Death of the Queen

From our special correspondent
Wednesday January 23, 1901
The Guardian


The Lord Mayor of London, last night received the following:-
Osborne, Tuesday, 6.45p.m.
The Prince of Wales to the Lord Mayor.
My beloved mother the Queen has just passed away, surrounded by her children and grandchildren.
(Signed) Albert Edward.

The following bulletin was issued at Osborne last night:-
Osborne, January 22,1901, 6.45p.m.
Her Majesty the Queen breathed her last at 6.30p.m., surrounded by her children and grandchildren.
(Signed) James Reid. R. Douglas Powell. Thos. Barlow.

The "London Gazette Extraordinary", issued last night, has the following:-
Whitehall, January 22, 1901.
A bulletin, of which the following is a copy, has been received by Mr. Secretary Ritchie:-
Osborne, 8p.m., January 22, 1901, 6.45p.m:-
Her Majesty the Queen breathed her last at 6.30p.m., surrounded by her children and grandchildren.
(Signed) James Reid. R. Douglas Powell. Thos. Barlow.

Incidents of the day at Osborne

Another day of fear and distress. A change for the worse set in at half-past four this morning, and the physician in attendance at once summoned his colleagues to the Queen's bedside. Sir Thomas Barlow's departure from Osborne was only temporary. He did not, in fact, leave the island. The three physicians held a consultation, and the grave view they took of the patient's case was seen in the bulletin issued at eight o'clock, announcing that the Queen showed signs of diminishing strength and that her condition "again assumes a more serious aspect." About the time this bulletin was issued the members of the Royal Family lodged outside repaired to Osborne. The Prince and Princess of Wales, the German Emperor, and the Duke and Duchess of York, who are staying in the Royal residence, were already at the Queen's bedside. Although the Bishop of Winchester was in the house, the Vicar of Whippingham was sent for, the Bishop being there in his official capacity as Clerk of the Closet, while the Vicar is the Queen's chaplain and intimate friend. How long the family stayed with the Queen is not publicly known. One of the first to leave the house was the Bishop of Winchester, who, on being asked whether the worst had happened, said, "No, nor is it likely just yet." This was between eleven and twelve o'clock. At noon came the second bulletin of the day, announcing no change for the worse, and containing the statement that the Queen had "recognised the several members of the Royal Family that are here." The news did not, however, remove the extremely grave impression produced by the previous bulletin, and the fact that the Queen "is now asleep" was interpreted as a promise that the calamity was only postponed. All day, and all night too, a patient crowd waited at the lodge gates. They consisted chiefly of journalists, probably not less than a hundred of whom, including artists, are in Cowes at the present time. They represent not only English, but American, German, French and other foreign newspapers, and their presence is significant of the world-wide interest taken in the fate of our Queen.

There has been a regular stream of callers at the lodge, and in the course of the day a curious thing happened. Three Indian gentlemen in the bright garb of their country drove up to the lodge and signalled to the driver to go on. The police stopped them, and after a parley turned them back. After a while the party returned, and made, this time, towards Osborne Cottage, where the Duke and Duchess of Connaught reside: Gently but firmly the police again interrupted and demanded explanations. The Indians, who spoke good English, explained that they were on a lecturing tour round the world, and that they had cancelled their engagement to come to Osborne and pay tribute to "our Empress." "But," they added, "your conventionalities seem to stand in the way." They expressed a wish to be allowed at least to see the Queen's Indian secretary, but this gratification was also denied them, and they departed for Cowes to await the result of official communications.

In the course of the afternoon the Earl of Clarendon (Lord Chamberlain) arrived at Osborne.

Princess Christian has written a letter to the matron of the Cowes Convalescent Home thanking her for the attention shown to the Royal party yesterday, and expressing their pleasure at the visit.

Besides the gathering of the family in the early morning and at the last scene of all there was an alarm at half-past three o'clock this afternoon, when again the family were summoned. At ten minutes past nine in the morning the Queen woke from slumber or from apparent unconsciousness and called for one of the Royal servants, whom she named, but before the servant could attend the Queen had fallen asleep again.

The people of Cowes seem stunned by the calamity, which affects them peculiarly. It is not merely that the trade of the town is sure to suffer. They had a real affection for the Queen. They knew how much she desired their prosperity and how fairly she distributed her patronage. Two or three times a week before her last visit she would drive through the streets of the town. The country generally did not know of these drives. None the less they were taken as a mark of the Queen's confidence in the townsfolk. She always went about unattended. It is feared that the Prince of Wales will not care to keep up the establishment here.

People were talking to-night about the title of the new King. "Albert Edward I.," suggested somebody. "Oh no," was the reply; "he will be Edward VII; we don't want King Alberts" - a statement that met with general approval.