Crown Imperial: An Alt British Monarchy


Monthly Donor
Nobody's speaks about Mary like that, the Dowager Princess must meet her just deserts.
I predict a clash between the two great battleaxes before Lottie departs...
I wonder what a meeting between George and Louis-Philippe would like?
Without giving away a spoiler, it won't be the grand state visit Lord Derby has in mind. Louis-Philippe is open to talks monarch-to-monarch but he won't roll out the red carpet for George & Louise given that Britain is poised to join the opposing side in what could be return to war on the continent of Europe.


Monthly Donor
I know this seems kind of random. But, how tall would George V be?
That's a very interesting question!

To work this out I've used the Cambridges as a gauge because George V is closer to them genetically than he was to his cousin Victoria. Victoria who was only 5ft but gave her height "officially" as 5'3 because she didn't want people to think she was small.

The average height for a male back then was around 5'7 and George III, the Prince Regent and the Duke of Cambridge were said to be "of a good height" at over 6ft. Good being above average.


Turning to the Duke's wife, Augusta is described as "a stately lady above the average height of a woman" - the average being 5'3 back then. Whilst I can't find a photograph of Adolphus and Augusta together, I did find this picture of Augusta (far left) with her son Prince George, Duke of Cambridge. She's not all that much shorter than him and he is said to have been of similar stature to his father. So I'd put her at around 5'7/8.

So if a general rule of thumb is that the height of one's parents indicates how tall you'll be, I think we could then safely assume that George V would stand at about 6'2.

Additionally, working on the assumption that the Hesse-Kassel sisters were around the same height (as Dagmar, Alexandra and Thyra of Denmark were - another Hesse-Kassel link there of course), that would make Marie of Hesse-Kassel about 5'7/8 too and would put our Queen Louise at about 5'8 making her "above average height for a woman" too. Hope this helps!
GV: Part Two, Chapter 22: On Tour - 1


Monthly Donor
King George V

Part Two, Chapter Twenty Two: On Tour - I

Lord Derby breathed a sigh of relief when he was recalled to Buckingham Palace and King George agreed to visit Paris. A date was set for the 2nd of May 1840 but within the week, the complications began. King Louis Philippe was more than willing to receive the King and Queen in France, but he did not share Derby's view that a State Visit would be an honour paid to the French, rather he regarded it as an imposition. Within weeks the United Kingdom and France could be enemies once more, something the King of France wished to avoid. But he also did not wish to send a message to Austria, Prussia, Russia (and indeed Spain and Egypt) that he was in any way wavering in his previous position of support for the Ali dynasty; “And such a visit would be horribly expensive anyway”, he said. If King George and Queen Louise were to go to France, it would be in a far less formal, almost private capacity – and they would not be hosted at Versailles. Rather, Louis-Philippe offered a weekend house party at the Château d’Eu in Normandy, his summer residence.

The King and Queen would spent just four days at the Château with only one formal dinner offered by the French monarch. Any other guests might have expected a courtesy note from the King’s sister, Madame Adélaïde (who dominated the French court as the King’s hostess at this time), but whether she was deliberately trying to snub them or whether there simply wasn’t time, no note was forthcoming. The King’s advisors were equally tight lipped. This caused a headache for George and Louise who had no idea what to pack but it also caused anxieties for Charlie Phipps. Lord Derby sent a note asking if His Majesty intended “to bestow any honours on the French King, as I have been made aware this may not be reciprocated and I should hate for His Majesty to be embarrassed at any presentation”. Phipps passed the note to George who raised his eyebrows and scoffed; “Well I’ll be damned if I give him the Garter”. [1]


King Louis Philippe.

But the King was worried. In the usual run of things, it might be expected to see a provisional guest list, an agenda of some kind or even a dress code. But nothing had been forthcoming. George also had another problem. The trip to France had now turned into something of a Royal spring tour of the continent because the moment Princess Victoria in The Hague heard that her cousins were to be in France, she begged her husband Prince William to take a villa in Normandy so that she could see her British relations there. William refused. The Dutch were edging towards a crisis thanks to the changes to the constitution required after the recognition of the Kingdom of Belgium and the old King William I was resisting. He could not accept that the Southern Provinces had rebelled and that his decade long opposition to that fact was to be forcibly ended by his ministers. He was threatening to abdicate. The Dutch Royal Family was riven in two, the situation made even more complicated and unpleasant by the King’s desire to marry his mistress Henrietta d’Oultremont (later Countess of Nassau, ironically a Belgian Catholic) but also by bitter resentment of his allies at court which manifested itself in rudeness towards Princess Victoria. She was King Leopold’s niece after all. Prince William’s father might find himself King of the Netherlands at any moment; it was unthinkable that his son and daughter-in-law would leave the country at such a time.

Instead, Victoria (in very low spirits) wrote to Queen Louise begging the British royal couple to call upon her in Holland; “After all, it has been such a long time since we have been together, and Holland is not so very far for a detour. Your little Drina does miss you both so and I’m afraid I may not be able to travel for a while yet”. The King had always been devoted to his cousin and though initially reluctant, he was well aware that she was deeply unhappy. Prince William had another mistress and Victoria was finding it hard to adjust to life as a young mother. She showed little interest in her daughter declaring her to be “an ugly little frog” and leaving her in the care of her nursery maids. [2] She saw Linna just once a day and it wasn’t until many years later that Victoria became totally dependent on her, refusing all offers for Victoria Paulina’s hand so that she might stay with her. From Normandy, the King and Queen would travel (incognito as Mr and Mrs King) to Het Loo in Apeldoorn and spend a few days with Princess Victoria before heading to Bautzen.

But news travelled fast on the European royal grapevine and now the Duchess of Cambridge wrote to Queen Louise with another demand on the royal couple’s itinerary. Schloss Rumpenheim had always been intended to serve as a place for family gatherings and she had not seen her daughter Augusta for months. [3] She was sure that the Strelitzes would prefer Rumpenheim as it allowed her sister Marie (the Queen's mother) to see her Hesse relations, and she proposed “that we all of us meet there after you have finished your little visit to France”. Queen Louise had longed to returned to Neustrelitz and the King had not planned to call at Rumpenheim whilst he was in Germany but at the same time, Rumpenheim had long been a focal point for royal reunions and they could think of no reasonable excuse to decline the invitation and head for Neustrelitz instead, especially as Augusta was quite right; Grand Duchess Marie always jumped at the chance to stay at her childhood home.

