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(From Illustrated London News.)
THE INTERCESSORY SERVICE IN THE ABBEY AT THE VERY HOUR ON JUNE 26 THAT HAD BEEN ORIGINALLY
hearsing for the coronation, and the guests of royal blood from various countries were assembling at a state dinner which it was too late to postpone, and at which Queen Alexandra bravely presided in the absence of the King. The operation came just in the nick of time, and although the chances of recovery were regarded as very dubious for a few days, the King steadily gained, without relapses of any kind, until the bulletins of the attending physicians were no longer frequent, and the royal patient was pronounced out of danger and recovering rapidly. On July 15, he was well enough to be removed from the palace by ambulance to a special train for Portsmouth, where he was taken on board the royal yacht Victoria and Albert, with the expectation of spending a good many days in the sheltered waters off Cowes, with short sails from that point, according to the weather.
Whether true or not, it was univerPlans and Dis-sally believed in England that the appointments. King's mind was much depressed by reason of the superstition that he would never be crowned. And it was reported that the physicians, on the one hand, and the royal family and
leading public men, on the other, had finally come to the conclusion that it would be in all respects advisable, especially for the sake of the King's equanimity, to have the coronation take place at the earliest possible moment. The plan
BUCKINGHAM PALACE, LONDON.
(The XX indicate windows of King's sick chamber.)
was to reduce the ceremony to the simplest terms, making it as brief as possible, and it was hoped that the King might be equal to the ordeal on or about August 9. It was not expected to recall the departed guests from other lands. Anxiety about the King's health, of course, threw into the background considerations of a less vital sort, but the disappointment was very great to some mil. lions of people who, in one way or another, suffered loss or inconvenience. Looking back upon it all, it will doubtless be the verdict of most sober minded people that England went somewhat too far in costly plans for an occasion which, however interesting, did not in its very nature lend itself to such exhaustive and protracted schemes of celebration. Some of the features of the programme that were abandoned might well enough have been carried out after the King had successfully undergone the operation, and this remark applies above all to the great naval parade, for which England's ships were assembled and ready. The street parade, of course, was out of the question, because the royal presence was to have been its one necessary
THE ROYAL YACHT
VICTORIA AND ALBERT," ON WHICH THE KING HAS BEEN LIVING.
factor. Hundreds of thousands of seats had been prepared all along the route that had been marked out for the parade, and the provision and sale of these seats had involved speculation and investment to an aggregate of some millions of dollars.
In many other ways vast expenditures The Quality of British had been incurred which were renLoyalty. dered more or less futile by the abandonment of the coronation programme. But with so loyal a people as the British these things have been counted as of little moment when compared with the good news of the recovery of the King. There is no other explanation for this feeling than the very simple one that finds right-mindedness and sound sentiment likely to prevail on such occasions. Obviously, all this anxiety about the King's recovery was not due to fear lest his death might bring either public or private misfortune to the realm, or to any class of the King's sub. jects. The stock market was not affected, and political circles as such were not agitated. If the King had died, Prince George would have come to the throne amidst as general good will as ever attended the accession of any sovereign in the history of
WESTMINSTER ABBEY AS ARRANGED FOR THE CORONATION CEREMONY.
(The King will be crowned August 9, in St. Edward's chair, in the foreground of the picture, and will afterward occupy the elevated throne.)
the world. And since Prince George is of mature years, and thoroughly well known, his coming to the throne would have involved no surprises or uncertainties. Everything would have gone on exactly as before; public affairs would not have been appreciably affected, and the private citizen would have perceived no difference. In the case of Queen Victoria there had grown up, by reason of the great length and marvelous success of her reign, and especially by reason of her exemplary qualities as sovereign and as woman, a feeling of personal attachment and devotion on the part of many millions of her subjects. King Edward has had neither time
will, on the other hand, add something to that new seriousness and dignity of character which Edward has seemed to show since his accession to the throne. Doubtless he will never wholly recover his former physical vigor, although he may live for a good many years. Queen Victoria was so great a figure that the royal family, as a whole, suffered a good deal in comparison. Now that she is gone and that her successor has been very close to the threshold, it is extremely interesting to observe that the royal family stands high in the esteem of the British people, and that it seems to have adjusted itself remarkably well to prevailing views and standards. Thus, the King's brother, the Duke of Connaught, is useful and respected, and is a military
figure of deserved prominence. The heir, Prince George, is practically competent as a naval officer, and he and his wife are universally popular, and are associated with nothing that scandalizes or offends the British public. It would, perhaps, be hard to find a time in all history when royal families in general were so exemplary, so wellconducted, so little given to mere indulgence and luxury, and so responsible and intentionally use. ful as at the present time.
Lord Salisbury, as we remarked last Salisbury Out, month, was expected by those best Balfour In. informed in English politics to make the coronation of the King and the end of the South African War the occasion of his formal
THE RT. HON. ARTHUR BALFOUR.
(The new British prime minister.)
retirement from political office. He did not allow the postponement of the coronation to change his plans, but merely waited until the King was well enough to be consulted and to name his successor as prime minister. Simultaneously with the announcement, on July 13, of Lord Salisbury's retirement, it was made known that the Rt. Hon. Arthur J. Balfour had been selected as his successor. There had been some idea that Mr. Chamberlain might succeed Lord Salisbury; but, although Mr. Chamberlain has undoubtedly come to be recognized as the most energetic and potent member of the government, he has continued to belong, nominally at least, to the Liberal Unionist party rather than to the Conservatives, although the Unionists have been acting with the Conservatives so generally upon most questions of policy that the distinction seemed to have lost much of its meaning. Mr. Chamberlain, moreover, while accepted as necessary by the rank and file of the Conservative politicians, is disliked by many of them, and Mr. Balfour was the one man upon whom it was easy for everybody concerned to unite as the immediate successor of his eminent relative. It happens, moreover, that Mr. Balfour and Mr. Chamberlain profess to be good friends, and it was made evident from the outset that Mr. Chamberlain was to be regarded as the foremost member of the Balfour administration. Mr. Balfour has very many qualifications for leadership, even if
he has also some shortcomings. His critics charge against him nothing worse than dilettanteism, lack of energy, and an occasional want of thorough knowledge of the matter in hand, due to indolence. On the other hand, he is a man of large views, of high character, of considerable and varied scholarship, of marvelous self-control and amiability, and of very effective qualities as a debater. Mr. A. Maurice Low characterizes him for our readers in an article in this number.
The present government was elected Mr. Chamber- in October, 1900, on the strength of Lord Roberts' march to Pretoria and the declaration that the war was virtually at an end. The Conservative party was retained in power by a large majority, the present party balance in the House of Commons being about 400 supporters of the ministry, and about 270 opposition members, of whom 80 belong to the Irish contingent. Although there is a great deal of prevalent criticism of the party in power, the Liberal party continues to be lacking in unity and in definiteness of programme. There is no prospect, therefore, of any very early occasion for a dissolution of Parliament and an appeal to the country. One of the first announcements after the incoming of Mr. Balfour as premier was the impending retirement of Sir Michael Hicks Beach as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Sir Michael and Mr. Chamberlain have differed