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In the interval, on 29 May, the Duke of Kent, who was in his fifty-first year, and since 1816 had mainly lived abroad, took to wife a widowed sister of Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, the widowed husband of that Princess Charlotte whose death had induced so much matrimonial activity in the English royal house.

The Duke of Kent's bride, who was commonly known by the Christian name of Victoria, although her full Christian names were Mary Louisa Victoria, was nearly thirty-two years old.

She was fourth daughter and youngest of the eight children of Francis Frederick Antony (1750-1806), reigning duke of Saxe-Coburg and Saalfeld.

enchanted by its charm possibly dating back to 1750-31

The Duke of Kent, while describing his daughter as 'a fine healthy child,' modestly deprecated congratulations which anticipated her succession to the throne, 'for while I have three brothers senior to myself, and one (i.e.

the Duke of Clarence) possessing every reasonable prospect of having a family, I should deem it the height of presumption to believe it probable that a future heir to the crown of England would spring from me.' Her mother's mother, the Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, wrote of her as 'a Charlotte destined perhaps to play a great part one day.' 'The English like queens,' she added, 'and the niece [and also first cousin] of the ever-lamented beloved Charlotte will be most dear to them.' Her father remarked that the infant was too healthy to satisfy the members of his own family, who regarded her as an unwelcome intruder.

Besides the son and daughter of her first marriage, she had three surviving brothers and three sisters, all of whom married, and all but one of whom had issue.

Fifteen nephews and three nieces reached maturity, and their marriages greatly extended her family connections.

1803, at the age of seventeen ; he died on 4 July 1814, leaving by her a son and a daughter. 1804, she was acting as regent and guardian when the Duke of Kent proposed marriage to her.

Her responsibilities to her first family and to the principality of Leiningen made her somewhat reluctant to accept the duke's offer.

The duke received on his marriage an annuity of 6,000l.

from parliament, but he was embarrassed by debt, and his income was wholly inadequate to his needs.

Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales, only child of the Prince Regent (George III's heir), having married Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg on , died after the birth of a stillborn son op. Of the seven sons of George III who survived infancy three, at the date of Princess Charlotte's death, were bachelors, and the four who were married were either childless or without lawful issue.

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