Crown Imperial: An Alt British Monarchy

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.
"Incidentally..." usually means someone's about to be told off/bribed or conned into thinking what they previously thought was good and worked hard to secure is actually now bad and should be dropped like a stone. I suspect it was just as true in Whitehall in the 1830s/40s as it was in the 1970s/80s....and probably still is. ;)
The pettiness everyone presents here is so realistic.
Haha, I'm glad you think so! I always like to think of these characters as ordinary people in extraordinary situations. They very often have little to complain about so the petty things become insanely important. Madame Adélaïde presented the perfect opportunity to showcase this - though I doubt fans of Queen Louise enjoyed her appearance here.
Could it be a possibility that George’s daughter Victoria could marry Louis-Phillips’s grandson Philippe?
I can tell you that Victoria will receive MANY offers of marriage. Lucky Toria!

Hypothetically, she could marry the Count of Flanders but this one would come down to Victoria's willingness to change her religion. It would be a good match for Toria though.
I meant the son of the Prince Royal
Ah! My apologies, I thought you meant the Count of Flanders as he's mentioned in the chapter. The Comte de Paris would really have to be a love match I think as by the time Victoria is of marriageable age, Philippe doesn't have all that much to offer her.
Now I want to see what kind of conversation Mary and Adélaïde would be like. Guessing it would be a lot of snark.
The true Clash of the Titans!
As a heads up, there may not be a new chapter for a few days as I attend to some all-important "housekeeping".

Because TTL has been going along now for quite some time and there's lots of characters/mini PODs/new family trees/new governments etc etc, I rely on a wiki and some ancestry software to keep track of everything and it needs an update before I can push on any further otherwise I may get terribly confused.

I also want to update the guide that can be found in my Test Thread for new readers and which I never seem to have time for and takes a backseat to my writing new instalments. Plus I'm also putting together the first part of Crown Imperial into PDF format so that those who want to read it through without the risk of spoilers can do so.

So bear with me, we'll be back on tour with the King and Queen by Wednesday at the very latest!
Ah! My apologies, I thought you meant the Count of Flanders as he's mentioned in the chapter. The Comte de Paris would really have to be a love match I think as by the time Victoria is of marriageable age, Philippe doesn't have all that much to offer her.
Does this mean that the French Revolution of 1848 still happens?
Not to worry. This update was a lovely treat this morning
Thank you so much!
Does this mean that the French Revolution of 1848 still happens?
As things stand at the moment yes but though I have the main narrative fixed for TTL from 1815 to the present day, I tend to approach the writing of it in chunks of five years at a time so this could easily change if a POD grabs me early enough to be able to weave it in ahead of OTL events.
GV: Part Two, Chapter 24: On Tour - III
King George V

Part Two, Chapter Twenty-Four: On Tour – III

With the cheers of the French crowds still ringing in their ears, King George and Queen Louise left France and sailed for the Hook of Holland. From there, the King of the Netherlands provided coaches to take them to Apeldoorn. It should be noted that it might have been far quicker for the royal couple to pass through Brussels but this was to be avoided at the King’s request before they left Britain. He could have no idea that King Leopold would be included in the house party at the Château d’Eu of course, and this greatly irritated George who felt he had needlessly added three days travelling to avoid Brussels when King Leopold wasn’t in residence there after all. Still, the King did not let this inconvenience tarnish his buoyant mood from his huge personal success at the Château d’Eu. Regardless of Sir James Graham’s assessment, historians agree that without George the agreement with the French would never have been concluded and France may have continued to support the Ali dynasty in Egypt possibly leading to a bloody and long-lasting conflict on the continent once more. When Tsar Nicholas heard that George V had successfully brought Louis-Philippe into the coalition (albeit informally, on the same terms as the United Kingdom), Nicholas remarked; “I have underestimated the boy”.

So it was that George and Louise arrived at Het Loo in high spirits. Het Loo was built in the 17th century as a “pleasure house”, the grandeur of its design and the extravagance of its interiors standing at odds with the Dutch Royal Family’s insistence that Het Loo was not a palace but a “fine gentleman’s residence”. With the rest of the Dutch Royal Family in The Hague carefully awaiting the next move from King William I (still intent on abdicating), Princess Victoria was quite alone at Het Loo when she received her cousin and his wife there in the second week of May 1840. The Dutch King didn't even send a representative to meet the British royal couple when they arrived in his country. Closer to home however, Queen Louise was more intrigued at how much Princess Victoria had changed since their last meeting; “She has grown really quite stout and her face is all puffed up about the chin”. The King too commented on Victoria’s appearance in a letter to his Uncle Cambridge, though he was far more succinct (and perhaps a little less kind) than his wife; “Drina has grown very fat and looks thoroughly miserable as a result”.


