[back to menu for this book]
THE DIAMOND JUBILEE
THE Diamond Jubilee was the one absorbing topic during the
spring of 1897. For months tradesmen, hotel and lodging-house keepers had been
anticipating the event, and it was generally believed that the resources of
London would be taxed to their utmost. Buildings were rented along the proposed
route of the procession as soon as it was made public, and these were covered
with wooden scaffoldings, even the roofs being furnished with seats, although
very little could be seen from such an elevation, as might have been supposed.
By the first of June, London was transformed; Westminster Abbey, and the House
of Parliament were about the only landmarks remaining; even churches were
concealed behind the wooden galleries that had been erected across their front
windows and entrances. Complaints of extortion became more and more general; it
was true that firms who had rented the buildings or constructed stands in the
first instance, had been forced to pay fabulous prices for rentals and labor;
workmen demanded and received greatly increased wages and, in order to reimburse
themselves, those who let the seats were obliged, in turn, to ask large sums.
Ten and twenty guineas were demanded for very moderate accommodations, with an
extra sum for luncheon - which was usually provided. As the time approached it
became apparent that the public had refused to submit to the imposition. Prices
began to decline, and continued to fall until the evening of the 21st, when
plenty of excellent [-302-] places were to be had
for one guinea; and so thoroughly had the arrangements been carried out, it was
found that those who took chances upon the sidewalks would be able to see the
pageant perfectly, without discomfort and free of charge.
The week preceding the eventful day was most interesting; the streets were crowded with a motley throng of strangers; dark-skinned visitors from India and South Africa, from the West Indies and Australia; with detachments of troops from the remotest colonies of the empire; burly negroes from the west coast of Africa; Maories, Chinese, Siamese, and stalwart Canadians were to be observed amongst the motley and ever-moving multitudes. I saw one day a great wagon drawn by oxen, such as is used by the trekking Africander, creeping slowly across Sloane Square; a Chinese mandarin, with his suite, in robes of stiffest green and red brocade drove along Piccadilly; the Premiers of the Colonies arrived and were assigned to apartments reserved for them in the Hotel Cecil; foreign envoys presented their credentials and were quartered in other hotels and palaces, the guests of the Queen, as the uniformed sentinels stationed at the entrance implied.
The Langham, the Victoria and the Metropole, with the less fashionable hotels, were crowded, and the more desirable lodgings had been engaged months in advance. It was difficult to make one's way along the sidewalk or to cross the streets that were blocked with traffic. It was understood that cab-drivers would expect greatly increased fares, not by demanding them, which would have been a violation of the law, but by refusing all patrons who did not pay Jubilee prices; and at last, even one omnibus line trebled its rates. Every effort was made to check and control this extortion but without much success. The people themselves, however, took matters in their own hands and [-303-] refused to be victimized. Windows remained unlet until those who had leased them were compelled to take whatever they could get; the omnibus line that raised its rates was without passengers, and men and women walked rather than countenance the rapacious cab-drivers. The prospect of extortionate charges every where kept thousands away from London who, otherwise, would have come to the Jubilee.
By Monday the 23d the preparations were practically completed. The final rehearsal had been held on Saturday, which consisted in driving the state carriages from Buckingham Palace to St. Paul's and ranging them in the order they were to occupy during the short Thanksgiving service. The rehearsal did not promise well for the control of the general multitude. The crowd that assembled, in spite of the precautions that had been taken to secure perfect secrecy, was lawless and ungovernable. It was said that in the struggle to see the royal carriages, well-dressed and apparently respectable people were discovered with pieces of costly lace and other valuables in their hands, and that an officer lost the gold hilt of his sword. This circumstance, however, only increased the watchfulness of the police, and had in the end, perhaps, a good effect, and the fears that were expressed, fortunately, were not realized. On Sunday preceding the Jubilee, while the Queen and her family were attending the special service at St. George's chapel Windsor, thousands gathered about St. Paul's, St. Margaret's and Westminster Abbey. The Queen's thanksgiving was simple and without ostentation, the more ceremonious services being held in London at which the various branches of the government, and the representatives of other governments were present. The peers in their scarlet and ermine repaired to Westminster Abbey; the diplomatic corps and the commoners attended St. Margaret's; this is the parish [-304-] church of the House of Commons and here pews are also reserved for the diplomatic corps, that of the American Ambassador being designated by a tiny flag glazed and in a narrow frame of brass. The service for the law courts, and the bar was held in the old Temple church, while at St. Paul's the stalls in the choir had been reserved for the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Envoys. Admission to all these services was by ticket, and of the thousands who wished to be present, but a very small fraction could do so. Among those excluded were many who had come nearly around the globe to be present at the Jubilee, and these accepted their exclusion with very ill grace.
