VICTORIA, Queen of England (1819-1901). Manuscript letter signed ("Victoria R.") to the King of Sardinia (Charles Albert of Savoy), Kensington Palace, 23 June 1837. 2 pages, 4to, mourning paper, with separate address leaf bearing two black royal seals.
VICTORIA ASCENDS THE THRONE
Victoria, aged 18, and about to ascend the throne of Great Britain, informs Charles Albert of Savoy, the King of Sardinia (1798-1849) of the passing of King William IV (1765-1837). "It is with the deepest affliction that I announce to Your Majesty the decease of my most Honoured and Beloved Uncle, His Late Majesty King William the Fourth, of Blessed memory, whom it pleased God to call from this world on the morning of the 20th Instant, at twelve minutes past two o'clock, in the 72nd year of His Age, and the 7th of His reign. While I thus communicate to Your Majesty the earliest intelligence of this mournful Event, I feel convinced that your Majesty will participate in my own and the public grief for the loss of a Sovereign whose Memory is justly dear to His Family, and to the Subjects of every Class. In acquainting Your Majesty at the same time with my Accession to the Throne of this Kingdom, I cannot omit to assure Your Majesty that it will be my most earnest desire to cultivate and maintain the Relations of friendship and good Understanding which so happily subsist between Our respective Crowns; and that it will always afford me the pleasure to have fresh opportunities of proving to Your majesty the sincerity of the Attachment and distinguished consideration with which I am, Sir My Brother, Your majesty's good sister Victoria R." The new Queen's bold signature suggests the self-assurance with which she assumed her new title. William IV, convinced that his reign would be short, had worried about ambitious courtiers who might take advantage of a young monarch, especially Sir John Conroy, private secretary to Victoria's mother. Victoria, however, had come to feel the same way, and banished Conroy from the Court upon her ascension.