State funeral of Queen Victoria
The state funeral of Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India, occurred on 2 February 1901. It was one of the largest gatherings of European royalty ever to take place.
|Date||2 February 1901|
|Location||St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle (official ceremony)|
|Participants||British royal family and members of various other royal houses|
|Burial||Frogmore Mausoleum, Windsor Great Park (resting place)|
In 1897, Victoria had written instructions for her funeral, which was to be military as befitting a soldier's daughter and the head of the army, and white instead of black. On 25 January, her body was lifted into the coffin by her sons Edward VII and Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, and her grandson the German Emperor Wilhelm II. She was dressed in a white dress and her wedding veil. An array of mementos commemorating her extended family, friends and servants were laid in the coffin with her, at her request, by her doctor and dressers. A dressing gown that had belonged to her husband Albert who had died 40 years earlier, was placed by her side, along with a plaster cast of his hand, while a lock of John Brown's hair, along with a picture of him, was placed in her left hand concealed from the view of the family by a carefully positioned bunch of flowers. Items of jewellery placed on Victoria included the wedding ring of John Brown's mother, given to her by Brown in 1883. Her funeral was held on Saturday, 2 February, in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, and after two days of lying-in-state, she was interred beside Prince Albert in the Royal Mausoleum at Frogmore at Windsor Great Park.
The state funeral of Queen Victoria took place in February 1901; it had been 64 years since the last burial of a monarch. Victoria left strict instructions regarding the service and associated ceremonies and instituted a number of changes, several of which set a precedent for state (and indeed ceremonial) funerals that have taken place since. First, she disliked the preponderance of funereal black; henceforward, there would be no black cloaks, drapes or canopy, and Victoria requested a white pall for her coffin. Second, she expressed a desire to be buried as "a soldier's daughter". The procession, therefore, became much more a military procession, with the peers, privy counsellors and judiciary no longer taking part en masse. Her pallbearers were equerries rather than dukes (as had previously been customary), and for the first time, a gun carriage was employed to convey the monarch's coffin. Third, Victoria requested that there should be no public lying in state. This meant that the only event in London on this occasion was a gun carriage procession from one railway station to another: Victoria having died at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, her body was conveyed by boat and train to Waterloo Station, then by gun carriage to Paddington Station and then by train to Windsor for the funeral service itself.
The rare sight of a state funeral cortège travelling by ship provided a striking spectacle: Victoria's body was carried on board HMY Alberta from Cowes to Gosport, with a suite of yachts following conveying the new king, Edward VII, and other mourners. Minute guns were fired by the assembled fleet as the yacht passed by. Victoria's body remained on board ship overnight before being conveyed by gun carriage to the railway station the following day for the train journey to London. Victoria broke convention by having a white draped coffin.
At Windsor, when the royal coffin was loaded atop the gun carriage for the procession and the horses took the weight, an eyelet hole on the gun carriage failed, breaking the hitch to the hearse. An attendant Royal Guard from HMS Excellent was shortly then ordered to haul the gun carriage with ropes instead, a disruption which subsequently became state funeral tradition. Granddaughter of Queen Victoria, Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, was present and observed that the Royal Artillery, responsible for the horses and the gun carriage, "were furious... humiliated beyond words" by the detachment of the Royal Navy.
