The Last Prince of Cambridge
His Royal Highness Prince George William Frederick Charles, 2nd Duke of Cambridge, Prince of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg, Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle.
Born 26 March 1819, Prince George was a member of the British Royal Family, a male-line grandson of King George III and maternal uncle of Queen Mary (grandmother to the current monarch Elizabeth II).
Prince George was known to be quite controversial, not believing in prearranged marriages and memorably quoted as saying “arranged marriages were doomed to failure." It is believed his uncle William IV, had hopes of steering him to eventually marry his cousin Princess Victoria of Kent. The prospective match was favoured by George’s own parents, but this was forestalled by Victoria’s maternal-uncle Leopold I of Belgium securing her betrothal to his nephew (their mutual cousin) Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
George later went on to marry one of his many mistresses privately, against the wishes of Queen Victoria. As the marriage was contrary to the Royal Marriages Act, the Duke’s ‘wife’ was not titled Duchess of Cambridge or accorded the style Her Royal Highness, nor was their son considered legitimate and able to succeed to the Duke’s titles.
His title, Duke of Cambridge, fell into extinction upon his death. It was not revived until 107 years later, when Queen Elizabeth II awarded the title to her grandson, Prince William, on 29 April 2011, the day he married Catherine Middleton.
Portrait by Walery, published by Sampson Low & Co. 1888
© National Portrait Gallery