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More Leaves from the Journal
Departure of the Prince of Wales from Abergeldie before leaving for India 17 Sept 1875


Balmoral, Friday, September 17, 1875

Coming home from our drive at twenty minutes past seven, we had passed Bertie’s carriage in the Balloch Buie, but we heard no sound of a carriage when we went downstairs for dinner a little before nine, and Alix [Princess of Wales] had also not arrived. Their people having come, we consulted with Charlotte Knollys [Lady to the Princess of Wales, eldest daughter of General Sir William Knollys, K.C.B., for many years at the head of the Prince of Wales’s household.] what to do, and sent to beg Alix to come and order Bertie’s things to be brought to the Castle. At length, at half past nine, Bertie arrived, very hot, having lost his way and been separated from the others. He had got four stags (and had been lucky altogether), and he asked us to go to dinner. We accordingly sat down—Lenchen, Beatrice, Jane Churchill, and Lord Carnarvon. Christian had gone on to look after Bertie, but he soon returned. Only at ten did Alix arrive, and at ten minutes past ten, Bertie; and we did not get up from dinner till half-past ten. All the ladies and gentlemen came into the drawing-room after dinner, and all felt that this terrible parting was hanging over us. At eleven I took Bertie and Alix upstairs, and talked over various details of this anxious journey to India. Then it came to the saying good-night, and Bertie sent for Lahlein and Brown to come and take leave of him. I saw how that began to try him, and it grieved them. He shook hands with both, and I felt nearly upset myself when Brown shook him by the hand, and said: “God bless your Royal Highness, and bring you safe back!” He also wished my maids good-bye, who were standing there. Poor dear Alix seemed to feel it much, and so did I, as I embraced them both several times, and said I would go to see them off next morning.

Saturday, September 18

A dull and rather raw morning. Breakfasted alone (as Beatrice was not quite well, with a sort of chill) at nine in the cottage.

At half-past nine I drove off with Lenchen to Avergeidie. There we found all in considerable confusion. Bertie was out in the garden, where we waited a little while, and then I went up, and found poor Alix putting up her things in her bed-room—the little girls there— the maids not yet off. At length, at a quarter-past ten, they left. Dear Bertie wished all good-bye. Our ladies and gentlemen and all the people were assembled outside. Poor dear Beatrice was the only one absent. Christian had gone on before. Bertie shook hands with all; I wished him every possible success, and that God would bless and protect him during this long and anxious journey to the East. It was very sad to see him drive off with Alix and the boys (the little girls followed in another carriage), not knowing what might not happen, or if he would ever return. May God bless him!


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