Prince Charles, The Duke of Rothesay, Guest of Honour, accompanied by Prince William, The Earl of Strathearn, attended the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and afterwards a reception at Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh.
Inspiration: “Five Times Gilbert woke up next to Arthur”
Gilbert opened his eyes. A dark canopy was above him, and someone was to his left - Arthur. He sat up quickly, and immediately regretted it - his backside hurt. “Did we do that?” he whispered, looking frantically over at his bedmate. “Did we have…sex last night?” Oh, he wasn’t supposed to have sex with men.
“Yes,” Arthur mumbled without moving from his spot, stretched out upon his stomach on his side, arms tucked under his pillow. “Go back to sleep. It is early.”
Gilbert glanced to the window. The sun wasn’t even up, but he wasn’t tired. This changed a lot of things. He stared forward, alarmed and thoughtful, until a silk pillow hit him in the head.
“Go back to sleep,” Arthur insisted sleepily, pulling his pillow back and rolling onto his side, back facing Gilbert. “Or I’ll do it again.”
Gilbert slowly lay down again, contemplating - that didn’t seem like a bad idea, really.
18 June 1815
Gilbert opened his eyes. The bright blue sky was above him, and someone was to his left - Arthur. He sat up quickly, and immediately regretted it - his chest hurt. Glancing down, he saw his uniform was stained with blood. “Ah, I can’t believe I was shot.”
He glanced over at Arthur, who lay face-down on the ground, unmoving. “Hey, Arthur. Wake up. There is battle to be done!” He shook the man’s shoulder, and tilted his head before recoiling. Arthur had been skewered straight through the eye. Looked like a bayonet. “Ah, I suppose it can’t be helped.” He would be awake soon enough.
Gilbert climbed to a crouch and grabbed Arthur’s miserable corpse, slinging his arm over his shoulder. Arthur’s head rolled forward. He was cold, but he’d be back to it before rigor mortis set in.
“Come along, my friend,” said Gilbert with renewed vigour as he rose to his feet slowly and started in the direction of battle. “Bonaparte is not going to shoot himself. I need you to hold him while I aim.” He grinned at the thought. “I’d have no other with me for it.”
13 March 1879
Gilbert opened his eyes. A white and gold painted ceiling was above him, and someone was to his left - Arthur. He rolled over to face him, propping himself up on one elbow and hovering over the man. Gilbert eyed his sleeping form for just a moment before leaning down and planting a kiss on his cheek.
“Wake up,” he said gently. “We must dress and be ready. Her Majesty will be quite upset if we are late to the ceremony.”
Arthur grunted, but slowly opened his eyes and turned his head to stare up at him. Gilbert was grinning, and Arthur’s look was less than impressed. “If we are late, it is your fault.”
They both knew that was a lie. Gilbert just chuckled and sat up, stretching his arms up over his head. “I suppose at least I should get up, or I’ll give your maids a fright again when they come for you.”
“Who cares about them,” Arthur mumbled, closing his eyes once more. “We have some time still.”
An arm came across Gilbert’s middle and yanked him back down, and in that moment, he didn’t have the heart to say anything against it.
Gilbert opened his eyes. A dark, dirty warehouse ceiling was above him, and someone was to his left - Arthur. He sat up quickly, and immediately regretted it - his head hurt. Looking around, it took some time to get his bearings, because he could not remember quite where he was or how he had gotten there. Him and Arthur slept on a bare, filthy mattress on the floor of a large room.
Right, of course. Drugs had brought them there. Several junkies slept (or died, he wasn’t sure) on various couches and tables in the room, and even more on the floor. Drugs, alcohol, dancing - the societal collapse of East Berlin had given birth to a flourishing underground of fringe subcultures. Gilbert dove in, and Arthur followed readily. Might as well, with what life I have left, he thought.
“Hey.” A voice from his right brought him back to the present. A young woman was staring at him, draped over the arm rest of an adjacent sofa. Dishevelled hair, wide eyes, dirty clothes - no different than all of them. “Who’s your friend?” she nodded at Gilbert’s mattress-mate. “You two…got pretty wild.” Her face broke into a sick grin.