“Oh, damn it all”, George snapped, “I told you this visit would cause nothing but trouble, didn’t I? Very well, we shall go to Rumpenheim but only after we’ve been to Gaussig. I shan’t have Missy’s schooling disrupted to please the Hesses”. But in fulfilling their family obligations, the King and Queen were committing to being abroad for almost two months and this posed a serious problem for the Prime Minister. Every time Charlie Phipps tried to present the list of nominated peers (which numbered a staggering 110 new creations), the King changed the subject. Graham was getting nervous. The Lords had obeyed convention and did not reject the government’s budget, but the rest of the Tory agenda could not be introduced until the Whig majority in the upper chamber was curbed. Time was running out.

When the Prime Minister asked for his weekly audience to be brought forward, the King sent his apologies instead. He was far too busy preparing for his trip to France and would not be able to receive Graham. Instead, George summoned his new Comptroller of the Household, Benjamin Disraeli. Disraeli had responsibility for arranging ceremonial events at all royal residences (where those events did not fall under the purview of a higher officer of the Household) and the King wished to see the Comptroller to impress upon him how important it was (for the time the royal couple were absent), that everything at Buckingham Palace ran smoothly and to schedule. As a pat on the head for behaving so well since his retirement, the King had asked his Uncle Sussex to hold the fort whilst George and Louise were abroad. This opportunity was a gesture, but it was not one made lightly, or without restriction. When Disraeli reached the King’s study, he found George V studying the note from the Foreign Secretary to Charlie Phipps on the tricky matter of French gift-giving.

“Have you seen this?”, the King said, pushing the note towards Disraeli, “I don’t know what they expect me to do...”

“I assume Your Majesty does not wish to award the King of France the Order of the Garter?”, he began, “Might I therefore propose that Your Majesty’s acceptance of the invitation to visit the Château d’Eu is presented to King Louis Philippe by Lord Cowley, along with the gift of the insignia of the Order of the Bath. In this way, the King will have to wear it in your presence in Normandy and if His Majesty does not return the gesture, it will not be a reflection on you Sir, for the honour will have been gazetted before Your Majesty’s departure as a thanks for the invitation and not for the hospitality of the King whilst you are in France. And if His Majesty does reciprocate, you shall already have fulfilled your side of the exchange unprompted. Of course Sir, I might also add that in the event that the King of France does not grant Your Majesty a French honour, custom dictates that you should wear the Garter, a superior order in rank to that of the Bath which King Louis-Philippe shall be wearing”. [4]



George smiled; “Yes Disraeli. I like that. Very good indeed. And I’m appreciative of your advice. Now, whilst we are away, I have asked the Duke of Sussex to deputise for me, but I wanted to make a few things clear in case the old devil tries to take advantage”

“I am sure His Royal Highness would not dishonour Your Majesty’s kind gesture in that way”

“Are you?”, George said. He found Disraeli’s old-fashioned deference in addressing him amusing rather than obsequious but it would take some getting used to, “Because I’m not. I’m letting him stay here in the Strelitz Suite, but I don’t want them in the Private Apartments. [5] He can use the Green Drawing Room to receive deputations and I’ve said they can use the Saloon. But I have told him that the Duchess isn’t to accompany him when he’s representing me, and I don’t want any additional entertaining whilst I’m gone. If they must have guests, they can give them a light supper in the Blue Drawing Room but keep them out of the Closet will you Disraeli? The Queen doesn’t mind but I don’t want them to get too comfortable, we’ll never shift them out, what?”

Disraeli smiled and nodded.

“All shall be done as you wish Your Majesty”, he bowed low, preparing to leave.

“Have you another appointment?”

“No Sir”

“Then sit-down man”, the King smiled, gesturing to a chair, “I want another pair of eyes on these drawings. They tell me Hanover House will be ready for us to visit when we get back and I can’t decide which of these rooms we should reserve for entertaining. I’m having no state rooms there, I was most insistent on that point, but that’s your job, isn’t it? Where to put us all?”. Disraeli gave a polite smile. Whilst he greatly enjoyed the access to the Royal Family his new position had given him; it was hardly a taxing one. Indeed, most of the time he was thoroughly bored by his duties, but he also found that those who had once given him the cold shoulder for his ambition (or his Jewishness) now opened their doors to him because they sought invitations to the splendid occasions hosted almost solely at the palace now that the King was using Windsor only in the winter months. Lady Londonderry in particular had made no secret of the fact that she expected her protégé to repay her patronage by adding her to the list of dinner parties and balls she might otherwise miss out on. If nothing else it gave her a chance to show off the new jewels she had acquired with the money pouring in from her lands in the Durham Coalfield.

Jewels were also on Queen Louise’s mind ahead of their visit to Normandy. Though the King of France had made it clear this was to be an informal visit, the Queen did not intend to be caught out and made to look a dull Deborah standing among the ladies of the French court in their exquisite parures. Queen Maria Amalia was well known for her fashionable, but extravagant tastes and the King’s sister Madame Adélaïde was likely to dress to impress too. The vaults of Buckingham Palace were hardly empty of course but most of the major pieces there had been recovered from Marlborough House when the Queen’s predecessor was taken to Kew. The most recognisable to readers of this story so far would be the Rumpenheim Tiara (which the Queen had worn on her wedding day), the Clans Tiara (which she had never worn) and the English Rose Parure (which had not seen the light of day since 1825).

All had been accumulated by her mother-in-law and were therefore associated with the Queen Mother by design; the Rumpenheim was a gift from Prince Frederick of Hesse-Kassel when his daughter married the future King George IV, the Clans was given by the people of Scotland when George IV and his wife made their tour there and the English Rose was a gift from George IV to wife so that she might have something impressive to wear when the Dutch royal couple visited England in 1825. None of these seemed at all suitable today, especially given that the King might recognise their origin and be displeased that his wife had chosen to wear items which reminded him of his estranged mother. George had been generous to his wife, but she did not yet possess a grand suite of her own; the Queen preferred to wear hair ornaments which were lighter and complimented her delicate features and the occasion had not presented itself in which she might need to rally the big guns from the Crown Jewellers to make an impression. Until now.

Queen Louise was in every way the opposite of her predecessor and thought it silly to spend excessively. We have already seen how she unpicked her own dresses to fashion items to be sold for charity and how the King and Queen curtailed excessive entertaining to save money. But Queen Louise’s preference for thrift (something inspired by her strong Christian beliefs) extended much further. Her ladies of the bedchamber were told that they need not wear brand new gowns at every state occasion (something which had been de rigueur in the previous reign) and she caused some irritation among the more junior staff when she told the royal chefs de cuisine that the meat budget for below stairs was far too high and that more economical solutions must be found. The result was a glut of stews with cheaper cuts which the servants disliked, especially in the summer months when stew was hardly a light meal. They had become used to eating well, a perk of the job, but now they were put on the Queen’s economy.

