10 FEBRUARY 1866, Page 1


THE QUEEN opened Parliament on Tuesday, and sat upon the State robe (which had been spread on the throne), but not in it, —the Princesses filially drawing a little of it round Her Majesty's person below the knee, so that she might be said to wear it in a modified degree. She was dressed in what was said to be a very dark- crimson, carrying the effect of black, trimmed with " white miniver," and a Marie Stuart white lace cap, a collar of brilliants, and a blue riband of the Order of the CEarter. Her Majesty was, it is said, not even a spectator of the ceremonial of which she was the central object. She cast down her eyes from the first, and did not even lift them when the faithful Commons rushed in in a mob. The Lord Chancellor read the Speech without receiving apparently any token from Her Majesty, but she bowed in answer to his bow at its conclusion, rose from her seat, kissed the Princess of Wales, shook hands with Prince Christian, and was handed out by the Prince of Wales. It was a scant royal apparition. On Wednesday an evening contemporary asserted that Her Majesty had deter- mined to hold Drawing-rooms again, and improved drawing-rooms, —drawing-rooms with better arrangements than formerly for the reception of her guests. But this announcement was—not exactly contradicted on Friday, but enveloped in an atmosphere of doubt, by the official announcement that the statement as to the drawing- rooms " purported to be held at St. James's Palace " was " un- authorized, and did not convey correct information." Perhaps, however, it is still permissible to hope that the incorrectness only affects the promised additions of comfort, and not the drawing- rooms themselves. The Queen may still accede to drawing-rooms as an ascetic discipline, though not to drawing-rooms as works of art and beauty.