The other Princesses of Cambridge

hellomagazine.com

The Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, has welcomed a baby girl, but the little one isn't the first Princess of Cambridge. Princess Mary Adelaide Wilhelmina Elizabeth of Cambridge, born in 1833, also held the title. As did her sister Princess Augusta born in 1822. They were the daughters of Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge and Princess Augusta of Hesse-Cassel, as well as being the granddaughters of King George III.

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The Duchess of Cambridge has welcomed a baby girl



The previous Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also had a son named George, who was styled similarly to his sisters until he inherited the dukedom upon his father's death. His elder sister Augusta became the Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg on marrying her cousin Frederick. Known for being shrewd and intelligent, she lived until the age of 94.

Of the two girls, Mary was far more colourful. Like Princess Diana, she was affectionately known as the 'People's Princess', and was one of the earliest royals to support a wide range of charitable organisations, much like Kate herself.

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Kate gave birth to her baby girl at 8.34am on Saturday morning



Unfortunately for Mary, she had a predisposition to gain weight, earning her the nickname 'Fat Mary'. She had a large build, which she enjoyed draping in fine fabrics and jewellery. She didn't marry until her 30s, because of her portly appearance, lack of income and advanced age.

Eventually a husband was found: her suitor was Prince Francis of Württemberg, a German state. The prince was of lower rank than Mary and had no succession rights to the throne of Württemberg, but he had royal blood which made the match good enough.

The couple had four children: Princess Victoria Mary, Prince Adolphus, Prince Francis, and Prince Alexander. The eldest was crowned as Queen Mary, the consort of George V, in 1893 and was the grandmother of the current Queen. Mary and her husband lived in London in some style.

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William and Kate's daughter will not be the first Princess of Cambridge



Despite a generous grant from Parliament for carrying out royal duties, Mary Adelaide tended to live beyond her means and built up large debts. The couple were forced to flee into exile in 1883 to avoid their creditors. They stayed with relatives in Germany and Austria and hid out in Florence, Italy.

The family returned from exile in 1885 to their residence at White Lodge in Richmond Park. Queen Victoria was fond of the eldest daughter of the family, Princess Mary, who became engaged to Prince Albert, second-in-line to the British throne. But when he suddenly died at age 28, the Queen persuaded his brother, Prince George to marry her instead, making her Queen Consort.

Sadly, Princess Mary Adelaide never saw her daughter crowned Queen as she died in October 1897 at her home in Richmond Park. In line with royal tradition, Mary Adelaide's great-great-great-grandson Prince William was granted the Dukedom of Cambridge on his marriage in 2011.

William's uncles both received titles on their wedding days. Prince Andrew became the Duke of York, while Prince Edward as a younger son was created the Earl of Wessex, a lower rank. When Prince Harry weds, he will receive a peerage too.