Prince Adolphus Frederick, Adolphus Frederick, Duke of Cambridge
Date of birth
Date of death
Jul 08, 1850London
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
George IV of the United KingdomWilliam IV of the United KingdomPrince Edward AugustusDuke of Kent and StrathearnErnest Augustus I of HanoverPrince Octavius of Great BritainPrince FrederickDuke of York and AlbanyPrince Alfred of Great BritainPrince Augustus FrederickDuke of Sussex
Prince GeorgeDuke of CambridgePrincess Augusta of CambridgePrincess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge
Princess Elizabeth of the United KingdomPrincess MaryDuchess of Gloucester and EdinburghPrincess Augusta Sophia of the United KingdomPrincess Sophia of the United KingdomPrincess Amelia of the United KingdomCharlottePrincess Royal
The Prince Adolphus, 1st Duke of Cambridge, KG, GCB, GCMG, GCH, PC (Adolphus Frederick; 24 February 1774 – 8 July 1850) was the 10th child and 7th son of George III and Queen Charlotte. He held the title of Duke of Cambridge from 1801 until his death. He also served as Viceroy of Hanover on behalf of his brothers George IV and William IV. He was the great-great-grandfather of the current monarch, Elizabeth II.
Prince Adolphus was born in February 1774 at Buckingham House, then known as the "Queen's House", in the City and Liberty of Westminster, now within Greater London. He was the youngest son of George and Charlotte to survive childhood.
On 24 March 1774, the young prince was christened in the Great Council Chamber at St James's Palace by Frederick Cornwallis, Archbishop of Canterbury. His godparents were Prince John Adolphus of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (his great-uncle, for whom the Earl of Hertford, Lord Chamberlain, stood proxy), Landgrave Charles of Hesse-Kassel (his first cousin once-removed, for whom the Earl of Jersey, Extra Lord of the Bedchamber, stood proxy) and Princess Wilhelmina of Orange (the wife of his first cousin once-removed, for whom Elizabeth Howard, Dowager Countess of Effingham, former Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Charlotte, stood proxy).
He was tutored at home until summer 1786, when he was sent to the University of Göttingen in Germany, along with his brothers Prince Ernest (created Duke of Cumberland in 1799) and Prince Augustus (created Duke of Sussex in 1801).
Prince Adolphus aged four, with his two younger sisters Mary and Sophia in 1778
He was made honorary Colonel-in-Chief of the Hanoverian Guard Foot Regiment 1789–1803, but his military training began in 1791, when he and Prince Ernest went to Hanover to study under the supervision of the Hanoverian commander Field Marshal Wilhelm von Freytag. He remained on Freytag's staff during the Flanders Campaign in 1793. His first taste of action was at Famars on 23 May. He was wounded and captured at the Battle of Hondschoote 6 September, but was quickly rescued. As a Hanovarian General-Major, he commanded a Hessian brigade under his paternal great-uncle, General Johann Ludwig von Wallmoden-Gimborn in Autumn 1794, then commanded the Hanovarian Guards during the retreat through Holland. Remaining in Germany, he commanded a brigade of the Corps of Observation, 22 October 1796 – 12 January 1798. He was made a British army colonel in 1794, and lieutenant general 24 August 1798. In 1800 – stationed in the Electorate of Hanover – he attended the founding of a village (part of the settlement of the moorlands north of Bremen), which was named for him: Adolphsdorf (since 1974 a component locality of Grasberg).
During the War of the Second Coalition against France (1799–1802), he traveled to Berlin in 1801, in order to prevent the impending Prussian occupation of the Electorate. France demanded it, as it was stipulated in the Peace of Basel (1795), obliging Prussia to ensure the Holy Roman Empire's neutrality in all the latter's territories north of the demarcation line at the river Main, including Hanover. Regular Hanoverian troops, therefore, had been commandeered to join the multilateral so-called "Demarcation Army." His efforts were in vain. In 1803, he was senior army commander, and replaced Wallmoden as commander on the Weser on 1 June. With the advance of French forces on one side and 24,000 Prussian soldiers on the other, the situation was hopeless. Cambridge refused to become involved in discussions of capitulation, handed over his command to Hammerstein (Ompteda claims he was forced to resign ), and withdrew to England. A plan to recruit additional soldiers in Hanover to be commanded by the Prince had also failed.
In 1803, he was appointed as commander-in-chief of the newly founded King's German Legion, and in 1813, he became field marshal. George III appointed Prince Adolphus a Knight of the Garter on 6 June 1786, and created him Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Tipperary, and Baron Culloden on 17 November 1801.
