Hanover Monarchy

In 1701 the Act of Settlement ensured once and for all that Britain would never be ruled by a Catholic Monarch.

Queen Anne, the last Stuart Monarch died in 1714, without an heir.  Parliament sought to block any claim by the Catholic James Edward Stuart, by making George successor after his mother; Sophia of Hanover, granddaughter of James I.

Sophia of Hanover died in 1714, the succession past to her son, George, who later that year became the first Hanoverian King of England.

In the beginning the Hanoverian Kings had little going for them in England.  George himself could speak little or no English, and few English statesmen could understand German.  Although the majority of England’s people were Protestant and approved the Act of Settlement, understandably they wished Anne’s successor could have been someone more congenial.  The minority who stilled preferred the Jacobite cause, made things difficult for the new dynasty, for some twenty to thirty years.

Despite these problems, the Hanoverians, worked hard, learning the English ways.  George III was born and raised in England, and became a popular King.

In 1837 Victoria came to the throne, but her marriage to Albert, a German prince received much critism.  Albert changed the public opinion of him, with the Great Exhibition of 1851, where he proved his worth.  By the end of the Hanoverian dynasty, and the end of Victoria’s reign, the monarchy had lost most of its power, whilst still retaining considerable influence.

King George I:  George was born on the 28th May 1660 at Osnabruck, Hanover to parents Ernst August, Duke of Brunswick, Elector of Hanover, and Sophia Stuart, the granddaughter of James I of England.

On the 1st August 1714, George ascended to the English throne, and on the 20th October 1714, was crowned King George I of England at Westminster Abbey.

In 1715, the Jacobite uprising began in Scotland.  They were not happy with the British crown going to a Protestant, and demanded that the exiled “Old Pretender” James Edward Stuart heir to James II, be crowned King.  The rebellion was quashed at the “Battle of Sheriffmuir.”   16,000 Jacobites were beaten by 8,000 soldiers of the union.

In 1720, the stock market crashed, “South Sea Bubble” thousands of investors ruined.  George was governor of the South Sea Company, and was accused of aiding in the mismanagement of the company.  Robert Walpole came to his assistance.

On the 11th June 1727, King George I of England died at Osnabruck in Germany, and was buried at Leineschlosskirche, Hanover.

King George II:  George Augustus was born on the 30th October 1683 at Herrenhausen, Hanover to parents George I and Sophia Dorothea.

When King George I died, his son made the decision not to attend his father’s funeral in Hanover, showing to the people of Britain, where his heart belonged.  Truthfully his reason was more likely they didn’t get on when he was alive.

On the 11th June 1727, George Augustus ascended to the English throne, and was crowned King George II of England, on the 11th October at Westminster Abbey.

It was expected, that George would dismiss Walpole and replace him in his government with Sir Spencer Compton.  However, Walpole remained, for he held a majority in Parliament, and instability should be avoided at all costs.

Walpole demanded that Britain stay out of the war brewing in Poland of 1733, over succession leaving Hanover to go solo; German states were victorious.  Yet George won the right a few years later, as Britain was dragged into the war of the Austrian succession in 1740-1748.  Britain achieved nothing; thousands dead and dying.

The Seven Year War, commenced in 1756 when Britain declared War on France, based on the French threat upon the lands of Hanover.  Upon its conclusion, Britain’s growth and lands increased, with the seizure of French territory in North America, India, Caribbean and Spanish Florida.  Under William Pitt as England’s Prime Minister.

General Wolfe captured Quebec from the French in 1759, and British supremacy in Canada is assured.

On the 25th October 1760, King George II dies at Kensington Palace, and is buried at Westminster Abbey.  With instructions, that one side of each coffin, his and his wife’s be removed, so their remains could mingle in death… an act of true love.

King George III:  George William Frederick, was born on the 4th June 1738 at Norfolk House, St.James Square, London to parents Frederick, the Prince of Wales and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha.  On the 25th October 1760, George ascended to the English throne upon the death of his grandfather; King George II.