Monday the 21st, householders were superintending the final decorations; arches were thrown across the streets, doors, windows and balconies, hitherto unnoticed, were brilliant with flags and wreaths, and the temporary scaffoldings and extemporized seats, that completely concealed familiar buildings, were covered with crimson cloth, and the gray old metropolis was adorned with a splendor that recalled the pageants of the Plantagenets and Tudors. As in the decorations upon the marriage of the Princess Maud, the American flag was everywhere in evidence, displayed with a friendliness and a lavishness that evinced the utmost cordiality and good-will.
The Queen arrived at Paddington from Windsor, a few minutes after twelve o'clock on Monday. Vast crowds filled the streets, the entire distance between the ·station and Buckingham Palace, and the route was splendidly decorated with flowers, garlands of bay, arches and Venetian masts from which fluttered countless blue and scarlet pennants; and adjacent balconies were draped with scarlet cloth fringed with gold, and were crowded with blossoming plants. At one place there were portraits of the Queen and the Prince of Wales showing in fine relief against a solid background of white carnations; the office [-305-] of one of the newspapers displayed loyal mottoes in costly mauve orchids; whole buildings were hung with festoons of sweet-smelling bay; the Junior Army and Navy stores were almost hidden with thick ropes of evergreens; the Colonial offices were also a mass of greenery and vivid color, while one building was covered with parterres of cornflowers, vivid red geraniums and white alyssum; even Downing street relaxed its severity and contributed flags and coats of arms to the universal adorning; the royal standard, only, floated from the spire of the Parliament building. It must be confessed, however, that the general effect was somewhat disappointing, lacking in grace, delicacy and, above all, in originality. The designs for the illuminations were chiefly a repetition of the imperial monograms, "V. R. I.," "Long Live the Queen," "God Bless the Queen," with "Ich Dein" and the three plumes of the Prince of Wales crest.
Such mottoes as: "Queenliest of Queens," "Noblest of Women," "The Sovereign whose Empire is the Heart of Her People," were greatly in favor, with verses not always of a very high order like this ambiguous couplet:
"Reigning still at ninety-five,
May our sovereign live and thrive."
The Athenaeum Club might have produced something worthy the occasion, but its expansive front was so hidden with temporary seats that no background for an appropriate and classically correct sentiment remained.
By far the most artistic of all the decorations were those of the Bank of England. Of these, this description appeared in The Times, Wednesday, June 23rd:
"The illuminations proper at the Bank of England were, with the exception of a few novelties, very similar to those adopted at the Jubilee of 1887 and at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of York, and formed altogether a [-306-] gorgeous display. Across the entire building from Princes street to Bartholomew Lane lines of crystal and amber illumination lamps were traced, falling along the lowest row into festoons looped tip with bows. Over the entrance opposite the Royal Exchange was a crystal medallion with the monogram 'V. R. I.' two small medallions bearing the dates '1837' and '1897' being on either side. Two cut crystal stars were also to the right and left. On the facade over the center portico was the appropriate line, selected by the Governor of the Bank from Tennyson's 'Ode to the Queen,'' She wrought her people lasting good,' the letters being formed in amber cut crystal on a ground work of iridescent green embellished with gold. Surmounting the legend, which was a very prominent feature in the display, was a cut crystal crown. Above this the blank window panels were outlined in crystal lamps, festoons of which looped up with ruby bows, being drawn above them. The illuminations in the central part of the building were surmounted by a painting executed for Messrs. Defries - who carried out the work at the Bank - by Prof. Legros. This represented an allegorical figure of Britannia in a chariot drawn by two horses, flanked on either side by children holding shields bearing the dates '1837' and '1897.' Along the parapet were four 'glory stars' with crystal and amber points and at each corner was a large cut crystal ornament in the form known as 'the Grecian honeysuckle,' the lines being marked out in deep ruby and the scroll finished with amber.
