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House of Hanover

George I
King of United Kingdom 1714 – 1727.
Born : May 28, 1660 at Osnabruck, Hanover. (Now Germany)
Died : June 11, 1727 at Osnabruck, Hanover.
Interred : Reinterred after World War II at Schloss Herren-Lausen, Hanover.

During the reign of Queen Anne, with her only child having died and parliament having brought in a law that allowed them as a body to select the monarchy, looked to the daughter of James I.

In the early reign of James I of England, his young daughter Elizabeth had been chosen by the conspirators of the Gunpowder Plot to rule on the assassination of her father, and so it's ironic that her daughter was eventually offered the British Crown in line after her second cousin, Queen Anne.

There were other potential claimants but because of their Catholic faith, the laws that had been put through under Mary and William, no Catholic could take public office or the crown.

Sophia had married Ernest August, Elector of Hanover and they had five sons and a daughter. When Sophia accepted the role of heir apparent she must have realised her son would follow as next in line, but George was not given lessons in English and so was the first king in centuries to not speak the language of his subjects. That the English parliament had settled on a Hanoverian succession without consulting the parliament in Scotland did not sit well. There were also those who still considered the son of James II to be their true king. Under the threat of trade embargo's that would cripple the Scottish economy, they had little choice but to yield to a Hanover succession.

When Sophia died on the 24th of May 1714 at the age of 83, George became successor to what had become Great Britain. When Anne died less than three months after Sophia, on August 1st, George was proclaimed king. Having inherited from his father and childless uncles, along with a marriage that was for nothing more than wealth, he had already been Elector of Hanover for over 16 years. Arriving in England, he was crowned on the 20th of October 1714 at Westminster Abbey.

His marriage to Sophia Dorothea of Celle was a disaster. There had been two prior negotiations to marry Sophia that would have gone ahead but for the interference of George's mother who seemed to nurture a dislike of the girl, which George apparently shared.

The couple argued regularly where George had been physically violent to almost the point of killing her. However, the couple did their duty in producing two children, a son and daughter. George then took mistresses while Sophia found an old acquaintance being renewed with Philip Christoph von Konigsmarch. It's said the couple wrote love letters but those produced to show the couple were guilty of having an affair are more than likely fake.

When Philip Christoph disappeared, George set about divorcing his wife for abandonment rather than adultery as his guilt was just as great, but there was a yearly sum of money that came with the marriage, and not wanting to give that up, instead of being free to remarry, Sophia was locked away, being held at the Castle of Ahlden until her death over 30 years later. She was 60 years old when she died, and even then George wouldn't let her go. Her body was placed in a casket and stored in the cellar of the castle where it remained for six months until Sophia Dorothea was finally interred with her parents.

In the meantime, George had moved to England, taking his favourite mistress, Melusine with him where she was awarded the title Duchess of Kendal, among others. There are conjectures that Melusine and George married in secret as she was given all the trappings of a queen, though if a marriage did take place it was never publicly recognised.

Having a king that could or would not learn to speak English, having his wife locked away and bringing the baggage of two mistresses, George was somewhat of a scandal. With Melusine being tall and willowy, she earned the nickname "Maypole," while the other lady in George's life was given the name "The Elephant" for her large size, though Sophia von Kielmansegg was more likely his half sister than his mistress, an illegitimate offspring of his father. She too was awarded titles, becoming the Duchess of Darlington. The two ladies were well sought has had been the mistresses of Charles II, from those looking to gain favours from the King.

There are quite a few ghostly relics from the reign of George I. Some, but not enough, Scots were willing to fight for the return of a Stuart monarchy. James II who was James VII of Scotland, had died in France in 1701 but there was his son, James Francis Edward Stuart, who would later be referred to as the "Old Pretender".

It was Spain that supported a Jacobite rebellion but never had much luck when it came to landing on British shores and with the weather against them, it was only around 300 Spanish soldiers that made it to land. A base was set up at Eileen Donan Castle but it didn't take the English long to counteract. With three naval ships, the castle was bombarded with cannon fire until the ammunition store took a hit, forcing the troops to surrender. The castle is now haunted by one of the Spanish soldiers dying so far from his homeland, though no one knows if he died during the taking of the castle or in battle. Either way, he appears a headless figure.

The rebellion itself began shortly after the accession of George I in 1715. The Battle of Glenshiel is still said to hold remnants of those who fought there in June 1719. It was the last battle fought on English soil and a loss that left the Scots having to accept George I as their king. James Stuart, who would have been King James VIII of Scotland, landed but was somewhat of a bland figure who found even his supporters hostile towards him. Returning to France, he didn't get another chance to regain the crown for the Stuart's and lived out his life in exile, proclaimed king in name only.

George I had a bad relationship with his wife, and that also went for his son. Sophia Dorothea, named after her mother, who she never saw again after her parents divorce, was married at the age of 19 to her cousin Frederick William, who later became King Frederick I of Prussia, making Sophia Dorothea Queen. Like her parents, the marriage was not a good one with physical abuse being suffered by herself and her children. When her mother died, her father ordered that there was to be no mourning but Sophia's court ignored this, much to the anger of George I. Sophia did not get along with her older brother either and in turn father and son argued both in private and public. George had married Caroline of Ansbach, the couple already having a growing family of four children when his father came to the throne. On a fifth child being born, though the boy only survived three months, father and son argued during the baptism and the Prince and Princess of Wales were ordered to leave.

The couple set up home at Leicester House which became like a second court as those who wished to curry favour with what would eventually be king and queen, paid regular visits. Leicester House was in the area of Leicester Square, being demolished in the early 1790's.

