Monday, October 3, 2011

Bad Blood

In 1817 the death of Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales, George IV’s only legitimate child and George III’s only grandchild-heir sent the British monarchy into a spin. George IV’s three younger brothers suddenly realised that they would be tasked with the responsibility of preserving the lineage.

While George IV had twelve other healthy children all were illegitimate.

Alexadrina Victoria was born on the 24th May 1819, the first and only child of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. At the time of her birth she was fifth in line to the throne after her three uncles and father. Her father, aged 51 at the time of her birth, died a little over six months later. (3)

It’s possible that that his late-life decision to reproduce resulted in a genetic heritage that continues to haunt the royal houses of Europe today.