Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mrs. Fitzgeorge to spend the winter in New York

December 7, 1908

Mrs. George William Augustus Fitzgeorge has arrived from England in New York, "where she proposes to spend the winter" at the Hotel Seymour on West 45th Street, reports the Marquise de Fontenoy.
It would be a mistake to address Mrs. Fitzgeorge as Lady Fitzgeorge.  This "absence of a title has been a source of considerable bitterness."  Her husband, George, who died in Switzerland eighteen months ago, was the eldest of three sons of Prince George, the Duke of Cambridge, a grandson of King George III, and Queen Victoria's first cousin.
The Duke of Cambridge's marriage to the actress Louisa Fairbrother was in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act. Because the marriage was invalid in the United Kingdom, the couple's three sons were "debarred from inheriting any share in their father's inheritance, including his titles."
Unlike his younger brothers, the late Col. Fitzgeorge did not enjoy a close relationship with the king and other members of the royal family, including their first cousin, the Princess of Wales.  The two younger sons "figured conspicuously" at their father's state funeral, where King Edward VII was the chief mourner.   Col Fitzgeorge "was relegated to the background and had no place in the procession."
The two younger brothers both received the star of the Victorian Order, and both were knighted by Edward, one becoming Sir Adolphus Fitzgeorge and the other, Sir Augustus Fitzgeorge.
But George "remained without any such token of royal favor."
For some years, the late colonel has been a "thorn in the side of his father" because of his extravagance.  He was forced to leave the army and he ended up in bankruptcy court to the tune of  nearly 1,000,000, when, in fact, he had only $1,000 in assets. 
The Duke of Cambridge came to his son's rescue, but Col. Fitzgeorge always seemed "imbued with the belief that he could restore his shattered fortunes by embarking in the most foolish and wildcat enterprises."
Col. Fitzgeorge married Vera Baring, the widow of Capt. F.W. Arkwright of the Coldstream Guards.  Mrs. Fitzgeorge is the daughter of William Henry Baring, M.P., of Norman Court, Hampshire.  Although members of her own family are very rich,  Mrs. Fitzgeorge is understood to be in "straightened circumstances."   Family members have taken on the costs of her children's education and care. 
Due to her circumstances, it must be a some "mistake in the remarks attributed to her in newspaper interview," where she said she planned to "entertain extensively" in New York.

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