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were granted a special allowance-an arrangement which had before been made when the Duke of Edinburgh began his naval career.
On the return of the Princes from their tour it became at last
necessary to separate them. Prince George, as the younger son, might be left to continue his career in the noble service to which he had become devoted, but his elder brother, being in the immediate succession to the Throne, must, it was felt, be associated, as his father had been before him, with other walks of national life as well.
Accordingly, in 1883, the Prince of Wales accompanied Prince Albert Victor to Cambridge and saw him matriculated as an undergraduate member of Trinity College, that ancient and splendid foundation to which he himself belonged. It was at Cambridge that certain sterling qualities possessed by Prince Albert Victor first became manifest to any considerable circle, and through them to the public at large. His life at the University was simple and well ordered. He had not-nor was it desirable that he should have— the specialised intellect which wins University prizes and scholarships, but he displayed in a marked degree that peculiarly Royal quality of recognising intellect in others. Of those whom he admitted to his friendship while at Cambridge nearly all have become, or are becoming, distinguished in various walks of life. It must not be supposed that the Prince was idle at the University. On the contrary, he read for six or seven hours a day regularly—a good deal more than the average undergraduate can be persuaded to do-and he was in another respect intellectually ahead of most of his contemporaries, namely, in his familiar knowledge of modern languages. He had read German at Heidelberg with Professor Ihne, and he kept it up while at Cambridge with a German tutor. He spoke French easily and well, and he had also a literary knowledge of that language, having spent some time in Switzerland with a French tutor.
Prince Albert Victor strongly resembled his father in many respects, notably in his habits of order and method, and in his complete freedom from affectation or assumption. He was, indeed, if anything, almost too modest and retiring, but those who knew him bore witness to his real geniality and thoughtful consideration for others. At Cambridge he attended his College chapel twice on
Sundays, and once or twice during the week. He He generally dined in the College hall, when he would be assigned a place at the Fellows' table. He was fond, however, of giving little dinnerparties of six or eight in his own rooms in College, usually on Thursdays, his guests on these occasions often including some of the senior members of the University. After dinner, the Royal host would generally arrange a rubber or two of whist. He did not take part in cricket or football, but was fond of polo and hockey, and he occasionally hunted. He might often have been met in the neighbourhood of Cambridge riding in the company of a few of his undergraduate friends, to whom he liked to offer a mount, especially in cases where he knew it was needed. The Prince had an inherited love of music, and he attended pretty regularly some weekly concerts of chamber music given at the Cambridge Town Hall. One traditionally Royal quality the Prince possessed in an extraordinary degree, namely, a perfectly marvellous memory for names and faces. Indeed, his memory in general was singularly tenacious, and in his historical studies he exhibited a wonderful power of quickly mastering the most intricate genealogical tables. The Prince came of age in 1885, and the house-party at Sandringham given to celebrate the occasion was one of the largest gatherings ever held there. The company included a considerable number of Prince Albert Victor's Cambridge friends.
On the conclusion of Prince Albert Victor's residence at Cambridge, the honorary degree of LL.D. was conferred upon him, and then the Prince of Wales decided that it was time for his elder
son to enter the army. He was accordingly gazetted a lieutenant in the 10th Hussars, of which the Prince of Wales is colonel, and while he was quartered at Aldershot the father and son saw a great deal of each other. In the army, as in the navy, Prince Albert Victor was treated as far as possible exactly like his brother officers; and indeed it is highly probable that, had he been offered any exceptional privileges, he would have steadily refused to take advantage of them. The Prince became a captain in the 9th Lancers and in the 3rd King's Royal Rifles and aide-de-camp to the Queen in 1887, and two years later attained the rank of major, returning to his old regiment, the 10th Hussars.
The Prince of Wales retained such pleasant recollections of his own visit to India, that he determined that his elder son should at an early date make a tour in the Queen's great Eastern dependency. The tour was arranged, and proved extremely successful from every point of view. Prince Albert Victor was gazetted honorary colonel of the 4th Bengal Infantry, the 1st Punjab Cavalry (Prince Albert Victor's Own), and the 4th Bombay Cavalry.
Soon after his return from India, Prince Albert Victor was created Duke of Clarence and Avondale, and Earl of Athlone, in the peerage of the United Kingdom. He was formally introduced to the House of Lords by his father on 23rd January 1890, the ceremony being watched by the Princess of Wales from a gallery. was an event unique in English history. The Duke of Clarence was the only eldest son of a Prince of Wales who attained his majority, to say nothing of taking his seat in the House of Lords, while his father was still Heir-Apparent to the Crown.
During the year which followed, the Prince of Wales gave up regularly a certain portion of his time to initiating his elder son in all the varied, if monotonous, duties which were likely to fall to his lot, a task which was really in no wise irksome, for those who knew the Duke of Clarence best were well aware that his father had ever been his best friend, and that he himself was never so happy as when he was allowed to share in any sense his father's life and interests.
AFTER the death of the Duke of Clarence the Prince of Wales and his family naturally retired into the deepest privacy, and it was many months before His Royal Highness had sufficiently recovered from the blow to be able to take up again the thread of his public duties.
The year 1893, however, brought to the Prince a very fortunate distraction, which prevented his mind from dwelling too much on his bereavement in a way that could not have been accomplished by the customary round of ceremonial visits and functions. This distraction was His Royal Highness's appointment as a member of the Royal Commission on the Housing of the Poor. The Prince was genuinely delighted with this opportunity. He threw himself with the greatest zeal into the work, and not only attended all the sittings, which took place in one of the House of Lords' Committee Rooms, but visited, incognito, some of the very poorest quarters of London. It is well known that he was exceedingly anxious to serve on the Labour Commission, but Her Majesty's Ministers have always been unwilling that the Heir-Apparent should take an active part in matters connected, even indirectly, with politics, and he has had therefore constantly to play the part of the Queen's deputy without the responsibilities and interests naturally attaching to the position.
It is no exaggeration to say that there are few men now living who possess better general qualifications for the difficult work of serving on Royal Commissions than the Prince of Wales. He is familiar with an almost bewildering variety of subjects, and possesses a wonderful faculty for almost instinctively grasping the important features and the really essential points of any matter under discussion.