The Unpopular Prince

Posted: January 21, 2010 in Prince Albert Victor
The growing unpopularity of Prince Albert Victor is giving both the Queen and the Prince of Wales serious anxiety. The young man will take no pains to propitiate people. He is dense, apathetic, short-tempered, and sulky. The Marlborough House set made him their butt. His father alternately scolds or exhorts, whilst his mother pets and protects him. The young Princesses of Wales openly deride Victor’s "stolidity," and even "Brother George" must feel a certain amount of contempt for his elder’s lack of savoir faire. The Queen alone treats the heir-presumptive with consideration. At Windsor or Balmoral the young Prince is always sure of a cordial welcome, though her Majesty makes no secret of her disappointment at his repeated failures in public. Considering how well most of the Royal Family deliver common-place speeches, Albert Victor’s utter inability to string together half-a-dozen sentences coherently seems inexplicable. For years past the chief work of his life with Canon Dalton has been studying this very art, yet he has not even mastered the ABC of public speaking. Even if it is merely a case of returning thanks after dinner, the speech has to be written out for him. When he repeats it he does so like a parrot, without feeling or expression, and then, plumping down in his chair, takes no further interest in the proceedings whatever they may be. At several public dinners lately his Royal Highness has given offence by chatting loudly to his neighbour whilst speaking was going on. His guttural request, too – "Where can I have my suggurette?" comes nearly as often as his parent’s "I really must have a cigar"; and at Edinburgh, not long ago, he completely disorganised a whole day’s arrangements.
Source: Evening Post, Volume XXXII, Issue 136, 23 October 1886, Page 1

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