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As may be imagined from the diversity of his interests, as well as from his position so near the throne, the Prince of Wales's correspondence has of late years rivalled that of the Queen, and His Royal Highness is always eager to acknowledge the debt he owes to his hard-working and clever groom-in-waiting and private secretary, Sir Francis Knollys, on whom falls much of the responsibility connected with the Prince's letter-bag. Sir Francis occupies a pretty suite of rooms in St. James's Palace, close to Marlborough House, and his study is in communication with the Prince's private apartments; but most of his work is actually transacted at Marlborough House, for every morning he makes his way across and attacks the vast piles of letters laid out for his inspection.

The Prince's correspondence is then reduced by his private secretary to three distinct sections-the private letters, the business letters, and the miscellaneous letters. Among the latter are those written by lunatics, begging-letter writers, and so on. The private letters are sent up to the Prince unopened, the others are all read through by Sir Francis and again subdivided, the larger section to be replied to in a formal and official way, the others to be submitted to the Prince before they are dealt with.

Some of His Royal Highness's correspondents evidently have a touching belief in his power of righting wrong. They implore him to take up their cause when they are injured, and it may be stated that no bona fide epistle is ever sent to Marlborough House addressed to the Prince of Wales without being answered, often with marvellous celerity, and ever with the greatest courtesy and kindness.

As to the vast masses of begging letters, it is no secret that the Prince of Wales has been from the first a consistent supporter of the Charity Organisation Society; and long before the excellent work done by that Society was as widely recognised as it is now, the Prince saw its infinite possibilities for good, and became a regular subscriber to the Mendicity Society, as it was then styled. Accordingly, His Royal Highness has rarely been imposed on even by the cleverest chevaliers d'industrie. On the other hand, he is genuinely charitable, and on several occasions known to the writer has exerted himself privately to obtain pensions and grants of money for deserving individuals who had fallen on evil times.

At Sandringham there is a post office inside the house for the use of the Royal Household, but at Marlborough House the huge letter-bags are sent over to the St. James's Street post office at regular intervals throughout the day.

The Prince has long been a subscriber to the National Telephone Company, and he is said to spend over £1000 a year in telegrams

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alone, for the popular idea that Royalty's letters are franked, and that parcels sent by them are forwarded free of cost, is a delusion.

Sir Francis Knollys's duties as secretary are not confined to what are generally called secretarial duties. He has to act as his Royal master's supplementary memory. He keeps the list of all the Prince's engagements, and, what is a more arduous task, arranges every item of the Royal journeys. Princess Charles of Denmark is

said to have once observed that she felt sure that if Sir Francis were suddenly awakened in the middle of the night and asked what were the Prince of Wales's engagements eight days forward, he would immediately begin to recite the entire list.

Be that as it may, the position of Sir Francis Knollys is a very responsible one, and even his most intimate friends marvel how he can get through the enormous amount of work he has to do. Occasionally his labours are enormously increased. At times of public calamity or Royal mourning, thousands and thousands of letters and telegrams pour into both Marlborough House and Sandringham, all requiring some kind of attention, and in most cases an immediate answer. During the Tranby Croft case wellintentioned folk all over the British Empire sent books and pamphlets pointing out the evils of gambling, and in most cases these were courteously and kindly acknowledged.

Sir Francis writes every important letter with his own hand, for typewriters have, so far, never been used in Royal correspondence. He has two assistant secretaries who attend to the routine work, but even then many of the letters written by them are signed by him, and in all cases he looks them over and sees that they are as he would wish them to be. There is also a staff of clerks, who are absolutely pledged never to reveal anything they may learn about the private affairs of the Prince and Princess, or indeed of the Royal family as a whole.

Few people realise how large a portion of their income is given away each year by the Prince and Princess of Wales in charity. During the last thirty years the aggregate amount given away by their Royal Highnesses represents a large fortune. Whenever one of those great calamities which strike the imagination of large sections of the British people occurs, one of the first contributions to any fund raised is generally sent from Marlborough House. Then, again, the presence of the Prince or the Princess at a philanthropic gathering is sure to bring in, directly or indirectly, a large sum of money to the undertaking. For instance, on the first occasion when the Prince and Princess appeared together in support of a charitythe British Orphan Asylum at Slough-one gentleman announced that he would contribute £12,000.

The greatest care has to be taken both by the Prince and the Princess in selecting the tradesmen upon whom they will confer the undoubted advantage of their custom. Sir Dighton Probyn, the Comptroller of the Prince of Wales's Household, plays a very great part in His Royal Highness's life, for it is thanks to him that the Prince's London establishment is so admirably organised and managed. It is his duty to see that the Prince's Warrants are only given to those who are worthy of them. A Royal Warrant is

naturally considered a great honour by the recipient, and any firm aspiring to be a Warrant-Holder must supply the Prince of Wales's Household for one year in a satisfactory manner before becoming eligible; and should the firm become bankrupt, or even change its name, the Warrant must be returned to the Comptroller of the Household.

On the Prince's birthday the Warrant-Holders are wont to dine together, and on the menu always figures some venison contributed both by the Queen and by the Prince of Wales, who each send a fine buck. On all Royal occasions of rejoicing the WarrantHolders are considered to have a special right to present a gift accompanied by their congratulations.

Every monetary transaction is not only recorded, but indexed at Marlborough House; and it is a significant fact that any tradesman who sends in an account twice over is never again patronised by their Royal Highnesses.

His Royal Highness does not confine his custom to any one London tailor; on the contrary, he is careful to distribute his patronage, and it is a mistake to fancy that His Royal Highness pays very much more for his clothes than do other people. His wardrobe is necessarily larger and more varied than that of a private individual. It need hardly be said that he dresses in perfect taste, and it is well known that he has no sympathy with the revolutionists who would abolish the frock-coat. His Royal Highness is, however, also understood to have a special fondness for the oldfashioned "bowler " hat. It would be difficult to over-estimate the Prince's influence as an arbiter of fashion, especially in America, where every trifling change in his costume is faithfully reported and imitated, and also on the Continent. On the whole, his influence in matters of

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