Princess Victoria of the Netherlands, c. 1840.

But the King also noted that his cousin had developed “an unattractive hunger for gossip” too. The moment George and Louise arrived, they were given a luncheon which the Queen wrote, “Was so sparsely attended that we were grateful for dear Charlotte (the Duchess of Buccleuch) who had so very much to say to Drina and helped us avoid the unpleasantness she wanted to discuss”. [1] The “unpleasantness” in question was a brewing scandal which Drina felt the King and Queen should know about before they arrived at Rumpenheim. Back in England, the 21-year-old Prince George of Cambridge was celebrating his independence (and taking advantage of his parent’s absence in Hanover) by turning Cambridge House in Piccadilly into something of a private member’s club for his army pals. The Duke of Cambridge’s housekeeper, Mrs Elizabeth Frisby, had entered the service of the Cambridge family in 1831 and was affectionately known as ‘Frizzie’ [2]. Frizzie had been hurt not to be asked to join her employers in Hanover and still in a sulk, found herself “a keeper of the zoo” (as Prince George’s sister Augusta put it) trying to maintain order in a house that was now little more than a glorified barrack room.

The Duke of Cambridge sent his equerry, Sir Philip Durham, back to England to assess the situation. His report was not pleasant and it so shocked the Duchess that she unwisely put the details in a letter to her niece Victoria; she might just as well have printed the contents in every newspaper in Europe. In her bored and lonely state, Victoria had a thirst for rumour and intrigue and she gained a reputation for being something of a gossipmonger. Durham’s report contained much of what we might expect of a rich young prince living free of parental guidance in a large Piccadilly residence for the first time in his life. Bills had sky-rocketed, the skeleton staff who had not joined the Cambridges at Herrenhausen were in high dudgeon and threatening to leave, and even dear old Frizzie had reached the end of her tether. It wasn’t so much the gambling or drinking at all hours she objected to, rather it was the “presence of several young ladies who have been hosted at Piccadilly”, Durham wrote, “And I regret to say some of them, without chaperones, stay well into the early hours of the next morning”. One of these young ladies made the Duke of Cambridge distinctly nervous; Lady Augusta Somerset.

Lady Augusta Somerset was the daughter of the 7th Duke of Beaufort but she was also the niece of someone well known to the older generation of the Royal Family; Lady Elizabeth Somerset, the mistress of King George IV who had given him two illegitimate children. George V had no idea that the Earl of Ulster was his half-sibling, a decision to that effect had been taken (and imposed ruthlessly) by his mother. Lady Elizabeth Somerset had been married off to an Irish Captain to give legitimacy to George V’s half-sister Isabella and upon the death of her first husband, she had married Major General James Orde. Orde was a cad of the first degree, renowned in the army for an incident in 1812 when he was nearly cashiered for overzealously flogging some of his men and even defrauding his quartermaster. Full of cunning, he had still managed to gain a promotion from Colonel to Major General and his marriage to Lady Elizabeth had given him an introduction to high society as the son-in-law of a Duke. But this had not given Orde the satisfaction he hoped for and within two years, he had returned to his native Ireland where he lived with his mistress and left his wife on a pitiful allowance (taken from her own bank account). [3]

Unable to petition for divorce, Lady Elizabeth had retreated to Lechlade, the country house purchased for her by the late King, but she had long had a taste for the best things in life and she quickly amassed debts. Her son could do little to help (though he was generously provided for by George IV), her brother point blank refused to keep funding her expensive tastes and her husband was devouring her fortune at an alarming rate. Lady Elizabeth turned to the Duke of Cambridge. Begging letters regularly appeared and to protect his brother’s memory and to keep scandal from the gates of Buckingham Palace, he sent her cheques of varying amounts to save her from her debtors. He even stepped in and secured her son a place at Sandhurst. But now Lady Elizabeth’s niece seemed she may follow in “the Beaufort’s footsteps” and Lady Augusta Somerset had begun a passionate love affair with Prince George of Cambridge. For a time this seemed a harmless liaison. It was expected that young princes would take mistresses and though the Duke of Cambridge might have hoped his son would take a lover who wasn’t so wrapped up in a family that had already provided a royal mistress, it must be said that Lady Augusta was the daughter of a Duke and not exactly a chorus girl. [4]


Prince George of Cambridge.

