Autograph on Royal Stationery - 1894
Pristine signature on royal stationery embossed with the prince’s royal crest, 5″ x 7″ with integral leaf intact, “London, June 1894.”
PRINCE GEORGE, Duke of Cambridge (George William Frederick Charles; 1819-1904) was a member of the British Royal Family, a male-line grandson of King George III. The Duke was an army officer and served as commander-in-chief of the British Army from 1856 to 1895. He became Duke of Cambridge in 1850.
Prince George was born at Cambridge House in Hanover, Germany. His father was Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, the 10th child and 7th son of King George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. His mother was The Duchess of Cambridge (née Princess Augusta of Hesse-Cassel), the daughter of Prince Frederick of Hesse, lord of Rumpenheim and Caroline Polyxena of Nassau-Usingen.
Prince George was an army officer and served as Commander-In-Chief of the British Army from 1856 to 1895. Upon the outbreak of the Crimean War, he received command of the 1st Division (Guards and Highland brigades) of the British army in the East. In June 1854, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General. He was present at the battles of the Alma, Balaclava and Inkerman, and at the siege of Sevastopol.
On 5 July 1856 the Duke was appointed General Commanding-In-Chief of the British Army; a post that was retitled Commander-In-Chief of the forces in 1887. In that capacity he served as the chief military advisor to the Secretary of State for War, with responsibility for the administration of the army and the command of forces in the field. However, the commander-in-chief was not subordinate to the secretary of state. He was promoted of the rank of field marshal on 9 November 1862.
The Duke of Cambridge was the longest serving head of the British Army, serving as commander-in-chief for 39 years. Although he was deeply concerned about the welfare of soldiers, he earned a reputation for being resistant to doctrinal change and for making promotions based upon an officer’s social standing, rather than his merit.
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