May 20th /00
My dear Father
I wonder what time you heard the news yesterday, a report reached here on Thursday afternoon, but only a report, so notice was given that when the official news was received, a cannon would be fired and rockets sent up. We were woken up at six o’clock by the cannon yesterday, and everybody was wild with delight. We cheered lustily ad breakfast time, and before and hung out flags. When we went over to school everyone was making the most awful row. We had a hymn and psalms suitable at prayers, then sang “God save the Queen”, and cheered again and clapped. Then Miss Smith said she thought nobody would be able to do any work, and that we would have a holiday, so we all took our books and came back again. Writing and prep except Sunday scripture is excused. We never thought they would give us a holiday. I think the governesses were as keen to have a holiday as we were, a good many went to London I fancy, and some went off bicycling. On the morning Sister took us round the town to see the decorations and what else was going on. A lot of us went to St George’s in the afternoon, we had tea out in the garden first, quite a grand tea. We were anxious to see the Queen go in, but she did not return till 7.30 so we could not wait after St George’s till then. However Sister said she would take us up, the town was getting very full. We waited some little time up by the castle, there were not many people there, but heaps just below in the town, it was amusing watching them. About 7.30 the Queen drove up, accompanied by the Duke of Connaught and I think the Duchess. We saw them splendidly. The Queen noticed us and bowed, and the Duke took off his hat to us in the most profound manner. I have seen the Queen three times last week, on Monday when returning from her drive; then I went to try and see her on Thursday, the day of the christening of the new York baby. We saw several royalty that day before the Queen. She was accompanied by the Duchess of York, and I think the Princess of Wales. We again saw the Queen splendidly, and I saw the Duchess particularly well, as she was sitting opposite, she looked so nice. Then of course we saw the Queen again yesterday, I wanted to be able to say I saw her the day of the news of the relief of Mafeking. I am going to see her as many times as I can, as I think she goes to Balmoral soon, and perhaps she may not be back before the summer holidays. There was a grand torchlight procession in the evening, it started near here from the recreations ground, we were standing not very far from where it started, not quite in the midst of the crowd, but there were heaps of people about. It was very pretty, there were such a lot of torches. It consisted of all kinds of brigades, volunteers, firemen, some regulars, decorated bicycles, there were two or three bands. The Eton boys joined further up, but we did not see them. There was a grand car, decorated, khaki soldiers on it in the middle. We had supper about nine, after seeing it start, and then went to St Dunstan’s villa to see it come back. We got to bed somewhere after 11. I went to the Castle at least 4 times yesterday, besides elsewhere. I expect Jack saw a good deal in London, I should like to have been there with him. I suppose both the boys had holidays. It was a glorious day yesterday and is again today, I only hope Thursday will be as fine.
George looks very funny in his photo, I do not think he looks bad in his glasses. I very much hope you will manage to get Mr Gepp for the Flower Show, everyone will be very pleased to see him if he does. I do think Uncle John and Auntie Lottie are most gay. With very much love to all, I am
Your loving daughter
You will be very of this rambling discourse.