Queen Victoria: A Personal History

By Christopher Hibbert | Go to book overview

13
GERMAN COUSINS

'Cousins are not very good things . . . Those Coburgs are not popular abroad; the Russians hate them.'

IT IS RUMOURED and confidently believed in the highest circles [ The Watchman had informed its readers on 4 May 1828] that Prince George, Son of His Royal Highness, the Duke of Cumberland, will speedily be betrothed to his royal Cousin, the Princess Victoria, daughter of the late Duke of Kent; the Prince is a fine healthy boy, in his tenth year, and the Princess, a lovely child, within a few days of the same age. 1

Wild as was this surmise, it was scarcely more improbable than some other conjectures about Princess Victoria's future husband which were to appear in newspapers over the next few years. Indeed, the French press suggested that she was to be married to her uncle Leopold, ignoring the fact that the Church of England's Table of Kindred and Affinity prohibited such a marriage in her own country. She was also, at one time or another, rumoured to be intended as a bride for the Duke of Nemours's brother, the Duke of Orleans, for the Duke of Brunswick, nephew of King George IV's unbalanced wife, Queen Caroline, for Prince Adelbert of Prussia, for Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, the future King Christian IV of Denmark, and for the eldest son of the Prince of Orange who, to the fury of King Leopold, had been invited to England by King William IV, a warm advocate of the match. 'Really and truly I never saw anything like it,' expostulated King Leopold, who had other plans for his niece. 'I am really astonished at the conduct of your old Uncle the King; this invitation of the Prince of Orange and his sons, this forcing him upon

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