Monday, December 3, 2012

The last four generational baby

Four generations:  Marlene A. Eilers Koenig Collection
York House, St. James's Palace, May 15 (1894)

"The Duke of York left this morning for Sandringham, on a visit to the Princess of Wales. The Duchess of York left this afternoon for White Lodge." 

It was also noted that day that "The Duke and Duchess of York will go next month on a prolonged visit to the Duke and Duchess of Teck, at White Lodge, Richmond Park."

It was only a matter time that  the Duchess of York would make a "prolonged visit" to the home of her parents.

The former Princess Victoria Mary of Teck married Prince George, Duke of York, on July 6, 1893.  This was a marriage of second cousins once removed as Princess May's mother, Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck, and George's grandmother, Queen Victoria, were first cousins.

Due to the premature death of his older brother, Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale in January 1892,  Prince George, the younger son of the Prince and Princess and Wales became second in line to the throne.  He also married his brother's fiancee.

May became pregnant several months after the wedding, but a pregnancy was never announced.  Although she did not carry out any duties in the first half of 1894,  the young Duchess and her husband attended dinners as well as nights out at the theatre. 

In the final weeks of her pregnancy, the Duchess of York went to church, attended art galleries and theatre and music performances.

No palace press office to send out releases or tweets or post on Facebook to announce that the Duchess of York was expecting a child.

The "prolonged visit" to White Lodge began on June 6.  The Duke of York spent that day in Epsom and attended the Prince of Wales' annual Derby Dinner that night.  He traveled to Richmond the next day.

It was announced on June 7 that the Duke and Duchess of York "have gone to White House, Lodge, Richmond Park, on a visit to the Duke and Duchess of Teck."

The Court Circular alluded to the situation on June 14, noting that Duchess of York went for a drive in morning and "again in the afternoon."  On June 18, the Duke and Duchess of York drove to Sion House in Isleworth.

On June 20, the Duchess of York did not go out for her usual afternoon drive, but went for a "short walk" with her husband in the White Lodge's private grounds.

Three days later, "Her Majesty received shortly after dinner the joyful news of the birth and safe delivery of Her Royal Highness the Duchess of York of a son, and that both the Duchess and infant Prince were doing well."

The first reports of the birth were known as the "accouchement of the Duchess of York. 

The first bulletin was released late on June 23.  "Her Royal Highness the Duchess of York gave birth to a son at 10 o'clock this evening. Both mother and infant are doing well."

A second bulletin was issued the next morning at 10 a.m.

"Her Royal Highness the Duchess of York has passed a good night.  Her Royal Highness and infant son are doing well."   Another bulletin was released from White Lodge at 6:30 p.m. that evening:  "Her Royal Highness the Duchess of York and the infant Prince continues to do well."

The grandparents, the Prince and Princess of Wales, accompanied by Princesses Victoria and Maud, arrived at White Lodge on June 25 "to inquire after the Duchess of York."  They visited with the proud new papa, the Duke of York, Princess Mary Adelaide, the Duchess of Teck and the Duke of Teck.  The Prince and Princess of Wales and their two daughters then returned to London.

The Duchess of York continued to pass good days and nights, and the infant Prince was progressing favorably.

Queen Victoria visited the Duke and Duchess of York on June 26.  She traveled by special train from Windsor to Richmond and was "greeted with enthusiastic crowds."

On June 27, another bulletin was issued from White Lodge:  "Her Royal Highness the Duchess of York and the infant Prince have passed a good night and continue to make very satisfactory progress."

Due to the Duchess'  favorable progress, the final bulletin was issued on the 28th.  "HRH The Duchess of York and the infant Prince continue to make uninterrupted progress."

In Parliament, the Earl of Roseberry rose to move "that a humble address be presented to Her Majesty to congratulate Her Majesty on the birth of a son and heir to his Royal Highness the Duke of York and Her Royal Highness the Duchess of York."  He added: "It is, my lords, with the clearest and most unmingled gratification that I rise to move this address of which I have given noticed.  It is scarcely one that in an assembly of this kind needs any words to recommend it. It is, of course, impossible in affairs of this world to hope for any absolute guarantee against any possible evil. But I am bound to say that no more gratifying guarantee could be given under the permanence of that form of government-under which we live than the fact that Queen should be able to see around her today no less than three heirs male in the direct line of that historic throne."

Lord Roseberry ended his comments with "May we not hope that this newborn child may come to be in truth a son of Great Britain, and be adequate to the high conditions and responsibilities which that noble title involves.?"

The birth of the infant prince removed the "vague possibility" that the succession would eventually pass to the Duke of York's sister, Princess Louise, Duchess of Fife and her young daughter, Lady Alexandra.

The Duchess of York returned to York House on July 27.

The Duchess' first public appearance after the birth of her son was in late July when the Duke and Duchess of York and the Prince and Princess of Wales to see Rejane in Mme Sana-Gene at Covent Garden. Several days later they went to see a performance of The Professor's Love Story at Comedy Theatre.

  On August 3, the Duke and Duchess of Teck and the Duchess of Teck, accompanied by Lady Eva Greville, the Hon. Derek Keppel, Mr. Greville and Miss Tufnell, boarded a train at Victoria Station for a trip to St. Moritz, Sweitzerland.

They would remain in St. Moritz for about a month.  The infant prince remained at White Lodge with his nurse.

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