30 MARCH 1861, Page 5


Tan Queen has passed the week in retirement. On Sunday Divine service was performed at Frogmore House before her Majesty, the Prince Consort, and the Royal Family. On Monday the funeral of the Duchess of Kent took place, and on Mannday Thunsday the royal alms were distributed with due ceremonial.

The remains.of the late Duchess of Kent were buried on Monday in St. George's Chapel. The funeral ceremonies were strictly private, in accordance with the wish of the Duchess herself; and though stately and solemn, they are said to have been marked by less of ostentatious display than even the ceremonies at the burial of the late Duchess of Gloucester. The remains of the Duchess were carried from Frogmore to Windsor in the strictest privacy. "Pre- cisely at five o'clock, as the grey dawn was breaking, the proces- sion reached the chapel; when the massive coffin was received by the Vice-Chamberlain of the Household, and removed upon a bier to the north nave, near the tomb of the Princess Charlotte. Here an in- closure had been formed by temporary screens of black cloth, within which the body was deposited in charge of the officers appointed by the Lord Chamberlain till the hour fixed for the interment arrived. But little change had been made in the interior of the chapel for this sad occasion, though the change, slight as it was, being one of colour, seemed to alter the whole aspect of the fine old building. The nave and aisles were covered with black cloth, which, stretching over the chapel, passed beneath the organ-loft into the choir. The steps lead- ing to the Communion-table, the Communion-table itself, and the walls at the back were also draped with black cloth. Thus the groined arches and fine white columns of the chapel had by contrast with the floor a black, ghastly look, while on the floor itself so deep seemed the dark hue that it was difficult to distinguish the forms of the attendants, as clad in deep mourning they moved noiselessly to and fro. Within the choir the contrast and the gloom were greater still. The stained window over the Communion-table let in but little of the gloomy day beyond, just bringing out in rich and bright relief the heraldic banners of the Knights of Garter, and making the sombre darkness of the wide space beneath appear yet darker still." Those who were commanded to be present were not admitted until ten o'clock. Among them were Lord Palmerston, Lord John Rus- sell, Earl Granville, the Bishop of Oxford, the Saxon, Belgian, Prus- sian, and Hanoverian Ministers, and a few others of less note, together with a number of ladies, chiefly connected with the Court. "Precisely at five minutes to eleven o'clock the curtain at the side of the little chapel in which the body had been laid was drawn aside, and slowly advancing, almost by inches at a time, the body was moved out into the church. The coffin was laid on a plain black cloth bier, mounted on small wheels inside. Over all was cast the pall, which, in order to conceal the assistants who moved the bier, was of unusual size. At the head and feet and at the sides were heraldic escocheons in a silver framing, which stood out in bright contrast to the deep black velvet of the pall. The escocheons contained two shields—those of the Duke of Kent, the Royal arms encirled by the Garter, and those of the late Duchess as a Princess of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Before the foot of the coffin Colonel Lord James Murray bore, on a black velvet cushion, the coronet of the deceased. In a few minutes afterwards, the imme- diate personal attendants of her late Royal Highness took their stations at the foot of the coffin, so as to head the procession. The choir, with the Canons and Dean of Windsor, filed slowly into their places, and the procession of chief mourners and representatives of foreign Sovereigns to follow the body took their respective stations in the nave. At eleven o'clock his Royal Highness the Prince Consort, accompanied on the right by his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and on the left by his Serene Highness the Prince of Leiningen, and followed by the other Royal mourners, passed down the nave, and took their stations at the head of the coffin."

Among those who took part in the procession were the representa- tives of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, of the King of Hanover and the Kim.; of the Belgians ; and immediately after the coffin were the Prince Consort, as chief mourner, the Prince of Wales, the Prince of Leiningen, Prince Arthur, the Duke of Cambridge, then the Count of Paris, the Duke de Nemours, the Duke de Chartres, the Duke d'Alencon; and after them Prince Philip of Wurtemberg, Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar, Prince Frederick of Schleswig- Holstein-Augustenberg, and Prince Victor of Hohenlohe-Langen- berg. The procession moved slowly and noiselessly up the chapel as the service began, and, at the lit moment, the gorgeous coffin was lowered into the grave. There was stillness, only broken by the movement of the guard outside as the soldiers reversed their arms. The rest of the religious portion of the ceremony being completed, Garter King-at-Arms, standing at the foot of the grave, proclaimed in a low, solemn voice the style of the illustrious deceased, according to ancient custom, in the following words :

" Thus it has pleased Almighty God to take out of this transitory life unto his divine mercy the most illustrious Princess Victoria Maria Louisa, widow of the most high, most mighty, and illustrious Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathern, and mother of Her Most Excellent Majesty Victoria, by the grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen, Defender of the Faith, whom God bless and preserve with long life, health, honour, and all worldly happiness."

Tins formula concluded the whole service. The chief mourner and the other members of the Royal Family and funeral cortege then slowly quitted the building. Those invited to attend also took their departure at the same time; in a few minutes the chapel was almost empty.

The coffin has not been deposited in its proper niche in the vault where the royal dead repose. It remains on the platform until the mausoleum at Froginore is completed, when tie body will he finally deposited in that resting-place, whither also the remains of the late Duke of Kent will be deposited.