Victoria, Prince Alfred & 2026 Commonwealth Games petition

I've created an e-petition to review Victorian place names associated with Prince Alfred and the British monarchy. The petition asks the legislative council to call for a formal review of this difficult subject. It raises the possibility that some place names, including the Alfred Hospital, may need to be refreshed.

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The allegations made by Merritt Abrash are incredibly serious so I felt it was important to double-check the facts.

Merritt Abrash asserts she was fifteen:

Prince Alfred, Merritt Abrash, underage

Wikipedia asserts she was fifteen, citing four sources:

Prince Alfred, Merritt Abrash, underage

But she was only fourteen

In checking, I found one major error. Abrash and Wikipedia both assert Prince Alfred and Maria first met in 1868 and they both assert that she was fifteen. Yet her fifteenth birthday was in October 1868. Therefore, is the month wrong, did they meet one summer later in 1869 or did Abrash miscalculate her age?

There are a wide range of sources about the evolution of the Russian dynasty and they all point to 1868, when the girl was even younger, only fourteen. The British records appear to be more concerned with the family's privacy and only identify the date of the marriage some years later. Around the same time, the Japanese Emporer teen Meiji was married. The birthdate of his wife was officially revised to make her closer to Meiji's age. Misogyny and monarchy hand-in-hand.

There are many records of Prince Alfred being on an extended tour of the far east and the pacific in 1869. Therefore, it doesn't seem to be possible that they met when she was fifteen. This reinforces the idea that Abrash was right about the year 1868 but wrong about her age.

Wikipedia lists the following sources for the beginning of a relationship in August 1868:

Abrash's paper is published in the style of a scholarly article. He cites a range of sources, some of the more significant assertions come from the following:


6 August 1844Prince Alfred is born at Windsor Castle, UK
1 July 1851The Australian colony based around Melbourne began using the name Victoria, derived from the name of the reigning monarch, Queen Victoria
17 October 1853 (O.S.)Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna is born, the only daughter of the Tsar Alexander II
December 1867Prince Alfred is the first member of the royal family to visit Australia. As an officer of the Royal Navy, he was captain of HMS Galatea.
12 March 1868Attempted assassination of Prince Alfred in Sydney. The public donates significant sums of money to build hospitals in Melbourne and Sydney, both named after Prince Alfred.
6 August 1868Prince Alfred's 24th birthday
August 1868First records of Prince Alfred meeting Maria (14 years old). Scholars allege he was "captivated". The meeting takes place at Jugenheim, Germany. Some papers incorrectly state the girl was 15.
17 October 1868 (O.S.)Maria's 15th birthday
11 January 1869Japanese Emperor Meiji (age 16) marries Ichijo Haruko (age 19). Official records are tampered to make the woman appear younger.
18 July 1869Prince Alfred arrives in Hawaii.
4 September 1869Prince Alfred, who was also using the title Duke of Edinburgh, is the first European prince to visit Japan. He is welcomed to a personal reception with the Emporer, who was a teenager at the time.
17 October 1870 (O.S.)Maria's 17th birthday
1871The UK publishes results of the 1871 census, demonstrating that the mean age for women to marry was 24.3 years
July/August 1871 (European summer)Prince Alfred and Maria spend the summer together in Heiligenberg, Germany. The Prince asks the Tsar for permission to marry Maria. The Tsar writes a letter to Queen Victoria asking to wait at least one more year.
1871Melbourne and Sydney complete construction of hospitals bearing the name Royal Prince Alfred
1872Germany, where Prince Alfred met Maria, raises the age of consent to 16
1875UK criminal law reforms raise the age of consent to 13. Concern about trafficking girls to men like Epstein motivated these changes.
1885UK criminal law reforms raise the age of consent to 16.
December 1936King Edward VIII abdicates the throne in a controversy about his proposed marriage. The woman, having been married twice before, was subjected to intense scrutiny and widespread defamation from the Establishment.
1943Lancaster ED531 crashes in Thyon, Switzerland. Six out of seven casualties are Australian. It is the most significant loss of Australian lives in neutral Switzerland.
1969A scholarly article, A Curious Royal Romance: the Queen's Son and the Tsar's Daughter is published by The Slavonic and East European Review Vol. 47, No. 109 from University College London (UCL).
1997Death of Princess Diana the year after her divorce
January 2020The "Megxit" of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from British royalty. Harry told Oprah Winfrey that they felt "trapped" and controlled. In other words, the expectations of royal protocol are a form of modern slavery for minor royals who are unlikely to ever ascend the throne. Curiously, this coincides with the notion that Maria Alexandrovna was, in a theoretical sense, trafficked.
2021Prince Andrew sells his ski lodge and uses the funds to settle abuse claims. The lodge is at Verbier, in the same 4 Valleys ski region where the Anzac deaths occurred

The antics of royalty are a slap in the face for the early Australian settlers who named so many places in Alfred's honour.

The relationship between Alfred and Maria was the direct result of a system that compels young royals to prioritize partners with royal lineage. The racism directed at Meghan Markle during her pregnancy is the other side of the same coin.

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Code of Conduct: Prince Harry and Prince Andrew ostracized at Queen's funeral

While other members of the royal family wore military uniforms and saluted the Queen's coffin, Prince Harry and Prince Andrew stood in mourning suits with their arms by their sides.

This is what it looks like when somebody is ostracized. These were some of the most poignant images of the Queen's funeral. The sentence given to Harry sends a message to anybody else who might dare to question the Royal Code of Conduct.

Andrew's plight began with an underage girl and a criminal friendship. Harry's plight began with a marriage to a woman of mixed-race heritage. Only one of them did something wrong. Both of their choices have been equated with a similar punishment.

Harry is the only royal who served two tours in Afghanistan. The Taliban made many plots to capture and kill him but not in their wildest dreams could they have imagined torturing him at his grandmother's funeral.

Prince Harry, Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth funeral, coffin, salute

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A Curious Royal Romance

Please sign and share the state parliament e-petition.

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