…The Queen wishes to express…her strong feeling with regard to mentioning the present arrangements of having some of her Cavalry Regiments in India. It is the only School Cavalry…
This is an extraordinary letter from the earlier years of Victoria’s reign when she was fully engaged in regal duties at the end of the Crimean War. India was a subject always dear to the Queen’s heart and it is significant that she uses imperial language in this letter many years before she herself became Empress of India. Lord Palmerston was the foreign secretary par excellence of her reign, but this was written during his time as Prime Minister. Victoria disliked Palmerston’s behavior in both roles and resented his high-handedness in engaging in diplomacy behind her back. This letter was written at a crucial moment, the end of the ancient régime in the governance of India. In the following year began the Indian mutiny which brought about the demise of the East India Company which, with its own private army, had enforced order in the country for over two hundred years.
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