Queen Victoria eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 326 pages of information about Queen Victoria.
he occupied himself with racing, whist, and improper stories.  He was remarkable among the princes for one reason:  he was the only one of them—­so we are informed by a highly competent observer—­who had the feelings of a gentleman.  He had been long married to the Princess Royal of Prussia, a lady who rarely went to bed and was perpetually surrounded by vast numbers of dogs, parrots, and monkeys.  They had no children.  The Duke of Clarence had lived for many years in complete obscurity with Mrs. Jordan, the actress, in Bushey Park.  By her he had had a large family of sons and daughters, and had appeared, in effect to be married to her, when he suddenly separated from her and offered to marry Miss Wykeham, a crazy woman of large fortune, who, however, would have nothing to say to him.  Shortly afterwards Mrs. Jordan died in distressed circumstances in Paris.  The Duke of Cumberland was probably the most unpopular man in England.  Hideously ugly, with a distorted eye, he was bad-tempered and vindictive in private, a violent reactionary in politics, and was subsequently suspected of murdering his valet and of having carried on an amorous intrigue of an extremely scandalous kind.  He had lately married a German Princess, but there were as yet no children by the marriage.  The Duke of Sussex had mildly literary tastes and collected books.  He had married Lady Augusta Murray, by whom he had two children, but the marriage, under the Royal Marriages Act, was declared void.  On Lady Augusta’s death, he married Lady Cecilia Buggin; she changed her name to Underwood, but this marriage also was void.  Of the Duke of Cambridge, the youngest of the brothers, not very much was known.  He lived in Hanover, wore a blonde wig, chattered and fidgeted a great deal, and was unmarried.

Besides his seven sons, George III had five surviving daughters.  Of these, two—­the Queen of Wurtemberg and the Duchess of Gloucester—­were married and childless.  The three unmarried princesses—­Augusta, Elizabeth, and Sophia—­were all over forty.


The fourth son of George III was Edward, Duke of Kent.  He was now fifty years of age—­a tall, stout, vigorous man, highly-coloured, with bushy eyebrows, a bald top to his head, and what hair he had carefully dyed a glossy black.  His dress was extremely neat, and in his whole appearance there was a rigidity which did not belie his character.  He had spent his early life in the army—­at Gibraltar, in Canada, in the West Indies—­and, under the influence of military training, had become at first a disciplinarian and at last a martinet.  In 1802, having been sent to Gibraltar to restore order in a mutinous garrison, he was recalled for undue severity, and his active career had come to an end.  Since then he had spent his life regulating his domestic arrangements with great exactitude, busying himself with the affairs of his numerous dependents, designing clocks, and struggling to restore order to his finances, for, in spite of his being, as someone said who knew him well “regle comme du papier a musique,” and in spite of an income of L24,000 a year, he was hopelessly in debt.  He had quarrelled with most of his brothers, particularly with the Prince Regent, and it was only natural that he should have joined the political Opposition and become a pillar of the Whigs.

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Queen Victoria from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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