The Frogmore Estate or Gardens comprise 33 acres of private gardens within the Home Park, adjoining Windsor Castle, in the English county of Berkshire. It is the location of Frogmore House, a royal retreat, Frogmore Cottage; the name derives from the preponderance of frogs which have always lived in this low-lying and marshy area near the River Thames. This area is part of the local flood plain, it is the site of three burial places of the British Royal Family: the Royal Mausoleum containing the tombs of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The gardens are Grade I listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. Frogmore House was built in the 1680s and purchased by George III as a country retreat for Queen Charlotte in 1792, she employed the architect James Wyatt to expand Frogmore House for her. In 1900 Earl Mountbatten of Burma was born there. On the estate near the House is Frogmore Cottage; this mausoleum within the Frogmore Gardens is the burial place of Queen Victoria's mother, Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, the Duchess of Kent.
The Mausoleum was designed by the architect A J Humbert, to a concept design by Prince Albert's favourite artist, Professor Ludwig Gruner. In the latter years of her life, the Duchess lived in Frogmore House and in the 1850s, construction began on a beautiful domed'temple' in the grounds of the estate; the top portion of the finished building was intended to serve as a summer-house for the Duchess during her lifetime, while the lower level was destined as her final resting place. The Duchess died at Frogmore House on 16 March 1861 before the summer-house was completed so the upper chamber became part of the mausoleum and now contains a statue of the Duchess; the second mausoleum in the grounds of Frogmore, just a short distance from the Duchess of Kent's Mausoleum is the much larger Royal Mausoleum, the burial place of Queen Victoria and her consort, Prince Albert. Queen Victoria and her husband had long intended to construct a special resting place for them both, instead of the two of them being buried in one of the traditional resting places of British Royalty, such as Westminster Abbey or St. George's Chapel, Windsor.
The mausoleum for the Queen's mother was being constructed at Frogmore in 1861 when Prince Albert died in December of the same year. Within a few days of his death, proposals for the mausoleum were being drawn up by the same designers involved in the Duchess of Kent's Mausoleum: Professor Gruner and A J Humbert. Work commenced in March 1862; the dome was made by October and the building was consecrated in December 1862, although the decoration was not finished until August 1871. The building is in the form of a Greek cross; the exterior was inspired by Italian Romanesque buildings, the walls are of granite and Portland stone and the roof is covered with Australian copper. The interior decoration is in the style of Albert's favourite painter, Raphael, an example of Victoriana at its most opulent; the interior walls are predominantly in Portuguese red marble, a gift from King Luis I of Portugal, a cousin of both Victoria and Albert, are inlaid with other marbles from around the World. The monumental tomb itself was designed by Baron Carlo Marochetti.
It features recumbent marble effigies of the Prince Albert. The sarcophagus was made from a single piece of flawless grey Aberdeen granite; the Queen's effigy was made at the same time, but was not put in the mausoleum until after her funeral. Only Victoria and Albert are interred there. Among those is a monument to Princess Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse-Darmstadt, Victoria's second daughter, who died of diphtheria shortly after her youngest daughter May. In the centre of the chapel is a monument to Edward, Duke of Kent, Victoria's father, he is buried in St George's Chapel, Windsor. One of the sculptures is of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in Saxon Dress, commissioned after Prince Albert's death and executed by William Theed, it was unveiled on 20 May 1867 in Windsor Castle, was moved to the Royal Mausoleum in 1938. The plaster model, exhibited in 1868 at the Royal Academy of Arts, is on loan from the Royal Collection to the National Portrait Gallery, London; the official guidebook includes an image of the sculpture, mentions that the Queen recorded in her diary that the idea for it came from Victoria, Princess Royal and that the inscription on the plinth is a quotation from The Deserted Village by Oliver Goldsmith.
