Beatrice's life was overturned by the death of Queen Victoria on 22 January 1901. She wrote to the Principal of the University of Glasgow in March, "... you may imagine what the grief is. I, who had hardly ever been separated from my dear mother, can hardly realise what life will be like without her, who was the centre of everything." Beatrice's public appearances continued, but her position at court was diminished. She, unlike her sister Louise, was not close to her brother, now King Edward VII, and was not included in the King's inner circle. Nevertheless, though their relationship did not break down completely, it was occasionally strained, for example when she accidentally (but noisily) dropped her service book from the royal gallery onto a table of gold plate during his coronation.
After inheriting Osborne, the King had his mother's personal photographs and belongings removed and some of them destroyed, especially material relating to John Brown, whom he detested. Victoria had intended the house to be a private, secluded residence for her descendants, away from the pomp and ceremony of mainland life. However, the new King had no need for the house and consulted his lawyers about disposing of it, transforming the main wing into a convalescent home, opening the state apartments to the public, and constructing a Naval College on the grounds. His plans met with strong disapproval from Beatrice and Louise. Victoria had bequeathed them houses on the estate, and the privacy promised to them by their mother was threatened. When Edward discussed the fate of the house with them, Beatrice argued against allowing the house to leave the family, citing its importance to their parents. However, the King did not want the house himself, and he offered it to his heir-apparent, Beatrice's nephew George, who declined, objecting to the high cost of maintenance. Edward subsequently extended the grounds of Beatrice's home, Osborne Cottage, to compensate her for the impending loss of her privacy. Shortly afterwards, the King declared to Arthur Balfour, the Prime Minister, that the main house would go to the nation as a gift. An exception was made for the private apartments, which were closed to all but the royal family members, who made it a shrine to their mother's memory.
Read more about this topic: Princess Beatrice Of The United Kingdom
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“Today, the degradation of the inner life is symbolized by the fact that the only place sacred from interruption is the private toilet.”
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