King George V
Part Three, Chapter Eleven: Ripples
The King returned from the Netherlands to a snow-blanketed London, his carriage cutting tracks through its thick white blanket as it clattered its way to Buckingham Palace. After an unpleasant stay with his cousin, the Princess of Orange, at Het Loo, George V was relieved to be home once more and despite the difficulties at Apeldoorn, he was much buoyed by his time at Neustrelitz – especially his reunion with his sister, the Tsarevna of Russia. In a letter to the Dowager Duchess of Orléans sent from Buckingham Palace two days after his return to England, the King wrote, “I had greatly feared the season as it approached, and I confess I cannot yet comprehend the forthcoming anniversary in February without pangs of dread, yet all was made so very jolly at Neustrelitz that it was a great relief to me” . Duchess Hélène had sent the King a gift as a token of her thanks for his recent courtesy call to her in Paris following the death of her husband (“a fine album of lithographs of the family”) and in his thankyou note, he added; “I can only hope you were as well supported as I for so much kindness was shown to me that I have returned home feeling far more able to face the year ahead which shall be a happy one for my family as my dear cousin Augusta is to be married in June”.
Augusta’s marriage was to take place in June and would see the Royal Family assemble at the newly installed Chapel Royal at Buckingham Palace to see her wed the Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Because the marriage was to take place in England, and because the Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Augusta herself were in Germany, the King handed over most of the arrangements to his aunt, Princess Mary, who simply modelled the event after her own wedding in 1816. The Cambridges were consulted on none of the arrangements, neither were the Strelitzes, and Grand Duchess Marie and her sister the Duchess of Cambridge were slightly put out to find invitations dispatched to the guests for a date they had not agreed and in a venue which might not have been their first choice. Nonetheless, on one thing all were agreed; no invitation would be sent to the King’s mother at Kew to attend despite the fact that she was aunt to both bride and groom. However, George V took everybody by surprise when he suggested that if his Aunt Marie and Aunt Augusta wished to pay a private call on the Dowager Queen at Kew, he would not object provided that they stay no longer than an hour. Marie and Augusta wrote to Louise asking when they might visit but they received no reply.
Following her wedding, Princess Augusta would move permanently to Neustrelitz but there was one matter to be settled ahead of the happy event: her annuity. As a Princess of the Blood Royal, Augusta was entitled to receive a dowry and some form of income which would be secured by an act of parliament. Augusta could not expect anything near the generous sums given to her cousin Charlotte Louise when she married and indeed, she was to receive even less than her cousin Victoria (of Orange) too. The King proposed that Augusta should receive £5,000 as a dowry and that she should be paid £2,500 every two years until the death of the Duke of Cambridge in which case she would receive £7,500 every four years . The government had prepared much lower figures but it appeared that her brother’s loss was Augusta’s gain, indeed, perhaps the King inflated the sums to send a message to Erfurt as to what might have been. Regardless of this, Sir James Graham agreed that the sums were reasonable and he foresaw no difficulties in securing the act of parliament that would provide Augusta with both a dowry and a private income for life. The King’s own wedding present to the couple, beyond the tiara which had already been given as an engagement gift, was the use of an apartment at Marlborough House, a property now shared once more with the Earl of Armagh and Princess Sophia already in residence.
A young Augusta of Cambridge, later Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.
It seemed that marriage fever was in the air as just a week later, the Earl of Armagh requested an audience with the King. Though he had missed the gathering at Neustrelitz and a much-longed for reunion with Princess Auguste, absence had made the heart grow fonder – and more determined – and Prince George was now resolved to taking the plunge and asking for Auguste’s hand in marriage. The King was delighted of course and he could not help but feel he had one-upped his aunt Louise Charlotte. Whilst the Princess of Hesse-Kassel had insisted on a long engagement with a wedding taking place no sooner than October 1843 when the Princess turned 20, George’s delays and Augusta Cambridge’s wedding meant that an engagement would now most likely be announced after June with a ceremony taking place just a few months later in October, as Princess Louise Charlotte had originally demanded but with none of the obligation met other than by circumstance. The King gave his consent willingly and promised he would speak to the Prime Minister about the practicalities of another act of parliament being introduced to secure Prince George’s annuity. But this request was not so favourably received in Downing Street.
