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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Regina

Queen Victoria’s Journal - The State opening of Parliament, 5th February 1861

A watercolour showing Queen Victoria driving to the House of Lords, past the Courts of Justice, in the Gold State Coach © Royal Collection Trust / HM King Charles III

As per usual Queen Victoria was accompanied by Prince Albert to the Opening of Parliament, but little did they know it would be the last time together. After Prince Albert's death in December 1861 Victoria rarely attended the ceremony, and never again read her speech.

"A mild, but not bright morning & much wind. — After breakfast we went down to see the alterations to the entrance to the Chapel, the new staircase to it. — Early luncheon, dressing, & off at ½ p. 1 in the State Coach for the House of Lords. Lady Ely & Ld St. Germans drove with us, the former acting as Mistress of the Robes, & the latter for the Master of the Horse Ld Ailesbury, who had just lost a nephew & could not come. Many people out. My speech not easy to read. — An early dinner & went with Albert & the 2 girls to the Adelphi to see the celebrated melodrama in 3 acts by Dion Boucicault, called "Colleen Bawn", taken from "the Collegians." D. Boucicault & his wife (former Miss Robertson, whom I remember some years ago at the Princess's) acted admirably as the ragged Irish peasant & the Colleen Bawn. The scenery was very pretty, & the whole piece very characteristic & thrilling."

© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2012

© Bodleian Libraries © ProQuest

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