Lady Augusta Murray
|By August Grahl via Wikimedia Commons|
The following year, the king had the marriage annulled. However, Augusta, who was five years older than her prince, remained with him for eight years, sometimes living in London and sometimes in Berlin. They had two children, whom they named Augustus and Augusta for themselves. Like their mother, the children were not granted royal titles or status, and they had no claim upon their father's estate. They were given the surname d'Este after the Italian noble family from which both husband and wife could claim descent. Augustus Frederick was a bit of an absentee father, leaving Augusta primarily responsible fore the children. She was a clever woman, eventually gathering her motherly remedies into a book of cures. She also had keen literary interests, creating several "commonplace books" (like a pre-recording era mix tape) with excerpts from her favorite works. These books are now included in the Royal Archives.
Following the couple's official separation in 1801 (around the time of their daughter's birth), Augusta's books tended toward more melancholy themes of a wounded lover. It was only after leaving Augusta that Prince Augustus Frederick was granted the title of Duke of Sussex and an annual allowance of £12,000 with the expectation that he would marry properly the next time. Augusta was given custody of the children, a new surname of de Ameland and an income of £4,000 per annum.
Lady Cecelia Underwood
|From the Royal Collection via Wikimedia Commons|
However, after Augustus Frederick's niece Victoria ascended the throne in 1837, things began to change. Victoria was fond of this uncle and she felt badly that his wife was not permitted to attend official occasions due to her low rank. With her inimitable style of making her own rules when necessary, Victoria created Cecelia the Duchess of Inverness in 1840 with the right to pass that titles to heirs of her body, although she had none.
The Duke passed away in 1843 and his wife, Her Grace The Duchess of Inverness survived him by 30 years, passing away in their apartment at Kensington Palace. They are buried together at Kensal Green Cemetery in London. His son, Augustus d'Este, unsuccessfully laid claim to the royal Dukedom of Sussex, but died just a few years after his father. He was posthumously diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 100 years later. He is also remembered for his support of aboriginal cultures around the world, most particularly the First Nations people of Canada.
The Duke's daughter, Augusta d'Este suffered like her father from asthma and died at age 64. A great property owner, she married Thomas Wilde 1st Baron Truro in her early 40s. The couple had no children, leaving the Sussex title with no claimants.
More about Lady Augusta Murray
Lady Augusta Murray on the Royal Collection's Georgian Papers Program
More about Lady Cecelia Underwood 1st Duchess of Inverness
Cecelia Underwood 1st Duchess of Inverness on Things that Catch My Eye