But in April 1840, the liaison became dangerous. Lady Augusta had been sent away to Madrid by her father on the pretext that she was ill. Rumours swirled that she was in fact pregnant and that Prince George was the father of her unborn child. [5] No letters exist to confirm or deny this and whilst we know that Lady Augusta received daily visits from a Spanish doctor during her time in Madrid, it is impossible to know whether his was because she really was ill or because she had given birth to a child. What we do know is that the Duke of Cambridge sent a cheque to Lady Augusta for the sum of £500 (the equivalent of £30,000 today) which was cashed in Madrid. We also know that the Duke immediately arranged for his son and heir to be sent to Ireland immediately with the 12th Royal Lancers. “You can accept this”, he wrote to his son tersely, “Or I shall find somewhere far more remote for you to serve”. Needless to say, George would not attend the family reunion at Rumpenheim but Princess Victoria made sure that he was very much the focus of things at Het Loo where try as she might, the Duchess of Buccleuch could not steer the Princess away from the “rotten and wicked talk” circulating about Prince George. Eventually the King threatened to leave for Bautzen early if Drina did not let the subject alone. She complied.

The visit to Het Loo was notable too for the fact that Princess Victoria’s daughter and namesake was not there. In a typical display of controlling behaviour, Prince William had insisted that if Victoria wished to “be so silly and rush off to Het Loo at such a troubling time”, she was quite welcome to. But she would do so alone – and that meant without little Linna in tow. Queen Louise was most disappointed not to see her niece and goddaughter, especially as she had taken great pains over a gift to take to her, a carved wooden toy parrot which flapped its wings and opened its beak when a string was pulled. Louise noted; “Drina hardly talks of the baby and we saw only one little sketch of her so we still do not know what Linna looks like. George was most put out because one of Drina’s reasons for us coming to Het Loo was to see the child. And now we have delayed our trip to Bautzen for quite a depressing visit which neither of us have enjoyed much”.

Fortunately, there was the best remedy of all awaiting them in Germany, their much longed for reunion with their eldest daughter, the Princess Royal. Both her parents were understandably excited to see Missy again after she had been away from England for almost 5 months. But they were anxious too. Would she recognise them? Would there be any signs of progress at this early stage in her education at the Heinicke School? Princess Augusta of Cambridge and Lady Dorothy Wentworth spent days preparing Gaussig for the arrival of the King and Queen, and the latter was delighted when Miss Sarah Higham arrived ten days before George and Louise direct from England with little Princess Victoria in her charge. “It is so very curious to me that the first time Missy meets her sister it shall be without her parents standing by”, Dolly noted in her diary, “But I am so very eager to meet little Toria myself for if she is half as delightful as Missy I shall have double the joy in my care”.

Finally, on the 26th of May 1840, the King and Queen were reunited with the Princess Royal. Queen Louise wrote to her mother; “Simply to hold her little hand and feel her dear little fingers wrap themselves around mine was so sweet a reward after months of longing. We spent our first day here quite alone with the children and Georgie was so determined we should not miss a moment of our time with them that we even ate on trays in the nursery! I think Dolly was quite shocked by it”. The King was clearly thrilled to see his eldest daughter but privately, he had concerns. Understandably, he hoped there might have been some progress and yet how much could the Heinicke School have realistically achieved in just 5 months? This served as a reminder that the Princess Royal would never have the same upbringing as her younger sister. Indeed, with the exception of the six years between 1855 and 1861 when she lived at Windsor, Missy spent the rest of her life in Germany. In later years, she would insist that she was (and had always been) “German to my fingertips” and earned herself a strong rebuke from her sister Alice when she spoke of an English relative as "a foreigner".


A portrait of the Princess Royal, aged 4 or 5.

