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Leaves from the Journal
From our life in the Highlands from 1848 to 1861 (1868)


The circumstances which have led to the publication of this Volume are, briefly, these.

During one of the Editor’s official visits to Balmoral, her Majesty very kindly allowed him to see several extracts from her journal, relating to excursions in the Highlands of Scotland. He was much interested by them; and expressed the interest which he felt. It then occurred to her Majesty that these extracts, referring, as they did, to some of the happiest hours of her life, might be made into a book, to be printed privately, for presentation to members of the Royal Family and her Majesty’s intimate friends; especially to those who had accompanied and attended her in these tours.

It was then suggested to her Majesty by some persons, among them a near and dear relative of the Queen, and afterwards by the Editor, that this work, if made known to others, would be very interesting to them as well as to the Royal Family and to her Majesty’s intimate friends. The Queen, however, said, that she had no skill whatever in authorship; that these were, for the most part, mere homely accounts of excursions near home; and that she felt extremely reluctant to publish anything written by herself.

To this the Editor respectfully replied, that, if printed at all, however limited the impression, and however careful the selection of persons to whom copies might be given, some portions of the volume, or quite as probably incorrect representations of its contents, might find their way into the public journals. It would therefore, he thought, be better at once to place the volume within the reach of her Majesty’s subjects, who would, no doubt, derive from it pleasure similar to that which it had afforded to the Editor himself. Moreover, it would be very gratifying to her subjects, who had always shown a sincere and ready sympathy with the personal joys and sorrows of their Sovereign,—to be allowed to know how her rare moments of leisure were passed in her Highland home, when every joy was heightened, and every care and sorrow diminished, by the loving companionship of the Prince Consort. With his memory the scenes to which this volume refers would always be associated. Upon these considerations her Majesty eventually consented to its publication.

While the book was being printed, the Editor suggested that it would gain in interest if other extracts were added to it, describing her Majesty’s progresses in England, Ireland, and the Channel Islands.

The Queen was pleased to assent; and the additions were accordingly made.

It will easily be seen that this little work does not make any pretension to be more than such a record of the impressions received by the Royal Author in the course of these journeys, as might hereafter serve to recall to her own mind the scenes and circumstances which had been the source of so much pleasure. All references to political questions, or to the affairs of Government, have, for obvious reasons, been studiously omitted. The book is mainly confined to the natural expressions of a mind rejoicing in the beauties of nature, and throwing itself, with a delight rendered keener by the rarity of its opportunities, into the enjoyment of a life removed, for the moment, from the pressure of public cares.

It would not be becoming in the Editor to dwell largely upon the merits of this work. He may, however, allude to the picturesque descriptions of scenery in which the work abounds; to the simplicity of diction throughout it; and to the perfect faithfulness of narration which is one of its chief characteristics; for in every page the writer describes what she thinks and feels, rather than what she might be expected to think and feel.

Moreover, he may point out the willingness to be pleased, upon which so much of the enjoyment of any tour depends : and also the exceeding kindliness of feeling—the gratitude even—with which the Royal Tourists recognize any attention paid to them, or any manifestation of the cordial attachment felt towards them, by any of her Majesty’s subjects, from the highest to the humblest, whom they happen to meet with in the course of their journeys.

The Editor thinks that he should not be doing justice to the Royal Author’s book—not doing what, if it were any other person’s work which was entrusted to his editing, he should do—if he were to forbear giving utterance to the thoughts which occurred to him in reference to the notes to the Volume.

These notes, besides indicating that peculiar memory for persons, and that recognition of personal attachment, which have been very noticeable in our Sovereigns, illustrate, in a striking manner, the Patriarchal feeling (if one may apply such a word as “patriarchal” to a lady) which is so strong in the present occupant of the Throne. Perhaps there is no person in these realms who takes a more deep and abiding interest in the welfare of the household committed to his charge than our gracious Queen does in hers, or who feels more keenly what are the reciprocal duties of masters and servants.

Nor does any one wish more ardently than her Majesty, that there should be no abrupt severance of class from class, but rather a gradual blending together of all classes,—caused by a full community of interests, a constant interchange of good offices, and a kindly respect felt and expressed by each class to all its brethren in the great brotherhood that forms a nation.

