Prince Edward - Duke of Kent, Park Crescent, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 31.377 W 000° 08.772
30U E 697972 N 5711842
Quick Description: This statue, of Prince Edward Duke of Kent, is located in Crescent Gardens that nestle between Marylebone Road and Park Crescent in central London. The statue is at the southern side of the garden opposite Portland Place.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 8/23/2013 11:42:19 AM
Waymark Code: WMHXDC
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member The Blue Quasar
Views: 2

Long Description:

The slightly larger than life bronze statue, in Crescent Gardens, is mounted on a Portland stone plinth.

The statue shows the prince in his royal regalia. His right arm rests on top of two books on top of a column and in his left had is a scrolled document. His face has the appearance of Queen Victoria which should not be a surprise as he was her father.

The inscription on the plinth reads:

Prince Edward
Duke of Kent
IV son of George III

Born Nov 2, 1767 Died Jan 23, 1820

Erected by the supporters
of the numerous charities
which he so zealously
and successfully patronised

The Regency History website tells us:

Early years

Prince Edward Augustus was born at Buckingham House on 2 November 1767, the fifth child and fourth son of King George III and Queen Charlotte. He was named after George III’s brother Edward, Duke of York, who died shortly before the new Prince’s birth. He was tutored by John Fisher who later became Bishop of Salisbury.

Army career

In 1785, Edward was sent to Luneburg to begin his career in the army as a cadet in the Hanoverian foot guards. He completed his military training under Lieutenant Colonel Baron Von Wangenheim, a strict military tutor whom Edward described as “a mercenary tyrant”.

He served in Hanover, Geneva, Gibraltar, the West Indies and Canada. He was gazetted brevet Colonel in the British army and elected a Knight of the Garter in 1786, subsequently rising to Major General (1793), General (1794) and Field Marshall (1805).

Harsh disciplinarian or respected leader?

Edward gained the reputation of a stern disciplinarian, making him unpopular with his men. This was brought to a head in 1802, when he was made Governor of Gibraltar and asked to bring the garrison back into order. His harsh actions resulted in a mutiny, but having successfully quelled it, he was recalled to England.

The Duke of York condemned Edward’s behaviour as “from first to last as marked by cruelty and oppression”. His brother allowed him no opportunity to defend himself and they quarrelled violently.

However, it would appear that Edward’s leadership was respected by the officers at Gibraltar who gave a fete in his honour in May 1791 before he was transferred to Quebec. He was also commended for helping to repress St Lucia and Martinique whilst serving under Sir Charles Grey in the West Indies in 1794.

The least worthy of sons

George III seemed to have little interest in Edward and yet was very quick to criticise him. Edward received very few letters from home and was spied on by his valet, Rhymers.

Wangenheim gave Edward a very meagre sum out of the £6000 a year he was paid for his maintenance, forcing him to borrow in order to equip himself in the manner befitting a Prince. When his father learned that he was in debt, he was sent to Geneva in disgrace, but he was still not given an adequate allowance and his debts continued to amass.

Desperate for contact with home, in 1790 Edward escaped from his mentor and travelled to England. His father was furious. The King afforded Edward only a very short interview before effectively banishing him to Gibraltar. He was not allowed home on leave until he suffered a fall from his horse in October 1798.

Edward was created Duke of Kent and Strathearn on 24 April 1799 and parliament finally voted him an income of £12000 a year. However, his monetary problems continued to haunt him throughout the rest of his life.

Character

Despite his reputation for harsh military discipline, Edward was popular with his servants and Princess Charlotte’s favourite uncle, actively promoting the match between the Princess and Prince Leopold. He helped negotiate Mrs Fitzherbert’s return to the Prince of Wales in 1799 but also remained on friendly terms with Princess Caroline.

His habits were remarkably similar to those of his father – he rose early, ate and drank sparingly and liked to spend time outside. He was very polite and attentive to women and placed a high value on his time. His conversation was intelligent and informed and he had a gift for public speaking. He was also a prolific correspondent.

He supported charitable works, such as the Literary Fund, and introduced regimental schools for the children of his men. He was interested in Robert Owen’s social experiments, supported anti-slavery and was in favour of Catholic emancipation, which may explain some of his father’s enmity towards him.

Madame de Saint-Laurent

Whilst serving in Gibraltar, Therese-Bernadine Mongenet became Edward’s mistress. She was known as Madame de Saint-Laurent and stayed with the Prince for almost 28 years, until the death of Princess Charlotte in 1817 prompted the royal Dukes to marry in order to secure the succession.

Marriage

On 29 May 1818, Edward married Victoria Mary Louisa of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Prince Leopold’s widowed sister, in Coburg. The ceremony was repeated in the Queen's drawing room in Kew Palace on 11 July 1818, at the same time as his brother William, Duke of Clarence, married Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen.

Parliament refused to grant an additional sum for the maintenance of his enlarged household, and so the couple lived mainly at Amorbach Castle, Leiningen, Victoria’s dower house, in order to economise.

The birth of Princess Victoria

The couple lived abroad until April 1819, when they travelled to England, despite the Regent’s refusal to fund the trip, so that the baby could be born in Kensington Palace. Alexandrina Victoria was born on 24 May 1819 and christened a month later, on 24 June. “Look at her well,” her proud father said, “for she will be Queen of England.”

Death

After the Princess’ birth, it was necessary for the Duke and Duchess once again to retrench. Bishop Fisher advised a sojourn in Devon for the sake of economy and health and they leased Woobrook Cottage in Sidmouth.

Edward caught a cold, and subsequently became ill with pneumonia. He died in Sidmouth on 23 January 1820 and was buried on 12 February in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, in a huge coffin almost 7½ feet long and 3 foot wide.

 

Monarch Ranking: Prince / Princess

Proper Title and Name of Monarch: Prince Edward - Duke of Kent

Country or Empire of Influence: United Kingdom

Website for additonal information: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:

Waymark Visitor - Must either

  • Provide a photo at the Statue
  • Answer a related question, if available, as posted on the Waymark description to the satistfaction of the Owner
  • Search for...
    Geocaching.com Google Map
    Google Maps
    MapQuest
    Bing Maps
    Nearest Waymarks
    Nearest Monarchs of the World
    Nearest Geocaches
    Nearest Benchmarks
    Create a scavenger hunt using this waymark as the center point
    Recent Visits/Logs:
    Date Logged Log User Rating  
    Metro2 visited Prince Edward - Duke of Kent, Park Crescent, London, UK 10/27/2011 Metro2 visited it