Obrazy na stronie
[ocr errors]

be as grateful to her as to themselves. They ought, indeed, highly to estimate the happiness of her Royal Highness, so well suited as she was for her high situation, and so well qualified for every domestic enjoyment. The address to her Royal Highness from a very large portion of the population of these kingdoms, would be thought particularly appropriate at the present moment. This fortunate alliance would continue the protestant succession to the throne, which was so providentially established at the glorious revolution of 1688, and confirmed and secured by the Act of Settlement. To multiply words on so great an occasion, would be unnecessary and improper, as it would be throwing a doubt upon the unanimity which should be expressed, and which he had confidently trusted would not be destroyed.

The worthy Alderman concluded by moving addresses of congratulation to the Prince Regent, the Queen, and the Princess Charlotte, and Prince Coburg; and the Sheriffs, attended by the remembrancer, were directed to wait upon those royal personages, to know when the court should attend them with the same.

Accordingly the Sheriffs attended, and the following Monday was the day appointed to receive the addresses.

The first official step after the marriage was, to establish the degree of precedency of his Serene Highness Prince Leopold; and, in the Gazette of May 4, the day subsequent to the marriage, appeared the following official paper :

“ His Royal Highness the Prince Regent has been pleased in the name and on the behalf of His Majesty, to declare and ordain, that his Serene Highness Leopold George Frederick, Duke of Saxe, Margrave of Meissen, Landgrave of Thuringuen, Prince of Coburg of Saalfeld, consort of her Royal Highness the Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales, shall take, hold, and enjoy, during the term of his natural life, in all assemblies or meetings whatsoever, the precedence and rank following, that is to say, before the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor, and all other great officers, and before the dukes (other than and except the Dukes of the Blood Royal), and all other peers of the realm.”

The same Gazette announced the appointment of Prince Leopold to be a general in the army.

On the 4th of May, Lord Castlereagh gave notice in the House of Commons, that he would on the 6th, move for an address of congratulation to his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, on the marriage of the Princess Charlotte and Prince Leopold.

Whilst these public proceedings were going on, the newly-married pair had the advantage of a very retired situation in which to pass their honeymoon at Oatlands. The house is extremely secluded in the park from all intruders, so much so that it is difficult to find the way to it, unless by application at either of the lodges at Walton or Weybridge, although a stage-coach going to Weybridge is allowed to pass through for the purpose of setting down passengers going to the house, or of leaving parcels there. On

[ocr errors]

Friday, the day subsequent to the marriage, the royal pair amused themselves by walking in the delightful grounds and on the terrace, from which nine counties are to be viewed; and they afterwards resorted to the celebrated and largest grotto, bath,&c. in England, and, perhaps, in Europe; the construction of which occupied a man and his son, with assistants, a great number of years, and the

and the expense of which exceeded the purchase of the estate. On the following day, the royal pair were unexpectedly gratified by the arrival of their royal father, the Prince Regent. They had at the time just entered their travelling-carriage, for the purpose of taking a survey of Claremont; but, on the approach of the Prince Regent in the park, they returned to the house, and her Royal Highness received her beloved father with joy and affection. The Prince Regent remained with them about an hour and a half, and then returned to London.

Amongst those who are in the habit of perusing the daily journals, the circumstance must be still alive in their memory, of the base and insidious manner in which the sneers and inuendoes of the vulgar and the malicious were directed against the Princess Charlotte, in consequence of her early appearance in public after her marriage.On the day subsequent to her marriage, she was perambulating the grounds of Oatlands ! On the day subsequent to that, her Royal Highness (as a snarling disappointed writer in one of the periodical papers described it) did, with an unblushing front, drive from Oatlands to Claremont !! And, to fulfil the crime of a total want of attention

[ocr errors]

to the rules of female delicacy, she shewed herself at church on the Sunday following !!!-- whip me such creatures of a groveling nature, who skip about with the St. Vitus's dance of abhorrence, and tremble with the palsy of affright, when, according to their notions of virtue, they conceive they have discovered a wilful departure from its dictates. There is a standard of right and wrong implanted in every mind, which needs not the surreptitious aid of another to determine its degrees ; but in proportion to the degeneracy and the turpitude of the mind of the individual who presumes to erect himself into a judge of the actions of another, will be the degree of criminality which he attaches to those actions. Such a being cannot see perfection in the works of creation, because there are spots on the sun, or because an earthquake lays desolate the cities of the world; to his jaundiced mind perfection becomes imperfection, and it riots and satiates itself on its imaginary defects. The notions of the Princess Charlotte were regulated by a mind pure as the crystalline gem just taken from its native mine, and, yielding to its bias, she sought for no other approbation than that of Heaven. To those persons, (and some are still alive,) who found in the actions of the Princess a dereliction from female delicacy, let me recommend the adoption of the Roman maxim of sacros sacra decent ; or, before they again pretend by their hireling 'pens to blot the character of a female, let her rank in life be whatever it may—the princess or the peasant,—to let their actions be guided by the motto of the former, Honi soit qui mal y pense.

The royal

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Early on Sunday the 5th, the Princess Charlotte and Prince Leopold went out in their travelling carriage, drawn by their beautiful greys. pair attended divine service at Weybridge church, whither an immense concourse of people flocked from various quarters. They sat in the Duchess of York's pew. After divine service was concluded, they were received with acclamations by the people on the outside of the church. They walked to and from the church through the church-yard, which is a considerable distance from the road in Weybridge, where they had left their carriage; his Serene Highness without his hat, and her Royal Highness curtseying and nodding in return for the marked attention and respect which they experienced from the inhabitants of Weybridge and its neighbourhood. The royal pair drove off amidst the loudest huzzas to Chertsey, returned by Shepperton, and crossed Walton-Bridge to Oatlands, to dinner.

Soon after their arrival, they received a communication from the Queen in London.

The plain and simple manner in which the Princess Charlotte usually dressed, often gave rise to many ludicrous mistakes, which occasioned a considerable degree of mirth to her Royal Highness, and which induced her to say, that no one could accuse her of not being partial to a masquerade, for she was generally in that dress in which nobody knew her.

One morning, during her residence at Oatlands, she had risen rather earlier than usual, and the weather being fine, she immediately repaired to the garden. Her Royal Highness always took particular delight in the

« PoprzedniaDalej »