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Baroness Georgiana Bloomfield

Maid of Honour to Queen Victoria

 

26 December 1842

 

"The Queen sent for us and Lady Canning at five o'clock on Saturday, and gave us each a Christmas-box. Mine is a brooch of dark blue and light blue enamel in the shape of a bow, with two rubies and a diamond. Miss Lister has a brooch something similar, and Lady Canning the bracelet always given to the Ladies of the Bedcdamber, with a portrait of the Queen from Winterhalter's picture. The Queen also gave Lady Canning a nice Paisley shawl, and before dinner all the household received presents pins, studs, rings, etc. etc. After dinner there were three lovely Christmas trees, and there was some very pretty music in the evening."

 

Hon. Eleonor Stanley

Maid of Honour to Quuen Victoria

 

24th December 1843

 

"We are just come in, having been to the Chapel, after walking in the slopes with the Queen; on coming home we were desired to wait in the gallery, where she presently came to us and presented us with our Christmas gifts; Lady Douro's is the usual Lady in Waiting's bracelet, with her picture, and Miss Hamilton's and mine are of enamel, with a little buckle of pearls, by way of clasp, very pretty, and it was so nice of her to give them herself instead of sending them by a dresser."

 

25th December 1847

 

"Yesterday evening we were desired, at a quarter to seven, to come down to the Corridor, to get our Gifts; we found all the gentlemen and Mrs. Anson already assembled, and presently the page desired us to go to the Oak-room, where the Queen and Prince already were, standing by a large table covered with a white cloth, in the middle of which was a little fir-tree, in the German fashion, covered with bonbons, gilt walnuts, and little coloured tapers...  Round this were all our presents, with the name of each person, written by the Queen on a slip of paper lying by the present; Caroline's and mine were two very pretty little chains for round the neck, with a hand in front, which holds the ring, to which is fastened a heart or locket; mine is in carbuncles and little diamonds, and Caroline's in Pave de Vienne, of the same pattern…

 

... After we had got ours, we followed the Queen and Prince to see their own presents, and the children's and the Duchess of Kent's. The latter's were, little statues of Princess Royal and Princess Alice, the size of life, from the Queen and Prince, and some other little trifles. The Queen's were the handsomest; some of the things very pretty, particularly a large drawing from one of Overbeck's cartoons, and several small bronze copies of old statues, the Hercules, etc. There were also some blue and diamond brooches, the Duchess of Kent gave her, very pretty.

 

The Prince's were also very nice ; the Queen's gifts were a small picture by Landseer, of herself and the two eldest children, standing by the Lake at Ardverikie, with a Highland man and pony near them—a beautiful picture; also a little sketch of a Magdalen by Winterhalter, very pretty. The children had each a little table with their new toys, and were running about in great glee showing them off ; Prince Alfred, in a glorious tinsel helmet that almost covered his face, was shooting us all with a new gun, and Princess Alice was making us admire her dolls, etc."

 

27th December 1851

 

"On Thursday night, Christmas, the dessert consisted almost entirely of the most lovely bonbons, dogs, men, steam-boats, etc., and the table was abandoned to pillage, everyone coming away loaded with spoils. The younger Royal infants were there during all dinner-time, the elder ones only came in to dessert. Princess Royal and Princess Alice looking very nice in little wreaths of holly ; the little ones went to bed directly after dinner, but Princess Royal and Prince of Wales sat up till ten; you can't think how simple and happy all the Royalty looked, just like any other family, of the most united and domestic tastes."

Queen Victoria's Ladies-in-Waiting remember

THE ROYAL CHRISTMAS

in their own words:

Royal Menus