Quest Biography # 34
The story of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, is the story of early Canada.
The story of Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent (1767-1820) is also a story of early Canada. An active participant in the very genesis of the country, including discussions that would eventually lead to Confederation, the Prince lived in Quebec City, undertook historic tours of Upper Canada and the United States (both firsts for a member of the Royal Family) before he was stationed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as commander-in-chief of British North America. Canada's maps are dotted with his name (Prince Edward Island the most obvious example), making him one of the most honoured among our forgotten historical figures.
Exiled from the court of his father, and accompanied by his long-time mistress Julie de St. Laurent, the 24-year-old Prince Edward Augustus arrived in Quebec City in 1791. His life became woven into the fabric of a highly-charged society and left an indelible mark on the role of the monarchy in Canada. Seventy years later the country would be united under the crown of his daughter, Victoria, Sir John A. Macdonald's "Queen of Canada."
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