Why did Victoria inherit the throne
Since the creation and the end of the personal union is a bit complicated, it should be examined here. Information on the individual electors and kings of Hanover and the Welfenhaus in general can be found on the website of HRH Prince Heinchrichs of Hanover at http://www.welfen.de
When King Jacob II of England, the last male ruler of the House of Stuart, was dethroned in 1689, his brother-in-law, William of Orange, was appointed as his successor. Since he had no descendants, he was succeeded by Queen Anna in 1702. Anna was a sister of King Jacobs II. Anna had no successors either. Since the other members of the House of Stuart were Catholic and therefore not entitled to the throne, another successor had to be found after her death in 1714. King Jacobs II's aunt, Elisabeth Stuart, was married to Elector Friedrich V of the Palatinate (Winter King of Bohemia). Her male offspring had already died in 1714; only her twelfth daughter Sophie seemed to be a candidate for heir to the throne. She was married to the late Elector Ernst August von Hannover. Sophie von Hanover renounced her throne in favor of her son, Elector Georg Ludwig von Hanover. He had been elector of Hanover since 1698 and thus also became king of Great Britain and Ireland in 1714.
When King George III. von Hanover and England died in 1820, his eldest son, George IV, took over the official duties as king of the two countries. George IV remained without descendants, so that his younger brother Wilhelm, as William IV, ascended both the Hanoverian and the English throne in 1830. Wilhelm IV had no offspring either. His next younger brother Eduard, Duke of Kent (a daughter - Victoria), had already died, but not the second youngest brother, Ernst August, Duke of Cumberland. This is where the different succession laws in Hanover and England come into play. In England, the Duke of Kent's daughter Victoria was crowned queen. Since the female succession to the throne in Hanover only applied when there were no more male descendants, her uncle, Duke Ernst August von Cumberland, now ascended the Hanoverian throne instead of Victoria.
Should the personal union have ended?
- from a medical point of view -
Queen Victoria carried a pathologically altered gene that did not cause illness in her, but did so in a number of male offspring. We are talking about haemophilia, the hemophilia that can only be hereditary. A gene is changed in such a way that one or more protein factors cannot be produced by the body, and so the blood coagulates worse or no longer at all. This gene is on the (female) X chromosome. Since men have both an X and a Y chromosome, the disease always breaks out in you; in women only if both of their X chromosomes are affected. Therefore, Victoria did not suffer from this disease herself. Doctors from the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Lancaster in the UK examined the disease, which had spread among the European aristocracy since Victoria. They noticed that neither Victoria's "official" father, Duke Eduard von Kent, suffered from this disease, nor that it had occurred in the family of Victoria's mother, Victoria Maria von Sachsen-Coburg-Saalfeld. Queen Victoria cannot have inherited the pathological gene from her parents, and an accidental mutation can be excluded with a probability of 1 in 50,000.
Since after the death of Duke Edward, his wife married the friend of the house, Captain John Conroy, the two doctors suspect him to be Queen Victoria's true father. The corpses of the British royal family are buried in lead coffins in the family vault. This would make it possible to take tissue samples and carry out DNA tests - in a certain sense a paternity test - even today.
England's current Queen, Queen Elizabeth II, has forbidden this - probably for good reason. If Victoria had been an illegitimate child, she would never have been entitled to the British throne; the personal union between Hanover and England would not have ended. Queen Elizabeth II would then have to give up her throne today for the current Guelph heir to the throne of the royal house of Hanover.
An article on the subject appeared in the Sunday edition of the Times on July 9, 1995.
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