Princess Victoria Mary Louisa von Sachsen-Coburg-Saalfeld, Duchess of Kent

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Princess Victoria Mary Louisa von Sachsen-Coburg-Saalfeld (Wettin, Ernestiner), Duchess of Kent

German: Victoria Mary Louisa von Sachsen-Saalfeld-Coburg, Duchess of Kent, French: Princesse Victoria de Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (Herzogin zu Sachsen-Coburg-Saalfeld), Duchess of Kent
Birthdate: (74)
Birthplace: Ehrenburg Palace, Coburg, Upper Franconia, Bavaria, Germany
Death: March 16, 1861 (74)
Frogmore House, Windsor, Berkshire, England (haigus)
Place of Burial: Royal Mausoleum at Frogmore, Windsor, Berkshire, England
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Franz Friedrich Anton of Saxse-Coburg-Saalfeld, Duke and Augusta Carolina Sophia of Reuss-Ebersdorf, Countess, Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Wife of Prince Emich Karl von Leiningen, 2'er Fürst zu Leiningen and Edward Augustus Hanover, Prince, Duke of Kent and Strathearn
Mother of Prince Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Emich von Leiningen, 3'er Fürst zu Leiningen; Anna Feodorovna Auguste Charlotte Wilhelmine von Leiningen, Fürstin zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg; Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Private User
Sister of Gräfin Sophie Friedrika Caroline Luise von Mensdorff-Pouilly; Princess Antoinette of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld; Grand Duchess Anna Fyodorovna of Russia; Unnamed Son von Sachsen-Coburg-Saalfeld, Prinz; Duke Ernst I of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and 9 others

Occupation: Duchess of Kent and Strathearn, Duchess of Kent, Prinses van Saxe-Coburg
Managed by: Ofir Friedman
Last Updated:

About Princess Victoria Mary Louisa von Sachsen-Coburg-Saalfeld, Duchess of Kent

  • Victoria Mary Louise Prinzessin von Sachsen-Coburg-Saalfeld .
  • By marriage: Fürstin zu Leinigen 1803, Duchess of Kent and Strathearn 1818.
  • Mother of Queen Victoria.
  • Remarried (?) Prince Edward, Duke of Kent on 11 July 1818 at Kew Palace, Richmond, Surrey, England

Links:

Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, later Duchess of Kent and Strathearn, was a German princess and the mother of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. As the widow of Charles, Prince of Leiningen (1763–1814), from 1814 she served as regent of the Principality during the minority of her son from her first marriage, Carl, until her second wedding in 1818.

Victoria was born in Coburg on 17 August 1786 in the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. She was the fourth daughter and seventh child of Franz Frederick Anton, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, and Countess Augusta of Reuss-Ebersdorf. One of her brothers was Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, and another brother, Leopold, married, in 1816, Princess Charlotte of Wales, the only legitimate daughter of the future King George IV, and heiress presumptive to the British throne.

On 21 December 1803 at Coburg, a young Victoria married (as his second wife) Charles, Prince of Leiningen (1763–1814), whose first wife, Henrietta of Reuss-Ebersdorf, had been her aunt. The couple had two children, Prince Carl, born on 12 September 1804, and Princess Feodora of Leiningen, born on 7 December 1807.

Through her first marriage, she is a direct matrilineal ancestor to various members of royalty in Europe, including Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Felipe VI of Spain, and Constantine II of Greece.

After the death of her first spouse, she served as regent of the Principality of Leiningen during the minority of their son, Carl.

The death in 1817 of Princess Charlotte of Wales, the wife of Victoria's brother Leopold, prompted a succession crisis. With Parliament offering them a financial incentive, three of Charlotte's uncles, sons of George III, were prepared to marry. One of them, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn (1767–1820) proposed to Victoria and she accepted. The couple were married on 29 May 1818 at Amorbach and on 11 July 1818 at Kew, a joint ceremony at which Edward's brother, the Duke of Clarence, later King William IV, married Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen. Shortly after the marriages, the Kents moved to Germany, where the cost of living would be cheaper. Soon after, Victoria became pregnant, and the Duke and Duchess, determined to have their child born in England, raced back, arriving at Dover on 23 April 1819, and moved into Kensington Palace, where she soon gave birth to a daughter, Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent.

The Duke of Kent died suddenly of pneumonia in January 1820, six days before his father, King George III. His widow the Duchess had little cause to remain in the United Kingdom, since she did not speak the language and had a palace at home in Coburg where she could live cheaply on the revenues of her first husband. However, the British succession at this time was far from assured – of the three brothers older than Edward, the new king, George IV, and the Duke of York were both estranged from their wives, who were in any case past childbearing age. The third brother, the Duke of Clarence, had yet to produce any surviving children with his wife. The Duchess of Kent decided that she would do better by gambling on her daughter's accession than by living quietly in Coburg, and having inherited her second husband's debts, sought support from the British government. After the death of Edward and his father, the young Princess Victoria was still only third in line for the throne, and Parliament was not inclined to support yet more impoverished royalty.

The provision made for Duchess of Kent was mean: she resided in a suite of rooms in the dilapidated Kensington Palace, along with several other impoverished members of the royal family, and received little financial support from the Civil List, since Parliament had vivid memories of the late Duke's extravagance. In practice, a main source of support for her was her brother, Leopold. The latter had a huge income of fifty thousand pounds per annum for life, representing an annuity allotted to him by the British Parliament on his marriage to Princess Charlotte, which had made him seem likely to become in due course the consort of the monarch. Even after Charlotte's death, Leopold's annuity was not revoked by Parliament.

