Tuesday, July 9, 2019

A Royal visit to Gotha

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde visited Schloss Friedenstein in Gotha today.  The castle, once one of the residences of the Dukes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, is now a museum.

One of the exhibitions on view is "Marriage as a model for Success: German-English Marriages."    2019 is the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the births of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Victoria and Albert were first cousins.  Albert was the younger son of Duke Ernst I of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, whose sister, Victoire, who married the Duke of Kent, was the mother of Queen Victoria.

King Philippe is the great-great-great-grandson of King Leopold I of the Belgians, who was born Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saafeld, the younger brother of Duke Ernst I and the Duchess of Kent.

In 1826,  when Saxe-Gotha and Altenburg became extinct, Duke Ernst ( who was the third duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saafeld) had the best claim for Gotha.  He ceded Saafeld to the Duke of Saxe-Meiningen) and became Duke Ernst I of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

Prince Leopold was first marriage to Princess Charlotte of Wales, heiress presumptive to the British throne.  She was the only child of King George IV.  Her death in childbirth in November 1817 led to a race among several of King George III's unmarried sons to find suitable wives and produce legitimate heirs.  The succession race was won by the little Mayflower, Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent, as she succeeded her uncle William IV in 1837.  Three years later, on February 10, 1840,  Victoria married her first cousin, Prince Albert.

Leopold became the first king of the Belgians in 1830.  Two years later, he married Princess Louise of Orléans.

The King and Queen of the Belgians are in Germany for a state visit.

Prince Andreas of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the head of the Ducal house, and his elder son, Hereditary Prince Hubertus and his wife, Kelly,  joined the king and queen for their tour to the castle and exhibitions.

There are photos on Getty, but the images do not have the embedding code, which means bloggers cannot use the photos.

Here is a link to the local Gotha newspaper,Thüringer Allgemeine, which has an article and photographs.


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