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The Prince Octavius (23 February 1779 – 3 May 1783) was a member of the British Royal Family, the thirteenth child and eighth son of George III.

Life

Prince Octavius was born, on 23 February 1779, at Buckingham Palacemarker, Westminstermarker, Londonmarker, Englandmarker. His father was George III, his mother Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. His name derives from Latin octavus, the eighth, showing that he was the eighth son of his parents.

Octavius was christened on 23 March 1779, in the Great Council Chamber at St James's Palacemarker, by Frederick Cornwallis, The Archbishop of Canterbury. His godparents were The Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (husband of his first cousin twice-removed, for whom The Earl of Hertford, Lord Chamberlain, stood proxy), The Duke of Mecklenburg (her first cousin once-removed, for whom The Earl of Ashburnham, Groom of the Stole, stood proxy) and The Duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (wife of her sixth cousin, for whom The Countess von Bruhl, Lady of the Bedchamber to The Queen, was proxy).Octavius' father was extremely devoted to the little boy, who was too young to cause the kinds of trouble that his elder brothers were by the year of his birth. He was a beautiful winning ebullient child, with long golden curls and bright blue eyes. He was close to his nearest sister Sophia, who called Octavius "her son", and went with her and their siblings Elizabeth, and Edward to Eastborne on the Sussex coast, where he could take in the fresh seaside air during the summer of 1780. When he was nineteen months old, Octavius experienced an event that was not uncommon among the royal children: he became an older brother with the birth of his younger brother Alfred. When Octavius was three, Alfred died and he again became the youngest surviving child.

Six months later, Prince Octavius suddenly fell ill and died on 3 May 1783, at Kew Palacemarker, London, aged four years old. His death was unexpected, as unlike his brother Alfred, Octavius had had no apparent signs of illness until two days before his death. Octavius's death devastated his father. Shortly afterward, King George said "There will be no heaven for me if Octavius is not there." The day after his son's death, the King passed through a room where Gainsborough was putting the finishing touches on a portrait. The King asked him to stop, but when he found out that the painting was of Octavius, allowed the painter to continue. When this same painting was exhibited a week later, Octavius' sisters were so upset that they broke down and cried in front of everyone. Three months after Octavius' death, his father was still dwelling on his son, writing to Lord Dartmouth that every day "increases the chasm I feel for that beloved object [Octavius]."

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 23 February 1779–3 May 1783: His Royal Highness The Prince Octavius


Legacy

Film

Prince Octavius was mentioned in The Madness of King George in the scene when King George wakes his children up when he claims Londonmarker is flooded, and says that his son has killed him (Octavius was long dead by the time of the film's setting).

Ancestry




References

  1. Yvonne's Royalty Home Page: Royal Christenings
  2. Princesses, the Six Daughters of George III
  3. Princesses, the Six Daughters of George III



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