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  #41  
Old 11-13-2007, 08:19 AM
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If Polly would cite her sources, that will be helpful in understanding how she comes to these hard opinions about AV.

I've never encountered anything definitively stated about him or his character. Everything I've read has been........ suggestive but not definitive.
But it seems that there might be some definitive accounts which might have led to Polly having such strong decisions about him.

I was expecting, btw, for this discussion to be moved to BRF History. Thanks, Warren.
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  #42  
Old 11-13-2007, 09:49 AM
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let's agree he was controversial.

Even Wikipedia writes this:

"At least one historian (Andrew Cook) has attempted to rehabilitate his reputation, arguing that the Prince's lack of academic progress was partly due to his tyrannical tutor, Dalton; that the Prince had liberal opinions, particularly on Irish Home Rule; that he was a warm and charming man; and that his reputation has been diminished by official circles eager to improve the image of his brother, Prince George, later George V."

Knowing the political and social climate of these times pre turn of the century, it is easy to imagine that a man with unusual sexual tastes and liberal political opinions (at least he had them!) could be slandered by the establishment. It was not unusual to frequent brothels then (think of Marquis de Toulouse-Lautrec's paintings) while OTOH penicillin already existed to avoid the worst of the diseases to be caught there. There is controversial evidence of his participating in the male brothel on Cleveland Street at all.

But - it is a proven fact that his family loved him, his mother even kept his room as a remembrance shrine for him after he died so young. Plus both queen Victoria and her son Edward had a real liking for princess May of Teck, so I doubt they would have forced or coerced her to marry a prince with veneral diseases.

So my opinion is that Eddy was unusual, yes, but not vicious - or if he was sexually "vicious"l, it may well have been within the lines of SSC.
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  #43  
Old 11-13-2007, 11:32 AM
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Jo, your impression of AV, "Eddy", pretty closely matches mine. I always thought he must have been very promiscuous, and probably not too bright, and unfortunately ran with a set of people who took advantage of his idiocy, or slowness, or else took advantage of his bad judge of character.
He might have been like a 19th century Harry. Perhaps he was a bloke with a good heart but bad behavior and the worst luck.

We can say certainly that he cavorted with prostitutes. I believe at least one of Jack the Ripper's victims had letters from AV, and then there was a place where Jack the Ripper was known to have been, a bar I think, and there were witnessed that placed AV at the same place around the same time as Jack the Ripper was there, supposedly. (This info. should be checked; see Patricia Cornwell's book which claims Jack the Ripper was the artist Sickert; Cornwell discussed Prince Albert Victor as a suspect, though she believes wholly in the Sickert theory, and she is very convincing, I might add.)
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  #44  
Old 11-13-2007, 11:54 AM
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But did May really love AV at all? Everything I've ever read suggests she was chosen for him mainly because she was an attractive, serious hard-working girl of impeccable moral character and that she accepted his proposal because she was raised to believe there was no higher calling than to be a member of the Royal Family. I'm sure they were fond of each other and shew was saddened by his death - after all, they were children together - but I doubt if this was a grand passion for either side.

So if you take it that May never loved AV, perhaps the idea that she transferred her affections to George isn't that hard to understand.
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  #45  
Old 11-13-2007, 12:18 PM
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I don't approve of some of the choices he seems to have made either, but no, you can't say his family was better off without him.
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  #46  
Old 11-13-2007, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by cmkrcwi View Post
But did May really love AV at all? Everything I've ever read suggests she was chosen for him mainly because she was an attractive, serious hard-working girl of impeccable moral character and that she accepted his proposal because she was raised to believe there was no higher calling than to be a member of the Royal Family. I'm sure they were fond of each other and shew was saddened by his death - after all, they were children together - but I doubt if this was a grand passion for either side.