Royal portraits - a few in that impossible and now historical bonnet-others in the widow's cap, these most sweet and womanly; or with the veil and coronet, and that of the charming young girl, her silken hair in broad braids looped below the ears, as she appeared at the time of the coronation, were conspicuous in most of the shops, surrounded by slices of ham, baskets of fruit, haber-[-307-]dashery or fashionable bonnets, according to the special line of the loyal tradesman. The crowds in the street on Monday passed description, all good-natured, all delighted and patriotic. At ten o'clock in the morning I took a cab in St. John's Wood and rode through Regent's Park, Baker and Oxford streets, Trafalgar square across Westminster Bridge into Walworth. The drive occupied considerably over three hours. As throughout the West End, in this humble region the streets were alive and swarming with people, all in gala dress and the most buoyant spirits; every house had profuse decorations of paper flowers - the entire length of Westminster bridge was wreathed with them and hung with fairy lamps. Where the viaduct crosses Borough road the whole under surface of the great metal arch was lined with white and scarlet cloth. There was not a window in the poorest quarter that did not display some token of love and loyalty for the Queen; a motto, a flower, a flag, or a transparency.
Along the curbstone, fakirs had placed their stands and were selling fruit and eatables-penny ices, currant buns and "penny-winkles" which, like death, seem to have all seasons for their own; carriages with sightseers from the West End threaded their way through an interminable stream of omnibuses and trains; huge lumbering vans disputed the right of way with carrier's carts, victorias and costermongers, barrows, the horses prancing proudly as if conscious of the flags and rosettes at their ears. In these humble vehicles were parties of working people, whole families singing, accompanied by mandolins or still oftener by wheezy concertinas. Thousands never went to bed that night, but slept and ate in the places which they had secured along the pavements.
It is generally necessary for newspaper correspondents to secure at such times what is called "a press pass." This must be displayed plainly and entitled the wearer to come [-308-] and go. beyond the police lines, and into places from which the general public are excluded. At first I concluded that I would not require such a pass, but upon second thought decided that it might prove useful. The request was made, therefore, and late on Monday afternoon a telegram was received from the Scotland Yard informing me that it would be issued if I called before seven o'clock that evening with a letter from the American Ambassador. It would have been impossible to see the Ambassador, overwhelmed with business as he necessarily was, at that late hour. I had, however, a letter from him which, not being of an especially personal nature, I thought might be made to answer the required purpose It was a long journey across London on what was a very doubtful errand, but it was happily rewarded. Oxford street, Regent street and Trafalgar square were almost solidly blockaded, but, passing through the entrance of the enclosure surrounding the great police department of London, it was like finding a tranquil, land-locked harbor, after traversing a tempestuous sea; there all was still, and the building apparently as deserted as if it were in the remotest of the provinces. I was directed by one policeman after another, stationed at intervals from the main entrance to the office, until I stood in the presence of one of the assistants of the chief. He was very polite, but not sanguine. I stated my case and explained that I had not realized the necessity of having the pass until the last moment, when it was too late to apply to the Ambassador for the credentials, which I felt assured he would have given me; I further explained that he was so much occupied with important official duties that I did not feel at liberty to intrude upon him that day but had brought a private letter which would establish my identity, and which I felt was all that was required. The subordinate smiled but shook [-309-] his head and said "that he did not think they would give me a pass upon that sort of representation."
"Take it to the clerk, and let us see," I replied.
He disappeared, returned in a moment and asked if they might retain the letter. There was something in his manner that seemed to say:
"There! What you have to say to that?" I assented to this without hesitation and within a very short time the clerk himself entered the room where I had been waiting, and, with the utmost civility, and kindness gave me the pass with an envelope containing a card to be shown to the police if required, establishing my rightful claim to the pass. This was a very tasteful and unobtrusive badge, which would be sufficient to stay the up-raised, inexorable hand of that incorruptible potentate - a London policeman; it was one width, an about inch in length and width an octagon of white enamel surmounted by an imperial coronet; underneath the coronet was inscribed "Pass 22, June, 1897. E. R. C. B." - the coronet and lettering in gilt. With this badge was a card in an envelope bearing the seal of the metropolitan police. On one side was printed: "Celebration of Her Majesty's Jubilee." "The press pass within," it was stated, "is issued on the express condition that it is to be returned on the twenty-third of June to the Chief Clerk, Metropolitan police office, Scotland Yard."
It may be explained that this requirement was obeyed, but the badge was afterwards very courteously returned to me, to be preserved as a valued memento of the Jubilee. A similar badge was worn by the representatives of the London press and by the correspondents of the provincial and foreign press. But the number issued could not have been very great, as mine was among the last, and the number was "569." It was amusing to watch the extreme reluctance with which both the police and the troops [-310-] along the route permitted the wearers of this badge to go within the lines. When the first relay of reporters arrived, there was much parleying, the card had to be produced and even then the official manner was not cordial when the men were at length unwillingly permitted to go their way. The representatives of the press, on the other hand, took profound satisfaction in the indulgence extended them, and they strolled up and down the Strand with the badges conspicuously displayed, as if to make the most of their opportunity.
As I rode back in triumph, after obtaining the coveted pass, I asked the driver of the omnibus "If he did not think that the company had lost money in advancing the fare for the Jubilee."
He was a sober Jehu in a brand new Jubilee suit and a glossy new Jubilee hat; he waved his whip listlessly, pensively admiring the Jubilee rosette and streamers upon the lash.
"Well, you see, lady," he said with judicial reserve "it's saved the cattle a good deal, you know."
And it certainly had; there was but one other person in the tabooed vehicle beside myself!
For weeks there had been all sorts of prophecies of dire disaster - the falling of the temporary seats and stands, conflicts between the populace, military and police; and even dynamite plots were anticipated by the more nervous and apprehensive. It had been talked of everywhere, and the prayers for the Queen's preservation from threatened evil had been continuous and fervent. This apprehension may have had something to do with the enormous police force that was on duty; they stood, a soldier or a policeman, or a soldier and a policeman, alternating, almost touching elbows, along the entire route. After the thoroughfares were closed to traffic at half past eight o'clock, on the eventful morning, mounted police with detachments [-311-] of military officers rode up and down keeping the closest watch upon the people beyond the lines. It was, however, a mere formality; it is doubtful if any one in all that multitude was disposed to violence, or had any other than the kindest and most reverent thoughts for the woman and the sovereign who, that day, celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of a glorious and beneficent reign. No countenances were dull or scowling; rich and poor, high and low, alike, seemed happy and full of enthusiasm. As on all great public occasions, when the streets of London are densely thronged, detachments of the St. John's ambulance corps were stationed on the corner at the side streets opening into the thoroughfares along which the procession was to pass; men and uniformed nurses were in readiness with stretchers, bandages and all the appliances for immediate aid to the injured, or in case of sudden illness, or accident. These corps passed through the streets between the police lines to their posts three hours before the arrival of the procession, and, with Her Majesty's mails, had the right of way everywhere. As the first detachment of the troops marched by, a man in the crowd fell in a fit. The staff from the ambulance corps just at hand came to his side instantly and he was at once removed. The stands which had been constructed, from which the procession was to be viewed, had been thoroughly inspected by the chief of the Fire Brigade, and not one was neglected; when it was officially approved a printed notice was posted up where all could see it, giving the number of people to be accommodated within a given space, and prohibiting smoking. With the law-abiding instinct of the English people, these orders were obeyed, and no attempt was made anywhere to overcrowd or evade the regulations. The result was an astonishingly small number of accidents and almost no loss of life; not a single seat gave way, and the order that was preserved [-312-] was a splendid tribute to the efficiency of the Fire Brigade, the police and the people themselves.