The inscription on the plinth alludes to the poet's lament for the passing of the imagined village of'Sweet Auburn'. The building is structurally unsound with the foundations having become waterlogged and the lower elements of the building beginning to disintegrate with paint and plaster peeling off the walls, it has been closed to the public since 2007. As of 2011, it was unknown. In February 2018, the Royal Household announced it was undertaking work on the mausoleum - drying it out - in order to be able reopen it to the public. Work commenced in June 2018, with a deep trench being dug out around the building to create a dry moat to allow the stonework to begin drying out. With the long dry Summer that occurred in 2018, this will have benefitted that process; the leaking roof and windows will be repaired/replaced before the internal restoration can commence. Since its inauguration in 1928, most members of the royal family, except for Kings and Queens, have been interred in the Royal Burial Ground, a cemetery behind Queen Victoria's mausoleum.
In the history of the United Kingdom, the Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria's reign, from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. The era followed the Georgian period and preceded the Edwardian period, its half overlaps with the first part of the Belle Époque era of Continental Europe. In terms of moral sensibilities and political reforms, this period began with the passage of the Reform Act 1832. There was a strong religious drive for higher moral standards led by the nonconformist churches, such as the Methodist, the Evangelical wing of the established Church of England. Britain's relations with the other Great Powers were driven by the colonial antagonism of the Great Game with Russia, climaxing during the Crimean War. Britain embarked on global imperial expansion in Asia and Africa, which made the British Empire the largest empire in history. National self-confidence peaked. Ideologically, the Victorian era witnessed resistance to the rationalism that defined the Georgian period and an increasing turn towards romanticism and mysticism with regard to religion, social values, arts.
Domestically, the political agenda was liberal, with a number of shifts in the direction of gradual political reform, industrial reform, the widening of the franchise. There were unprecedented demographic changes: the population of England and Wales doubled from 16.8 million in 1851 to 30.5 million in 1901, Scotland's population rose from 2.8 million in 1851 to 4.4 million in 1901. However, Ireland's population decreased from 8.2 million in 1841 to less than 4.5 million in 1901 due to emigration and the Great Famine. Between 1837 and 1901 about 15 million emigrated from Great Britain to the United States, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia; the two main political parties during the era remained the Conservatives. These parties were led by such prominent statesmen as Lord Melbourne, Sir Robert Peel, Lord Derby, Lord Palmerston, Benjamin Disraeli, William Gladstone, Lord Salisbury; the unsolved problems relating to Irish Home Rule played a great part in politics in the Victorian era in view of Gladstone's determination to achieve a political settlement in Ireland.
In the strictest sense, the Victorian era covers the duration of Victoria's reign as Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, from her accession on 20 June 1837—after the death of her uncle, William IV—until her death on 22 January 1901, after which she was succeeded by her eldest son, Edward VII. Her reign lasted for seven months, a longer period than any of her predecessors; the term'Victorian' was in contemporaneous usage to describe the era. The era has been understood in a more extensive sense as a period that possessed sensibilities and characteristics distinct from the periods adjacent to it, in which case it is sometimes dated to begin before Victoria's accession—typically from the passage of or agitation for the Reform Act 1832, which introduced a wide-ranging change to the electoral system of England and Wales. Definitions that purport a distinct sensibility or politics to the era have created scepticism about the worth of the label "Victorian", though there have been defences of it.
Michael Sadleir was insistent that "in truth the Victorian period is three periods, not one". He distinguished early Victorianism – the and politically unsettled period from 1837 to 1850 – and late Victorianism, with its new waves of aestheticism and imperialism, from the Victorian heyday: mid-Victorianism, 1851 to 1879, he saw the latter period as characterised by a distinctive mixture of prosperity, domestic prudery, complacency – what G. M. Trevelyan called the "mid-Victorian decades of quiet politics and roaring prosperity". In 1832, after much political agitation, the Reform Act was passed on the third attempt; the Act abolished many borough seats and created others in their place, as well as expanding the franchise in England and Wales. Minor reforms followed in 1835 and 1836. On 20 June 1837, Victoria became Queen of the United Kingdom on the death of her uncle, William IV, her government was led by the Whig prime minister Lord Melbourne, but within two years he had resigned, the Tory politician Sir Robert Peel attempted to form a new ministry.
In the same year, a seizure of British opium exports to China prompted the First Opium War against the Qing dynasty, British imperial India initiated the First Anglo-Afghan War—one of the first major conflicts of the Great Game between Britain and Russia. In 1840, Queen Victoria married her German cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield, it proved a happy marriage, whose children were much sought after by royal families across Europe. In 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty over New Zealand; the signing of the Treaty of Nanking in 1842 ended the First Opium War and gave Britain control over Hong Kong Island. However, a disastrous retreat from Kabul in the same year led to the annihilation of a British army column in Afghanistan. In 1845, the Great Famine began to cause mass starvation and death in Ireland, sparking large-scale emigration. Peel was replaced by the Whig ministry of Lord John Russell. In 1853, Britain fought alongside France in the Crimean War against Russia.
The goal was to ensure that Russia could not benefit from the declining status
Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the monarch of the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is at the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality, it has been a focal point for the British people at times of national mourning. Known as Buckingham House, the building at the core of today's palace was a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 on a site, in private ownership for at least 150 years, it was acquired by King George III in 1761 as a private residence for Queen Charlotte and became known as The Queen's House. During the 19th century it was enlarged, principally by architects John Nash and Edward Blore, who constructed three wings around a central courtyard. Buckingham Palace became the London residence of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837; the last major structural additions were made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the East Front, which contains the well-known balcony on which the royal family traditionally congregates to greet crowds.
The palace chapel was destroyed by a German bomb during World War II. The original early 19th-century interior designs, many of which survive, include widespread use of brightly coloured scagliola and blue and pink lapis, on the advice of Sir Charles Long. King Edward VII oversaw a partial redecoration in a Belle Époque gold colour scheme. Many smaller reception rooms are furnished in the Chinese regency style with furniture and fittings brought from the Royal Pavilion at Brighton and from Carlton House; the palace has 775 rooms, the garden is the largest private garden in London. The state rooms, used for official and state entertaining, are open to the public each year for most of August and September and on some days in winter and spring. In the Middle Ages, the site of the future palace formed part of the Manor of Ebury; the marshy ground was watered by the river Tyburn, which still flows below the courtyard and south wing of the palace. Where the river was fordable, the village of Eye Cross grew.
Ownership of the site changed hands many times. William gave the site to Geoffrey de Mandeville, who bequeathed it to the monks of Westminster Abbey. In 1531, Henry VIII acquired the Hospital of St James, which became St James's Palace, from Eton College, in 1536 he took the Manor of Ebury from Westminster Abbey; these transfers brought the site of Buckingham Palace back into royal hands for the first time since William the Conqueror had given it away 500 years earlier. Various owners leased it from royal landlords and the freehold was the subject of frenzied speculation during the 17th century. By the old village of Eye Cross had long since fallen into decay, the area was wasteland. Needing money, James I sold off part of the Crown freehold but retained part of the site on which he established a 4-acre mulberry garden for the production of silk. Clement Walker in Anarchia Anglicana refers to "new-erected sodoms and spintries at the Mulberry Garden at S. James's". In the late 17th century, the freehold was inherited from the property tycoon Sir Hugh Audley by the great heiress Mary Davies.
The first house erected within the site was that of a Sir William Blake, around 1624. The next owner was Lord Goring, who from 1633 extended Blake's house and developed much of today's garden known as Goring Great Garden, he did not, obtain the freehold interest in the mulberry garden. Unbeknown to Goring, in 1640 the document "failed to pass the Great Seal before King Charles I fled London, which it needed to do for legal execution", it was this critical omission that helped the British royal family regain the freehold under King George III. The improvident Goring defaulted on his rents. Arlington House rose on the site—the location of the southern wing of today's palace—the next year. In 1698, John Sheffield the first Duke of Buckingham and Normanby, acquired the lease; the house which forms the architectural core of the palace was built for the first Duke of Buckingham and Normanby in 1703 to the design of William Winde. The style chosen was of a large, three-floored central block with two smaller flanking service wings.
