HL Deb 17 February 1863 vol 169 cc372-4

MESSAGE from THE QUEEN delivered by The LORD PRESIDENT, and read by The LORD CHANCELLOR, as follows:—


"Her Majesty relies on the Loyalty and Affection of the House of Lords, and on the cordial Interest which they have manifested in the happy Event of the approaching Marriage of The Prince of Wales to The Princess Alexandra of Denmark, that they will be ready to concur in such Provision as may be judged necessary to enable Her Majesty to settle an Establishment for the Prince and Princess suited to their Rank and Dignity."


My Lords, in accordance with the precedents on such occasions, I rise to move an Address to the Queen in answer to the Message which Her Majesty has been graciously pleased to communicate to your Lordships respecting the intended marriage of the Prince of Wales with the Princess Alexandra of Denmark. Her Majesty was graciously pleased in the Speech from the Throne to intimate that intended alliance. the reception which that passage in the Speech met with from your Lordships and the cheers with which the observations of the Mover and Seconder, and those of the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Derby) and other Peers, referring to that passage, were received, manifested how heartily your Lordships joined with Her Majesty in the satisfaction that She must derive from an event which in Her judgment and that of Her lamented Consort will be calculated to promote the happiness of the Prince of Wales. No doubt your Lordships were anxious on that occasion to pay a just tribute to the personal character of His Royal Highness and that of the illustrious Princess to whom he is about to ally himself in marriage; but you also felt that this is an event not only interesting to the Royal Family, but likely to contribute much to the welfare of the people at large. Your Lordships embodied that sentiment in an Address unanimously adopted. I have, therefore, no difficulty whatever in asking you to agree to a Resolution which, even in the absence of those feelings to which I have just alluded, would, on constitutional grounds, commend itself to the Legislature of a country with monarchical institutions such as exist among us. My Lords, I beg to move— That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, to return to Her Majesty the Thanks of this House for Her most gracious Message, and to assure Her Majesty that this House will immediately proceed to the Consideration thereof, in such a Manner as shall demonstrate their Zeal, Duty, and affectionate Attachment to Her Majesty and a due Regard to the Rank and Dignity of the Royal Family.


My Lords, if this was a question on which there could possibly have arisen a difference of opinion, I should have thought, whatever may have been the precedents, it would have been more convenient for the noble Earl to have given notice that he would move that the House should take Her Majesty's Gracious Message into consideration on some future day—which is the course, I understand, that has been taken by the other House of Parliament; but this question is one on which, whether the attendance of Peers was large or small, no difference of opinion could arise; and therefore I cheerfully concur in the Motion, and second it, if the noble Earl thinks it will be more complimentary to Her Majesty, that it should be adopted without further delay. As the noble Earl has truly stated, we have already offered our congratulations to Her Majesty on this auspicious event; for, in answer to Her Majesty's Speech from the Throne, we have taken occasion to express, both on public grounds and private, our loyal satisfaction at the approaching marriage of the Prince of Wales. The present Address is in pursuance—a fulfilment, in point of fact—of expectations which Parliament held out that we were willing to take every step in our power to give effect to the desire expressed by Her Majesty. The question, as far as it is one of Supply, more properly belongs to the other House of Parliament in the first instance; and if I am rightly informed of the proposition which is to be made to that House, I quite concur with the Government in thinking that the reasonableness and moderation of the proposition is such as that neither in that House nor in this can any exception be taken to it on financial or other grounds. It is of the utmost importance to this country that a person in the position of the Prince of Wales should be supplied with an income sufficient to keep up a becoming dignity without involving him in the danger or necessity of incurring debts. We know that the incurring of debts by former heirs to the Throne led to very unpleasant feelings between the Crown and the people. If I am rightly informed, the provision about to be proposed for the Prince of Wales will enable him to accomplish the former object without involving him in the danger to which I have just referred. I am sure that His Royal Highness, having before him the example of careful, prudent, and economical management set by his illustrious parents, will carefully avoid in the management of his Household both extremes—either a parsimony unworthy his station, or, on the other hand, an extravagance which could only lead to embarrassment. My Lords, I feel much pleasure in seconding the Motion, and am confident you will unanimously concur in the Address proposed by the noble Earl.


explained that the course which he asked their Lordships to follow on the occasion and that taken by the House of Commons were both in accordance with precedent.

Motion agreed to, Nemine Dissentiente; The said Address to be presented to Her Majesty by the Lords with White Staves.