Gilbert glanced down at Arthur. Idly, he reached out and grabbed the man’s wrist to check his pulse. It was present.
“Just an old friend,” he replied.
Gilbert opened his eyes. A familiar, white ceiling was above him, and someone was to his left - Arthur. He closed his eyes. He could hear the rain, pattering lightly against the window, which had been cracked open ever so slightly. The voices of two pedestrians drifted into the rain - complaining about taxis, or something.
Arthur was tucked into his left side. He was awake, but probably dosing. Centuries of sharing a space told them that as they slept, they drifted away from one another, with Gilbert sleeping still on his back, and Arthur sleeping basically everywhere else. But as their subconscious drifted awake, so they drifted closer to each other.
There was a slight chill from the weather outside, but Arthur was warm, and breathing steadily. This is nice, Gilbert thought. Ordinarily, he would be out of bed right away to begin his morning routine, but at this moment, he did not want to move. Gilbert shifted slightly and secured an arm around him, hardly moving anything else.
He felt like saying something, but it felt wrong to do so, like it would ruin the moment.
“Love you,” he finally whispered, hardly audible.
Arthur did not respond, continuing his sleepy ruse. But, with Arthur’s cheek against his chest, he felt the man smile.
HISTORICAL DATES 1760 - set during the first Anglo-Prussian Alliance 18 June 1815 - The Battle of Waterloo; an allied British & Prussian army defeated Napoleon’s Army. 13 March 1879 - the Marriage of Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia & Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, the third of Queen Victoria’s children to marry into Prussian nobility.
Leopold was six in April 1859, and his birthday was celebrated with a children’s costume ball at Buckingham Palace. The Queen and Prince Albert collected him from the schoolroom in the morning and took him to see his presents. The excitement rose in the evening as the children put on their costume. Leopold and Arthur appeared as the sons of Henry IV, in tights and short doublets, while their sisters Helena and Louise became Swiss peasants for the night. Writing to her daughter, the Queen remarked ‘ Your sisters and little brothers looked very pretty, particularly Arthur and Louise. ’
The evening was a triumph, described in the pages of the Illustrated London News and other society journals. The Queen and Prince ALbert, the Duchess of Kent, and a select gathering of royal parents, stood on a dais to watch just over two hundred guests, all between the ages of six and fourteen, dance a polonaise, a quadrille, waltzes and galops, until supper was served at midnight. ’ The Children all enjoyed it so much,’ said the Queen, 'no one more than little Leopold.’
Queen Victoria’s youngest son : The untold story of Prince Leopold
198 years ago today, May 24th, at 4:15 in the morning, a baby girl
was born in this room inside of Kensington Palace. She was the first,
and ultimately only, child of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn
and his wife Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. She was given
the name Alexandria Victoria; her first name after one of her
godparents, Alexander I of Russia, and her second name after her mother.
The Princess’ birth was the result of a succession crisis in the
United Kingdom. Of the many sons of George III and Queen Charlotte,
only one had produced a legitimate child. George, Prince of Wales (The
future George IV) had fathered a daughter, Princess Charlotte, but she
had died two years before in childbirth. George had long been estranged
from his wife, Caroline of Brunswick, since even before Charlotte was
born and there was no hope of him having another child with her. This
led his remaining brothers to abandon their mistresses and scramble
about Europe looking for respectable Princesses that they could marry
and have legitimate heirs with.
After both of her Uncle-Kings (George IV and William IV) died,
neither having left behind a legitimate child, the little princess born
in Kensington Palace came to the throne as Queen Victoria.
She would go on to rule the United Kingdom for sixty three years and
two hundred sixteen days, giving her name to an Era and becoming the
second longest reigning female monarch in history. The record was only broken recently by the current Queen, and her great-great
granddaughter, Elizabeth II.
