QUEEN VICTORIA'S WALKING STICKS
Since the Queen has found it necessary to use a walking-stick, she has been the recipient of many canes. Her friends, relatives and subjects have seized upon every possible occasion to present her with a new cane. One entire room of her private suite is stocked with special gifts. Her Majesty's is a collection of priceless value. There are solid gold sticks, silver sticks, exquisitely engraved; sticks that are a marvel of the carver's heart, and sticks that contain jewels that would move even a New York millionaire to envy. Queen Victoria has leaned more heavily on her stick of late years, using it to cross the room even, instead of only on walks about Windsor Castle, and after a long, tiring ceremony. She always places her cane against her chair, and when she rises it is the duty of the highest court official present to hand it to her. The story of the prank played upon her Majesty by the son of the Duke of York is not generally known. While at Windsor not long ago, the Queen, who is not fond of Court ceremonies when she is in retirement, had dismissed her attendante, who had withdrawn to an arbour near by. She was very much interested in her favourite pastime, knitting socks for the Prince of Wales, when that small embodiment of mischief, her great grandson, slipped away. with her cane and "played horsey" with it over the lawn. He had to be captured before the Queen could enter the house. There Her Majetsy proceeded to teach him that even the future King of England cannot tamper with the dignity of the present powers that be. Of recent years Her Majesty's subjects have hoped in vain to see her use their gifts. She has used only one cane; which is of great historic value, having been presented to Charles II by one of his merry Court. Very properly it was cut from an oak tree. When Charles accepted the gift it had a plain gold head, which was round and apt to hurt the hand if the cane was called upon to support much weight. It was said about the Court recently that Her Majesty used no longer the historic stick. This is not true; only the top has been changed. An idol, which graced the temple of an ill-fated Indian prince, has been added for a handle. This is exquisitely wrought in ivory, on an infinitesimal pedestal of alabaster. The eyes and forehead are jewelled, and on the tongue is the rarest of rubies.
Source: The Coburg Leader - 20th January 1900