in the Works of
London: John Murray, 1997
....Christmas 1860 was celebrated at Windsor. With both the Prince of Wales and Prince Albert at home. George Byng, seventh Viscount Torrington...sent J. T. Delane of THE TIMES and intimate account of what was to be the last family Christmas with the Prince Consort....
The Queen´s private sitting rooms, three in number, were lighted up with Christmas trees hung from the ceiling, the chandeliers being taken down. These trees, of immense size, besides others on the tables, were covered with bonbons and coloured wax lights. Some of the trees were made to appear if part1ally covered with snow. These rooms contained all the presents for the royal family the one to the other. Each member gave a present to one another, so that, including the Prince of Hesse and the Duchess of Kent, every person had to receive or give thirteen presents…
…On Christmas Day the windows at Windsor were clouded by frost...the Duchess came to luncheon, and Leopold and Beatrice ("Baby") were permitted to join the family for dessert. Albert swung Baby in a large dinner napkin.
Christmas dinner was for adults only. Lord Torrington went to the kitchen to watch the roasting of turkeys, geese, and beef -- "a mighty sight: at least fifty turkeys before one fire." By custom...the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland sent the sovereign at Christmas a large woodcock pie. Victoria's had one hundred birds in it....
The dinner "was really wonderful…I did not go to bed till
near three o'clock, as we finished the evening with some pool and billiards,
and Captain DuPlat and self cleared the remainder out of every silver coin
they possessed. Altogether a jolly Christmas Day...."
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