At 10 I got into the State Coach with the Duchess of Sutherland and Lord Albemarle, and we began our Progress. I subjoin a minute account of the whole Procession and of the whole proceeding,- the route &c. It was a fine day; and the crowds of people exceeded what I have ever seen; many as there were, the day I went to the City, it was nothing - nothing to the multitudes, the millions of my loyal subjects who were assembled in every spot to witness the Procession. Their good-humour and excessive loyalty was beyond everything, and I really cannot say how proud I feel to be the Queen of such a Nation. I was alarmed at times for fear that the people would be crushed and squeazed on account of the tremendous rush and pressure. I reached the Abbey amid deafening cheers at a little after ½ p.11; I first went into a robing-room quite close to the entrance, where I found my eight Train-bearers: Lady Caroline Lennox, Lady Adelaide Paget, Lady Mary Talbot, Lady Fanny Cowper, Lady Wilhelmina Stanhope, Lady Anne Fitzwilliam, Lady Mary Grimston, and Lady Louisa Jenkinson, - all dressed alike and beautifully, in white satin and silver tissue, with wreaths of silver corn-ears in front, and a small one of pink roses round the plait behind, and pink roses in the trimming of the dresses.
After putting on my Mantle, and the young ladies having properly got hold of it, and Lord Conyngham holding the end of it, I left the robing-room and the Procession began as is described in the annexed account, and all what followed and took place.
The sight was splendid; the bank of Peeresses quite beautiful, all in their robes, and the Peers on the other side. My young Train-bearers were always near me, and helped me whenever I wanted anything. The Bishop of Durham stood on one side near me, but he was, as Lord Melbourne had told me, remarkably “maladroit”, and never could tell me what was to take place.
At the beginning of the Anthem where I've made a mark, I retired to St. Edward's Chapel, a dark small place immediately behind the Altar, with my Ladies, and Train-bearers;- took off my crimson robe and kirtle and put on the Supertunica of Cloth of Gold, also in the shape of a kirtle, which was put over a singular sort of little gown of linen trimmed with lace; I also took off my circlet of diamonds, and then proceeded bare-headed into the Abbey; I was then seated upon St. Edward's chair, where the Dalmatic robe was clasped round me by the Lord Great Chamberlain.
Then followed all the various things; and last (of those things) the Crown being placed on my head;- which was, I must own, a most beautiful impressive moment; all the Peers and Peeresses put on their Coronets at the same instant. My excellent Lord Melbourne who stood very close to me throughout the whole ceremony, was completely overcome at this moment, and very much affected; he gave me such a kind, and I may say, fatherly look.
The shouts which were very great, the drums, the trumpets, the firing of the guns, all at the same instant, rendered the spectacle most imposing. The Inthronization and the Homage of 1st all the Bishops, then my Uncles, and lastly of all the Peers, in their respective order was very fine. The Duke of Norfolk (holding for me the Sceptre with a Cross) with Lord Melbourne, stood close to me on my right, and the Duke of Richmond with the other Sceptre on my left, &c.,&c. All my Train-bearers &c. standing behind the Throne. Poor old Lord Rolle who is 82, and dreadfully infirm, in attempting to ascend the steps, fell and rolled quite down, but was not the least hurt; when he attempted to re-ascend them, I got up and advanced to the end of the steps, in order to prevent another fall.
When Lord Melbourne's turn to do Homage came, there was loud cheering; they also cheered Lord Grey and the Duke of Wellington; it's a pretty ceremony; they first all touch the Crown, and then kiss my hand. When my good Lord Melbourne knelt down and kissed my hand, he pressed my hand and I grasped his with all my heart, at which he looked up with his eyes filled with tears and seemed much touched, as he was, I observed, throughout the whole ceremony.
After the Homage was concluded I left the Throne, took off my Crown and received the Sacrament; I then put on my Crown again, and re-ascended the Throne, leaning on Lord Melbourne's arm; at the commencement of the Anthem I descended from the Throne, and went into St. Edward's Chapel, with my Ladies, Train-bearers, and Lord Willoughby, where I took off the Dalmatic robe, Supertunica, &c., and put on the Purple Velvet Kirtle and Mantle, and proceeded again to the Throne, which I ascended leaning on Lord Melbourne's hand.
There was another most dear Being present at this ceremony, in the box immediately above the Royal Box, and who witnessed all; it was my dearly beloved angelic Lehzen, whose eyes I caught when on the Throne, and we exchanged smiles. She and Spèth, Lady John Russell, and Mr. Murray saw me leave the Palace, arrive at the Abbey, leave the Abbey and again return to the Palace!!
I then again descended from the Throne, and repaired with all the Peers bearing the Regalia, my Ladies and Train-bearers, to St. Edward's Chapel, as it is called; but which as Lord Melbourne said, was more unlike a Chapel than anything he had ever seen; for, what was called an Altar was covered with sandwiches, bottles of wine, &c.,&c. The Archbishop came in and ought to have delivered the Orb to me, but I had already got it, and he (as usual) was so confused and puzzled and knew nothing; and - went away.
There we waited for some minutes; Lord Melbourne took a glass of wine, for he seemed completely tired; the Procession being formed, I replaced my Crown (which I had taken off for a few minutes), took the Orb in my left hand, and the Sceptre in my right, and thus loaded proceeded through the Abbey, which resounded with cheers, to the first Robing-room, where I found the Duchess of Gloucester, Ma., and the Duchess of Cambridge with their ladies. And here we waited for at least an hour, with all my ladies and Train-bearers; the Princesses went away about half an hour before I did; the Archbishop had (most awkwardly) put the ring on the wrong finger, and the consequence was that I had the greatest difficulty to take it off again,- which I at last did with great pain. Lady Fanny, Lady Wilhelmina, and Lady Mary Grimston, looked quite beautiful.
At about ½ p.4 I re-entered my carriage, the Crown on my head, and Sceptre and Orb in my hand, and we proceeded the same way as we came - the crowds if possible having increased. The enthusiasm, affection and loyalty was really touching, and I shall ever remember this day as the proudest of my life. I came home at a little after 6,- really not feeling tired.
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