Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol III (1901).djvu/403

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Victor
Victoria
389


modelling, he studied for three years under William Theed [q. v.] Loss of fortune, owing to the failure of a bank, caused him to look to sculpture as a serious profession. He had been granted by Queen Victoria a suite of apartments in St. James's Palace, where he set up a studio and entered into regular competition as a working sculptor. He executed several imaginative groups, as well as monuments and portrait busts. Some of the busts were very successful, notably those of the Earl of Beaconsfield, the Marquis of Salisbury, and Sir Harry Keppel. His most important work, however, was a colossal statue of Alfred the Great, executed for the town of Wantage, where it was erected. He was enabled by his success as a sculptor to build himself a small house near Ascot. In 1885 Count and Countess Gleichen were permitted by the queen to revert to the names of Prince and Princess Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. Prince Victor died on 31 Dec. 1891. He had in 1887 been promoted to be G.C.B. and an admiral on the retired list.

He left one son, Count Albert Edward Wilfred Gleichen, C.M.G., major in the grenadier guards, and three daughters, of whom the eldest, Countess Féodore Gleichen, has inherited her father's skill in sculpture.

[Private information.]

L. C.

VICTORIA, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Empress of India (1819-1901), was granddaughter of George III, and only child of George Ill's fourth son Edward, duke of Kent, K.G., G.C.B., field-marshal.

I

Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales, only child of the Prince Regent (George III's heir), having married Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg on 2 May 1816, died after the birth of a stillborn son op. 6 Nov. 1817. The crown was thereby deprived of its only legitimate representative in the third generation.The succession to the crown in 1817. Of the seven sons of George III who survived infancy crown in three, at the date of Princess Charlotte's death, were bachelors, and the four who were married were either childless or without lawful issue. With a view to maintaining the succession it was deemed essential after Princess Charlotte's demise that the three unmarried sons William, duke of Clarence, the third son ; Edward, duke of Kent, the fourth son; and Adolphus Frederick, duke of Cambridge, the seventh and youngest son should marry without delay. All were middle-aged. In each case the bride was chosen from a princely family of Germany. The weddings followed one another with rapidity. On 7 May 1818 the Duke of Cambridge, who had long resided in Hanover as the representative of his father, George III, in the government there, married, at Cassel, Augusta, daughter of Frederick, Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel. On 11 June 1818 the Duke of Clarence married in his fifty-third year Adelaide, eldest daughter of George Frederick Charles, reigning duke of Saxe-Meiningen. 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.The Duke of Kent's Bride. She was fourth daughter and youngest of the eight children of Francis Frederick Antony (1750-1806), reigning duke of Saxe-Coburg and Saalfeld. (In 1825 Saalfeld, by a family arrangement, was exchanged for Gotha.) Her first husband was Ernest Charles, reigning prince of Leiningen, whose second wife she became on 21 Sept. 1803, at the age of seventeen ; he died on 4 July 1814, leaving by her a son and a daughter. For the son, who was born on 12 Sept. 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. But her father's family of Saxe-Coburg was unwilling for her to neglect an opportunity of reinforcing those intimate relations with the English reigning house which the Princess Charlotte's marriage had no sooner brought into being than her premature death threatened to extinguish. The Dowager Princess of Leiningen consequently married the Duke of Kent, and the ceremony took place at the ducal palace of Coburg. The princess was a cheerful woman of homely intellect and temperament, with a pronounced love of her family and her fatherland. Her kindred was exceptionally numerous; she maintained close relations with most of them, and domestic interests thus absorbed her attention through life. 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