Disraeli meets Queen Victoria

Sir Geoffrey Howe’s resignation speech

This Treasure is paired with: Sir Geoffrey Howe’s resignation speech (Ladies not for turning)

Disraeli here recounts his first meeting with Queen Victoria, on becoming Prime Minster on 27 February 1868. He wrote this letter to his private secretary Montagu Corry, and sent an almost identical one to Mary Anne, his wife, on the same day. The Queen gave him an enthusiastic reception, and, to his evident delight, invited him back for dinner again the following day.


Transcription (Dep. Hughenden 41/1)


Feb 28                   1868

My dear Montagu,

I arrived here yesterday at 7 o’c[loc]k & about ½ an hour afterwards, had my audience of Her Majesty. I was standing in the closet when the door opened & the Queen came in, radiant with smiles, & holding out her hand, saying “You must kiss hands” wh[ich] I did immediately & most heartily, falling on my knee, & saying I kissed her hand in faith & loving loyalty. Then she sate down, wh[ich] she only does with the chief minister I still standing, & talked so long, that I had hardly time to dress. I dined with her quite alone – i.e. Princess L[ouise]. & D[uche]ss of Ath[oll].: & I dine again with her today. I thank you for y[ou]r letter & I hope tomorrow will bring ano[the]r.

Yours D

This Treasure isn’t currently on display in the Weston Library.