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ACS Royal Correspondence

Royal correspondence

During their time in London in 1868, Jacob and Evie Frye recovered royal correspondence throughout the Westminster borough, more specifically around Buckingham Palace. These writings included excerpts from Queen Victoria's journal, as well as letters exchanged between her and several other individuals of royalty.

Royal correspondence


Most Beloved Uncle, -

Your two precious little letters of the 23rd and 25th have touched me deeply; that you should think of writing to me when you were feeling weak and unwell is too, too kind. Dr. Jenner has written daily to me, and he laments deeply that you did not in the beginning follow their advice and did not take enough nourishment, which would have prevented all this sinking and weakness! Beloved Uncle! I earnestly and seriously entreat you never to neglect the Doctor's advice again, and to think how much valuable your life is for all Europe, not to speak of me and your children.

We have most extraordinary weather, real July, with a perfectly cloudless sky and deep blue sea! It is indeed quite marvellous and not wholesome.

These American news are most dreadful and awful! One never heard of such a thing! I only hope it will not be catching elsewhere.

I heard from the dear Countess (the extract I sent you before was from Vicky), and she is most favourable to the idea of Prince Christian of Augustenburg, and the thing would now be to see how by degrees it could be naturally brought about. I will send you the copy of what she says about it to-morrow. I hope to hear your dear opinion.

Ever your devoted and unhappy Niece,



Dear Madam, -

Though a stranger to you, I cannot remain silent when so terrible a calamity has fallen upon you and your country, and must express personally my deep and heartfelt sympathy with you under the shocking circumstances of your present dreadful misfortune.

No one can better appreciate than I can, who am myself utterly broken-hearted by the loss of my own beloved husband, who was the light of my life, my stay, my all, what your sufferings must be; and I earnestly pray that you may be supported by Him to Whom alone the sorely stricken can look for comfort, in this hour of heavy affliction!

With the renewed expression of true sympathy, I remain, dear Madam, your sincere friend,

Victoria R.



I have received the letter, which your Majesty had had the kindness to write, and am deeply grateful for its expressions of tender sympathy, coming, as they do, from a heart which, from its own sorrow, can appreciate the intense grief I now endure. Accept, Madam, the assurance of my heartfelt thanks, and believe me in the deepest sorrow, your Majesty's sincere and grateful friend,

Mary Lincoln


My Dear Bertie-

...I fear I cannot admire the names you propose to give the Baby. I had hoped for some fine old name. Frederic is, however, the best of the two, and I hope you will call him so; George only came over with the Hanoverian family. However, if the dear child grows up good and wise, I shall not mind what his name is. Of course, you will add Albert at the end, like your brothers, as you know we settled long ago that all dearest Papa's male English descendants should bear that name, to mark our line, just as I wish all the girls to have Victoria at the end of theirs! I lay great stress on this; and it is done in a great many families...


The Queen can assure Lord Russell that he need be under no apprehension if her not arriving in time for the opening of the Parliament. If she has the whole Monday open she can go when she likes, and with Alberta she has no longer cause to fear a bad passage.

To enable to the Queen to go through what she can only compare to an execution, it is of importance to keep the thought of it as much from her mind as possible, and therefore the going to Windsor to wait two whole days for this dreadful ordeal would do her positive harm.

The Queen has never till now mentioned this painful subject to Lord Russell, but shes wishes once for all to just express her own feelings. She must however, however, premise her observations by saying that she entirely absolves Lord Russell and his colleagues from any attempt ever to press upon her what is so very painful and effort. The Queen must say that she does feel very bitterly the want of feeling those who ask the Queen to go to open Parliament. That the public should wish to see her she fully understands, and has no wish to prevent-quite the contrary; but why this wish should be of so unreasonable and unfeeling a nature, as to long to witness the spectacle of a porr, broken-hearted widow, nervous and shrinking, dragged in deep mourning, ALONE in STATE as a Show, where she used to go supported by her husband, to be gazed at, without delicacy of feeling, is a thing she cannot understand, and she never could wish her bitterest foe to be exposed to!

She will do it this time-as she promised it, but she owns she resents the unfeelingness of those who have clamoured for it. Of the suffering which it will cause her-nervous as she now is - she can give no idea, but she owns she hardly knows how she will go through it. Were the Queen a woman possessed of strong nevers, she would not mind going through this painful exhibition, but her nerves - from the amount of anxiety, and constand and unceasing work, which is quite overwhelming her, as well as from her deep sorrow - are terribly and increasingly shaken, and she will suffer much for some time after, from the shock to her nervous system which this ordeal will occasion. It is hard, when she works and slaves away all day and till late at night, not to be spared at least such trials.


A fine morning. Terribly nervous and agitated. At 1/2 past 10 left Windsor for London, with the children, ladies, and gentlemen. Great crowds out, and so I had (for the first time since my great misfortune) an escort. Dressed after luncheon, which I could hardly touch. Wore my ordinary evening dress, only trimmed with miniver, and my cap with a long flowing tulle veil, a small diamond and sapphire coronet rather at the back, and diamonds outlining the front of my cap.

