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Prince and Princess were received with unusual distinction, and a grand parade of troops was held in His Royal Highness's honour.
The Prince of Wales dined in the Middle Temple Hall on Grand Night of Trinity term in 1874. On this occasion His Royal Highness humorously expressed the opinion that it was a good thing for the profession at large, and for the public in general, that he had never practised at the Bar, for he could never have been an ornament to it, in saying which his modesty probably led him astray, for he is a thoughtful and lucid speaker, and his habits of method and order would certainly have stood him in good stead if he had been compelled to apply his mind to any profession.
When the Prince and Princess were first married they always gave two great balls at Marlborough House each year-one on the anniversary of their wedding day, and one at the close of the London season. But the most splendid entertainment ever given by the Prince and Princess was the great fancy dress ball in July 1874. Over fourteen hundred invitations were sent out, and the Royal host and hostess made no stipulations as to the choice of costume, leaving it to individual taste. The Princess wore a Venetian dress, and was attended by her two young sons as pages. The Prince appeared as Charles I., wearing a costume exactly copied from the famous Vandyke picture, that is, a maroon satin and velvet suit, partly covered with a short black velvet cloak, while the black hat, trimmed with one long white feather, was looped up with an aigrette of brilliants. He also wore high buff boots, long spurs and sword, while round his neck hung the Collar of the Garter.
Many of the costumes worn were very interesting and curious. In the Fairy Tale Quadrille, the Earl of Rosebery, then quite a youth, was Blue Beard; Mr. Albert (now Earl) Grey, Puss in Boots; and the Duke of Connaught, the Beast. Lord Charles and Lord Marcus Beresford were a couple of Court jesters. The only person present who was not in fancy dress was Benjamin Disraeli, then Prime Minister. He wore the official dress of a Privy Councillor.
That same year the Prince and Princess visited Birmingham for the first time, being received by the then mayor, Mr. Joseph
Chamberlain, who was at the time credited with being so advanced a Republican that many fears were expressed that he might behave with scant courtesy to his Royal guests, and bets were even taken as to whether he would consent to shake hands with the Prince of Wales! However, these prognostications proved groundless, and the people of Birmingham gave an unparalleled demonstration of loyalty which gratified their Royal Highnesses extremely.
The festivities of the following Christmas were overshadowed by the death at Sandringham from inflammation of the lungs of Colonel Grey, who had been for some time a valued member of the Prince's household. It was with reference to this sad loss that Princess Alice wrote to the Queen :-"Dear Bertie's true and constant heart suffers on such occasions, for he can be constant in friendship, and all who serve him, serve him with warm attachment."
In 1875 the death of Canon Kingsley came as a great blow to the Prince and Princess of Wales, who were both fondly attached to the famous writer.
Agra Calcutta Jeypore Gwalior Bargda
THE PRINCE'S INDIAN TOUR, 1875
THE PRINCE OF WALES'S TOUR IN INDIA
LORD CANNING, the great Viceroy of India, once told the Prince Consort how desirable he thought it that the Prince of Wales should, when grown up, visit Queen Victoria's Eastern Empire, and later on, those who had the privilege of the young Prince's friendship were well aware that an Indian tour had become one of his most ardent wishes.
But the project of the Heir-Apparent's visit to India only really took shape early in 1875, and on 20th March it was publicly announced that the Prince of Wales contemplated this journey, the Marquis of Salisbury at the same time making an official announcement to the Council of India of the intended event. The Council passed a resolution that the expenditure actually incurred in India should be charged on the revenues of that country.
Curiously enough, a great deal of hostile feeling was aroused by the announcement of this Royal tour. On 17th July a great meeting was held in Hyde Park to protest against the grant of money which was then being sanctioned by Parliament to defray the expenses of the journey. Many people went so far as to declare that they would have acquiesced in the passing of the vote had the HeirApparent's visit to his mother's Eastern dominions been a "State visit" instead of a mere "pleasure trip." And yet it need hardly be pointed out that, greatly as the Prince looked forward to his
tour, the journey was likely to prove anything but a mere "pleasure trip" to India's Royal visitor. He and those about him well knew that from the moment he landed at Bombay till the day he left India he would not only constantly remain en évidence, but he also expected to conciliate the many different races with which he was going to be brought in contact when passing through the various Indian States.
There were many points to be considered about the tour. The rules and regulations which had sufficed for the Prince in Canada and the Colonies were inapplicable to India. One notable feature of Oriental manners is the exchange of presents between visitors and hosts, and it was early arranged that His Royal Highness's luggage should contain £40,000 worth of presents to be distributed among the great feudatory and other potentates who would have the honour of entertaining or at any rate of meeting the Prince.
It was also arranged that the Prince was to be guest of the Viceroy, Lord Northbrook, from the moment he landed on Indian soil; and, roughly speaking, it was estimated that the expenses of the Prince's reception alone would probably come to about £30,000. The estimate made by the Admiralty for the expenses of the voyage to and from India and the movements of the fleet in connection with the Royal visit came to £52,000; while for the personal expenses of the Prince's visit a vote of £60,000 was included in the estimate submitted to the House of Commons when in Committee of Supply. However, here again this suggestion did not meet with universal approval when the necessary resolution was brought forward in the House. Mr. Fawcett, afterwards Postmaster-General, raised a discussion, basing his objections to the vote partly on sentimental and partly on economic grounds. However, he only found thirty-three members to agree with him, and the vote was passed. During the debate, Mr. Disraeli, who was then Prime Minister, drew a very remarkable picture of the extraordinary pomp and circumstance with which the Prince was about to be surrounded.
It was felt better that His Royal Highness should go as Heir-Apparent of the Crown, and not as the representative of Her Majesty, but, as might have been expected, these fine distinctions
were not understood in India, and the Prince was expected to do just as much as he would have done in a more directly official capacity.
Before starting on his tour the Prince of Wales thoroughly studied the subject of India and her peoples, and he even made himself acquainted with the peculiarities of every one of the large Indian cities where he would be expected to receive and answer addresses.
The question of the suite was, as may be imagined, very important. It was early decided that Sir Bartle Frere, whose name was familiar to millions of the inhabitants of India, should accompany the Prince of Wales, and the Duke of Sutherland was also asked to join the party. Of His Royal Highness's private friends, the Earl of Aylesford, Lord (now Earl) Carrington, Colonel (now General) Owen Williams, and Lieutenant (now Admiral) Lord Charles Beresford, also accepted an invitation to be of the party. Then came the official Household, consisting of Lord Suffield; Colonel Ellis, the Prince's equerry, to whom was confided the delicate question of the giving and receiving of presents; General (now Sir Dighton) Probyn, to whom were left the arrangements for horses, travelling, and shooting parties; and Mr. (now Sir Francis) Knollys, the Prince's private secretary. Duckworth went as chaplain, and Dr. (now Sir Joseph) Fayrer as medical man. Mr. Albert Grey (now Earl Grey) went as private secretary to Sir Bartle Frere, Mr. S. P. Hall accompanied the Prince in order to sketch the incidents of the tour, while Lord Alfred Paget was specially commissioned by Her Majesty to join the suite. Dr. W. H. (now Sir William) Russell, the famous war correspondent, who was temporarily attached to the suite as honorary private secretary to the Prince, wrote on his return a very interesting account of the tour, entitled "The Prince of Wales's Tour in India,” which has remained the standard authority on the subject.
On the day that His Royal Highness left Sandringham, amid many demonstrations of good-will and wishings of God-speed from his country neighbours, he presented the Princess with a team of Corsican ponies and a miniature drag. The Prince spent the last