Helzel, Adolf - portrait of Prince Ernst August, Duke of Cumberland

Note - This miniature has been in the European section of the collection as an unidentified German officer. However, as a kind visitor has now identified him for me, and as he was a British Prince, British Peer, and British Army General, he has now also been included in the British section. He must have been perhaps the only British Army General who was on the German side in World War I !!

This miniature is signed "A Helzel Berlin" for Adolf Helzel who owned a Berlin porcelain painting works. He was active around 1894.

The portrait is painted in enamel on copper. This is a very demanding technique, as the colours have to be put on separately as they need to be fired at different temperatures and also they change colour when they are fired. (Apologies for the scanner glare.)

When first listed here, the sitter was unknown, but I am now very grateful to the kind visitor who has provided the following information.

"The sitter is H.R.H. Ernst August, Duke of Cumberland (1845 - 1923), formerly the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Hanover. He was a great grandson of King George III of England. He wears the uniform of the Austrian Infantry regiment of which he was honorary Colonel."

This has enabled me to expand the description and provide a link to more about him at Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover - Wikipedia, the free ...

History records Crown Prince Ernst August II of Hanover, 3rd Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, (Ernest Augustus William Adolphus George Frederick; 21 September 1845–14 November 1923), was the eldest child and only son of George V of Hanover and his wife, Marie of Saxe-Altenburg.

His title at birth was His Royal Highness Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick and Lunenburg, Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

When his father King George V of Hanover died in Paris on 12 June 1878, Prince Ernst August succeeded him as Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale in the Peerage of Great Britain and Earl of Armagh in the Peerage of Ireland. Queen Victoria created him a Knight of the Garter on 1 August 1878.

Ernst August had the misfortune of being deprived of the thrones of Hanover upon its annexation by Prussia in 1866 and later the Duchy of Brunswick in 1884.

Queen Victoria appointed the Duke of Cumberland a major general in the British Army in 1886 and promoted him to lieutenant general in 1892 and general in 1898. Although he was a British peer and a prince of Great Britain and Ireland, he continued to consider himself an exiled monarch of a German Principality, making his home in Gmunden, Upper Austria.

The similarity of the British and Hanover royal standards can be seen here in these two flags.

On 13 Nov 1914 the New York Times reported from Copenhagen; "Prince Ernst August, Duke of Cumberland, father of the Duke of Brunswick, the son-in-law of the Kaiser, has been discovered wandering about in a demented condition. It is reported that the horror's of the war have affected the Prince's brain and he is now confined in an asylum. The Duke of Brunswick has been reported missing for several weeks." However, it seems that the Duke was later found and lived until 1923.

Although he was the senior male-line great grandson of George III, the Duke of Cumberland was deprived of his British peerages and honours for having sided with Germany in World War I. 1185

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