A Blupete Biography Page

Final Remarks, Part 10 to the Life & Works of
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent

There is the story set out by Duff73 as to Edward's charitable heart. This was in Gibraltar in the midst of all his troubles with the officers there and back in England. A soldier who had brought his family over to Gibraltar had set out in a small boat with his son to catch fish for his family. A storm came up; the boat upset; and the pair died. The widow, pregnant with another, received a visit from an officer who consoled her and played with the children for a while, on leaving he put twelve gold dollars in her hand. The next day he came again with gifts for all of them. The widow only knew that this was an officer she had no idea it with the Royal Prince, The Duke of Kent. After a few visits, the woman saw in a public parade that the officer that had been so generous to her and her fatherless family was none less than His Royal Highness, the Duke of Kent. On a further visit, one of the children addressed the officer as, "His Royal Highness." The Prince, though he continued to watch over the family, never paid them a visit again.

The Duchess of Kent took herself and her baby up from Devon to London where the family took over. The cortege brought the body of Prince Edward to Windsor where he was buried in the Royal Vault. The Duchess had a set of apartments granted to her at Kensington Palace, there to spend quiet years raising her daughter, Victoria.

Julie, it is popularly believed, after she and Edward separated, went off to a convent in France to live out the balance of her days. This may be so, really there is so little we know of Julie St. Laurent. McKenzie Porter74 has it that she went, in time, to be with her family, the de Montgenets, at St. Laurent-sur-mer on the Normandy coast. It is said that she eventually married Prince Prospero Colonna, a member of the Russian branch of an Italian family. They traveled to Louisianna where Colonna had family. From Louisianna they went to Quebec where Julie stayed on while her husband attended to his family affairs that brought him to Russia. On one such trip he died. Julie, it is said, continued to stay on in Quebec where she died, in 1872, at the ripe old age of 106. This is likely not true, as, Mollie Gillen has it that Julie was buried in the cemetery of Pere Lachaise75, buried with her sister in a grave that is weathering, with moss and ivy having rendered the piece of ground unidentifiable.

As for his connection to Nova Scotia: Prince Edward made his marks on Halifax, and will always be remembered. These marks on the ground can be yet seen today. There is the town clock on the eastern slope of citadel hill overlooking the city. The plans for its construction, made in England, were initiated before Prince Edward left Halifax in 1800, though its construction was not completed until 1803.76 Somehow it was an appropriate gift made by the Prince who had a life long fascination with clocks. There are the old fortifications, particularly the Martello Tower at Point Pleasant, these were the products of Prince Edward's mind. We have Prince Edward to remember for the construction of St George's Round Church; for his residence on Bedford Basin at Prince's Lodge where one of its outbuildings, the Music Rotunda, still stands on the shore with its gold cupola and white Greek columns.

Prince Edward, however, was to leave an indelible mark on history by fathering the most successful monarch in English history. Princess Victoria was to become Queen of Great Britain (1837-1901). She succeeded her father's older brother William IV who reigned for seven years after George the Fourth's death. As a woman, Victoria was barred from succession in Hanover, so her accession in Britain ended the connection between the British and Hanoverian thrones. Victoria's reign was marked by her high moral character and extreme conscientiousness. During her long reign, the longest in English history, Great Britain was to come into a period of history which saw the rise of British influence throughout the world.

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Peter Landry
2011 (2013)

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