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The Montefiores, Ramsgate and Royalty

Home / About Ramsgate / News / The Montefiores, Ramsgate and Royalty

20 November 2020

Ramsgate Montefiore Heritage 08.12.2014
The Montefiores moved to Ramsgate in 1831; by 1835 they are very much part of the local scene with Moses, as one of the gentry, forming the welcoming committee to greet The Duchess of Kent and her daughter Princess Victoria who had come to spend time with her uncle, Leopold, King of the Belgians. Both Montefiores attended the ball at the Albion Hotel, where Judith got to meet the Princess and her mother for the first time. A week later, she and her husband were invited to dine with the Duchess and the young Princess along with the other local gentry.

In June 1837, Victoria ascends to the throne and by July, Moses and Judith get invited to the young Queen’s reception at St James’s Palace, where Judith is presented and is remembered from the old Ramsgate days. Ramsgate was now enjoying great popularity as a smart seaside resort where Princess Sophia Matilda of Gloucester, George II’s granddaughter and Victoria’s cousin, was staying at West Cliff House and where Judith went, on September 12 of that year, in her carriage in a heavy rainfall for a private visit.

According to the diaries, they discussed many topics and then talked of George IV’s Pavilion at Brighton. Since Victoria’s accession, the press had been suggesting that Ramsgate would be the young Queen’s choice for her maritime residence rather than resorting to Brighton. It is on this occasion that Judith suggests that the Princess should press the new Queen to build a palace at Ramsgate rather than continue using the Brighton Pavilion of which she knew Victoria disapproved. The Princess discouraged her by saying “she could not recommend the expense as it would be talked of a hundred years after.” However, they appear to have got on famously as, some days later, the Princess paid Judith a private visit at the Lodge and stayed for an hour and a half.

From their conversation, one can’t help wondering what if Victoria and Albert had decided to build their maritime home on the Isle of Thanet rather than on the Isle of Wight!
Written by:
Mark Negin
Ramsgate Montefiore Heritage