As George and Louise played on the lawn with their children and staged tea parties with dollies and teddy bears, they were able to forget all their troubles and simply be “Mama and Papa”, the roles they loved best. Princess Victoria would later say of her father; “Though he could be very serious at times, he never lost that childlike love of play and when grandchildren began to arrive, he was often to be found lining up toy soldiers with the boys or showing the girls how to paint with watercolours. His favourite activity was to stage egg and spoon races for us which I believe we played one Eastertime and which he enjoyed so much we played at these races forever after. He laughed very loudly when the eggs broke. He liked skittles too but he was sure to always let one of the children win and if we lost and sulked he would say ‘You did not win at this but remember how you won at that?’ and so we were then happy again. He loved the noise of children, something I myself do not, but to him it was like very fine music. It made him smile and I do not remember a moment in his company when I did not feel he was happiest when among his children and grandchildren”.

After two weeks at Bautzen, the royal couple prepared to move on to Rumpenheim. Originally they had wished to spend a quiet month at Neustrelitz with the Queen’s parents but the Duchess of Cambridge had intervened and staged a family reunion at Rumpenheim instead. This posed something of a problem for George and Louise. Grand Duke George and Grand Duchess Marie had longed to see their two granddaughters together for the first time but the King was nervous that the extended family, whom he believed knew nothing of Missy’s deafness, might talk out of turn and that her condition may become public. Initially, he ruled that Missy should stay behind and the King and Queen would return to Gaussig before they went home to England. Queen Louise put her foot down; “Let them talk Georgie”, she insisted, “We have nothing to be ashamed or sorrowful about, Missy is the most perfect child and she shall never be excluded from things”. The King accepted he was being a little overprotective (after all, he had previously expressed that Missy should never be treated any differently to her siblings) and so George and Louise, Missy and Toria, left Gaussig and headed for Rumpenheim with a brief stopover at Hallstadt for lunch at an inn which delighted the Queen when the innkeeper insisted that he knew her husband well - they had once worked in a salt mine together. George couldn't reason with the man so just agreed and said "Yes, it was a very happy time wasn't it?".

Rumpenheim that summer was fit to bust with the sheer number of relatives crowded into its rooms. The guest list reads as a Who’s Who of the Hesse-Kassel family:
  • Landgrave William and his wife Louise Charlotte (born a Princess of Denmark), uncle to both King George V and Queen Louise
  • Princess Marie Luise and her husband Prince Frederick of Anhalt-Dessau and their three daughters, Marie Luise being William and Louise Charlotte’s eldest daughter and first cousin to both King George V and Queen Louise
  • Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Hesse-Kassel, Landgrave William’s eldest son (known as Frittie) and a first cousin to King George V and Queen Louise, forgiven for his recent bad behaviour on his bachelor's tour of Europe
  • Princess Auguste Sophie of Hesse-Kassel, Landgrave William’s youngest daughter and a first cousin to King George V and Queen Louise
And from the older generation:
  • Prince Friedrich Wilhelm and Prince George Karl, the Hesse-Kassel brothers of George V’s mother Louise and uncles to both King George V and Queen Louise
  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their daughters Augusta and Mary Adelaide, the Duke being the King’s paternal uncle, the Duchess being maternal aunt to both George V and Queen Louise, the Cambridge children being their first cousin
  • Grand Duke George and Grand Duchess Marie of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (the Queen’s parents but Marie was also George V’s maternal aunt) and their children Fritz (Hereditary Grand Duke and the Queen’s brother), Caroline (the Queen’s sister) and Georg August (the Queen’s youngest brother)
In addition to these Hesses and Strelitzes were a small smattering of extended relations from Denmark, most notably Princess Louis Caroline and her husband Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, who brought with them six of their ten children, one of whom was Prince Christian who would later marry Princess Louise of Hesse-Kassel, the pair becoming King Christian IX and Queen Louise of Denmark. [6] It was quite the royal gathering but the atmosphere was deliberately kept informal. Everybody was known by their Christian names or nicknames, there were no bows or curtsies, no titles or styles whatsoever. Every guest was allowed to bring only one or two “essential” servants (a valet and a lady’s maid) which Princess Marie Luise of Anhalt-Dessau insisted was because "we like to live simply when we get together at Rumpenheim". It wasn't all that simple of course. There were still grand dinners, hunting parties and balls. But the entire atmosphere of these occasions could often surprise those who saw it from the outside.

