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HM Queen Victoria's Body Escorted from Osborne House - Royal Marines Guard


On the evening of 22nd January HM Queen Victoria died at Osborne, Isle of Wight, and for a time the world seemed to stand still; it was impossible to realise that that great personality had passed away.


The ceremonies connected with her funeral have been described, but we must put on record the part played by the Corps.




The Band of the Portsmouth Division RMLI, under Lieutenant Miller, played the procession from Osborne to the pier at East Cowes; being relieved at intervals by the Massed Drums of the RMA and RMLI (no bugles or fifes) who played a special funeral march for drums only which had been originally selected by Her Majesty to be played at the funeral of HRH Prince Henry of Battenberg which tore the heartstrings of all who heard it.


'HMY Alberta Entering Portsmouth Harbour with the Body of Queen Victoria, 1 February 1901', by William Lionel Wyllie

Those who saw the Royal Yacht bearing the coffin passing through the lines of the Fleet at Spithead and heard the minute guns, will not forget the wonderful gleam of sunlight that bathed the Yacht as she turned and made for

the harbour at Portsmouth.


The Yacht was berthed in the Victualling Yard at Gosport and immediately a Guard of RMLI under Captain C J Thoroton from Forton was mounted with a sentry with reversed arms at the head of the coffin and one at the foot, and a similar line of sentries on the quayside above the Yacht.


They were relieved every half hour as it was a cold and foggy night, and the Guard was inspected at 10 pm by HM King Edward and

the German Emperor.


Queen Victoria (1819–1901) (after Heinrich von Angeli) Herman Herkomer (1863–1935) @Royal Marines Museum

The next morning the coffin was placed in the train for London and the Guard dismounted. As the train passed the Drill Field at Forton, the Division was drawn up with the Colours which she had presented to them, draped in crepe, and paid their last salute.


A guard of honour from Chatham Division RMLI was mounted at Paddington Station under Captain E H Morres, and paid the last salute as the funeral party left on its last stage to Windsor. [1]


Queen Victoria served as the ruling monarch of Great Britain, India and Ireland from 1837. Her death on January 22, 1901 ended the 63-year period that claimed her name and was a great shock to both the British Empire and many nations further afield.


Queen Victoria died at the age of 81 on 22 January 1901 at 6.30 pm. She passed away at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. This included the future King, Edward VII and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. [2]


QPN 2750 is a print of a photograph of five soldiers from the Royal Marines and Rifle Brigade.[3]

This print from Queen Victoria's private collection shows five soldiers from the Royal Marines and the Rifle Brigade who served in the Crimean War. They are standing in a row with buildings behind and all are wearing military uniform with the Crimean Medal. These soldiers were awarded the Crimean Medal by Queen Victoria on 18th May 1855.


Throughout the war she had taken an active interest in the welfare of the troops and on their return to Britain she met a number of veterans at Buckingham Palace and at the military hospital at Chatham. [3]



[1] History of the Royal Marines 1837-1914 HE Blumberg

[2] Royal Museums Greenwich

[3] Queen Victoria's Private Negatives, Vol. III 1856 [Royal Collection Trust]






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