dinsdag 18 juni 2013
Koningin Victoria -- 19 juni 1879
At twenty minutes to eleven Brown knocked and came in, and said there was bad news ; and when I, in alarm, asked what, he replied, "The young French Prince is killed ;" and when I could not take it in, and asked several times what it meant, Beatrice, who then came in with the telegram in her hand, said, "Oh! the Prince Imperial is killed!" I feel a sort of thrill of horror now while I write the words.
I put my hands to my head and cried out, "No, no! it cannot, cannot be true! It can't be!" And then dear Beatrice, who was crying very much, as I did too, gave me the annexed telegram from Lady Frere : —
Government House, Cape Town, June 19, 1879.
To General Sir Henry Ponsonby, Balmoral Castle. — For the Information of Her Majesty the Queen.
The melancholy tidings have been telegraphed from Natal, that the Prince Imperial, when out on a re- connaissance from Colonel Wood's camp on the 1st of June, was killed by a number of Zulus concealed in a field in which the Prince Imperial and his party had dismounted to rest and feed their horses. No official particulars yet received by me. The Prince Imperial's body found and buried with full military honours at Camp Itelezi, and after being embalmed will be con- veyed to England. This precedes the press telegrams by one hour. I have sent to Lord Sydney to beg him, if possible, to break the sad intelligence to the Empress before the press telegrams arrive.
To die in such an awful, horrible way ! Poor, poor dear Empress! her only, only child — her all gone! And such a real misfortune! I was quite beside myself ; and both of us have hardly had another thought since.
We sent for Janie Ely, who was in the house when he was born, and was so devoted to him; and he was so good! Oh! it is too, too awful! The more one thinks of it, the worse it is! I was in the greatest distress. Brown so distressed; every one quite stunned. Got to bed very late; it was dawning! and little sleep did I get.
Koningin Victoria (1819-1901): More leaves from the journal of a life in the Highlands, from 1862 to 1882.