Nathan Tidridge was presented the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Prince of Wales in 2012. A high-school history teacher, he won the Premier’s Award for Teaching Excellence (Teacher of the Year, 2008). Nathan is the author of Beyond Mainland, Canada’s Constitutional Monarchy, and Prince Edward, Duke of Kent. He lives in Waterdown, Ontario.
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
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."
Previous biographies of the Duke of Kent focus on his real and imagined personal life including his often strained relationship with his parents and siblings, alleged obsession with military discipline and rumoured affairs that reputedly left Canada populated with half-siblings of Queen Victoria. Tidridge analyses this reputation critically, creating a more nuanced and accurate portrait of the Duke. His focus on the Duke of Kent’s relationship with Canada is a fresh approach that reveals the Princes’ full significance as a historical figure in both Canada and the United Kingdom. Nathan Tidridge’s lively and insightful biography, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent: Father of the Canadian Crown, restores the Duke to his rightful place in Canadian history.
Queen Victoria’s father deserved greater role in Canadian history.
Tidridge’s clear, concise writing style and stellar research skills reveal an individual who was actively engaged in Confederation rather than a silent participant.
Tidridge manages to portray Prince Edward as an inexhaustible defender of the British Crown who meritoriously achieved the honour of having an island adorned with his name.
This well- researched, well written book is an insightful account of a man who deserves to be remembered for his own contribution to history.