A Blupete Biography Page

Introduction, Part 1 to the Life & Works of
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent

With this biographical sketch, we touch upon a very romantic story of early Nova Scotia. You may recall that, before her birth, Queen Victoria's father was stationed at Halifax to serve the King, his father, George the Third; first, as the Commander of the garrison at Halifax beginning in 1796, then, in 1799, as the Commander in Chief of British Forces in North America. He had a female companion who came with him from Quebec. To most she was simply known as Madame de St. Laurent, to her intimates, Julie. She was from an aristocratic family from France; but, not of royal blood. The prince and Julie were to live for a period of about five years at a lodge on Bedford Basin, near Halifax, owned by Governor John Wentworth. I have a picture of it, it was quite the spread. At one point, the Duke had the regiment dig out a pond in the shape of a heart which can be seen yet today: all for the love of Julie.

Leaving Halifax in 1800 Prince Edward was to wait for further orders from the King. In 1802, he received his appointment as the Governor of Gibraltar. Julie went along and lived there with him. After a short stay Prince Edward came back to England after being abroad for many years; Julie continued to be with him, when in 1816 they moved to Brussels to live out their lives together. Then, the sad part of the story. The British government called Prince Edward home, away from Julie, so that he could marry a German Princess. After a very tearful departure -- they had an exclusive relationship for twenty-seven years -- Julie went off, some believe, to a convent in France to live out the rest of her days. Edward did marry the German Princess; and, in 1819, Victoria, the longest reigning English monarch in history was born to Edward and his German Princess.

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Peter Landry
2011

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