|King Leopold I of Belgium (1790-1865) & Baron Stockmar (?-1863)
Leopold was elected the first monarch of Belgium after the country separated from the Netherlands in 1831. As Victoria's uncle, he was one of few strong males in her life during her childhood. Baron Stockmar was councilor to Leopold and, in his later years, to Victoria.
... When King Leopold learnt that King William's death was approaching, he wrote several long letters of excellent advice to his niece. "In every letter I shall write to you," he said, "I mean to repeat to you, as a FUNDAMENTAL RULE, TO BE FIRM, AND COURAGEOUS, AND HONEST, AS YOU HAVE BEEN TILL NOW." ... Not content with letters, however, King Leopold determined that the Princess should not lack personal guidance, and sent over to her aid the trusted friend whom, twenty years before, he had taken to his heart by the death-bed at Claremont. Thus, once again, as if in accordance with some preordained destiny, the figure of Stockmar is discernible --inevitably present at a momentous hour....
During the twenty years which had elapsed since the death of the Princess Charlotte, [Stockmar's] experiences had been varied and remarkable. The unknown counsellor of a disappointed princeling had gradually risen to a position of European importance. His devotion to his master had been not only whole-hearted but cautious and wise. It was Stockmar's advice that had kept Prince Leopold in England during the critical years which followed his wife's death, and had thus secured to him the essential requisite of a point d'appui in the country of his adoption.... The statesmen who governed England -- Lord Grey, Sir Robert Peel, Lord Palmerston, Lord Melbourne -- had learnt to put a high value upon his probity and his intelligence.... [T]he establishment of the Baron at Buckingham Palace in 1837 was to be the prelude of another and a more momentous advance....
King Leopold and his counsellor provide in their careers an example of the curious diversity of human ambitions.... The correct mind of Leopold craved for the whole apparatus of royalty. Mere power would have held no attractions for him; he must be an actual king --the crowned head of a people. It was not enough to do; it was essential also to be recognised; anything else would not be fitting. The greatness that he dreamt of was surrounded by every appropriate circumstance. To be a Majesty, to be a cousin of Sovereigns, to marry a Bourbon for diplomatic ends, to correspond with the Queen of England, to be very stiff and very punctual, to found a dynasty, to bore ambassadresses into fits, to live, on the highest pinnacle, an exemplary life devoted to the public service --such were his objects, and such, in fact, were his achievements. The "Marquis Peu-a-peu," as George IV called him, had what he wanted. But this would never have been the case if it had not happened that the ambition of Stockmar took a form exactly complementary to his own. The sovereignty that the Baron sought for was by no means obvious. The satisfaction of his essential being lay in obscurity, in invisibility -- in passing, unobserved, through a hidden entrance, into the very central chamber of power, and in sitting there, quietly, pulling the subtle strings that set the wheels of the whole world in motion. A very few people, in very high places, and exceptionally well-informed, knew that Baron Stockmar was a most important person: that was enough. The fortunes of the master and the servant, intimately interacting, rose together. The Baron's secret skill had given Leopold his unexceptionable kingdom; and Leopold, in his turn, as time went on, was able to furnish the Baron with more and more keys to more and more back doors.
-Lytton Strachey, Queen Victoria