George I groomed his eldest grandson, Frederick for the role of Elector of Hanover and King of Great Britain and it is more than likely that he was looking to bypass his son in favour of the grandson. Frederick was seven years old when his grandfather became King of Great Britain and on his parents leaving for England, Frederick was left behind where he officiated at state occasions, not leaving Hanover until the death of George I.

George I spent a majority of his reign in England though made a few visits to his homeland where he had numerous mistresses, his sixth visit being his last. It was six-months after the death of Sophia Dorothea of Celle, the wife he had treated so badly, the King was travelling by coach to Osnabruch when it is claimed, a messenger caught up with the entourage.

The messenger handed a letter to the King and thinking it was some urgent official business, he opened and read the last letter Sophia had written before her death. Having taken to a sick bed the last three months of her life, she was convinced she had been poisoned, though 60 gallstones were found, having caused an infection. The story goes that knowing her time was near, she wrote a letter cursing George, and with the promise to place the letter personally in the hands of George himself, it was months before such an opportunity arose.

The King continued on his journey but the letter, and Sophia, must have had an impact as it was while travelling that he suffered a stroke, dying two days later.

He was 61 years old, having been ruler of Great Britain for 13 years and Elector of Hanover for 29 years. He was interred at Hanover and seems to have found peace in death as there are no reported sightings of the king for all his wife beating and bad relations between his children. All that is left as a relic of his reign in a paranormal sense, are the Jacobites who fought to free themselves of a very German Monarch.


George II
King of the United Kingdom 1727 – 1760.
Born : November 10, 1683 at Herrenhausen Palace, Hanover. (Now Germany)
Died : October 25, 1760 at Kensington Palace, London.
Interred : Westminster Abbey, London.

On his father's death, George, at the age of 43, came to the throne after 13 years as Prince of Wales. He was 11-years-old when his mother was incarcerated at the Castle of Alhden, but unlike the mother of Richard I, Sophia Dorothea had passed away before his father, not giving him the chance to set her free.

George II is the last monarch to have been born outside Great Britain and the last king to lead an army into battle.

Unlike his father, he spoke English along with other languages, including Latin. In 1705 Queen Anne made him a Knight of the Garter, bestowing other titles upon him to make him more English. In that same year he married Caroline of Ansbach with the couple producing two sons and five daughters to bypass infancy.

With father and son forever in conflict, on his fall from grace politicians took the opportunity to ingratiate themselves upon the prince. Moving to Leicester House, it became a meeting place for the opposition, including Sir Robert Walpole, who first curried favour with the prince and then the king.

It was another war, fighting the rights of succession to the Austrian rule that sent British troops into Europe, though people saw it for what it was, to strengthen the stronghold of Hanover, making it an unpopular war. France saw an opportunity and encouraged a Jacobite rebellion in the form of Charles Stewart, the grandson of James II.

This turned out to be one of the biggest threats, and the closest Scotland came to putting a Stuart back on the throne. Jacobite supporters had always looked on James II has their true king, followed by his son and grandson.

Prince Charles landed in Scotland where he found many highlanders loyal to his cause. Charles came in the name of his father and raised his father's standard Glenfinnan. Soon Edinburgh was taken and moving into Lothian, British troops were unprepared. Carlisle soon surrendered and working their way into England, Charles expected the English to rally to his cause. Though there were those who had disliked George I and were just as dissatisfied with George II, they didn't want the Scottish Stuart’s either.

Finding their way hampered with bridges being destroyed by locals and provisions withheld; a meeting at Derby left Charles feeling betrayed. The generals, not finding the support they had been promised, wanted to return to Scotland while Charles was prepared to march on to London in what would have been a suicide mission.

The generals got their way and returned to Scotland with English troops following. The loss forever of the Jacobite cause came in a 40-minute battle at Culloden Moor on April 16, 1746. As the bombardment of cannon fire began Prince Charles was whisked away, hiding out for five months, until in the disguise of a woman, he managed to board a French ship that would take him into a lifetime of exile.

The Battle of Culloden Moor has left its imprint of the slaughter of over 2000 Scots who died there that day. The Highlander ghosts are more prominent around the anniversary of the battle where eye witnesses claim to have seen phantoms of the dead and dying.

James Stewart, the son of James II died 20 years later, never to see his dream of restoring his family to the monarchy. And as for Bonnie Prince Charlie, the dream was also over as he held a claim on the British throne until his death at the age of 68.

If religion hadn't been such an issue with Protestants wishing to maintain their power, Charles could well have been king. His father was offered the succession, but the price of recanting his Catholic faith was too great. Had he done so, the Stuart line would have continued to this day.

As the son of James II was dubbed "The Old Pretender," the grandson was named "The Young Pretender."

Prior to the rising of 1745, Charles remained in hiding at Westbrook House in Godalming, Surrey, where there were many meetings in preparation for what was to be done. For fear of being recognised, Charles only exercised at night and in the early hours of the morning. The house became a home of comfort for epileptics in 1892, changing its name to The Meath Home in honour of the Countess of Meath who opened it for the purpose. A ghostly figure wrapped in a brown cloak has been reported many times, usually around twilight or in the early hours of the morning, walking the pathways of what used to be Westbrook House, just as Bonnie Prince Charlie did in those far-off days.

On becoming queen, Caroline's influence brought artists and musicians to the court of George II. She collected jewellery and portrays, especially miniatures. During the Kings absences, of which there was many as he enjoyed a range of mistresses kept in Hanover, Caroline was made regent.