With this sense of frugality in mind, the Queen invited Sebastian Garrard of Garrards & Co to call upon her at Buckingham Palace. She asked him to bring along a selection of “stock” jewels, pieces kept in reserve and usually hired by ladies who needed an impressive tiara or ornate necklace to wear for an important occasion but who otherwise couldn’t afford to invest in new family pieces to wear regularly. These pieces were constantly redesigned and reset so that eagle-eyed hostesses would not spy the “loaners” on a dozen different heads in the same season. The Duchess of Buccleuch was appalled at the idea that the Queen should pay a visit abroad (especially to France) in rented jewels, but Queen Louise thought it wasteful to spend lavishly on new pieces she didn’t really like to wear anyway. The Duchess would not relent however and fearing that her new mistress would be the subject of nasty continental gossip, she asked Charlie Phipps to explain the situation to the King. George was equally horrified at Louise’s cost-cutting approach to such things (“Think of the gossip Sunny!”, he whispered, “And in France of all places!”) and ordered Garrard to return the next day with a new selection from his shop in the Haymarket.

It is testament to Queen Louise’s modest character that whilst she was a wealthy woman in her own right, her first thought was to “borrow” something suitable from a jeweller. It is also testament to the King’s love for her that he could not bear the thought of people spreading nasty rumours about his wife behind her back if it ever came to light that she had rented her jewels for a state occasion. This concern cost him £1,400 (the equivalent of £95,000 today). Louise chose what she thought looked the least expensive, but Garrards designs were deceptive. Her first purchase was a tiara now known as the Laurel Tiara, so-called because it features two intertwined laurel branches set in diamonds with a supporting arch (also set with diamonds) on a raised band underneath. Her second investment was a three-strand necklace made from a spectacular array of diamonds (the largest of which were 60cts) and which allows the wearer to remove two strands to create two diamond bracelets. The Queen would pair these two items with the diamond earrings (also purchased from Garrards) gifted to her by her husband on her wedding day and a diamond brooch in the shape of a bow with a pearl drop which Louise’s parents gave her as a present to mark the birth of the Princess Royal (and which ultimately went to Darmstadt with Missy when she eventually married in 1861).


Queen Louise's Laurel Wreath Tiara.

Whilst insistent that far too much had already been spent, the King commanded that his wife invest in new gowns for the French leg of their tour. These were provided by Mary Bettans, now given the official title of Dressmaker Extraordinary to the Queen. Bettans found Queen Louise a difficult patron and she could not convince her that the French fashions of the day were for bold gowns in rich jewel tones with pinched waists and the weight of the gown placed in the skirt with the fullness at the shoulder moving down to the arm. Queen Louise was something of a trendsetter herself. Since her arrival in England, she had pioneered the so-called Mecklenburg Style which favoured a more natural silhouette with simple cottons and mousselines taking the place of heavy silks. Many of the fashions of the 1820s and 1830s in England began to give way to this new style as fashionable ladies tried to emulate the Queen’s simpler tastes. Bettans could not convince her to adopt Parisian innovations no matter how hard she tried and so she had to design a gown in the Mecklenburg Style that could hold its own among the ladies of the French court.

Two days before their departure from London for Portsmouth, the King finally received Sir James Graham. The matter of the new intake of peers could no longer be avoided. Graham wanted the King’s approval so that the new creations could be gazetted in batches of 15 or 20 during George V’s absence from Britain and slowly the Whig majority in the House of Lords would be eroded with a slow lapping tide of ermine-clad Earls and Barons. Sir James and his private secretary Sir Theodore Williams had taken great pains to organise these elevations not in order of precedence but (on the advice of Charlie Phipps), in order of those most familiar to the King. For example, the former Foreign Secretary Henry Goulburn who had served in the Wellington ministry had withdrawn his candidacy as a Member for Cambridge University in the 1840 general election on the promise of a peerage and he was to be created the Earl of Betchworth in the town of Dorking, Surrey and Viscount Vere in the County of Middlesex in the Crown Colony of Jamaica and the Dependencies. But even those who were familiar names did not please the King; “For heaven’s sake man, you’ve got Arthur Paget on this list, what will come first; his peerage or his coffin?” *.

Graham was in no mood to debate.

“Your Majesty, if you will not accept these nominations then I must be frank”, Sir James began seriously, “I shall resign”

“Oh, come now Graham, you don’t really mean that”

“I’m afraid I do Sir. You leave me with no alternative, I cannot govern as the people have directed”

For the first time in his reign, George faced the very real possibility of a constitutional crisis of his own making. He remembered only too well how bitterly the Duke of Clarence had regretted giving in to Lord Grey and creating a raft of new Whig peers and yet Clarence had done so because the alternative was the very same hornets nest facing his nephew today.

“I have not been excessive Sir”, Graham continued, “Indeed, I have taken great care to elevate those who have performed great service to this country and who would naturally expect to sit in the upper house as a result. I have not proposed one peerage more than is necessary and I give Your Majesty my word…my word Sir…that I shall not nominate any further peers for the duration of this parliament if Your Majesty will accept the list before you. There is no successor in my party who would not ask the same of you Sir”

In this way, Sir James was making it abundantly clear to George that if he resigned, the King might find himself opposed to the public will. The Crown would have indicated a political preference, which was ironically something George had already considered in the aftermath of the Great Thames Flood when he briefly pondered dismissing the Whigs from office. In that moment, George got the measure of his new Prime Minister. He was not bluffing, and George believed he had the will and the conviction to fight this battle. It was not one the King could win. What would Uncle Clarence do? This was the question George puzzled over for the next two days, pledging to give the Prime Minister an answer one way or the other before he boarded the Ariel at Portsmouth for Le Tréport. The King would accept Graham’s request to create 110 new Tory peers but on one condition; if Graham proposed creating even one more peerage during the next parliament, George would demand his resignation regardless of the consequences. The Prime Minister accepted and wished the King and Queen well on their travels.

Of particular interest to the Portsmouth Herald was the King and Queen’s luggage. It was reported that “Their Majesties availed themselves of three carts bearing 14 trunks” and a special mention was made of the delivery of a hand painted pink and white rocking horse with a real horse-hair mane “believed to be a gift for the Princess Royal”. This rocking horse is now on display at Schloss Weilburg. Also noteworthy was the fact that King George and Queen Louise did not avail themselves of the HMS George and instead, travelled on a paddle steamer called Ariel. This steamer took Their Majesties across the English Channel to the harbour at Le Tréport where they arrived on the 2nd of May 1840. King Louis Philippe’s barge was sent to collect the royal couple from the Ariel to the shouts and cheers of crowds who had assembled, hoping for a glimpse of George and Louise as they climbed the steps of the jetty. But the King of France himself was nowhere to be seen. Instead, Their Majesties were formally welcomed by Madame Adélaïde who rode in an open carriage leading George and Louise to the Château d’Eu. It was noted that George and Louise rode in a closed carriage behind that of the King’s sister.