So I am going to do this through process of elimination, so lets start at the top
Several royal dukedoms are now automatically linked to the Sovereign and to the Heir to the Throne. Going back to Tudor times the Queen holds the title of Duke of Lancaster and in some of the Channel Islands she is also still hailed as “Duke of Normandy.” (Yes, as I understand she is a female but in these cases she is a “Duke” and not a Duchess.)
The Heir Apparent automatically holds the title Duke of Cornwall and the Scottish title Duke of Rothesy, even though he has to be “created” Prince of Wales. Other royal dukedoms also have to be “created” (i.e. “bestowed”) by the Sovereign’s gift, though they then continue in the male succession of that family. The royal dukedoms currently held by members of the House of Windsor are Edinburgh, York, Gloucester, and Kent. If and when any of the dukedoms become “extinct” (usually through lack of male Heir) they return to the Crown and may be bestowed anew as the Sovereign wishes.
The current creation of the Duke of Edinburgh bestowed on Prince Philip at the time of his marriage to Princess Elizabeth will officially fall to Prince Charles upon the death of his father. But upon Charles’ eventual accession to the throne it will “merge” back into the Crown. It is widely understood that King Charles will then create his brother, the Earl of Wessex, as the new Duke of Edinburgh. And now that Prince Edward has a son, that royal dukedom will be occupied for at least a couple of generations.
Duke Of York is usually reserved for the 2nd son and Prince Andrew was created Duke of York at the time of his marriage in 1986. But unless he remarries and has a son from that marriage, the title will eventually revert to the Crown upon his death. (Another option, last used in the early 20th century in the instance of the daughters of the Duke of Fife, who was married to Edward VII’s daughter Louise, would be a re-grant of the title allowing the title to descend to and through the female line.)
The Duke of Gloucester inherited the title from his father, Prince Henry, the third son of George V and Queen Mary. Since the current Duke has a son, Alexander, Earl of Ulster, and now a grandson as well, that title will also be off the books for the foreseeable future.
The Duke of Kent, another grandson of George V and Queen Mary, has two sons and now has two grandsons as well. The Duke’s brother, Prince Michael, also has a son, Lord Frederick Windsor. The Kent lineage thus seems fairly secure for several generations to come.
So that is the first lot of Dukedoms discarded meaning we have to look further back for viable Dukedoms for Harry.
However it would seem that several other historic royal dukedoms also remain unavailable. For instance, two of Queen Victoria’s sons held the titles Duke of Connaught, and Duke of Albany. But since Connaught is in Ireland, that title must surely be regarded as defunct. Albany, meanwhile, is currently in a state of temporary disuse or suspension.
The title Duke of Albany is a traditional Scottish title going back to the early Stewart era, circa 1400. (Ancient Scotland was known as “Alba.”) The title was held by Charles I before he succeeded his brother as heir to their father, James VI / I. The future James VII / II was created Duke of York and Albany by his brother Charles II in 1660. The York and Albany titles were also conjoined by the Hanoverians in a couple of instances. The “Young Pretender” Prince Charles Edward Stuart created his illegitimate daughter, Charlotte, Duchess of Albany. Queen Victoria eventually bestowed it as an independent title on her youngest son, Prince Leopold, from whom it passed to his only son, Prince Charles Edward.
The unfortunate Charles Edward of Albany was chosen as a schoolboy to succeed to the German Duchy of Coburg, and ultimately sided with Germany in both World Wars. In 1919 the Duke of Coburg was legally deprived of his British peerage for having fought for his cousin the Kaiser against Britain. But, according to the 1917 Titles Deprivation Act his lineal male heirs do have the right to petition for the title to be restored. The current heir male to the Dukedom is Charles Edward’s great-grandson, Prince Hubert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (b. 1961), who has a son born in 1994. There are several other heirs male in the abeyant line of the Dukedom, and it is thus unlikely to ever reappear as a British title so long as the 1917 law remains
There is another traditional British royal dukedom that has also long since spun off to Germany. When Queen Victoria succeeded to the British throne in 1837 she was not eligible to also succeed to the throne of Hanover, which was governed by the old Salic Law barring women rulers. Victoria’s uncle Ernest Augustus, the Duke of Cumberland, thus went over to rule Hanover. As with the Albanys, the Cumberlands were deprived of their British peerage in 1919 but retain the right to petition for it to be restored. The current potential Duke of Cumberland in that succession is Prince Ernst, the husband of Caroline of Monaco, who has two sons by his first marriage and a number of male-line kinsmen (including two nephews of Prince Philip).