When it came to royal finances, the Cumberland name was certain to ruffle feathers. In the past, parliament had become used to hearing constant complaints from the benches in the Lords from the much-despised Duke of Cumberland that he was not receiving what he should. In 1826, the Duke submitted a request that his annuity (£18,000 a year) should be increased by £5,000 because he could not afford to pay for his son’s education. Parliament was torn on the issue and ultimately settled on a compromise; Cumberland could have an additional £2,500 a year on the understanding that Prince George must live in England if the Duke was receive the money. The Cumberlands agreed and came back to Britain but just two years later, Ernest Augustus became embroiled in a plot to oust his elder brother as regent for King George V and install himself in the post instead. When the plot collapsed, Cumberland was humiliated and he was forced into self-imposed exile in Germany with his wife and son. The £2,500 increase was removed under the terms of the 1826 agreement and thereafter, Cumberland would consistently petition for more money. It never came and in fact, his annuity was decreased
as the years went by. 
But in 1840, the Duke’s son was rehabilitated as a member of the British Royal Family by virtue of the fact that his cousin, the King, greatly liked Prince George. The two became firm friends and confidants and as we have seen, George V took a keen interest in his cousin’s prospects. He even created him Ranger of Busy Park (with an annuity of £5,000) so that he might have a private income and a house of his own in England but the fact remained that to many, Prince George of Cumberland was something of a stranger. Because he was blind (some sources say by as much as 80%), his opportunities to take on a more public role as a member of the Royal Family were considered to be much reduced and as such, he did not undertake official duties on behalf of the Crown . The Prime Minister was personally fond of George Cumberland but he felt there was likely to be strong opposition to granting him an annuity before his marriage – indeed, there was potential for the Commons to reopen old wounds to deprive the Prince’s father of what remained of his own allowance. Graham explained this to the King as sensitively as he could and to his credit, the King sympathised.
In a world where Royal Families are expected to “slim down” their number to suit a modern concept of monarchy, it may seem strange that in 1843, the British Royal Family were actually facing something of a staff shortage. It must be remembered that at this time, the monarchy was not expected to be seen in public as often as it is now – yet, arguably George V and Queen Louise raised that expectation because they were content to make more regular appearances than had been seen in previous reigns. The King had returned to a full programme of royal duties and had a busy three-month programme scheduled which included several public ceremonies connected with the upcoming state visit of the King and Queen of Prussia. For other events, Princess Mary was called upon to deputise. Until the Christmas of 1842, the Duke of Sussex was often asked to pitch in too, though he was considered to have retired some time before for reasons we have previously explored. But when George V returned from his winter holiday, there was worrying news concerning his uncle that suggested Sussex may not be around to pitch in for much longer.
The Duke of Sussex was fast approaching his 70th birthday and the King wished to do something special to celebrate the occasion. But when he wrote to the Duke’s wife asking for her advice on what he might like, she was forced to betray a confidence. Though he wished to suffer in silence, Sussex had been diagnosed with erysipelas, a form of cellulitis which was common at the time because of poor standards of hygiene and which allowed the bacteria which caused the disease to spread quite easily. In advanced cases, the patient faced the agony of red, painful blisters all over the skin which could lead to necrosis and lymphedema. In the days before antibiotics, erysipelas was recurrent and often fatal as it gave rise to open wounds which quickly became infected and could not be treated. His doctors feared that the Duke of Sussex would not recover and that he potentially had only two months, three at the outside, to live. The King was shocked to hear that his uncle was so unwell and immediately asked his private secretary to arrange a visit to Sussex House by the end of that week. In truth, the King had been avoiding the Sussexes for months and now he felt guilty that he had done so.
