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Princess Augusta of Cambridge (19 July 1822 – 5 December 1916) was a member of the British Royal Family, a granddaughter of George III. She married into the Grand Ducal House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and became the Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

Early life

Princess Augusta was born on 19 July 1822 at the Palace of Montbrillant, Hanovermarker. Her father was Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, the seventh son of George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Her mother was Princess Augusta, Duchess of Cambridge (née Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel or Hesse-Cassel). The young princess was christened at the same palace on 16 August 1822, by Rev Edward Curtis Kemp (Chaplain to the British Ambassador to the Court of Berlin, The Rt. Hon. Sir George Rose).Three of her godparents were present at the christening: The rest were not present, possibly being represented by proxies:

The Princess spent her earlier years in Hanover, where her father was the viceroy on behalf of his brother, George IV.

Princess Augusta had one brother, Prince George, later 2nd Duke of Cambridge; and one sister, Princess Mary Adelaide, later Duchess of Teck. As such, Princess Augusta was a first cousin of Queen Victoria and aunt to Mary of Teck, later consort of George V.

Marriage

On 28 June 1843, Princess Augusta married her first cousin, Friedrich Wilhelm of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, at Buckingham Palacemarker, Londonmarker. (The two were also second cousins on their fathers' side.) Upon marriage, Augusta became HRH The Hereditary Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and, on 6 September 1860, HRH The Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz following the death of her father-in-law.

The marriage of the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess produced two children:
  • An unnamed son, 1845–1845
  • Duke Adolph Friedrich (22 July 1848 – 11 June 1914), who succeeded his father as Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich V in May 1904.


Later life

Although she spent most her adult life in Germany, the Grand Duchess Augusta retained close personal ties to the British royal family. She frequently visited her mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, at her Kensington Palacemarker apartments.

After her mother's death in 1889, the Grand Duchess acquired a house in London's Buckingham Gatemarker area, where she spent a portion of the year until advanced old age made it impossible for her travel abroad.

In making preparations for the coronation of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1901, the Duke of Norfolk consulted her on matters of etiquette and attire. This was due to her presence at the coronation of William IV and Queen Adelaide seventy-one years earlier. She was nine years old at the time and kissed the Queen's hand. She was also able to provide details of the coronation of Queen Victoria, for which no written records existed (she was then sixteen).

The Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Sterlitz was particularly close to her niece, the future Queen Mary. However, old age prevented her from attending the coronation of George V (who was her first cousin twice removed) and Queen Mary at Westminster Abbeymarker on 22 June 1911.

Following the outbreak of World War I the British government suspended the pension she had been receiving as a member of the British Royal Family. During the war, the Swedish embassy passed letters from the Queen to her aunt, who still lived in Germany.

As an elderly lady, she was known for being cantankerous. When Princess Maud of Wales became Queen of Norway, Augusta said she had "become the Queen of a revolutionary throne". During Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, Augusta said in a loud voice, "Why is she thanking God in the street?" as Queen Victoria sat in her carriage for a blessing.

She was also known as being quite shrewd and intelligent. In his book, "Queen Mary" (the Queen's official biography), James Pope-Hennessy reports that the Queen's Aunt Augusta was not fond of the new science of photography, fearing it would intrude deeply into the private lives of royal personages.

The Dowager Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz died in Neustrelitzmarker and was buried in Mirowmarker. As the longest-lived grandchild of George III, she was the last link to the British branch of the House of Hanover.

At the time of her death, she was 94 years, 4 months and 16 days old, making her the longest-lived British princess of the blood royal until Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, a male-line granddaughter of Queen Victoria, broke the record in 1977. Princess Alice died aged over 97 years old.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 19 July 1822 – 28 June 1843: Her Royal Highness Princess Augusta of Cambridge
  • 28 June 1843 – 6 September 1860: Her Royal Highness The Hereditary Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
  • 6 September 1860 – 30 May 1904: Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
  • 30 May 1904 – 5 December 1916: Her Royal Highness The Dowager Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz


Ancestors




References

  1. Yvonne's Royalty Home Page: Royal Christenings



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