There are, currently, three historic royal dukedoms that are extinct and thus eligible to be bestowed on Prince Harry when the occasion arises. They are Windsor, Clarence and Sussex.
The title Duke of Windsor was newly created by King George VI for his brother, the former King Edward VIII, in 1936. The title had never existed previously. There was some speculation before the marriage of the Earl and Countess of Wessex that he might be given the title. I personally think that there was no chance of it reappearing during the lifetime of the late Queen Mother, and that it is still quite unlikely that the Queen would consider bestowing it on her grandson. It could reappear in a later generation, once it is a bit further removed from living memory
The most recent holder of the title Duke of Clarence was “Prince Eddy,” the unfortunate elder brother of King George V who died in 1892. Prince Albert Victor – to use his baptismal name – was a rather underwhelming character, perhaps the least intellectually gifted member of the royal family for all time, and he is rumored to have been either homosexual or bisexual. (Other speculations that he was also “Jack the Ripper” do seem to have been laid to rest.) Prior to Albert Victor the Clarence title was held by King William IV up to the time he succeeded his brother, George IV. There were also several prominent holders of the title back in the days of the Plantagenets. The lingering lore and speculation surrounding Prince Albert Victor makes this, too, a somewhat unlikely title to re-emerge in the near future, though I must admit that I rather like the sound of “Henry, Duke of Clarence” better than several of the other options.
The title Duke of Sussex was held by Prince Augustus Frederick (1773-1843), the sixth son of King George III and favorite uncle of Queen Victoria. Both of his marriages were invalid under the infamous Royal Marriages Act. His son by his first marriage was thus regarded as illegitimate and ineligible to succeed to his father’s title. That son, known as Augustus Frederick D’Este, was the first known person to be identified with the disease now known as multiple sclerosis. He had no issue. The Sussex title has been so long unused that there are no lingering strong associations with it, one way or the other. So a good option for Harry
There are a few extinct peerages more loosely associated with royal history that might be worth consideration for Prince Harry or some other future royal. These include the Dukedoms of Portsmouth, Cleveland and Inverness. The first two of those titles were created for mistresses of Charles II, both of whom were ancestresses of Princess Diana. The Inverness title was created by Queen Victoria for the second non-approved wife of the Duke of Sussex so that she would at least be of sufficient rank to sit with him at dinner parties. (The complication with creating a Duke of Inverness at this time is that it is the Earldom held by the current Duke of York, and having both a Duke and an Earl of Inverness might be a bit too confusing.) The Strathearn title was paired with Connaught for Queen Victoria’s son, and being in Scotland it is completely fair game for the current royals. The old Duke of Connaught and Strathearn was also a soldier like Harry, which would provide a meaningful link. Although Strathearn is taken by William.
Also to take in to consideration is that in recent history a Dukedom for England, Scotland and Ireland has been given so Harry could have more then one of the above.
TRHs Earl and Countess of Strathearn unveil a plaque to commemorate the 90th anniversary of The Gleneagles Hotel. The couple stayed the night at the hotel before embarking on three separate engagements today.
Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom (May 24th, 1819 – January 22nd, 1901)
Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India.
Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III. Both the Duke of Kent and King George III died in 1820, and Victoria was raised under close supervision by her German-born mother Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. She inherited the throne at the age of 18, after her father’s three elder brothers had all died, leaving no legitimate, surviving children. The United Kingdom was already an established constitutional monarchy, in which the sovereign held relatively little direct political power. Privately, Victoria attempted to influence government policy and ministerial appointments. Publicly, she became a national icon, and was identified with strict standards of personal morality.