But the King had a good reason for not wanting to visit his uncle. In the aftermath of George Cambridge’s decision to marry Franziska Fritz the previous year, the King’s most senior legal advisor (Sir Frederick Pollock) had cast doubt on the validity of the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s marriage and in informal discussions on what might be done to resolve this, the King had been warned that the situation would not be as easily remedied as he might have presumed. Though the King had indicated his willingness to grant his consent to the Sussex marriage, Pollock disagreed with his predecessor as Attorney General that this was enough to validate it. In his view, the King had only given the nod to the Privy Council to issue an Order-in-Council which any member of the Royal Family was entitled to apply for under the terms of the Royal Marriages Act of 1772 providing they were over the age of 25. So long as parliament raised no objection, the marriage would
be valid. But this applied only to marriages which were yet to take place, not to marriages which had already taken place and which were, under the same terms, invalid at the moment they were contracted. In the case of the Sussexes therefore, the situation remained that both ceremonies the couple had undergone did not conclude in a valid and legal marriage and though consent would
be given, it had not been
given because no application was made for it before the second wedding took place in Pillnitz.
However, Pollock had raised another matter concerning the Sussex marriage which seemed even more prudent now than it had a few months earlier. It was expected that when the Duke died, he would leave his entire fortune (estimated at £80,000) to his wife. The King had given a personal assurance that he would arrange an annuity for the Duchess of £5,000, a far cry from the £18,000 a year the Duke received but quite reasonable for a wealthy dowager. Sussex House was leased from the Crown and would be renewed for the remainder of the Duchess’ lifetime. But there was a problem. Before he married Lady Cecilia Underwood in 1831, the Duke had attempted to marry somebody else. In 1793, he “married” Lady Augusta Murray in Rome. Like his second marriage, this was invalid under the terms of the Royal Marriages Act of 1772 but King George III insisted that the Court of Arches declare it annulled just in case it had any legal validity elsewhere because in that same year, Lady Augusta gave birth to a son. He was named Augustus Frederick for his father and given the surname d’Este, because both his mother and father could claim descent from the royal house of that name. Nonetheless, the Duke of Sussex continued to live with Lady Augusta and in 1801, she gave birth to a daughter who was named Augusta Emma. Months later, the Duke of Sussex abandoned Augusta Murray and considered he had never been married to her at all.
That being said, the Duke acted honourably and provided £4,000 a year to Lady Augusta for the purpose of providing for their two children. When Augusta died in 1830, Sussex continued to honour his financial commitment (though his children were now adults) and paid each of the d’Estes £2,000 a year from his own annuity. In 1831 he married Lady Cecilia Underwood but in doing so, he unwittingly set in motion the makings of a right royal headache. In the marriage register, he listed himself as a widower and not a bachelor. This did not matter too much in 1831 because his second marriage, like his first, was considered invalid anyway. But when the King sought to recognise this second marriage, Pollock believed he had contributed to a future difficulty specifically concerning Augustus d’Este.
The Duke of Sussex’s children lived together at Mount Albion House on the East Cliff of Ramsgate. They were estranged from the Duke but continued to rely on his money to survive. Curiously, Augustus d’Este is the earliest recorded person for whom a definite diagnosis of multiple sclerosis can be made and he charted the progress of his disease in his diaries which were later used as a basis for further research into the condition. He was therefore considered an invalid, well provided for by his annuity from his father, but unable to engage in any profession and further supplement his income. When the Duke died the d’Estes would be left with nothing and in their unique circumstances, they may lose everything. It was entirely possible that Augustus d’Este may therefore mount a legal challenge to the Sussex estate to get what he considered was rightfully his – a task made easier for him if he could prove that the Duchess of Sussex was not his father’s wife at all, though not a guaranteed outcome as he himself was declared illegitimate.