Buckingham House was sold by Buckingham's natural son, Sir Charles Sheffield, in 1761 to George III for £21,000. Sheffield's leasehold on the mulberry garden site, the freehold of, still owned by the royal family, was due to expire in 1774. Under the new Crown ownership, the building was intended as a private retreat for King George III's wife, Queen Charlotte, was accordingly known as The Queen's House. Remodelling of the structure began in 1762. In 1775, an Act of Parliament settled the property on Queen Charlotte, in exchange for her rights to Somerset House, 14 of her 15 children were born there; some furnishings were transferred from Carlton House, others had been bought in France after the French Revolution of 1789. While St James's Palace remained the official and ceremonial royal residence, the name "Buckingham-palace" was used from at least 1791. After his accession to the throne in 1820, King George IV continued the renovation with the idea in mind of a small, comfort
Princess Helena of the United Kingdom
Princess Helena of the United Kingdom was the third daughter and fifth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Helena was educated by private tutors chosen by her father and his close friend and adviser, Baron Stockmar, her childhood was spent with her parents, travelling between a variety of royal residences in Britain. The intimate atmosphere of the royal court came to an end on 14 December 1861, when her father died and her mother entered a period of intense mourning. Afterwards, in the early 1860s, Helena began a flirtation with Prince Albert's German librarian, Carl Ruland. Although the nature of the relationship is unknown, Helena's romantic letters to Ruland survive. After the Queen found out in 1863, she dismissed Ruland. Three years on 5 July 1866, Helena married the impoverished Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein; the couple remained in Britain, in calling distance of the Queen, who liked to have her daughters nearby. Helena, along with her youngest sister, Princess Beatrice, became the Queen's unofficial secretaries.
However, after Queen Victoria's death on 22 January 1901, Helena saw little of her surviving siblings, including King Edward VII. Helena was the most active member of the royal family, carrying out an extensive programme of royal engagements, she was an active patron of charities, was one of the founding members of the British Red Cross. She was founding president of the Royal School of Needlework, president of the Workhouse Infirmary Nursing Association and the Royal British Nurses' Association; as president of the latter, she was a strong supporter of nurse registration against the advice of Florence Nightingale. In 1916 she became the first member of her family to celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary, but her husband died a year later. Helena outlived him by six years, died aged 77 at Schomberg House on 9 June 1923. Helena was born at Buckingham Palace, the official royal residence in London, on 25 May 1846, the day after her mother's 27th birthday, she was the third daughter and fifth child of the reigning British monarch, Queen Victoria, her husband Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
Albert reported to his brother, Ernest II, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, that Helena "came into this world quite blue, but she is quite well now". He added that the Queen "suffered longer and more than the other times and she will have to remain quiet to recover." Albert and Victoria chose the names Helena Augusta Victoria. The German nickname for Helena was Helenchen shortened to Lenchen, the name by which members of the royal family invariably referred to Helena; as the daughter of the sovereign, Helena was styled Her Royal Highness The Princess Helena from birth. Helena was baptised on 25 July 1846 at the private chapel at Buckingham Palace, her godparents were the Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Helena was a lively and outspoken child, reacted against brotherly teasing by punching the bully on the nose, her early talents included drawing. Lady Augusta Stanley, a lady-in-waiting to the Queen, commented favourably on the three-year-old Helena's artwork. Like her sisters, she could play the piano to a high standard at an early age.
Other interests included science and technology, shared by her father Prince Albert, horseback riding and boating, two of her favourite childhood occupations. However, Helena became a middle daughter following the birth of Princess Louise in 1848, her abilities were overshadowed by her more artistic sisters. Helena's father, Prince Albert, died on 14 December 1861; the Queen was devastated, ordered her household, along with her daughters, to move from Windsor to Osborne House, the Queen's Isle of Wight residence. Helena's grief was profound, she wrote to a friend a month later: "What we have lost nothing can replace, our grief is most, most bitter... I adored Papa, I loved him more than anything on earth, his word was a most sacred law, he was my help and adviser... These hours were the happiest of my life, now it is all, all over."The Queen relied on her second eldest daughter Princess Alice as an unofficial secretary, but Alice needed an assistant of her own. Though Helena was the next eldest, she was considered unreliable by Victoria because of her inability to go long without bursting into tears.
