September 9, 1898
The financial situation for the Duke of Teck and his family has gone bad to worse, according to a Boston Herald report (which was republished by the Los Angeles Times.) The Duchess of York is said to look "gloomy and unhappy." This is not to do because of any "misdoings of her hubby." Mary's melancholy is due to the "poverty of her family."
Mary's marriage to the Duke of York, who is second line to the throne after the Prince of Wales, would have been seen as a financial asset for her family. The late Duchess of Teck did receive an annuity of $25,000 a year, but the civil list allowance ended when she died. Her estate was sold at auction to pay off debts.
The Duchess' husband and three sons "became helpless as blind kittens."
The eldest son, Adolphus, has married well, however. His wife, Margaret, is the daughter of one of Britain's wealthiest men, the Duke of Westminster. Thus, Dolly, is a "pensioner" on his father-in-law. He might be able to hand a "half-crown occasionally to poor papa," and the Duchess of York "might pay for his laundry." But the two younger sons, Alexander and Francis, have only the "interest on their debts to live upon."
The Duke of Teck has "completely broken down by the loss of his spouse and his penniless state." He is described as an "imbecile and requires the constant attention of three nurses and a doctor." Such medical attention does cost money. But what to do with the duchess of York's father? It is a "mortifying problem" for Queen Victoria, and she can choose to solve it. But she apparently has not gotten involved, "owing to one of the freaks that sometimes afflicts her." Queen Victoria apparently does not like the Duke of Teck. "When a woman doesn't like a man that settles it."
It's not the "poor, handsome" duke's fault that the queen does not like him. It is not his fault that he is the scion of a morganatic marriage. He married Britain's most popular princess, Mary Adelaide, with Victoria's consent. But there have been "ructions ever since between them."
Victoria was perfectly content to allow the Duke's daughter to marry her grandson. The Tecks can no longer hide the scandal of their "poverty." The Duke "must go to the almshouse or Her Majesty must pension him off in some secluded corner of the empire."
At the time of her death, the duchess's debts totalled $150,000, which is the equivalent of $3,868,321.00 in current dollar value.
I don't make these things up, dear readers.