Lady Augusta Murray was the unrecognised wife of Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex. Their marriage in 1793 was in contravention to the Royal Marriages Act 1772, and so it was considered to be invalid. Augusta was not recognised as his wife and could not be styled as Her Royal Highness Princess Augustus Frederick (Augustus wasn’t created Duke of Sussex until 1801). Nevertheless, Augusta and the Prince went on to have two children together before he left her. The children were given the last name d’Este, while Augusta was eventually granted the last name De Ameland. After a lengthy battle, she was ultimately granted a pension as well. Augustus did not remarry until after Augusta’s death.
Forbidden Wife: The Life and Trials of Lady Augusta Murray by Julia Abel Smith traces the life of this would-be Princess in great detail and with flair. Augusta comes to life as an enigmatic and strong woman, who fought for her marriage until Augustus wanted to separate. Not much was known about Augusta’s life, and this book certainly fills the void. I’d highly recommend it.