Frederick Augustus, Prince of Wales

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Icedaemon, Jun 12, 2019 at 11:48 AM.

  1. Icedaemon Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2016
    In 1785, the future George IV of the United Kingdom secretly married his longtime mistress, Maria Fitzherbert, the catholic widow of common birth. The marriage was mostly regarded as legally void and just became a footnote in his long list of failures.

    What if it had become a major public scandal before his father's first major bout of madness? The prince of Wales was not particularly clever and had an even worse relationship with his father than was traditional for the Hanoverians, so if there is any call for him being disinherited I can definitely see George III agreeing to it gladly. He had several younger sons, with the second and third eldest being at the least competent individuals, so the succession should not be that much of an issue.

    Does a tale along these lines already exist?

    Is this a viable train of thought?

    Would their eldest brother losing his place in the succession over in essence taking a dalliance too far affect how princes Frederick, William, Edward and the rest go about their own marriage prospects and liaisons with women?

    Would Frederick Augustus, the as far as I can tell reasonably dutiful but rather unremarkable military man, be a good prince regent? Would he marry differently and perhaps more happily were he the heir?

    Would a different prince regent change anything about the course of the coalition wars against the French Republic (inevitable with a post-American Revolution timeline, in my opinion)?
    chateauroux likes this.
  2. RPW@Cy Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2006
    Frederick Augustus may have been a "reasonably dutiful but rather unremarkable" battlefield commander, but he was an outstanding administrator, reformer and commander in chief who did much to build the army that Wellington led to victory. He presumably won't be able to do this as heir (and especially not as Prince Regent), and its difficult to say what the effect of the absence or delay of his reforms would have but it certainly won't help.
  3. chateauroux Well-Known Member

    Jun 28, 2015
    Interesting scenario. I'm not sure how easy it would be for George III to disinherit his eldest son if Prinny didn't want to be disinherited. Chances are, Prinny would quickly agree to pension Maria Fitzherbert off and never see her again if he thought there was a real possibility of losing his place in the line of succession.

    I believe that Frederick was George III's favourite son and seems to have been slightly more reliable than his elder brother. Had he become PoW he might have married differently, though of course when he married Frederika of Prussia in the OTL there was no way of knowing that they wouldn't be able to have children. Certainly having an elder brother who had been disinherited might well have ensured that he made sure his own conduct was as good as it could be.
  4. Icedaemon Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2016
    Being a good reform-minded administrator, could he not delegate and assign other competent administrative officers to do much the same? Would he not in the circumstances of the 18th century be able to be both the heir and the commander in chief?

    If the situation develops quickly enough, might the prince initially mistake it for an idle threat and aggravate the issue instead, potentially taking things to the point that his father and parliament feel vindictive enough to ignore any backpedaling he might do?