ON THE DEATH OF PRINCE ALBERT:
“WE ARE ALL PLUNGED IN THE DEEPEST SORROW....
MAMA IS TOLERABLY WELL AND BEARS THIS HEAVY SORROW WITH RESIGNATION”
HELENA AUGUSTA VICTORIA, PRINCESS. Autograph Letter Signed to Lady Gainsborough, Osborne House, 21 December 1861. 3 pages, 5¼" x 8", on mourning stationery embossed with her monogram.
The fifth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Princess Helena was fifteen years old when her father died unexpectedly on December 14, 1861. That event devastated the Queen, who spent the rest of her life in mourning and isolation. Here, just a week after Albert’s death, Helena writes from Osborne House, where Victoria and her household had taken refuge, to Frances Noel, Countess of Gainsborough, who was a lady-in-waiting to the Queen.
“Your dear kind letter has given me much pleasure and I thank you with all my heart,” Helena declares. “We are all plunged in the deepest sorrow. Oh! What a dreadful blow has fallen on us. Our hearts are broken, and words cannot express what we suffer.– I pray God that he will give me the strength to bear this trial & that I may be a comfort and help to my dear Mama. –
“Mama is tolerably well and bears this heavy sorrow with resignation,” the Princess continues. “I hope you will forgive this bad letter but my heart is so full that I can scarcely write. I remain Yours most sincerely Helena.”
In later years, Princess Helena married Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein; the couple remained in England where Helena was regularly called upon to perform various duties for the Queen. Helena was involved in various charities and worked especially to promote nursing.
The letter is written on black-bordered mourning stationery, embossed with Helena’s monogram. The last page of the letter is glued to an album leaf, causing some wrinkling and light staining to that page, and there is some marginal wear overall, but not affecting the text.
A letter about the death of Albert by a member of his immediate family is a rarity. $1000.00
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