10 September 2022


American poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox wrote the following poem on the day of Queen Victoria's funeral - February 2nd 1901. Victoria's death was felt around the world in much the same way that Queen Elizabeth II's passing is being felt today.

The Queen's Last Ride

The Queen is taking a drive to-day:
They have hung with purple the carriage-way,
They have dressed with purple the royal track
Where the Queen goes forth and never comes back.

Let no man labour as she goes by
On her last appearance to mortal eye;
With heads uncovered let all men wait
For the Queen to pass, in her regal state.

Army and Navy shall lead the way
For that wonderful coach of the Queen's to-day.
Kings and Princes and Lords of the land
Shall ride behind her, a humble band;
And over the city and over the world
Shall the flags of all Nations be half-mast-furled,
For the silent lady of royal birth
Who is riding away from the Courts of earth,
Riding away from the world's unrest
To a mystical goal, on a secret quest.

Though in royal splendour she drives through town
Her robes are simple, she wears no crown;
And yet she wears one; for, widowed no more,
She is crowned with the love that has gone before,
And crowned with the love she has left behind
In the hidden depths of each mourner's mind.

Bow low your heads -- lift your hearts on high --
The Queen in silence is driving by!
The last photo taken of Queen Victoria in her lifetime 


  1. Anonymous1:33 am

    Apart from the part about heads uncovered, the poem is just as fitting for today.

    1. The poem has its moments but I really do not sense the heartfelt emotion that a true patriot might have exuded.

  2. Oh wow, what a timeless poem! Most appropriate.

    1. It is a hundred and twenty one years old Karen.

  3. That's beautiful.

  4. Balmoral gamekeepers to carry her coffin in Scotland, what will that make of unity I wonder. Splendid poem, full of the richness of the fairytale that royalty aspires to.

    1. I don't think it is a great poem. I could do much better.

  5. An interesting poem and an insight into the times.
    How different is the last photo of a remote Victoria, from the last one of our much-loved Elizabeth - still working for the country as she vowed to on her 21st birthday.

    1. I think that Victoria sort of died with her husband in 1861.

  6. The poem is still relevant today isn't it ? Victoria reigned for 63 years, so not far short of Elizabeth 11 reign ..... she also loved the Highlands and Balmoral and, even though she plunged into deep mourning after Albert died her popularity recovered and her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were still times of public celebration. so many similarities. I've never heard that poem before ..... thanks for posting it. XXXX

  7. Not forgetting the Queen Vic in Eastenders YP.

    1. I thought that you would be a "Woolpack" man Dave,

  8. An apt poem. I always thought Victoria was very old when she died, but I read the other day that she was "only" 81. Then again, in those days, that WAS very old.

    1. Elizabeth seemed so youthful in comparison.


Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

Most Visits