Field-Marshal HRH William Henry
1st Duke of Gloucester & Edinburgh KG

William, born in 1743, was the second brother of George III and 5 years his junior. They were not close at first but the king later found him to be someone he could confide in. He gave George cause for concern because of his poor health. William was weak and gentle by nature and had little interest in politics. His secret marriage to Maria, Dowager Countess Waldegrave caused a great upset in the court and damaged the close relationship with George who only found out about it six years later. Sadly the marriage deteriorated due to Maria's bitterness at being officially disregarded. He died on 25th August 1805.

The portrait shows him in the uniform of an officer of the 1st Foot Guards. It was painted by Gainsborough c1775.

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by Stephen Luscombe