On his grandfather's death, the eldest son, Frederick was summoned to England and invested Prince of Wales. He endeared himself to England and the English people, taking up the new and popular sport of cricket. However, being favoured by his grandfather put a wedge in the relationship with his parents more so than the 14-year separation. The anger George II felt towards his father was transferred to his eldest son with Frederick's mother and siblings encouraged to follow suit, that Frederick was referred to as "The Foundling."

Frederick had been Prince of Wales for nine years, and at 29-years-old, he married Princess Augusta of Saxe-Coburg, who at only 16 spoke no English. It was 16-months later, when in labour with their first child that Frederick forced her to leave Hampton Court and she gave birth to a daughter at St. James Palace.

Whether this was purely to stop his parents being present at the birth or if he thought something more sinister was to happen, we shall never know. Frederick's mother died three months later, never to see the other eight children produced by Frederick and Augusta.

Frederick was 44-years-old when he died at Leicester House in London from a burst abscess of the lung. His wife reverted to Dowager Princess of Wales, and like Frederick, not trusting the king, kept her eldest son and heir to the throne away from her father-in-law as much as she was able.

George II was with his wife when she died, and asking him to remarry, he replied that he would have mistresses. And that is what he did, calling his long-term mistress, Amelia von Wallmoden over from Hanover and bestowing the title, Countess of Yarmouth.

The king was in his water closet when his valet heard a crash, and going to see what had happened, found his master lying on the floor having had a stroke. George II was taken to his bed where he asked for his daughter Amelia, but by the time she arrived it was too late.

George II has since been seen where he died, looking through a window at Kensington Palace with an anxious expression. Though he was King of Great Britain, he was first and foremost a German prince who often anchored for his homeland. He would frequently look out at the weathervane to see which way the wind blew as dispatches would often be overdue if the gales at sea were against them. It has been noticed that the most providential time to see the ghostly face of the long dead monarch is when the wind is blowing from the west.


George III
King of the United Kingdom 1760 – 1820.
Born : June 4, 1738 at Norfolk House, London.
Died : January 29, 1820 at Windsor Castle, Berkshire.
Interred : St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Berkshire.

After a reign of 33-years by his grandfather, George III was a more truly English king. Unlike his two predecessors, he was born in England and English was his first language. Under the new and young king, the war with France was won, but only to lose the colonies in America.

Colonists were encouraged to negotiate with the Indian tribes as it was costing money to pay the armies that were needed when battles arose. Feelings ran high at being in the grip of a monarchy so far away, and with grievances mounting and with encouragement from France and Spain, the colonists instigated the War of Independence.

Losing the colonies was a large blow, leading major politicians to resign and even George III to write an abdication speech. But it didn't come to that and George finally accepted the loss.

Hanover also voted to go from electorate to monarchy with George becoming King, though he never visited the country that was rooted in his birth.

His father having died when George was 12-years-old, he was brought up by his mother who set a strict moral standing within him, but this didn't avoid a scandal of her own. Princess Augusta became Dowager Princess of Wales at 31-years-old, and finding herself a single parent while trying to keep her children away from court and her in-laws, came under the influence of her sons tutor, Lord Bute. There were rumours that the pair was having an affair, though both denied such allegations, but it seems that once branded a scarlet woman, forever a scarlet woman. Just over eleven years into her son's reign, dying from cancer, her funeral brought out those who jeered, shouting insults and even following the funeral procession.

Being educated by private tutors, George was groomed for kingship from an early age, but he lingered to marry until after the death of his grandfather. It was then seen a thing of duty to produce a heir, preferably male. The choice was made by what the people would accept and after ten months of negotiations, a contract was drawn up for the hand in marriage of Princess Charlotte of Brunswick.

After an arduous journey and a nine-day voyage, the Princess finally docked at Greenwich. Arriving in London, she met her consort and his family in the evening and was married the next morning.

Despite the couple being strangers, the marriage was a happy one with Charlotte producing a son and heir eleven months later. In all there was fifteen children, nine of them boys, though two died before the age of five.

Though St. James Palace was the official residence, Charlotte preferred Buckingham House, which later was changed to Buckingham Palace.

The reign of George III saw the last vestiges of the colonies slip from his grasp. The French Revolution brought war as many aristocrats fled what was to become a blood-bath with the swiftness of the guillotine. It continued to be a tool of execution for the condemned, the last time being used in 1977 with France abolishing the death penalty in 1981.

With Napoleon Bonaparte an enemy of all British subjects, it meant increasing taxes in order to build up the naval fleet and army. It was during this time the King suffered, not the first time, a bout of illness which is now thought to be porphyria. With little being known of the illness, there was not much doctors could do other than be baffled by the symptoms. It gave an opportunity for a reshuffle of power in which the army was depleted, even a though the threat of Bonaparte was very real. An attempted landing in Ireland by French troops made the government see the need for British aid, which saw the Irish become annexed. Under George III, a pact was made with Ireland and where monarchs had been seperately named king or queen of Ireland, it became part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

George finally went into decline with no signs that he would recover, and being placed in the care of his wife, their son the Prince of Wales, Prince George, was made regent. Queen Charlotte had her husband placed at Windsor Castle but rarely visited with his moods that could quickly turn violent.

When his wife died in November of 1818 it's doubtful that he was told, and it was 14-months later, having gone blind due to cataracts, and deaf, George III followed her in death.

George III is now said to haunt Windsor Castle, particularly the room where he was so often locked up. There have been sightings of the King roaming the corridors as he utters "what, what?" As he often did in life.


George IV
King of the United Kingdom 1820 – 1830.
Born : August 12, 1762 at St James Palace, London.
Died : June 26, 1830 at Windsor Castle, Berkshire.
Interred : Windsor Castle, Berkshire.

