"The Funeral Procession of Queen Victoria, Passing through London." From the painting by F. Chardon, in Whates, facing p. 4.
On the morning of the ist of February, the coffin was carried from Osborne House, placed on a gun-carriage and drawn to Cowes, all the Royal mourners following on foot. His Majesty was the chief mourner, and with him were the German Emperor, the Duke of Connaught, Queen Alexandra, the Duchess of York, and other members of the reign- ing house. From Cowes the body was transported on the Royal Yacht Alberta to Portsmouth, preceded by a flotilla of torpedo destroyers and passing through lines of warships ranged in order of battle, the British fleet on the one side and the warships of other nations opposite them. The mourners followed in their yachts. The night was passed at Portsmouth, and early on the morning of Saturday, the 2nd of February, the Queen's body was landed and taken by special train to London. On arrival at Victoria it was placed on a gun-carriage and drawn through dense and silent throngs of mourners past Buckingham Palace, up Constitution Hill, and through Hyde Park to Paddington station, and thence by train to Windsor. Immediately behind the coffin rode the King. With him were the Duke of Connaught, the German Emperor, the King of Greece, the King of Portugal, the King of the Belgians, and a number of Crown Princes. It was a cold, misty January morning. The scene was one of indescribable solemnity ; and what was more remarkable than the spectacle itself was the sorrow of the multitude. The King and his fellow Sovereigns passed almost unobserved, so intent was the gaze on the Standard-covered coffin. Never had the streets and Hyde Park contained so reverential a throng. The Jubilee multitudes were there to mourn for her with whom they had rejoiced three years before.
"Queen Victoria's Funeral: Leaving Windsor Castle for the Royal Mausoleum, Frogmore." Photo: Russell, in Whates, facing p.6.
At Windsor also there were similar scenes and there was a moment fraught with peril, for one of the horses attached to the gun-carriage got out of hand, and the others became so restive that a spill seemed probable. The horses were freed from the gun-carriage, and the King directed that a body of bluejackets should draw the remains up the Castle Hill to St. George's Chapel. This was done. Nine years later the Navy per- formed the same melancholy office for the Sovereign who enlisted their help on this occasion. A service was held within the Chapel, and there the body remained until Monday, when it was borne to its resting-place beside the remains of the Prince Consort in the mausoleum at Frogmore (Whates 6-8).
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Whates, Harry Richard. The Life and Times of Edward VII. Vol. IV. London: Cassell, 1910. Internet Archive. Uploaded by the University of Toronto, Robarts Library. Web. 13 August 2016.
Created 13 August 2016