Personal papers belonging to Queen Victoria's father, Prince Edward, have been released online by The Royal Collection Trust, giving an insight into the royal's life. The 1,018 documents spread across 57 volumes are available on the website of the Georgian Papers Online project, which works to bring original material to life.

The documents, assumed to be from the year 1772 to 1898, include correspondence and letters as well as the financial papers of the late British royal. The collection includes his lesson books, which are in the form of custom made leather and paper covered in wooden boxes with metal fastenings. There is also a letter from his elder brother Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, who wrote to him to inform about his marriage to Princess Frederica Charlotte of Prussia.

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, was the fourth son and fifth child of King George III. While he never himself became the king, his daughter became Queen Victoria after his three elder brothers died without surviving legitimate children.

Prince Edward Augustus, the fourth son and fifth child of George III and Queen Charlotte, was born at Buckingham Palace on November 2, 1767. His education was initially delivered by his preceptor, John Fisher, who later became the Bishop of Salisbury, maintaining his friendship with Edward for the rest of his life.

He was created Duke of Kent and Strathearn and Earl of Dublin on April 23, 1799, and, a few weeks later was appointed a General and commander-in-chief of British forces in the Maritime Provinces of North America. He was sent to serve in Gilbraltar as an ordinary officer because he displeased his father George III by returning home without leave while serving as the Colonel of the 7th Regiment of the Foot in 1790.

In a letter he sent to his father at the time, Edward wrote: "If my conduct during my residence in the Garrison of Gibraltar has in any ways incurred your Majesty's displeasure, which I am led to fear by your silence, I am particularly unfortunate, as I have spared no endeavours, & no pains, in striving to merit your approbation."

Edward was the first member of the royal family to live in North America for more than a short visit, and also the first prince to enter the United States, after he travelled on foot to Boston from Lower Canada.

He is also credited with the first use of the term "Canadian" to mean both French and English settlers in Upper and Lower Canada and was styled the "Father of the Canadian Crown" for his impact on the development of Canada.

Edward became romantically involved with Madame Julie Saint-Laurent (Therese Benard née Mongenet) while studying in Geneva. He wrote to Julie for 27 years. Another of his love interests, Adelaide Dubus, died while giving birth to a daughter.

Edward and Julie remained together until his marriage in 1818. The royal, who was 50 at the time, tied the knot with Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, sister-in-law of his now-deceased niece Princess Charlotte. A widow of Emich Carl, 2nd Prince of Leiningen, Victoria was already mother to a son Carl and a daughter Feodora.

Edward and Victoria welcomed their only child, Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent, in 1819. The Duke took great pride in his daughter and used to tell his friends to look at her well as she will be the Queen of the United Kingdom. However, he couldn't see her reign, as he lost his life to pneumonia within a year of her birth. His father, King George III, also passed away six days later.

Edward's daughter became the Queen of England in June 1837, when she was 18-years-old, after the death of her uncle King William IV in 1837. Known as the Victorian era, her reign of 63 years and seven months was longer than that of any of her predecessors.

Queen Victoria
Portrait of Queen Victoria Wikimedia Commons