PP/GC/LE/159 Letter from Sir G.C.Lewis, to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, regarding the proposed military rank of the Prince of Wales, 26 September [1862]
Letter from Sir George Cornewall Lewis, second Baronet, [Secretary of State for War], Harpton [Court], Radnor, to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: Lewis encloses a letter which he received that day from the Duke of Cambridge. It contains a proposal for military rank for the Prince of Wales on his coming of age. Lewis has previously had conversation with the Queen [?] on the subject; he thinks that the proposal is a proper one. If Palmerston concurs, Lewis asks him to propose this arrangement to the Queen. Alternatively Lewis asks whether he should write to Granville, or the Duke of Cambridge should write to the Queen. "The latter part of his letter, relating to honours for the army on the Prince of Wales coming of age, opens a wider field for deliberation." Lewis requests Palmerston's opinion. If honours and promotions are given to the army, the navy cannot be overlooked. 26 Sep 1862 Enclosed is a letter George, second Duke of Cambridge, [General Commanding in Chief], Gedling, Nottingham, to Sir George Cornewall Lewis, second Baronet, [Secretary of State for War]: as the Prince of Wales will soon come of age, the manner of his promotion should be settled. The Prince is anxious about this; it is natural that so he should. The difficulty is how to lay the matter before the Queen. In ordinary circumstances, the Duke would do it himself. In this case he does not feel justified in doing so unless he is sure the matter is agreable to the Queen. Cambridge might write to Phipps, Grey or possibly Faully, but it might be better if Lewis or Palmerston were to write to Granville. Cambridge proposes that on 9 November the Prince should be promoted to the rank of Major General. At the same time he would be appointed colonel in chief of the late Prince of Wales' Regiment, the Tenth Hussars. This is what the Prince himself would prefer. There should be no objection to this, although the precedent in the last Prince of Wales' time was against his having been made a full colonel commanding of a regiment. The Prince fully understands he can hold no actual command, and he does not wish to draw the emoluments of a regiment. The late Prince of Wales had command of his regiment as a colonel and drew the emoluments of the colonel. The plan is therefore a favourable one. It is understandable that the Prince feels annoyed at not having high military rank in comparison with the foreign princes he has to meet. This arrangement ought not be be made without also conferring some "high compliment" in both the army and navy. "Brevets are virtually abolished careful for servies in the field, and it is not desireable to revert to them, but I cannot see no reason why one or two of our most distinguished and oldest general officers should not be created field marshals and I think in conjunction with the Duke of Somerset and Sir Charles Wood we ought to fill up some of our vacancies in the Order of the Bath." Cambridge proposes Sir Edward Blakeney and Lord Gough who both stand at the top of the list and have had distinguished services in all quarters of the globe. There are six vacancies in the Grand Crosses [of the Order of the Bath], about ninteen KCB and a few CB. He suggests filling about three or four of the first, about ten or twelve of the second and the third he would fill with those still on the list who were recommended when there were no vacancies. Cambridge hopes that Lewis will not think the proposals unreasonable. 24 Sep 1862
Four papers
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Prince George, Duke of Cambridge, General Commanding in Chief
Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, King of England
Victoria, Queen of England
Granville George Levenson Gower, fifth Earl Granville, Lord President of the Council
Sir Charles Beaumont Phipps, Keeper of the Privy Purse
General Charles Grey, unofficial Secretary to the Queen
Edward Adolphus St Maur, sixteenth Duke of Somerset, First Lord of the Admiralty
Sir Charles Wood, Secretary of State for India
General Sir Edward Blakeney, colonel of the First Regiment of Foot, Governor of Chelsea Hospital
General Hugh Gough, first Viscount Gough, colonel in chief of the Sixtieth Regiment of Foot
Honours; awards; patronage; military promotion
Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston
George, Prince of Wales, later George IV, King of England: coming of age
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