My seat had been engaged with the Sandringham club, in the Strand, opposite the head of Norfolk street. A chartered omnibus called for me at six o'clock, and the rest of the party were picked up en route. In London when the omnibus plies a fixed route and does not depart therefrom, it seemed very odd to have the big, ugly vehicle rumble up to the door at six o'clock in the morning, just as one's carriage might have done, conductor and driver, impatient to be off. Hot coffee was sent out as a propititory offering until I could swallow a mouthful of breakfast, then I clambered up the winding steps and took the front seat, the only passenger at the start. Certain of the party who were to wait at St. Mark's church were not there at the appointed hour; other rendezvous could not be found; Blandford place was unknown, and so was Cork street, Grosvenor square. We wheeled and turned and put about and doubled on our track, to the intense disgust of the driver, who was anxious, and not without reason, lest the streets should be closed to traffic before he could reach his destination. The devious routes had given us the best possible opportunity to see what had been done-and it was all a dazzling confusion of flowers, flags, pennons, garlands of bay, portraits, mottoes and patriotic sentiments; the Prince of Wales' crest, and the Imperial monogram, and all these contrived of flowers, lengths of silk and crimson cloth, crystal, gilt and silver. Contrary to all expectation we had very little difficulty in finding our quarters, and the admirable accommodations which had been furnished us were beyond anything that we could have hoped for. The Strand was so narrow at this point, that not more than six horses could walk abreast, and, as an observer said, "We might have tossed a rose into the Queen's lap."
[-313-] It had been a little book shop and the entire front was a curved bow-window, that commanded a fine view for a long distance both up and down the Strand. All sorts of eatables and drinkables had been provided as a matter of course, tea, coffee, claret and champagne, cold meats, salads, cake and sandwiches. After finding the chairs which corresponded to the number of our tickets, there was a general demand for refreshments; those who had breakfasted at all had had but a hurried and scanty meal.
"I was wakened at two o'clock by the milkman," said the woman beside me, "who shouted, 'Jubilee milk and very little left,' so that I'm tired and hungry, both," and she devoted herself to the contents of her lunch basket with an energy that proved the truth of her assertion. It was but half past eight o'clock, and the first of the procession did not arrive for two hours. There was quite enough, however, to occupy the attention and the interval of waiting was anything but tedious.
First a detachment of hussars appeared in their fine uniforms and shining helmets, and these were stationed at the head of Norfolk street, opposite us, to keep back the crowd which was hurrying into the Strand. Over their heads we could see regiments marching along the Embankment to their appointed station, the bright waters of the Thames, the towers and church spires in the distance, on the Surrey side of the river.
It had been dull and threatening early in the morning, but the proverbial Queen's weather was vouchsafed, after all. As the morning advanced the yellow haze dissolved, the sun came out and the Queen made her thanksgiving before St. Paul's under a sky without a cloud.
As the moments slipped by there was plenty of diversion; splendid carriages, democratic hansoms and "four wheelers" rolled past with officers glittering with gold lace and decorations, many with [-314-] their heavy plumed helmets carefully placed beside them on the seat; three carriages with attaches from the Chinese Embassy, afforded a picturesque variety; the Archbishop of York, the Archbishop of Canterbury; an Alderman in scarlet and ermine and gold chain; all these and many more beside, gave the people something to look at and talk about. During this time also, eating and drinking were going on in every direction, at the most amazing rate, as if the population of London, moved by a common impulse, for some unexplained reason had turned out en masse to breakfast al fresco; up and down the streets, in doorways and windows and on the uppermost roofs were parties eating and drinking and passing up their cups and plates to have them refilled. It was not only a remarkably decorous crowd, but it was in that complacent good humor when everything amuses.
There was a cry of "Here they come," and everybody bent forward eagerly.
"They" proved to be a soldier running along at a smart trot carrying a bottle of champagne under his arm, evidently obeying orders, and there was a shout of laughter.
The bells of St. Clement Danes and St. Martin's in the Field at length pealed out, the air throbbing and vibrating with the jubilant chimes; there was a distant sound of drums and two carriages appeared containing city officials in their robes of office; behind them rode the young officer who has the distinction of being the tallest man in the British army, and who was in command of the Second Life Guards. Then followed a bewildering array of uniforms; lancers, hussars, cuirassiers in helmets and busbys brightened with aigrettes or scarlet plumes. The Scotch Greys, one of the most gallant regiments in the British service, with the famous pipers, were greeted with loud applause and a flutter of handkerchiefs. The colonial [-315-] Premiers in royal carriages, each in levee dress, black and gold, with gold laced chapeau were a distinguished looking body of men, and the colonial troops in khaki, with felt hats turned up at one side were men of resolute bearing and powerful physique; one Australian detachment wore in the hat-band a tuft of emu's feathers. This body of soldiery sat well in their saddles and were fine riders. The "Rhodesian Mounted Rifles," elicited lusty cheers, their recent deeds of gallantry being yet fresh in the public mind.
