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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Regina

Queen Victoria’s Journal - A visit to Victoria Park in The East End, 2nd April 1873

On the 2nd April 1873, Queen Victoria visited Victoria Park in the East End. The park is London’s oldest public park and was opened in 1845 for the benefit of the East End working class.

Queen Victoria’s visit to Victoria Park 1873. Source: Public Domain

"A very fine morning. — At ½ p. 10, started in 2 carriages, Beatrice, Jane Churchill & Jane Caledon with me, & Ly Caroline B., the 2 maids of Honour & Ld Wrottesley in the 2nd for the Victoria Park in the East End, Col: Ponsonby & Col: Du plat riding (in plain clothes). Drove up the Mall, past St. James's Palace, Regent Street, always so gay, with the numberless shops, — Portland Place, where there were some few decorations in the shape of carpets & red cloth hung out & people began to assemble. When we turned out of Park Crescent into the Euston Road, there were many people in the streets. We passed on by the splendid new Midland station, one of the finest buildings in London, King's Cross, Pentonville Road, & the High Street Islington. Thus far we had gone 3 years ago, when I visited the Working Men's Exhibition in the Agricultural Hall. Here there began to be many pretty decorations & flags, & kind inscriptions. I received the most kind & enthusiastic greetings from the very very poorest.

As we went along by Essex Road, Dalston Rise, past the German Hospital, & finally Hackney Town Hall, the crowds became very great. We stopped for a moment at the latter, which was very handsomely decorated, & a Mrs Ellis, wife of the Vestry Clerk presented me with a beautiful bouquet. From here we went on to the Victoria Park. There were no Troops out in the streets, only Police, but nothing could have been better or more orderly then the behaviour of the crowd. At the entrance of Victoria Park there were Troops, Lifeguards & Footguards who kept the Park & were under the command of Edward S. W. We stopped under an awning where Addresses were handed into the carriage by the members Mr Reed & Mr Holms, to which I answered, expressing my gratification at my kind reception & the pleasure it gave me to visit the Park. Another bouquet & an Address from the Parishes of Hackney, Bethnal Green & Shoreditch were presented. We had driven at a gentle trot through the streets, but went at a foots' pace round the Park. There were many kind expressions of "God bless you", "Come again", & nothing could have been more hearty or cordial than my reception by those poorest of the poor. It was really touching. The Park is a large one & a great boon to the poor people. We returned by Bethnal Green, passing the celebrated museum, Hackney Road. Shoreditch, (the very worst part of London), Bishopsgate St, Threadneedle St fearfully narrow & crowded with clerks, past the Bank, Mansion House, on the balcony of which stood the Ld Mayor in his robes, bowing! The crowds in the City were very great & enthusiastic, & many nosegays were given me. We drove along the Embankment, which is very fine, & through the Horse Guards home. It was a very fine warm day. Got home shortly before 1, very gratified & pleased with the most successful morning. — Lenchen & Louise came to luncheon & the latter sat with me a little while afterwards. — Read & wrote. — Walked with Beatrice & Jane Churchill to the Stables, where Col: Maude met us. & I tried a new carriage which has been made for me, & which will do very well. Took a turn in the garden afterwards. — Jane Caledon, Jane Churchill, dear Lilah Clifden, & Lady Erroll dined."

© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2012

© Bodleian Libraries © ProQuest

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