Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Princess Alice
Countess of Athlone
As Viceregal consort of Canada
Spouse Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone
Issue
Lady May Abel Smith
Rupert Cambridge, Viscount Trematon
Prince Maurice of Teck
Full name
Alice Mary Victoria Augusta Pauline
House House of Windsor
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Father Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany
Mother Princess Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont
Born 25 February 1883(1883-02-25)
Windsor Castle, Berkshire
Died 3 January 1981 (aged 97)
Kensington Palace, London
Burial Frogmore, Windsor

Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone (Alice Mary Victoria Augusta Pauline; née Princess Alice of Albany; 25 February 1883 – 3 January 1981) was a member of the British Royal Family. She was the longest-lived Princess of the Blood Royal of the British Royal Family and the last surviving grandchild of Queen Victoria. She also held the titles of Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Duchess in Saxony from birth, as well as a Princess of Teck by marriage, until 1917 when she was commanded to relinquish them by the Letters Patent of George V. She was godmother to Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, who was the granddaughter of her first cousin, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands. Princess Alice was the last grandchild of Queen Victoria to pass away. She died in January 1981, almost 115 years after the passing of Prince Sigismund of Prussia, the first grandchild of Queen Victoria to die. He died in June 1866.

Contents

Early life

Princess Alice was born 25 February 1883 at Windsor Castle. Her father was Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, the youngest son of Queen Victoria and Albert, Prince Consort. Her mother was Princess Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont. She had one brother, Prince Charles, Duke of Albany (1884–1954) and later reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1900–1918). As the granddaughter of the Sovereign through the male line, she was a Princess of the United Kingdom and a Royal Highness. As the daughter of the Duke of Albany, she was, therefore, styled Her Royal Highness Princess Alice of Albany. She was baptised in the Private Chapel of Windsor Castle on 26 March 1883. Her godparents were Queen Victoria, German Empress Augusta, Victoria, Crown Princess of Germany, Helene, Princess of Waldeck-Pyrmont, Augusta, Duchess of Cambridge, Pauline, Hereditary Princess of Bentheim, Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), William III, King of the Netherlands, Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine and Prince Wilhelm of Württemberg.

Marriage and issue

On 10 February 1904, at St George's Chapel, Windsor, Princess Alice of Albany married her second cousin once-removed, Prince Alexander of Teck, the brother of Queen Mary. After their marriage, Princess Alice was styled HRH Princess Alexander of Teck.

Prince and Princess Alexander of Teck had three children:

Name Birth Death Notes
Lady May Cambridge 23 January 1906 29 May 1994 Married 1931 to Henry Abel Smith; had issue
Rupert Cambridge, Viscount Trematon 24 April 1907 15 April 1928 Died in a car crash
Prince Maurice of Teck 29 March 1910 14 September 1910 Died in infancy

Princess Alice was one of the carriers of the gene for haemophilia which arose with Queen Victoria. Princess Alice inherited the gene from her father who himself was a sufferer. Her eldest son, Rupert, inherited the disease from her; this led to his early death following an automobile accident.

1917

When the British Royal Family abandoned all Germanic titles by Letters Patent issued by King George V in June 1917, Prince Alexander of Teck adopted the surname Cambridge, became (briefly) Sir Alexander Cambridge, then the Earl of Athlone, relinquishing the title "Prince of Teck" in the Kingdom of Württemberg and the style Serene Highness. As such, the two surviving children lost their Württemberg princely titles. Princess Alice relinquished her titles of Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Duchess of Saxony, whilst her brother Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, who held a commission in the German Army, was stripped of his British titles. Alice remained, however, a Princess of Great Britain and Ireland and a Royal Highness in her own right, as granddaughter of Queen Victoria in the male line. From June 1917 until her death, she was styled Her Royal Highness Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone.

