Kolkata, Dec 21 The last letter to India penned by Queen Victoria, dating back 116 years, has been put on display for the first time at the Victoria Memorial Hall (VMH) here.
Dated December 14, 1900, which was written a little over a month before the monarch's death on January 22, 1901, the document measuring 17 x 11.1 cm, is from the collection of VMH and was presented in 1904 by then Viceroy Lord Curzon to whom it was addressed, the VMH said.
The letter begins with an expression of gratitude: "The Queen Empress has to thank the Viceroy for the very kind letter of the 9th November, full of sincerest sympathy of her beloved soldier grandson whose loss is a terrible one, deeply deplored not only by his relatives, but by the whole army, who looked on him as a very rising officer." Located on 1 Queen's way, the VMH was envisaged by Lord Curzon as a memorial to the deceased Queen Victoria.
According to VMH, "within a few weeks after Queen's death in January, 1901, a meeting was convened in the Town Hall of Calcutta on February 6, 1901, whereby a resolution for constituting an all Indian Memorial Fund for building of the memorial was moved. King George V, the then Prince of Wales, laid the foundation stone of the Memorial Hall on January 4, 1906 and it was formally opened to the public in 1921".