Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh

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Prince William
2ndDukeOfGloucester.jpg
Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh
Tenure25 August 1805 – 30 November 1834
Predecessor Prince William Henry
Born(1776-01-15)15 January 1776
Teodoli Palace, Rome, Papal States
Died30 November 1834(1834-11-30) (aged 58)
Bagshot Park, Surrey, England
Burial11 December 1834
Spouse
Full name
William Frederick
House Hanover
Father Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh
Mother Maria Walpole

Prince William, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, KG , GCB , GCH , PC , FRS (William Frederick; 15 January 1776 – 30 November 1834) was a great-grandson of King George II and nephew and son-in-law of King George III of the United Kingdom.

Privy Council of the United Kingdom Formal body of advisers to the sovereign in the United Kingdom

Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council of the United Kingdom or just the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its membership mainly comprises senior politicians who are current or former members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.

Fellow of the Royal Society Elected Fellow of the Royal Society, including Honorary, Foreign and Royal Fellows

Fellowship of the Royal Society is an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society of London judges to have made a 'substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science, and medical science'.

George II of Great Britain British monarch

George II was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) and a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 (O.S.) until his death in 1760.

Contents

Early life

The Duke of Gloucester, in an engraving based on a portrait painted by Sir William Beechey, published 1826. 2ndDukeOfGloucester1826.jpg
The Duke of Gloucester, in an engraving based on a portrait painted by Sir William Beechey, published 1826.

Prince William was born on 15 January 1776 at Palazzo Teodoli in via del Corso, Rome. [1] His father was Prince William, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, the third son of the Prince of Wales. His mother, Maria, was the illegitimate daughter of Edward Walpole and granddaughter of Robert Walpole. As a great-grandson of George II he held the title of Prince of Great Britain with the style His Highness , not His Royal Highness, at birth. The young prince was baptized at Teodoli Palace, on 12 February 1776 by a Rev Salter. His godparents were the Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (his first cousin once-removed and his wife) and the Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach (his second cousin once-removed). [2]

Via del Corso thoroughfare in Rome, Italy

The Via del Corso, is a main street in the historical centre of Rome. It is straight in an area characterized by narrow meandering alleys and small piazzas. Considered a wide street in ancient times, today the Corso is approximately 10 metres wide, and it only has room for two lanes of traffic and two narrow sidewalks. The northern portion of the street is a pedestrian area. The length of the street is roughly 1.5 kilometres.

Rome Capital city and comune in Italy

Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.

Frederick, Prince of Wales heir apparent to the British throne from 1727 until his death

Frederick, Prince of Wales, KG, was heir apparent to the British throne from 1727 until his death from a lung injury at the age of 44. He was the eldest but estranged son of King George II and Caroline of Ansbach, and the father of King George III.

During his stay in Stockholm in 1802–1803, his interest and rumoured affair with Aurora Wilhelmina Koskull attracted a lot of attention, and he reportedly had plans to marry her. Queen Charlotte recalled that William said of Koskull: "If she was your daughter, I would marry her!" [3]

He was admitted to the University of Cambridge (Trinity College) in 1787, and granted his MA in 1790. [4] On 25 August 1805, Prince William's father died, and he inherited the titles Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh and Earl of Connaught. From 1811 until his death he was Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. [4] He was offered the position of king of Sweden in 1812 by some members of the Swedish nobility, but the British government would not allow it.

University of Cambridge University in Cambridge, United Kingdom

The University of Cambridge is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Founded in 1209 and granted a Royal Charter by King Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's fourth-oldest surviving university. The university grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford after a dispute with the townspeople. The two 'ancient universities' share many common features and are often referred to jointly as 'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Cambridge has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Trinity College, Cambridge constituent college of the University of Cambridge in England

Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in England. With around 600 undergraduates, 300 graduates, and over 180 fellows, it is the largest college in either of the Oxbridge universities by number of undergraduates. In terms of total student numbers, it is second only to Homerton College, Cambridge.

Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh

Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh was a British royal title in the Peerage of Great Britain; the sole creation carried with it the subsidiary title of Earl of Connaught.

Because of the unequal character of his parents' marriage, he was excluded from the House of Hanover, being considered only a British prince. For instance, he and his sister were not listed in the genealogical listing of the electoral house of Hanover in the Königlicher Groß-Britannischer und Kurfürstlicher Braunschweig-Lüneburgscher Staats-Kalender. He was also not invited to sign the family compact of the house of Brunswick-Lüneburg in 1831, which means that he was not considered an agnate of the royal (electoral) house in Germany. [5]

Morganatic marriage, sometimes called a left-handed marriage, is a marriage between people of unequal social rank, which in the context of royalty prevents the passage of the husband's titles and privileges to the wife and any children born of the marriage.