Victoria married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in 1840. Their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the nickname “the grandmother of Europe”. After Albert’s death in 1861, Victoria plunged into deep mourning and avoided public appearances. As a result of her seclusion, republicanism temporarily gained strength, but in the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were times of public celebration.
Her reign of 63 years and seven months, which is longer than that of any other British monarch and the longest of any female monarch in history, is known as the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom, and was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire. She was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover. Her son and successor, Edward VII, belonged to the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the line of his father.
Clarence House is a royal residence in London, situated on The Mall, in the City of Westminster. It is attached to St. James’s Palace and shares the palace’s garden. For nearly 50 years, from 1953 to 2002, it was home to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. It has since been the official residence of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. Clarence House also served as the official residence for Prince William from 2003 until his 2011 marriage and for Prince Harry from 2003 until 2012. It is open to visitors for approximately two months each summer, and is one of many royal buildings in London.
The house was built between 1825 and 1827 to a design by John Nash. It was commissioned by Prince William, Duke of Clarence, who became King William IV in 1830. He lived there in preference to the nearby St. James’s Palace, which he found too cramped. It passed to his sister Princess Augusta Sophia and, following her death in 1840, to Queen Victoria's mother, the Duchess of Kent. In 1866, it became the home of Queen Victoria’s second son and fourth child Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Duke of Edinburgh until his death in 1900. His younger brother Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, Queen Victoria’s third son, used the house from 1900 until his death in 1942, during which time the house suffered damage inflicted by enemy bombing. It was used by the Red Cross and the St. John Ambulance Brigade as their headquarters during the rest of World War II, before being given to Princess Elizabeth and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh. Princess Anne was born there in 1950. After the death of George VI, the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret moved there in 1953, though the latter eventually moved to an apartment in Kensington Palace.
The house has four stories, not including attics or basements, and is faced in pale stucco. It has undergone extensive remodelling and reconstruction over the years, most notably after the Second World War, such that relatively little remains of Nash’s original structure. The Prince of Wales moved here in 2003 after the house underwent massive refurbishment following the death of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. The house has been completely rewired, most of the major rooms were redecorated by the interior designer Robert Kime, and the building was given an external face-lift.
Since 2003, the term “Clarence House” has often been used as a metonym for the Prince of Wales’s private office, the term “St. James’s Palace” had been previously used.
195 years ago today, May 24th, at 4:15 in the morning, a baby girl was born in this room inside of Kensington Palace. She was the first, and ultimately only, child of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn and his wife Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. She was given the name Alexandria Victoria; her first name after one of her godparents, Alexander I of Russia, and her second name after her mother.
The Princess’ birth was the result of a succession crisis in the United Kingdom. Of the many sons of George III and Queen Charlotte, only one had produced a legitimate child. George, Prince of Wales (The future George IV) had fathered a daughter, Princess Charlotte, but she had died two years before in childbirth. George had long been estranged from his wife, Caroline of Brunswick, since even before Charlotte was born and there was no hope of him having another child with her. This led his remaining brothers to abandon their mistresses and scramble about Europe looking for respectable Princesses that they could marry and have legitimate heirs with.
After both of her Uncle-Kings (George IV and William IV) died, neither having left behind a legitimate child, the little princess born in Kensington Palace came to the throne as Queen Victoria.
She would go on to rule the United Kingdom for sixty three years and two hundred sixteen days, giving her name to an Era and becoming the second longest reigning female monarch in history, the record recently having been broken by the current Queen, and her great-great granddaughter, Elizabeth II.
Leased from the Crown Estate, Bagshot Park is the official residence of The Earl and Countess of Wessex.
Former royal residents include Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, a son of Queen Victoria. The Duke, who was Governor General of Canada from 1911 until 1916, died at Bagshot Park in 1942.