Upon the death of his father, George III, ending a reign of 60-years, Prince George as Prince of Wales had been regent for 10-years, be it with limited powers.

George had a bad relationship with his father, something that tended to run in the bloodline of the Hanoverians. At 18-years-old he was given his own residence and with an income from parliament and also his father, he set about a decadent lifestyle. His parties, along with numerous affairs, gave his subjects something to talk about as he spent so freely that he soon fell into debt.

His most famous mistress is Maria Fitzherbert who is said to have married George while he was Prince of Wales in December 1785 in her home at Park Street in London. However, measures had already been put in place that any immediate member of the royal family had by law to acquire permission from the sovereign, and also parliament, and so making such a marriage invalid. The twice widowed Mrs Fitzherbert also had another black mark against her in being a Catholic. Although George took other mistresses, Maria remained with George in an on off relationship up to his death.

With mounting debts, George III refused to help his son without an ultimatum. The Prince of Wales was to marry his cousin, Caroline of Brunswick, to which George reluctantly agreed. The marriage took place on April 8, 1795 and George’s debts were consequently cleared.

The relationship was flawed from the onset as Caroline arrived in England just three days before her marriage. George found his future 26-year-old bride unattractive with her personal hygiene being questionable by more than just George. On the other hand, Caroline, who had been shown a portrait of George from earlier days, found her 32-year-old husband to be fat and not so handsome.

Having taken a total dislike to his wife, arriving drunk for the wedding ceremony, George claimed to have only had sexual relations with Caroline three times. This appears to have been enough to do his duty with Caroline giving birth to a daughter nine months into the marriage. Thereafter the couple effectively went their separate ways, though Caroline was restricted on where and when she went.

Once George became regent things became worse for Caroline. By this time she had moved into Montague House in Greenwich where she held the best parties. The house was demolished in 1815. With no prospect of there being any more children with George, she adopted several and adored her daughter Charlotte who had her own apartments at a manor house near Montague House. It was then that George decided to take custody of his daughter, cutting Caroline off completely.

On adopting a three-month-old boy, it was alleged the baby was born to Caroline, and though this could not be proved, the rumours persisted.

Public duties by George and Caroline were made separately. The press having ridiculed George for his exorbitance, favoured Caroline as the wronged woman who soon found her popularity rising. A campaign set up by one of George's mistresses, Frances Villiers, Countess of Jersey, went about ruining Caroline's reputation to the point that she is still known as "The Immoral Queen."

Caroline would have left England if she had somewhere to go but her country of Brunswick had been invaded by France with her father dying in the ensuing battle. It wasn't until 1814 after Napoleon was defeated that it was safe for Caroline to travel abroad. Negotiating a settlement of a yearly allowance of £35,000, Caroline went into exile, leaving her 18-year-old daughter behind.

Travelling extensively, along with a retinue of servants, Caroline soon found the outgoing expenses more than her income. No doubt she had hoped to regain her place at court through her daughter, and so it was a hard blow when Charlotte, at only 21-years-old, died from complications after the stillbirth of a son.

It was also a blow for George who was now left without a successor. The people also mourned her passing as she was a popular princess who they had expected to one day be their queen.

The line of succession passed to the next eldest son of George III who had married Princess Frederica of Prussia. But the couple had no children and so the third son, William, rallied to do his duty, and at 53-years-old married Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen who was 27-years his junior.

When George III died at Windsor Castle where he had been locked away for nine years, George became king and Caroline, his estranged wife, was officially Queen of Great Britain and the United Kingdom. However, Caroline soon found the title meant little on being refused an audience with the Pope, being told she had no more status than a Duchess. She became so incensed that she quickly made plans to travel to England.

Parliament attempted to negotiate a new settlement, offering Caroline an increase of the annual income to £50,000 which against advice she refused. This led to dirty tactics on the part of George and his supporters. A Pains and Penalty Bill was passed in order to strip Caroline of her titles and so affect a divorce with no evidence of George's dalliances with numerous mistresses.

Caroline was affectively placed on trial with a colourfully sensational and scandalous lifestyle that she was said to have been leading during her exile. Witnesses were called who gave evidence that Caroline had committed adultery with one of her servants, Bartolomen Pergami. They had been seen kissing and been witnessed together in a state of undress.

Such a trial actually caused Caroline to gain popularity as George was well-known for his wild parties and debauchery.

Though she was advised not to attend the coronation of George IV, as there was no coronation for Caroline, she ignored her friends and arrived at Westminster Abbey only to be turned away by guards. It was that same night that Caroline was taken ill, never to recover, dying three weeks later. She knew death was near and ordering her diaries and notebooks to be burnt, set out her last wishes to be buried in Brunswick.

There are only theories to the cause of death. Doctors thought it was due to an obstruction of the intestines, but may well have been cancer. However she died, it seemed very convenient for her husband and so inevitably sprang rumours of poisoning.

With a lifetime of feasting, drinking and all that came with it, by the time George came to the throne he was more than a little worse for wear. His obesity became the brunt of many jokes as he sought seclusion at Windsor Castle. He possibly suffered from porphyra as his father, a disease that is known to be inherited.

His lavish lifestyle had brought a new decor to the homes of England with styles of Regency furniture named for him.

Apart from there being the ghostly return visits to the royal houses, there have also been a few scary moments for the royals themselves. While staying at Raynham Hall in Norfolk, George IV is claimed to have seen the pale figure of a woman in a brown dress stood by his bed. The lady is supposedly the same as caught on the famous picture taken by Captain Provance and Indre Shira in 1936, which after many debates is widely believed to be fake. However, this does not put so much doubt on the existence of the Brown Lady who has been seen by many people, with one overnight guest taking a shot at her.

