April 11, 2015

Queen Victoria Finds Love

Below are excerpts from Queen Victoria's Letters to Her Uncle, the King of the Belgians pertaining to her Love, Prince Albert and their Eventual Nuptials
Buckingham Palace, 15th July 1839. 

My dear Uncle,  Though all the reports of Albert are most favourable, and though I have little doubt I shall like him, still one can never answer beforehand for feelings, and I may not have the feeling for him which is requisite to ensure happiness. I may like him as a friend, and as a cousin, and as a brother, but not more; and should this be the case (which is not likely), I am very anxious that it should be understood that I am not guilty of any breach of promise, for I never gave any.

Windsor Castle, 1st October 1839.

My dear Uncle, The retard of these young people puts me rather out, but of course cannot be helped. I had a letter from Albert yesterday saying they could not set off, he thought, before the 6th. I think they don't exhibit much empressement to come here, which rather shocks me.

Windsor Castle, 12th October 1839.

My dear Uncle,—... The dear cousins arrived at half-past seven on Thursday, after a very bad and almost dangerous passage, but looking both very well, and much improved. Having no clothes, they could not appear at dinner, but nevertheless débutéd after dinner in their négligé. Ernest is grown quite handsome; Albert's beauty is most striking, and he so amiable and unaffected—in short, very fascinating; he is excessively admired here.

Windsor Castle, 15th October 1839.

My dearest Uncle,  My mind is quite made up—and I told Albert this morning of it; the warm affection he showed me on learning this gave me great pleasure. He seems perfection, and I think that I have the prospect of very great happiness before me. I love him more than I can say, and I shall do everything in my power to render the sacrifice he has made (for a sacrifice in my opinion it is) as small as I can. He seems to have a very great tact—a very necessary thing in his position. These last few days have passed like a dream to me, and I am so much bewildered by it all that I know hardly how to write; but I do feel very, very happy.

My feelings are a little changed, I must say, since last Spring, when I said I couldn't think of marrying for three or four years; but seeing Albert has changed all this.

Queen Victoria to the Prince Albert.
Windsor Castle, 27th November 1839.

Dear Albert,  The English are very jealous of any foreigner interfering in the government of this country, and have already in some of the papers (which are friendly to me and you) expressed a hope that you would not interfere. Now, though I know you never would, still, if you were a Peer, they would all say, the Prince meant to play a political part. I am certain you will understand this, but it is much better not to say anything more about it now, and to let the whole matter rest. The Tories make a great disturbance (saying) that you are a Papist, because the words "a Protestant Prince" have not been put into the Declaration—a thing which would be quite unnecessary, seeing that I cannot marry a Papist....

Queen Victoria records her wedding to Prince Albert in her Journal entry of 10 February 1840.

The Ceremony was very impressive & fine, yet simple, & I think ought to make an imperishable impression on everyone who promises at the altar to keep the vows he or she have made. Albert repeated everything very distinctly. I felt so happy when he placed the ring on my finger.

February 17, 2015

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday begins on or after King's Day and culminates on the day before Ash Wednesday. 

The Carnival celebrations reflect the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season.

Mardi Gras in Mobile is the oldest annual Carnival celebration in the United States, having started in 1703.

In 1856, a group of business men in New Orleans formed a secret society called the Krewe of Comus to help organize the Mardi Gras festivities. An invitation to their balls were highly coveted. 

The first Texas Mardi Gras celebration was in Galveston in 1867, just two years after the War Between the States. A group of the city's most distinguished citizens formed the Knights of Momus. Elaborate invitations to themed royal balls were attended by costumed revelers.

The king and queen and their royal court are chosen by each Krewe.

1885 New Orleans Mardi Gras parade with fantastical floats.

Mardi Gras colors: purple: justice, gold:power, green:faith

Laissez les bons temps rouler
"Let the good times roll."