Today's revision is for the 5th birthday of Prince George of Cambridge.
HRH becomes the third son of a son of a Prince of Wales to reach that
age,following Edward VIII in June 1898 and George VI in December 1900
(the month before his grandfather became King).In forty days he becomes
second-oldest ever son of a son of Prince of Wales,and stands to set
a new record in February 2020 should the Queen and Prince of Wales
still be living then.
I thought I'd go into a few ancillary records that have yet to be
broken (the record for oldest Sovereign was broken a decade ago!),
their likelihood of being broken of course receding in accord with
how far into the future this would happen.
Kaiser Wilhelm II was the oldest-ever grandchild of a British Sovereign,
turning 42 five days after Queen Victoria died...Peter Phillips turns 42
in November 2019.
Queen Victoria's second grandchild and oldest granddaughter
(Charlotte of Prussia,later Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen) was almost
6 months past 40 when Victoria died,Zara Phillips would get there
in November 2021.
Prince William,Duke of Cambridge,is already the oldest-ever son of a
Prince of Wales,and was born the Queen's third grandchild;
Queen Victoria's third grandchild was Prince Heinrich (Henry) of Prussia,
born in August 1862,so Prince William would beat that if he lives five
months past 38 (November 2020).
Princess Charlotte (born May 2015) would pass George VI as the
oldest second child of a son of a Prince of Wales in June 2020
(but the late Princess Royal Countess of Harewood as oldest daughter
of a son of a Prince of Wales in January 2019).
Prince Louis(born April 2018) would pass the Princess Royal Countess
of Harewood as oldest third child of a son of a Prince of Wales in
January 2022,but George VI as oldest second son of a son of a
Prince of Wales in early June 2023.
Records for grandchildren of a Prince of Wales are a bit more demanding
as Edward VII's eldest daughter had her children before his son had his
(Princess Alexandra Duchess of Fife in May 1891 and Princess Maud
Countess of Southesk in April 1893).
For Prince George to beat Princess Alexandra,his grandfather would
have to still be Prince of Wales in March 2023;
for Princess Charlotte to beat Princess Maud,her grandfather would
have to still be Prince of Wales in January 2023;
For Prince Louis to beat Edward VIII,his grandfather would
have to still be Prince of Wales in November 2024.
As for the overall record for great-grandchild of a sovereign,
Queen Victoria died when Feodora of Saxe-Meiningen was 8 months
past 21...Savannah Phillips was born in the closing days of 2010
and would have to get most of the way through 2032 with the Queen
alive at 106!
Consider,if you would,the United Kingdom and Empire
as they were on August 28th 1885.
Queen Victoria,under 4 months past 66,was on the throne;
her Golden Jubilee would be in the second year following,her
Diamond Jubilee ten years after that.The future Edward VII was over
2 months from 44 (the current Prince of Wales is under 4 months from 70),
the future George V was under 3 months past 20(the Duke of Cambridge is
over a month past 36--George V was Duke of Cornwall at his age),not yet
Duke of York,and not yet heir apparent to his father;nor was his elder
brother yet the Duke of Clarence.
The future Archbishops of Canterbury who would crown these Kings were
Bishop of London and Dean of Windsor respectively.The oldest British
royal was George III's daughter-in-law the Duchess of Cambridge
(Augusta of Hesse-Cassel),born 1797.
The Church of England dioceses of Birmingham,Coventry,Chelmsford,Derby,
Guildford,Portsmouth,St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich,Sheffield,and Southwark
did not yet exist...nor did those of Bradford and Wakefield (now
abolished).That of Southwell was more than 5 months under two years old.
Macdonald,Baldwin,and Chamberlain were teenagers,Churchill was ten,
Attlee was two,and no later Prime Minister had yet been born
(nor had any person in the world alive after 1999).
Keir Hardie,who years later would found the original Scottish
Labour Party,then the Independent Labour Party,and then the Labour
Party proper,was still in his twenties and had never been an MP.
Many of the Colonies had yet to be colonized,Hong Kong was over a
decade from adding the New Territories.
Battleships that would be scrapped as obsolete years before World War I
had yet to be laid down.Ships built with sailing rigs were still in
the active fleet,and it was years before HMS Temeraire would make
port under sail alone for the final time.
Lord Salisbury had yet to reach the midpoint of his first,brief,
term as Prime Minister,which ended with the first general election in
which most men could vote,which would result in the return as Prime
Minister of William Gladstone (born 1809),who would after a short term
pass power back to Salisbury the next year but return to office in 1892.
