Here our club members are presenting some of the world's most collectible and desired items of philatelic interest. Each month we will display items that are of a unique character, obscure or extremely hard to find, portray printing or other errors or are in general fun and interesting. When an item has high value the owner's name will not be listed.
For your viewing pleasure our own club member Dennis Hassler has provided us with a glimpse of a mourning cover in the form of a German postcard which talks of the ship carrying the body of Queen Victoria in 1901.
Death of Queen Victoria
Early in the morning of Jan. 19, Queen Victoria seemed better and then she quickly slipped out of consciousness again. The doctors summoned her children and grandchildren. At 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 22 Queen Victoria died, surrounded by her family, at the Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.
On January 25, attending physician Dr. Reid carefully placed the items Queen Victoria had requested in the bottom of her coffin: Albert's dressing gown, a plaster cast of Albert's hand, and photographs. Then, Queen Victoria's body was lifted into the coffin with the help of her son Albert (the new king), her grandson William (the German Kaiser), and her son Arthur (the Duke of Connaught). The coffin was closed and then carried to the dining room where it was covered with the Union Jack (Britain's flag) while the body lay in state.
The Funeral Procession and depiction of the body as portrayed on the cover:
On February 1, Queen Victoria's coffin was moved from Osborne House and placed on the ship Alberta, which carried the queen's coffin across the Solent to Portsmouth. On February 2, the coffin was transported by train to Victoria Station in London.
From Victoria to Paddington, the queen's coffin was carried by gun carriage, since Queen Victoria had requested a military funeral. She had also wanted a white funeral, so the gun carriage was pulled by eight white horses. The streets along the funeral route were crowded with spectators who wanted to get a last glimpse of the queen. As the carriage passed by everyone remained silent. All that could be heard were the clattering of the horses' hooves, the jangling of swords, and the distant boom of gun salutes.
Once at Paddington, the queen's coffin was placed on a train and taken to Windsor. At Windsor, the coffin was again placed on a gun carriage pulled by white horses.
Queen Victoria's coffin was then placed in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, where it remained in the Albert Memorial Chapel for two days under guard.
On the evening of February 4, Queen Victoria's coffin was taken by gun carriage to Frogmore Mausoleum, which she had built for her beloved Albert upon his death, and there she was buried.
Thank you Dennis for providing us this interesting piece of philatelic history.
Thank you visitors and friends for looking at these interesting Gems!
The German text at left on the back of the postcard is translated below.
This being a narrative summary of the view and happenings on the ship carrying Victoris to her final destination..
The German card at right addressed to Dresden and on the reverse a glowing description of the procession on the ship "Alberta". Note that the Kaiser of Germany was Victoria's grandson.