Lord Palmerston is dismissed as Foreign Secretary

The events leading to Palmerston’s dismissal began with a coup d’tat carried out by Louis Napoleon, President of France who proclaimed himself Napoleon III. Lord Palmerston privately congratulated Napoleon noting that the French constitution of 1850 is a ‘day before yesterday tomfoolery which the scatterbrain heads of Marrast and Toqueville invented for the torment and perplexity of the French nation.’ Queen Victoria got to hear of this despatch which had been sent without having been seen by either herself, or the Prime Minister Lord John Russell. She demanded that Palmerston be dismissed. Russell, no fan of the Foreign Secretary, wrote to Palmerston to tell him that he had no choice but to ‘ask Her Majesty to appoint a successor to you at the Foreign Office.’