Those whose duty it has been to attend upon the Queen in matters of business, must have noticed that her Majesty, as a person well versed in the conduct of affairs, is wont to keep closely to the point at issue, and to speak of nothing but what is directly connected with the matter before her. But whenever there is an exception to this rule, it arises from her Majesty’s anxious desire to make some inquiry about the welfare of her subjects—to express her sympathy with this man’s sorrow, or on that man's bereavement—to ask what is the latest intelligence about this disaster, or that suffering, and what can be done to remedy or assuage it—thus showing, unconsciously, that she is, indeed, the Mother of her People, taking the deepest interest in all that concerns them, without respect of persons, from the highest to the lowest.

The Editor thinks that one point of interest which will incidentally be disclosed by this publication, is the aspect of the Court in these our times. What would not the historian give to have similar materials within his reach, when writing about the reigns of the great Queen Elizabeth or the good Queen Anne? There is always something in the present which has the appearance of being trivial and prosaic; but the future historian will delight in having details before him furnished by this book and by the Life of the Prince Consort, which will enable him fully to describe the reign of Victoria, and justly to appreciate the private life of a Sovereign whose public life will enter so largely into the annals of the nineteenth century.

One more remark the Editor cannot refrain from making; namely, that it is evident that her Majesty never takes for granted the services and attentions which are rendered to her, and which we all know would be rendered to her from dutiful respect and regard, but views them as especial kindnesses shown to herself, and to which she makes no claim whatever from her exalted position as a Sovereign.

This latter trait, very characteristic of the Royal Author, gives, throughout, an additional charm to the book, which, on that account alone, and apart even from its many other merits, will, the Editor doubts not, be gratefully and affectionately welcomed by the public.

January, 1868.


Earlier Visits to Scotland

First Visit to Scotland 29 Aug. 1842
Visit to Blair Athole 9 Sept, 1844
Tour round the West Coast of Scotland and Visit to Ardverikie 11 Aug 1847

Life in the Highlands, 1848—1861

First Impressions of Balmoral 8 Sept. 1848
First Ascent of Loch-na-Gar 16 Sept. 1848
A “Drive” in the Balloch Buie 18 Sept. 1848
The First Stay at Alt-na-Giuthasach 30 Aug. 1849
A Beat in the Abergeldio Woods 3 Sept. 1849
Visit to the Dhu Loch, &c. 11 Sept. 1849
Ascent of Ben-na-Bhourd 6 Sept. 1850
The Gathering 12 Sept. 1850
Salmon Leistering 13 Sept. 1850
Loch Muich 16 Sept. 1850
Torch-light Ball at Corriemulzie 10 Sept. 1852
Account of the News of the Duke of Wellington’s Death 16 Sept. 1852
Laying the Foundation Stone of our New House 28 Sept. 1853
The Kirk 29 Oct. 1854
Arrival at the New Castle at Balmoral 7 Sept. 1855
News of the Fall, of Sevastopol 10 Sept. 1853
The Betrothal of the Princess Royal 29 Sept. 1855
The Kirk 14 Oct. 1835
Finding the Old Castle Gone 30 Aug. 1856
Love for Balmoral 13 Oct. 1856
Opening of the New Bridge over the Linn of Dee. 8 Sept. 1857
Visits to the Old Women 26 Sept. 1857
Visit to the Prince’s Encampment at Feithort 6 Oct. 1857
A Fall of Snow 18 Sept. 1858
Ascent of Morven 14 Sept. 1859
Fete to the Members of the British Association 22 Sept. 1859
Expedition to Inchrory 30 Sept. 1859
Ascent of Ben Muich Dhui 7 Oct. 1859
First Great Expedition:—To Glen Fishie and Grantown 4 Sept. 1860
Second Great Expedition:—To Invermarh and Fettercairn 20 Sept. 1861
Expedition to Loch Avon 28 Sept. 1861
Third Great Expedition :—To Glen Fishie, Dalwhinnie, and Blair Athole 8 Oct. 1861
Last Expedition 16 Oct. 1861

