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their suite, returned to Alexandria and once more embarked on the Ariadne, after bidding a very cordial farewell to their Egyptian entertainers.

The Ariadne first sighted the minarets and mosques of Constantinople on the morning of 1st April. The Prince and his suite came up on deck attired in full uniform, and the Royal party, including the Princess, made their actual arrival at Constantinople in a new yacht of the Sultan's called the Pertif Piali. Their Royal Highnesses were met on the steps of the Palace by the Sultan, the Grand. Vizier acting as interpreter, while the Commander of the Faithful led his British guests up the grand staircase and himself showed them the rooms prepared for them in the Salih Bazaar Palace on the north side of the Bosphorus. Every European luxury had been provided. The lattice work, which is always put up across the windows in Turkish houses in order to screen the fair inmates from the rude gaze of outsiders, had been removed and replaced with magnificent silk hangings. All the servants appointed to wait on the Prince and Princess of Wales were Greek and European, except the coachmen, who were French.

Then followed days which must have recalled to the Royal visitors some of the stories in the Arabian Nights. The meals at the Salih Bazaar Palace were all served on gold and silver plate studded with gems; a band of eighty-four musicians played during dinner; every morning arrived gorgeous presents from the Sultan, including exquisite flowers and trays laden with fruits and sweets; while, at a clap of the hand, black-coated chibouquejees brought in pipes with amber mouth-pieces of fabulous value, encrusted in diamonds and rubies. There was a complete Turkish bath establishment in the Palace; and the slightest wish expressed by the Prince of Wales was considered an order.

The Prince and Princess witnessed the passing in State of the Sultan, as Commander of the Faithful, to the Mosque Bashiktash amid an unusual display of pomp and ceremony; and while the pageant was passing, little Prince Izzedin, the Heir-Apparent, visited their Royal Highnesses.

The great event of their visit was a State dinner given by the Sultan to the Prince and Princess at the Dolma Baghtche Palace.

This was the first banquet ever given by a Sultan of Turkey to Christians. It was also remarkable as being the first occasion on which any Minister except a Grand Vizier had ever sat down in a Sultan's presence. The whole Diplomatic Corps were also invited. The table was laid for twenty-four, and the menu was composed of Turkish and French dishes.

On the Sunday of their stay at Constantinople the Royal party attended divine service at the Church of the British Embassy, and shortly after were rowed across the Bosphorus to visit the cemetery at Scutari. On the following day the Prince and Princess spent a most amusing couple of hours visiting the native quarter of Stambul incognito as "Mr. and Mrs. Williams." They walked through the bazaar and made some purchases, and their identity was never suspected for one moment.

As a very exceptional favour, the Sultan conducted the Princess and Mrs. Grey to his harem. They stayed there an hour and a half, and Her Royal Highness had several interesting conversations with some of the inmates.

On 10th April, after having bidden adieu to the Sultan, their Royal Highnesses started for the Crimea, making their first stay at Sebastopol, where they were courteously received by the Russian authorities, headed by General De Kotzbue, who had been Chief of the Staff to the Commander of Sebastopol, and no one could have shown their Royal Highnesses the sights of the place more competently and with more tact and good feeling.

During the four days that the Prince and Princess stayed in a spot so intensely full of associations to them both, they saw the battlefields of the Alma, of Inkerman, and Balaclava, and they visited the various monuments and memorial chapels. At one village a number of Tartars received the Royal visitors with cheers, and made an offering of bread and salt to the Prince and Princess.

After the four days were over, their Royal Highnesses entertained the Russian General and his staff on board the Ariadne, and during dinner the band played "God preserve the Emperor," after which the Royal host proposed the Czar's health, while the General replied with that of the Queen. It is interesting to add that the Russians present treated the Crimean war as a matter of history, quite removed from

passion or feeling of any kind. The Prince made a point of visiting the simple house which was at that time still known as Lord Raglan's headquarters, in which is the room where the great commander died. They then joined the Ariadne at Yalta, and returned to Constantinople, where they again saw the Sultan for a short time, and entertained the various Ambassadors.

