George, 2nd Duke of Cambridge

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George, 2nd Duke of Cambridge; Painting by Frank Holl

Prince George William Frederick Charles of Great Britain, Ireland and Hanover, 2nd Duke of Cambridge KG KT KP GCB GCH GCSI GCMG GCIE GCVO KJStJ (born March 26, 1819 in Hanover ; † March 17, 1904 in London ) was a British Field Marshal and Commander in Chief the army .


George William Frederick Charles was the son of Prince Adolphus Frederick, 1st Duke of Cambridge , and Princess Auguste of Hessen-Kassel . In November 1837, after a brief service in the Hanoverian army, he joined the British Army as a colonel . 1838–39 he served on the staff of the troops in Gibraltar . He then served in Ireland and in April 1842 became commander of the 8th Light Dragoons . From 1842 to 1845 he served in the Ionian Islands . After that he was appointed major general. From 1852 to 1854 he was inspector of the cavalry.

When the Crimean War broke out , the Duke of Cambridge, as lieutenant general , was in command of the 1st division . With this he took part in the battles at the Alma , Balaklava and Inkerman . He then returned to Great Britain. In July 1856 he was appointed general commanding-in-chief of the British Army, the commander -in-chief and leading military advisor to the Minister of War . In this position he worked for improved equipment for the troops and for the establishment of standing camps. On November 9, 1862 he was appointed field marshal.

On November 12, 1887, on the occasion of his 50th anniversary in service, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Army. He resigned from command on November 1, 1895.

The Duke married the civil actress Sarah Fairbrother in 1847 . Since he had not previously sought the necessary permission from the Queen, the marriage violated the Royal Marriages Act 1772 , so that the marriage was considered non-existent under British law. The Duke's wife, who died in 1890, was therefore not allowed to use a title, she was known as Mrs. FitzGeorge. The couple had three children, two of whom were born before the marriage: George William Adolphus (1843-1907), Adolphus Augustus Frederick (1846-1922) and Augustus Charles Frederick (1847-1933).

George William Frederick Charles, 2nd Duke of Cambridge, died in London on March 17, 1904. Since he died without a legitimate heir, the title of Duke of Cambridge became extinct. This was only re-awarded to Prince William in 2011 .

The city of Cambridge in New Zealand is named after George .


predecessor Office successor
Henry Hardinge Commander in Chief of the British Army
1856 / 1887–1895
Garnet Joseph Wolseley
Adolphus Frederick Duke of Cambridge
Title expired