All Nations in Hyde park
DURING 1850, Prince Albert was working hard to bring about his grand idea of an Exhibition of the Industry of
All the World. We shall see presently how this idea was realised in the following year.
Prince Arthur William Patrick Albert is Born
Meanwhile, on Mayday, 1850, Prince Arthur William Patrick Albert was born. Prince Albert wrote the little boy
had been "received by his sisters with Jubilates. 'Now we are as many as the days of the week,' was the cry, and a
bit of a struggle arose as to who was to be Sunday. Out of well-bred courtesy, the honour was conceded to the new
comer. Victoria is well and so is the child."
Palace of Holyrood
In the Autumn, the Queen visited, Scotland, and for the first time slept in her ancient Palace of Holyrood. The
Queen saw the work-table and other relics of her famous ancestress, Mary of Scotland, and of course, that staircase
from the chapel, up which came Ruthven and his fellow conspirators to the murder of David Rizzio in Mary's
presence. A day was spent in drives about Edinburgh, and then to dear Balmoral, " to strengthen our hearts," as
Prince. Albert says, " amid the stillness and solemnity of the mountains."
All Nation Exhibition
The great event of the year 1851, in England, was of course the Exhibition. We have got used to International
Exhibitions now, and we dare say our young readers will find it difficult to understand why we were all so excited
in 1851. Some of us whose beards are getting grey now, were in our teens then, and can well remember how we were
thrilled with enthusiasm when all the peoples of the earth came to Hyde Park, at the invitation of Prince Albert,
to join in the peaceful rivalry of science and art. All that we fondly dreamed of, as regards peace and progress,
did not come to pass ; but undoubtedly commerce, invention, industry, and zeal for knowledge received a quickening
impulse, the vast importance of which it would be impossible to estimate.
In May, 1851, all the world seemed to be represented in London. Costumes of every land were visible ; the
language of every land was heard in the streets. The gathering of all nations was the great idea that seemed to be
occupying everyone's mind. It is said, that a street-boy seeing and hearing two foreigners engaged in violent
altercation, shouted out, " Go it, all nations ! " and then stood to watch the anticipated fight.
Like a fairy palace, there sprang up in Hyde Park the transparent walls and roof of the great Building in whose
grand transept the lofty trees of the park stood untouched. It would trespass too much on our space to begin
telling of the triumphs of art and skill that adorned the First International Exhibition. Before the opening, the
Queen paid a Private visit. On her return she wrote : "We remained two hours and a half, and I came back quite
beaten, and my head quite bewildered from the myriads of beautiful and wonderful things which now quite dazzle
one's eyes. Such efforts have been made, and our people have shown such taste in their manufactures. All owing to
this Great Exhibition, and to Albert—all to him!"
Queen Describes The Exhibition
On May-day, the Exhibition was opened with a State ceremony. The Queen's own narrative of the events of the day
is so touchingly interesting, that there needs no apology for our quoting it. She writes : " May 1st. The great
event has taken place, a complete and beautiful triumph, a glorious and touching sight, one which I shall ever be
proud of, for my beloved Albert and my country . . . . Yes, it is a day which makes my heart swell with pride and
glory and thankfulness.
"We began it with tenderest greetings for the birthday of our dear little Arthur. At breakfast, there was
nothing but congratulations.. . . Mamma and Victor (the Queen's nephew) were there, and all the children and our
guests. Our humble gifts of toys were added to by a beautiful little bronze replica, of the Amazon, from the Prince
(of Prussia), a beautiful paper knife from the Princess (of Prussia), and a nice little frock from Mamma.
" The Park presented a wonderful spectacle, crowds streaming through it, carriages and troops passing quite
like the Coronation Day, and for me the same anxiety; no, much greater anxiety on account of my beloved Albert. The
day was bright and all bustle and excitement. . . . The Green Park and Hyde Park were one densely crowded mass of
human beings in the highest good humour and most enthusiastic. I never saw Hyde Park look as it did, as far as the
eye could reach. A little rain fell just as we started, but before we came near the Crystal Palace, the sun shone
and gleamed upon the gigantic edifice, upon which the flags of all the nations were floating.We drove up
Rotten Row, and got out at the entrance on that side.
"The glimpse of the transept through the iron gates, the waving palms, flowers, statues, myriads of people
filling the galleries and seats around, with the flourish of trumpets as we entered, gave us a sensation which I
can never forget, and I felt much moved. We went for a moment to a little side room, where we left our Shawls, and
where we found Mamma and Mary (now Duchess of Teck), and outside which were standing the other Princes. In a few
seconds we proceeded, Albert leading me, having Vicky at his hand, and Bertie holding mine. The sight as we came to
the middle, where the steps and chair (which I did not sit on) were placed, with the beautiful crystal fountain in
front of it, was magical—so vast, so glorious, so touching. One felt, as so many did whom I have since spoken to,
filled with devotion, more so than by any service I have ever heard. The tremendous cheers, the joy expressed in
every face, the immensity of the building, the mixture of palms, flowers, trees, statues, fountains, the organ
(with six hundred instruments and two hundred voices, which sounded like nothing), and my beloved husband, the
author of this peace festival, which united the industry of all nations of the earth—all this was moving indeed,
and it was and is a day to live for ever. God bless my dearest Albert ! God bless my dearest country, which has
shown itself so great to-day ! One felt so grateful to the Great God, who seemed to pervade all and to bless all.