So if you take it that May never loved AV, perhaps the idea that she transferred her affections to George isn't that hard to understand.
Yeah, I see what you mean. I do believe that May and George fell in love in the deepest sense, as Jo pointed out as well. As for her loving "Eddy", I suppose it could have been a case of May being thought of by his family, who obviously loved her, as perhaps the perfect wife for him in the sense that, maybe she could "tame" him. I don't mean that she could have done, but it's possible his family hoped she might have that effect on him. Queen Victoria regarded May as a favorite, I think, and also adored Eddy, and The Big V probably hoped her dearest May would influence her dearest Eddy.
And May was dutiful and wanted to obey and please her family. She might not have loved Eddy but she was a "good girl" if you follow, and she wanted to do what she perceived as the "right" thing, I'm only guessing.... It's just specuation!
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  #47  
Old 11-13-2007, 03:30 PM
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Queen Mary and AV

At one point during her engagement to Prince Eddy, Princess May told her mother, Princess Mary Adelaide, that she did not know if she could take this on. Her mother replied, "You can and you will!" Alix of Hesse, later the Czarina, was first chosen to be his wife, but she declined. She told Queen Victoria that if she was forced to she would marry him, but that she could not feel about him the way a wife was supposed to feel about a husband. Alix was beautiful, May was not. Alix's family had money. Princess Mary Adelaide was constantly in debt and nobody asked for Princess May's hand in marriage. She was also a serene highness which gave her an inferiority complex. From all I have read about Prince Albert Victor I shudder to think what her marriage to him would have been like. He was exceptionally stupid, some say he was retarded, and he had a terrible reputation involving both sexes.
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  #48  
Old 11-13-2007, 04:41 PM
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In the sense that May got to marry a man to whom she was dearly loved and who loved her like the rising sun, then I suppose Eddy's death can be said to have been a lucky save for her. But even that is disturbing to say, because it's just as bad as saying the world was "better off" without him. Maybe that was true, but .... I can't believe his family felt any gladness at his being dead, and I think he was a very young man when he died, not even 30 years old, so in that sense it feels like he died before having any chance to mature. It would be like Harry or William dying now. People would think, what a waste, before they had a chance to mature and do something with their lives.

Returning to May and George, their marriage was a blessing, and it's sweet to think that May and Alix both married the "identical cousins", and both ultimately made blissful marriages.
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  #49  
Old 11-13-2007, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CasiraghiTrio View Post
If Polly would cite her sources, that will be helpful in understanding how she comes to these hard opinions about AV.
There is an enormous amount of literature and discussion about Albert Victor and his life, including his alleged participation in the Cleveland Street scandal all over the internet, from which you can also locate the titles of a few serious books and journal articles. My local library, in fact, holds quite a number of books which include many of the details of his life which have formed my opinion. It was not his patronage of a male brothel which led me to regard him as ‘vicious’ - I have no views whatsoever on anybody’s sexual preferences or behaviour - rather, it’s what I’ve read about his actions in the cover-up, even though his family sent him out of the country, quick smart, until the furore died down.

You might be interested to read: Aronson, Theo. Prince Eddy and the Homosexual Underworld. London : J. Murray. 1995. Aronson is a fan, or ’friendly critic’ of the royal family and has written many books about them and has even interviewed some of them, including Princess Margaret and The Queen Mother!

If you check on Cleveland Street Scandal on the net, you may come across a report, printed in an American newspaper at the time, which is highly critical of and accusatory towards Eddy.

Prince Eddy, I can safely suggest was another heir apparent whose role was considerably eased in the country due to the high regard and affection in which his mother, Alexandra, Princes of Wales, was held.

Discussions, claims and counter-claims about ‘Eddy’ are also weighed up throughout the whole Ripperology industry, and it’s a considerable industry, indeed. You will find books and authors (many still in print) about which scholars argue, gleefully tearing each other’s theories and ‘proofs’ to pieces. For the record, I don’t believe that Albert Victor was The Ripper either, though I believe it possible that some of those around Eddy may well have had pertinent and relevant information and knowledge.

By most reports, he was a “very slow" child and grew up to be a rather “dull adult“ (his father‘s words).. "Even his nearest and dearest, who were naturally bent on making the best of poor Prince Eddy, could not bring themselves to use more positive terms. Prince Eddy was certainly, in his mother’s opinion, dear and good, kind and considerate. He was also backward and utterly listless. He was self-indulgent and not punctual. He had been given no proper education (due to his inability to learn) and as a result he was interested in nothing. He was selfish and as heedless and as aimless as a gleaming gold-fish in a crystal bowl." (James Pope-Hennessy, Queen Mary: 1867 - 1953. Knopf. 1960.)

