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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Regina

Queen Victoria’s letters - Letter from Queen Victoria to Prince Albert. 23rd November 1839

From ‘Our Gracious Queen 1837-1897’ Walton Mrs. O. F.

'Just arrived here, 5.30. Everything has gone off very well. The Council was held at two o'clock; more than a hundred persons were present, and there I had to read the Declaration. It was rather an awful moment, to be obliged to announce this to so many people, many of whom were quite strangers, but they told me I did it very well, and I felt so happy to do it. Good Lord Melbourne was deeply moved about it, and Uxbridge likewise; it lasted only two or three minutes. Everybody, they tell me, is very much pleased, and I wish you could have seen the crowds of people who cheered me loudly as I left the Palace for Windsor. I am so happy to-day! oh, if only you could be here! I wish that you were able to participate in all the kindness which is shown to me. To-day I can only send you the Declaration. The description of the whole I will send after this....Send me as soon as possible the report of the announcement at Coburg. I wear your dear picture mornings and evenings, and wore it also at the meeting of the Conseil'

A Special Meeting of the Privy Council was held on the 23rd November, to receive the Queen's intimation of her engagement. The Queen wrote in her Journal:—

"I went in; the room was full, but I hardly knew who was there. Lord M. I saw, looking at me with tears in his eyes, but he was not near me. I then read my short Declaration. I felt my hands shook, but I did not make one mistake. I felt more happy and thankful when it was over."

'The Letters of Queen Victoria, Volume 1 (of 3), 1837-1843) A Selection from Her Majesty's Correspondence Between the Years 1837 and 1861'

J. W. Croker wrote to Lady Hardwicke describing the declaration of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's engagement.

"24th November 1839.

"... She then unfolded a paper and read her Declaration, which you will, before this can reach you, have seen in the newspapers. I cannot describe to you with what a mixture of self-possession and feminine delicacy she read the paper. Her voice, which is naturally beautiful, was clear and untroubled; and her eye was bright and calm, neither bold nor downcast, but firm and soft. There was a blush on her cheek which made her look both handsomer and more interesting; and certainly she did look as interesting and as handsome as any young lady I ever saw.

"I happened to stand behind the Duke of Wellington's chair, and caught her eye twice as she directed it towards him, which I fancy she did with a good-natured interest.... The crowd, which was not great but very decent, I might almost say respectable, expressed their approbation of the Duke of Wellington and Sir R. Peel, and their disapprobation of the Ministers very loudly. Lord John and Lord Normanby, they tell me, were positively hooted.... Lord Melbourne ... seemed to me to look careworn, and on the whole the meeting had a sombre air."—Croker Papers, ii. 359.

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