Friday, May 7, 2010

Brooklyn man claims right to the throne

May 7, 1910

The Chicago Daily Tribune today reports on the bizarre story of a Brooklyn man who claims he is the heir to the the British throne.
John George Guelph claims he is the eldest son of the late King Edward "by a marriage which Queen Victoria made her son disavow," and he states that he is the "rightful ruler of the British Empire. He made a public appearance today at 106 Montague Street in Brooklyn, where he spoke to reporters. He was asked how he would gain the throne. He said he sent a telegram to George V, which read "Brooklyn, NY, USA, May 7 - King George, London: Words fail express my grief. You understand my position. I am at the service of my country. 'John George Guelph.'"
Guelph was asked by one reporter: "How does that make your position clear."
"You will notice," Guelph responded, "that I renounce none of my claims in that telegram. In fact, I assert my rights. My position in reality is that of king of England and emperor of the British empire. George knows that. I will understand what I mean. I do not lay myself at George's disposition, as a subject might be expected to do, in that last sentence. I do not offer George my services. I offer them to my country."
Guelph's wife gave the reporter the "outline of her husband's story." She claims that the late king, while Prince of Wales, married the daughter of an English peer. This marriage was not approved by Queen Victoria and "she forbade public announcement of the marriage."
The result of this marriage, she said to the reporter, is her husband, "Prince John." She says her husband "has a great many letters from the late king, acknowledging him as his son."
Guelph was "very much broken with grief," according to the New York Times, and as he told "the tale of all that he has "been made to suffer he frequently broken down and sobbed."
He was dressed in black, "even to the necktie, and his grief seems very genuine." Guelph is a "tall, well built man of 49, who looks younger, and there is no doubt that he bears a facial resemblance to the English royal family."

Editor's note: Brooklyn?? Wonder if a bridge was also involved in this story.

4 comments: said...

would be interesting to know this man's fate and what ever come out of his alleged claims..

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

The NYTimes had an article on pretenders to the British throne on May 27, 1934. The article reports that "Prince John George Edward Wettin Rex de Guelph de Windsor" died in California "about a year and and a half ago." He claimed to be Edward's son by a "morganatic marriage." The paper noted that he had "no connection with the late King." After sending his statement to Parliament and others, he set up a social bureau, where subscribers "were to be presented to the Court of St. James at $100 per head."

Reynardo said...

Of course, if his parents' marriage had not been approved by either Queen Victoria or the Privy Council, then it was not a lawful marriage and thus this person was illegitimate. More likely he was a total con job - if he was the son of a woman in the British aristocracy, then possibly he was either the result of an affair or of an unwise marriage. There certainly were such people around a great deal in the days before you could check on their identity quickly.(I've just found out about him while reading up on young Prince John, son of George V).

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Privy council did not approve marriages. See the Royal Marriages act. Only the sovereign did the approval.