Saw my dear Cousins return safely from hunting. Wrote letters, & saw Esterhazy. — At about ½ p. 12, I sent for Albert, who came to the Closet, where I was alone, & after a few minutes I said, I thought he must be aware why I wished him & his brother to come here, & that it would make me too happy if he would consent to what I wanted (that he should marry me). We embraced each other over & over again & he was so kind & so affectionate.
To feel I am loved by such an angel as Albert, is too great a happiness to describe, & I really felt it was the happiest & brightest moment in my life, which made up for all I had suffered & endured. I cannot say how I adore him & I shall strive to make him feel as little as possible the great sacrifice he is making. I told him I realized it was a sacrifice, which he would not allow. I then spoke of the great necessity of keeping our engagement a secret, excepting to his father, Uncle Leopold & Stockmar, to whom he said he would send a courier next day, also explaining that the marriage would have to be as early as the beginning of February. I asked Albert to fetch Ernest, which he did, & the latter congratulated us both warmly, & seemed very pleased, I feel the happiest of human beings.
Ernest then said to me how perfect his brother was, & we talked so comfortably & happily together, till past 1, when I sent them off, & Ld Melbourne came to me. After talking of some appointments, I said I must tell him that I had got well through the interview with Albert, & that he had said he would let no one perceive that anything between us had taken place, — that he seemed very happy, as well as his brother, though the latter observed he was the only looser by our marriage, as his brother had always been everything to him. Ld M. remarked “You will now be able to do much more what you like.” He also said that Ld John Russell’s only wish was that I should be happy, which I answered I had not a doubt of. Talked of whether I should make Albert a Peer or not, but certainly Royal Highness.
We discussed the Household he would require to have & of taking the Pce of Wales’s Household, (formed in 1783) as a guide, as well as those of Queen Mary’s husband Philip of Spain, & Pce George of Denmark, &c. The necessity there was for Albert’s taking precedence of all the Princes, as my Husband. — Lunched with Mama & my dear Cousins, & afterwards wrote. At 4 I walked out with them, Ld Melbourne, Ly Tavistock (who with Ly Caroline Barrington, has came into waiting today) & the other ladies. We walked down to Adelaide Cottage & back. — Wrote to Uncle Leopold, Uncle Ernest, & Stockmar, about my great happiness, & then wrote my Journal. — Our dinner party was the same with the exception of Esterhazy, Uxbridge, & his girls & Alvensleben, & with the addition of Ld John Russell, & Miss Lister. Ernest led me in, & I sat between him & Ld Melbourne.
Ernest talked to me a good deal of dearest Albert, — his great excellence & steadiness, of his never having been in love before, which he justly observed was a great deal for a young man. When we were sealed after dinner, I had my precious Albert beside me, & Ld M. joined us. Ernest played at Chess & Albert & I played at “Tactics”. We stayed up till ¼ p. 11.