Victoria's children had married into the great royal families of Europe and a number of foreign monarchs were in attendance including Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany as well as the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
- The King and Queen of the United Kingdom, the late Queen's son and daughter-in-law
- The Duchess of Cornwall and York, the late Queen's granddaughter-in-law
- The Princess Louise, Duchess of Fife and The Duke of Fife, the late Queen's granddaughter and grandson-in-law
- The Princess Victoria, the late Queen's granddaughter
- Princess and Prince Charles of Denmark, the late Queen's granddaughter and grandson-in-law
- The Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the late Queen's daughter-in-law
- The Duke and Duchess of Connaught and Strathearn, the late Queen's son and daughter-in-law
- The Duchess of Albany, the late Queen's daughter-in-law
- The Empress Frederick, Queen Mother of Prussia's family:
- The German Emperor, the late Queen's grandson
- The German Crown Prince, the late Queen's great-grandson
- The Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Meiningen, the late Queen's grandson-in-law (representing the Duke of Saxe-Meiningen)
- Prince Heinrich XXX of Reuss-Köstritz, the late Queen's great-grandson-in-law (representing the Prince Reuss Younger Line)
- Prince Henry of Prussia, the late Queen's grandson
- Princess and Prince Adolf of Schaumburg-Lippe, the late Queen's granddaughter and grandson-in-law (representing the Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe)
- The Duke of Sparta, the late Queen's grandson-in-law
- Prince Frederick Charles of Hesse, the late Queen's grandson-in-law
- The German Emperor, the late Queen's grandson
- Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse and by Rhine's family:
- Princess and Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, the late Queen's daughter and son-in-law
- The Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll and The Duke of Argyll, the late Queen's daughter and son-in-law
- Princess Henry of Battenberg, the late Queen's daughter
- Prince Alexander of Battenberg, the late Queen's grandson
Other descendants of the late Queen's paternal grandfather, King George III and their families:
- The Duke of Cambridge, the late Queen's first cousin
- The Hereditary Prince of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the late Queen's first cousin twice removed (representing the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz)
- Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck's family:
- Baron Alphons von Pawel-Rammingen, husband of the late Queen's first cousin once removed
- The Hon. Aubrey FitzClarence, the late Queen's double first cousin twice removed
- The Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, the late Queen's half-nephew
- Count Edward Gleichen, the late Queen's half-great-nephew
- The Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, the late Queen's half-great-nephew
- The King of the Belgians, the late Queen's first cousin
- Prince Philipp of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the late Queen's first cousin once removed
- Prince Leopold Clement of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the late Queen's double first cousin twice removed
- The King of Portugal, the late Queen's first cousin twice removed
- Duke Robert of Württemberg, the late Queen's first cousin twice removed (representing the King of Württemberg)
Other foreign royaltyEdit
- The King of the Hellenes
- The Crown Prince (representing the King of Denmark)
- The Crown Prince of Sweden and Norway (representing the King of Sweden and Norway)
- Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria (representing the Austrian Emperor)
- Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia (representing the Russian Emperor)
- The Duke of Aosta (representing the King of Italy)
- The Crown Prince of Siam
- The Duke of Saxony (representing the King of Saxony)
- The Hereditary Grand Duke of Baden (representing the Grand Duke of Baden)
- Prince Arnulf of Bavaria (representing the Prince Regent of Bavaria)
- Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar
- The Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont
- The Prince of Hohenzollern
- Prince Mohammed Ali Tewfik (representing the Khedive of Egypt and Sudan)
- Prince Ernst of Saxe-Altenburg (representing the Duke of Saxe-Altenburg) 
- Matthew, H. C. G.; Reynolds, K. D. (2004; online edition October 2009) "Victoria (1819–1901)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/36652, retrieved 18 October 2010 (subscription required for online access)
- Hibbert, p. 497; Longford, p. 563
- St Aubyn, p. 598
- Longford, p. 563
- Hibbert, p. 498
- Longford, p. 565; St Aubyn, p. 600
- Rappaport, Helen (2003). Queen Victoria: a biographical companion. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.
- Wyllie depicts a scene during the funeral of Queen Victoria. The royal yacht, HMY Alberta, carrying the Queen's body, arrives in Gosport in the late afternoon of 1 February 1901, with the setting sun behind her. The royal standard flies at half-mast, and surrounding the small vessel are several escorting destroyers. In the background the anchored battleships fire salutes. Following behind the Alberta is the larger royal yacht HMY Victoria and Albert, flying the royal standard and carrying King Edward VII and other royal mourners.
- "Memorials and Monuments in Portsmouth - Field Gun Carriage". www.memorialsinportsmouth.co.uk. Retrieved 2021-06-05.
- Victorian Ladies 2/2 Princess Alice & Queen Victoria's Funeral, retrieved 2021-06-05
- "The Funeral at Windsor of Queen Victoria. The Royal Windsor Website.com by ThamesWeb". Thamesweb.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
- "The London Gazette, 22 May 1901".