Château d’Eu

Upon their arrival at the Château, there was a brief return to the pomp and pageantry which might be expected on such visits. In the courtyard, barely visible to the crowds who were kept at what seemed to be an unusually excessive distance, a dais had been set up where the carriages stopped before rows of the French National Guard who presented arms. A Regimental band played as King Louis Philippe and his wife made their first appearance of the day, he dressed immaculately in his military uniform (complete with the insignia of the Order of Bath) and Queen Maria Amalia fashionably attired in a silk green dress trimmed with white lace and a large white chip bonnet. Queen Louise alighted from the carriage first and was “assisted in a gentlemanly display of affection by His Majesty the King of the French, who kissed Her Majesty on both cheeks before kissing her hand. Queen Maria Amalia kissed Queen Louise too and the two of them were engaged in conversation for a brief time whilst King Louis-Philippe welcomed King George with a strong and amiable handshake. The national anthems of both countries were played to much applause from the crowds and King Louis-Philippe then led the royal party into the Château d’Eu where a luncheon was given. The welcome ceremony was a credit to the people of France and King Louis Philippe’s personal affection for Their Majesties”.

The Portsmouth Herald’s report is typical of the day where royalties were concerned. They were always happy to see each other, always beautifully attired and always gracious in their duty. But in reality, George and Louise were confused by the lukewarm reception they received. The fact that the King did not personally welcome them at the jetty but that he then appeared to provide an honour guard and stepped out (as Disraeli had predicted) wearing his British decoration made it hard for King George to read the tone of the visit. There had been fears at the Foreign Office that the French King might be hostile, even insulting, but as the King and Queen made their way to the Château’s drawing room, there was little evidence to suggest that Louis Philippe intended to wrong-foot them in some way.

That was until the doors of the drawing room opened and the King and Queen caught sight of the other guests who had been invited for the weekend. Most were unknown to them, presumably extended cousins or friends of the royal couple; but then two familiar faces turned to face the King and Queen, a pair of men George knew well from his childhood.

“And here he is”, one of the said with a broad smile on his face, extending his arms to embrace the King.

George did his best not to look shocked as King Leopold of the Belgians approached him. Hot on Leopold’s heels was none other than Baron Stockmar. [6]

King Louis-Philippe grinned. It would not be the last little surprise he had up his sleeve.

*The King was right. Paget was so unwell that he couldn’t accept a peerage anyway and died within 6 weeks of the offer. Instead, Graham simply offered the peerage intended for Arthur to his son Stewart Henry Paget who became the 1st Baron Bayley to distinguish him from Paget cousins who were the Marquesses of Anglesey who used Lord Paget as a subsidiary title. Lord Bayley never married, and the title passed to the youngest of Arthur Paget’s sons, Sir Augustus Berkley Page who married Countess Walburga von Hohenthal, later a senior lady-in-waiting and companion to George V's daughter Princess Alice.

[1] Louis Philippe was given the Garter in 1844 in the OTL, partly because the Oriental Crisis was avoided and the Anglo-French relationship had improved enough for such an honour to be given. We're well ahead of that in TTL and so whilst it would still be expected that an exchange of honours would take place, the King of France couldn't expect the Garter at this stage.

[2] Queen Victoria famously thought all babies were ugly and took very little interest in her children until they were much older. Prince Albert often had to scold her for the way she spoke about their infant children and "frog" was a favourite description Victoria applied liberally to newborns.

[3] Augusta now being resident with Missy in Bautzen. Schloss Rumpenheim was the favoured spot for royal family reunions as most could link themselves to the Hesse-Kassels. Rumpenheim was therefore extended, refurbished and renovated with these gatherings in mind in the early 19th century - though Queen Victoria was loathe to involve herself. She even used "Rumpenheim" as a synonym for anti-Prussian sentiment and made endless excuses as to why she couldn't go there. Here that doesn't apply of course but it stresses how important Rumpenheim was as a venue.

[4] Disraeli was noted for his elegant use of language when he was addressing royalty. Queen Victoria was initially wary that he was trying to flatter her but eventually she remarked that "He always gave us good news in his way" and looked forward to her meetings with him.

[5] The Belgian Suite in the OTL, renamed here for the Queen's parents.

[6] Leopold was Louis Philippe's son-in-law and was always included on such occasions. Stockmar was still nominally in Leopold's service though by now he had mostly retired. Whilst the diplomatic situation here is much the same as it was in the OTL (with Belgium now recognised by the Treaty of London), privately there would still be some animosity; in Leopold's case because of what happened with Prince Albert and Princess Charlotte Louise and in Stockmar's case...well...because George V despised him.
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Oh no NOT BARON STOCKMAR! Another great chapter, and I am surprised by how fond I am particularly of George V (considering that the ostrich is not really the best bird for a king to imitate!)

I hope that Louise can support him through what looks set to be the worst weekend holiday in France ever.
I want George to completely embarrass Stockmar now. Maybe George says something along the lines of” who are you making miserable now Stocky” or “I see you still look like a gremlin” I guess it is against royal protocol. But, this is Stockmar. He’s not worth it.
Also, sir Theodore was written as sir Theodora. I don’t want to seem pedantic
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Monthly Donor
Oh no NOT BARON STOCKMAR! Another great chapter, and I am surprised by how fond I am particularly of George V (considering that the ostrich is not really the best bird for a king to imitate!)

I hope that Louise can support him through what looks set to be the worst weekend holiday in France ever.
x'D Stockmar had to re-appear somewhere when George was older and this was too good an opportunity to miss. I'm glad you're fond of George, he has his foibles but on the whole I think he's grown into a nice chap. Thank you for reading!

Ooph, a reference to Missy marrying into Hesse and by Rhine, presumably she marries OTL Louis, husband of Princess Alice?
Yes, very well spotted!

Sometimes the style I've chosen to write TTL in sort of demands little glimpses into the future but the *big* marriages will be kept under wraps until we get to that point. So don't worry, for those I know enjoy royal matchmaking, there'll be 7 more HRHs to find spouses for in future chapters. ;)

I want George to completely embarrass Stockmar now. Maybe George says something along the lines of” who are you making miserable now Stocky” or “I see you still look like a gremlin” I guess it is against royal protocol. But, this is Stockmar. He’s not worth it.
Also, sir Theodore was written as sir Theodora. I don’t want to seem pedantic
Louis-Philippe really has played a dirty trick. He'd be well aware that George loathes Stockmar and to have King Leopold there too really does present a challenge for the young King he's not faced before. A test of temper shall we say.