One of George's most extravagant expenses was the commissioning of the Brighton Pavilion, the town being the eventual burial place of his mistress Maria Fitzherbert who died 17-years after him. It was a place George IV loved and so is not surprising that he is reputed to haunt the place with his ghastly form often being seen in the underground passages.


William IV
King of Great Britain and the United Kingdom 1830 – 1837.
Born : August 21, 1765 at Buckingham House, London. (Later renamed Buckingham Palace)
Died : June 20, 1737 at Windsor Castle, Berkshire.
Interred : Windsor Castle, Berkshire.

On the death of his brother, William became King of Great Britain and the United Kingdom, and also King of Hanover. He had been named his brother's successor only three years before as George had a daughter, and with an older brother, William could not have expected to be more than Duke of Clarence. But then Princess Charlotte died from complications after giving birth to a stillborn child. With Prince Frederick having produced no children, it was left to William and his younger brother to ensure the Hanover succession.

William had taken up a naval career that earned him the nickname "The Sailor King," working so far up the ranks to captain and eventually, in a honorary position only, Admiral of the Fleet. He served in the colonies during the American War of Independence but when it came to the Napoleonic Wars, he was refused a command having spoken out against the war.

Having had his share of flings, William settled down with an Irish actress known as Dorothea Jordan. In the Royal Marriages Act brought in by his father, William needed permission from the reigning monarch and a nod of approval from parliament to marry. However, he could well have married if he wished to do so, but this would have cut him off from receiving any money from the civil list, and could well have required exile. Instead, the sons of George III took the easy option of living with the women they chose rather than being thrown into a loveless marriage with some foreign princess.

Dorothea Bland took the name Mrs Jordan has a married woman was more respectable on stage, though she never married. She was a famous actress in her day, and on meeting William they became lovers and living together as man and wife produced ten children who took the name FitzClarence.

Dorothea continued with her stage career while accompanying William on state occasions. The couple went their separate ways in 1811 with Dorothea having custody of her five daughters while her five sons remained with William. William made her an allowance, mainly for the upkeep of their daughters who ranged between four-years to fifteen-years of age. However, there was a strict stipulation that Dorothea would only receive monies from William if she never went back on the stage. Maybe William expected Dorothea to be unable to stay away from the limelight as it was only three years later that she was back on the stage, apparently in an attempt to gain money to pay off her son-in-law's debts.

Once William found out, the allowance was stopped and the daughters remaining in her care was taken to live back with William.

With creditors on her back, Dorothea moved to Paris where she remained poverty stricken until her death a year later on July 5, 1816.

On the death of his brother’s heir, and with Francis having produced no children during his seventeen year marriage to Princess Frederica of Prussia, William set about finding a suitable bride. In fact, the year 1818 saw four royal marriages. Prince Adolphus at 44-years-old, married Princess Augusta of Hesse-Cassel while his older sister, Princess Elizabeth, who was unlikely to conceive any children at 48-years-old, married Frederick Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg. William had little choice as after a number of rejections, he finally married Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen. She was quite an age at 26 when considering she was expected to produce potential heirs. She had never been married and so was taking on a large responsibility with a husband 27-years-older and becoming step-mother to the nine surviving offspring that William had produced with Dorothea.

The couple met only a few days before the marriage. It was a relationship in which William expected to be paid to do with his husbandly duty, but when parliament decided to cut the agreed amount, William considered calling the marriage off. However, it went ahead at Kew Gardens on July 11, 1818 in a double ceremony with his younger brother, Prince Edward, who married Princess Victoria.

Where William had illegitimate offspring, his wife was unable to give the required heir with miscarriages, stillbirths and a daughter, Elizabeth, only surviving four months.

It was 12-years later, still childless that William and Adelaide were crowned King and Queen at Westminster Abbey, having spent most of their married life in Hanover where the cost of living was much cheaper than England.

William's reign was just short of seven years. His brother Edward had managed to produce one child, a daughter, Princess Victoria, who was acknowledged heir presumptive on William coming to the throne, Victoria then only being 11-years-old.

William was taken in ill at Windsor Castle where he lingered for several days with the Queen refusing to go to bed, staying by his side for 10-days and nights. He finally succumbed to a heart attack, and in a sense so effectively ending the Hanover line.


Victoria 
Queen of Great Britain and the United Kingdom 1837 – 1901.
Born : May 24, 1819 at Kensington Palace, London.
Died : January 22, 1901 at Osborne House, Isle of Wight.
Interred : The Mausoleum, Frogmore, Windsor, Berkshire.

Victoria was the last of the House of Hanover with her son being of the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha house of his father, Prince Albert.

Alexandrina Victoria used her second name, becoming Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain one month after her 18th birthday, being the only surviving grandchild of George III. She was also the first monarch to be named Empress of India.

With Hanover being of salic law, the nearest male was looked to for what had become a monarchy. By this time there was only three surviving sons of George III and his wife, Caroline of Ansbach. The eldest living male became Ernst Augustus I of Hanover, leaving the young Queen Victoria to concentrate on a realm that had built up with the Industrial Revolution.

Victoria's father had not married until the age of 50-years-old. Like his brothers, he had taken mistresses, choosing who he wished to be with rather than being like his brother George IV who had been forced to marry Caroline of Brunswick who he could not abide to be in the same room with.

 

With two older brothers and George IV having a daughter, the succession looked certain with Edward Augustus, the Duke of Kent, being highly unlikely to be king in his own right. But then a turn of events changed the way history could have been. Princess Charlotte, having the will to refuse a marriage thrust upon her, chose her own husband Prince Leopold, and after giving birth to a stillborn boy, her state seems to have been neglected. Complications set in and Charlotte died several hours later.

The crisis of succession saw the sons doing their duty the following year when Prince William married Princess Adelaide, and in a double ceremony, Prince Edward married Victoria, the sister of Prince Leopold.

It was a brief marriage as after a short illness, Edward died on January 23, 1820, just six days before his father. He also showed signs of suffering from porphyria as did his brother, George IV, and his father most certainly had the hereditary disease. He left a 33-year-old widow with an eight month old baby.

Although Princess Victoria was the mother to the next in line to succession, this did not give her any entitlements, and she had to be frugal with what she had. It may have been different had she been the Princess of Wales, but that was taken by George IV and Caroline Brunswick.

Victoria is now looked on with suspicion of having had an affair in an effort to produce a heir to the throne, which could well be founded. Prince Edward was not the young man he had once been, and to add to that, during the time Victoria conceived, her husband was ill, possibly due to porphyria has no treatment was available at that time.

Though madness in the form of porphyria ran in the Hanover line, there appears to be no mention of it among Victoria’s offspring, even though her husband was also her first cousin. Instead, she brought another blight that infected the monarchies of Europe as her children married into the various royal houses. That being haemophilia.

Haemophilia is a gene defect more likely to inflict males than females who become carriers, which is what Victoria passed on to her daughters. It certainly wasn't in the line of her father's family, and with it being something difficult to treat, cutting the age expectancy, her mothers family seem to have been healthy enough with her uncle Leopold, King of the Belgians dying just short of 75-years.

Victoria was still a young girl when she was told she would one day be queen, once it became obvious that William was not going to produce a heir. Her mother was very protective to the point of controlling, sleeping in the same room as her daughter who was not allowed to go anywhere unattended. It’s been said that this was in the hope that one day Victoria’s mother would be the power behind the throne. Parliament had already granted her regency if her daughter should come to the throne below the age of eighteen but William IV managed survive this by one month.

It was two and a half years into her reign that Victoria married. There were numerous choices but Victoria married more for love in choosing her own husband in the form of Prince Albert who was not exactly suitable, being one of the lower ranking princes. Whether he married Victoria for the same reasons has been debated but it appears to have been a successful match with no breath of a scandal, or mistresses lurking in the background, and the union produced nine children.

Victoria became revered around the world. The colonies in America may have been lost but there was India and South Africa for the taking. Though she was a popular queen there were six attempts on her life in all, though it was more fate that kept her unarmed than anything else. 

The first assassination attempt was by Edward Oxford. Victoria was pregnant with her first child at the time and riding in a carriage with Prince Albert, two bullets were fired, both of which missed. The 16-year-old was placed on trial charged with treason that in any other day, the death penalty would have been a foregone conclusion. Oxford was acquitted on grounds of insanity, though many thought he was seeking to make a name for himself while others that he was part of a plot by Victoria's uncle who was king of Hanover and also heir presumptive until Victoria and Albert were to produce any children. The queen was unaffected by the assassination attempt, finding public loyalty growing in her favour. In May of 1842 the queen was in a carriage when there was once again an assassination attempt. John Francis pointed a pistol at the queen but misfired. Making his escape, he made his second attempt to the next day but this time missed. He was charged with High Treason. His death sentence was commuted to transportation, much to the annoyance of Prince Albert who felt that Francis was seeking notoriety in the wake of Oxford getting off the hook two years previous.

In July of the same year, in more a practical joke than anything, John William Bean pointed a gun at the queen, though it was only loaded with paper and tobacco. It was still tantamount to treason, bringing the death penalty, and so aided parliament to amend laws, with the advice of Prince Albert, that striking the queen, pointing a weapon or throwing any object to startle the queen would lead to a seven-year term in prison and flogging. Bean served 18-months and no one brought to trial under these charges have to date been flogged.

Victorian first met Prince Albert when she was 16-years-old where she felt an instant attraction. Her judgment was sound on this matter as she relied heavily on him during the 21-years of their marriage. Albert's family was also encouraging, though William IV was set against the match that would bring more prominence of Victoria's mother's side of the family.

The first child born to Victoria and Albert was a daughter who was also named Victoria. She was born at Buckingham Palace on November 21, 1840 and was heir apparent until her brother came along the following year, also in November. 

At the age of eleven she met her future husband, Prince Frederich Wilhelm of Prussia who was 10 years her senior. They became engaged in 1855, but it wasn't publicly announced for a further two years with a marriage taking place eight months later at St James Palace. Although the marriage was an alliance, it was also a true love match. 

Frederich had been third in line to the Prussian throne, but with the changes that occur regularly among the royal houses, when his father became emperor, it was inevitable that he and Victoria were to become Emperor and Empress.

The couple produced eight children with all but two seeing adulthood.

The wars of the German Unification was a difficult time for Victoria as Prussia went to war with Denmark, the Duke of Denmark's daughter having married her brother Edward and becoming Princess of Wales.

When Frederich came to the throne he was already seriously ill, suffering the latter stages of cancer. His reign was short, being only 99 days. This left their eldest son, Wilhelm who became King Wilhelm II of Prussia and Emperor of Germany, at the age of 29-years-old. Wilhelm often found his progress blocked by Prince Otto von Bismarck who had been Chancellor during the reign of Wilhelm's grandfather, but the young Emperor soon forced the elder statesman to resign.

Wilhelm believed in the Divine Right of Kings and ruled as such, though his policies often contradicted themselves. Wilhelm was one of the last to visit his grandmother, Queen Victoria, supporting her on her pillow through the last hours of her life. He was also one of the main figures at her funeral, but by 1914 Germany was at war with Great Britain.

No one would have foreseen more than a European war due to the actions of an assassin. The Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian Hungarian Empire was well aware that his life was in danger. It was his assassination that sparked the war that became a world war with treaties and alliances being invoked. It was decades later that a story emerged surrounding the car that Franz Ferdinand and his wife were killed in.

There had been a failed assassination attempt earlier that day, injuring a number of people travelling with the archduke. It was this that prompted him and his wife to go to the hospital to visit the wounded. The car, a Double Phantom built by the Graf Brothers in 1910, belonged to Count Franz von Harrach who loaned the car to the archduke for his visit to Sarajevo.

The driver, being unfamiliar with the roads took a wrong turn and soon got lost. And yet again it seems very convenient that an assassin was in the right place at the exact right moment. Two shots were fired, one hitting Sophia and the second hitting Franz Ferdinand in the neck, possibly killing him outright. Much later there was stories that the car had gone on to other owners who also perished in a variety of accidents with the car subsequently being fully repaired. One story goes that the car finally ended up in a museum where the caretaker would never let anyone sit inside the cursed car. With numerous bombings as the war continued, one finally struck the museum, but when the rubble was cleared there was no evidence of the caretaker or the car, both having mysteriously vanished.

In truth, the car was directly taken to the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum in Vienna, where it still remains to this day.

The second daughter of Victoria and Albert was born on the 25th of April 1843. Princess Alice married months after her father's death. Having nursed Prince Albert during his illness the Queen was still in mourning and so the marriage to Prince Ludwig took place at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.

The couple produced seven children, two dying before adulthood. It's these children that went on to forge the great dynasties, including Great Britain with Prince Philip, consort to Elizabeth II, coming from the eldest daughter, Victoria who married Prince Louis of Battenberg.

In 1878, the household was hit by diphtheria in which the youngest, Princess Marie succumbed. Having nursed her family, Princess Alice finally came down with the disease that took their life.

Prince Alfred was born on August 6, 1844 and forged an impressive naval career, marrying the Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia in January 1874. The union produced five children that married into the royal houses of Russia, Romania, Germany and Spain.

Prince Alfred died from cancer of the throat in July, 1900.

Princess Helena was born at Buckingham Palace on May 25, 1846. She was 19-years-old when she married Prince Christian, who was 15 years her senior. Queen Victoria consented to the marriage only with the agreement that the couple should live in England. At first they lived at Frogmore House and later Cumberland Lodge, both being a part of the Windsor estate.

The couple had four children that survived into adulthood. The eldest son, Prince Christian died from a fever in 1900, while fighting in the Boer War.

Their daughter Princess Marie Louise was married for a time to Prince Albert of Anhalt which ended in divorce in 1900. She went on to write "My Memories of Six Reigns" in which she recalled an experience where she saw the spirit of her older brother, Prince Christian. With her marriage over, she returned to England, setting up home in South Kensington. Princess Marie recalled that she was still in the throes of unpacking and was sorting things out in her sitting room when her brother, Prince Christian entered. He must have been solid enough for her to think he was visiting as she greeted him, telling him it was nice to see him. In return he replied that he had called to see that she was all right and happy, before sitting in a chair by the fire.

Princess Marie noticed her brother's favourite pet, a dachshund resting on his lap, but it wasn't until after they had talked a while that he said he was leaving and asked her not to follow, that she realised he was wearing khaki instead of his uniform and medals. At around the same time she also remembered he was dead, having been interred in South Africa where he had died 18 months previous.

Princess Helena died in 1923, only six years after her husband and was interred alongside him at Frogmore.

Princess Louise was born in March 1848 at Buckingham Palace. After numerous suggestions for a husband that would have caused a rift within the family with the warring European realms, it was finally decided that Louise should find a match from the nobility. The Duke and Duchess of Argyll were already friends of the Queen and approved a match with their eldest son John.

Louise married John Douglas Sutherland Campbell in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle three days after her 23rd birthday on March 21, 1871.

When her husband acquired the post of Governor General of Canada, the couple moved to Ottawa where Louise became very popular. The eighth Duke died in 1900 and Louise became Duchess of Argyll. The couple had no children with there being rumours that he was homosexual, making for a rather unhappy marriage. The Duke died in 1914 while Louise lived on to the age of 91. Some of Louise's belongings are now on display at the haunted family home of the Campbell’s, Inveraray Castle.

Prince Arthur was born in May of 1850 at Buckingham Palace. At the age of 16, he became a commissioned officer forging a distinguished career.

In 1879 he married Princess Louise of Prussia in St George's Chapel, where most of Victoria's children held their marriage ceremonies. The couple had a son and two daughters who entered into marriage with auspicious titles. The eldest, Princess Margaret married Prince Gustav Adolph of Sweden. Prince Arthur married his cousin, Princess Alexandra the Duchess of Fife while the youngest, Princess Patricia married Sir Alexander Ramsay, a naval man, who was captain at the time, but later became an admiral.

Like many of the children of Victoria and Albert Prince, Prince Arthur lived to the grand age of 92, dying at Bagshot Park where he had resided since withdrawing from public life, his wife having pre-deceased him by 25 years.

The youngest son, Prince Leopold was just 8 1/2 years old when his father died. Being born with the genetic disease of haemophilia, Leopold spent most of his childhood fighting the illness which finally was to take him at the age of 31.

Due to his health, he couldn't enter into a military career but attended Oxford where he earned a doctorate, later becoming a patron of the arts.

It was late in life that he married, less than two years before he died. The marriage to Princess Helena of Waldeck took place in St George's Chapel at Windsor. The couple had two children, Princess Alice and Prince Charles who was born four months after his father's death.

Prince Charles led a happy childhood and being Queen Victoria's favourite grandson must have prompted her to award him the title Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the principality of Prince Albert.

At 16 years old, Charles was uprooted from his country of birth, moving to a country he knew nothing about and speaking no German. Coming under the influence of his cousin, Kaiser Wilhelm, he married his niece, Victoria. When war came Charles had to make a choice of supporting his German cousin or the country of his birth. Seeing how going against a neighbouring country would have meant virtual suicide, Charles was forced to go with the losing side.

After World War I, Charles found himself in the wilderness, rejected by his British family and stripped of his titles that it's no wonder that when Adolf Hitler came to power Charles was one of his ardent supporters. He was rewarded by Hitler who made him President of the German Red Cross which carried out a horrific programme of euthanasia, leading to an estimated 100,000 deaths, though the depth of Prince Charles involvement has never been established.

Before his suicide, Hitler sent a communication to Charles telling him not to allow himself to be captured by the Americans. If it was a hint to take his own life, Charles didn't follow it and was taken prisoner.

Put on trial as an important Nazi, Charles pleaded not guilty, claiming he had acted in honour and knew of no war crimes. It was probably being the grandson of Queen Victoria, who had put him in such a position, that saved him his life.

With his estates confiscated and heavily in debt through fines, he was finally allowed out of prison where he spent the remainder of what was left of his life in a cottage on his former estates, dying in a bed he had taken with him at the age of 16.

The youngest child of Victoria and Albert, Princess Beatrice was born in April 1857, just one month before Queen Victoria's 38th birthday. Princess Beatrice was only four years old when her father died and remained with her mother, acting as companion and secretary. She married Prince Henry of Battenberg in July 1885, with Victoria's agreement only if the couple set up home with her. And so the family moved between Windsor, Balmoral and the Isle of Wight.

The couple had three sons and a daughter, with Princess Victoria marrying King Alfonso XIII of Spain.

Like her siblings, Princess Beatrice lived to the grand old age of 87 years.

When Albert died on the 14th of December 1861, Victoria went into a mourning from which she never returned. She went into isolation for the next 10 years, rarely being seen, though continuing to do her duty as queen. There were whispers that she would, or should abdicate in favour of her son, but she made it quite clear that she thought him indiscreet and frivolous, no doubt being aware of her son’s string of mistresses.

She also became interested in the paranormal, but more in a way of contacting her beloved Albert. To this effect a number of séances were held in which Albert presumably came through, being channelled by her man-servant, John Brown. The rumours persist that Victoria and John Brown began an affair, even to a secret marriage having taken place.

She certainly thought enough of him to award him medals. One medal awarded was for his bravery when in 1872, Victoria was alighting from a carriage when Arthur O'Connor rushed towards her brandishing what later turned out to be an unloaded pistol. John Brown knocked the 17-year-old to the ground before the queen even saw the gun. She also had paintings and statues of his likeness commissioned.

The familiarity didn't go down too well with Victoria's family nor politicians who felt the servant was too low class to be advising and guiding her as Prince Albert had done. John Brown died in March 1883 at the age of 56.

When Victoria died she was interred beside Albert, but had requested that both mementos from Albert and John Brown be placed with her, maybe in recognition of a second husband that she could never publicly recognise. With her family detesting John Brown, the wish was not carried out. And to further exasperate future historians, many of Victoria's papers and parts of her diaries were burned.

Victoria and Albert had Balmoral Castle built as a retreat, being completed in 1855, and that is when John Brown came into the service of the royal family. He was gillie at Balmoral Castle, only becoming a more personal servant to Victoria on Albert's death. The faithful servant has been reputedly seen walking the halls of Balmoral Castle since his death.

Victoria may have felt she was helping the spirits move on when in 1876 she ordered the flagstone floor of St Peter’s ad Vinicula church within the walls of the Tower of London be taken up and the bodies of the condemned be given a proper burial. With over 200 bodies, identification was virtually impossible, but it was claimed they had located both Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey where markers have now been added.

Victoria also attempted to put to rest one of the oldest hauntings among the royal houses, that of Herne the Hunter. He is linked to numerous kings but one story is that he had been a forrester to the last Plantagenet king, Richard II, dressing in deer skins with a horned helmet upon his head. The other foresters were jealous of Herne’s status and making up stories to the king, Herne was fired from his position. In grief, Herne took his own life by hanging himself. Over the years numerous sightings have been reported with Herne astride a horse accompanied by a pack of dogs. To set his soul to rest, Victoria had the tree which was said to be the one he hung himself from, cut down, using the logs for her own fire. However, such a plan didn't work, though after 460 years it may not have been the correct tree, or even a true story as Herne has still been seen in recent times.

On January 22, 1901 with her family around her, Queen Victoria slipped from this world into the next. She died at Osborne House which had been designed by Prince Albert and built on the Isle of Wight as a holiday retreat. Queen Victoria is still said to pay visits to the home she loved so much along with her son, Prince Leopold. She had already written instructions for a military funeral and after lying in state for two days was interred beside Prince Albert at Windsor in the Frogmore Mausoleum.

And so ended the house of Hanover with her eldest son being of his fathers house, the house of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.


Paranormal X 2000 - 2013

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