Funeral of Queen Victoria - after ruling the British Empire for 63 years, Queen Victoria's death was mourned around the world and signaled the end of the Victorian Era
For months, Queen Victoria's health had been failing. She had lost her appetite and started looking frail and thin. She would tire more easily and would often have bouts of confusion. On January 22, 1901, Queen Victoria died, surrounded by her family, at the Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.
Queen Victoria had left very detailed instructions as to how she wanted her funeral. This included specific things she wanted inside her coffin. Many of the items were from her beloved husband, Albert, who had died in 1861. On January 25, Dr. Reid carefully placed the items Queen Victoria had requested in the bottom of her coffin: Albert's dressing gown, a plaster cast of Albert's hand, and photographs.
Dr. Reid helped place Queen Victoria's wedding veil over her face and, once the others had departed, placed a picture of her favorite personal attendant John Brown in her right hand, which he covered with flowers.
On February 1, Queen Victoria's coffin was moved from Osborne House and placed on the ship Alberta, which carried the queen's coffin across the Solent to Portsmouth. On February 2, the coffin was transported by train to Victoria Station in London.
From Victoria to Paddington, the queen's coffin was carried by gun carriage, since Queen Victoria had requested a military funeral. She had also wanted a white funeral, so the gun carriage was pulled by eight white horses.
The streets along the funeral route were crowded with spectators who wanted to get a last glimpse of the queen. As the carriage passed by, everyone remained silent. All that could be heard were the clattering of the horses' hooves, the jangling of swords, and the distant boom of gun salutes.
Queen Victoria's coffin was then placed in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, where it remained in the Albert Memorial Chapel for two days under guard.
On the evening of February 4, Queen Victoria's coffin was taken by gun carriage to Frogmore Mausoleum, which she had built for her beloved Albert upon his death.
Above the mausoleum's doors, Queen Victoria had inscribed, "Vale desideratissime. Farewell most beloved. Here at length I shall rest with thee, with thee in Christ I shall rise again."
Assassination of President McKinley - shot by anarchist Leon Czolgosz while shaking hands with the public
On September 5, 1901, President William McKinley delivered a speech at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. He informed the audience of fairgoers that he was reconsidering his views on tariff policy. Also in attendance that day was Leon Czolgosz, a Detroit-born anarchist of Polish parents, who was prevented by Secret Service agents from approaching the stage where McKinley was speaking.
A large crowd had assembled to shake hands with the president and exchange a few words. Czolgosz stood near the front of the line with his right hand wrapped in a handkerchief to make it appear as if he were protecting an injured hand from infection. When his turn came, Czolgosz extended his left hand toward the president while firing two rapid shots from a concealed revolver.
McKinley fell backward, a pool of blood forming on his chest. Secret service agents and police immediately disarmed the assassin and began to inflict a near fatal beating. McKinley was still conscious and pleaded that the assault on Czolgosz stop. The president also asked that care be taken when informing his chronically ill wife of the event.
McKinley was taken to a local hospital where he underwent surgery for his gunshot wounds. It at first appeared that he would recover, but complications set in and the president died on September 14, 1901.
Czolgosz received a hasty trial, was found guilty of murder and was electrocuted in the state prison at Auburn, New York on October 29.