Prince George of Denmark

Prince George of Denmark

Infobox Danish Royalty|prince|consort
name = Prince George
title = Duke of Cumberland

reign = 8 March 1702 – 28 October 1708
spouse = Anne of Great Britain
issue = Prince William, Duke of Gloucester
titles = "HRH" The Duke of Cumberland
"HRH" Prince George of Denmark
royal house = House of Oldenburg
father = Frederick III
mother = Sophie Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg
date of birth = birth date|1653|4|2|df=yes
place of birth =Copenhagen, Denmark
date of death = death date and age|1708|10|28|1653|4|2|df=yes
place of death =Kensington Palace, London
place of burial = Westminster Abbey, London|

Prince George of Denmark and Norway, Duke of Cumberland (Danish: Prins Jørgen, hertug af Cumberland; 2 April 1653 – 28 October 1708) was the prince consort of Queen Anne.


Prince George was born Prince Jørgen, in Copenhagen, a son of Frederick III of Denmark. Jørgen was considered a suitable partner for Anne, Denmark being, like Britain, a Protestant country; at that time, it was not considered likely that Anne would become Queen. They were married on 28 July 1683, at St. James's Palace, London. Called George in England, the prince was subsequently created a British subject and a Knight of the Garter, and was created Duke of Cumberland, Earl of Kendal and Baron Wokingham.

His marriage to Anne was successful, although from 18 pregnancies between 1684 and 1700 only one son, William, Duke of Gloucester, survived infancy, only to die of smallpox in 1700 at the age of 11. As with many other members of the royals and nobility, this poor infant survival rate is fairly strong evidence that Prince George suffered from syphilis. Another theory is that Anne passed haemolytic disease of the newborn to her babies (Rhesus disease).

The social and political grouping centred on Prince George and Princess Anne was known as the "Cockpit Circle" after the Cockpit, their London residence (on the site of what is now Downing Street in Westminster). Anne's older sister Mary (later Queen Mary II) had moved to the Netherlands after her marriage to William III of Orange; Protestant opposition to James was therefore increasingly focused on Anne and George instead of Mary, the heiress presumptive. In 1688 the decision of William, Mary, George and Anne to desert the embattled James II was instrumental in whittling away the king's legitimacy and paved the way for the Glorious Revolution of 1689, which was led by William and supported by George, at the nominal head of the Lord High Admiral's Regiment, disbanded the following year. The Holland Regiment took its place as 3rd Regiment of Foot with Prince George as its honorary colonel.

William had apparently refused to attend James II's coronation in 1685 because George, as a senior member of a European royal family, would outrank him as elected stadholder of a republic; this mistrust was overcome during the revolution of 1688-89 but dogged relations between George and William during the latter's reign. Some degree of reconciliation was achieved on Queen Mary's sudden and unexpected death from smallpox in 1694; but George did not play a senior role in government until his wife Anne succeeded William in 1702.

George was an able administrator and military strategist, and as Lord High Admiral, 1702 - 08, officially headed the Royal Navy in support of the military activities of Anne's favourite, the Captain-General Lord John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. On George's death in 1708, Anne was disconsolate. Although she refused initially to entrust the duties of the Lord High Admiral to a commission, she was effectively forced to when she found herself unable to bring herself to sign papers in George's stead.

Charles II, Anne's uncle, famously said of Prince George, on the occasion of his marriage to Anne, "I have tried him drunk, and I have tried him sober; and there is nothing in him". He was not seen as one of the most colourful political characters of his day, but he was a skilled strategist and an able administrator, and a loyal and supportive husband to Queen Anne. By all accounts their marriage was a devoted and loving one in spite of their earlier personal tragedies.

His official portrait, signed by Sir Godfrey Kneller, is at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.

George I of Greece is also sometimes known as "Prince George of Denmark" (1845-1913), in a confusion of his regnal name, George, and his pre-regnal title, Prince William of Denmark. He was the brother of Queen Alexandra, consort of Edward VII.


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1= 1. Prince George of Denmark
2= 2. Frederick III of Denmark
3= 3. Sophie Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg
4= 4. Christian IV of Denmark
5= 5. Anne Catherine of Brandenburg
6= 6. George, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
7= 7. Anne Eleonore of Hesse-Darmstadt
8= 8. Frederick II of Denmark
9= 9. Sophie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
10= 10. Joachim Frederick, Elector of Brandenburg
11= 11. Catherine of Brandenburg-Küstrin
12= 12. William, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
13= 13. Dorothea of Denmark
14= 14. Louis V, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt
15= 15. Magdalene of Brandenburg
16= 16. Christian III of Denmark
17= 17. Dorothea of Saxe-Lauenburg
18= 18. Ulrich III, Duke of Mecklenburg-Güstrow
19= 19. Elizabeth of Denmark
20= 20. John George, Elector of Brandenburg
21= 21. Sophie of Liegnitz
22= 22. John I, Margrave of Brandenburg-Küstrin
23= 23. Catherine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
24= 24. Ernest I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
25= 25. Sophie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
26= 26. Christian III of Denmark (=16)
27= 27. Dorothea of Saxe-Lauenburg (=17)
28= 28. George I, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt
29= 29. Magdalene of Lippe
30= 30. John George, Elector of Brandenburg (=20)
31= 31. Elizabeth of Anhalt-Zerbst

Titles, styles, honours and arms


*2 April 16536 April 1689: "His Royal Highness" Prince George of Denmark
*6 April 168928 October 1708: "His Royal Highness" The Duke of Cumberland


*KG: Knight of the Garter, "1 January 1684"


Est-il-possible? (Fr. "is it possible?") was the nickname given by James II to Prince George due to his invariable exclamation on hearing one after another had deserted the Stuart cause; he ended with deserting it himself.

ee also

*Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark
*Prince George's County, Maryland

External links

* [ Letter from Prince George to James II, 23 November 1688, withdrawing his support]
* [ Queen's Own Buffs Regimental history]


NAME= Prince George
SHORT DESCRIPTION=prince consort
DATE OF BIRTH= April 2, 1653
PLACE OF BIRTH=Copenhagen, Denmark
DATE OF DEATH= October 28, 1708
PLACE OF DEATH=Kensington Palace, London

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