Queen Victoria's visit to Dover, in 1858.
Dover received only 24 hours notice of Queen Victoria's visit to Dover, with Prince Albert on August 31st, 1858. The royal couple were returning from a visit to Berlin and had earlier been expected to return home via Gravesend. But it is said the Queen herself gave orders for the royal yacht Victoria and Albert to steam to Dover. But Lord Malmesbury had given warning they might come to the Channel port. The royal yacht, however, was only escorted by Trinity House yacht "Irene" - a squadron of naval escort vessels had steamed to Gravesend. But the customary 21-gun royal salute was fired at Dover, and the royal yacht berthed at the Admiralty Pier. Victoria and Albert inspected guards of honour before boarding a special train prepared for them - just in case.
Mayor of Dover, Dr Astley, was present but the customary official welcome by the Dover Corporation did not take place, local crowds being left to cheer the royal party on its way.
Festivities for the Coronation of Queen Victoria. At the hour of sunrise on Thursday, the Royal Standard was hoisted at the Grand Redoubt and the flag that “braves the battle and breeze floated as usual on the ancient Keep of Dover Castle. The day was ushered in by the bellringers at St Mary St James and, as the morning advanced, a very lively display of flags appeared at the King’s Arms Library. The usual ensigns floated at the public stations, and flags, green boughs etc were general throughout the town and port salutes were fired by the Royal Artillery, bands played God Save the Queen and three times three hearty cheers being given by the troops they proceeded to dinner at the quarters. Vast concourse of spectators on the beach. The preparations for the dinner, given by subscription to the children of the different public schools double line of tables extending three-eighths of a mile along the front of the Marine Parade, and covered with roast beef, plum pudding etc for 2,200 juvenile recipients. The different schools were preceded by the town bands and bearing numerous banners among which were noticed to celebrate the Coronation of Victoria our gracious Queen Victoria the Rose of England. Long procession from the Pier. The immense length of the tables required the directions of the president S.M. Latham Esq. which were conveyed by sound of bugle. Grace was said. A toast Health and long life to our Queen was drank. The musicians (five bands - two military and one from Bridge Circus and two belonging to the town.) Joyous manifestations of the children and emblems of loyalty displayed. Coronation Ball at Batchellor Assembly Rooms, dancing continued with much spirit til morning
The poor people in the Union we understand were regaled by beef and pudding but a proposal of a pint of beer each was rejected by the Guardians by a one vote majority. The prisoners confined for debt in the Castle were regaled with a good dinner of roast beef, plum pudding and an ample supply of ale. The Donor of Donors unknown, are respectfully requested to accept the gratitude of the recipients for the favour so generously conferred upon them.
(Dover Telegraph Saturday June 30th, 1838 page 8, column 2)