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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Regina

Queen Victoria’s Journal - The wedding of Princess Charlotte of Prussia and Bernard III, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, 18th February 1878

Princess Charlotte of Prussia and Bernard III, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, dated 1877 © Royal Collection Trust / HM King Charles III 2024

“Dear Charlotte’s wedding day, & 50 years ago, beloved Feodore’s, at Kensington Palace, which I remember so well. — Maslin, is the only surviving person, besides myself, left in the house. — May God bless sweet Charlotte, who so young, already leaves her own home, but only to live nearby. How I thought of Vicky’s own marriage, — that ever bright & memorable day, & how I longed I could have been near her, to be a support & comfort to her, for the wedding day of a daughter, is a trying day for a mother. It will be a terribly long day, much as at Affie’s wedding, in Russia, only this, begins in the evening. The Civil Marriage is to be at 6, the other, in the Chapel of the Schloss, at 7. — Fritz Carl’s 2 daughter, Elizabeth, was to be married to the Heredy Gd Duke of Oldenburg at the same time. A Court, & a Supper were to follow, finishing up with the “Fackeltanz”. – Many telegrams again. Never ending anxiety! Some from Italy, saying Italian Govt thought it would be well to send ships, but would wait to hear what Austrians did, – from Mr Layard (most secret) that no offer to bring ships, would be accepted now; — a telegram received by the Sultan from the Emperor of Russia, saying, Mr Layard had declared Christians were in danger at Constantinople (which he has never done, since conclusion of armistice) & that Emperor wished his troops to enter City in a friendly manner. — Ld Derby sent to Ld A. Loftus, contradicting report that Mr Layard advised Turks to oppose Russians, should the latter intend to enter Constantinople. — Also to Mr Layard, to explain as far as he could, motive for sending up Fleet, for the Sultan constantly sends to ask for it to be sent away, & sent me a message about it. — Also to Ld O. Russell, saying Ld Derby had heard from Ct Schouwaloff that the Emperor William was trying to reconcile Austria, & asking whether it was true?

Princess Charlotte of Prussia and Bernard III, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, dated March 1879 © Royal Collection Trust / HM King Charles III 2024

Walked with Beatrice to the Swiss Cottage, & planted a myrtle bush in honour of the day, about 4 ft. high, grown from a spring of myrtle in Vicky’s wedding bought, 20 years ago, of which I have sent a piece for Charlotte’s wedding nosegay. Then drove myself on the single pony carriage. – At 1, the Hector came round to Osborne Bay, all dressed with flags, & fired a salute. – No news from Austria. – Drove with Beatrice & Janie Ely, that pretty drive round by Newport, short of Parkhurst, & back through Newport & Carisbrooke again. – Telegrams, amongst others, one from Mr Layard, saying, Sultan had again had a telegram from the Empr of Russia, saying as our Fleet had come near Constantinople, his troops must come in. Sultan answered, English ships had moved further off. – Thinking so much of what was going on at Berlin. – A Cypher from Ld Derby, with translation of Mam from Ct Schouwaloff. Pce Gortschakoff authorizing him to say that Russia “maintained her promise not to occupy Gallipoli, nor to enter Lines of Bulair,” & she “expected in return that no English troops should be landed on European Coast”. – This is very plausible, but I doubt it & telegraphed earnestly warning against it. – Received a touching letter from dear Vicky, full of emotion, sending a lovely bracelet from Charlotte, who also wrote. It is copied from one found at Rome last year, & has a found at Rome last year, & has a cameo of Charlotte, very like, & pretty. – Amongst telegrams which came this afternoon, there are several from Mr Layard, giving a long explanation, that the Porte was ignorant of the terms of Armistice, & says there was great treachery on the part of Server Pasha, who sent a man with them. on horseback, who was purposely delayed! -Also that Mr Layard cannot suggest & how to secure Dardanelles, except by taking them, & paying Turkish garrison. – The Sultan fears if Russians enter Constantinople, they will seize everything. He will retire to Pce’s Island. Sir C. Dickson, Mr Layard says, considers Lines of Bulair can be defended by Turks with English Officers. – Packed by boxes. – The 3 ladies, Col: Byng, Col: Maude, & Mr Sahl, dined. We drank, the young Couple’s health, & the Hector lit up very prettily & sent up rockets. – Ly Caledon read afterwards.”

© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2012

© Bodleian Libraries © ProQuest

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