Therefore, Louise was selected to assume the role in her place. Alice was married to Prince Louis of Hesse in 1862, after which Helena assumed the role—described as the "crutch" of her mother's old age by one biographer—at her mother's side. In this role, she carried out minor secretarial tasks, such as writing the Queen's letters, helping her with political correspondence, providing her with company. Princess Helena began an early flirtation with her father's former librarian, Carl Ruland, following his appointment to the Royal Household on the recommendation of Baron Stockmar in 1859, he was trusted enough to teach German to Helena's brother, the young Prince of Wales, was described by the Queen as "useful and able". When the Queen discovered that Helena had grown romantically attached to a royal servant, he was promptly dismissed back to his native Germany, he never lost the Queen's hostility. Following Ruland's departure in 1863, the Queen looked for a husband for Helena. However, as a middle child, the prospect of a powerful alliance with a European royal house was low.
Her appearance was a concern, as by the age of fifteen she was described by her biographer as chunky and double-chinned. Furthermore, Victoria insisted that Helena's future hu
Buckingham Palace Road
Buckingham Palace Road is a street in Victoria, London. It runs from the south side of Buckingham Palace towards Chelsea, forming the A3214 road and is dominated by Victoria Station. In the 18th century, it was known as Chelsea Road and was frequented by highwaymen, a reward of £10 being offered for the capture of one of the worst offenders in 1752. Towards the southern end, Victoria Station was opened in 1866 and the adjacent Victoria Coach Station was built in 1932 in the Art Deco style. In 1938, the Empire Terminal of Imperial Airways opened opposite the coach station, designed by Albert Lakeman in the Art Deco style, it allowed passengers to check-in before boarding special trains from Victoria Station to Croydon Airport or Southampton Docks for the flying boat service. The terminal continued in service until the end of the 1970s, by which time there were dedicated rail or bus connections to Gatwick and Heathrow Airports, it is now the headquarters of the National Audit Office. In June 1917, the Imperial Headquarters of The Boy Scouts' Association moved to 25 Buckingham Palace Road from the previous office at 116 Victoria Street.
It was in that building that the Boy Scouts' International Bureau was inaugurated in 1920. The UK Scout Headquarters remained at that address until December 1974, when it moved to Baden-Powell House; the Girl Guides Association rented offices within Scout Headquarters until 1929 when there was no longer storage space for the Association's records. Following a national fundraising campaign called "Save Our Stuff" the Guides were able to move into their own purpose-built headquarters at 17-19 Buckingham Palace Road, which they still occupy today; the entrances to the Royal Mews and the Queen's Gallery are both located in Buckingham Palace Road
Ian Lancaster Fleming was an English author and naval intelligence officer, best known for his James Bond series of spy novels. Fleming came from a wealthy family connected to the merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co. and his father was the Member of Parliament for Henley from 1910 until his death on the Western Front in 1917. Educated at Eton and the universities of Munich and Geneva, Fleming moved through several jobs before he started writing. While working for Britain's Naval Intelligence Division during the Second World War, Fleming was involved in planning Operation Goldeneye and in the planning and oversight of two intelligence units, 30 Assault Unit and T-Force, his wartime service and his career as a journalist provided much of the background and depth of the James Bond novels. Fleming wrote his first Bond novel, Casino Royale, in 1952, it was a success, with three print runs being commissioned to cope with the demand. Eleven Bond novels and two collections of short stories followed between 1953 and 1966.
