After reading Matterhorn’s lovely post about Queen Louise, I recalled reading a letter from Queen Victoria to King Leopold, following Louise’s death. Although Queen Victoria – the doyenne of mourners! – tends to be very over-emotional in all her letters to bereaved people, this letter shows her genuine affection, love and respect for the Queen and for King Leopold and his family:
Osborne House 18th October 1850
My dearest Uncle,
This was the day I always and for so many years wrote to her, to our adored Louise and now I write to you to thank you for that heart-breaking, touching letter of the 16th, which you so very kindly wrote to me.
What a day Tuesday must have been! Welch Einen Gang! and yesterday! My grief was so great again yesterday.
To talk of her is my greatest consolation! Let us all try to imitate her!
My poor, dear Uncle, we so wish to be with you if we can be of any use to you, to go to you for 2 or 3 days quite quietly and alone, to Laeken, without anyone and without any reception, to cry with you and to talk with you of her. It will be a great comfort to us – a silent tribute of love and respect for her – to be able to mingle our tears with yours at her tomb.
And the affection of your two devoted children [the Queen is referring to herself and Prince Albert, King Leopold’s niece and nephew] will perhaps be of some slight balm.
My first impulse was to fly at once to you but perhaps a few weeks’
delay will be better.
It will be a great and melancholy satisfaction to us. Daily you will feel more, my dearest Uncle, the poignancy of your dreadful loss; my heart breaks in thinking of you and the poor, dear children. How beautiful it must be to see that your whole country weeps and mourns with you. For the country and for your children you must try to bear up and feel that in doing so, you are doing all SHE wished.
If only we could be of use to you! If I could do anything for poor, little Charlotte. whom our blessed Louise talked of so often to me.
May I write to you on Fridays as I used to write to her, as well as on Tuesdays? You need not answer me and whenever it bores you to write to me or you have no time, let one of the dear children write to me.
May God bless and protect you ever, my beloved Uncle, is our anxious prayer. Embrace the dear children in the name of one who has almost the love of a mother for them. Ever your devoted Niece and Loving Child,