Victoria's accession was the cause of the departure
from England of a Prince deservedly unpopular, whose
signature stands first among those appended to the
Act of Allegiance executed at Kensington Palace.
Hitherto, for more than one hundred and twenty
years, succession to the throne of Great Britain had
carried with it the crown of Hanover ; but, inasmuch
as that crown was limited to the male line, it
passed, on the death of King William, to his eldest
surviving brother, the Duke of Hanover. Cumberland.
It is not necessary to discuss here the character of
that Prince—it is enough to say that his departure
to take up his inheritance in Hanover was probably
cause of regret to very few persons in this country
and reason for rejoicing to a great many. Nor, in
looking back over the history of the past sixty
years, can any thoughtful person fail to recognise
advantage in the severance of the monarchies of
Great Britain and Hanover. Any loss of prestige or
dignity which might have been anticipated has been
amply outweighed by the freedom enjoyed by this
country from continental complications. England,
while she has forfeited no weight in the Councils of
Europe, is in a far stronger position to enforce her
will when necessary, and the development of rapid
and easy transit have protected Englishmen from any
disadvantage that might have been apprehended from
an exclusively insular Court.
1: HER MAJESTY.
2. Duke of Argyll, Lord Steward.
3. Earl of Albemarle, Master of the Horse.
4. The Right Honourable G. Ryng, Comptroller
.5 C. C. Greville, Esq., Clerk of the Council.
6. Marquess of Anglesea.
7. Marquess of Lansdowne, President of the
8. Lord Cottenham, Lord High Chancellor.
9. Lord Howick, Secretary at War.
10. Lord John Russell, Secretary of State for
the Home Department.
11. The Right Honourable T.
Chancellor of the Exchequer.
12. Viscount Melbourne, First Lord of the
13. Lord Paliterston, Secretary of State for
14. The Right Honourable
House of Commons.
15. Earl Grey.
16. The Earl of Carlisle.
17. Lord Denman, Lord Chief Justice of the Court
of Queen's Bench.
18. The Right Honourable F. Erskine, Chief Judge
of the Bankruptcy
19. Lord Morpeth, Chief Secretary for Iceland.
20. The Earl of Aberdeen.
22. The Archbishop of Canterbury.
23. His Majesty the King of Hanover.
24. The Duke of Wellington.
25. The Earl of Jersey.
26. The Right Honourable J. W. Croker.
27. The Right Honourable Sir R. Peel, Bart.
28. H.R.H. the Duke of Sussex.
29. Lord Holland, Chancellor of the Duchy of
30. Sir J. Campbell, Her Majesty's
31. Marquess of Salisbury.
32. Lord Rurghersh.
33. The Right Honourable T.
Kelly, Lord Mayor
One of the incidents of the ceremony of accession commented on with most
interest was the fact that, in signing the Oath for the security of the Church
of Scotland, the Queen wrote only " Victoria," instead of her full name "Alexandrina Victoria." Surely it was a happy inspiration which prompted the
choice of the single name—prophetic, as it has turned out, of the character of
the coming reign. Probably not one in a thousand of her subjects are aware that
Her Majesty has two baptismal names, though there is historic interest attached
to their origin. The Duke of Kent gave his daughter the name of Alexandrina in
compliment to the Empress of Russia, intending her second name should be
Georgiana. The Regent, however, objected to the name Georgiana being second to
any other in this country ; so, as the Princess's father was determined that
Alexandrina, should be the first name, it was decided she should not bear the
other one at all.
On July 17 the Queen went in State to the House of Lords to prorogue Parliament. After listening to an Address made by the Speaker on behalf of the House of Commons, and giving her consent to certain bills, Her Majesty proceeded to read her speech to Parliament in clear and unfaltering accents. The concluding paragraph, viewed in the light of subsequent events, must be
admitted to have been more amply fulfilled than most human promises, however sincerely spoken :-
" I ascend the throne with a deep sense of the responsibility imposed on me ;
but I am supported by the consciousness of my own right intentions, and by my
dependence on the protection of Almighty God. It will be my care to strengthen
our institutions, civil and ecclesiastical, by discreet improvement wherever
improvement is required, and to do all in my power to compose and allay
animosity and discord. Acting upon these principles, I shall, upon all
occasions, look with confidence to the wisdom of Parliament and the affection of
my people, which form the true support of the dignity of the Crown and ensure
the stability of the Constitution."
Every opportunity which was afforded to Parliament and the public of passing
judgment on the Queen's demeanour tended to deepen the favourable impression
already created. Greville —the " Man in the Street " of those days—he of whom
Lowe afterwards wrote—
"For forty years he listened at the door,
He heard some secrets and invented more,"
not an authority on which too much reliance should
be placed, yet his diary is useful as a reflection
of passing events. It is full of enthusiastic praise
of the new Monarch.
that I hear of the young Queen leads to the
conclusion that she will some day play a conspicuous
part, and that she has a great deal of character. .
. . Melbourne thinks highly of her sense,
discretion, and good feeling ; but what seems to
distinguish her above everything are caution and
prudence, the former in a degree which is almost
unnatural in one so young, and unpleasing because it
suppresses the youthful impulses which are so
graceful and attractive. . . . With all her prudence
and discretion she has great animal spirits, and
enters into the magnificent novelties of her
position with the zest and curiosity of a child. . .
The smallness of her stature is quite forgotten in
the majesty and gracefulness of her demeanour."
years ago ! It is the second and third generation
from that time which now cries " God save the Queen
! Long live Victoria! " Never before in the history
of our nation has it fallen to the lot of any
historian to tell the story of such a long reign, to
chronicle such unbroken national progress, to trace
such a series of peaceful changes, to record such
accumulation of wealth and diffusion of comfort in a
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