The novels revolved around James Bond, an officer in the Secret Intelligence Service known as MI6. Bond was known by his code number, 007, was a commander in the Royal Naval Reserve; the Bond stories rank among the best-selling series of fictional books of all time, having sold over 100 million copies worldwide. Fleming wrote the children's story Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang and two works of non-fiction. In 2008, The Times ranked Fleming 14th on its list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". Fleming was married to Ann Charteris, divorced from the second Viscount Rothermere because of her affair with the author. Fleming and Charteris had Caspar. Fleming was a heavy smoker and drinker for most of his life and succumbed to heart disease in 1964 at the age of 56. Two of his James Bond books were published posthumously. Fleming's creation has appeared in film twenty-six times, portrayed by seven actors. Ian Lancaster Fleming was born on 28 May 1908, at 27 Green Street in the wealthy London district of Mayfair.
His mother was Evelyn, his father was Valentine Fleming, the Member of Parliament for Henley from 1910 to 1917. As an infant he lived, with his family, at Braziers Park in Oxfordshire. Fleming was a grandson of the Scottish financier Robert Fleming, who founded the Scottish American Investment Trust and the merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co. In 1914, with the start of the First World War, Valentine Fleming joined "C" Squadron, Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars, rose to the rank of major, he was killed by German shelling on the Western Front on 20 May 1917. Because the family owned an estate at Arnisdale, Valentine's death was commemorated on the Glenelg War Memorial. Fleming's elder brother Peter became married actress Celia Johnson. Peter served with the Grenadier Guards during the Second World War, was commissioned under Colin Gubbins to help establish the Auxiliary Units, became involved in behind-the-lines operations in Norway and Greece during the war. Fleming had two younger brothers and Richard, a younger maternal half-sister born out of wedlock, the cellist Amaryllis Fleming, whose father was the artist Augustus John.
Amaryllis was conceived during a long-term affair between John and Evelyn that started in 1923, six years after the death of Valentine. In 1914 Fleming attended a preparatory school on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, he did not enjoy his time at Durnford. In 1921 Fleming enrolled at Eton College. Not a high achiever academically, he excelled at athletics and held the title of Victor Ludorum for two years between 1925 and 1927, he edited a school magazine, The Wyvern. His lifestyle at Eton brought him into conflict with his housemaster, E. V. Slater, who disapproved of Fleming's attitude, his hair oil, his ownership of a car and his relations with women. Slater persuaded Fleming's mother to remove him from Eton a term early for a crammer course to gain entry to the Royal Military College at Sandhurst, he spent less than a year there, leaving in 1927 without gaining a commission, after contracting gonorrhea. In 1927, to prepare Fleming for possible entry into the Foreign Office, his mother sent him to the Tennerhof in Kitzbühel, Austria, a small private school run by the Adlerian disciple and former British spy Ernan Forbes Dennis and his novelist wife, Phyllis Bottome.
After improving his language skills there, he studied at Munich University and the University of Geneva. While in Geneva, Fleming began a romance with Monique Panchaud de Bottens and the couple were engaged in 1931, his mother made him break off the relationship. He failed the examinations, his mother again intervened in his affairs, lobbying Sir Roderick Jones, head of Reuters News Agency, in October 1931 he was given a position as a sub-editor and journalist for the company. In 1933 Fleming spent time in Moscow, where he covered the Stalinist show trial of six engineers from the British company Metropolitan-Vickers. While there he applied for an interview with Soviet premier Joseph Stalin, was amazed to receive a signed note apologising for not being able to attend. Fleming bowed to family pressure in October 1933, went into banking with a position at the financiers Cull & Co. In 1935 he moved to Pitman on Bishopsgate as a stockbroker. Fleming was unsuccessful in both roles. Early in 1939 Fleming began an affair with Ann O'Neill (née Ch
Coronation of Queen Victoria
The coronation of Queen Victoria took place on Thursday, 28 June 1838, just over a year after she succeeded to the throne of the United Kingdom at the age of 18. The ceremony was held in Westminster Abbey after a public procession through the streets from Buckingham Palace, to which the queen returned as part of a second procession. Planning for the coronation, led by prime minister Lord Melbourne, began at Cabinet level in March 1838. In the face of various objections from numerous parties, the Cabinet announced on Saturday, 7 April, that the coronation would be at the end of the parliamentary session in June, it was budgeted at £70,000, more than double the cost of the "cut-price" 1831 coronation but less than the £240,000 spent when George IV was crowned in July 1821. A key element of the plan was presentation of the event to a wider public. By 1838, the newly built railways were able to deliver huge numbers of people into London and it has been estimated that some 400,000 visitors arrived to swell the crowds who thronged the streets while the two processions took place and filled the parks where catering and entertainment were provided.
