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The Emperor’s Desk: I took a couple of days off so I’m a bit late with this. I find it interesting that Prince Edward and his daughter Queen Victoria died a day apart, albeit 81 years separate that one day.

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, KG, KP, GCB, GCH, PC (Edward Augustus; 2 November 1767 ā€“ 23 January 1820) was the fourth son and fifth child of King George III of the United Kingdom and Duchess Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. His only legitimate child became Queen Victoria.

Prince Edward was created Duke of Kent and Strathearn and Earl of Dublin on April 23, 1799 and, a few weeks later, appointed a General and commander-in-chief of British forces in the Maritime Provinces of North America. On March 23, 1802 he was appointed Governor of Gibraltar and nominally retained that post until his death. The Duke was appointed Field-Marshal of the Forces on September 3, 1805.

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn


Following the death of Princess Charlotte of Wales in November 1817, the only legitimate grandchild of King George III at the time, the royal succession began to look uncertain. The Prince Regent (later King George IV) and his younger brother Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, though married, were estranged from their wives and had no surviving legitimate children.

The king’s surviving daughters were all childless and past likely childbearing age. The King’s unmarried sons, William, Duke of Clarence (later King William IV), Edward, Duke of Kent, and Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, all rushed to contract lawful marriages and provide an heir to the throne.

The King’s fifth son, Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, was already married but had no living children at that time, whilst the marriage of the sixth son, Augustus, Duke of Sussex, was void because he had married in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act 1772.

Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
For his part the Duke of Kent, aged 50, was already considering marriage, and he became engaged to Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, who had been the sister-in-law of his now-deceased niece Princess Charlotte. They were married on May 29, 1818 at Schloss Ehrenburg, Coburg, in a Lutheran rite, and again on July 11, 1818 at Kew Palace, Kew, Surrey.

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn

Princess Victoria was the daughter of Franz, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, and the sister of Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, husband of the recently deceased Princess Charlotte. She was a widow: her first husband was Emich Charles, 2nd Prince of Leiningen, with whom she had had two children: a son, Charles, 3rd Prince of Leiningen, and a daughter, Princess Feodora of Leiningen.

They had one child, Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent, who became Queen Victoria on June 20, 1837. Prince Edward, Duke of Kent was 51 years old at the time of her birth. The Duke took great pride in his daughter, telling his friends to look at her well, for she would be Queen of the United Kingdom.

Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Duchess of Kent

Following the birth of Princess Victoria in May 1819, the Duke and Duchess, concerned to manage the Duke’s great debts, sought to find a place where they could live inexpensively. After the coast of Devon was recommended to them they leased from a General Baynes, intending to remain incognito, Woolbrook Cottage on the seaside by Sidmouth.


The Duke of Kent died of pneumonia on January 23, 1820 at Woolbrook Cottage, Sidmouth, and was interred in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. He died six days before his father, George III, and less than a year after his daughter’s birth.

He predeceased his father and his three elder brothers but, as none of his elder brothers had any surviving legitimate children, his daughter Victoria succeeded to the throne on the death of her uncle King William IV in 1837, and ruled until 1901.

In 1829 the Duke’s former aide-de-camp purchased the unoccupied Castle Hill Lodge from the Duchess in an attempt to reduce her debts; the debts were finally discharged after Victoria took the throne and paid them over time from her income.

Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom

Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; May 24, 1819 ā€“ January 22, 1901) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death in 1901. Her reign of 63 years and 216 days was longer than that of any previous British monarch and is known as the Victorian era.

It was a period of industrial, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom, and was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire. In 1876, the British Parliament voted to grant her the additional title of Empress of India.

Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn (the fourth son of King George III), and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. After the deaths of her father and grandfather in 1820, she was raised under close supervision by her mother and her comptroller, John Conroy.

Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom

She inherited the throne aged 18 after her father’s three elder brothers died without surviving legitimate issue. Victoria, a constitutional monarch, attempted privately to influence government policy and ministerial appointments; publicly, she became a national icon who was identified with strict standards of personal morality.

Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840. Their children married into royal and noble families across the continent, earning Victoria the sobriquet “the grandmother of Europe” and spreading haemophilia in European royalty.

Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom

After Albert’s death in 1861, Victoria plunged into deep mourning and avoided public appearances. As a result of her seclusion, British republicanism temporarily gained strength, but in the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered.

Her Golden and Diamond jubilees were times of public celebration. Victoria died aged 81 on January 22, 1901 at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. The last British monarch of the House of Hanover, she was succeeded by her son Edward VII of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.