On the 22nd September 1761, George was crowned King George III of England along with his new wife, Queen Charlotte at Westminster Abbey.  In 1762 George purchased Bucking House, later known as Buckingham Palace, home to England’s monarchs.

The Earl of Bute is appointed Prime Minister, and in 1763 negotiates the Treaty of Paris, which ends the Seven Years War, which caused patriotic outrage amongst colonists in North America.

In 1772 he introduced the Royal Marriage Act; no member of the Royal family was permitted to marry, without the approval of the then Sovereign.

In April 1775, the relations between Britain and her American colonies would lead to the outbreak of war: The American War of Independence.  On the 4th July 1776, American Congress passed the Declaration of Independence; America’s case for freedom.

In 1788, King George III has an attack of porphyria, one of insanity, and his son, George the Prince of Wales had to step in and assist, becoming temporary Regent of England.  During his reign George suffered a number of attacks; 1788-1789-1801-1804, but the worst by far was in 1810, when he became permanently deranged.  He spent the last ten years of his life, in a fog of insanity, blind and deaf.  Death would have been a welcome release for him.

On the 18th June 1815 Napoleon Bonaparte is defeated by British and Prussian armies at the Battle of Waterloo.  He surrenders to the British on the 15th July and dies on the 5th May 1821, as a prisoner on the island of St.Helena.

In 1807, the Slave Trade Act is introduced by William Wilberforce, which saw the abolishment of slave trading throughout the British Empire.

On the 29th January 1820, King George III died at Windsor Castle, and was buried at Windsor.

King George IV:  On the 12th August 1762, George Augustus Frederick, was born at St.James Palace, London to parents George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

On the 29th January 1820, George Augustus Frederick, ascended to the English throne, upon the death of his father; King George III.

On the 19th July 1821, George Augustus Frederick, was crowned King George IV of England at Westminster Abbey.

Prince George was now King George IV after living in his father’s shadow, and Regent for the last nine years.  He acted as King, but without the title and power.

King George IV was extravagant.  John Nash built the Royal Pavilion at Brighton, of Indian Gothic style, and undertook improvements to Buckingham Palace.

In 1828, the Duke of Wellington became Prime Minister, he who had taken on Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo and won.

The Catholic Relief Act was passed in 1829, which allowed Catholics to become Members of Parliament.  Initially rejected by the King, but with encouragement, passed by the Prime Minister; the Duke of Wellington.

On the 26th June 1830, King George IV died at Windsor Castle, and was buried at Windsor Castle.

King William IV:  William Henry was born on the 21st August 1765 at Buckingham Palace, to parents King George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

Aged thirteen he joined the Royal Navy and saw service:  In 1780 was at the “Battle of Cape St.Vincent,” served in New York during the American War of Independence.  A plot had been sanctioned by George Washington, to kidnap him during his frequent walks around the city unescorted.  Once news got out he was assigned a guard.

In 1785 became Lieutenant of the HMS Pegasus, and promoted to captain in 1786, and later that year stationed in the West Indies under Horatio Nelson.  In 1788 commanded the HMS Andromeda and was promoted to Rear-Admiral in 1789, commanding the HMS Valiant.  In 1798 he made admiral, and in 1811 promoted to Admiral of the Fleet.

William’s brother’s died before him, without producing a legitimate heir to the English throne.  Princess Charlotte the daughter of George IV died in 1817, Frederick the Duke of York died in 1827, which made William heir to the English throne, something he had never expected.

On the 26th June 1830 William ascended to the English throne, and on the 8th September 1831, he was crowned King William IV of England, and King of Hanover.

The Reform Act of 1832, which abolished abuses of the electoral system, was pushed through when King William created new Whig peers, getting the bill through the House of Lords.  It also meant, more people could vote, and a fair redistribution of Parliamentary seats.

In 1833, following years of campaigning by the Quakers and William Wilberforce, slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire.

