Boyhood, Part 2 to the Life & Works of
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
Edward was the fourth son of George the Third. He was born at Buckingham House, on the 2nd November, 1767. He was to have a great crowd of brothers and sisters. Prince Edward's relationship with his father1, throughout his life was not good -- it seems all the boys had a similar problem, but not the same as Edward. It might have all started over a clock at Kew Palace. It was a clock, as Roger Fulford tells of it2, which the King prized very much, it had come down to him from an uncle of Queen Anne. Apparently, Edward in a momentary fit of pique smashed the clock.3 The King finding out, punished Edward; what the punishment was and how it was administered, I do not know. However, it cannot be said that overall Edward had a difficult boyhood; sure, his father was cold, but there was nothing unusual about that given the age and the position of those who made up the royal family.4 At the tender age of nine, Edward was sent "to live in one of those delightful red brick houses on Kew green ... Till 1779 he shared this house with Prince William, and when Prince William went to sea, Prince Edward found himself, at the age of twelve, the sole occupant of a very comfortable establishment."5
"Although at Kew the Princes passed out of the direct control of their mother, her rules and regulations had still to be obeyed. The children of King George and Queen Charlotte lived their lives to a code of rules. Every minute of the day was arranged for them, and although their routine was so simple and quiet this constant supervision turned them into strangely mature little men before they were ten." David Duff then proceeded to give an example of the rules their mother set out for what they should have for meals. Breakfast: "Simple milk or a basin two thirds of milk and one of tea" with "dry toast." Dinner: Before five: "Soup if they choose it, when not very strong or heavy, any plain meat without fat, clear gravy and greens. Fish when they please but without butter ..." For desert: "The fruit of a tart without the crust."6
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