The year 1888, that of the Silver Wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales, is also the 25th anniversary of the year when the Prince first began to appear in public life. It is, therefore, a fit time to present some record of events in which His Royal Highness has taken part, and of services rendered by him to the nation, during the past quarter of a century. The best and the least formal way of doing this seemed to be the reproduction of his Speeches and Addresses, along with some account of the occasions when they were delivered.
Some of these speeches, in more recent years, are known to all, and their importance is universally recognised; such as those relating to the various International Exhibitions, the foundation of the Royal College of Music, and the establishment of the Imperial Institute. But throughout the whole of the twenty-five years, there has been a succession of speeches, on all manner of occasions, of many of which there is no adequate record or remembrance. It is only due to the Prince to recall the various services thus rendered by him, especially during those earlier years when the loss of the Prince Consort was most deeply felt, and when the Queen, whose Jubilee has been so splendidly celebrated, was living in retirement. A new generation has come on the stage since those days, and there are comparatively few who remember the number and variety of occasions upon which Royalty was worthily represented by the Prince of Wales, and the important and arduous duties voluntarily and cheerfully undertaken by him.