British Royalty
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
UK Arms 1837.svg
Descendants of Prince Albert
Grandchildren
   Alfred of Edinburgh
   Marie of Edinburgh
   Victoria of Edinburgh
   Alexandra of Edinburgh
   Beatrice of Edinburgh
   Margaret of Connaught
   Arthur of Connaught
   Patricia of Connaught
   Alice of Albany
   Carl Eduard, Duke of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha

World War II

Princess Alice c. 1942

Princess Alice accompanied her husband to Canada where he served as Governor General from 1940–1946. He had also served as Governor-General of South Africa from 1924–1931. During their time in South Africa, Lord and Lady Athlone had a coastal beach house constructed at Muizenberg, which still stands today and is one of South Africa's national monuments. The Cape Town Suburb of Athlone was named in honour of the Governor-General and, together with the beach house, is also the only physical reminder of the Athlones' residence at the Cape. At the end of World War II, the American Military Government in Bavaria, under the command of General George S. Patton, arrested and imprisoned Alice's brother, Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, (who served as a member of the Reichstag from 1937 to 1945), because of his Nazi sympathies. Alice, learning of her brother's incarceration, came to Germany with her husband to plead with his American captors for his release. They would not yield, and in 1946, he was sentenced by a de-nazification court, heavily fined and almost bankrupted.[1][2]

Royal duties

In her lifetime, Princess Alice carried out many Royal duties. She attended the Coronations of four monarchs: Edward VII, George V, George VI, and Elizabeth II. She was also the Colonel-in-Chief of two British Army units and one Rhodesian Army unit. During the Second World War, she was Honorary Air Commandant of the Royal Canadian Air Force Women's Division. In 1950, she became the first Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (then the University College of the West Indies). From the 1930s-60s she was Chair of the Council (governing body) of Royal Holloway College, University of London[3].

Later life

The Earl of Athlone died in 1957 at Kensington Palace in London. Princess Alice lived on there until 1981, when she died at age 97 years and 312 days. At her death, she was the longest-lived British Princess of the Blood Royal and the last surviving grandchild of Queen Victoria. However Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother later became the longest-lived member-by-marriage of the British Royal Family until her sister-in-law Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester broke the record, living even longer beyond her 100th birthday.

Her funeral took place in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, attended by all members of the Royal Family. She is buried alongside her husband and son in the private British Royal Burial Grounds at Frogmore, directly behind the mausoleum of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, in Windsor Great Park. Her daughter and son-in-law are also buried close by.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Styles of
Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone
Monarch's Other Grandchildren Coronet.svg
Reference style Her Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Ma'am
Advertisements

Titles and styles

  • 25 February 1883 – 10 February 1904: Her Royal Highness Princess Alice of Albany
  • 10 February 1904 – 14 July 1917: Her Royal Highness Princess Alexander of Teck
  • 14 July 1917 – July 1917: Her Royal Highness Princess Alice, The Honorable Lady Cambridge
  • July 1917 – 3 January 1981: Her Royal Highness Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone

Honours

Princess Alice's coat of arms

Arms

As a granddaughter of Queen Victoria in the male line, Princess Alice was entitled to use the Royal Arms, with a 5 point label as a difference, the central point bearing a cross gules, the others hearts gules.

Until George V's warrant of 1917, her arms, like all those of Prince Albert's British royal descendants, bore an inescutcheon for Saxony.[4]

Ancestry

Trivia

In 1953 when visiting Eastbourne, she was conveyed around in a Rolls Royce owned by suspected serial killer John Bodkin Adams.[5]

External links

References

  1. ^ Hitler's Favourite Royal (Channel 4 documentary) Dec 2007
  2. ^ The Nazi relative that the Royals disowned - Daily Mail - Dec 2007
  3. ^ 1937 Royal visit of Queen Mary to Royal Holloway College, Egham, 1937
  4. ^ Heraldica – British Royalty Cadency
  5. ^ Surtees, John "The Strange case of Dr John Bodkin Adams, 2000
Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone
Cadet branch of the House of Wettin
Born: 25 February 1883 Died: 3 January 1981
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Baroness Tweedsmuir
Viceregal Consort of Canada
1940–1946
Succeeded by
The Countess Alexander of Tunis

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message