But these books did not belong to Kate. Instead the Duchess in question is the princess and landgravine Augusta Wilhelmina Louisa of Hesse-Kassel (1797-1889). She became Duchess of Cambridge when she married Prince Adolphus Frederick, 1st Duke of Cambridge and seventh son of George III, in 1818.
The dukedom of Cambridge has become extinct four times and the current creation, the fifth, was bestowed on Prince William the day he married Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011.
Nobility and Gentry
These visiting books offered at auction contain the names of nobility and gentry of the period including Viscount and Viscountess Palmerston, the Maharaja Duleep Singh, Earl and Lady Onslow, Duke of Devonshire, Countess Newburgh, Lord John Russell and the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland.
The first volume lists the duchess’ visitors while living in Florence, Naples and Rome between 1840-41. The second volume captures visitors to her home at Cambridge Cottage, Kew, from 1855-73.
They were consigned to auction by a Shropshire vendor and will be offered at Halls’ Battlefield salerooms in Shrewsbury on April 26-27 with an estimate of £200-300.
Halls’ books specialist Chris Moore said: “There is a lot of interest in memorabilia relating to senior members of the royal family and these are early items. They are fascinating documents of social history and reveal something of the duchess’ social life and her own close circle of friends.”
The 1st Duke of Cambridge was the second cousin of his wife and was 24 years older than her. Born at Rumpenheim Castle, in Kassel in Germany, she survived her husband by 39 years, dying at the age of 91. She was buried at St Anne’s Church, Kew, but her remains were later transferred to St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.