Thursday, 15 July 2010

An heir was needed

On July 8th the final Trafford Wordfest ‘Pages Ago’ event took place when Dr Kate Williams gave a talk at Urmston Library on her book Becoming Queen about the young Queen Victoria ( see review from The Independent by Lorraine Fletcher here) . Her description of the events of the family strife behind Victoria’s birth, childhood and accession to the throne was vivid and humorous.

George III produced 15 children who had 56 children of their own between them, not one of whom was legitimate. The Prince Regent’s unhappy marriage did produce an heir, Princess Charlotte of Wales , but her death giving birth to a still-born son in 1817 led to an unseemly dash among George III’s remaining children to produce an heir. This was won by Edward, Duke of Kent, the fourth son, who fathered the future Queen Victoria, but died less than a year later leaving the young heiress to be brought up in a strict and unhappy childhood.

This was an absolutely fascinating talk, very much enjoyed by its audience.

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