Classic History Books


Great Britain and Her Queen - by Anne E. Keeling

Sovereign and her children has been of inestimable value, raising simple human virtues to their proper
pre-eminence before the eyes of the English people of to-day, who are very materially, if often

unconsciously, swayed by the example set them in high places.

In the May after Prince Consort's death the second International Exhibition was opened, amid sad
memories of the first, so joyful in every way, and a certain sense of discouragement because the golden

days of universal peace seemed farther off than ten years before.

"Is the goal so far away?
Far, how far no tongue can say;

Let us dream our dream to-day."

Far indeed it seemed, with the fratricidal contest raging in America, and shutting out all contributions to
this World's Fair from the United States.

The Queen had betaken herself that May to her Highland home, whose joy seemed dead, and where her
melancholy pleased itself in the erection of a memorial cairn to the Prince on Craig Lorigan, after she

had returned from Princess Alice's wedding. But in May she had sent for Dr. Norman Macleod, who was

not only distinguished as one of her own chaplains, but was also a friend already endeared to the Prince

and herself; and she found comfort in the counsels of that faithful minister and loyal man, who has left

some slight record of her words. "She said she never shut her eyes to trials, but liked to look them in the

face; she would never shrink from duty, but all was at present done mechanically; her highest ideas of

purity and love were obtained from the Prince, and God could not be displeased with her love.... There

was nothing morbid in her grief.... She said that the Prince always believed he was to die soon, and that

he often told her that he had never any fear of death." It seemed that in this persuasion the Prince had

made haste to live up to the duties of his difficult station to the very utmost, and "being made perfect in a

short time fulfilled a long time [Footnote]."

[Footnote: Inscription on the cairn on Craig Lorigan.]

"The more I learn about the Prince Consort," continues Dr. Macleod, "the more I agree with what the
Queen said to me about him: 'that he really did not seem to comprehend a selfish character, or what

selfishness was.' And on whatever day his public life is revealed to the world, I feel certain this will be

recognised."

The Queen, by revealing to the world, with a kind of holy boldness, what the Prince's public and private
life was, has justified this confidence of her faithful friend.

Early in 1863, Dr. Macleod was led by the Queen into the mausoleum she had caused to be raised for her
husband's last resting-place. Calm and quiet she stood and looked on the beautiful sculptured image of

him she had lost: having "that within which passeth show," her grief was tranquil. "She is so true, so

genuine, I wonder not at her sorrow; it but expresses the greatest loss that a sovereign and wife could

sustain," said the deeply moved spectator.

An event was close at hand which was to mingle a little joy in the bitter cup so long pressed to our
Sovereign's lips. The Prince of Wales had formed an attachment to the Princess Alexandra of Denmark, a

singularly winning and lovely lady, whose popularity, ever since her sweet face first shone on the surging

crowds that shouted her welcome into London, has seemed always at flood-tide. Faithful to her

experience and convictions, the Queen smiled gladly on the marriage of affection between this gentle

 

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