- Historic Sites
A King’s Funeral
December 1954 | Volume 6, Issue 1
Well, the Czar and the Archduke came to London on the same express train. The Czar’s private carriage was already on it, and the archduke had his put on at Vienna. Each wished to have his carriage ahead of the other, but the archduke triumphed and had his placed nearest the engine, the Czar’s carriage coming next, and then the dining carriage. The archduke was much pleased at his success, and rode next the engine in purple splendor; and all went well until dinner lime, when he sent word to the czar saying that he should like to walk through his carriage to the dining saloon, and the czar sent back word that he could not! Accordingly, breathing stertorously. he had to wail until a station came, get out and get into the dining saloon, and after eating his dinner wait until another station was reached, get out again, and pop back into his own carriage. This struck all his brother royalties as a most serious matter, and the German Emperor had heatedly sided with the Austrians. Accordingly, while I was talking to the Czar, the Emperor suddenly walked up to us, thrust himsell in ahead of the Czar, turned his back square to him and said to me: “Roosevelt, my friend, I want to introduce you to the King of Spain”; (then with a sudden ferocious glance over his shoulder at the Czar) “ he is worth talking to!”
The King of Spain, by the way, was worth while talking to. I was much impressed by him. He at first thanked me for having behaved with such courtesy and consideration to Spain while I was President, and I told him of course that I had simply done my duty, for which I deserved no thanks, and that anyhow it was a real pleasure for me to do anything I could for Spain. He then said, looking me straight in the face, “I am glad to meet you, Mr. Roosevelt, I have admired your public career, and I have also admired your military career, though I am sorry that your honors should have been won at the expense of my countrymen.” I bowed and said: “Your Majesty, I have always borne testimony, and I always shall bear testimony, to the gallantry and courage your countrymen showed in battle: although frankly I cannot speak as highly of their leadership.” To which lie responded: “I should think not! I should think not! but I am glad to have you speak thus of the courage of the soldiers.”
The unfortunate Prince Consort of Holland was at the dinner. He came up and began to talk with me, but the Emperor pounced on me again for some purpose, paying not the slightest heed to the wretched Prince George, who drifted off with fat meekness, and evidently was not regarded as of the slightest consequence by anyone. The King of Denmark, a nice old boy, alter greeting me introduced his brother, the King of Greece, also a nice old boy, but a preposterous character as a king. He was feebly clamoring that something ought to be done for Greece, in Crete and in Thessaly by the Powers, and on a later day saw me for an hour begging me to say something for Greece against Turkey, and repeating his complaints and requests over and over and over again, in response to my equally often reiterated statement that it was not a matter with which I could possibly interfere or about which I could possibly say anything.