On Friday 23 August 1816, Captain Cheeseman, master of the Neptune packet boat, returned to Brighton. He brough disturbing news for all his fellow mariners, for their passengers and for trade with France. During the night of 19-20 August, Captain Thomas Partridge of the Nancy had been shot by French customs officers just outside the port of Dieppe.
The Napoleonic Wars were long over. The 1830 Revolution in France was done and dusted. It was time for young Queen Victoria to visit the former enemy land. It’s always good to be on congenial terms with your neighbours. Early September 1843 was to mark the first visit of a reigning British monarch to France for over 300 years. Louis-Philippe, King of the French, was at great pains to ensure that his guest would lack for nothing. How did he go about ensuring comfort fit for a queen?