Saturday, April 23, 2011

Great Royal Romances Part 1


Great Royal Romances
...and not so great!


As the world awaits the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, it is so exciting to not only see history in the making, but a nuptial of two people in love.

But that has not always been the case in British Royal marriages.

King George I and Queen Sofia 1682

Queen Sofia with children George and Sofia

Let's start back to the beginning of the House of Hanover.

In 1682 King George I, married Sofia Dorothea of Celle.  She was barely sixteen, she bore him a son and a daughter.  She was charming and full of fun.  However her personality galled the King, he resented and mistreated her and when she fell in love with a Swedish Count, he had the Count killed.   George's marriage to Sophia was dissolved.  George has her imprisoned in the Castle of Ahlden in Celle, where she stayed until she died more than thirty years later.  She was denied access to her children.
 George had never remarried....surprise, surprise!

 Skipping Ahead to 

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert 1840

Now theirs was a great love.  
On her second meeting with Albert of Saxe-Coburg, Victoria  fell deeply in love.
She proposed marriage to him.  It was against protocol for him to propose.
After they were married Albert changed Victoria's life profoundly.  He was her mentor, her protector, her guide and her advisor.  They had 9 children.  When Albert died from typhoid in 1861, this was the supreme sorrow of her life.  She wore black the rest of her life as a token of her mourning.

King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra 1863

King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra

Victoria's eldest son waited a long time to become King.  This wait took its toll on him and all that surrounded him.   This restless King-in-waiting, married Danish princess Alexandra in 1863.  Alexandra , a sweet-natured, beautiful woman stood affectionately by his side for the rest of his life.    However, as George reached his mid-twenties,  he became eccentric and troublesome. 
His restless pursuit of merrymaking, love affairs and personal pleasure masked a deeply troubled persona.  
The infamous love affair between him and Alice Keppel reached its height when he was 56 and she 29.  Alice was his last mistress.  On his death-bed, Queen Alexandra allowed Alice to visit George before he died.

King George V and Queen Mary 1893

King George V and Queen Mary

Theirs was a strong and happy marriage.  It was never scandalized with extra-marital affairs. They were devoted to each other and in love.
Interesting enough, May of Teck was initially engaged to George's oldest brother Edward, heir to the throne.  Edward died unexpectedly in 1892, a month before the wedding was to take place.  George was now the heir apparent to the throne. George tentatively began to court May and finally they were married in 1893.
George was ruling Monarch during the First World War.  He changed the name from the German House of Hanover-Saxe-Coburg to the House of Windsor.
The world-wide depression,  a World War and the assassination of his Russian Romanov cousin, took it toll on George and he died in 1936.

Up Next  Part 2

**King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson
**King George and Queen Elizabeth
**Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip
**Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer




I will talk about the Royal Romances at these parties

Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

Fridays Unfolded at Stuff and Nonsense

The Royal Wedding at Decor To Adore


  1. How interesting to find out my two daughters, Alexandra and Sofia were queens...even though right at the present there's a Sofia, Queen of Spain! My name is in full Fabiola, like the Queen of Belgium's and my granddaughters are Victoria, like queen Victoria of Eng. and Cayetana, like the Spanish Duchess of Alba, the most blue blooded of the Europeans alive! I even think my hubby's name was royal, Alejandro, or king Alexander of Greece. This is a coincidence, as we all liked royal names, I guess...hahaha

  2. I very much enjoyed reading this post, Thank you for putting it together.
    Kristy @ 4 the love of WOOD

  3. I love British royal history and yet I didn't know some of the above facts. How interesting. Thank you for sharing it and I look forward to the next installment ;-) Blessings, Pamela

  4. I love history, hence I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I didn't realize that poor Queen Sofia was imprisoned. Wasn't Alice Keppel the ancestress of Camilla? I think that's the line she used with Prince Charles when she first met him. Seems to have worked! ;-)

    I can't wait for the wedding. I adore this young couple and am thrilled for them because they not only seem in love, but solid.


    Sheila :-)

  5. I am always so interested to read about the Royals. You really did your homework here. Poor Queen Sofia!

    Thank you so very much for linking up! The happy day is merely hours away now. :)

  6. Interesting review of the early royal marriages.

  7. I just adore all the Royal history! So good to re-learn/remember some of this. Cheers to William & Kate. I ADORE THEM!