Saturday, April 30, 2011

The previous Duke of Cambridge

Prince George, the second Duke of Cambridge (1855, by Roger Fenton)

The Queen has made Prince William and Kate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The Dukedom of Cambridge was created in 1801 but became extinct on the death of the 2nd Duke of Cambridge in 1904.

The last holder of the title, Prince George, was born in 1819. He was the son of Prince Adolphus, the 1st Duke of Cambridge and the 7th son of King George III. He served in the Crimean War, in the capacity of lieutenant-general he was present at the battles of the Alma, Balaclava and Inkerman, and at the siege of Sevastopol. From 1856 until 1895 he was the commander-in-chief of the British Army.

Louisa Fairbrother ('Mrs FitzGeorge') as Columbine by Richard James Lane (published December 1839)

He refused to have an arranged marriage and declared such unions were "doomed to failure". In 1847 he had an unrecognised marriage to actress Sarah Louisa Fairbrother,  the daughter of a servant. At the time she was already the mother of two of his children and pregnant with his third. Miss Fairbrother was never given the title the Duchess of Cambridge, instead she became known by the nickname Mrs FitzGeorge. Since their children were illegitimate the title Duke of Cambridge became extinct upon Prince George’s death in 1904.

His niece Princess Mary of Teck, daughter of his sister Mary Adelaide, married the heir to the thrown George in 1893, after having being engaged to his older brother Albert Victor.

next episode: Daraa


  1. I enjoy how well you are able to tie current royal events to Crimean War trivia. Well done, Rob!

  2. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out this Duke was a Crimean veteran, and that Roger Fenton had taken his pic. A case of serendipity?



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