"Look !" exclaimed a gentleman in front of me, "That is poor Gifford, with the empty sleeve pinned to the breast of his coat."
While the regular troops were sufficiently admired, greater interest seemed to center in the colonial military and mounted police, doubtless because they were less familiar to the spectators. The Canadians, like the South African soldiery, were much complimented, and the negro police from the Queen's possessions in East Africa, giant, jet black negroes; the handsome, graceful Maories from New Zealand; the detachments of native Indian soldiery, swarthy muscular Sikhs; the tiny Burmese and Siamese volunteers all called for a liberal share of praise. The Indians in their many-colored turbans, and their fine, delicate draperies were literally the flower of all that splendid host, and these too were greeted with ringing cheers.
The foreign envoys, Japanese, Mexicans, Chinese, Spanish, French, German and Italian were magnificent in uniforms heavy with gold and glittering with jeweled decorations. Among them was the representative of the little Republic of Hawaii, as gorgeous in his gold lace and chapeau and as imposing as the representative of all the Russias - a splendor that vanished with the annexation of the islands of the United States, to return no more.
[-316-] In the midst of all this bravery of uniform the simplicity of the American envoy, Hon. Whitelaw Reid, had a marked impressiveness. He, too, represented a rich and powerful nation, but he alone of all those dispatched to England to do honor to the head of the British Empire, wore neither medal nor decoration. In the plain morning dress of a gentleman he was all the more remarkable, among the three envoys who shared his carriage - the representative of the Holy See in his clerical robes of scarlet silk, the Chinese and, strangely enough, the Spanish envoy - an oddly assorted quartette, all the more striking from the events that were even then impending to disturb the friendly relations of Spain and the United States. Mr. Reid was received with the utmost cordiality, sharing the applause that was given with special enthusiasm for the Queen and Lord Roberts.
The Czar, the Emperor of Austria, Spain, Italy and the Holy See, had been represented by the flower of their court and of their army. The cavalcade of Princes included members of almost every reigning family in Europe, the Duke of Fife and the Marquis of Lorne heading the royal cortege. Among them were Prince Albert of Schleswig Holstein, Prince Mohammed Au Pasha of Egypt, Prince Hermann of Saxe Weimar, Prince Louis of Battenberg, His Imperial Highness, the Grand Duke Cyril of Russia, Prince Frederick Charles of Denmark, His Royal Highness, the Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg Gotha (the Duke of Edinburgh), His Royal Highness, the Duke of Oporto, His Royal Highness, Prince Rupert of Bavaria, His Royal Highness, the Duke of York, the Crown Prince of Siam, His Royal Highness, the Prince Waldemar of Denmark, the Grand Duke Serge of Russia, the Prince of Naples, the Arch Duke Prince Ferdinand of Austro-Hungary. There were few amongst this brilliant company who were not strikingly handsome, [-317-] with regular features and a distinction that gave evidence ol generations of high ancestry and of centuries of careful rearing and cultivation and luxurious living. The Royal children, the Princess Ena of Battenberg, Princess Alice of Battenburg and the Princess Alice of Albany, called forth affectionate exclamations, especially from the women. They were dressed with extreme simplicity in little white gowns, their fair hair flowing over their shoulders. They displayed nothing of the amused interest of ordinary children in the onlooking multitudes, and the marvelous pageant in which they were taking part; they were as grave and as dignified as their elders, and as unsmiling as the Queen herself. Already the convention of strict schooling in state ceremonials was apparent in their bowed acknowledgements to the applauding crowd.
As the Queen left Buckingham Palace to enter her carriage the cannon boomed, and a fresh peal of chimes broke forth in strains more joyous than before. It seemed but a moment, until the announcement that she was approaching passed from lip to lip, and but a moment more until there was a rustle and an eager movement, people bending forward for a better view, exclamations of "she has come !" and then a resounding cheer broke from ten thousand throats. The chiming bells were drowned by it and the clatter of hoofs and the roll of wheels were swallowed up; nothing could be heard but that one prolonged and mighty cry.