Women would not vote in a General Election for thirty-three years.
Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot(born 1803),Father of the House of Commons,
had been a member since 1830...before any of the Reform Bills.
(Charles Mahon,born 1800,had been a member discontinuously since then).
Lord Coleridge (born 1820) was Lord Chief Justice,and had been
the last Chief Justice of the Common Pleas (a position abolished
by the Judicature Act of 1873).The 1st Lord Esher(born 1815 or 1817,
sources disagree) was Master of the Rolls.
Sir Henry Keppel (born 1809,a lieutenant 1829),Sir Alexander
Milne(born 1806,a lieutenant 1827,commander 1830),and even
Sir Provo Wallis (born 1791,a lieutenant 1808,and commander 1813)
were among the Admirals of the Fleet.
The 1st Baron Strathnairn(born 1801) and Sir Patrick Grant(born 1804)
were Field Marshals,while Sir Richard Dacres(born 1799) and the 3rd
Earl of Lucan(born 1800,a lieutenant colonel 1826),who had ordered the
Charge of the Light Brigade,had yet to receive promotion to that rank.
The eldest Dukes included the 6th of Northumberland(b. 1810,
great-great-great-grandfather of the 11th and the current 12th Duke)
the 7th of Devonshire(b. 1808,great-great-great-grandfather of the
present 12th duke born 1944,he had first become an MP in 1829 and
a peer in 1834),the 12th of Somerset(b. 1804,second cousin of the
great-great-great-grandfather of the current 19th Duke),and the 4th
(and last) of Cleveland (born 1803).
The 1st Duke of Abercorn,so created in 1868,had succeeded to the
Marquessate thereof in 1818 and been a Knight of the Garter since 1844.
The 4th Marquess of Donegall (born 1799) was alive and had succeeded
his elder brother less than two years before(the present
peer is the great-great-great-grandson of his first cousin).
The 7th Earl of Shaftesbury(born 1801,an MP from 1826,great-
great-great-grandfather of the present peer and his predecessor) and
3rd Earl Grey (born 1802,elder brother of the great-great-grandfather
of the septuagenarian present peer and of his predecessor) were among
the Knights of the Garter.
The 1st Earl of Lovelace (born 1805) was still alive,a Lord-Lieutenant
The 3rd and 4th Earl of Mansfield and Mansfield(born 1806)
had been a Knight of the Thistle since 1843,and had been an MP
from 1830 to 1840,with a spell in Government 1834-5.
Also among the Earls were the 6th Earl of Essex(born 1803),
and the 6th of Albemarle,born 1799,a veteran of the Battle of Waterloo.
The eldest of Earls were the 6th Earl of Buckinghamshire,
born 1793,and the 2nd of Stradbroke,born 1794,
commissioned in the Army in 1810,a Lieutenant 1814,
who missed Waterloo on account of a wound.
The 9th Viscount of Arbuthnott(born 1806) was alive,the
current peer is the 17th.
The 1st Viscount Portman (born 1799,first elected MP in 1823) was
alive,the present peer is the 10th.
The oldest Viscount,however,was the 1st and last of Eversley,born in 1794
and Speaker of the House of Commons 1839-57.
The senior Viscount was the 2nd Frankfort de Montmorency,
who had inherited his title in 1822.
Barons included the 16th Baron Saye and Sele(born 1799),great-great-
grandfather of the 97-year-old present peer,the 1st Baron Cottesloe
(born 1798,great-great-great-grandfather of the present peer),
and the 1st Lord Ebury,born 1801 and a Privy Counsellor since 1830.
The Lord Bishop of Chichester was Richard Durnford,born 1802.
Sir John Buckworth-Herne-Soame,born 1794,was the oldest baronet.
Sir Edward Cholmely Dering had held his baronetcy since 1811.
Cardinal Manning (born 1808) was Catholic Archbishop of Westminster,
but Cardinal Newman(born 1801) was the oldest British cardinal.
Abroad Alexander III had most of his reign as Emperor and
Tsar-Autocrat of all the Russias ahead of him and Leo XIII
(born 1810) had most of his time as Pope ahead of him.
Slavery was still legal in Brazil and would be for years.
Wilhelm I,grandfather of the World War I Kaiser,born in 1797,
still ruled Germany.
Consider all the changes,natural and manmade,visited upon the world
in all the time since.
And now consider this...Queen Elizabeth II has been on the Throne
for MOST of that time since then.
The World Trade Center towers MUST rise again,
at least as tall as before...or terror has triumphed.