But if the King validated the second Sussex marriage, an argument could be made that he had recognised “the moral and religious effects of whatever has taken place, regardless of the legal effects of the first marriage contracted” and that “There shall be an effort made on the behalf of Mr d’Este to assert that the first marriage was valid in Ireland and in Hanover and that, consequently, the aforementioned illegitimate son of the His Royal Highness may have serious claim to the Sussex peerage on these grounds”. Pollock was relatively sure that the Committee of Privileges of the House of Lords would not find in d’Este’s favour but he urged the King to think very seriously about the consequences of trying to use the vaguer parts of the Royal Marriages Act to retroactively recognise the second Sussex marriage. In his view, it would be far simpler (and safer) to simply grant consent ahead of a third ceremony which could then standalone legally and would reduce the risk of the first Sussex marriage ever being used in d’Este’s favour – though even this could have undesirable consequences later on. 
When the King arrived at Sussex House in the second week of January 1843, he was understandably nervous “for how does one tell a dying man that the thing which sustains him most may not in fact be the solid foundation of his life he believes it to be?”. Upon entering the Duke’s bedroom, George V was “rocked to the core to see the poor old man who was brilliant red in the face and clearly in much distress – the little Duchess tended him most devotedly throughout and gave me tea in a separate room when Uncle Sussex drifted off to sleep for a time”.
It was to the Duchess that the King explained the difficulties of the situation and in his journal, the King pays tribute to her “stoicism and calmness for she took all of Pollock’s assessment very well and said she would discuss it with my poor uncle at the appropriate time”. The following day when the King was walking in the grounds of the Palace, Phipps brought him a letter from his uncle which asked formal permission for the King’s consent to marry Cecilia Underwood for a third and final time. The Sussexes would ask the Dean of Windsor to conduct the ceremony quietly at their London home and would draw no more attention to the wedding than to invite the required witnesses, if consent was given, and if a special license could be obtained in time. When the King read the letter, he “was most moved and shed a tear”.
“Of course he may have my consent Charlie”, the King said quietly, “And will you be so kind as to find out the date on which this ceremony will take place. If my uncle is willing and agreeable to it, I should like to stand witness myself”.
On the 27th of January 1843, the Duke of Sussex’s 70th birthday, in the drawing room of Sussex House, the King and Charlie Phipps stood as witnesses to the third, final and valid marriage of the Duke of Sussex and Cecilia Underwood. The Duke was propped up in a chair for the ceremony and vows were exchanged after which the Dean of Windsor looked on as the King personally signed the register as required. When the Attorney General heard what had transpired, he rolled his eyes and remarked; “A most generous act. But possibly a most foolish one too”. By allowing (albeit in a well-intentioned gesture) the Sussexes to marry with his consent the King had unwittingly given Augustus d’Este what he needed to mount a case to the House of Lords in the future which otherwise may have been considered easily resolved against the petitioner. But in Germany, the former Prince George of Cambridge heard the news with great interest too.
The Duke of Sussex
Around this time, Cambridge was desperately trying to bring his own legal case against his father-in-law for the remaining sum of money left to Franziska Fritz by her uncle, the Bishop of Hildesheim, which had been held in trust for her until she came of age – or married. But Fritz's father insisted his daughter was not married because the King had ruled the marriage invalid and thus, he could keep the trust and spend the money as he liked. Not that there was much left. The case would have to be heard in Hanover and this initially made the Earl of Tipperary reluctant to bring it forward but as his finances became strained, he had little choice but to press on. But now there was something new to consider; had a new precedent been set? If the Duke of Sussex could marry with consent to a commoner and retain his royal style and title, why then was the same consent being denied to George Cambridge? Little did the King know it but at Erfurt, a storm was brewing. 
In their weekly audience, the Prime Minister raised no objection to the King’s validation of the Duke of Sussex’s marriage whatsoever. As far as he was concerned, the Sussexes had lived as husband and wife without consequence and if there had been a legal oversight in the way the marriage was validated, it made perfect sense for it to be rectified – especially in light of the fact that the Duke was dying and that nobody wished to see the Duchess of Sussex robbed of reasonable provision for her impending widowhood. But Pollock had been to see Sir James Graham and had shared with him his worries on what this might mean for the d’Estes – and though he did not reference George Cambridge by name, he raised the prospect that the King may have created a new precedent which could give grounds for further legal challenges. Pollock’s view remained unchanged that the King had acted within the framework of the existing legislation on Royal Marriages. He had simply given consent to one and withheld it from another as was his right. This was the view the Prime Minister and the Cabinet would take too.
Meanwhile, the King gave serious consideration to the issue of Prince George of Cumberland’s future annuity and believed he had found a solution. He was well aware that the demands on the Royal Family to make public appearances were growing and that he could not meet that demand until his children were much older. At first, he considered asking Princess Augusta and her new husband to live in England for a time after their marriage to help shoulder the workload but Grand Duke George was totally opposed to this. As much as he adored his son-in-law, the people expected their Hereditary Grand Duke and his new bride to make their new life in Neustrelitz, not in London. Then, George V decided that the obvious solution was to ask Prince George to begin carrying out a limited series of public engagements. The King accepted that he could not expect the Prince to adopt too much, his sight would always be a barrier to that. But it would at least give some justification to the impending request for an annuity and besides, the King wanted his cousin to play a part in the monarchy, ably assisted in the future by his wife and children. Prince George’s first public appearance therefore was scheduled for the 25th of March 1843 and would see the Earl of Armagh head to Rotherhithe where he would attend the opening of the new Thames Tunnel, the first ever to be constructed successfully under a navigable river and the brainchild of Marc Brunel and his son, Isambard. But before this public debut, Prince George would have an opportunity to dip his toe in the water before a large crowd.
The State Visit of the King and Queen of Prussia was to take place in the first week of March and would be accompanied by plenty of public ceremonial. George V had relented on earlier plans to scrap most of this and therefore it was decided that the King, Princess Mary, the Earl of Armagh and the Duchess of Sussex would welcome the Prussians at St Katharine Dock and accompany Their Majesties to the Palace in a grand carriage procession. However, if the Earl of Armagh was nervous about his role at the forthcoming state visit, that was nothing compared to the worries which had overtaken the Foreign Office. Lord Betchworth had been in constant meetings with the Envoy Extraordinary to the United Kingdom, Baron von Bunsen, ahead of King Frederick William IV’s visit which was ostensibly being held to reaffirm Anglo-Prussian co-operation but was really a very grand backdrop to discuss the pounds, shilling and pence of a massive free trade agreement that the British wished to conclude with the Prussian government. But a similar trade agreement was also being negotiated with Spain and it was Spanish affairs which became the focus of Baron von Bunsen’s pre-state visit audiences with the Foreign Secretary.
In 1815, Austria, Prussia and Russia formed the so-called Holy Alliance. This agreement was forged to uphold the absolutist cause in Europe and to maintain Christian values in Europe’s politics. It was eagerly adopted by Russia, Prussia and Austria and whilst other nations were initially wary, by 1825 almost every European ruler had endorsed the Alliance with the notable exceptions of the Ottoman Sultan, the Pope and King George IV. In his view, the Holy Alliance was “mystical nonsense” and his government wholeheartedly agreed. Some in Britain hoped that the Alliance would collapse when Tsar Alexander I died, after all, he had been the great mastermind behind it in the first place – inspired and encouraged by a Russian spiritualist. Eventually, this would come to pass and most look back today on the Alliance as just a scrap of paper that had no real impact on the Concert of Europe at all – yet that scrap of paper did have consequences in one corner of Europe which threatened to present a continental crisis in 1843.