The Factory Act of 1833 made it illegal for children under nine, to work in factories and reduced the number of hours worked by women and older children.

In 1834, the Poor Law Act was passed, creating workhouses for the poor.

In 1836 it became a compulsory act of law, that all births, deaths and marriages had to be registered.

On the morning of the 20th June 1837 King William IV died at Windsor Castle and was buried at St.George’s Chapel, Windsor on the 8th July.  With no legitimate children, he was succeeded to the throne by his niece; Victoria who would become Queen of England and Ireland.

Queen Victoria:  19th century England was to see a new Monarch on the English throne, one who would reign for sixty-three years.  She would become the second longest reigning monarch, and the last of the “House of Hanover.”

Alexandrina Victoria was born on the 24th May 1819 at Kensington Palace in London.  Her father was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strashearn, and he was the fourth son of King George III who reigned from (1760-1820), and her German Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.

Her early years were met with tragedy when her father Prince Edward the Duke of Kent died on the 23rd January 1820, and six days later her grandfather King George III died on the 29th January 1820.

On the 20th June 1837 Alexandrina Victoria barely eighteen years old had become Queen Victoria from that day forth.  Her official Coronation took place on the 28th June 1838, and the people flocked into the streets to see their new Queen.

Victoria was tormented by her mother’s presence, and marriage was the only way she could be free of her mother.  So on the 10th February 1840, she married Prince Albert in the Chapel Royal of St.James Palace in London.

One of her first acts that took place a few years after her marriage was to be the first reigning monarch, to ride upon the train as used by the public.  Newspapers covered the journey with pictures, spread across the papers pages.

The Victoria Cross was introduced in 1857 to honour acts of bravery during the Crimean War.

On the 22nd January 1901, after a reign of almost 64 years, Queen Victoria died at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.  She was buried at Windsor Castle alongside her husband Prince Albert in the Frogmore Royal Mausoleum, built for their final resting place.

Hanover Queen: Victoria

19th century England was to see a new Monarch on the English Throne, one who would rule her empire for sixty-three years, and the last of the House of Hanover.

Alexandrina Victoria was born on the 24th May 1819 at Kensington Palace in London, making her first sounds as she entered this world.  Her father was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strasthearn, and he was the fourth son of King George III who reigned from (1760-1820), and her German mother Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.

Victoria was christened on the 24th June 1819 in the Cupola Room at Kensington Palace by the Archbishop of Canterbury; Charles Manners-Sutton in a private ceremony.  She was baptised Alexandrina after Emperor Alexander I of Russia, one of her godparents and Victoria after her mother.

Her early years were met with tragedy when her father Prince Edward the Duke of Kent died on the 23rd January 1820. And six days later her grandfather, King George III died on the 29th January 1820.

At the time of her birth Victoria was fifth in succession to the English throne.  Her father Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent died in 1820, having three older brothers who themselves were in line to the throne.

After the Death of Edward, Duke of Kent, the Duchess of Kent, and her daughter resided at apartments in Kensington Palace.

Victoria showed she had a flare for drawing and painting, and was educated at home by her governess Louise Lehzen, the daughter of a Lutheran pastor.

Her mother the Duchess hired the services of John Conroy to run the household, and it has been suggested he may have been her lover, but there is no official evidence to the fact, and the two of them ran Victoria’s life for her.  They chose who she could meet with, making her highly dependent upon them.

In the year 1811, King George III’s mental illness made him unfit to rule in the latter years of his life, and his eldest son became Prince Regent, and in 1820 he became King George IV upon his father’s death.

He married the Princess Caroline of Brunswick in 1795, and she only gave him one child which died at birth.  He tried unsuccessfully to divorce her on the grounds of adultery, but shortly after his appointment to King of England, she died in 1821, leaving no heirs to the English throne.

Technically he was a bigamist at the time, for he had secretly married Mrs Fitzherbert a Roman Catholic in 1785.

