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Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh

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Title: Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh  
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Subject: Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, Frederick, Prince of Wales, Princess Caroline of Gloucester, British princess, Version 1.0 Editorial Team/British royalty articles by quality log
Collection: 1743 Births, 1805 Deaths, British Field Marshals, Burials at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Chancellors of the University of Dublin, Dukes in the Peerage of Great Britain, Dukes of Gloucester and Edinburgh, Grenadier Guards Officers, House of Hanover, Knights of the Garter, Members of the Privy Council of Great Britain, People Associated with Trinity College, Dublin, People from Westminster, People from Windsor, Berkshire, Princes of Great Britain, Princes of the United Kingdom, Scots Guards Officers, Somerset Light Infantry Officers
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Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh

Prince William
The Duke of Gloucester painted ca. 1780 by Johann Zoffany
Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh
Successor Prince William (yr.)
Born (1743-11-25)25 November 1743
Leicester House, Westminster
Died 25 August 1805(1805-08-25) (aged 61)
Gloucester House, Westminster
Burial 4 September 1805
Spouse Maria Walpole
Issue Princess Sophia of Gloucester
Princess Caroline of Gloucester
Prince William, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh
Full name
William Henry
House House of Hanover
Father Frederick, Prince of Wales
Mother Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha

Prince William, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh King George III of the United Kingdom.


  • Early life 1
  • Marriage 2
    • Illegitimate issue 2.1
  • Later life 3
  • Titles, styles, honours and arms 4
    • Titles and styles 4.1
    • Honours 4.2
    • Arms 4.3
  • Ancestors 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Prince William Henry was born at Caroline of Ansbach, and Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, then Princess of Wales. He was christened at Leicester House eleven days later. His godparents were his paternal uncle by marriage, The Prince of Orange (for whom someone stood proxy); his paternal uncle, The Duke of Cumberland; and his paternal aunt, The Princess Amelia.[1] As a grandchild of the sovereign, he was styled His Royal Highness Prince William at birth. He was fourth in the line of succession at birth.

William Henry, aged 11, by Liotard

Prince William later joined the Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh and Earl of Connaught on 19 November 1764.[2] He had been made a Knight of the Garter on 27 May 1762, and invested on 22 September of that year.[3]


The Duke was Warden of Windsor Forest and resided at Cranbourne Lodge. He was most known for his secret marriage in 1766 to Maria Walpole, the Dowager Countess of Waldegrave, an illegitimate granddaughter of Sir Robert Walpole, from nearby Frogmore House. This marriage only became known to the King after the passing of the Royal Marriages Act 1772. They lived at St Leonard's Hill in Clewer, near Windsor, and had three children:

Princess Caroline died aged nine months following a the younger William married his cousin Princess Mary, he and his surviving sister Sophia received the style of Royal Highness.

British Royalty
House of Hanover
Quarterly, I Gules three lions passant guardant in pale Or impaling Or a lion rampant within a double-tressure flory-counter-flory Gules; II Azure three fleurs-de-lys Or; III Azure a harp Or stringed Argent; IV tierced per pale and per chevron, I Gules two lions passant guardant Or, II Or a semy of hearts Gules a lion rampant Azure, III Gules a horse courant Argent, overall an escutcheon Gules charged with the crown of Charlemagne Or
George II
Frederick, Prince of Wales
Anne, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange
Princess Amelia
Princess Caroline
Prince William, Duke of Cumberland
Mary, Landgravine of Hesse-Cassel
Louise, Queen of Denmark and Norway
Augusta, Duchess of Brunswick
George III
Prince Edward, Duke of York and Albany
Princess Elizabeth of Wales
Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh
Prince Henry, Duke of Cumberland and Strathearn
Princess Louisa of Wales
Prince Frederick of Wales
Caroline Matilda, Queen of Denmark and Norway
Princess Sophia of Gloucester
Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh

Illegitimate issue

Portrait of the Duke of Gloucester in 1804 by Sir William Beechey.

The Duke also had an illegitimate daughter by his mistress Lady Almeria Carpenter, a daughter of the first Earl of Tyrconnell.

  • Louisa Maria La Coast (6 January 1782 Esher, Surrey – 10 February 1835 Bossall, Yorkshire), who was married on 29 December 1803 in Norwich, Norfolk to Godfrey Macdonald, 11th Baronet Macdonald of Slate, later the 3rd Baron Macdonald of Slate. They had three children born before their marriage (legitimized by Scottish law, but not by Irish law) and ten children born after their marriage. (A previous marriage in Scotland was considered of doubtful validity.) These children and their posterity are the only descendants of Prince William, 1st Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh.

Later life

The Duke was appointed colonel of the 13th Regiment of Foot in 1766. In 1767 he was promoted to major-general and made colonel of the 3rd Regiment of Foot Guards.[5] He later transferred to the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards, and he became a field marshal on 18 October 1793.[6]

He served as the thirteenth Chancellor of Trinity College, Dublin from 1771 to 1805.

He died at Gloucester House in London.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 25 November 1743 – 19 November 1764: His Royal Highness Prince William[7]
  • 19 November 1764 – 25 August 1805: His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh

His peerages were gazetted on 17 November.[8]



William was granted use of the arms of the kingdom, differenced by a label argent of five points, the centre bearing a fleur-de-lys azure, the other points each bearing a cross gules.[9]

The Duke's Royal Arms



  1. ^ a b Yvonne's Royalty Home Page: Royal Christenings
  2. ^ Yvonne's Royalty: Peerage
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 10247. p. 1. 25 September 1762.
  4. ^ Berkshire History: Biographies: Maria Walpole, Duchess of Gloucester (1737-1807)
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 10796. p. 3. 5–9 January 1768. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 13582. p. 913. 15 October 1793. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  7. ^ The London Gazette calls him "His Royal Highness Prince William" The London Gazette: no. 10212. p. 2. 25 May 1762.; The London Gazette: no. 10247. p. 1. 25 September 1762.; The London Gazette: no. 10411. p. 1. 21 April 1764.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 10470. p. 1. 17 November 1764.
  9. ^ Marks of Cadency in the British Royal Family

External links

Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh
Cadet branch of the House of Welf
Born: 14 November 1743 Died: 25 August 1805
Military offices
Preceded by
Harry Pulteney
Colonel of the 13th Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
James Murray
Preceded by
The Earl of Rothes
Colonel of the 3rd Regiment of Foot Guards
Succeeded by
The Earl of Loudoun
Preceded by
The Earl Ligonier
Colonel of the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards
Succeeded by
The Duke of York and Albany
Peerage of Great Britain
New creation Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh
Succeeded by
Prince William (yr.)
Peerage of Ireland
New creation Earl of Connaught
Succeeded by
Prince William (yr.)
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