The most interesting thing about Albert Victor to me is that there persists so many differing stories about him and his death. There’s the official line, that he died of the ‘flu. There’s the line that Sir William Gull deliberately injected him with an overdose of morphine to put him out of his syphilis-induced madness and pain, and those who are adamant that Gull did this at Edward VII’s behest as neither he nor the government could stomach the thought of Eddy as King! Some others are convinced that he lived until 1930, locked away in Osborne House with a retinue of retainers and medical staff, and that’s why later royals have never wanted Osborne. The internet, of course, lends itself to all sorts of conspiracy theories which some people read and believe no matter how wild and wacky they are. Usually, I rely upon sources who've had access to original, certifiable documents or what is called 'personal communication'. I must admit, though, that I'm not above listening to and relishing the odd snippet of gossip or two!

Incidentally, Pope-Hennessy’s biography of Queen Mary is an excellent one which I can recommend to anyone wishing to learn more about this admirable woman. As my copy is my mother’s, you may have to buy it second hand.
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  #50  
Old 11-13-2007, 08:50 PM
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Why then was Eddy moved to Sandringham for the final illness of his life? Sandringham is where he died, right?
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  #51  
Old 11-13-2007, 10:27 PM
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I was under the impression that May/Albert Victor marriage was definitely about May being a stable influence, needed the money and the prestige and Albert Victor needing a good nice solid girl who could control his vices.

I know Alix of Hesse was a possible bride...but wasn't Victoria Melita as well? Or am I confusing Albert Victor with someone else?
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  #52  
Old 11-14-2007, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by CasiraghiTrio View Post
Why then was Eddy moved to Sandringham for the final illness of his life? Sandringham is where he died, right?
I don't know the answer to this, C-T, except to say that Sandringham was and is a private royal residence, their own home, as it were, where only the most personal and devoted of servants then worked. And one has to die somewhere, of course.

Conspiracy theorists would say that he was removed from London to keep him away from prying eyes and friends and detractors, equally, as his brain was severely compromised at this late stage.

This, then, suggests that nefarious forces were determined to get rid of him. I do think that it's reasonable to assume that the government viewed Eddy as king with more than a little trepidation and anxiety.

However, in this regard, I really find it difficult to believe that any father would actually agree to be complicit in his own son's death, no matter what the provocation.

On the other hand, I believe that Essex was Elizabeth I's son, and when he committed treason, she signed his death warrant! I know that she cried and wept and wailed, but she actually did it. Then again, the world was a very different place 500 years ago.

I'd feel sorry for Eddy if I didn't think him a dunderhead and a duplicitous friend. No, dismiss that....he couldn't help being a dunderhead. Perhaps I have been too harsh in my opinions of him, given his very low level of intelligence and understanding. I suppose that I could agree that he didn't have the capacity to know or behave any better.

Had Albert Victor become King, then the Head of State of my country would have been one of his descendants. Given the worrying habit of the Habsburgs to intermarry which, it's claimed, gave prominence to many inherited problems and deformities, I can only speculate of what sort of a man or woman would be pre-eminent in this land.

Again, I end where I began. It was Albert Victor's family's great good fortune that he died. Mine too, for that matter.

Just my 2cents worth.
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  #53  
Old 11-14-2007, 03:41 AM
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It was in good fortune of the monarchy that he died (?) but certainly not his family. That is, in my mind, quite a careless thing to say given he was still someones son, brother, grandchild, nephew and cousin and for all his misgivings, whatever they may have been, he belonged to a family and I don't doubt that his family loved him.

Someone who sufferes from any spychological impediment, whether it be minor or quite substantial does not always comprehend (infact, it can often worsen with the severity of the disorder, illness etc) what effect their actions have on others. It just doesn't always register. Morality is also something which is documented as being subjective at times. I'm not saying he wasn't entirely aware and didn't know what he was always doing, when he was doing it, but on every occasion? Personally, I wouldn't be so quick to pounce and lay judgement. If he were living now and were a young boy at school he could have quite possibly been part of an intergration program or something similar. We'll never know of course, but when spoken of in present tense, it adds another shade to what seems to be a rather dark story anyhow.

And I think perhaps that yes, your opinion of him has come across as excessively malicious which I must admit, I have been surprised by your eloquent (as always) yet clearly resentful opinion.

I don't dispute your opinion, Polly, for it is yours and you have as much of a right to express it as anyone would.

