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millions of her subjects on her way to and from St. Paul's.
Words are too weak for the Queen to say how very deeply touched and gratified she has been by the immense enthusiasm and affection exhibited towards her dear son and herself, from the highest down to the lowest, in the long progress through the capital, and she would earnestly wish to convey her warmest and most heartfelt thanks to the whole nation for this great demonstration of loyalty. The Queen, as well as her son and dear daughter-in-law, felt that the whole nation
joined with them in thanking God for sparing the beloved Prince of Wales's life. ...
The impression made by the Prince's illness and marvellous recovery upon the Royal family in general is well illustrated by the following passage from a letter written by Princess Alice to her mother in December 1872 :
"That our good, sweet Alix should have been spared this terrible grief, when this time last year it seemed so imminent, fills
my heart with gratitude for her dear sake, as for yours, his children and ours. . . . The 14th will now be a day of mixed recollections and feelings to us, a day hallowed in our family, when one great spirit ended his work on earth . . . and when another was left to fulfil his duty and mission, God grant, for the welfare of his own family and of thousands."
THE year 1873 was spent on the whole very quietly by the Prince and Princess of Wales. His Royal Highness took up once more the thread of his public life which had been interrupted for a considerable time by his illness and convalescence. Accompanied by his brother, Prince Arthur, he went to Vienna in May to represent the British Royal family at the opening of the International Exhibition there. In June the Prince and Princess were deeply grieved to hear of the death of the infant son of Princess Alice of Hesse, who was killed by falling out of the window of his mother's room in the Royal Palace at Darmstadt. But their Royal Highnesses, though the blow was exceptionally severe owing to their fond affection for Princess Alice, were compelled in the midst of their grief to devote a considerable portion of their time to entertaining the Shah. A great dinner was given in his honour at Marlborough House, and the Prince of Wales spared neither time nor trouble in doing honour to our distinguished Oriental visitor.
A pleasant glimpse of the home life at Sandringham about this time is given in the following letters from the witty and eloquent Archbishop Magee (then Bishop of Peterborough), written to his wife:
"SANDRINGHAM, 6th December 1873.
I arrived just as they were all at tea in the entrance hall, and had to walk in, all seedy and dishevelled from my day's journey, and sit down beside the Princess of Wales, with Disraeli on the other side of me, and sundry lords and ladies round the
table. The Prince received me very kindly, and certainly has most winning and gracious manners. The Princess seems smaller and thinner than I remember her at Dublin. They seem to be pleasant and domesticated, with little state and very simple ways.'
"7th December 1873.
Just returned from church, where I preached for twenty-six minutes (Romans viii. 28). The church is a very small country one close to the grounds. The house, as I saw it by daylight, is a handsome country house of red stone with white facings, standing well and looking quietly comfortable and suitable. I find the company pleasant and civil, but we are a curious mixture. Two Jews, Sir A. Rothschild and his daughter; an ex-Jew, Disraeli; a Roman Catholic, Colonel Higgins; an Italian duchess who is an Englishwoman, and her daughter brought up as a Roman Catholic and now turning Protestant; a set of young lords, and a bishop. The Jewess came to church; so did the half-Protestant young lady. Dizzy did the same, and was profuse in his praises of my sermon. We are all to lunch together in a few minutes, the children dining with us. They seem, the two I saw in church, nice, clever-looking little bodies, and very like their mother.”
The Prince and Princess of Wales represented the Queen at the marriage of the Duke of Edinburgh and the Grand Duchess Marie of Russia in January 1874. The English marriage service was performed by Dean Stanley, who wrote to the Queen an interesting letter describing the Imperial wedding, in which he mentioned how much he had been struck, both in the chapel and at the subsequent banquet, by the singular difference in character and expression of the four future kings, the Prince of Wales, the Crown Prince of Prussia, the Cesarewitch, and the Crown Prince of Denmark, who were all present.
On the Sunday following the wedding the Prince and Princess of Wales attended the service at the English Church in St. Petersburg, and the Dean preached on the marriage feast at Cana in Galilee, much the same sermon which he had preached in the ChapelRoyal at Whitehall on the Sunday following the marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales. During this visit to Russia the