He had actually broken the Royal Marriages Act of 1772, which still stands to this day.  Any member of the Royal Family under the age of 25 requires the reigning monarch’s approval, and over 25 approvals by the Privy Council.

On the 15th July 1830, King George IV died, and William IV became the new king aged 64.  He made no secret of the fact, that he distrusted the Duchess of Kent.  He knew she and John Conroy had designs on creating a “Regency” and the Duchess would act as a Regent, much like the situation between George III and his son George IV.  This could only happen if King William IV died before Victoria reached the age of 18.

Frederick, the Duke of York and Albany died in 1827, one of King George III’s other sons, with King George dying in 1830, made William IV our next King, with Victoria being his successor.

William IV received the title; “Duke of Clarence” and from 1791-1811 set up home with his mistress Dorothy Bland an Irish actress, and they had ten children, all who bore the surname “Fitzclarence.”

With the death of his brother, ascended to the English Throne: King William IV of England, aged 64 and was crowned on 8th September 1831 at Westminster Abbey.

In 1811 William IV had married Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, eager to produce legitimate heirs to the English Throne, but that was not to be, they had four children of which none lived past infancy.

Alexandrina Victoria was 18 on the 24th May 1837 and King William IV died on the 20th June 1837, and went to his grave, knowing Victoria would become Queen and foiled the Duchess from creating a Regency.

Even though Victoria was Queen, law stated she had to live within her mother’s household.  The young Queen had her moved to remote apartments within Kensington Palace, and banned John Conroy from her presence.  Yet, he still remained part of her mother’s household.

Victoria was tormented by her presence, and marriage was the only way she could be free of her mother.  So on the 10th February 1840, she married Prince Albert in the Chapel Royal of St.James Palace in London.

Within days the Duchess of Kent was moved from the palace to Ingestre House in Belgrave Square, and later was given Clarence and Frogmore House.

Victoria’s important political adviser in her early years was Lord Melbourne, as well as her companion, a position which was taken over by Prince Albert her husband.

Aged just eighteen when the young Victoria came to the throne, it must have seemed a daunting thought to her, she being the new ruler of England.  This was what she had been prepared for…

Alexandrina Victoria ascended to the English throne on the 20th June 1837, and was crowned Queen Victoria of England on the 28th June 1838 at Westminster Abbey.

On the 10th February 1840, Queen Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were to have nine children, and most were married into other Royal Families across Europe, creating descendants all the way back to Queen Victoria herself.

Victoria, Princess Royal (1840-1901) married Frederick III Emperor of Germany and King of Prussia.

Edward VII (1841-1910) married Princess Alexandra, daughter of Christian IX King of Denmark.

Alice (1843-1878) married Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse.

Alfred Duke of Edinburgh and of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha(1844-1900) married Grand Duchess Marie daughter of Alexander II, Emperor of Russia.

Helena (1846-1923) married Christian of Schleswig-Holstein.

Louise (1848-1939) married John Campbell the 9th Duke of Argyll.

Arthur, Duke of Connaught (1850-1942) married Princess Louise of Prussia.

Leopold, Duke of Albany (1853-1884) married Helen of Waldeck – Pyrmont.

Princess Beatrice (1857-1944) married Henry of Battenburg.

When Europe was split apart by the First World War (1914-1918), it would see descendants of Victoria and Albert take up arms against each other.

Personal tragedy was to strike Queen Victoria down in 1861, when Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Prince consort and her devoted partner for 21 years died, ripping her heart out, and sending her into mourning for many years.  From that day forth she only ever wore black.

If we look at the history timeline through the ages:

Queen Victoria’s son Edward VII (1841-1910) married Princess Alexandra of Denmark (1844-1925). 

One of their five children, became George V (1865-1936) married Mary of Tech (1867-1953).

One of their six children, became Edward VIII King of England in 1936, as the eldest child, a time honoured custom, and chose to abdicate to marry Wallis Simpson.

