'Look at her well, for she will
be Queen of England.'
THE DUKE AND THE DOWAGER PRINCESS were married in the Schloss Ehrenburg, Coburg on the evening of 29 May 1818. The Princess's mother, the Dowager Duchess of Coburg, led them to their bedroom where she saw them the next morning 'sitting together in friendly intimacy'. 1 Soon afterwards they left for their honeymoon at Claremont Park, which had been lent to them by Prince Leopold who continued to hold the house as tenant for life in addition to his enjoyment of the use of Marlborough House in London and the remarkably generous allowance of £50,000 which the Government provided for him.
The marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Kent continued, as it had begun, in harmony. The Duchess was rather stout and no great beauty, but she was warm-hearted and affectionate and, in need of guidance and self-assurance, was ready to depend upon her much older husband in a manner that appealed to him. To the letter which the Princess had written to the Duke accepting his proposal, he had replied that he was 'nothing more than a soldier, 50 years old and after 32 years service not very fitted to captivate the heart of a young and charming Princess who is years younger'; but that he would care for her with tenderness and affection so that she might forget the difference in their ages. And so he did. 'She is really happy and contented,' the Dowager Duchess of Coburg wrote of her daughter in March the following year, 'and Kent makes an excellent husband.' 'She quite adored him,' his sister, Princess Augusta, confirmed, 'and they were truly blessed in each other.'