Great Britain and Her Queen eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 157 pages of information about Great Britain and Her Queen.
Majesty to receive into the sacred shelter of her realm two dethroned monarchs, two fallen fortunes, two dynasties cast out from sovereign power, while her own throne, “broad-based upon her people’s will, and compassed by the inviolate sea,” has stood firm and unshaken, even by a breath.  And it has been her special honour to cherish with affection, even warmer in their adversity, the friends who had gained her regard when their prosperity seemed as bright and their great position as assured as her own.  Visiting the Emperor Napoleon in his splendid capital, feted and welcomed by him and his Empress with every flattering form of honour that his ingenuity could devise or his power enable him to show, she did not forget the Orleans family and their calamities, but frankly urged on her host the injustice of the confiscations with which he had requited the supposed hostility of those princes, and endeavoured to persuade him to milder measures.  She visited in his company the tomb of the lamented Duke of Orleans; and her first care on returning to England was to show some kindly attention to the discrowned royalties who were now her guests.  In the same spirit, in after years, she extended a friendly hand to the exiled Empress Eugenie, escaping from new revolutionary perils to English safety, and altogether declined to consider her personal regard for the lady, whose attractions had deservedly gained it in brighter days, as being in any sense complicated with matters political.  The resolute loyalty with which she at once maintained her private friendships and kept them entirely apart from her public action compelled toleration from the persons most inclined to take umbrage at it.

An instance of successful and courageous enterprise on Her Majesty’s part may well close this brief notice of the internal and external convulsions which for a time shook, though they did not shatter, the peace of our realm.  In the late summer of 1849 a royal visit to Ireland, now just reviving from its misery, was planned and carried out with complete success; the wild Irish enthusiasm blazed up into raptures of a loyal welcome, and the Sovereign, who played her part with all the graceful perfection that her compassionate heart and quick intelligence suggested, was delighted with the little tour, from which those who shared in it prophesied “permanent good” for Ireland.  At least it had a healing, beneficial effect at the moment; and perhaps more could not have been reasonably hoped.  Later royal visits to the sister isle have been less conspicuous, but all fairly successful.

CHAPTER IV.

THE CRIMEAN WAR.

[Illustration:  The Crystal Palace, 1851.]

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Great Britain and Her Queen from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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