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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Regina

The final illness and death of Prince Albert through Queen Victoria’s letters and journals - A letter to and from The King of Belgium, 11th December 1861:

Letter from King Leopold I of Belgium to Queen Victoria:

“My beloved Victoria,— How I do feel for you from the bottom of my heart; that you should have this totally unexpected tribulation of having dear Albert unwell, when not long ago we rejoiced that he was bearing this time of year so well. Now me must be very patient, as an indisposition of this description at this time of the year is generally mending slowly. The great object must be to arrange all the little details exactly as the patient may wish them; that everything of that description may move very smoothly is highly beneficial. Patients are very different in their likings; to the great horror of angelic Louise, the moment I am ill I become almost invisible, disliking to see anybody. Other people are fond of company, and wish to be surrounded. The medical advisors are, thank God! excellent, and Clark knows Albert so well. Albert will wish you not to interrupt your usual airings; you want air, and to be deprived of it would do you harm. The temperature here at least has been extremely mild—this ought to be favourable. I trust that every day will now show some small improvement, and it will be very kind of you to let me frequently know how dear Albert is going on. Believe me ever, my beloved Victoria, your devoted Uncle, Leopold R”

King Leopold I of Belgium by Auguste-Alexis Canzi, dated 1846-1860 © Royal Collection Trust

Letter from Queen Victoria to her King Leopold I of Belgium:

“Dearest Uncle,—I can report another good night, and no loss of strength, and continued satisfactory symptoms. But more we dare not expect for some days; not losing ground is a gain, now, of every day. It is very sad and trying for me, but I am well, and I think really very courageous; for it is the first time that I ever witnessed anything of this kind though I suffered from the same at Ramsgate, and was much worse. The trial in every way is so very trying, for I have lost my guide, my support, my all, for a time— as we can’t ask or tell him anything. Many thanks for your kind letter received yesterday. We have been and are reading Von Ense’s book to Albert; but it is not worth much. He likes very much being read to as it soothes him. W. Scott is also read to him. You shall hear again to-morrow, dearest Uncle, and, please God! each day will be more cheering. Ever your devoted Niece, Victoria R”

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