In this extract from her journal entry of 22 June 1897, Queen Victoria records details of the Royal procession to St Paul’s Cathedral where a Thanksgiving service was held in honour of her Jubilee. The Queen was particularly moved by the large cheering crowds of people who had come to see her on this very special occasion.
The handwriting in this journal is that of the Queen’s youngest daughter, Princess Beatrice, who on her mother’s instructions copied out the journal after the Queen’s death, destroying the originals.
A never to be forgotten day. No one ever I believe, has met with such an ovation as was given to me, passing through those 6 miles of streets, including Constitution Hill. The crowds were quite indescribable & their enthusiasm truly marvellous & deeply touching. The cheering was quite deafening, & every face seemed to be filled with real joy. I was much moved & gratified…I started from the State Entrance in an open state landau, drawn by 8 creams, dear Alix, looking very pretty in lilac, & Lenchen, sitting opposite me. I felt a good deal agitated, & had been so all these days, for fear anything might be forgotten or go wrong. Bertie & George C. rode one on each side of the carriage, Arthur (who had charge of the whole military arrangements) a little in the rear...Before leaving I touched an electric button, by which I started a message which was telegraphed throughout the whole Empire. It was the following: “From my heart I thank my beloved people, may God bless them”. At this time the sun burst out. Vicky was in the carriage nearest to me, not being able to go in mine, as her rank as Empress prevented her sitting with her back to the horses, for I had to sit alone. Her carriage was drawn up by 4 blacks, richly caparisoned in red. We went up Constitution Hill & Piccadilly & there were seats right along the former, where my own servants & personal attendants, & members of the other Royal Households, the Chelsea Pensioners & the children of the Duke of York’s & Greenwich schools had seats. St James’ Street was beautifully decorated with festoons of flowers across the road, & many loyal inscriptions. Trafalgar Square was very striking & outside the National Gallery stands were erected for the House of Lords. The denseness of the crowds was immense, but the order maintained wonderful. The streets in the Strand are now quite wide, but one misses Temple Bar. Here, the Lord Mayor received me & presented the sword, which I touched. He then immediately mounted his horse, in his robes & galloped [sic] past bare headed carrying the sword, preceding my carriage accompanied by his Sheriffs. As we neared St Paul’s the Procession was often stopped, & the crowds broke out into singing “God Save The Queen”. In one house were assembled the survivors of the Charge of Balaclava. In front of the Cathedral, the scene was most impressive. All the Colonial troops, on foot, were drawn up round the Square. My carriage, surrounded by all the Royal Princes was drawn up close to the steps, where the Clergy were assembled, the Bishops, in rich copes, with their croziers, the Arch Bishop of Canterbury & the Bishop of London, each holding a very fine one. A Te Deum was sung, especially composed by Dr Martin, the Lord’s Prayer, most beautifully chanted, a special Jubilee prayer, & the benediction concluded the short service, preceded by the singing of the old 100th, in which everyone joined. “God Save The Queen” was also sung…Close transcript