And thank you for pointing out the Theodore mistake, for some reason Office loves to correct it to the female variant and I've no idea why!
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To make Stockmar look bad, George should tell the court about the time Stockmar had George raise some rabbits and then after a time reveal that Stockmar had the rabbits served to George as dinner. I feel that that would make Stockmar look like a sicko.
I love the fact that I can get so invested in these characters, whether if they’re either different from their OTL selves or completely new. Though I will say I do feel sorry for Princess Victoria in her TTL troubled marriage. And I can’t wait to see fun times with Baron Stockmar!
GV: Part Two, Chapter 23: On Tour - II


Monthly Donor
King George V

Part Two, Chapter Twenty-Three: On Tour – II

The atmosphere at the Château d’Eu at the start of that May weekend was decidedly frosty. Whilst it may appear that King Louis Philippe was deliberately trying to wrong foot the British royal party with the inclusion of King Leopold and Baron Stockmar in the festivities, it should be remembered that Leopold was Louis Philippe’s son-in-law and Stockmar a key advisor and companion to the King of the Belgians. That said, George privately raged to his wife in their rooms at the Château that Louis Philippe had behaved badly and that the whole weekend was “reduced to the level of a Drury Lane farce” before it had even begun. At the informal luncheon held to welcome Their Majesties to France, things got off to a precarious start. The King and Queen were accompanied by the Honourable George Smythe (later the 7th Viscount Strangford) in his role as Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs. This irritated the French who had expected Smythe’s senior, Lord Derby, to attend the talks instead. They were even more annoyed when they found that Derby was in fact on his way to St Petersburg to discuss the Oriental Crisis in person with the Tsar, rather than being in Normandy to meet the French King. This led to an awkward moment when Smythe tried to engage the King in conversation, only for Louis Philippe to turn his back on him and walk away.

Meanwhile, King Leopold and Baron Stockmar were testing George V’s patience. Seated together in a corner of the room following the luncheon, coffee and petits fours were served whilst King Leopold proudly showed off his two sons. His wife Louise of Orléans, was expecting another child and so did not make the journey to Normandy with her husband but Leopold insisted on taking Crown Prince Leopold and Prince Philippe with him. The Belgian princes were 5 and 3 years old respectively and brought into the room after luncheon by a governess. King Louis Philippe, their grandfather, insensitively remarked to Queen Louise; “We are blessed in this family to have so many fine sons”.

Queen Louise blushed. King George bit his tongue. French court gossip had it that the King and Queen had an Achilles heel in their otherwise happy marriage; that being that George V was disappointed his wife had yet to give him the son and heir he longed for. Indeed, Madame Adélaïde referred to George V as “Le Petit Henri”. There was no basis in fact to this unkind chatter of course, the King adored his wife and his two daughters. Whilst he would have liked Princess Victoria to be a boy, he did not feel that Louise had let him down in any way and as we have seen, he scolded those who make reference to it. But in the drawing room of the French King, he could not so easily put the assembled company in its place as he might at home and so he had to stay silent as his wife fidgeted uncomfortably with the lace trim on her cuffs.

“I am very ambitious for my princes”, Louis-Philippe smiled, lifting Crown Prince Leopold into the air and smiling at him, “We must all be ambitious for our sons”

“Or our nephews…”, George muttered. Damn. He had let his temper get the better of him.

The Queen jumped to his rescue; “How is Albert?”, she said sweetly, “Such a dear boy, we hear so little of him now”

“A devoted husband and father and very well liked in Brazil, I am happy to say”, Stockmar retorted, “But then he was always very receptive to the advice of his tutors. He was never indulged as a child and so he embraces responsibility”

King Leopold nodded; “He is a very serious young man. Sometimes too serious. Though as Stockmar says, he has many new responsibilities, so his nature suits his purpose”

In December 1839, a resolution was proposed to a sticky issue at the Brazilian court. The factious regency for Pedro II had seen attempts by politicians of all sides to bring the young Emperor under their sway. From 1835, a debate had raged that the General Assembly should lower the young Emperor’s age of majority instead of waiting until he turned 18 to allow him to assume full imperial authority. Those opposed had proposed his sister Januária should be declared regent until Pedro turned 18 and with her marriage to Prince Albert in 1838, this faction saw the stabilising influence of the new Duke of Paraíba (as Albert became on his wedding day) as something to tip the scales in their favour. [1] Their opponents snapped back that Albert was a foreigner barely acquainted with his new home land. All that changed in February 1840 when Albert and Januária’s first child was born; a son named João Carlos. Under the terms of his marriage contract, Albert thus became a Prince of Brazil in his own right with the rank of Imperial Highness. He had won the support of many nay-sayers and in April 1840, the General Assembly narrowly voted to proclaim the Princess Imperial the new regent for her brother Pedro.

“At least he has something to do in Rio”, Louis Philippe said snidely, “It is nice to know the boy’s talents are being put to good use. I never did see him as an English Duke cutting ribbons....”

“Neither did I”, George snapped. Silence reigned. Sensing that the tone of the conversation was descending into a possible brawl, the King’s guests were invited for a tour of the gardens of the Château d’Eu. George took the opportunity to retreat to his room for a while, citing a headache from his long day’s travels. But the Queen diplomatically stepped in and signalled that she would be delighted to see the grounds. She would come to regret her decision. As they stepped out onto the gravel paths and walked among the flower beds, Madame Adélaïde suddenly turned and looked Louise up and down. With a pitying roll of her eyes, she said loudly; “Is that really the English fashion today? How dreary for you”.

Louise had barely recovered from that barb when Queen Maria Amalia asked how Louise’s brother Fritz was.


Madame Adélaïde

“He is in Switzerland”, Louise replied kindly, “He is studying at Bern”

“Studying?”, Madame Adélaïde scoffed, “What is he studying?”

“The law”, Queen Louise replied, “He is doing so well there”

“How interesting for you”, came the acerbic response from Madame Adélaïde, “To have a lawyer for a brother and not a King. And how brave of you to applaud him for it, I should think I would be horribly embarrassed”

Queen Maria Amalia was nowhere near as chilly as her sister-in-law and noting the Queen’s blushes, tried to offer a friendly salve for the sting.

“Will he see you at Rumpenheim?”