The only event it in the slightest degree reminded me of was the Coronation, but this day's festival was a thousand
"Albert left my side after 'God Save the Queen' had been sung, and at the head of the Commissioners, a
curious assemblage of political and distinguished men, read me the Report, which is a Iong one, and to which I read
a short answer ; after which the Archbishop of. Canterbury offered up a short and appropriate prayer, followed by
the Hallelujah Chorus, during which the Chinese Mandarin, He-Sing, came forward and made his obeisance. This
concluded, the procession began. It was beautifully arranged, and of great length. . . . The whole long walk from
one end to the other was made in the midst of continued and deafening cheers, and waving of handkerchiefs.
Everyone's face was bright and smiling, many with tears in their eyes. Many Frenchmen called out Vive la Reine! ' .
. . The old Duke (of Wellington) and Lord Anglesey walked arm in arm. I saw many acquaintances among those present.
We returned to our own place, and Albert told Lord Breadalbane to declare that the Exhibition was opened . . . .
which was followed by a flourish of trumpets and immense cheering.
" The return was equally satisfactory, the crowd most enthusiastic, the order perfect. We reached the Palace
at twenty minutes past one, and went out on the balcony and were loudly cheered. . . . That we felt happy,
thankful, I need not say ; proud of all that had passed, of my darling husband's success, of the behaviour of my
good people. . . . Albert's name is immortalised, and the wicked reports of dangers of every kind, which a set of
people, viz., the soidisant fashionables, the most violent Protectionists, spread, are silenced.
" I must not forget to mention an interesting episode of the day, viz., the visit of the good old Duke (of
Wellington) on this, his eighty-second birthday, to his little godson, our dear little boy. He came to us both at
five, and gave him a golden cup and some toys, which he had himself chosen, and Arthur gave him a
The Exhibition season was a very brilliant one for the Londoners. One of its gayest events was the " Restoration
Ball," at Buckingham Palace. All those invited had to come in the dress of the time of Charles II. Along with
diamonds and Honiton lace, the profuse display of ribbons of all colours was the great feature of the occasion ;
festoons of ribbons adorned the wristbands, and hung down from the waistcoats of gentlemen. Mr. Gladstone was
rather quietly dressed in " a velvet coat turned-up with blue satin, ruffles and collar of old point, black
breeches and stockings, and shoes with spreading bows." He represented Sir Leoline Jenkins, a judge in King
Charles' time. There was a grand ball to which the Queen came, at the Guildhall, in July, when the City gave her a
Trip To Balmoral
Towards the end of August the Royal Family went to Balmoral. The Queen did not travel so fast then as now ; she
stopped a night at the Angel Inn, Doncaster, and another night at her palace of Holyrood. On her return, in
October, the train was delayed near Forfar, through the over-heating of the axle of a carriage truck, and,
subsequently, between Glasgow and Edinburgh, a pipe connected with the engine burst. The royal train was enveloped
in steam, and had to wait an hour in a curved cutting. The Edinburgh officials, who were waiting for the train,
became terribly uneasy, and sent off a pilot engine to the rescue. The Annual Register records that during the
misadventure " Her Majesty exhibited the greatest composure and patience."
The Queen returned to London by way of Liverpool. Thick mists and heavy rain did their best to spoil everything
as the Queen drove through the principal streets and inspected the Docks, but immense crowds loyally defied the
weather, and fifty thousand flags floated above the shipping. Her Majesty then proceeded to Manchester, where she
was delighted with the long rows of millworkers, " dressed in their best, ranged along the streets with white
rosettes in their button-holes." But in Peel Park, the crowning incident of the day took place. Eighty-two thousand
Sunday school children of all denominations were collected there, and after an address had been received by the
Queen in her carriage, they raised their youthful voices in unison and sang " God Save the Queen." Altogether the
Queen saw that day at least a million of her subjects.
Before the close of the Exhibition, the Queen paid a few more visits to it. Six
million two hundred thousand visitors entered its doors. The Queen mentions in her diary, Mary Kerlynack, who had
walked all the way up from Cornwall, nearly three hundred miles, to see the Exhibition and the Queen. She stood at
one of the doors and saw the Queen pass out. "A most hale old woman," says Her Majesty, " who was near crying at my
looking at her."
On October 15th, Prince Albert closed the Exhibition. " How sad and strange to think this great and bright time
has passed away like a dream." Not a single accident had occurred during the whole time the Exhibition had been
open, although six million two hundred thousand persons had visited it. The receipts amounted to half a million of
Death of the King of Hanover
This year 1851, saw before its close, the death of the King of Hanover, the last surviving son of George III. In
December, there came fearful news from Paris, Louis Napoleon, the President of the French Republic, deliberately
broke his most solemn promises, and by the murder or banishment of thousands of French men and women, bore down all
opposition to his ambitious schemes and got himself made Perpetual President. He subsequently changed his title to
that of Emperor.