Francis, Duke of Teck: Wikis


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Duke of Teck
Spouse Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge
Mary, Queen of the United Kingdom
Adolphus Cambridge, 1st Marquess of Cambridge
Prince Francis of Teck
Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone
Full name
Francis Paul Charles Louis Alexander
German: Franz Paul Karl Ludwig Alexander
House W√ľrttemberg
Father Duke Alexander of W√ľrttemberg
Mother Claudine Rhédey von Kis-Rhéde
Born 28 August 1837(1837-08-28)
Esseg, Slavonia
Died 21 January 1900 (aged 62)
White Lodge, Richmond Park
Burial St George's Chapel, Windsor

Francis, Duke of Teck (Francis Paul Charles Louis Alexander; 28 August 1837 ‚Äď 21 January 1900), was a member of the British Royal Family, the father of Queen Mary. Francis held the titles of Count of Hohenstein (Graf von Hohenstein) and later Duke of Teck (Herzog von Teck). He was granted the style of Highness in 1887.


Early life

Francis was born on 28 August 1837 in Esseg, Slavonia (now Osijek, Croatia).[1] His father was Duke Alexander of W√ľrttemberg, the son of Duke Louis of W√ľrttemberg. His mother was Countess Claudine Rh√©dey von Kis-Rh√©de. The marriage was morganatic, meaning that Francis had no succession rights to the Kingdom of W√ľrttemberg. His title at birth was Count Francis von Hohenstein, after his mother was created Countess of Hohenstein in her own right by Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria. Through the House of W√ľrttemberg, Francis was distantly descended from the Habsburgs, the then-powerful ruling family of Austria.

In 1863, Francis was created Prince of Teck, with the style His Serene Highness in the Kingdom of W√ľrttemberg, and in 1871, was created Duke of Teck.


Like his father, Duke Alexander, Francis embarked upon a career in the Austrian army, eventually rising to the rank of Captain in the 7th Hussars during the Austro-Prussian War. He retired from the Austrian Army when he married and moved to England in 1866. Later he became attached to the staff of British General Sir Garnet Wolseley during the 1882 Egyptian campaign. He was gazetted a Colonel in the British Army in November 1882[2] and subsequently promoted to Major General, supernumerary to the establishment, in July 1893[3].


As the product of a morganatic marriage, and without succession rights to the throne, Francis was not accepted as a husband for princesses in most of the European royal houses. He further had little income in comparison with other European princes. He thus married into a richer family, by marrying his father's third cousin (in descent from King George II of Great Britain) Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, the younger daughter of Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, and a granddaughter of George III, who was known as 'Fat Mary' because of her wide girth. That, together with the fact that she was (by 1866) already in her thirties, meant that Mary Adelaide was also short of choices for marriage.

The couple married on 12 June 1866 at St Anne's Church, Kew, West London.[4] They had four children:

Hard times

Teck-Cambridge Family

Given the impoverishment of Francis, the couple were forced to survive on Mary Adelaide's small Parliamentary allowance of £5,000 per annum, supplemented by income from her mother, The Duchess of Cambridge. Mary Adelaide's requests to her cousin, Queen Victoria, for more funds were met with refusal; however, they were granted a grace-and-favour apartment in Kensington Palace, London and a country house, White Lodge, the former Royal deer-hunting lodge in Richmond Park, Southwest London.

Despite the modest incomes of the Duke and Duchess, they lived remarkable lives of social engagements, leading to the build-up of large debts. In 1883, the Tecks fled the UK to continental Europe, where they stayed with relatives in Florence and Germany. They eventually returned to the UK in 1885.

Later life

With an Order-in-Council on 1 July 1887,[5] Queen Victoria granted Francis the style of His Highness, as a gift to celebrate her Golden Jubilee. Despite this, the Tecks were still seen as minor relatives, with little status or wealth. Their fortunes improved when in 1891, their only daughter, Princess Victoria Mary of Teck (known as May to her family) became engaged to the second-in-line to the British throne, Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence. The death of the Duke of Clarence only six weeks later looked like a cruel blow. However, Queen Victoria was fond of Princess May and persuaded the Duke of Clarence's brother (and next in the line of succession), Prince George, Duke of York, to marry her instead.

In 1897, the Duchess of Teck died, leaving Francis a widower. He continued to live at White Lodge, Richmond, but did not carry out any Royal duties, although he continued to receive the late Duchess' Parliamentary annuity.

Francis died on 21 January 1900 at White Lodge.[6] He was buried next to his wife in the Royal Vault at St. George's Chapel, Windsor.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Arms of Francis, Duke of Teck .[7]


  • 28 August 1837 ‚Äď 1 December 1863: Count Francis of Hohenstein
  • 1 December 1863 ‚Äď 16 December 1871: His Serene Highness Prince Francis of Teck
  • 16 December 1871 ‚Äď 11 July 1887: His Serene Highness The Duke of Teck
  • 11 July 1887 ‚Äď 21 January 1900: His Highness The Duke of Teck




  1. ^ Huberty, M., Giraud, A., Magdelaine, F. & B. (1979) L’Allemagne Dynastique, Vol. II (Alain Giraud, Le Perreux, France) p.524 ISBN 2-901138-02-0
  2. ^ London Gazette issue 25169, 17 Nov 1882
  3. ^ London Gazette issue 26417, 30 Jun 1893
  4. ^ Weir, A. (1996) Britain’s Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy, Revised edition (Pimlico, London)
  5. ^ Royal Styles and Titles ‚Äď 1887 Order-in-Council
  6. ^ The Times Tuesday, Jan 23, 1900; pg. 7; Issue 36046; col D
  7. ^ Maclagan, Michael; Louda, JiŇô√≠ (1999). Line of Succession: Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe. London: Little, Brown & Co. p. 30. ISBN 0-85605-469-1.  
  8. ^ London Gazette issue 23134, 26 Jul 1866
  9. ^ London Gazette issue 26871, 9 July 1897
German nobility
Preceded by
New Creation
Duke of Teck
1st Duke, 3rd creation
1871 ‚Äď 1900
Succeeded by
Prince Adolphus of Teck


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