Top of page

The Irish Gazette Announcements of Queen Victoria’s Death and Funeral

Share this post:

This post is by Agnieszka “Aga” Pukniel, a technician in the Collection Services Division, who has contributed to several posts including How do you say “Library” in …, Nothing keeps us down – Pic of the Week and What is the most interesting fact …?

Working directly with legal material often enables me to find rare pearls of interesting facts. Sometimes those precious discoveries can serve as great history lessons. Recently I processed 157 volumes (dating from 1922-1974) of “Iris oifigiúil” – the Dublin official gazette. As it is the official gazette, I found a variety of important announcements and laws, but the one that drew my undivided attention was about the passing of the beloved Queen Victoria. What struck me was not only the language such as “our (…) Queen Victoria expired…,” but the most detailed information about the procedures following her death, including dress codes, pallbearers names and positions, order of the ships during the funeral procession, exact distance between the vessels, etc. Nothing was left to chance. Royal protocol and etiquette were very clear on everything including details such as:

The Ships were moored as follows. ‘The Majestic’ with the Vice Admiral berthed 4 cables W.N.W. from the Horse Sand Buoy, and the remaining Ships on the same line of bearing 2 ½ cables apart up to the 16 berth, which was five cables E.S.E. from the S.E. Ryde Middle Buoy.

To ensure the protocol was followed, special maps were printed in the official gazette showing not only the vessels’ sailing order but also the order of military escort and distinguished guests in the funeral procession. All the issues mentioning Queen Victoria’s death and her funeral arrangements were printed with the wide black border symbolizing the passing of someone important. In addition, detailed dates were given for the dress code:

These are to give notice, that after the 6th day of March next it will not be desired or expected that the Public should appear in deep mourning, but that Half Mourning should be worn until the 17th day of April next.

Let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

Dublin Gazette Announcement of the Death of Queen Victoria / Photograph by Aga Pukniel
Dublin Gazette Announcement of the Death of Queen Victoria / Photograph by Aga Pukniel

 

Dublin Gazette detail on Queen Victoria's funeral / Photograph by Aga Pukniel
Dublin Gazette publishes details on Queen Victoria’s funeral / Photograph by Aga Pukniel

 

Dublin Gazette details on Queen Victoria's funeral / Photograph by Aga Pukniel
Dublin Gazette publishes details on Queen Victoria’s funeral / Photograph by Aga Pukniel

 

Dublin Gazette Queen Victoria's funeral fleet positions map / Photograph by Aga Pukniel
Dublin Gazette publishes Queen Victoria’s funeral fleet positions map / Photograph by Aga Pukniel

 

Dublin Gazette clothing requirements for Queen Victoria's funeral / Photograph by Aga Pukniel
Dublin Gazette announcement of mourning attire in honor of Queen Victoria / Photograph by Aga Pukniel

 

Close-up of Dublin Gazette announcement of mourning attire in honor of Queen Victoria / Photograph by Aga Pukniel
Close-up of Dublin Gazette announcement of mourning attire for the general public in honor of Queen Victoria / Photograph by Aga Pukniel

 

Comments (2)

  1. Aga, thanks for this very interesting posting. The Irish devotion to British Royal protocol is surprising.

    On Queen Victoria, I recommend the following title that I have recently enjoyed: Shrabani Basu, ‘Victoria & Abdul, The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant.’ Rupa & Co, New Delhi, India (2010).

  2. To be sure, Ireland, in 1901 was still considered part of the united kingdom, however, that is not to say that many, or in fact, most Irish citizens found themselves at all concerned with the any protocol on mourning for an individual who held the Irish in such antipathy. the term “Dublin official gazette” is curious. Was it the official mouthpiece of Dublin Castle, which was the head of colonial administration in Ireland at the time? Dublin, being within the Pale would most certainly have been more pro-English than other parts of the country.

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.


Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.