The Duke served as colonel-in-chief of the Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards (Coldstream Guards after 1855) from September 1805, and as colonel-in-chief of the 60th (The Duke of York's Own Rifle Corps) Regiment of Foot from January 1824. After the collapse of Napoleon's empire, he was Military Governor of Hanover from 4 November 1813 – 24 October 1816, then Governor General of Hanover from 24 October 1816 – 20 June 1837 (viceroy from 22 February 1831). He was made Field Marshal 26 November 1813. While he was Viceroy, the Duke became patron of the Cambridge-Dragoner ("Cambridge Dragoons") Regiment of the
Hanoverian army. This regiment was stationed in Celle, and their barracks, the Cambridge-Dragoner Kaserne, were used by the Bundeswehr until 1995. The "March of the Hannoversches Cambridge-Dragoner-Regiment" is part of the Bundeswehr's traditional music repertoire.
After the death of Princess Charlotte in 1817, the Duke was set the task of finding a bride for his eldest unmarried brother, the Duke of Clarence (later William IV), in the hope of securing heirs to the throne—Charlotte had been the only legitimate grandchild of George III, despite the fact that the King had twelve surviving children. After several false starts, the Duke of Clarence settled on Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen. The way was cleared for the Duke of Cambridge to find a bride for himself.
The Duke of Cambridge was married first at Kassel, Hesse on 7 May and then at Buckingham Palace on 1 June 1818 to his second cousin Augusta (25 July 1797 – 6 April 1889), the third daughter of Prince Frederick of Hesse.
He was, as is shown in the list of issue below, the maternal grandfather of Mary of Teck, consort of George V. Thus Adolphus was the great-great-grandfather of the present British monarch, Elizabeth II.
From 1816 to 1837, the Duke of Cambridge served as viceroy of the Kingdom of Hanover on behalf of his elder brothers, George IV and later William IV. When his niece, Queen Victoria succeeded to the British throne on 20 June 1837, the 22-year union of the crowns the United Kingdom and Hanover ended, due to Hanover being under Salic Law. The Duke of Cumberland became King Ernest Augustus I of Hanover and the Duke of Cambridge returned to Britain.
The Duke of Cambridge died on 8 July 1850 at Cambridge House, Piccadilly, London, and was buried at St Anne's Church, Kew. His remains were later removed to St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. His only son, Prince George, succeeded to his peerages.
Titles, styles, honours and arms
Coat of Arms of Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, used from 1801 until his death.
Titles and styles
24 February 1774 – 17 November 1801: His Royal Highness The Prince Adolphus
17 November 1801 – 8 July 1850: His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge
His full style at death was Field Marshal His Royal Highness The Prince Adolphus Frederick, Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Tipperary, Baron Culloden, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Member of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Military Order of the Bath, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Guelphic Order
KG: Knight of the Garter, 6 June 1786
GCB: Knight Grand Cross of the Bath, 2 January 1815
GCMG: Knight Grand Cross of St Michael and St George, 20 June 1825 - later Grand Master of the Order
PC: Privy Counsellor, 1802
GCH: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Guelphic Order, 12 August 1815
Knight of the Order of the Black Eagle (Prussia)
Knight of the Order of St Andrew (Russia) 1844
The Duke's arms were the Royal Arms of the House of Hanover, with a three-point label of difference. The first and third points containing two hearts, and the centre point bearing a red cross. His arms were adopted by his youngest daughter, Princess Mary Adelaide, and her heirs included them in their arms quartered with the arms of the Duke of Teck.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had three children:
Prince George, Duke of Cambridge
26 March 1819
17 March 1904
married 1847, Sarah Louisa Fairbrother; had issue (this marriage was contracted in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act and was not recognized in law).
Princess Augusta of Cambridge
19 July 1822
4 December 1916
married 1843, Friedrich Wilhelm, Grand Duke of Mecklenberg-Strelitz; had issue
Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge
27 November 1833
27 October 1897
married 1866, Francis, Duke of Teck; had issue, including Mary of Teck, later Queen consort of the United Kingdom.
Ancestors of Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge
16. George I of Great Britain
8. George II of Great Britain
17. Sophia Dorothea of Celle
4. Frederick, Prince of Wales
18. John Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach
9. Caroline of Ansbach
19. Princess Eleonore Erdmuthe of Saxe-Eisenach
2. George III of the United Kingdom
20. Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
10. Frederick II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
21. Magdalena Sibylle of Saxe-Weissenfels
5. Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha
22. Charles, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst
11. Magdalena Augusta of Anhalt-Zerbst
23. Sophia of Saxe-Weissenfels
1. Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge
24. Adolf Frederick I, Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
12. Adolf Frederick II, Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
25. Maria Katharina of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
6. Duke Charles Louis Frederick of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Prince of Mirow
26. Christian William I, Prince of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen
13. Christiane Emilie of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen
27. Antoine Sybille of Barby-Muhlingen
3. Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
28. Ernest III, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen
14. Ernest Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen
29. Sophie of Waldeck
7. Princess Elizabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen