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Prince Alfred of Great Britain

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Title: Prince Alfred of Great Britain  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: William IV of the United Kingdom, British Royal Family, Prince Frederick of Great Britain, Princess Amelia of the United Kingdom, Prince Hubertus of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1909–1943)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Prince Alfred of Great Britain

Prince Alfred
1782 portrait of Prince Alfred by royal painter Thomas Gainsborough.
House House of Hanover
Father George III
Mother Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Born (1780-09-22)22 September 1780
Windsor Castle, Windsor, England
Died 20 August 1782(1782-08-20) (aged &&&&&&&&&&&&06971 yr 10 mos)
Windsor Castle, Windsor, England
Burial 11 Feb 1820
Windsor, England

The Prince Alfred (22 September 1780 – 20 August 1782) was a member of the Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Alfred became ill after his inoculation against the smallpox virus; his early death at the age of nearly two, along with the demise of his brother Prince Octavius six months later, was a shock to their parents. In his later bouts of madness King George would have imagined conversations with both of his youngest sons.


Prince Alfred was born, on 22 September 1780, at The Prince of Wales (his eldest brother), The Prince Frederick (his second brother) and The Princess Royal (his eldest sister).[2][3] As his parents' fourteenth child and ninth son, his birth was no surprise but it did bring joy to his family, especially to his older sister Sophia, who, their sister Elizabeth reported, called the new baby her "grandson".[4]

Death and aftermath

In 1782, Prince Alfred was inoculated against smallpox. The sickness proved too much for the baby and in June he was taken to Deal with his nurse Lady Charlotte Finch to recover.[5][6] It was hoped that the sea air, bathing in the water, and horseback riding would improve his condition. While he was there, Alfred endeared himself to many, including an old woman whom he waved to. In spite of his charming disposition, he continued to break out in spots and his chest was troubling him.[5] When he returned to Windsor in August 1782, the doctors inspected him and realized that the boy had only weeks to live. After suffering bouts of fever and continuing problems with his chest,[7] Prince Alfred died on 20 August 1782, at Windsor Castle, Berkshire, not even two years old.[1][8]

Although the household did not go into mourning (it was not prescribed for royal children younger than fourteen),[9] his parents took the loss harshly. According to Lady Charlotte Finch, the Queen "cried vastly" and was "very much hurt by her loss and the King also."[10] Alfred was buried at [note 1]

His youngest sister [20] Alfred is also unique among their first fourteen children for never being an older sibling while he was alive, as the only child younger than him was born after his death.[21]

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 22 September 1780–20 August 1782: His Royal Highness The Prince Alfred



  1. ^ Jeremy Black lists these conversations occurring in 1812,[16] while Kenneth Panton believes they happened the previous year, in 1811.[11] The King's last bout of madness occurred from 1811 until his death in 1820, so either date is possible.


  1. ^ a b Weir 2008, p. 300.
  2. ^ Sheppard 1894, p. 59.
  3. ^ Watkins 1819, p. 276.
  4. ^ Fraser 2004, p. 70.
  5. ^ a b Fraser 2004, p. 75.
  6. ^ Watkins 1819, p. 282.
  7. ^ Fraser 2004, pp. 75-76.
  8. ^ Holt 1820, p. 251.
  9. ^ Fritz 1982, p. 305.
  10. ^ Fraser 2004, p. 76.
  11. ^ a b c Panton 2011, p. 39.
  12. ^ "Royal Burials in the Chapel since 1805". College of St. George. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  13. ^ "Royal Burials in the Chapel by location". College of St. George. Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  14. ^ Holt 1820, p. 256.
  15. ^ Fraser 2004, p. 77.
  16. ^ a b Black 2006, p. 156.
  17. ^ Fraser 2004, pp. 74-77.
  18. ^ Fraser 2004, p. 78.
  19. ^ Hibbert 2000, p. 99.
  20. ^ Fraser 2004, pp. 398-399.
  21. ^ Fraser 2004.


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