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June 12th 1904, Buckingham Palace

Dearest Missy!

Only a few words in the middle of the greatest agitations, but all going well and Baby enjoying it very much. We had a court ball, a big dinner and a concert, a private dinner and dance at Lord Farquhar and more opera then I quite can stand… All very amiable, especially the Majesties, no explanations or unpleasant conversations, Aunt Alix quite charming and remarkably “frisky”, enjoying life more than she did for years, all tell me so. Yesterday I went with her for a long auto drive in the country and as I have found her far more nervous than myself, I was not a bit ridiculous and sat in perfect calm. We had tea in the grass with some select people and dinner at Lady de Grey. Oh! You see, I am severely in for it, but I will do them all, as I am fresh and well, and they already tired! So I develop all my spirits and astound them! Non of your dull poor old Duchess, for I auftreten with the greatest aplomb and pounce upon all my acquaintances.  Well, this will set me up again in London society and I stand it for a short time, but it is very fatiguing and I drop to sleep on an armchair even before luncheon and a frightfully correct page wakes me up with a start, to announce 2 o’clock and luncheon. The whole morning I have been seeing people and “gushing Gussy” is very trying, because she jabbers away and I never can turn her out of the room within a good half hour. This afternoon the Majesties go off to Windsor for Ascot week and we to Kensington which might just be a bit dull, for I don’t think Aunty B. cultivates much the society, nor sees many people. However, there are some invitations for Baby and myself. Imagine that she is quite different determined to amuse herself and danced with pleasure, sans se faire prier! What a good thing for her. We went once to Clarence House to tea and Aunt Alix came too. Well, it gave me a pang at first, but it is much changed and in many ways immensely improved, only my own rooms were much nicer before. Aunt Louischen always looks sour, so I don’t find that she is worse than before.

Has Ducky written to you to say, how all our efforts to arrange their marriage, miserably failed again and just as all seemed so well arranged! It is too wretched for words and now we again don’t know what to do. A last effort is being made by Erni H. and if that fails I think we must apply to the King and his kindness. The details I cannot write now, as I have only a short half hour to write and must end now, the mornings are always one series of interruptions and later on I am quite incapable. Aunt Alix would be so pleased to see you, but she says the 15th of July is too late. I saw the Astors, thought him also charming but advised him to let his moustache grow again… This Thursday I asked to go to Ascot to show baby this dull amusement, one day we can stand it. This week more opera but I prefer some amusing plays… You know that Ducky and Kyrill are at Langenburg, went all together in automobile.

Much love, please write soon. Aunt Alix enchanted with your picture.


©Diana Mandache