“The conduct of the Princess of Wales at Cambridge won the hearts of all who came in contact with her, or even looked upon her.”
The Princess Alexandra at Cambridge
Here is a pleasant account of the Princess of Wales’ recent visit to the University town of Cambridge : “The conduct of the Princess of Wales at Cambridge won the hearts of all who came in contact with her, or even looked upon her. ‘The true secret,’ says an observer, ‘lies in the Princess’ simplicity of manner, in the openness and unrestrainedness of her enjoyment, in the freedom with which she shows her delight in the enjoyment and festivity of which she is the centre.’ It is impossible to imagine a more marked contrast than between the Princess and the great ladies of her suite. She seems an impersonation of simplicity, freedom, and capacity for enjoyment, besides their more artificial manners and guinde bearing. I suppose she would be even open to censure by admirers of what is called aristocratic breeding, for want of restrainedness and repose, and of the power of concealing her pleasure.
“But there is something inexpressibly delightful in this spontaneousness. It seems to tell of her earlier years, of narrow fortunes, simple habits, small state, and scanty pleasures, and one cannot but wish that it may long survive the influence of English Court etiquette, and the freezing fettering, soul-subduing influences of English Court life. An account is given of an under graduate who, in imitation of Raleigh's gallantry to Queen Elizabeth, spread his gown on the pathway for the Princess to walk on. The Princess paused for a moment, as if puzzled and startled by the sudden act of superfluous devotion; but when one of the suite had whispered a word of explanation, it was charming to see how sedulously she lifted her dress to show the dazzled and rather abashed proprietor of the purple toga of Trinity that she was actually setting her foot on the gown, bowing her acknowledgment to him at the same time.” — Los Angeles Star, 1864
Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia