So, Just Who Was Prince Edward Duke Of Kent And Strathearn?

Prince Edward Duke of Kent and Strathearn is the fifth child and fourth son of Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and King George III. He was born on November 2, 1767, and baptized on November 30, 1767, as Edward Augustus. Prince Edward was named after the Duke of York and Albany, his paternal uncle who died a few weeks before.

So, Just Who Was Prince Edward Duke Of Kent And Strathearn?
Prince Edward in 1782, portrait by Thomas Gainsborough

The military training of Prince Edward started in 1785 in the Holy Roman Empire. His father originally planned to send the prince to the University of Göttingen but changed his mind after receiving advice from the Duke of York. Prince Edward was sent to Lüneburg instead and to Hanover later on with Baron Wangenheim, his tutor, as his companion.

So, Just Who Was Prince Edward Duke Of Kent And Strathearn?
Edward aged eleven (right) and his older brother William, portrait by Benjamin West, 1778

Prince Edward was appointed as the British Army’s brevet colonel on the 39th of May 1786. He finished his studies in Geneva, Switzerland from 1788 to 1789. At the age of 22 on the 5th of August 1789, the prince became a mason in L’Union, the 19th century’s most important masonic lodge in Geneva.

He was later appointed in 1789 as the 7th Regiment of Foot’s colonel. He returned home in 1790 without leave, causing him to be sent off in disgrace as an ordinary officer to Gibraltar. Madame de Saint-Laurent joined Prince Edward from Marseilles.

So, Just Who Was Prince Edward Duke Of Kent And Strathearn?
Madame de Saint-Laurent, a mistress of Prince Edward

In late 1798, he suffered a fall from his horse, and this allowed him to go back to England. Prince Edward became the Earl of Dublin and Duke of Kent and Strathearn on April 24, 1799. The parliament thanked him, and he earned an income worth £12,000.

During that same year in May, Prince Edward received another promotion as the general and the British forces’ appointed Commander in Chief in North America. He bid his parents goodbye on the 22nd of July 1799 to sail to Halifax. After more than 12 months, the prince departed Halifax and on August 31, 1800, he arrived in England where there was a confident expectation that he will be the next appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

Prince Edward was the royal family’s first member who lived in North America instead of just a quick visit. He was also the first prince that entered the United States in 1794 after independence, traveling on foot from Lower Canada to Boston.

He was appointed on the 23rd of March 1802 as the Governor of Gibraltar. He took up his post on the 24th of May 1802 with the government’s express orders for discipline restoration among drunken troops. The harsh discipline of Prince Edward led to his own soldiers’ mutiny as well as the 25th Regiment on the Christmas Eve of 1802.

So, Just Who Was Prince Edward Duke Of Kent And Strathearn?
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, Commander-in-Chief, North America, 1791–1802

The Duke of York, his brother Frederick, was the Commander in Chief of the Forces back then. He recalled Prince Edward in May 1803 upon receiving the mutiny’s reports. However, despite the direct order, Prince Edward refused to go back to England until the arrival of his successor.

So, Just Who Was Prince Edward Duke Of Kent And Strathearn?
The Duke of Kent and Strathearn by George Dawe

He was not granted permission to go back for an inquiry to Gibraltar. While he was still allowed to continue holding Gibraltar’s governorship until he passed away, Prince Edward was prohibited to return.

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