“No, he has to stay in Bern”

“I should do the same if I were forced to stay in that horrid little castle”, Madame Adélaïde sneered, “It must be so very cramped for you all”

After a further 45 minutes of these poisonous taunts, the Queen was finally allowed to go back to her room. Her initial response was to break down into floods of tears, but she couldn’t risk upsetting her husband further. He had already indicated that in his view, the whole visit was nothing but an opportunity for the French royal party to openly insult them knowing they could not leave when the diplomatic situation between the two countries was so precarious. Indeed, he told an exasperated Smythe that he thought it far better that the talks were brought forward to the next morning, allowing the King and Queen to escape Normandy two days earlier than planned for Holland. It was Queen Louise who insisted they stay.

That night, King Louis-Philippe was to host a banquet, nominally in honour of the visiting British royal couple. Once again, Madame Adélaïde tried to humiliate the young Queen Louise. It had been made clear that as the dinner was to have an informal atmosphere, Louise needn’t bother to wear a tiara as none of the French ladies of the court would be doing so. Here, the Queen asked the Duchess of Buccleuch for her advice; “From memory Ma’am, I have never known even the most informal dinner party fail to bring out every diamond and pearl in Paris”. Louise thought likewise. She would not be demeaned again. Before she left, Mary Bettans had convinced the Queen to take just one gown in the French fashion with her in case the opportunity presented itself. It had.

Standing before the vast doors of the dining room at the Château d’Eu with its fabulous gold carvings were two footmen in richly embroidered livery. They pulled the doors open with a chivalrous bow to reveal the room inside, a sumptuous display of French extravagance with gold plate glinting in the candlelight, the French royal family and their guests huddled together at one end leaving a vast distance for George and Louise to travel in order to greet their hosts. Madame Adélaïde had planned it thus. As the doors were opened however, a very audible gasp filled the air. There was King George V, standing proud in his Windsor uniform complete with the deep blue of the sash of the Order of the Garter, its breast star made of diamonds which twinkled and glittered. He wore velvet breeches and white silk stockings, his black patent shoes polished and buffed as if they were mirrors, each topped with a diamond buckle. His long brown hair was swept back at the sides with the aide of beeswax, the rest allowed to fall in chestnut brown waves which complimented his eyes and high cheekbones. The ladies (in their tiaras) were deeply impressed at just how handsome the King appeared.

But the men were even more taken aback by La Petit Souris. In a pair of gold satin heeled slippers, Queen Louise was the same height as her husband (who stood at 6’2), her golden tresses parted in the centre with ringlets of blonde curls draped over one shoulder in the French fashion. On her head she wore the Laurel Wreath tiara, every inch of its leaves catching the light and sparkling brilliantly in the glow of the chandeliers above. But as impressive as her new jewels were, it was her gown which drew the eye of every Frenchman in the room that evening. The Queen’s dress was cut in the French fashion in a pale gold satin which revealed the Queen’s décolleté in which nestled the diamonds of her new Garrards necklace. Instead of lace, Bettans had gathered swags of gossamer chiffon speckled with brilliants with a raised and structured cape giving height to the Queen’s shoulders and producing a collar effect. La Petit Souris was transformed into La Petit Papillon and much to the irritation of the French ladies of the court, King Louis Philippe quite forget his petty campaign and stepped forward kissing Queen Louise on the hand. “Votre Majesté”, he said warmly, “Tonight, the only beauty in the world is yours”.

There was silence. The King’s son and heir and his wife, the Prince and Princess Royal, were introduced to George and Louise, the Princess Royal Hélène taking everybody by surprise by embracing Queen Louise with the words “Meine liebste cousine”, she being a Mecklenburg Duchess by birth. The Prince too was far more welcoming than his father and aunt, asking George if it was true that he had in his possession a Louis XIV console which was listed in one of the Prince’s many catalogues. [2]

“I really don’t know”, George said smiling, “Sunny dear, do we have that piece?”

Louise beamed, “Oh of course we do my darling, it is in your library. You must come and see it, it really is a very pretty thing”

“If I may Votre Majesté”, Ferdinand Philippe replied graciously, “So are you”

The King and Queen had found much needed allies and when Stockmar tried to approach the King, the Prince Royal carefully guided the King towards a portrait of his grandmother, Marie-Adélaïde de Bourbon, which hung above the fireplace. Hélène spoke animatedly to Queen Louise in German, saying loudly enough for Stockmar to hear; “Such a funny old man, he really is so very pompous”. At dinner, Queen Louise sparkled next to King Louis Philippe whilst King George charmed Queen Maria Amalia by telling her how he had tried to simplify things at the English court; “We have tried to do the same!”, she said enthusiastically, “The Tuileries was so very stiff and pompous, I could not bear it. And it is not good for us to be seen to live so extravagantly. We eat this way now because it is so much simpler, it makes us feel closer to the people”.


King Leopold.

King Leopold tried his own charms on Queen Louise, asking when the royal couple would do him the honour of visiting Brussels.

“Oh, what a pity!”, Louise exclaimed, “Had you been there we might have been able to call on you when we pass through Brussels on our way to visit Drina”

The evening had been an undoubted success. It ended with the King, who had taken far more champagne that he intended to, raising several toasts to the “beautiful young English Queen”. Across the table, King George caught his wife’s eye. She smiled and raised her glass to him. He couldn’t have been prouder of her than he was in that moment. The French newspapers were filled with descriptions of Louise’s beauty, her charm and of course, her gown. One French gardener, Monsieur Beaufoy, even created a champagne-coloured hybrid tea rose named “La Reine Louise” in the Queen’s honour. These roses were later imported en masse by George V and can still be found at almost every royal residence in England. At the end of the night, George and Louise returned to their suite far happier than they had both been just a few hours earlier. As they prepared for bed, a tapping came at the door. The Duchess of Buccleuch opened it, where a nervous looking French courtier asked for a moment with the King. George nodded and the man glided in holding a red leather box.

“With my sincere apologies Your Majesty”, he began bowing low, “But I must confess an error on my part. His Majesty asked me to deliver this to you with his compliments before this evening’s banquet but in my haste, I failed to do so. His Majesty has asked me to bring it to you now, as a token of his respect and gratitude”. Inside the box was the insignia of the Ordre royal de la Légion d'honneur in the rank of Grand Cross. King George offered his thanks and ordered Charlie Phipps to prepare the insignia to be worn with George’s military uniform the following morning when the only two public appearances of the visit were scheduled to take place. The first was a (somewhat reduced) honour parade in the courtyard of the Château which was staged before luncheon held for local dignitaries to meet the British King and Queen. Then, the two Queens set off for the Notre-Dame et Saint-Laurent, a collegiate church dedicated both to the Virgin Mary and to St Laurence, a 12th century Archbishop who fell ill at Eu on his way to meet the English King Henry II in 1180. Beatified in 1186 and canonised in 1225, his relics are still held at the church today, and these were proudly displayed by the Cardinal Archbishop of Rouen who personally gave Queen Louise and Queen Maria Amalia a tour of the 12th century walls built by Richard the Lionheart.

