If Kate Middleton has a baby boy, he won’t be the first to be a Prince of Cambridge. Prince George of Cambridge, born in 1819, who was the colourful grandson of King George III, also held the title. He outraged his cousin Queen Victoria by marrying without her consent and having several illegitimate children.
His father was Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, the seventh of the King’s sons, while his mother was Princess Augusta of Hesse-Cassel. The couple also had two girls Princesses Mary and Augusta of Cambridge. On his father’s death in 1850 George inherited the dukedom.
All of William and Kate’s children will be Princes and Princesses of Cambridge
He is related to the current Queen through his sister Mary. Her daughter was Queen Mary, who married George V and became Queen Elizabeth II’s grandmother.
The Prince had a distinguished military career, serving as a commander in the Crimean War of 1854. From 1856 to 1895, he also held the position of Commander-in-chief of the British Armed Forces.
While he had a reputation for caring about the welfare of his soldiers, he believed in promotion based on an officer’s standing – rather than merit. It is said that he once rebuked one of his more intelligent subordinates with the words: “Brains I don’t believe in brains! You haven’t any, I know, Sir!”
His personal life was even more controversial than his ideas on the military. It was believed his uncle William IV wanted him to marry Princess Victoria of Kent, who later became Queen.
The last royal to be style a Prince of Cambridge was born in 1819
George had other ideas, stating that “arranged marriages are doomed to failure.” In 1847, he married his mistress Sarah Fairbrother, the daughter of a servant.
An actress, she most probably caught his eye while performing in the West End. It’s thought that when Sarah got pregnant with their third child, she took matters into her own hands and bought a marriage licence. She also had two previous children with two other partners.
Unfortunately for her, the union was in contravention of legislation requiring members of the royal family to receive permission from the reigning sovereign. Affronted, Queen Victoria simply refused to recognise her existence.
The circumstances of the marriage meant Sarah could not be styled the Duchess of Cambridge, nor was their son able to succeed to his father’s title. Instead she called herself Mrs Fairbrother or Mrs FitzGeorge.
Prince George of Cambridge scandalised his cousin Queen Victoria by marrying an actress
Sarah wasn’t the only lady to receive George’s advances. Among others, she shared him with Mrs Louisa Beauclerk whom he described as “the idol of my life and my existence”.
He and Louisa were lovers for some 40 years and she is buried just 60 feet away from the mausoleum in Kensal Green Cemetary in London that houses the remains of the Duke and Mrs Fairbrother.
On his death in 1904, the title became extinct since he had no legitimate heirs. It was revived in 2011 when his sister’s great-great-great-grandson William was created Duke of Cambridge on his wedding day by the Queen.