Much was made of how immature the guests behaved. They staged races, they had food fights, Queen Louise even took to skidding along the polished floor of the Great Hall on pillows with the children and her sister Caroline to whoops and hollers of delight from the older relations who watched. The men loved nothing more than to play pranks on each other, spraying each other with water hoses or dumping buckets of sand in each other's beds. These gatherings were held every year from 1840 onwards, though not always at Rumpenheim. Prince William of Hesse (the King's uncle) often staged them at his summer residence in Denmark, the Charlottenlund Palace, until they were permanently relocated to Denmark (taking place at Fredensborg) in 1864 following Prince Christian’s accession as King there the previous year. George V only missed four of them in his lifetime but it was his absence in 1868 which rankled with him forever after; he had been asked to skip a year because in 1867, he and Fritz Strelitz took a royal pastime too far. Guests invited to Fredensborg were asked to sign their names on the window panes with a diamond each year to record their visit but Fritz and Georgie took to scratching in little drawings instead. They began quite innocently enough with the addition of a pig or a dog…until the two men added a sketch of a cat next to the name of the King of Greece and annotated it with the words; “Cat’s bottom, that’s what you are!”. It cast a shadow for days and Queen Louise (of Denmark) felt a stand should be taken the following year. But all was eventually forgiven and forgotten and George V would tease his Greek cousin endlessly by adding little drawings of a cat to the Christmas cards he sent to Athens thereafter. [7]


An 1845 portrait of King George V. He disliked it saying the painting made him appear "as a junior clerk in a bank or town hall".

Amid all the fun at Rumpenheim that summer, a sober moment struck when news came from Berlin that the King of Prussia was dying. Charlie Phipps received an urgent note from London which briefed His Majesty to “follow the course of things as necessary” – in other words, if King Frederick William III died then George was to go to Berlin to pay his respects to the King of Prussia’s successor, Frederick William IV. When Frederick William III died on the 7th of June 1840, a slow trickle of royal relations began to leave Rumpenheim together to journey to Berlin for the funeral. This caused a minor argument between the King and Queen because Louise was concerned they may lose time with Missy before their return to England. She wanted to return with Dolly and the two princesses to Gaussig but the King insisted the girls remain at Rumpenheim with Dolly whilst the King and Queen went on to Berlin. In the end, Grand Duchess Marie resolved the dispute; King Frederick William’s first wife Louise was a Strelitz, the sister of Grand Duke George (Queen Louise’s father). Grand Duchess Marie would take the children to Neustrelitz with her but Louise must accompany the King.

The King and Queen arrived at the Charlottenburg Palace just a day or so after the old King of Prussia had died. Word was sent ahead by Charlie Phipps to see if a uniform might be “borrowed” for the King; he was after all an Honorary Colonel of the 1st Foot Guards Regiment in the Royal Prussian Army. Likewise, insignia of the Order of the Black Eagle (another honour given to George V on his visit to Prussia by the late King Frederick William III in 1834) had to be borrowed so that the King could appear before the new Prussian sovereign suitably attired. Queen Louise meanwhile had to adopt the strict funerary dress expected and spent much of her time in dimly lit salons wearing a long black crepe veil surrounded by the other female relations not allowed to actually take part in the funeral services. Here there was a far more unpleasant reunion. [8]

The Duke and Duchess of Cumberland had lived in Berlin for many years by 1840 and were not only guests at the Prussian court on a regular basis but there were also family ties; the Duchess was a sister-in-law to Frederick William III and the Duke was related through his mother Queen Charlotte who was Frederick William III’s aunt. King George V had not seen his Cumberland relations for years but their recent interactions had not been pleasant ones. Arguments over inheritances and annuities had seen a frosty atmosphere develop between the King and Queen and the Duke and Duchess, the Duchess offering Louise a perfunctory nod before ignoring her for the rest of their time together. The Duke was more bold in his approach. He kept grasping King George V by the arm and saying loudly; “Look at my nephew! Such a fine young man he is, such a fine King he is!”. In a note to his cousin Augusta back at Neustrelitz, George said of Cumberland; “He remains an insufferable donkey's arse and I thank God he shall never live in England again for I could not bear his company with any kind of regularity - she is even worse than you might remember. Prune faced!”.

