1938 - Death of Queen Maud of Norway
23rd November. Queen Maud of Norway had died in a nursing home in London on 20th November. Her body lay in state at the Chapel at Marlborough House, St James’ Palace until the afternoon of the 23rd when it was place on a special train to Portsmouth.
Prior to departure from London, King Haakon, Crown Prince Olaf, and the King and Queen Mary and many other members of the Royal Family, went to the private Chapel to attend the last service in England for this Princess of Great Britain and Ireland. (She was the youngest daughter of King Edward VII.) The special train that brought the coffin from London was met with full ceremony when it drew onto South Railway Jetty. The coffin was raised from the coach on which it rested by 6 Chief Petty Officers of the Royal Navy and two Sergeants of the Royal Marines and taken on board the battleship Royal Oak, going past a Guard of Honour from HMS Excellent who stood with arms reversed and the King’s colours draped in black. The following day at one o’clock, Dockyard tugs slowly pulled the battleship from the jetty into mid-stream. From her stern flew the white ensign, the Norwegian flag flew from the Peak, and from the main mast flew the Cross of St George, King Haakon’s flag as an honorary Admiral in the Royal Navy. All were at half mast as were all flags in the area. The battleship was escorted by the destroyers Fame, Brilliant, Bulldog and Keith. It was said to have been a most moving spectacle.