Meanwhile, the King remained at the Château with King Louis-Philippe. The time had come to put aside royal hospitality and to discuss the true nature of George V’s visit. The French Foreign Minister, Adolphe Thiers, made the journey from Paris and together with George Smythe and the British Ambassador, the gentlemen sat in the salon to turn their attention to the Oriental Crisis. Initially, Louis-Philippe was unmoved. Naturally he had revised his personal opinion of the King and Queen somewhat but that didn’t mean he was about to ditch his foreign policy on account of a good dinner and a pretty gown. Much to the chagrin of his ministers, the King insisted that it was the Ottomans who were supporting Abd al Qadir in French Algeria and that without Muhammed Ali’s support in Egypt, Algeria may become a power vacuum. The British were pledged to support the territorial integrity of the Ottoman Empire and so Algeria, which had cost millions of francs and French lives in the last decade, would be lost. [3]


King Louis-Philippe

Louis-Philippe reinstated this position in person to the assembled parties at the Château d’Eu. The French could not pull support from the Ali dynasty without risk – a risk that posed a serious threat to the popularity of the July Monarchy which had made Algeria something of a rallying cry for a new era of French influence in North Africa. Smythe was prepared for this, and Lord Derby had briefed him well. But he was not prepared for Louis-Philippe to make accusations against the British for which he had no prepared defence.

“I know that the British have been in discussions with Qadir to support him against me”, he said tersely, “You cannot deny that”.

“We have had no discussions with Qadir since well before the Treaty of Tafna”, Smythe assured the King, “And even then, the discussions we had with him amount to little more than a handful of diplomatic letters. Qadir wanted our support, we did not give it”

“Lord Melbourne did not give it”, Louis-Philippe corrected, “But the British took his side, you promised to establish counsels”

“With respect Sir”, Smythe countered, “We explored the possibility only after Tafna when the French government handed Qadir territories in Oran, we did not press ahead because Qadir’s other requests were unacceptable to us and then the treaty was abandoned. Thereafter, we had no contact with him because we did not seek to interfere with French interests in the region”

“What were Qadir’s requests, Smythe?”, King George asked lighting a cigarette from a silver box on the table, “I didn’t see that in my briefing”

Smythe fiddled with his papers and presented a note to the King.

“Qadir wished to meet you in an Algerian port Sir, in '36”, he explained, “The idea was never presented to the late Duke of Clarence because the government did not wish the Crown to act as mediator between the two sides and because both the proposed meeting and the prospect of dealing with Qadir…well…it was deemed absurd”

“Quite right too”, George replied with a smile, “You see Louis, my ministers do think of me sometimes”.

But the King was in no mood for levity.

“All we ask is a guarantee that our interests in Algeria will be respected”, Louis-Philippe said tersely, “You gave far more to the Russians for far less. What you are asking us to do is to put France at the risk of a misadventure on the scale of your own recent military defeat in Afghanistan, and all to have Algeria taken from us and handed to Ottoman-backed rebels”.

Smythe opened his mouth to interject. But it was King George who took the lead.

“But we have nothing to fear from your interests in Algeria”, he said, “I grant you; we cannot speak for other governments but surely you realise that if France is left out of the talks after this crisis is resolved, you stand even less chance of getting what you want?”

“I think what His Majesty means to say is…”, Lord Cowley began.

“I have to say I’m confused by your position Louis”, George continued, “This Qadir chap is a thorn in your side, you’re spending a fortune to keep the beggar down and yet as I understand it, he’s taking all his inspiration from your man in Cairo. This Muhammed Ali Pasha is his great hero, what? Surely to goodness this Muhammed fellow and his mad son will only double cross you in the end and give their support to Qadir? And heaven forbid we’re all drawn into a war on the continent which I know you don’t want, none of us can afford to fight on two fronts like that. Why keep yourself isolated for a man who will more than likely drag you into something you never wanted in the first place, all for a reassurance that you know you don’t need anyway.”

There was silence. Louis-Philippe looked deep in thought.

“But…”, he began, “The position of your government…”

Suddenly, George stood up.

“It’s very warm in here, isn’t it? I could do with a turn in the garden before supper”

What on earth was happening?

“I suggest we go for a little walk and leave the rest to these gentlemen”, George said, wandering towards the double doors that led into the grounds of the Château. The French King stood up. He began to follow George.

“But we have much more to discuss!”, he protested, more out of surprise than anger.

“Oh, let them do that”, George said, patting Louis Philippe on the back, “I always do. Why else do we pay them, what?”

A stunned King Louis-Philippe found himself being led out of the room into the gardens where George asked if he might obtain some cuttings from a wisteria; “I’d like to give them to my cousin Drina you know”, he explained, “Never know what to give people. Goodness me, is that a Hollyhocks? How do you get them to grow that tall? Ours look like they’ve been hit on the head and are frightened to stand up”.

“But I…”

“It’s no good Louis”, the King replied, “Can’t possibly discuss anything else without my ministers present you understand. Now I wonder when Sunny will be back?”

When King George and Queen Louise left Normandy two days later, they did so in a very different atmosphere to that in which they had been received. The French King and his wife travelled in a carriage with them to the jetty where they once again boarded the Ariel which was to take them to Holland. A gun salute was fired to whoops and cheers of applause from the vast crowds assembled to catch a final glimpse of the British King and his wife as they kissed their hosts goodbye and climbed down into the barge which took them to their ship. George Smythe bowed to the King and shook his hand. In his pocket bag, he carried the document signed just after dinner at the Château d’Eu the previous evening. Thiers left the Château for Paris immediately afterwards.


