Vicky kept behind with Fritz. On the road close to the Girnoch School House we found the carriage, & when we got off our ponies Fritz gave me a wink, implying that he had said something to Vicky & she was extremely agitated & nervous. When we came home, & could see Vicky alone we spoke to her, & she had really suspected nothing until the last 2 days when various little things put it into her head & when I asked her whether she felt the same about Fritz as he did about her, she said eagerly “oh! yes”, with an indescribably happy look. Albert continued that Fritz was very excellent, & very good, & that we should give her to him with perfect confidence, but that if she had not liked him, we should never have forced her to this step, for which she expressed great gratitude. We were consequently very happy & relieved at what she had said to us. Of course till she was 17 there could be no marriage, & it must be kept a secret until after her Confirmation. Albert then said Fritz was very anxious to speak to her, so that he would go & fetch him. She was agitated, but without any hesitation went into her father’s room, & soon they both came out, she having given her answer to his request that she should marry him, & they expressed their joy & gratitude & it was a beautiful sight to see the expression of real happiness in their faces. Vicky behaved as a girl of 18 would, so naturally, quietly & modestly, showing at the same time how very strong her feelings are. Fritz thanked us again, saying he could not describe his happiness. We then left him, I embracing him tenderly, as I quite feel to love him as my own child. — Albert talked for some time to Vicky, telling her, that in fact she was too young to receive an actual proposal, but that we had felt, for both their sakes, that her own feelings ought to be ascertained before Fritz left, & that he should not have to wait in uncertainly for all these 6 or 7 months. But that no one but ourselves, Fritz’s Parents & sister, should know that they were really engaged. She promised to betray nothing whatever, in her manner this evening. Nothing can be more dear, simple & affectate than she is. To witness the dear Child’s innocent joy & to see the happiness of 2 such dear young beings, who showed us so much confidence not being embarrassed to let us see their love for one another, fills my heart with gratitude & joy. May God ever bless & protect them! – In this state of excitement we had to meet Mama & the whole company, & show nothing beyond great cheerfulness. The Coupers, Mrs Farquharson & 3 daughters & Hearty, the 3 Officers, Capt: Dawson (93rd, who has been at the Alma & Balaklava), Mr J. McKenzie of the 79th & Mr Robertson of the 93rd, came after dinner. We went into the Diningroom, where the carpet had been removed, & we had a charming little dance, in celebration (unknown but to us 4) of the happy event. The Aberdeenshire Militia Band (mostly consisting of Germans) played in the little passage, extremely well, & keeping excellent time. The 1rst Quadrille I danced with Fritz & a valse with my beloved Albert, whilst Vicky valsed with her beloved Fritz! She looked so tall & nice. We had a number of Valses, & a Reel, Ross, playing the pipes. We concluded with a Country Dance, & all was over by 12. —”

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

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