September 7, 1855.
At a quarter-past
seven o’clock we arrived at dear Balmoral. Strange, very strange, it
seemed to me to drive past, indeed through, the old house; the
connecting part between it and the offices being broken through. The
new house looks beautiful. The tower and the rooms in the connecting
part are, however, only half finished, and the offices are still
unbuilt: therefore the gentlemen (except the Minister [A Cabinet
Minister is always in attendance upon the Queen at Balmoral.]) live
in the old house, and so do most of the servants; there is a long
wooden passage which connects the new house with the offices. An old
shoe was thrown after us into the house, for good luck, when we
entered the hall. The house is charming: the rooms delightful; the
furniture, papers, everything perfection.
September 8, 1855.
The view from the
windows of our rooms, and from the library, drawing-room, &c. below
them, of the valley of the Dee, with the mountains in the
background,— which one never could see from the old house, is quite
beautiful. We walked about, and alongside the river, and looked at
all that has been done, and considered all that has to be done; and
afterwards we went over to the poor dear old house, and to our
rooms, which it was quite melancholy to see so deserted; and settled
about things being brought over.