Monday, July 8, 2013

The Duke of Cambridge has died

July 8, 1850

The following bulletin was issued earlier today by the "medical gentlemen," according to The Times.

"The Duke of Cambridge was in a very exhausted state during the night, but His Royal Highness has rallied considerably this morning."

The Duke's sister, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Glocester arrived at Cambridge House at 8:30 in the morning to "learn the state of her Royal brother."

His Royal Highness Prince George "went from Cambridge House in the forenoon to Buckingham Palace, and had an interview with Her Majesty."

The Queen and Prince Albert visited Cambridge House in the "middle of the day and were received by Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge, accompanied by Prince George and Princess Mary."   They "took leave of the Duchess of Cambridge": at about 1 p.m.

Due to the Duke of Cambridge's health, the Drawing Room, scheduled to be held by her Majesty on the 9th, and the State Ball at Buckingham Palace, on the 10th, were canceled.

The Duchess of Glocester (which is how Gloucester was spelled) returned to Cambridge House at 9:30 p.m.  The Duke died ten minutes later.

The final bulletin was issued at 10 p.m.

"His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, after passing a tranquil day, expired somewhat suddenly, and without at suffering, at 20 minutes before 10 o'clock."

Shortly after the Duke's death, his principal Equerry, Major Baron Knesebeck, traveled to Buckingham Palace "to announce the melancholy intelligence to the Queen and the Prince."

Prince Albert, accompanied by his Equerry in Waiting, was driven immediately to Cambridge House to "pay a visit of condolence" to the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George.  He remained with them until 10:45, and then returned to Buckingham Palace.  The Duchess of Glocester remained "some time longer with her afflicted relatives."

The Duke of Cambridge was in his 76th year.  The Duke "took a prominent position in the support of charitable institutions."  It was noted that he would "sacrifice none of his own dignity" when getting involved in the minutiae of the charities he supported.

In private life, the Duke was equally irreproachable; and, through many members of our Royal Family have earned and continued to deserve a great amount of popular esteem, yet the Prince must indeed be considered fortunate who leaves behind him a fairer reputation than the Duke of Cambridge."

The Duke of Cambridge is survived by his widow, Princess Augusta of Hesse-Cassel, and their three children, Prince George, who succeeds him as Duke of Cambridge, Augusta, Hereditary Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, and Princess Mary Adelaide.  He is also survived by one grandson, Duke Adolphus Friedrich of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, his brother, King Ernst August of Hanover, and his sister, Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester.

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