Adolphe Thiers

Addressing the Chamber of Deputies, he announced that following news from the Levant that Muhammed Ali had been deposed by his son Ibrahim, and upon hearing further reports that Ibrahim Ali was to strike at Constantinople, His Majesty (in full agreement with his ministers) had agreed to withdraw all support, military and financial, from the dynasty. France was to follow the British example discussed at the Château d’Eu, engaging independently against Ibrahim Ali but not formally signing up to a Russian-led coalition of central powers. The King and his ministers had not taken this decision lightly; indeed, the King had summoned the British sovereign to Normandy personally to insist that the United Kingdom respect France’s presence in Algeria and to give Britain’s assurances that she would not support any power either in the region itself or at talks which may be held once the Oriental Crisis was concluded, who sought to damage France’s expanding influence in North Africa. [4]

Smythe was more succinct when he returned to London alone, leaving the royal party to continue the private leg of their tour of Europe. When he arrived at Downing Street to brief Sir James Graham personally, he recounted the way the King had led Louis-Philippe out into the grounds of the Château and how when presented with the notes from the talks that ensued, the French monarch had seemed enthusiastic – not reluctant – to put his name to the agreement that followed. Whilst it was true that Louis-Philippe could not allow himself to appear to have u-turned, especially not on account of a British royal charm offensive, and so had indicated it was the threat to Constantinople which had changed his mind and not British reassurances that France would be allowed to retain Algeria in the ensuing peace talks no matter what the Ottomans demanded, one thing was certain; King George had handled the entire thing admirably. “I really do believe we should not have convinced the French King to abandon Ali without his calm and measured approach”, Smythe told the Prime Minister, “And when he linked Muhammed Ali with Al-Qadir…it was a masterstroke. We had Louis-Philippe in our corner from that moment. I should never have thought of it myself”.

But Graham seemed lukewarm in his response.

“He wasn’t too puffed up, was he?”, he asked Smythe.

“The King? No Sir…but…it was a triumph Prime Minister”

“Best not to tell him that”, Graham said pouring himself a brandy, “I admit His Majesty distinguished himself in Normandy, but we must not give him a taste for authority or influence. Thank goodness he’s only visiting now. I’d hate to see what his newfound enthusiasm for diplomacy might tempt him to. No Smythe, brief the Foreign Office that His Majesty played a very small role in this” [5]

“But Prime Minister…”

“Incidentally Smythe”, Graham interrupted, “I was wondering if you might serve on this new commission I’m putting together for the rebuilding of the Palace of Westminster. You served before and I believe you felt then that Melbourne hadn’t behaved well. The position of Chair is vacant, it shouldn't distract you too much from your other duties. And naturally I should grateful for your support in this matter.” [6]

Smythe was dumbfounded.

“That’s settled then. You are to be congratulated on your work in France”, Graham said patronisingly, “And it was your work, George. Remember that”.


[1] Butterflies here and a little update on Albert's progress for those wondering what had become of him after his marriage. Princess Januária was proposed to serve as regent for her brother Pedro II in the OTL in order to break the deadlock on whether or not he should be proclaimed to have reached the age of majority earlier. As I understand it, the idea had support but a bone of contention was the fact that she was not married. Enter Prince Albert.

As we're not going to head to Brazil all that much, I'll give the full POD I'm using as a background here which is that Januária serves as regent until 1843 when her brother reaches the age of majority. Albert proves his worth and much as he did in England, cements his reputation as a reliable and capable figure behind closed doors. He becomes a kind of mentor to Pedro II and when Pedro's two sons die young as in the OTL leaving Princess Isabel to succeed her father, Albert (fearing the worst) convinces Pedro to allow Albert's son Prince João Carlos to marry his cousin (with the necessary papal dispensation of course).

I don't wish to distract from our UK based storyline here but this is what I've had in mind for Albert which every so often will get a mention in our TL for obvious reasons.

[2] Ferdinand Philippe was a passionate collector, indeed he spent almost 150,000 francs from his Civil List allowance on art purchases or cultural patronage each year until his death.

[3] My main source for this section of the TL can be found here:

[4] In the OTL, the French did change course but not until October 1840. From my research, it appears Algeria was always the sticking point but Palmerston's rush to send in gunboats saw the French dig their heels in until the last. Here the situation is very different thanks to Ibrahim Ali's decision to head for Constantinople. Which I believe would be enough on it's own to see the French u-turn but I also can't see that they wouldn't raise Algeria at these talks. I haven't mentioned the Rhine Crisis here because I felt it would be too much of a distraction but that would probably contribute too.

[5] However unfair this is, I believe this is how Graham would respond. He's just had a clash with the King over the creation of 110 new peerages which the King didn't wish to do but had to accept because he saw that he had no authority to avoid it without causing a constitutional crisis. Graham really doesn't need George V to get a taste for achievements where government policy decisions are concerned.

[6] We've finally got to the result of our poll, unfortunately it just didn't fit anywhere until now. Apologies for the delay!
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Monthly Donor
To make Stockmar look bad, George should tell the court about the time Stockmar had George raise some rabbits and then after a time reveal that Stockmar had the rabbits served to George as dinner. I feel that that would make Stockmar look like a sicko.
Unfortunately as distasteful and cruel as we find it today, I found that story (which I'm thrilled you remember!) in a biography of Prince Albert. It was actually quite commonplace and used mostly for the children of farmers who had to learn the difference between pets and profits.

I love the fact that I can get so invested in these characters, whether if they’re either different from their OTL selves or completely new. Though I will say I do feel sorry for Princess Victoria in her TTL troubled marriage. And I can’t wait to see fun times with Baron Stockmar!
Thank you so much! I agree, poor Victoria. But then the aim of TTL was always to imagine a world without Queen Victoria (of the UK) and once she was separated from Albert and married to someone else who perhaps didn't treat her as nicely, there's less chance that she will eventually become the weeping widow wedded to her grief.

So maybe it'll all turn out for the best for her after all?
Why is Ferdinand referred to as the Duke of Orleans when his senior title would have been Prince Royal at this point (and Helene would have been the Princess Royal).


Monthly Donor
Why is Ferdinand referred to as the Duke of Orleans when his senior title would have been Prince Royal at this point (and Helene would have been the Princess Royal).
Ah, that would be because of the software I use to keep track of the family trees I have plotted out and Ferdi and Helen are listed that way on there. Many thanks for highlighting this, I shall correct!
Very nice coup de main from George and Louise there in France, especially his handling of Louis Philippe, though their household staff had laid the groundwork very well. I also got a very strong Yes, Minister vibe from the last section with Sir James and George Smythe, albeit with the PM taking Sir Humphrey's role and the King Jim Hacker's.


Monthly Donor
Very nice coup de main from George and Louise there in France, especially his handling of Louis Philippe, though their household staff had laid the groundwork very well. I also got a very strong Yes, Minister vibe from the last section with Sir James and George Smythe, albeit with the PM taking Sir Humphrey's role and the King Jim Hacker's.
I love this comparison, thank you so much for your kind feedback!
I also got a very strong Yes, Minister vibe from the last section with Sir James and George Smythe, albeit with the PM taking Sir Humphrey's role and the King Jim Hacker's.
Particularly the "Incidentally..." followed by the crux of the arguement.

Edit: Yes (Prime) Minister also has plenty of cases of minister on minister action like this, for instance you have the minister for health in "The Smoke Screen" being given the job in treasurary.
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