I've just found reading through your posts to be a very interesting experience and I thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

Quote:
Had Albert Victor become King, then the Head of State of my country would have been one of his descendants
Our current Head of State is one of his familial descendants and Her Majesty seems perfectly turned out to me (though I 'get' your point)


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  #54  
Old 11-14-2007, 04:06 AM
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No pics on this page, so here's two more.
(copyright expired, Public Domain)

Duke of Clarence
1 formal shot
2 with Princess May of Teck
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  #55  
Old 11-14-2007, 04:13 AM
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Our current Head of State is one of his descendants and Her Majesty seems perfectly turned out to me (though I 'get' your point)
I think you got that wrong - Eddy died before he married May, so they had no children. The current queen is a grand-grand-niece of Eddy, no direct descendant. As if that helped.... think of Edward VIII. and his Nazi-friends...
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  #56  
Old 11-14-2007, 04:25 AM
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No, it's quite correct, Jo. Though perhaps I should have said 'amongst' instead of 'one of'.
Though not direct, Elizabeth is still a descendant of Albert Victor. I assure you dear heart (said with well intent) that I am perfectly aware of the BRF family tree
And Elizabeth is actually his great niece, not great great.
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  #57  
Old 11-14-2007, 04:35 AM
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Given the worrying habit of the Habsburgs to intermarry which, it's claimed, gave prominence to many inherited problems and deformities, I can only speculate of what sort of a man or woman would be pre-eminent in this land.
It was not the Habsburgs, who intermarried that much, it was the Wittelsbach-Habsburg-marriages who brought so much problems. The Wittelsbach always have had a slightly "individualistic" trait, which could cause a lot of problems: personal and political for those surrounding them. Especially if you realize how large the Wittelsbach-family was: electress Sophie was one of them, too...Quite some political adventures can be lead directly back to the stubborness of a man or woman from the Wittelsbach-family.

It became a Habsburg-problem, when several emperors one after the other decided to marry a Bavarian princess. Before that, they had married whichever heiress they could snatch, first crazy Juana of Spain, then princesses mostly from Eastern europe and Italy.

I think it's very interesting to see how the idea of nationalism developped and how the marriage politics of the European RF changed after that. I believe after the Napoleonic wars and the congress of Vienna, Europe and Britain seperated. The conflict between Prussia and Austria about the mastership of the Middle of Europe involved to a certain degree France and Russia as well, while Italy and Spain were rather stable and kept to themselves. Britain had not much interest in becoming involved in Europe - religion as a topic was through and nationality put the focus directly on Britain's own interests, which lay more and more in their Commonwealth and not longer in being a player in Europe. Denmark was a safe ally, after Denmark and Prussia had found a compromise over Schleswig-Holstein, they, too, were not longer of interest for Europe as was Sweden. Long gone the days where the king of Sweden conquered parts of Austria! And of course after the Act of Settlement, catholic brides from Italy, Spain or France were not longer a good option.

Victoria tried to play the dynastic card for the last time and found that it didn't help anymore. So afterwards IMHO the British Royal family prefered secure marriages and a stable family to political alliances which didn't help anymore. The princesses married into the British aristocracy and preferred life in Britain, while the princes likewise married their own kin or British aristos. And of course the Greeks were always good alternatives: Russian Grand Duchesses married into the Royal family with the same faith and passed their money on to their children who featured the refined and old! Danish Royal ancestry.... But none of these marriages led to the involvement of the UK in Europe's numerous conflicts - but the generous British relations always sent a comfortable and powerful ship to carry their disposed relations in their exile...
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  #58  
Old 11-14-2007, 04:38 AM
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No, it's quite correct, Jo.Though not direct, Elizabeth is still a descendant of Albert Victor. I assure you dear heart that I am perfectly aware of the BRF family tree And Elizabeth is actually his great niece, not great great.
Hmm..., do you use descendant in English even if there is no direct bloodline? Can someone have descendents who died without leaving issue? It's a language queston for me, so I'm thankful to anybody who could point me to a discussion about the word and his correct meaning.Thank you!
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  #59  
Old 11-14-2007, 04:45 AM
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Well, I certainly do and I know of many others who do the same. I would imagined it to have been fairly common place, really.

And given Albert Victor was the brother of her grandfather, I would say that he was a blood relation.

I recognise all my great aunts and uncles (the ones I've had the pleasure of knowing in their latter years) as being my blood relations. Diluted of course, but certainly still a blood relation.
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Old 11-14-2007, 04:52 AM
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Of course they are blood relations. But is he her ancestor/she his descendant or do they only share his father as their common ancestor? Would you say that Lady Sarah Chatto is a descendant of the queen? They are both descendants of Queen Mum, though...
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