In 1831, with George IV dead and the new king, William IV, over 60 and still without legitimate issue, the young princess's status as heir presumptive and the Duchess's prospective place as regent led to major increases in British state income for the Kents. A contributing factor was Leopold's designation as King of the Belgians, upon which he surrendered his British income. In any case, the idea of having the British heir presumptive supported by a foreign sovereign would clearly have been unacceptable.

The Duchess relied heavily on Sir John Conroy, whom she engaged as her private secretary. Perhaps because of Conroy's influence, the relationship between the Duchess's household and King William IV soon soured, with the Duchess regarding the king as an oversexed oaf. As far as she dared, the Duchess denied the King access to his niece. She further offended the King by taking rooms in Kensington Palace that the King had reserved for himself. Both before and during William's reign, she snubbed his illegitimate children, the FitzClarences. All of this led to a scene at a dinner in 1836 when the King, again feeling offended by the Duchess and Conroy, expressed the hope that he would live long enough to render a regency for Victoria unnecessary, and regretted the influence exercised on the heir presumptive by those who surrounded her.

Conroy had high hopes for his patroness and himself: he envisaged Victoria succeeding the throne at a young age, thus needing a regency government, which, following the Regency Act 1830, would be headed by the princess's mother (who had already served in that capacity in Germany following the death of her first husband). As the personal secretary of the Duchess, Conroy would be the veritable "power behind the throne". He had not counted on William IV surviving long enough for Victoria to succeed to the throne as an adult and consequently, while cultivating her mother, had shown little consideration for Victoria. When the latter succeeded, Conroy risked having no influence over her. He tried to force Victoria to agree to make him her personal secretary once she succeeded, but this plan, too, backfired. Victoria resented her mother's support for Conroy's schemes and being pressured by her to sign a paper declaring Conroy her personal secretary. The result was that when Victoria became queen, she relegated the Duchess to separate accommodation, away from her own.

When the Queen's first child, the Princess Royal, was born, the Duchess of Kent unexpectedly found herself welcomed back into Victoria's inner circle. It is likely that this came about as a result of the dismissal of Baroness Lehzen at the behest of Victoria's husband (and the Duchess's nephew), Prince Albert. Firstly, this removed Lehzen's influence, and Lehzen had long despised the Duchess and Conroy, suspecting them of an illicit affair. Secondly, it left the Queen wholly open to Albert's influence, and he likely prevailed upon her to reconcile with her mother. Thirdly, Conroy by now lived in exile on the Continent and so his divisive influence was removed. The Duchess's finances, which had been left in shambles by Conroy, were restored thanks to Victoria and her advisors. By all accounts, the Duchess became a doting grandmother and was closer to her daughter than she ever had been.

There has been some speculation, not only that the Duchess and Conroy were lovers, but that the Duchess had earlier been unfaithful to the Duke of Kent and that Victoria was not his daughter. This has been promoted most prominently by William and Malcolm Potts' 1995 book Queen Victoria's Gene[citation needed]. Those who promote this position point to the absence of porphyria in the British Royal Family among the descendants of Queen Victoria - it had been widespread before her; and haemophilia, unknown in either the Duke's or Duchess's family, had arisen among the best documented families in history. Victoria herself was puzzled by the emergence of the disease, given its absence in either family.

In practice, this would have required the Duchess's lover to be haemophiliac – an extremely unlikely survival, given the poor state of medicine at the time, or the Duchess herself to be a carrier of haemophilia, since haemophilia is X-linked, meaning that her mother would have been a carrier, if haemophilia was not otherwise previously expressed in the Duchess's parents. Actual evidence to support this theory has not arisen, and haemophilia occurs spontaneously through mutation in at least 30% of cases. Queen Victoria has also been said by some to have a strong resemblance to her Hanoverian relatives, particularly George IV.

John Röhl's book, Purple Secret, documents evidence of porphyria in Victoria, the Princess Royal's daughter Charlotte and her granddaughter, Feodore. It goes on to say that Prince William of Gloucester was diagnosed with porphyria shortly before he died in a flying accident.[8]

The Duchess died at 09:30 on 16 March 1861, aged 74 years. She is buried in the Duchess of Kent's Mausoleum at Frogmore, Windsor Home Park, near to the royal residence Windsor Castle.

Queen Victoria and Albert dedicated a window in the Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor Great Park to her memory.

The Queen was much affected by her mother's death. It was the start to a disastrous year, which ended with Albert's death.


Victoria Mary Louise Prinzessin von Sachsen-Coburg-Saalfeld . By marriage: Fürstin zu Leinigen 1803, Duchess of Kent and Strathearn 1818. Mother of Queen Victoria. Remarried (?) Prince Edward, Duke of Kent on 11 July 1818 at Kew Palace, Richmond, Surrey, England Links:

Wikipedia: English Deutsch The Peerage Geneall Find a grave Johann the Younger #754

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Princess Victoria Mary Louisa von Sachsen-Coburg-Saalfeld, Duchess of Kent's Timeline

1786
August 17, 1786
Coburg, Upper Franconia, Bavaria, Germany
August 17, 1786
- December 21, 1803
Coburg, Upper Franconia, Bavaria, Germany
August 22, 1786
Coburg, Upper Franconia, Bavaria, Germany
1803
December 21, 1803
- January 9, 1807
Age 17
Leiningen, Germany, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
1804
September 12, 1804
Age 18
Amorbach, Leiningen, Pfalz, Deutschland(HRR)
1807
January 9, 1807
- July 4, 1814
Age 20
Leiningen, Germany, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
December 7, 1807
Age 21
Amorbach, Leiningen, Deutschland
1814
July 4, 1814
- May 29, 1818
Age 27
Leiningen, Germany, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany