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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Regina

Queen Victoria’s Journal - The opening of the Royal Albert Hall, 29th March 1871

"Very dull, & very raw & cold. - Ernest C. Arthur & Beatrice breakfasted with me. - At a little after 12, started in 9 dress closed carriages (mine with a pair creams) for the Albert Dall, for its opening. I drove with dear Alix & Ernest Coburg. Lenchen, Louise, Beatrice & Arthur in the next carriage, Leopold, Christian & Lorne, following, then the suites. Immense & very loyal crowds out. Bertie received us at the door & then we walked up the centre of the intensely crowded Hall (8,000 people were there), which made me feel quite giddy. Bertie read the address from the Dais, to which he had been conducted, very well & I handed to him the answer saying: "In handing you this answer I wish to express my great admiration of this beautiful Hall & my earnest wishes for its complete success". This was greatly applauded. The National Anthem was sung after which Bertie declared the Hall open. Good Mr Cole was quite crying with emotion & delight. It is to Col: Scott of the Engineers, who built the Hall, that the success of the whole is due. We then went upstairs to my Box, which is not quite in the centre & heard Costa's Cantata performed, which is very fine. I had never been at such a big function since beloved Albert's time, & it was naturally trying & "emotionment" for me. I thought of poor dear Gen: Grey who had been so enthusiastic & anxious about this undertaking & who was not permitted to see the building completed! It was opened 2 days before the 1st anniversary of his death. Lenchen & Louise returned with me, the others remaining for the concert which followed. - Rested after luncheon & at ½ p. 4 took a drive with Louise, Beatrice & the Dss of Roxburghe in Hyde & Regent's Parks, the 2 equerries riding. - Ernest C. came to see me & talked over Affie's future. He is naturally anxious that he should spend some time of the year in Germany. - Ernest, Lenchen & Christian, Louise & Lorne, Leopold, Ct Seckendorff, (whom I took leave of) the Dss of Roxburghe & Jane c. dined. - dined. - The Duchess read."

© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2012

© Bodleian Libraries © ProQuest

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