The Queen rode in the state carriage, drawn by the eight cream-colored horses which are reserved for great occasions, each led by a groom in the royal livery. She sat alone, bowing gravely to the right and left; on the seat facing her was the beautiful Princess of Wales, and beside her the Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein. The Queen was very' tastefully dressed, her cos-[-318-]tume being a pleasing change from the heavy mourning which she had worn since the death of the Prince Consort; her bonnet and gown were relieved with delicate touches of white and she carried a parasol of white lace over black, matching her toilette. Her carriage was preceded by Lord Wolseley, the Commander-in-Chief of the British army.
She was either fatigued from the unusual exertions of the preceding day or was greatly moved by the imposing spectacle-the greatest honor ever paid to any monarch, living or dead; the universal congratulations of heathendom and christendom; the spontaneous expression of good-will from every nation upon the globe. The Queen was very pale, but her countenance had a youthfulness that was striking and unexpected; she sat very erect and displayed all the strength of vigorous middle age; the hand that held the parasol did not falter and even her silvery white hair parted over her brow, which was smooth and calm, failed to give her the appearance of a woman of her years.
While the Princesses who preceded and accompanied her smiled graciously their acknowledgments, the Queen received the greeting of the people with profound seriousness, impressed by the solemnity of the hour, as a woman of her sympathy and quick feeling could not fail to be impressed. In attendance upon the royal carriage were the Prince of Wales, newly created Field Marshal, the Duke of Connaught and the Duke of Cambridge, her Majesty's personal aid-de-camp.
The Duchess of York, the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Teck were the especial favorites of the multitude, among the Princesses. The greetings to the Duchess of Teck, who was greatly beloved, were affectionate in the extreme. She had just recovered from a dangerous illness and had made an especial effort to appear in the proces-[-319-]sion; no one dreamed then that her improvement was only temporary and that she was destined to pass away within the year.
Behind the royal carriage came a miscellaneous company of household dignitaries; Sir A. J. Bigge, equerry and private Secretary; Lieutenant Colonel, the Rt. Hon. Sir F. I. Edwards, Keeper of the Royal Purse, with other equerries and the Silver Stick in Waiting. As a whole, the procession was criticized as having been too exclusively military in its character; the greatness of the Empire in science, letters, art and jurisprudence, being unrepresented. It had been remarked with some bitterness that not even the Lord Chief Justice had been asked to appear, an omission which he shared with the Lord Chancellor and other important dignitaries. As a matter of course, there were those ready to attribute this omission to the fact of his Irish nationality, but it was an accusation sufficiently well disproved by the presence of a fine body of Irish Constabulary which, with a squadron of Royal Horse Guards, brought up the rear of the long procession. At Temple Bar the Queen was met by the Lord Mayor, the Sheriffs of London and a deputation of Aldermen. Here the sword, the emblem of civic authority, was formally presented and, in court parlance "graciously returned." The chief ceremony at the steps of St. Paul's cathedral, included a Te Deum written for the occasion by Dr. Martin, the organist of St. Paul's; a short special liturgy and prayer, one stanza of a hymn and the doxology; the service occupied but a few moments and the procession then went on its way-company after company of splendidly uniformed troops, with their bands on foot and mounted on horseback, a confusion of fifes and kettledrums and piercing trumpets, through which there broke the hum and drone of the pipes as the Scotch regiments strode past; the Sovereign with her escort of [-320-] Princes and her retinue of equerries, passed on through Cheapside, over London bridge, along Borough road which she had not visited for ten years. Her humble subjects were thus also made participants in the Jubilee, thousands looking for the first time upon the countenance of their ruler. Throughout the ceremonies there had been the most fervent and affectionate expressions of loyalty, which I believe would not have been accorded any emperor or king; a feeling of intense pride on the part of women who had come to do honor to one, Who in her exalted station, had shared with the humblest the obligations and burdens of maternity. In the fealty of courtiers and soldiers there was a spirit of chivalry and reverence, the devotion of sons to whom the Queen was not only sovereign but a woman and a mother; it was an unconscious recognition of the feminine element in the universe; the mother of a race receiving the homage of her children.