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betal Corps and entry, and
reached about eleven o'clock. The route to Paddington Station, whence two hours later the bier of Queen Victoria was taken on by Great Western train to Windsor, lay by Buckingham Palace Road, the Mall, St. James's Street, Piccadilly, Hyde Park from Apsley Gate to the Marble Arch, Edgware Road, Boundary Road and London Street. It was lined by over 30,000 troops, Regulars and Volunteers, backed, of course, by a large force of police, and along it there passed in advance of the coffin, to the length of a mile or more, a column representative of every branch of the land and sea forces of the Crown. This was headed by an officer of the Head-quarters Staff, followed by the bands of the Household Cavalry. Next came detachments of Volunteers, Yeomanry, Colonial Corps, Militia, the Hon. Artillery Company, and of several special services, as the Medical Corps and the Chaplains' Department. Then came Infantry of the Line, Foot Guards, Artillery, Cavalry of the Line, Household Cavalry, Marines and Bluejackets. After them rode the Military Attachés, the Head-quarters Staff, and the Commanderin-Chief. More military bands intervened between Lord Roberts and the Duke of Norfolk, who, as Earl Marshal, was mainly responsible for the ordering of the pageant. Then, immediately in front of the gun carriage bearing the coffin of the Queen, rode officers of the Royal Household and the Royal Aides-de-Camp. Encircling it was a small and privileged company of non-commissioned officers of the Guards and the Household Cavalry. Behind them, and completing the immediate escort, rode Major Count Gleichen, Prince Louis of Battenberg, Vice-Admiral Sir J. Fullerton and Admiral Sir M. Culme-Seymour. Then followed the Royal Standard, carried by another privileged non-commissioned officer of the Household Brigade; and then the King. He was in field-marshal's uniform, as also, riding on his right, was the German Emperor, on whom during this sad visit his Majesty had conferred that highest rank in the British Army. To the King's left was the Duke of Connaught, and then followed, also on horseback, an illustrious company of Royal and Imperial mourners. They were headed by the King of Portugal and the King of the Hellenes, and included the Archduke Francis-Ferdinand of Austria, the Grand Duke Michael of Russia, the Duke of Aosta, and the Crown Princes of Denmark, Sweden, Roumania and Siam. In carriages there followed Queen Alexandra and her three daughters; the King of the Belgians and the three daughters of the late Queen who were in England (the health of the Empress Frederick had for long made it altogether impossible for her to bear the journey from Berlin); the Duchesses of Coburg, Connaught, and Albany, with Prince Adolphus of Schaumburg-Lippe; and the Duke of Cambridge, Lord Wolseley and Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar. Behind were ladies-in-waiting in state coaches. Non-commissioned officers and men of the German Army deputation and a closing escort completed the procession, the march past at any single point occupying nearly an hour.
It was, in all respects, a fitting and worthy pageant in honour of the memory of her who had for sixty-three years held the sceptre of the British Empire, and who had also become, as Lord Rosebery said, the chief of the Sovereigns of Europe. But infinitely the most impressive feature in the solemn proceedings of the day was the intent and reverent demeanour of the vast, unnumbered multitudes who thronged both sides of the line by which the procession moved, and occupied every point from which the slightest glimpse could be obtained of the bier of the Queen whom they had loved. There was a united testimony as to the temper and conduct of that immense concourse—their patience, their self-restraint, the gravity of their bearing through the long hours of waiting, and the wondrously intense hush of concentrated emotion which fell upon them everywhere as the coffin passed before their eyes. The words describing the universal bereavement of the Egyptians were fitly recalled. In very truth it seemed as if “there was not a house where there was not one dead." The briefest record, however, of that day of mourning must not omit to mention the profoundly favourable impression produced by the bearing of the King. As the watching multitudes glanced from the bier of her in loving allegiance to whom they had all grown up, to him who had inherited the glories and the burdens of the Throne, they recognised in his resolute and dignified though sorrowful carriage and expression a steadfast purpose to maintain the traditions of the British Monarchy as she had revived and elevated them.
At Windsor, where the last public stage of the mournful ceremonial was reached, there was, for a moment, a painful interruption of the smoothness with which all the arrangements had hitherto been carried out. A gun-carriage stood ready at the exit from the station to receive the coffin, but one or more of the artillery horses harnessed to it became so restive that it was impossible to proceed with them. With singular promptitude, however, the threatened mishap was remedied, and much more than remedied, by the readiness and resource of the men of the Naval guard of honour. The fractious horses were taken out, and harnessing themselves to the gun-carriage bearing the Queen's body the bluejackets drew it all the way from the station to St. George's Chapel. To all who witnessed it, and to the nation when it became known, there seemed a peculiar fitness in this last service rendered to Queen Victoria by the representatives of the Navy. At Windsor the King, the German Emperor, and all the Royal and princely mourners, as well as the ambassadors and envoys of foreign States, followed the coffin on foot, thereby giving a certain domestic aspect to the procession, stately and splendid though it was, as it wound through the streets of the ancient town into the precincts of the magnificent home of the Royal Family, and through its courts to the western portal of St. George's Chapel. Into that
artillery ke to proceedened mishaps
glorious shrine, where there were assembled all the most distinguished men of the land, the coffin was borne, followed by the representatives of the sorrow of the Queen's family and kindred and of the world at large ; and there, after due performance of sacred rite, it was left before the altar.
The actual interment took place two days later (Feb. 4). Then, in the presence of a congregation consisting almost entirely of relatives in various degrees (Queen Alexandra leading by the hand her eldest grandson, Prince Edward of York), and of members of the Royal household, Queen Victoria's body was laid, as she had always desired, in the same tomb with that of her husband.