Twenty years earlier, the Holy Alliance still very much intact, King Louis XVIII mobilised the French army to assist Spanish Royalists in restoring King Ferdinand VII to his throne. Ferdinand’s journey to the Spanish Crown had been a chaotic one and is too complex to explore in any detail here but in 1823, a Hundred Thousand Sons of Saint Louis (actually it was nearer 60,000) marched into Spain, smashed the liberal partisans of the Cortes and restored King Ferdinand as King. This solved Ferdinand’s immediate problem but replaced it with another. Despite four marriages, he had been unable to secure the succession with a male child and so he did what any King might do in his position and declared a change. The Pragmatic Sanction of 1830 settled the Crown of Spain on Ferdinand’s eldest daughter Isabella and removed Ferdinand’s brother Carlos, Count of Molina, as the next in the line of succession under Salic Law. Needless to say, the Count of Molina was none too pleased with this arrangement but just the same, in 1833 Ferdinand died and his daughter was proclaimed Queen Isabella II at the age of just three years old.
The infant Queen Isabella II of Spain.
The regency which followed was turbulent to say the least. Supporters of the Count of Molina, known as the Carlists, proclaimed him King Carlos V and civil war quickly erupted. This time, the French position was somewhat different. King Louis Philippe joined Britain and Portugal in endorsing Queen Isabella against the Carlists (though many in the British Foreign Office had concerns that he secretly favoured the Carlists over Isabella) . The Carlist War continued until 1840 when General Baldomero Espartero conquered Morella and Cabrera in Catalonia. The war was over, the Carlists had lost and suddenly, every European power was insistent that it had always backed Queen Isabella in the civil war even if they had not done much to show it. Espartero was rewarded for his loyalty by being made Regent for the minor Queen Isabella II and under his progressive leadership, he forged new relations with his neighbours which in Britain’s case, included the aforementioned trade deal which was still under negotiation. But by 1843, it seemed Espartero’s time had run out.
A conservative General, Ramón María Narváez, was plotting to oust Espartero in a military coup that would see Queen Isabella declared to have reached the age of majority and therefore able to replace the progressive government of Spain with a more conservative regime. In terms of trade agreements, this made Prussia more likely to gain than the British but yet Baron von Bunsen had very serious concerns, as did many in Berlin, that this military coup may trigger a second civil war in Spain and if it did, the Prussians feared that King Louis Philippe may feel the need to intervene militarily . Lord Betchworth assured von Bunsen that this was nothing more than pessimistic speculation. Whilst a conservative government in Spain might mean difficulties for France and Britain economically (Narváez being likely to want to renegotiate existing and pending trade agreements), the two countries had only been so vocal in their support of Queen Isabella in the past because both had endorsed the Pragmatic Sanction of 1830. So long as Narváez did not seek to remove Isabella as Queen of Spain, both countries had absolutely no motivation to go further than that.
Indeed, the only way the situation in Spain could cause conflict between the Great Powers, Betchworth observed, was if Prussia (or any other nation for the matter) supported Narváez if he did
seek to remove Queen Isabella. It was agreed that the Spanish Question should be dropped entirely from the agenda between Foreign Ministers when King Frederick William IV visited England. In his report to Berlin, von Bunsen said “The Betchworth Promise is that Britain shall not intervene in any way provided Isabella remain Queen of Spain - and that the King of the French is of similar mind” but in Betchworth’s audience with King George V, the Foreign Secretary said that he had an assurance from the Prussians that they did not seek to intervene in Spanish affairs because they were committed to supporting Queen Isabella just as much as the British and the French. The King read Betchworth's accompanying report (deeming it "worthy of continued consideration") with great interest but had little time to dwell on the Spanish Question as the Royal Family prepared to welcome the King and Queen of Prussia to London. On the 5th of March 1842, Frederick William IV and his wife Elizabeth Ludovika were received at Buckingham Palace where they were treated to a sumptuous state banquet - and the Spanish Question was ignored entirely.