House of Hanover German royal dynasty

The House of Hanover, whose members are known as Hanoverians, is a German royal house that ruled Hanover, Great Britain, and Ireland at various times during the 17th through 20th centuries. The house originated in 1635 as a cadet branch of the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg, growing in prestige until Hanover became an Electorate in 1692. George I became the first Hanoverian monarch of Great Britain and Ireland in 1714. At Victoria's death in 1901, the throne of the United Kingdom passed to her eldest son Edward VII, a member of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The last reigning members of the House lost the Duchy of Brunswick in 1918 when Germany became a republic.

Princess Sophia of Gloucester British princess

Princess Sophia Matilda of Gloucester was a great-granddaughter of King George II of Great Britain and niece of King George III.

Marriage

On 22 July 1816, he married Princess Mary, his cousin and the fourth daughter of George III. The marriage took place at St. James's Palace, London. On that day, The Prince Regent granted the Duke the style of His Royal Highness by Order in Council. [6]

Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh British princess

Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh was the eleventh child and fourth daughter of King George III of the United Kingdom and his consort Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

George III of the United Kingdom King of Great Britain and Ireland

George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of the two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death in 1820. He was concurrently Duke and prince-elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg ("Hanover") in the Holy Roman Empire before becoming King of Hanover on 12 October 1814. He was the third British monarch of the House of Hanover, but unlike his two predecessors, he was born in Great Britain, spoke English as his first language, and never visited Hanover.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester lived at Bagshot Park in Surrey. They had no children together; they had married when both were 40. The Duke had been encouraged to stay single, so that there might be a suitable groom for Princess Charlotte of Wales, the heiress to the throne, even if no foreign match proved suitable; she had married Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg ten weeks earlier. [7]

Later life

He was active in many walks of life, and on 27 April 1822 chaired the first Annual General Meeting of London's new United University Club. [8] Politics, however, was not among them; he entered the House of Lords rarely, and he voted on few of the great issues of his time. He did advocate the abolition of slavery, and he supported Caroline of Brunswick and the Duke of Sussex against George IV. [9]

He kept more state than the King; he never permitted a gentleman to be seated in his presence (which King George did as an exceptional favour) and expected to be served coffee by the ladies of any party he attended, and that they would stand while he drank it. [10] The general estimate of his capacity is given by his nickname, "Silly Billy"; he was also called "Slice of Gloucester" and "Cheese", [9] a reference to Gloucester cheese.

The Duke died on 30 November 1834 at Bagshot Park, and was buried in St. George's Chapel, Windsor.

Honours

Arms

Arms of Prince William Frederick Prince William Frederick Arms.png
Arms of Prince William Frederick

William was granted use of his father's arms (being the arms of the kingdom, differenced by a label argent of five points, the centre bearing a fleur-de-lys azure, the other points each bearing a cross gules), the whole differenced by a label argent (or azure). [12]

Ancestry

See also

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References

  1. "...the insignificant palaces, Fiano, Verospi, and Teodoli..." (Augustus Hare, Walks in Rome vol. i, 1903 p. 46).
  2. Yvonne's Royalty Home Page: Royal Christenings. Users.uniserve.com. Retrieved on 2012-07-15.
  3. Cecilia af Klercker (1927). Hedvig Elisabeth Charlottas dagbok VII 1800–1806 (The diaries of Hedvig Elizabeth Charlotte VII 1800–1806) (in Swedish). P.A. Norstedt & Söners förlag. OCLC   68029346.
  4. 1 2 "Gloucester, H.R.H. Prince William Frederick, Duke of (GLCR787WF)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  5. Styles of the members of the British royal family
  6. Royal Styles and Titles – 1816 Royal Warrant. Heraldica.org. Retrieved on 2012-07-15.
  7. Complete Peerage, "Duke of Gloucester", citing the obituary of Princess Mary in the Annual Register of 1857.
  8. Club History Since 1821 Archived 31 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine at oxfordandcambridgeclub.co.uk (accessed 9 January 2008)
  9. 1 2 A. W. Purdue, ‘William Frederick, Prince, second duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh (1776–1834)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, September 2004; online edn, May 2009.
  10. Complete Peerage, "Duke of Gloucester"
  11. The Peerage — William Frederick Hanover, 2nd Duke of Gloucester. Thepeerage.com. Retrieved on 2012-07-15.
  12. Marks of Cadency in the British Royal Family. Heraldica.org. Retrieved on 2012-07-15.
Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh
Cadet branch of the House of Welf
Born: 15 January 1776 Died: 30 November 1834
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Ralph Abercromby
Colonel of the 6th (1st Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot
1795–1805
Succeeded by
George Nugent
Preceded by
The Duke of Argyll
Colonel of the 3rd Regiment of Foot Guards
1806–1834
Succeeded by
The Duke of Gordon
Preceded by
Sir William Keppel
Governor of Portsmouth
1827–1834
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas McMahon, Bt
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Prince William Henry
Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh
1805–1834
Extinct