On the same day there were issued three messages from the King—to “ My People,” to “My People beyond the Seas," and to “The Princes and People of India.” In the first the King expressed his deep gratitude to the whole Empire for the “heartstirring and affectionate tributes" everywhere borne to the memory of the Queen. His consciousness of the generous devotion and loyalty of his subjects, and of the feeling that “ we are all sharing a common sorrow," had inspired him with courage and hope during the past most trying and momentous days; and he concluded with an earnest assurance of his resolve to follow in the Queen's footsteps and devote himself to the diligent and zealous fulfilment of the great and sacred responsibilities he was now called to undertake. The message to the Colonies cordially acknowledged the countless messages of loyal sympathy received from all parts of the Empire overseas, recorded the thankfulness with which Queen Victoria “saw the steady progress which, under a wide extension of self-government, they had made during her reign,” and testified how warmly the late Sovereign appreciated the loyalty of her subjects throughout Greater Britain, and how proud she was of those who had “so nobly fought and died for the Empire's cause in South Africa."
In his message to the Princes and People of India the KingEmperor Edward, after greeting the ruling Chiefs of the native States and the inhabitants of his Indian dominions, recalled the fact that Queen Victoria was “the first Sovereign who took upon herself the direct administration of the affairs of India, and assumed the title of Empress in token of her closer association with the government of that vast country.” He acknowledged the noble and patriotic assistance offered by the ruling Princes in the South African War, and the gallant services rendered by the native Army beyond the limits of their own country, and added that it was by the Queen's wish and with her sanction that he visited India and made acquaintance with the ruling Chiefs, the people, and the cities of that Empire. In conclusion, his Majesty asserted his fixed resolve to follow the great example of the first Empress-Queen, and work for the general well-being of his Indian subjects of all ranks.
Departure of the German Emperor-Reinforcements for South Africa–Parlia
ment Opened by the King--The King's Speech-The Address in the Lords-
THE Royal messages described at the end of the preceding chapter were welcomed as indicating not only the King's earnest resolve to take up worthily the splendid but tremendous inheritance which had devolved upon him, but also his discernment of the right note of thought and feeling to be struck in dealing with the different classes and races of his subjects. Thus the new reign, it was felt, had begun well.
The departure of the German Emperor on February 5 was made the occasion of a striking demonstration of the feeling which had been created by his Majesty's hurried journey to the death-bed of his Royal grandmother, and his continuous and prominent participation in the mourning of her house and of the British nation. As he passed through London from Paddington to Marlborough House, where he lunched, and thence to Charing Cross, whither he was accompanied by the King, the streets were lined with cheering crowds, who testified in the most unmistakable manner to the warm and grateful esteem in which he was held by the English people. All too soon, unfortunately, it became evident that large numbers of the German people, however sincerely they might have respected Queen Victoria, were far from favourably inclined towards her late subjects, and even resented the idea that their own Monarch was at all disposed to be drawn into specially friendly relations with England. Very brief, indeed, was the intermission in the sense of isolation amid an unfriendly Europe with which the burdens of empire were resumed under the new reign. There was, however, no slackening in the national determination to “ see it through” in South Africa. The vigour and resolution with which the resistance of the Boers was still maintained and the great area which their activity covered, involving operations, in the first half of February, on a considerable scale in the East and West Transvaal, in the Orange Colony and in the Cape Colony, made the end seem disagreeably far off. It was clear that while the British operations in various directions were in the main well devised and carried out, the effective forces under Lord Kitchener were neither numerous enough nor mobile enough to secure that rapid and strenuous following-up of the successes obtained which was essential to bring home to the Boers the entire hopelessness of the warfare in which they were engaged. There was, therefore, much satis. faction felt on all sides when it was announced (Feb. 7) from the War Office that the mounted forces at the disposal of the Commander-in-Chief in South Africa were to be reinforced to the amount of 30,000—consisting of 10,000 Imperial Yeomanry, 8,000 police, 5,000 new colonial contingents, and the remainder of cavalry and mounted infantry from the home establishment.
The first session (for the transaction of business) of the first Parliament of King Edward VII. was opened (Feb. 14) by his Majesty in person. He proceeded in state, accompanied by Queen Alexandra, and enthusiastically acclaimed by great crowds, from Buckingham Palace to Westminster, where their Majesties were escorted to the House of Lords by a grand procession, the whole ceremonial being a very splendid and picturesque reproduction of ancient practice. Unfortunately, however, the law prescribed at a conspicuous stage in the function a piece of procedure which wounded the feelings of a minority and was repugnant to the taste and judgment of a great majority of the King's subjects. As soon as the King and Queen Consort were seated on their thrones, and the faithful Commons had been summoned from their Chamber by Black Rod - a summons which they obeyed by a most undignified and helter-skelter race, in the course of which one or two senior Members were seriously injured—the King, as required by the Bill of Rights, repeated after the Lord Chancellor a declaration, not only of his disbelief in the doctrine of Transubstantiation, but of his solemn and sincere belief that “the invocation or adoration of the Virgin Mary or any other saint and the sacrifice of the masse as they are now used in the Church of Rome are superstitious and idolatrous.'
The King, it should be said, recited this offensive expression of seventeenth-century bigotry in a voice so low as to indicate that the duty was by no means congenial to him. He then proceeded to read with a clear voice the Speech from the Throne.
Opening with an allusion to the circumstances of national and peculiarly severe personal bereavement under which he addressed the Houses, and to his desire to follow the example set by his " beloved mother during her long and glorious reign," and having stated that relations with other Powers continued friendly, the King continued :
“The war in South Africa has not yet entirely terminated ; but the capitals of the enemy and his principal lines of com