On 20th April the Ariadne anchored at Athens, the Prince and Princess receiving a very warm welcome from King George, who hastened on deck to welcome his sister and brother-in-law. A special train was in waiting, and the Royal party soon found themselves in the King's Palace, where they spent a few days in busy sight-seeing, leaving Athens on 23rd April, where the Queen of Greece welcomed her sister-in-law with great warmth. During their stay at Corfu the Prince and Princess enjoyed a much-needed period of repose. The Prince and Princess returned home through Italy, without, however, making any stay in that country. On 12th May they found themselves home again at Marlborough House after an absence of nearly six months.

Among the formal acts of ceremony which the Prince performed during this year (1869) was the unveiling of a statue of the late Mr. George Peabody. In the speech which he delivered on this occasion he alluded in the warmest terms to his feeling of personal friendship towards the United States and his enduring recollection of the reception which had been accorded to him there.

CHAPTER VII

THE PRINCE'S ILLNESS

THE outbreak and progress of the Franco-Prussian war were naturally watched with the keenest interest in Marlborough House. Two of the Prince's own brothers-in-law were serving with the German forces, while, on the other hand, His Royal Highness not only had many close ties with France, but from childhood had always regarded the Emperor and Empress of the French with special affection. When public subscription lists were opened in aid of the ambulances, which distributed medical aid impartially to the sick and wounded on both sides, the Prince gave a liberal donation; and when the Empress Eugénie fled to England, one of the first visits which she received at Chislehurst was from the Prince and Princess of Wales.

As may be easily imagined, the Prince is very popular all over France, and he has had many curious and interesting adventures when going out in the semi-incognito which he affects when travelling for pleasure. On one occasion, shortly after the end of the war, His Royal Highness, accompanied by General Teesdale, visited the battlefield of Sedan. He was naturally anxious that his identity should not become known, for French susceptibilities were very keen at that time, and he had no desire to appear to glory over his brother-in-law's brilliant victories. When the time came to pay the hotel bill General Teesdale found with great dismay that he had no ready cash; the Prince was in an equally penniless condition; while any telegram sent would have disclosed the identity of the Royal visitor. At length, after much discussion, the equerry made

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his way to the local Mont de Pièté and placed both his own and the Prince's repeater in pawn.

Exactly ten years after the first dread news of the Prince Consort's fatal illness had gone forth, it became known that the Prince of Wales was lying seriously ill at Sandringham. Not very long before, Princess Alice, who was then staying at Sandringham, wrote the following note to the Queen :

"It is the first time since eleven years that I have spent Bertie's birthday with him, and though we have only three of our own family together, still that is better than nothing, and makes it seem more like a birthday. Bertie and Alix are so kind, and give us so warm a welcome, showing how they like having us, that it feels quite home. Indeed, I pray earnestly that God's blessing may rest on him, and that he may be guided to do what is wise and right, so that he may tide safely through the anxious times that are before him, and in which we now live.”

Princess Alice little knew the days and nights of anxious misery that were coming so swiftly upon her brother's peaceful household, and indeed upon the whole nation. The Prince of Wales sickened. in London, but as soon as he felt himself to be seriously attacked he insisted on going home to Norfolk, where the disease was pronounced to be typhoid fever.

The Prince, his groom Blegge, and Lord Chesterfield, who had all been at Scarborough with Lord Londesborough, were stricken simultaneously, and public attention was soon wholly concentrated on the three cases. Curiously enough, the groom and the peer both died, though in neither case were any pains or expense spared. Doubtless the Prince's youth and excellent constitution stood him in good stead, but for many days the issue was considered exceedingly doubtful.

His Royal Highness was nursed entirely by the Princess of Wales and Princess Alice, his medical attendants being Doctors Jenner, Gull, Clayton, and Lowe. On the last day of November came a semi-official notification :

"The Princess of Wales has borne her great trial in the most admirable manner and with singular equanimity. While fully aware of the gravity.of the Prince's serious illness, Her Royal Highness has throughout been calm and collected."

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