I always like finding stereoscope cards (one day I will get a viewer to be able to appreciate the 3D effect), and there are a number of different military cards out there to find. As well as the cards depicting the battlefields of the Boer and First World Wars, cards of Royal occasions often have many military personnel featured on them. A few weeks back we looked at an example form the coronation of King Edward VII, tonight we have another example from shortly before at the funeral of Queen Victoria:Looking at just the single image we can see that it depicts the Royal family and other crowned heads of Europe:In detail we can see King Edward VII in his dress Royal Navy uniform:And the German Kaiser with his distinctive moustache:Alongside the royal family marches British guardsmen in home service dress with white Slade Wallace equipment:They are holding their rifles reversed, a typical sight at a funeral:Troops line the street with their rifles at present arms:Queen Victoria had requested a military funeral as befitted the daughter of a soldier and so the military were out in huge numbers. The day was sombre, but the Daily Mail’s report of the funeral itself comes across as particularly florid and elaborate:
Looking from the organ loft, down the nave, and through the door into the open space beyond, we witness such a spectacle as human eyes shall never witness again. A light cloud of smoke is blown athwart the opening, and below in the distance we discern the soldiers, who line the path with downcast eyes and arms reversed. Then the Guards in their scarlet coats slowly mount the steps, followed by the dragoons of the Victoria’s German Regiment. Then come the heralds, the guardians of our pomp and state; then the Crown and sceptre, symbols of Sovereign power are carried by the Queen’s trusty and well beloved servants. Meanwhile we have caught a far glimpse of the gun carriage, whereon the coffin rests, and the blue-jackets who have pulled it to the door of the chapel. Suddenly the coffin borne shoulder high, appears in the line of sight. As it is carried up the stairs it dips and rises like a ship on a stormy sea. There is an instant of suspense, but already the Grenadiers, their precious burden on their shoulders, are slowly following the Archbishops up the nave, the organ is pealing, the noble service for the dead begins.