Legitimacy of Queen Victoria

Legitimacy Of Queen Victoria

Legitimacy of Queen Victoria

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The parentage of Queen Victoria has been the subject of speculation.

Succession crisis

Princess Charlotte of Wales was the only daughter and heir of the Prince Regent (later King George IV). Her death in childbirth in 1817 set off a battle between the Prince Regent's brothers to see who could father a legitimate heir. Some of the brothers had been previously involved in scandals. Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, the second in line to the throne, was amicably separated from his wife, Frederica Charlotte of Prussia. The sixth son, Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, had contracted two marriages in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act (as had the Prince Regent before his marriage to Charlotte Augusta's mother). Three brothers, the third, fourth and seventh in line to the throne, William Henry, Duke of Clarence, Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn and Adolph Frederick, Duke of Cambridge all married in 1818. The fifth son, Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, was already married.

The Duke of Clarence had married Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen. Though ironically he had been able to father ten illegitimate children, none of his children by his wife survived childhood. The second daughter, Elizabeth, lived the longest, being born on 10 December 1820 and dying on 4 March 1821. The next son to produce an heir was the Duke of Cambridge, whose son George was born on 26 March 1819. He would be displaced two months later by the birth of a daughter to the Duke of Kent and his...
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