Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Two royal engagements ...
...that never happened.
I am writing an article on Princess Augusta of Cambridge for European Royal History Journal. The first thing I do is pull out my clip file on the Cambridges, and sort the Augusta articles. I came across this clip, which is rather amusing.
On April 16, 1922, the Washington Post reported that the Prince of Wales, then in Tokio, was about to become engaged to his first cousin, the Lady Mary Cambridge. This report was based on an unofficial cable. According to another rumor, the dispatch noted, the Duke of York would become engaged to the Lady Rachel Cavendish at the same time.
Neither of these engagements came to fruition as Lady Rachel, daughter of the 9th Duke of Devonshire, married the Hon. James Stuart, youngest son of the 17th Ear of Moray. James was an equerry to the Duke of York, and the man most likely to marry the Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.
In the fall of 1921, James left the duke of York's service on his own accord. He was the only guest at Glamis for the New Year's holiday as he had come to say goodbye to Lady Elizabeth and her family. He was going to the United States to work in the oil business. The job offer had come from Sir Sidney Greville, "a long-serving courtier," whose sister was one of Queen Mary's ladies-in-waiting.
Many years later, Stuart, created Viscount Stuart of Findhorn in 1959, would claim that Queen Mary arranged for him to be sent to America as she considered him as a "rival" as she wanted her son, Bertie, to marry Lady Elizabeth. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother's official biographer, William Shawcross, noted that there is no evidence for this in the Royal Archives. Shawcross noted that George VI did tell his younger daughter, Princess Margaret, that her mother almost married James Stuart, but he had "gone abroad."
The Queen Mother referred to Stuart as a "very serious" suitor who had gone to the United States.
The engagement of the Duke of York and the Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was announced on January 16, 1923.
The official announcement of Lady Rachel Cavendish and the Hon. James Stuart's engagement was made on April 25, 1923, the day before Lady Elizabeth's marriage to the Duke of York. The Hon. James Stuart and the Lady Rachel Cavendish were married on August 4.
Lady Mary Cambridge, eldest daughter of the Marquess and Marchioness of Cambridge, was born HSH Princess Mary of Teck. She was a bridesmaid at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of York. On June 14, 1923, she married the Marquess of Worcester, heir to the Duke of Beaufort.