Prince Harry’s father made a second marriage in middle age to a woman in the lifetime of her previous husband. Centuries have elapsed, however, since the last occasion when a prominent member of the Royal Family married a woman in such circumstances as his first wife. Alistair Lexden provided details in a letter in The Daily Telegraph on November 28, the day after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement.
SIR--When did a dashing young prince close to the throne last marry a woman with a husband still living without forfeiting his rights of succession?
In 1361 the Black Prince, son and heir of Edward III, then aged 31, became the third husband of Joan, known as the “Fair Maid of Kent” and reputed to be the most beautiful woman of her time. She had buried the first of her spouses, but the Earl of Salisbury who had been her husband for six years never accepted the validity of his marriage’s annulment.
He kept Joan imprisoned for some time, but this clever woman overcame all difficulties, winning the affection of her father-in-law and the respect of the country.