William Ewart Gladstone resigns as Prime Minister

Following the Conservative victory in the general election, Gladstone had been mulling over whether to wait until the new session of parliament to face a vote in the House of Commons but Queen Victoria had other ideas and made it clear that she wanted a quick change of government. Ever loyal, Gladstone acceded to the Queen’s wishes and travelled to Windsor Castle to formally tender his resignation. Gladstone recorded cryptically in his diary, ‘H.M. very kind; the topics of conversation were of course rather limited.’ Disraeli was summoned and kissed hands the following day with a typically Disraelian flourish, ‘I plight my troth’ he said ‘to the kindest of mistresses.’