So the next in line stepped forward, George VI (1895-1952) and married Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (1900-2002).

One of their two children, became Queen Elizabeth II our current Queen.

Queen Victoria’s daughter Alice (1843-1878) married Louis IV of Hesse (1837-1892)

One of their two children Victoria of Hesse (1863-1950) marries Louis of Battenburg, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven (1854-1921).

One of their three children, Alice of Battenburg (1885-1967) marries Andrew of Greece (1882-1944).

Their only child is Philip Duke of Edinburgh who married Elizabeth II our current Queen.

As we can see both are descendants of Queen Victoria, and the timeline ever expands with each new birth.

In the early years, she learnt to rely on two men for guidance; Lord Melbourne, who was more like a father figure to her, like the father she never had, and her husband Prince Albert whom she married in 1840.  These two men taught her how to rule the country, what powers she had and what was controlled by Parliament.  This would help her understand her people, and create an Empire to be proud of, one for future generations.

One of her first acts that took place a few years after her marriage was to be the first reigning monarch, to ride upon the train as used by the public.  Newspapers covered the journey with pictures, spread across the papers pages.

Her husband Albert will always be remembered as one with a vision, for he took an active role in the arts, science, trade and industry.  What he will be most remembered for is the Great Exhibition of 1851, and how through his own endeavours, England was projected as a thriving country across the world.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, between them had nine children.  In 1845 they purchased Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, which was given to the nation by Edward VII, her son, and Prince Albert purchased Balmoral upon which was built a neo-Gothic styled castle for the family.

Victoria’s life fell apart in 1861, when her husband Albert died aged 42.  She lost a devoted partner and friend, one she could trust with state affairs.  She was never seen wearing anything but black, during the rest of her reign, she was in a permanent state of mourning.

From the 1860’s to the mid-1870’s, Victoria carried her state duties from behind closed doors.  It was with the help of Benjamin Disraeli, she gradually resumed her public duties, many of which had been undertaken on her behalf by her son; Edward VII.

During her reign Queen Victoria became the target of seven unsuccessful assassinations attempts on her life. One of those took place in 1840, when Edward Oxford fired two shots at the young Queen, whilst riding in her open carriage with Prince Albert, near Buckingham Palace.  Stunned onlookers seized the gunman, who was found not guilty by reason of insanity.  Victoria just brushed herself down, and continued her ride amongst her people, which increased her popularity.

The Victoria Cross was introduced in 1857 to honour acts of bravery during the Crimean War.

In 1864, Queen Victoria stepped in to avert a second Franco-German war, with a letter to the German Emperor, whose son had married her daughter.  What it is to have family connections in the right place.

The Indian Mutiny of 1857 saw the Indian Government transferred to that of the Crown, with the Governor General becoming the Viceroy of India.  Then in 1877, Victoria became Empress of India under the Royal Titles Act by Disraeli’s government.

Political power was taken away from the crown, and she could not be involved in the Second Reform Act of 1867 and the Representation of the Peoples Act of 1884, where householders with land valued at £10.00 or more were entitled to the vote.

With the Sovereign power slowly reclining, she proved if one could master political understanding of politics, one could exert influence, as she demonstrated in her mediation between the Lords and Commons.  In the Irish Church Disestablishment Act of 1869 and Reform Act of 1884.  Often she was forced to pass her opinions in private only.

She favoured ways to improve the way of life for the poor; housing, education, hospitals, a subject close to her late husband’s heart.

On the 22nd January 1901, after a reign of almost 64 years, Queen Victoria died at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.  She was buried at Windsor Castle alongside her husband Prince Albert in the Frogmore Royal Mausoleum, built for their final resting place.

“Farewell best beloved, here at last I shall rest with thee, with thee in Christ I shall rise again.”  These words were inscribed above the Mausoleums door.

After her death, a memorial statue was placed in front of Buckingham Palace, depicting a great Queen; Queen Victoria (1819-1901) who reigned from (1837-1901).

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