However, George’s dislike of his aunt and uncle did not extend to his cousin, also called George, who accompanied his father to the King of Prussia’s funeral. Prince George of Cumberland was the same age as King George V but had spent almost his entire life in Germany. The two cousins had only met once or twice in any meaningful way but this marked the first time they met properly as adults. George V wrote to his sister Charlotte Louise back in London; “One cannot help but admire him for he is totally blind but so very stoic about it all. He even joked about it which I thought took tremendous courage. It is so hard to see how those two horrors ever produced such a charming and friendly person and Louise quite agreed with me what a shame it is that we do not see more of him which we undoubtedly would if his parents were not about him, especially Aunt Freddie who is so terribly rude and very ugly now. But I feel Cousin George knows his father is not well-liked because he said, ‘Animosity is not hereditary you know’ and I laughed. I felt he put things very well indeed. I must confess it was a pleasure to be with him”.


Prince George of Cumberland in his later years.

George Cumberland must have impressed the King because he was invited to attend the festivities for the wedding of Princess Charlotte Louise later that year. The two Georges would become great friends in the future and though George’s father was never invited back to England (and diplomatically never mentioned in conversation), the King felt that his cousin was “amiable, reliable and dependable – if he makes a decent marriage, I see no reason why he should not assume some kind of role here in England when the time is right”. Presumably the King meant “when his father is dead and George is Duke of Cumberland” but that is supposition on the author’s part. Nonetheless, when the Duke of Cumberland died in 1851, his son George was offered Royal Lodge at Windsor as a permanent residence. He lived there with his wife and children until his death in 1878, forever on hand as a companion and friend to the King, much loved and respected by the next generation of British royalty. When he died, King George V was bereft and would often sit in the grounds of Royal Lodge weeping for his cousin. [9]

Back in Prussia in June 1840, George and Louise left Berlin and returned for a brief stay at Neustrelitz where they bid farewell once more to Missy. These partings would become the norm for many years but the Princess Royal’s parents did not find them any easier to bear despite their regularity. In later life, Missy would write; “It was very difficult when I was a small child to have these wonderful people arrive and shower me with affection, only for them to leave again. It took some time for me to recognise them as being the people in the portraits in my bedroom which I knew to be of Mama and Papa. But eventually I accepted the situation and came to understand it”. Queen Louise never did. Upon their return to England, she was often to be found in floods of tears and it wasn’t until Princess Charlotte Louise asked for help with her wedding plans that she cheered somewhat and was able to distract herself once more.

The King and Queen returned to a much calmer England. The new government’s budget had passed and the cost of living was decreasing to manageable levels again. George was not particularly happy with the backlash the new Tory peers were receiving but mercifully those opposed directed their ire at Sir James Graham and not at the Crown. In order to deflect this chorus of angry voices, Graham opted to revisit the proposals put forward for the new Palace of Westminster. Like many Tories, he had come to regard the designs adopted as “Melbourne’s Palace” and in an attempt to steer attention away from the bloated House of Lords he had just created, Graham had established a commission (chaired by George Smythe) to reassess the decision made by the Whigs in light of the Great Thames Flood and the damage done to the foundations Barry & Pugin had seen swept away in the surge. In an effort to skew the committee, Graham asked them to choose between three designs; the Barry and Pugin design, the Hopper Design and a design modified by the King’s favourite architect, Decimus Burton. [10]

It was a close-run thing. To the Prime Minister's alarm, the Tories on the committee backed the Burton design – which Graham himself really did not care for. But by a handful of votes, the Whigs and their allies on the committee preserved the Barry and Pugin design as that which should be built and so today the Palace of Westminster stands as anomaly amongst its closest neighbours. In the rebuilding of London following the Great Thames Flood, the King’s patronage of Decimus Burton would not go unnoticed and many wealthy gentlemen followed George’s example. So sprang up all about Westminster new townhouses in a neo-classical design – leaving the poor old Gothic brownstone Palace of Westminster looking somewhat out of place despite its impressiveness. Burton called it; “The rotten tooth” because it stood out so among the clean, crisp white Portland stone of his buildings but he was well compensated for his loss. One such reward was his elevation to a Baronet upon George and Louise’s return to England, a thankyou from Their Majesties now that Hanover House in Broadwindsor was completed and ready for them to use at their leisure.

As the King had planned the previous year, he could now play host to the Royal Family next Christmas at “the Little House”; “I want us all together, Rumpenheim really did refresh my spirits Sunny, it is important we all get together when we can”.

