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TO EARL RUSSELL
The Queen can assure Lord Russell that he need by under no apprehension of her not arriving in time for the opening of Parliament. If she has the whole Monday open she can go when she likes, and with Alberta she has no longer cause to fear a bad passage.
To enable the Queen to go through what she can only compare to an execution, it is of importance to keep the thought of it as much from her mind as possible, and therefore the going to Windsor to wait two whole days for this dreadful ordeal would do her positive harm.
The Queen has never till now mentioned this painful subject to Lord Russell, but she wishes once for all to just express her own feelings. She must, however, premise her observations by saying that she entirely absolves Lord Russell and his colleagues from any attempt ever to press upon her what is so very painful and effort. The Queen must say that she does feel very bitterly the want of feeling of those who ask the Queen to go to open Parliament. That the public should wish to see her she fully understands, and has no wish to prevent - quite the contrary; but why this wish should be of so unreasonable and unfeeling a nature, as to long to witness the spectacle of a poor, broken-hearted widow, nervous and shrinking, dragged in deep mourning, ALONE in STATE as a Show, where she used to go supported by her husband, to be gazed at, without delicacy of feeling, is a thing she cannot understand, and she never could wish her bitterest foe to be exposed to!
She will do it this time - as she promised it, but she owns she resents the unfeelingness of those who have clamoured for it. Of the suffering which it will cause her - nervous as she now is - she can give no idea, but she owns she hardly knows how she will go through it. Were the Queen a woman possessed of strong nerves, she would not mind going through this painful exhibition, but her nerves - from the amount of anxiety, and constant and unceasing work, which is quite overwhelming her, as well as from her deep sorrow - are terribly and increasingly shaken, and she will suffer much for some time after, from the shock to her nervous system which this ordeal will occasion. It is hard, when she works and slaves away all day and till late at night, not to be spared at least such trials.