George V awarded his Prussian counterpart the Order of the Garter whilst Frederick William returned the favour by creating George V a Knight 1st Class of the Order of the Red Eagle in addition to the Order of the Black Eagle which George had already received in 1834. Prince George of Cumberland received the same honour of the Red Eagle as King George whilst Princess Mary and the Duchess of Sussex received the Order of Louise (Mary being granted the rank of Dame, Special Class but Cecilia reduced one rung down as a Dame, 1st Class). Gifts were exchanged and the King and Queen of Prussia presented George V with a remarkably beautiful 17th century German turret clock in brass and gilt. This can be seen in later photographs of the King at work in his study at the Augusta Tower at Windsor where it was always placed on his desk and which he swore kept better time than any other clock he owned – of which there were hundreds. Indeed, so adamant of this was the King that by 1846, the order was given that the Palace clockmakers should set every other clock in every royal residence by the Prussian Turret Clock, a tradition that was kept for decades and nicknamed 'Prussian Time' by courtiers as the clock was nowhere near as accurate as the King believed. Those expected at the Palace were therefore advised to wind their watches 15 minutes fast to avoid being late and to accommodate the new Prussian Time.
The Prussian Turret Clock.
Some time later, King Frederick William IV said of King George V, “It would be very foolish to underestimate the King of England [sic] for out of all of us, I believe it is he who is possibly the most loved and respected by his people. In all things he is amiable but he is also practical and capable. It is my considered opinion that in time, he shall prove himself either a great friend to our country or a very formidable foe and we would do well to cement strong ties between our Kingdoms to prevent the latter”. Queen Elizabeth felt likewise and wrote to her sister Archduchess Sophie of Austria; “We discussed the future of George England amongst ourselves on our return for though he is very recently widowed, it surely cannot be too long before he considers taking another bride – he is a young man and young men are always in need of a wife, and he also has those three dear little children who are also in need a mother. We might consider that in the near future, though admittedly we have little to offer directly”.
George V almost broached this subject himself in a letter to Prince Alexander of Prussia. Alexander had written to offer support as the King faced the first anniversary of his wife’s death and though Alexander did not mention the possibility of George ever marrying again, he offered the following observation: “I have been able to bear this horrid anniversary for I have been kept so very busy – though not always on themes I might enjoy – and though I still ache for Sunny’s presence, I find that it is my work which fills the void she has left – I expect it shall always be thus”.
 The first anniversary of the death of Queen Louise.
 The OTL sums were much lower because it was expected that parliament would have to pay out for three Cambridge children. In the event, George Cambridge's annuity wasn't settled until 1850 when his father died and Princess Mary Adelaide's annuity came as a surprise because nobody ever thought she would actually find a husband - Mary Adelaide's actually proved to be the most generous of all three annuities.
 Here the Cumberland finances are different because of our TTL so far but mostly because he never became King of Hanover in 1837 and so had need of a continued annuity.
 This almost marries up with the situation of the OTL around this time when many were wondering if George Cumberland's blindness would prove a hinderance - or even a total barrier - to his future as King of Hanover. But George was able to carry out public appearances (provided he had assistance from a discrete equerry) and proved himself quite able despite his disability.
 This was actually the advice given to the OTL Queen Victoria by Lord Melbourne when she sought to do exactly what George V has tried to do in our TTL.
 More of Lord Melbourne's advice here!
 This became of increasing concern to Palmerston in fact who openly accused Louis Philippe of being disingenuous in the OTL.
 The reaction to the early-1843 situation in Spain here is modelled on the reports given to Queen Victoria by Robert Peel in the OTL which she documents pretty extensively in her journals.
Just as a heads up, I know that February 1843 gave us the Paulet Affair and it will feature in TTL (some of you specifically asked a while back if it would) but obviously the news from Honolulu would take some to reach England so here it's delayed until the next instalment.