The Duke of Kent's Secret Affair

Rumours have persisted that the Queen Victoria, worried her rule would be weakened by the knowledge of an older half-brother in Canada, regularly shipped money to her colonial sibling to ensure his upkeep and silence.

He supposedly was raised by a Quebec City middle-class family. Prince Edward, later father to Queen Victoria had a romance with a gorgeous French baroness Alphonsine Therese Bernadine Julie de Montgenet, Baroness de Fortisson, Madame de Saint-Laurent. However some say she was a flirtatious middle-class girl from France.

According to McKenzie Porter, while in Geneva, Baron de Vincy introduced Prince Edward to de Fortissons. Soon after, baroness and Prince Edward became lovers. The irritable King George enrolled Edward in the army and had Edward posted at Gibraltar, but the brave prince made arrangements for her secret love to be smuggled there. King George found out about this and sent his son to head a regiment in Quebec City, where the young officer and the royal heir arrived on August 11, 1791 aboard the HMS Ulysses. He was accompanied by his "chatelaine", introduced as Julie de St. Laurent and reputed to be a widow. McKenzie Porter says the couple had been married before arriving in Quebec City, possibly in Malta, Halifax or Martinique. It's quite possible that the marriage occurred in Quebec City.

If Mme de St. Laurent were a Protestant, her eldest son, supposedly named Robert Wood, would have been king, not Victoria. Chances are that Mme de St. Laurent was a Catholics. Therefore her union with Edward, under the terms of the Royal Marriage Act would have been invalid. Still, this supposed son would be a nuisance, as well as other children from Prince Edward and Madame de Saint-Laurent union.

According to Morgan Hennessey Prince Edward and Mme de Saint-Laurent may have had seven children in their ten years together in Canada, though that claim is based only on the legends of the various families claiming a royal connexion, as there is no proof of their existence. Birth certificates, church records and other documents related mysteriously disappeared during Victoria's reign. A man named Robert Wood did exist. Though no records of his birth have ever been found, his son erected a memorial window to his father in the Holy Trinity Church in Quebec City indicating Robert Wood was born in the city on August 10, 1792.

In 1817, he married a Charlotte Gray. The couple had eleven children. Robert Wood died in Savannah, Georgia, US, on April 10, 1847, but he is buried in Quebec City. The parents of the boy felt it best to keep his existence a secret for rear of what could occur should the King know about this. They gave the boy to a foster family of a Robert Wood (Sr.), who had served in the royal navy. He was later given the post of door-keeper at the Legislative assembly of Lower Canada.

In 1794, on their way to Halifax, Julie gave birth to their second son, named Jean de Mestre. Edward married the German princess and new Duchess of Kent in 1818. Madame De St. Laurent removed herself to a convent in Paris, where she married a Russian-Italian nobleman and eventually settled back in the Quebec City area at Montmorency Manor, Duke of Kent's old summer home.

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