News World Little princess only 180 years in the making
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Little princess only 180 years in the making

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The new royal baby is the first Princess of Cambridge to be born for more than 180 years.

The last was Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge – George III’s granddaughter – who was the original “People’s Princess”.

Affectionately known as “Fat Mary”, she was one of the earliest royals to support a wide range of charitable organisations.

Princess Mary Adelaide was born in Hanover, Germany in 1833. Her father was George III’s 10th child, Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, and her mother was Princess Augusta of Hesse-Cassel.

She was Princess of Cambridge until her marriage at the age of 32 to Francis, Duke of Teck, after which she was a Princess of Teck, then a Duchess of Teck.

She was popularly known as the people’s princess and was high-spirited and compassionate, but extravagant and lived beyond her means, running up huge debts.

To avoid her creditors, she and her family headed to Florence in 1883 but returned to live in White Lodge in Richmond Park in 1885.

She was committed to her patronages – many of which were children’s charities – spending a great deal of time opening all her own letters and drafting replies.

She officially opened a Barnardo’s home for babies – Babies Castle in Hawkhurst Kent – in 1886.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s new baby is Princess Mary Adelaide’s great-great-great-great grandchild.

Mary’s eldest daughter Victoria Mary “May” of Teck married the future King George V and later became Queen Mary – the present Queen’s grandmother.

Princess Mary Adelaide died at White Lodge in 1897 and is buried in the royal vault at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

Her older sister Augusta was also a Princess of Cambridge. Princess Augusta of Cambridge was born in 1822.

She married her cousin Frederick, Duke of Mecklenburg, and became the Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and later the Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

Augusta was known to be outspoken. During her first cousin Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, she is reported to have proclaimed loudly, “Why is she thanking God in the street?”, when Victoria sat in her carriage for a blessing.

She was particularly fond of her niece, Queen Mary. Augusta lived mostly in Germany and during the First World War, when she was in her 90s, the government stopped the pension she had been receiving as a member of the British Royal Family.

She was one of the longest living princesses of the British royals, dying in 1916 at the age of 94.