“Yes dear”, Louise agreed, embroidering before the fireplace in the Blue Closet, “It will seem strange without Lottie this year”

The King misheard her.

“Yes, she was missed wasn’t she?”, he said, “Still, she had more important things to do”. There was a trace of a sulk.

“No Georgie”, the Queen corrected, “I mean that she will not be with us at Christmas”

“Why do you say that?”

The Queen lowered her embroidery and sighed.

“Oh my darling”, she said wistfully, “Will you ever look beyond tomorrow?”

[1] In the OTL, the Duchess of Buccleuch became great friends with Queen Victoria, the pair being of similar age.

[2] These members of the Cambridges' Household are based on their real counterparts here: 40 Household of Adolphus.pdf

[3] This liaison between George Cambridge and Lady Augusta did happen in the OTL but I've butterflied the dates a little to include it in this chapter. Also, the Orde 'flogging' business did happen in the OTL as described here and he did marry (and then abandon) Lady Elizabeth. The rest of this paragraph is of my own invention of course as in the OTL, we didn't have the same George IV who took a Somerset mistress.

[4] In the OTL, George Cambridge eventually married an actress...

[5] Again, OTL inspired but events slightly skewed for our purposes.

[6] King Christian IX, Queen Louise and their children will remain the same in TTL as in the OTL, though some marriages will be different.

[7] Inspired by an anecdote told by Queen Margrethe II who still asks guests to sign their names on the window panes at Fredensborg. The "Cat's Bottom" can be found on these windows and is Queen Margrethe's favourite to show visitors - though I can't recall who was the original target!

[8] For more on George's Prussian honours, see here:

[9] Butterflies because George of Cumberland was not King of Hanover in TTL.

[10] See here for more information:
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[9] Butterflies because George of Cumberland was not King of Hanover in TTL.
Knock-on! (not butterfly) Utterly and absolutely predictable consequence, not random variation.

BTW, one would think that in the course of a tour through France, Netherlands, and northern Germany, George would pay a ceremonial visit to his subjects in Hanover. They're used to not seeing the King who stays in Britain. But that he should pass right by would seem rather a snub.
But it wasn't planned as a tour, the French visit was the full intent, until Victoria learned of the visit and their trip to see her was supposed to be anonymous under their aliases Mr and Mrs King and then they got dragged to Rumpenheim because they'd been to see Victoria so they couldn't very well reject an invite there, and then Frederick died, so they got hauled off to Berlin for his funeral, it all rather snowballed and Parliament were already resistant to the fact George would have been out of Britain for two months, more with the funeral, so they wouldn't have sanctioned a visit to Hanover which, after all, has a Viceroy.
Knock-on! (not butterfly) Utterly and absolutely predictable consequence, not random variation.

BTW, one would think that in the course of a tour through France, Netherlands, and northern Germany, George would pay a ceremonial visit to his subjects in Hanover. They're used to not seeing the King who stays in Britain. But that he should pass right by would seem rather a snub.
But it wasn't planned as a tour, the French visit was the full intent, until Victoria learned of the visit and their trip to see her was supposed to be anonymous under their aliases Mr and Mrs King and then they got dragged to Rumpenheim because they'd been to see Victoria so they couldn't very well reject an invite there, and then Frederick died, so they got hauled off to Berlin for his funeral, it all rather snowballed and Parliament were already resistant to the fact George would have been out of Britain for two months, more with the funeral, so they wouldn't have sanctioned a visit to Hanover which, after all, has a Viceroy.
Very much this but it will not go unnoticed by the people of Hanover that their King passed them by on this trip.

Will Victoria have more children than the one daughter she currently has?
Yes but she won't have nearly as many as she had with Albert as the dynamic of her marriage is very different here.
I think you mean Caroline - Auguste is her cousin.
Corrected, thank you for pointing this out for me.

On a personal note, my father died on Thursday evening. It's all come as a huge shock and so I'm taking things very much on an hour by hour basis.

At the moment, disappearing to 1840s England seems the perfect way of keeping busy and offers me a much-needed distraction when things get a little too intense. So I don't think I will delay any instalments but if there is radio silence for a few days, I'm sure you will all understand why.
I'm genuinely sorry to hear of your loss. I lost my grandmother last year so I know how much it can be an okay one moment, and not the next, sort of thing.

If you did need to take a break, you are right, we would all understand.