Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex

Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex

Infobox British Royalty|royal
name = Prince Augustus Frederick
title = Duke of Sussex

caption = Portrait by Louis Gauffier, 1793
spouse = Lady Augusta Murray
(m. 1793; an. 1794)
Cecilia Underwood, Duchess of Inverness (m. 1831)
issue = Augustus d'Este
Augusta d'Este
titles = "HRH" The Duke of Sussex
"HRH" The Prince Augustus Frederick
royal house = House of Hanover
father = George III
mother = Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
date of birth = 27 January 1773
place of birth = Buckingham Palace, London, England, UK
date of death = Death date and age|1843|4|21|1773|1|27|df=yes
place of death = Kensington Palace, London, England, UK
place of burial = Kensal Green Cemetery, London, England, UK|

Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex (27 January 1773 – 21 April 1843), was the sixth son of George III of the United Kingdom and his consort, Queen Charlotte. He was the only surviving son of George III who did not pursue an army or naval career.


Early life

"His Royal Highness" The Prince Augustus Frederick was born at Buckingham Palace. He was tutored at home before being sent to the University of Göttingen in Germany in summer 1786, along with his brothers Prince Ernest and Prince Adolphus. Prince Augustus, who suffered from asthma, did not join his brothers in receiving military training in Hanover. He briefly considered becoming a cleric in the Church of England.

First marriage

While travelling in Italy, he met Lady Augusta Murray (1768-1830), the second daughter of 4th Earl of Dunmore. The couple married in Rome on 4 April 1793, and again at St. George's, Hanover Square, London on 5 December 1793, without the knowledge or the consent of the King. The later minister of Hanover affairs Ernst zu Münster was sent to Italy, to escort him back to London.

In August 1794, the Prerogative Court annulled the marriage on the grounds that it contravened the Royal Marriages Act 1772 because it had not been approved by the King. Prince Augustus continued to live with Lady Augusta until 1801, when he received a parliamentary grant of £12,000. Lady Augusta retained custody of the children and received a maintenance of £4,000 a year.


The King created him Duke of Sussex, Earl of Inverness, and Baron Arklow in the peerage of the United Kingdom and a Knight of the Garter on 27 November 1801. Since he died without legitimate issue, the title became extinct.

econd marriage

The Duke of Sussex married a second time on 2 May 1831 (again in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act) to Lady Cecilia Letitia Buggin (1793-1873), the eldest daughter of Arthur Gore, 2nd Earl of Arran and Elizabeth Underwood; and the widow of Sir George Buggin. It should be noted that even allowing for the irregularity of these marriages, this second marriage would not have been bigamous since Lady Augusta Murray had died the year before. On the same day, Lady Cecilia assumed by Royal Licence the surname Underwood. She was never titled or recognized as the Duchess of Sussex. However, she was created Duchess of Inverness in her own right in 1840.

Later life

William IV appointed his younger brother Chief Ranger and Keeper of St. James's and Hyde Parks on 29 January 1831. The Duke of Sussex was elected president of the Society of Arts in 1816 and held that post for the rest of his life. He also held the honorary posts of Captain-General and Colonel of the Hon. Artillery Company from 1817 onward. He was president of the Royal Society between 1830 and 1838.

The Duke of Sussex was the favourite uncle of Queen Victoria. He gave her away at her wedding to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. The Duke of Sussex died at Kensington Palace in 1843. In his will he specified that he was not to have a state funeral and was accordingly buried at Kensal Green Cemetery on 5 May 1843. [cite book | author=Liza Picard | authorlink=Liza Picard | title=Victorian London | publisher=Orion | year=2006 | isbn=0-7538-2090-0 | pages=362-364 ] The Duchess of Inverness continued to reside at Kensington Palace until her death in 1873. She was buried next to her second husband.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

*27 January 1773–27 November 1801: "His Royal Highness" The Prince Augustus Frederick
*27 November 1801–21 April 1843: "His Royal Highness" The Duke of Sussex


*Grand Master of the Premier Grand Lodge of England, "1813"
*Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, "1813-1843"
*Knight of the Order of the Thistle


As a son of the sovereign, the Duke of Sussex had use of the arms of the kingdom, differenced by a "label argent of three points, the centre point bearing a two hearts gules, the outer points each bearing a cross gules". [ [ Marks of Cadency in the British Royal Family] ]




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