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travel free of expense. This is a mistake. Travelling is one of the heaviest items in the Prince of Wales's annual expenditure, the more so that both he and the Princess are very lavish in the matter of tips.
Many stories are told in Paris of the Prince's experiences with persons who were quite unaware that they were addressing the Prince de Galles. On one occasion, when His Royal Highness and an equerry were going through the Louvre galleries they were observed by a party of Americans, one of whom remarked in a loud whisper to one of his friends, "I'll bet you ten naps that's the Prince of Wales."-" Done," cried the other. Accordingly, a few moments later the American approached the Prince's equerry and asked him in low tone the name of his companion. "The Earl of Chester," was the truthful answer. "Sold," said the Yankee in a disappointed tone.
It is not generally known that the Princess of Wales shares her husband's liking for Paris, and together they have spent some happy days in the gay city. The faces of the Princess and her daughters are naturally not so familiar in Paris as they are in London, and this has enabled their Royal Highnesses to take several walks along the Boulevards and in the main thoroughfares without being recognised by the crowd. On one occasion the Prince and Princess dined at the Elysée with President Grévy and his wife and daughter. There is no doubt that this dinner-party must have been in some ways the most remarkable ever attended by their Royal Highnesses, for, though they were treated with respect, none of the etiquette of courts was attempted. Thus, the ladies sat down in the presence of the Princess before dinner was announced. The Prince took in Madame la Présidente, while the aged President escorted the Princess to a seat on his right hand.
When in Paris, the Prince of Wales, whether alone or accompanied by any member of his family, always stays at the Hôtel Bristol, a stately hostelry situated on the Place Vendôme. He always occupies the same suite of apartments, and he is rarely seen in the public rooms of the hotel.
It is characteristic of the Prince's discretion and good sense that when he is abroad he never attends, as do many of his country
men, any race-meetings on Sundays. On one occasion, many years ago, when he was still quite a young man, he received a special
invitation from Marshal MacMahon to accompany him to the Grand Prix. He telegraphed to the Queen for permission, but Her Majesty returned a reply in the negative, and the Prince resigned himself to disappointing the famous French soldier.
His Royal Highness speaks French perfectly, and can make as good a speech in Paris as he can in London. On one occasion a French lady asked the Prince why he did not settle in France. "Vous usez vos rois trop vite dans ce pays," was the witty retort.
Of late years the Prince has spent a certain portion of each winter in the South of France. He makes his headquarters at Cannes, the great yachting centre of the Riviera; and those who picture him spending his days and nights at Monte Carlo have formed a very erroneous opinion of their future King's character and tastes. A little reflection would surely show that, apart from other reasons, it would be impossible for so well known a Royal personage to do more than stroll through the famous gamblingrooms; even as it is, the Prince cannot show himself in any place of public entertainment without being more or less discreetly mobbed by the ill-bred majority of those present, and it would be out of the question for him to take up his stand for any time either at a roulette or a trente et quarante table.
Another Continental resort which has often had the honour of entertaining the Prince of Wales is Homburg. When undergoing the "cure" in the pretty German Spa, His Royal Highness sets an excellent example to his fellow-patients. He always stays at Ritter's Hotel, rises at six, and walks down to the Elizabeth Well, where the healing water is handed to him in a quaintly-shaped glass on a silver salver. After drinking two or three glasses of the sparkling waters, he walks off with some friend, either to the beautiful park or into the country beyond to the lovely fir-wood known as the Grosser Tannenwald. Cronberg, the Empress Frederick's beautiful home in the Taunus Mountains, is within a drive of Homburg, and when he is there the Prince often pays his favourite sister a visit. Having revived the glories of Homburg, the Prince has more recently sought rest and quiet at the smaller of Marienbad.
ONE of the most absorbing interests of the Prince of Wales's life is undoubtedly the ancient craft of Freemasonry. And yet very few foreign princes are Masons; and, though the Duke of Kent was one, the Prince Consort always refused to associate himself with the craft. Of course it must be remembered that British Freemasonry is a very different thing from what the term is supposed to imply on the Continent, where it is associated in the public mind with atheism and even anarchism.
The Prince of Wales was initiated into the mysteries of Freemasonry in Sweden in 1868 by the late King. He was elected Grand Master of England in succession to the Marquis of Ripon, who resigned in 1875. The scene in the Albert Hall at his installation was very striking. The platform usually occupied by the choir was then transformed into a daïs, on which the throne was placed, the space around being large enough for four or five hundred Provincial Grand Masters, Past Grand Officers, and visitors of distinction. The throne was the one in which George IV. was installed when he was Prince of Wales. It was covered with rich purple velvet, and the floor was laid with a magnificent Oriental carpet, a century old, lent for the occasion by a member of the Westminster and Keystone Lodge. Behind the throne the banner of Grand Lodge and other flags were placed; in front a wide aisle was formed. right across the area to the Royal entrance. This was laid with a rich carpet of velvet pile, woven expressly for the occasion. The ground was blue, enriched alternately with the arms of Grand Lodge and Prince of Wales's feathers.
After the formalities of installation were completed, His Royal Highness, as Grand Master, was received with enthusiastic applause. When returning thanks to his brethren for the high honour they had that day bestowed upon him, the Prince said that it was an honour which several members of his family had borne, and he wished to follow in their steps, and, by God's grace, to fulfil the duties of his office as they had done.
Although His Royal Highness has long been an active Freemason, it was only a few years ago that he had at the same moment the disposition and the opportunity to attend the consecration of a Lodge in his official capacity as Grand Master of England. That occasion was the consecration of the Chancery Bar Lodge of Freemasons in Lincoln's Inn Hall. The Prince sat in the Grand Master's chair, wearing the full regalia of his office; at his left sat the Earl of Lathom, Pro-Grand Master, and at his right, the Earl of MountEdgcumbe, Deputy Grand Master.
Many curious incidents have occurred in connection with the Prince's interest in Freemasonry. At one dinner at which the King of Sweden was present, the list of subscriptions announced amounted to the enormous sum of £51,000, the largest amount ever raised at a festival dinner in the history of the world. When the Prince of Wales laid the first stone of Truro Cathedral with full Masonic honours, the mallet used by him was the one with which Charles II. laid the foundation-stone of St. Paul's Cathedral. It was presented to the old Lodge of St. Paul by Sir Christopher Wren, who was a member.
On two occasions His Royal Highness has presided as Grand Master of the English Freemasons over a magnificent assembly at the Royal Albert Hall. The first was in celebration of the Queen's Jubilee in 1887, when the tickets for admission produced £6000, a sum which was divided among the three great Masonic charities. Very similar was the Diamond Jubilee assembly of Freemasons, at which eight thousand members were present. The Prince of Wales spoke admirably, the Duke of Connaught moving the adoption of the address to the Queen, while Lord Amherst aroused unbounded enthusiasm when he alluded to Her Majesty as "the daughter of a Freemason, the mother of Freemasons, and the patron and benefactress of our Order.”