It was a fearful moment for me when I entered the carriage alone, and the band played; also when all the crowds cheered, and I had great difficulty repressing my tears. But our two dear affectionate girls were a true help and support to me, and they so thoroughly realised all I was going through. The crowds were most enthusiastic, and the people seemed to look at me with sympathy. We had both windows open, in spite of a very high wind.

When I entered the House, which was very full, I felt as if I should faint. All was silent and all eyes fixed upon me, and there I sat alone. I was greatly relieved when all was over, and I stepped down from the throne...

So thankful that the great ordeal of to-day was well over, and that I was enabled to get through it.


Dear Bertie, -

I yesterday evening, after dinner, received your letter of the preceding day, on the subject of your visit to St. Petesburg. That you should like to see Russia, and, above all, to be present at the marriage of dear Alix's sister, and that Dagmar should wish to see her kind brother-in-law's face at so trying a time, I think perfectly natural. I own I do not much like the idea. First, I think it is a bad time of the year for you to go there. Secondly, that your visit to St. Petersburg (as you will remember I told you hen two years ago you wished to go to Dagmar's marriage with the other Cesarewitch) ought to be for itself alone, and not on such an occasion; and thirdly, I think the Government over-rate the importance of it, in a political point of view. These are my reasons against it, and to that I may add another, which, dear Child, you know I have often already alluded to, viz.: your remaining so little quiet at home, and always running about. The country, and all of us, would like to see you a little more stationary, and therefore I was in hopes that this autumn and winter this would have been the case. However, if you are still very desirous to go now, I will not object to it...

Dearest Bertie, -

These lines will be given you on my birthday with the Insignia of the Order of the Thistle, which I know you wished much to have, and which therefore I wished to give you on my poor old sad birthday - once so happy and bright. I hope it will be quite a surprise to you.

I mean to give my dear Arthur, who is now 17, the Garter on the same day.

I would also have given Affie the Office of Constable of the Round Tower, but his home is not properly in England, and the income is of no consequence to him, I shall give it to poor Victor, and would ask you to tell it him in my name, saying to him at the same time, that I thought he ought now to be very prudent and not to embark in any speculation. You should impress this strongly upon him.

As Lenchen and Christian live at Frogmore, I mean to make Christian Ranger of Windsor Park, which will give him some pleasant occupation and be a help to General Seymour. But it will make no difference whatever as to the shooting which remains entirely in my hands and under my direction...



Lord Charles FitzRoy having always been so king to the Queen in all that concerns her convenience and comfort, and having only lately informed her that the Duke of Beaufort so completely understood her wishes and entered into her feelings respecting her faithful Brown, and having also her last year that people quite understood his going as an upper servant with her carriage, and he (Lord Charles) thinking there should be no difference in London to the country, and moreover having taken him everywhere with her for two years on public as well as private occasions, she is much astonished and shocked at an attempt being made by some people to prevent her faithful servant going with her to the Review in Hyde Park, thereby making the poor, nervous, shaken Queen, who is so accustomed to his watchful care and intelligence, terribly nervous and uncomfortable. Whatever can be done, the Queen does not know on this occasion, or what it all means she does not know; but she would be very glad if Lord Charles could come down to-morrow morning any time before luncheon, that she may have some conversation with him on this subject, not so much with a view as to what can be done on this occasion, but as to what can be done for the future to prevent her being teased and plagued with the interference of others, and moreover to make it completely understood once and for all that her Upper Highland servant (whether it be Brown or another, in case he should be ill, replaces him0 belongs to her outdoor attendants on State as well as private occasions. The Queen will not be dictated to, or made to alter what she had found to answer for her comfort, and looks to her gentlemen and especially her Equerries setting this right for the future, whatever may be done on this single occasion.

If, when Lord Charles arrives, he would first go to Countess Blücher, he will hear from her what has passed.


Gen. Grey asked to see me when I came in, and said he was sorry to alarm me, but must show me a telegram from Mr. Hardy, reporting that the Mayor of Manchester had informed him, having the news from a reliable source, that the Fenians had said they meant to try and seize me here, and were starting to-day or to-morrow! Too foolish! Mr. Hardy added that special precautions should be taken, so Gen. Grey asked to be allowed to send at once for a detachment of troops from Aberdeen (93rd Highlanders) to be placed at Abergeldie, but letting it appear as if it were for to-morrow's ceremony. He has also asked for additional police.


The Queen has received Lord Stanley's letter of the 12th.

She cannot doubt that is Lord Stanley's wish to observe the constitutional practice of taking the Queen's pleasure before he forwards despatches of any importance to their destination. But she cannot approve of the irregular habit which has crept in, of sending off despatches without her sanction having been previously obtained, trusting to the power of cancelling them by telegraph, if disapproved. She would therefore certainly wish that the old custom of obtaining her approval before they are sent, should be resumed.

