Re: The "What If" Thing
Posted by Alpha on 21/1/2011, 17:13:45, in reply to "The "What If" Thing"
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: --Previous Message--
: Had one of her daughters survived the
: union with Hanover would have ended. Britain
: would not have seen the Victorian era. I
: can't imagine how the second half of the
: 19th century and the first decade of the
: 20th century would have been if Victoria of
: Kent had not become Queen.
: Even if she had married Albert, their lives
: and that of their offspring would have been
: so different.
: There are numerous ways to look at the
: situation and ask "what if" --
: depending on the variable factors.
: We can, for instance, accept as fixed the
: 1817 death in childbirth of Princess
: Charlotte of Wales -- which occasioned the
: trio of marriages for her junior uncles, the
: following year. Already it was clear that
: the British throne would pass collaterally,
: as opposed to laterally (since the Prince
: Regent had no other legitimate surviving
: child or grandchild).
: In particular, the likelihood in 1818 was
: great that the succession would eventually
: pass to the Duke of Clarence -- since the
: Duke of York (like his older brother) was
: estranged from his wife and childless.
: Plus, this third son of King George III took
: better care of his health than his older
: brothers (in fact, York would predecease the
: future King George IV).
: So the crown basically hinged upon William
: and Adelaide: all that had to do was produce
: one surviving child. As it was, they tried
: several times -- the first resulting in a
: daughter who lived for only a few hours
: (March 1819, a couple of months before
: Princess Victoria of Kent was born). A
: second daughter was born in December 1820 --
: baptized as Elizabeth Georgina: she proved
: to be the longest-lived of her parents'
: children (surviving to the age of three
: And then (as mentioned) came the miscarried
: twin sons. So all else being equal (i.e.
: the deaths of her older sister and younger
: brothers), this princess of Clarence most
: certainly would have become queen regnant --
: had she lived. Indeed, on the occasion of
: her christening, Londoners actually jumped
: the gun by dubbing her "Little Queen
: It's anybody's guess as to what kind of
: reign she would have enjoyed; but it's
: difficult to imagine her making a
: significantly different impact on British
: history than her Kent cousin. One should
: remember that by then, sovereign powers had
: been significantly reduced: the greatness
: and advanced development of the UK can more
: properly be attributed to the politicians
: and prime ministers. Victoria simply
: symbolized and embodied an age.
: That being said, the succession of another
: healthy granddaughter of King George III as
: queen regnant would certainly have
: significantly altered the course of
: CONTINENTAL European history. If nothing
: else, this hypothetical Queen Elizabeth II
: might not have been a carrier of the
: hemophilic gene -- although she still could
: have borne a daughter who married the
: Prussian heir.
: Of course, Victoria might still have married
: Albert, had she lived -- and their
: hemophilic-gene carrying daughters and
: granddaughters might still have spread the
: disease. Although not British princesses,
: they still would have been in a position to
: contract *equal* marriages with other royals
: -- as members of the House of
Princess Elizabeth would have been sixteen when William IV died. Queen Adelaide would have been regent until December 1838. The young Queen’s initial relationship with her ministers would therefore have differed from that of her Kent cousin. She may well have found it difficult to shift away from a mother who was Queen Regent rather than merely Duchess of Kent. Moreover, there was no “Uncle Leopold” figure with ties to Britain and a pan-European ambition. Queen Elizabeth’s eventual marriage might have been influenced by her surviving uncles. Prince George of Cambridge, at one point tipped to marry Victoria, would have stood a better change with Elizabeth, I think. Of course, Leopold might have tried to secure Elizabeth for Albert as he did Maria da Gloria for Ferdinand. Why waste a nephew on Victoria? That said, she would have been Elizabeth's heiress presumptive. I suspect both Ernst and Albert might have remained on these shores.
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