Monday, June 23, 2014

A boy for the Yorks: could be King

June 23, 1894

The Duchess of York gave birth to a son at 9:55 p.m, reports the New York Times.  The first dispatches about the Duchess' confinement "began to pour into London" at 10:30 in the evening.  Her "illness began at an early hour this morning," and telegrams were sent at once to Queen Victoria, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and to the Home Secretary Asquith. who was "awaiting the call to represent the Government at White Lodge."

The Princess of Wales "left London at once," and was followed a little later by the Prince of Wales.  Mr. Asquith took "the special train which had been waiting with the engine's steam up for more than a week," and arrived at White Lodge 45 minutes later.
An official was "kept at the telephone almost without interruption" for the rest of the day in order to "inform the Queen of the Duchess' progress."

The Queen was informed of the birth of her great-grandson shortly before ten p.m, within five minutes of the birth.  The official announcements "were sent almost immediately."
At Mansion House "the news was announced in a bulletin, which attracted a cheering crowd."
The announcement of the birth was also made in several London theaters, where the "news was received with cheers, and the singing of the national anthem."

The birth of a son to the Duke and Duchess of York now "removes from the vaguest possibilities" that an heir of the Duke of Fife might "succeed to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Empire of India."

The Duke of Fife is the husband of Princess Louise, the Prince of Wales's eldest daughter.  They have two daughters, Lady Alexandra Duff, 3, and 14-month old Lady Maud Duff.

Until the birth of the new prince, Princess Louise was third in line to the throne, followed by her two daughters.  The "presumptiveness" of their succession was "remote, but now "the mere idea of it is now dispelled."

There may be "rejoicings" in England with the news that Princess Louise and her descendants will not succeed to the throne.

The Duke of York married Princess Mary of Teck in July 1893.  She is the eldest child and only daughter of Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, youngest child of the late Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and the Duke of Teck, a morganatic son of Duke Alexander of Württemberg and Hungarian Countess Claudine von Rhedey.

Now that the Duchess of York has given birth to the "heir apparent," she will be "even more popular in reality than she has been in pretense for a year."


Shannon said...

Was the "rejoicings" about Princess Louise and her descendants a joke, or did the public have a problem with the Duke of Fife?

In with regards to the Fifes, why did King Edward VII make his granddaughters through Louise princesses?

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

The British were not ready for a Duff line of succession, as the title was relatively new. There was real concern that Louise, who was not bright, could eventually succeed to the throne, and her husband would be consort. George V was not thrilled with his father when Louise's girls were created HH Princesses.