The Queen is not aware that she has ever failed in at once returning any box marked "immediate," and when she is at Windsor not even a single post need be lost by reference to her. She must also remark with respect to the despatch in question, that though dated the 9th, it was only sent from the Foreign Office on the evening of the 10th, and reached her on the 11th.

The Queen would further observe, that Lord Stanley's remark that there is "a wide difference between the expression of a personal opinion in conversation, and the formal giving of advice by the Government, etc.," does not hold good; as the moment such conversations are recorded, in official despatches supposed to have received the sanction of the Soverign, they entirely lose their character as private and personal communications.


General Grey presents his humble and most devoted duty to your Majesty.

He has shrunk from with a reluctance beyond words to express, from saying anything to alarm your Majesty - and if he spoke on the subject yesterday, it was only in obedience to Mr. Hardy's opinion that he ought to do so. But in what he said yesterday, he said perhaps less than he ought to have done; for he feels that, with a view to your Majesty's safety, it is absolutely necessary that your Majesty should be under no delusion as to the designs which are harboured against your Majesty, or as to the peculiar facility which Osborne affords, in spite of the utmost watchfulness, for carrying them into execution.

Crimes such as those contemplated cannot easily be penetrated in crowded throughfares, or where there is a large population; and the most unsafe places for your Majesty at this moment, are those where the population is most thin and scattered. General Grey says this with much pain and reluctance, for he knows how it will jar against your Majesty's comfort. But he would be utterly unworthy of the confidence your Majesty has reposed in him, if he hesitated now, even at the risk of incurring your Majesty's displeasure, in saying what he believes the case for your Majesty's precious safety requires.

He shrunk yesterday from telling your Majesty the full extent of the information received with respect to the designs against your Majesty. He now sends for your Majesty's perusal the note he received from Mr. Hardy after he had seen him on Tuesday, and in answer to one that General Grey wrote to ask if he thought it necessary that your Majesty should be informed of the designs against your Majesty's person. He also sends the letter he has this morning received from Mr. Hardy, as well as one from the Duke of Buckingham, corroborating the information received at the Home Office; also one from the Duke of Cambridge enclosing an anonymous letter, evidently written in a good spirit, warning him of the designs against your Majesty, which, it is added, "they are only waiting for rendering the services of the Military, in and about London, more immediately available in the event of incendiary fires," which appears the form of outbreak most to be apprehended.

Lord Derby had written thus far, and was about to bring under your Majesty's notice the painful and alarming reports which have been received of designs against your Majesty's person, when he received a letter from General Grey informing him that he had felt it to be his duty not to shrink from laying before your Majesty the intelligence itself, which, received in the first instance by telegram from Lord Monck, has since been confirmed in several respects from various quarters. As your Majesty will see the Duke of Buckingham to-morrow, Lord Derby abstains from detailing the measures which your Majesty's servants have taken for guarding against the particular danger thus indicated, in which moreover his Grace has taken a prominent part. It is indescribably painful to him to acknowledge even to himself that so fearful a crime should be contemplated; but disposed as he is to disregard mere rumors of such threatened atrocity against your Majesty, or your Majesty's servants (of which there have been abundance), he cannot shut his eyes to the conviction that such schemes are in serious contemplation; and that the determination of a few resolute and desperate men to effect them, at the hazard of their own lives, requires the utmost vigilance to defeat them - and even that MAY prove insufficient.

Lord Derby would hardly venture to write thus openly, if he were not aware that your Majesty is inaccesible, perhaps even, if he may be permitted to say so, too much so, to personal apprehension; but he trusts that he may be allowed, most respectfully, but most earnestly, to represent, that it is a duty which your Majesty owes to many millions of loyal subjects, not to expose to unnecessary risk a life so incalculably valuable to the country; and he cannot but concur in the opinion which he knows has been submitted to your Majesty by General Grey, that few places could afford such facilities as Osborne, to such a design as is, he fears with too much truth, entertained. Of course as long as it is your Majesty's pleasure to remain there, every precaution that can be taken, will be taken, both by land and sea, to provide for your Majesty's safety; but Lord Derby cannot withhold the expression of his own strong opinion that that primary object could be far better secured, even in London, but still more at Windsor; and he would feel himself not only deeply responsible to public opinion, but personally criminal in his own conscience, if he shrank from submitting this view to your Majesty, unpleasing as he knows it must be. In any case Lord Derby would urge upon your Majesty, with all possible earnestness, at least so far to co-operate with those whose duty and affection alike prompt to watch over your Majesty's safety, as to limit your hours of driving out, as far as possible, to daylight; and to be accompanied by a sufficient attendance to provide against a coup de main. The house at Osborne may, by extreme care, be protected; but your Majesty's unattended late drives afford an opportunity for desperate adventurers against which no vigilance can effectually provide...


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