Queen Victoria Denied Many Things Her Humblest Subject Enjoys
Queen Victoria, not being born a Queen, probably learned to read just like other persons. But after she became afflicted with Royalty, she found that a Queen is not allowed to have a great many privileges that the humblest of her subjects can boast. For instance, she is not allowed to handle a newspaper of any kind, nor a magazine, nor a letter from any person except her own family, and no member of the Royal family or household is allowed to speak to her of any piece of news in any publication.
All the information the Queen is permitted to have must first be strained through tbe intellect of a man whose business it is to cut out from the papers each day what he thinks she would like to know. These scraps he fastens on a silk sheet with a gold fringe all about it and presents to her unfortunate Majesty. This silken sheet with gold fringe is imperative for all communications to the Queen.
Any one who wishes to send the Queen a personal poem or a communication of any kind (except a personal letter, which the poor lady isn’t allowed to have at all) must have it printed in gilt letters on one of these silk sheets with a gold fringe, just so many inches wide and no wider, all about it. These gold trimmings will be returned to him in time, as they are expensive, and the Queen is kindly and thrifty, but for the Queen’s presence they are imperative.
The deprivations of the Queen’s life are pathetically illustrated by an incident which occurred not long ago. An American lady sent her Majesty an immense collection of the flowers of this country, pressed and mounted. The Queen was delighted with the collection and kept it for three months, running over the leaves frequently with great delight. At the end of that time, which was as long as she was allowed by court etiquette to keep it, she had it sent back with a letter saying that, being Queen of England she was not allowed to have any gifts, and that she parted from it with deep regret. This passes for good nursery government in this country, but would hardly be accepted among adults, let alone Queens. - The Philadelphia Inquirer, 1892
Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia