Prince Ernest Augustus
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Fifth Son of George III.
Prince Ernest Augustus held the title of Duke of Cumberland until his niece, Victoria, became Queen in 1837. On that date the throne of Hanover, held jointly with the British crown by monarchs dating back to George I, was separated, with Ernest Augustus reigning as King of Hanover until his death.
A distinguished soldier in the Wars of the French Revolution, he later became a very unpopular figure in England because of his violent temper and extreme reactionary views. Active in the House of Lords, he led the fight against Catholic Emancipation, in defiance of the King and Prime Minister. Ugly rumours constantly circulated around Ernest Augustus, including the murder of his valet and incest with his sister. He was also said to be plotting to assassinate his niece Victoria and take the British crown for himself. (The Duke complained that he had been "accused of every crime in the Decalogue.") He feuded incessantly with Victoria after her ascension and called her beloved consort Prince Albert "a paper Royal Highness." He proved equally unpopular in Hanover, dismissing from office the Brothers Grimm, among others. He also opposed unification of Germany, rightly fearing a German Empire would be dominated by Prussia.
This is an envelope panel, in his hand and signed for free postage ("Ernest") in ink to the lower left corner to Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle. Laid down, with a central vertical crease and foxing along the edges, but otherwise in good condition.