Thursday, February 18, 2021

Birthdays of the Royal Family (1835)

I found this article in the Sunday Times (October 4, 1835) while researching the Duchess of Cumberland for an upcoming blog post (or rather several posts).  This list features the birthdays of all but one member of the Royal Family alive in 1835.

The order of names is a mixture of precedence and birthdates. 

King William IV and Queen Adelaide followed by the other surviving children of the late King George III:   Augusta Sophia (1868-1840),  Elizabeth (1770-1840, the widow of Friedrich, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg, the Duke of Cumberland (1771-1851), the Duke of Sussex (1773-1843), Duke of Cambridge (1774-1850), Princess Mary, the widowed Duchess of Gloucester (1776-1857), Princess Sophia (1777-1848), Princess Sophia Matilda of Gloucester (1773-1844), the Duchess of Cumberland (1778-1843), the Duchess of Kent (1786-1861), the Duchess of Cambridge (1797-1851), Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent (1819-1901), Prince George Frederick of Cumberland (1819-1878), Prince George William of Cambridge (1819-1904) and Princess Augusta Caroline of Cambridge (1822-1916).

The youngest of the three Cambridge children, Princess Mary Adelaide, is not included, on this list even though she was born on November 27, 1833.  She died in 1897.

Princess Mary married her first cousin, Prince William, Duke of Gloucester & Edinburgh (1776-1834) in 1816.  He was the son of Prince William, Duke of Gloucester & Edinburgh, younger brother of George III, who in 1766 married Maria Walpole, the illegitimate daughter of Sir Edward Walpole and Dorothy Clement.  Her grandfather was Robert Walpole, Earl of Orford.  Walpole is considered the first British Prime Minister.  The Duke and Maria Walpole, the widow of the 2nd Earl of Waldegrave married in secret.  King George III did not find out about his brother's marriage until September 1772, five months after Parliament passed the Royal Marriages Act, which required the Sovereign's permission to marry.  

The Gloucester marriage was considered valid as it took place before the Act was promulgated.   Maria, who spent her childhood at Frogmore House, was never received at her brother-in-law's court.    

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Princess Sophia Matilda of Gloucester was considered a candidate for the future William IV, but she had no interest in her first cousin.  

Three of the four young people on the list celebrated their 16th birthdays in 1835, two years away from reaching their majority.  Princess Augusta was was 13 years old.  

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 What became of the four first cousins?  In 1843, Augusta married her first maternal first cousin, Friedrich Wilhelm, the future Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.  Fritz was also Prince George of Cumberland's first cousin, as his father and the Duchess of Cumberland were siblings.

In 1835, Prince George of Cumberland was third in line to the British throne behind his first cousin, Alexandrina Victoria, and his father, Prince Ernst August, Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale.

Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent was heiress presumptive to the British throne.  William IV was also King of Hanover.  When he died in June 1837, one month after Victoria reached her majority,  she succeeded to the British throne.  Uncle Cumberland won the second prize, the throne of Hanover as women could not inherit that kingdom.  Her first cousin,  Prince George of Cumberland, got a new title: Crown Prince of Hanover, as heir apparent to his father, King Ernst August.  

In 1851, Georg succeeded his father as King Georg V of Hanover.  After siding with Austria in the Austro-Prussian war in 1866,  Georg and his family were forced into exile as Prussia annexed the former kingdom of Hanover.  The family remained members of the British royal family.   Georg's only son, Ernst August, Duke of Cumberland, married Princess Thyra of Denmark, whose older sisters, Alexandra and Dagmar married Edward VII and Alexander III, respectively.

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 Prince George William succeeded his father as the Duke of Cambridge.  He married an actress, Sarah Fairbrother in 1847.  This marriage was in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act, which meant that the marriage was not valid in England.  The couple had three sons, two of who were born before the wedding.  

Sarah was never entitled to be styled as HRH The Duchess of Cambridge and their three sons had the surname FitzGeorge and no succession rights to the throne or the Cambridge dukedom.   The Duke was the second member of the Royal Marriage to not seek permission to wed.  His uncle, Prince Augustus, Duke of Sussex, married twice in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act

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Augusta's little sister, Mary Adelaide, who was not included on this birthday list, grew up to be the chunkey monkey of British princesses.  It was not easy to find a husband for Mary Adelaide. She was 32 when in 1866, she married  Prince Franz, Duke of Teck, a morganatic scion of the royal house of Württemberg.   A year later, on May 26, 1867, she gave birth to her first of four children and only daughter, Princess Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes of Teck.  This princess was known as May.  Queen Victoria encourage marriage between her grandson, Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale (1864-1892), the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, eldest son of Queen Victoria.

Eddy proposed to May on December 3, 1891.  She said yes, of course.  The wedding was scheduled to take place on February 27, 1892.  

Along with other members of the Royal Family, the Duke of Clarence attended the funeral of Prince Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, the son of Queen Victoria's older sister Feodora, where he caught a chill that quickly turned to pneumonia.  The Duke of Clarence and Avondale died at Sandringham House on January 14, 1892.   May was at her fiance's bedside when he died.  In July 1893, she married Eddy's younger brother, Prince George, Duke of York (1865-1936).  

In 1835,  William IV was on the throne for 5 years.  In 1910, Prince George, Duke of York (styled as the Prince of Wales since November 1901) succeeded his father, Edward VII, and was known as King George V.   

George V was the grandson of Queen Victoria, the niece of William IV.  He married Princess May of Teck, whose mother, Princess Mary Adelaide, was also a niece of William IV.  

The present head of the House of Hanover,  Prince Ernst August (1954) is a great-great-grandson, of King Georg V of Hanover (George of Cumberland), another nephew of William IV.


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