Friday, September 5, 2008

Mrs. Fitzherbert

She was the morganatic wife of George IV, whom he privately married in 1785 when he was still only the Prince of Wales. George had many ladies in his life, but his great love was undoubtedly Maria Fitzherbert, a devout Catholic widow who would not live with him outside of wedlock. They were together for many years. The marriage was considered illegal by the British government; an heir to the throne could not marry a Roman Catholic or without the King's permission. George eventually had to make a political marriage with a German princess, against his will. It was a legal marriage in England but was considered invalid by Rome; Maria was told by the Pope that she was the prince's true wife. However, because of his philandering, she had to seek a separation from him in 1811. He died in 1830 with Maria's miniature portrait around his neck. Share


Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

I've always thought that the story of the Prince and Mrs. Fitzherbert was so sad. If he only had been able to marry her with the approval of Parliament and the Crown. I think that she provided some balance in his life, for awhile kept him from being too excessive. I still can't believe that even today no member of the Royal family can marry a Catholic and stay in the line of succession.

elena maria vidal said...

I agree, Elizabeth, about the Prince and about the ban on marrying Catholics. It is an unjust and antiquated rule. I was thinking the same thing when I was reading your post about Princess Michael of Kent.