Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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Chap. V.]                    Royal Visitors.                               55
weeks at the Cavendish Hotel. The Grand Duchess asked us to go to the Hotel the day before they left East-Bourne and take leave of her. When we were ushered into the Drawing-room we found her on her knees packing into a box her various East-Bourne purchases, and, by way of explanation of her employment, she told us that the Emperor, her father, had brought up all his children, including herself, to know as much as possible about everything, and to be able to do as many things as possible for themselves without always invoking the help of equerries, ladies-in-waiting and servants. This explan­ation of the educational principles in vogue half a century ago in the Hohenzollern family throws some light on the personal actions of the old Emperor's grandson, William II. Our visit terminated with the expression of a hope on Her Royal Highness's part that if ever we found our­selves anywhere near Baden we should not fail to go and see her. The Grand Duchess may be described as an exceedingly pleasant and unsophisticated person.
The next Royal Visitor was H.R.H. the Princess Christian, who came down on July 5, 1882, to lay the foundation stone of the Hospital, which was named after her sister the Princess Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse, who had died not long before, under circumstances which many will remember, of diptheria caught whilst nursing a sick child. Her Royal Highness was enter­tained at Compton Place by Mr. and Lady Fanny Howard for the occasion. A gentleman then living at East-Bourne, Mr. F. W. Bourdillon, had been tutor to the Princess's Children and she called at his house, No. 7 South Cliff, and planted a commemorative tree which, sad to say, lived but a short time owing to the exposed situation and the lack of adequate protection. This was the first Royal visit which was made the subject of a town demonstration and street decorations. Various public bodies were concerned in the matter, such as Yeomanry, Coastguards, Volunteers and such like. The expenses of the display amounted to £167, raised by subscription^
(a) The Illustrated London News of July 15, contained a set of miserable sketches of the day's proceedings, too bad to be reproduced here.
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