Hyde Park was the scene including a balloon ascent. The fair was extended by popular demand to four. Green Park featured a firework display the night after the ceremony; the event took place in fine weather and was considered a great success by the press and wider public, though those inside the Abbey witnessed a good deal of mishap and confusion due to lack of rehearsal. In the country at large, there was considerable Radical opposition to the coronation in northern England. Queen Victoria succeeded her uncle King William IV on 20 June 1837, her first prime minister was Lord Melbourne. Until 1867, the Demise of the Crown automatically triggered the dissolution of parliament and a general election was therefore necessary with voting between 24 July and 18 August; the result was a victory for Melbourne whose existing Whig Party government was returned to power for four more years. Their majority over the opposition Conservative Party was reduced from 112 seats to thirty. Melbourne was the leading player in the planning and implementation of Victoria's coronation.
Melbourne's Cabinet began formal discussion of the subject of the coronation in March 1838. A major factor in the planning was this being the first coronation held since the passing of the Reform Act 1832, which the government recognised as radically reshaping the monarchy. In terms of the ceremony itself, the extension of the franchise meant that some 500 Members of Parliament would be invited to attend in addition to the peerage. A greater consideration was the need to somehow involve the general public and Melbourne championed the centuries old custom of a public procession through the streets. There had been a procession in 1831 but a much longer route was planned for 1838 including a new startpoint at Buckingham Palace. Earlier processions had run from the Tower of London to the Abbey. Victoria's procession would be the longest since that of Charles II in April 1661. Scaffolding for spectators would be built all along the route; this was achieved according to contemporary reports, including one saying there was "scarcely a vacant spot along the whole, unoccupied with galleries or scaffolding".
The diarist Charles Greville commented that the principal object of the government plan was to amuse and interest the ordinary working people. He concluded that the "great merit" of the coronation was that so much had been done for the people. In terms of cost, the government was torn between the extremes of George IV's lavish coronation in 1821 and the "cut-price" event, dubbed the "Half-Crown-ation", held for William IV in 1831, they decided to allow a budget of £70,000. Therefore, the cost of Victoria's coronation represented a compromise between two extremes of £240,000 and £30,000; the government's plans for the coronation attracted considerable criticism from its opponents. For different reasons, both Tories and Radicals objected to the coronation being turned into a day of popular celebration, to be seen by as wide a public as possible; the Tory objections made beforehand, were that the government's plans to put much of the spending into the long public procession detracted from the traditional dignity of the ceremonies at Westminster, which would be "shorn of majesty by Benthamite utilitarianism".
The Radical left, including the Chartist movement, anti-monarchist, thought the whole occasion far too expensive. A dubious perception that prevailed was the identification of the new monarch with the Whig party; this would be a problem through the early years of Victoria's reign, leading to the so-called Bedchamber Crisis in 1839 over what were the political appointments of her ladies-in-waiting. In addition, the Whig party had exploited Victoria's name in its election campaign, suggesting that a monarch from a new generation would mean the progress of reform. William IV and his wife, Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, had strong Tory sympathies, while Victoria's mother and namesake was known to favour the Whigs, it was assumed, to some extent that Victoria herself had been brought up to hold similar views. This was reflected in popular ballads sold on the streets, one of which had Victoria saying: The government's decision to dispense with certain traditions was seen as snub by the Tory aristocracy.
The omissions included an exclusive banquet at Westminster Hall and medieval rituals like a monarchical champion throwing down a gauntlet. In the House of Lords, complaints were made about the processions because a young girl (Victori