Victoria and Albert: Part 1

Victoria and Albert: Part 2

Tours in England and Ireland, and Yachting Excursions

First Visit to Ireland 2 Aug. 1849
Yachting Excursion 20 Aug. 1846
Second Yachting Excursion 2 Sept. 1846
Visit to the Lakes of Killarney 27 Aug. 1861

Last Years of the Prince Consort

More Leaves from the Journal
Of a Life in the Highlands
From 1862 to 1882 (1885)


The little volume “Our Life in the Highlands,” published fifteen years ago, with its simple records of the never-to-be-forgotten days spent with him “who made the writer’s life bright and happy,” was received with a warmth of sympathy and interest which was very gratifying to her heart. The kind editor of that volume is no longer here to advise and help her, trough friendly assistance has not been wanting on the present occasion. But remembering the fee'ing with which that little book was received, the writer thinks that the present volume may equally evoke sympathy, as, while describing a very altered life, it shows how' her sad and suffering heart was soothed and cheered by the excursions and incidents it recounts, as well as by the simple mountaineers, from whom she learnt many a lesson of resignation and faith, in the pure air and quiet of the beautiful Highlands.

The writer wishes at the same time to express her gratitude to those who are mentioned throughout this volume for the devotion and kindness which contributed so much to her enjoyment of the varied scenes and objects of interest of which these pages contain the unpretending record.

Osborne :
December 22, 1883.



Building of the Prince’s Cairn 21 Aug 1862
Visit to the Old Cairn on the Prince’s Birthday 26 Aug 1862
First Visit to the Prince’s Cairn after its Completion 19 May 1863
Visit to Blair 15 Sept 1863
Carriage Accident 7 Oct 1863
Unveiling of the Prince’s Statue at Aberdeen 13 Oct 1863
Expedition to Invermark 19 Sept 1865
First Visit to Dunkeld 9 Oct 1865
Second Visit to Dunkeld 1 Oct 1866
Opening of the Aberdeen Waterworks 16 Oct 1866
Halloween 31 Oct 1866
Visit to Floors and the Scotch Border Country 20 Aug 1867
Visit to Glenfiddich 24 Sept 1867
Unveiling of the Prince’s Statue at Balmoral 15 Oct 1867
A House-warming at the Glassalt Shiel 1 Oct 1868
“Juicing the Sheep” 21 Oct 1868
A Highland “Kirstnin” (Christening) 24 Oct 1868
A Second Christening 1 Nov 1868
Widow Grant 22 Aug 1869
Visit to Invertrossachs 1 Sept 1869
Sheep Clipping 13 June 1870
Betrothal of Princess Louise to the Marquis of Lome 3 Oct 1870
Communion Sunday at Crathie 13 Nov 1871
The “Spate” 11 June 1872
Visit to Holyrood and Edinburgh 13 Aug 1872
Visit to Dunrobin 6 Sept 1872
Dr. Norman Macleod March 1873
Visit to Inverlochy 9 Sept 1873
Home-coming of their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh 29 Aug 1874
Departure of the Prince of Wales from Abergeldie before leaving for India 17 Sept 1875
Visit to Inveraray 21 Sept 1875
Highland Funeral 21 Oct 1875
Unveiling of the Statue of the Prince Consort at Edinburgh 17 Aug 1876
Presentation of Colours to “The Royal Scots” 26 Sept 1876
Expedition to Loch Maree 12 Sept 1877
Visit to Broxmouth 23 Aug 1878
Death of Sir Thomas Biddulph at Abergeldie Mains 28 Sept 1878
Memorial Cross to the Princess Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse 22 May 1879
Death of the Prince Imperial 19 June 1879
Home-coming of their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Connaught 5 Sept 1879
His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught’s Cairn 8 Sept 1879
Visit to the Glen Gelder Shiel 6 Oct 1879
Victory of Tel-el-Kebir and Home-coming of their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Albany 11 Sept 1882

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's Trip to Scotland
By Thomas Dick Lauder (1843)


