Saturday, January 03, 2009

09Jan1864, Second Waiting Begins

OSBORNE, Saturday, January 9th, 1864.
—I left Hampton Court at 9½ and got to London early enough to have another 20 minutes of M., which rejoiced my heart. And at George St. I heard the wonderful news of the Princess of Wales's premature confinement at Frogmore of a "fine boy," [FN: Afterwards the Duke of Clarence. Died 1892.] yesterday evening at 9 ! A seven-months child ; but so was George III, who certainly throve nevertheless. Astonishing to think of the Prince of Wales with a baby. My journey was successful, the crossing entirely peaceful and unruffled, and a regal conveyance met me at Cowes. To my relief, I was shown straight up to a sunny little room, where I was discussing some chicken, and had just paused to count a quantity of money into which I had changed a cheque, when, to my horror, in walked Princess Louise, and it's a wonder I did not precipitate £37 at her feet. She has an exceedingly pretty manner, like all the others, compounded of dignity and kindliness. The Queen and Princess Helena went to Windsor early ; and this evening the Queen sent a telegraph saying all was well, but the poor wee Prince very small, and no wonder. There were at dinner Miss Bowater (I don't exactly know in what capacity, but she is an intimate friend of Prince Leopold—I was glad to see somebody under 40 !), Ly. Caroline, Countess Blucher, and Col. Ponsonby ; and we dined with Princess Louise and Prss. Hohenlohe. The dinner was certainly sepulchral, but the evening much helped by Prss. Louise showing Miss Bowater and me her photographs, and laughing and talking gaily. I was delighted to see photographs of Princess Royal's trio, of whom Pr. William seems like her brothers, Prss. Charlotte like her, and Pr. Albert something too ugly. There was a little playing.

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