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Prince Adolphus
Personal details
Born (1868-08-13)13 August 1868
Died 23 October 1927(1927-10-23) (aged 59)
Spouse(s) Lady Margaret Grosvenor

Adolphus Cambridge, 1st Marquess of Cambridge, GCB, GCVO, CMG (Adolphus Charles Alexander Albert Edward George Philip Louis Ladislaus), born Prince Adolphus of Teck and later The Duke of Teck (13 August 1868 – 23 October 1927), was a member of the British Royal Family, a great-grandson of King George III and younger brother of Queen Mary, the consort of King George V. In 1900, he succeeded his father as Duke of Teck in the Kingdom of Württemberg. He relinquished his German titles in 1917 to become Marquess of Cambridge.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Prince Adolphus of Teck was born on 13 August 1868 at Kensington Palace, London. His father was Prince Francis, Duke of Teck, the eldest son of Duke Alexander of Württemberg and Claudine Rhédey von Kis-Rhéde (created the Countess von Hohenstein). His mother was the Duchess of Teck (formerly Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge), the youngest daughter of Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, and a granddaughter of King George III. Adolphus was styled His Serene Highness Prince Adolphus of Teck at birth. With a string of nine Christian names, among his immediate family he was always known as "Dolly", a pet form of 'Adolphus'. He was educated at Wellington College in Berkshire.

Early military career[edit | edit source]

Prince Adolphus was a cavalry officer, following in the footsteps of his father, both of his grandfathers, and his maternal uncle. He received his education at Wellington College, before entering the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. At the age of 19, he joined the 17th Lancers,[1] the regiment of his maternal uncle, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, who was the commander-in-chief of the British Army from 1856-1895. He was promoted Lieutenant in 1893[2] and transferred to the 1st Life Guards as a Captain in 1895.[3]

He was created Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in 1897, promoted to Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) in 1901.[4]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

On 12 December 1894, at Eaton Hall, he married Lady Margaret Evelyn Grosvenor (9 April 1873 – 27 March 1929), the daughter of the 1st Duke of Westminster. The couple had 4 children:

  • Prince George of Teck, later 2nd Marquess of Cambridge, (11 October 1895 – 16 April 1981); married 1923 Dorothy Hastings (18 May 1899 – 1 April 1988).
  • Princess Mary of Teck, later The Lady Mary Cambridge (12 June 1897 – 23 June 1987); married 1923 the 10th Duke of Beaufort (4 April 1900 – 4 February 1984).
  • Princess Helena of Teck, later The Lady Helena Cambridge (23 October 1899 – 22 December 1969); married 1919 Colonel John Evelyn Gibbs (22 December 1879 – 11 October 1932).
  • Prince Frederick of Teck, later styled Lord Frederick Cambridge (23 September 1907 – 30 May 1940).

Duke of Teck and later military career[edit | edit source]

In January 1900, Adolphus succeeded his father as Duke of Teck.

The new Duke served with his regiment during the Boer War 1899-1900, for which he was promoted Brevet Major in November 1900.[5] He was later a transport officer in the Household Cavalry, and then served as the British military attaché in Vienna from 1904 to 1910, retiring at the rank of lieutenant colonel. With an Order in Council dated 9 June 1911,[6] his brother-in-law King George V, as a gift to mark his own Coronation, granted his cousin the style His Highness, which echoed the gift of the King's Grandmother, Queen Victoria, to the Duke's father. The same year he was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (G.C.B.).

He was appointed Honorary Colonel of the 8th Battalion, London Regiment, known as the Post Office Rifles in 1912,[7] relinquishing the position in 1923.[8]

From 1914 to his death he was Governor and Constable of Windsor Castle.[8]

With the outbreak of the First World War, he returned to active duty, serving first as temporary military secretary at the War Office and later as military secretary to the commander-in-chief of the British Expeditionary Forces (B.E.F.) in France, Sir Douglas Haig, with the rank of brigadier general. He received from allied nations the Order of the Star of Romania, the Belgian Order of Leopold and Croix de guerre, and French Legion of Honour[9] Though lionized during his lifetime as a "soldier-prince", papers released in 1998 undermined this assessment, as they revealed that he had spent much of the First World War facing a series of Army medical boards to request sick leave.[citation needed] He was placed on half-pay in July 1916,[9] and retired pay in 1919.[8]

Marquess of Cambridge[edit | edit source]

During World War I, anti-German feeling in the United Kingdom led Teck's brother-in-law King George V to change the name of the Royal House from the Germanic House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to the more English-sounding House of Windsor. The King also renounced all his Germanic titles for himself and all members of the British Royal Family who were British subjects.

In response to this, Teck renounced, through a Royal Warrant from the King,[10] dated 14 July 1917, his title of Duke of Teck in the Kingdom of Württemberg and the style His Highness. Adolphus, along with his brother, Prince Alexander of Teck, adopted the name Cambridge, after their grandfather, Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge.[10]

He was subsequently created Marquess of Cambridge, Earl of Eltham, and Viscount Northallerton all in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. His elder son took the title Earl of Eltham as a courtesy title. His younger children became Lord/Lady (Christian Name) Cambridge.[10]

Vera Bate Lombardi, Coco Chanel's muse and PR representative, was rumoured to be Adolphus' illegitimate daughter.[citation needed]

Lord Cambridge made his home in Shropshire after World War I at Shotton Hall near Shrewsbury. He was active in social life in the county, of which he became a Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant in 1923,[8] and Treasurer of the Royal Salop Infirmary at Shrewsbury in 1925.[9] He hosted visits by his sister in the county, the last in his lifetime being a public visit to Shrewsbury and other parts of Shropshire in August 1927.[9] During that period[year needed]

Lord Cambridge was considered as a candidate for the then vacant throne of Hungary. He declined the invitation, having treated the idea with some amusement by remarking "Don't you think I would make a nice looking King?"[9]

Lord Cambridge died, aged fifty-nine, after an intestinal operation in October 1927 at a Shrewsbury nursing home, while preparations were being made for another public royal visit to the town (which was consequently cancelled) by his nephew, the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII).[9] He was first buried at St George's Chapel and later transferred to the Royal Burial Ground, Frogmore. His elder son, the Earl of Eltham, succeeded him as Marquess of Cambridge.

Styles, titles and honours[edit | edit source]

Styles and titles[edit | edit source]

  • His Serene Highness Prince Adolphus of Teck (1868–1900)
  • His Serene Highness The Duke of Teck, GCVO (1900–1911)
  • His Highness The Duke of Teck, GCB, GCVO (1911–1917)
  • Sir Adolphus Cambridge, GCB, GCVO (1917-1917)
  • The Most Honourable The Marquess of Cambridge, GCB, GCVO, CMG (1917–1927)

Honours[edit | edit source]

The Most Honourable Order of the Bath

  • GCB : Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath - 1911

The Royal Victorian Order

  • KCVO : Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order - 1897
  • GCVO : Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order - 27 January 1901[4]

Ancestors[edit | edit source]

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. [Script error: No such module "London Gazette util". "No. 25806"]. 10 April 1888. p. Script error: No such module "London Gazette util".. Script error: No such module "London Gazette util". Script error: No such module "London Gazette util".
  2. [Script error: No such module "London Gazette util". "No. 26366"]. 24 January 1893. p. Script error: No such module "London Gazette util".. Script error: No such module "London Gazette util". Script error: No such module "London Gazette util".
  3. [Script error: No such module "London Gazette util". "No. 26637"]. 25 June 1895. p. Script error: No such module "London Gazette util".. Script error: No such module "London Gazette util". Script error: No such module "London Gazette util".
  4. 4.0 4.1 [Script error: No such module "London Gazette util". "No. 27281"]. 5 February 1901. p. Script error: No such module "London Gazette util".. Script error: No such module "London Gazette util". Script error: No such module "London Gazette util".
  5. [Script error: No such module "London Gazette util". "No. 27359"]. 27 September 1901. p. Script error: No such module "London Gazette util".. Script error: No such module "London Gazette util". Script error: No such module "London Gazette util".
  6. Royal Styles and Titles – 1911 Order-in-Council
  7. [Script error: No such module "London Gazette util". "No. 28629"]. 23 July 1912. p. Script error: No such module "London Gazette util".. Script error: No such module "London Gazette util". Script error: No such module "London Gazette util".
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Kelly's Handbook of the Titled, Landed and Official Classes. Kelly's Directories. 1926. p. 333.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Kelly" defined multiple times with different content
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 "'Death of the Marquess of Cambridge'". Shrewsbury Chronicle. 25 October 1927. p. 7. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 [Script error: No such module "London Gazette util". "No. 30374"]. 9 November 1917. p. Script error: No such module "London Gazette util".. Script error: No such module "London Gazette util". Script error: No such module "London Gazette util".
German nobility
Preceded by
Prince Francis of Teck
Duke of Teck
1900–1917
Title relinquished
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Marquess of Cambridge
1917–1927
Succeeded by
George Cambridge

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