To the Reader
Chapter I. The Departure
Chapter II. The Voyage
Chapter III. The Voyage
Chapter IV. Preparations in Edinburgh
Chapter V. Royal Receptions in the Olden Times
Chapter VI. The Landing
Chapter VII. Dalkeith
Chapter VIII. Progress through Edinburgh
Chapter IX. Dalmeny Park
Chapter X. Dalkeith
Chapter XI. Dalkeith - The Reception
Chapter XII. Departure for the Highlands
Chapter XIII. Dupplin Castle
Chapter XIV. Perth
Chapter XV. Scone Palace
Chapter XVI. Dunkeld
Chapter XVII. Route to Taymouth
Chapter XVIII. Arrival at Taymouth
Chapter XIX. Taymouth
Chapter XX. Taymouth
Chapter XXI. Departure from Taymouth
Chapter XXII. Journey to Drummond Castle
Chapter XXIII. Deer-stalking in Glenartney
Chapter XXIV. Departure from Drummond Castle
Chapter XXV. Roslin and Hawthornden
Chapter XXVI. Departure for Windsor

Queen Victoria, A Biography by Sidney Lee (1908) (pdf)

Queen Elizabeth - The Queen Mother

Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon (4 August 1900 – 30 March 2002) was the wife of King George VI and the mother of Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon. She was Queen consort of the United Kingdom and the Dominions from her husband's accession in 1936 until his death in 1952, after which she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, to avoid confusion with her daughter. She was the last Empress consort of India.

Born into a family of British nobility as The Honourable Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, she became Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon when her father inherited the Scottish Earldom of Strathmore and Kinghorne in 1904. She came to prominence in 1923 when she married Albert, Duke of York, the second son of King George V and Queen Mary. The couple and their daughters embodied traditional ideas of family and public service. She undertook a variety of public engagements and became known as the "Smiling Duchess" because of her consistent public expression.

In 1936, her husband unexpectedly became King when his brother, Edward VIII, abdicated in order to marry the American divorcée Wallis Simpson. As Queen, Elizabeth accompanied her husband on diplomatic tours to France and North America before the start of World War II. During the war, her seemingly indomitable spirit provided moral support to the British public. In recognition of her role as an asset to British interests, Adolf Hitler described her as "the most dangerous woman in Europe. After the war, her husband's health deteriorated and she was widowed at the age of 51.

On the death of her mother-in-law, Queen Mary, in 1953 and with the former King Edward VIII living abroad and her elder daughter, the new Queen, aged 26, Elizabeth became the senior member of the British Royal Family and assumed a position as family matriarch. In her later years, she was a consistently popular member of the family, even when other members were suffering from low levels of public approval.[6] She continued an active public life until just a few months before her death at the age of 101, seven weeks after the death of her younger daughter, Princess Margaret.

Queen Mother's Funeral

HM The Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II taken in May 2022 at Windsor

The Duke Of Edinburgh: In His Own Words - British Royal Documentary

Prince Philip's funeral

See also the Daily Mail page about the funeral

The Royal Family at Work - Episode 1

The Royal Family at Work - Episode 2

The Royal Family at Work - Episode 3

The Royal Family at Work - Episode 4

The Royal Family at Work - Episode 5

William & Kate's First Year

Relive the fairy tale wedding that captured the world's imagination. To mark the first anniversary of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William And Kate: The First Year takes a look at what one year of marriage has brought -- and what the future might hold. Featuring respected commentators, this one-hour special gathers all the delectable detail, intimate moments and juicy gossip. Relive the big day in all its glory, from the first glimpse of Kate in that dress to the two kisses on the balcony and the buzz about Pippa's posterior. Take a peek at private moments from their dream honeymoon in the Seychelles and the hype that followed their first trip to North America and Canada as husband and wife. Amid the growing hunger for news of an heir, commentators speculate about the challenges that lie ahead for William and Kate who seem determined to be a modern couple.

Kate in Canada - Part 1 of 2

Kate in Canada - Part 2 of 2

William & Kate: The South Seas Tour

The Jubilee Queen With Katie Couric 2012 Special

Princess Anne: The Daughter Who Should Be Queen

Windsor Castle. A Royal Year - The Banquet

Windsor Castle Restored

Duke of York joins the Scottish Masons

The Cambridges - December 2021

King Charles III
A Video Tour

Return to our Online Books Page


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