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George V (George Frederick Alexander Charles Ernest Augustus; 27 May 1819 – 12 June 1878) was the last king of Hanover and a member of the German branch of the House of Hanover. In the peerage of Great Britain, he was Duke of Cumberland.

George V was a first cousin of Queen Victoria, and inherited the Hanoverian realm, which could not pass to her in 1837, because of Salic law, via his father, who became its king instead. He was the last sovereign ruler of the Kingdom of Hanover, losing the territory by annexation to Prussia in 1866, during the Austro-Prussian Warmarker, thereby leading to the birth of the modern nation state of Germanymarker.

Early life

Prince George of Cumberland was born in Berlinmarker, the only son of Prince Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, himself fifth son of George III, and his wife, Princess Frederica, Duchess of Cumberland.

He was baptised at a hotel in Berlin on 8 July 1819, where his parents were staying, by Reverend Henry Thomas Austen. His godparents were The Prince Regent (represented by The Duke of Cumberland), The King of Prussia, The Emperor of Russia, The Crown Prince of Prussia, Prince William of Prussia, Prince Frederick Louis of Prussia, Prince Henry of Prussia, Prince William of Prussia, The Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Duke Charles of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, The Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia, The Queen of the Netherlands, The Princess Augusta, The Hereditary Princess of Hesse-Homburg, The Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh, The Princess Sophia, Princess Alexandrine of Prussia, The Electoral Princess of Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel), The Duchess of Anhalt-Dessau, Princess William of Prussia, The Dowager Princess Ferdinand of Prussia, Princess Louisa of Prussia and The Princess Radziwill.

He spent his childhood in Berlin and in Britain, losing the sight of one eye during a childhood illness, and the other in an accident in 1833. His uncle, William IV, created him a Knight of the Garter on 15 August 1835.

Crown Prince

Upon the death of William IV and the accession of Queen Victoria to the British throne, the 123-year personal union of the British and Hanoverian thrones ended due to the operation of Salic Law in the German states. The Duke of Cumberland succeeded to the Hanoverian throne as Ernst August I, and Prince George became the Crown Prince of Hanover. As a legitimate male-line descendant of George III, he remained a member of the British Royal Family, and second in line to the British throne, until the birth of Queen Victoria's first child, Victoria, Princess Royal, in 1840. Since he was totally blind, there were doubts as to whether the Crown Prince was qualified to succeed as king of Hanover; but his father decided that he should do so.

Marriage

George married, on 18 February 1843, at Hanover, Princess Marie of Saxe-Altenburg, the eldest daughter of Joseph, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg, by his wife, Duchess Amelia of Württemberg.

King of Hanover

The Crown Prince succeeded his father as the King of Hanover and Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, as well as Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, in the Peerage of Great Britain, and Earl of Armagh, in the Peerage of Ireland, on 18 November 1851, assuming the style George V.

From his father and from his maternal uncle, Prince Charles Frederick of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, one of the most influential men at the Prussian court, George had learned to take a very high and autocratic view of royal authority. During his 15-year reign, he engaged in frequent disputes with the Hanoverian parliament. Having supported Austriamarker in the Diet of the German Confederationmarker in June 1866, he refused, contrary to the wishes of his parliament, to assent to the Prussian demand that Hanover should observe an unarmed neutrality during the Austro-Prussian Warmarker. As a result, the Prussian army occupied Hanover and the Hanoverian army surrendered on 29 June 1866, the King and royal family having fled to Austria. The Prussian government formally annexed Hanover on 20 September, but the deposed King never renounced his rights to the throne nor acknowledged Prussia's actions. From exile in Gmundenmarker, Austria, he appealed in vain for the European great powers to intervene on behalf of Hanover. From 1866, George V maintained the Guelphic Legion at his own expense.

Death

King George died in Paris in June 1878. He was buried in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castlemarker.

Legacy

The king supported industrial development – in 1856 the "Georgs-Marien-Bergwerks- und Hüttenverein" was founded which was named after him and his wife. The company erected an iron and steel works which gave the city Georgsmarienhüttemarker its name.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 27 May 1819 – 20 June 1837: His Royal Highness Prince George of Cumberland
  • 20 June 1837 – 18 November 1851: His Royal Highness The Crown Prince of Hanover
  • 18 November 1851 – 12 June 1878: His Majesty The King of Hanover


Arms

By grant dated 15 August 1835, George's arms in right of the United Kingdom were those of his father (being the arms of the United Kingdom, differenced by a label argent of three points, the centre point charged with a fleur-de-lys azure, and each of the other points charged with a cross gules), the whole differenced by a label gules bearing a horse courant argent.

Ancestors

George's ancestors in three generations
George V of Hanover Father:

Ernest Augustus I of Hanover
Paternal grandfather:

George III of the United Kingdom
Paternal great-grandfather:

Frederick, Prince of Wales
Paternal great-grandmother:

Augusta of Saxe-Gotha
Paternal grandmother:

Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Paternal great-grandfather:

Charles Louis Frederick, Duke of Mecklenburg-Mirow
Paternal great-grandmother:

Elizabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen
Mother:

Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Maternal grandfather:

Charles II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Maternal great-grandfather:

Charles Louis Frederick, Duke of Mecklenburg-Mirow
Maternal great-grandmother:

Elizabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen
Maternal grandmother:

Friederike of Hesse-Darmstadt
Maternal great-grandfather:

Prince Georg Wilhelm of Hesse-Darmstadt
Maternal great-grandmother:

Maria of Leiningen-Dagsburg


Issue

Name Birth Death Notes
Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover 21 September 1845 14 November 1923 Ernest Augustus William Adolphus George Frederick; born at Hanover, died at Gmundenmarker, married Princess Thyra of Denmark; had issue
Princess Frederica of Hanover 9 January 1848 16 October 1926 born at Hanover, died at Biarritzmarker; married Alfons, Baron von Pawel-Rammingen; had issue
Princess Marie of Hanover 3 December 1849 4 June 1904 Marie Ernestine Josephine Adolphine Henrietta Theresa Elizabeth Alexandrina; born at Hanover, died unmarried at Gmunden


References

  1. Marks of Cadency in the British Royal Family


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