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Statement of Lady Douglas.
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales having judged proper to order me to detail to him, as Heir Apparent, the whole circumstance of my acquaintance with Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales, from the day I first spoke with her to the present time, I felt it my duty, as a subject, to comply, without hesitation, with his Royal Highness's commands; and I did so, because I conceived, even putting aside the rights of an Heir Apparent, his Royal Highness was justified in informing himself as to the actions of his wife, who, from all the information he had collected, seemed so likely to disturb the tranquillity of the country; and it appeared to me that, in so doing, his Royal Highness evinced his earnest regard for the real interest of the country, in endeavouring to prevent such a person from, perhaps, one day, placing a spurious Heir upon the English Throne, and which his Royal Highness has indeed a right to fear, and communicate to the Sovereign, as the Princess of Wales told me, "If she were discovered in bringing her son into the world. "she would give the Prince of Wales the credit of it, for "that she had slept two nights in the year she was preg "nant in Carlton House,"
As an Englishwoman, educated in the highest respectful attachment to the Royal Family; as the daughter of an English Officer, who has all his life received the most gracious marks of approbation and protection from his Majesty, and from his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales: and as the wife of an Officer whom our beloved King has honoured with a public mark of his approbation, and who is bound to the Royal Family by ties of respectful regard and attachment, which nothing can ever break, I feel it my duty to make known the Princess of Wales's sentiments and conduct, now, and whensoever I may be called. upon.
For the information, therefore, of his Majesty and of the Heir Apparent, and by the desire of the Heir Apparent, I beg leave to state, that Sir John took a house upon Blackheath in the year 1801, because the air was better for him, after his Egyptian services, than London, and it was somewhat nearer Chatham, where his mili tary duties occasionally called him. I had a daughter born upon the 17th of February, and we took up our residence there in April, living very happily and quietly; but in the month of November, when the ground was covered with snow, as I was sitting in my parlour, which commanded a view of the Heath, I saw, to my surprise, the Princess of Wales, elegantly dressed in a lilac satin pelisse, primrose-coloured half boots, and a small lilac satin travelling cap, faced with sable, and a Lady, pacing up and down before the house, and sometimes stopping, as if desirous of opening the gate in the iron railing to come in. At first I had no conception her Royal Highness really wished to come in, but must have mistaken the house for another person's, for I had never been made known to her, and I did not know that she knew where I lived. I stood at the window looking at her, and, as she looked very much, from respect courtesied (as I understood was customary); to my astonishment she returned my courtesy by a familiar nod, and stopped. Old Lady
Stuart, a West Indian Lady, who lived in my immediate neighbourhood, and who was in the habit of coming in to see me, was in the room, and said, "You should go out, her Royal Highness wants to come in out of the snow." Upon this I went out, and she came immediately to me and said, "I believe you are Lady Douglas, and you have a very beautiful child; I should like to see it." I answered that I was Lady Douglas. Her Royal Highness then said, "I should like of all things to see your little child." I answered, that I was very sorry I could not have the honour of presenting my little girl to her, as I and my family were spending the cold weather in town, and I was only come to pass an hour or two upon the Heath. I held open the gate, and the Princess of Wales and her Lady, Miss Heyman (I believe) walked in and sat down, and stayed above an hour, laughing very much at Lady Stuart, who being a singular character, talked all kind of nonsense. After her Royal Highness had amused herself as long as she pleased, she inquired where Sir John Douglas and Sir Sidney Smith were, and went away, having shook hands with me, and expressed her pleasure at having found me out and made herself known. Isconcluded that Sir Sidney Smith had acquainted her Royal Highness that we resided upon the Heath, as he was just arrived in England, and having been in long habits of friendship with Sir John, was often with us, and told us how kind he should think it if we could let him come to and fro without ceremony, and let him have an. airy room appropriated to himself, as he was always ill in town, and from being asthmatic, suffered extremely when the weather was foggy in town. Sir John gave him that hospitable reception he was in the habit of doing by all his old friends, (for I understand they have been known to each other more than twenty years,) and he introduced him to me as a person, to whom he wished my friendly attention to be paid; as I had never seen Sir Sidney
Smith in my life, until this period, when he became, as it were a part of the family. When I returned to town, I told Sir John Douglas the circumstance of the Princess having visited me, and a few days after this, we received a note from Mrs. Lisle (who was in waiting) commanding us to dine at Montague House. We went, and there were several persons at the dinner. I remember Lord and Lady Dartmouth, and I think Mr. and Mrs. Arbuthnot, &c. &c. From this time the Princess made me frequent visits, always attended by her Ladies, or Mrs. Sander (her maid). When Sander came, she was sent back, or put in another room; but when any of her Ladies were with her, we always sat together. Her Royal Highness was never attended by any livery servants, but she always walked about Blackheath and the neighbourhood only with her female attendants. In a short time, the Princess became so extravagantly fond of me, that, however flattering it might be, it certainly was very troublesome. Leaving her attendants helow, she would push past my servant, and run up stairs into my bed-chamber, kiss me, take me in her arms, and tell me I was beautiful, saying she had never loved any woman so much; that she would regulate my dress, for she delighted in setting off a pretty woman; and such high-flown compliments that women are never used to pay to each other. I used to beg her Royal Highpess not to feed my self-love, as we had all enough of that, without encouraging one another. She would then stap me, and enumerate all my good points. I had, saying she was determined to teach me to set them off. She would exclaim, Oh! believe me, you are quite beautiful, different from almost any English woman; your arms are fine ber yond imagination, your bust is very good, and your eyes, Oh, I never saw such eyes--all other women who have dark eyes look fierce, but yours (my !deat Lady Douglas) are nothing but softness and sweetnees, and yet quite dark. In this manner she went on perpetually, even be
fore strangers. I remember when I was, one morning at her house, with her Royal Highness, Mrs. Harcourt and her Ladies, the Duke of Kent came to take leave before his Royal Highness went to Gibraltar. When we were sitting at table the Princess introduced me, and said— Your Royal Highness must look at her eyes; but now she has disguised herself in a large hat, you cannot see how handsome she is. The Duke of Kent was very polite and obliging, for he continued to talk with Mrs. Harcourt, and took little notice, for which I felt much obliged; but she persisted, and said-Take off your hat. I did not do it, and she took it off; but his Royal Highness, I suppose, conceiving it could not be very pleasant to me, took little notice, and talked of something else.
Whenever the Princess visited us, either Sir John, or I, returned home with her and her party quite to her door; and if he were out, I went with her Royal Highness, and took my footinan; for we soon saw that her Royal Highness was a very singular and a very indiscreet woman, and we resolved to be always very careful and guarded with her; and when she visited us, if any visitor whosoever came to our house, they were put into another room, and they could not see the Princess, or be in her society, unless: she positively desired it. However, her Royal Highness forgot her high station (and she was always forgetting it); we trust, and hope, and feel satisfied, we never for a moment lost sight of her being the wife of the Heir Apparent.
We passed our time as Her Royal Highness chose when together, and the usual amusements were playing French Proverbs, in which the Princess always cast the parts, and played; Musical Magic, forfeits of all kinds; sometimes dancing; and in this manner, either the Princess and her Ladies with me, or we at Montague House, we passed our time. Twice, after spending the morning with me, she remained without giving me any previous notice, and would dine with us, and thus ended the year 1801.