George III: [17th April]

The King, hearing what Mr Frost said, came forward, asked me where I was from, what county, how much I farmed, and whether stock or crop, who was my landlord, what rent the Duke’s lands let at by the acre, what I thought of the agriculture there by my own country, what I thought of their method of draining, &c, with many other things, to all of which I could give him answers with the greatest ease, there being only two servants with him. He appeared as plain as any country gentleman, or even a farmer. He speaks good broad English, and distinct, yet from repeating so fast one is apt to lose him in part. On his farms in Windsor Park, which consists of 2700 acres, his stock is 600 deer, 140 oxen, 600 sheep, and a large dairy of cows. I brought Mr Frost home with me to dine, and made him very well for one night. At everything wonderful or great his prayer is “O Lord!” He says that, I daresay, 500 times a day. I was in the stable, byre, dairy, and all the outhouses. As my son Frank lived very near to Windsor for nine years, I found many of his acquaintances very happy to see me. I felt much at home. On Friday afternoon Mr Gurley went out with me all over the town, and saw the above things. We were in every room in Windsor Castle or Palace, the Chapel Royal, on the top of the tower, where we can see part of sixteen counties. The paintings are so numerous and so fine that they perfectly confuse the mind to go from one to an other. The furniture in the state room is superb, the view of the terrace is very beautiful; the castle stands high, and has a most commanding prospect.

Windsor Park PE

Windsor Park

FROGMORE, ETON AND THE ROYAL FAMILY

Every Sunday evening the Royal family walk round the terrace (if dry), just to please the populace. They live in a house called the Lodge, on the opposite side of the street from the palace, about 300 yards – a very plain-looking, small house. Frogmore House and Gardens stands in the Park, about half a mile from the Lodge, as sweet a place as can be, but rather a low situation; the river Thames runs past the castle about ten chains distant; they look down on Eton College on the other side of the river, and upon the whole Windsor is a most enchanting place. The trees in the Park stand at a great distance from each other, yet have the appearance of a close wood. I stayed all night to see the King and family go to chapel on Sunday. The sight was very grand; a fine morning. A regiment of Guards lined the one side of the Chapel or Palace Court, and the Prince of Wales’ Dragoons, on fact, lined the other side, with two bands of music playing some anthems at the chapel door. The King and Queen made their appearance first, the Duke of Cambridge and one sister next, the Duke of Kent and another sister, General Harcourt and another Princess, after that Lord Somerville and General Guidor followed. They walk very slowly up, and seemed very devout. The spectators got very near the walk, which is railed in, where we could see the very features of their faces as they passed. After passing the music they played “God save the King,” and the troops all filed off to the barracks; when in the gallery, a screen is drawn before them to prevent people gazing. I got in at an end door, saw the company, heard the singing boys and the organ a little. When they gave over I came to my quarters very much gratified; dined, and came to London that night. Had the King spoken to me going to chapel, I am positive I could not have answered any one thing – it was so solemnly grand.

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