On April 29 it was announced that the Queen had revived the royal title ‘Duke of Cambridge’ for Prince William, on his wedding day.
This choice of title is interesting, as it has a local link in the distant past. But first, a brief history…
Older readers will recall our Queen’s grandmother, Queen Mary, widow of King George V; she died in 1953. Queen Mary’s grandfather was H.R.H. Prince Adolphus Frederick (1774-1850), seventh son of King George III, created Duke of Cambridge in 1801.
The Scottish State Coach, in which the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh returned from the Abbey after the Royal Wedding, was built for this Duke of Cambridge in 1830; and his family used it for many years thereafter.
The last Duke of Cambridge was the first duke’s only son Prince George (1819-1904), Commander-in Chief of the British Army 1856-95.
In 1917, George’s nephew, Queen Mary’s brother, until then Prince Adolphus of Teck, was created Marquess of Cambridge; he died in 1927. On the death of his son, the 2nd Marquess, in 1981, the Cambridge title became extinct, reverting to the Crown; to be resurrected as a Dukedom for Prince William on his wedding day in 2011.
Through Rev. Francis Pigou (1832-1916), vicar of Halifax 1875-88, Calderdale has a link with the first Duke of Cambridge’s widow, Augusta Wilhelmina Louisa (1797-1889), aunt to Queen Victoria. He and the Duchess were quite close; indeed, in his memoirs, Pigou referred to her as “almost as a mother to me in later years.”
He knew her children well, visiting the family on several occasions at St James’s Palace. And in 1866 Pigou was invited to the wedding of her daughter Princess Mary Adelaide to the Duke of Teck; this couple were the parents of Queen Mary.
I believe Prince William’s wife Catherine is only the second lady to be hold the title, Duchess of Cambridge.