Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom: Wikis


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Princess Beatrice
Princess Beatrice of Battenberg
Spouse Prince Henry of Battenberg
Alexander Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Carisbrooke
Victoria Eugenie, Queen of Spain
Lord Leopold Mountbatten
Prince Maurice of Battenberg
Full name
Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore
House House of Hesse
House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
Father Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Mother Victoria of the United Kingdom
Born 14 April 1857(1857-04-14)
Buckingham Palace, London
Died 26 October 1944 (aged 87)
Brantridge Park, Sussex
Burial 3 November 1944
St George's Chapel, Windsor; later
28 August 1945
St. Mildred's Church, Whippingham

The Princess Beatrice (Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore; later Princess Henry of Battenberg; 14 April 1857 – 26 October 1944) was a member of the British Royal Family. She was the fifth daughter and youngest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The current King of Spain, Juan Carlos, is her great-grandson.

Beatrice's childhood coincided with Victoria's grief following the death of her husband, Prince Albert, on 14 December 1861. As Beatrice's elder sisters married and left their royal mother, Victoria came to rely on the company of her youngest daughter, whom she called Baby for most of her childhood. Beatrice, who was brought up to stay with her mother always, soon resigned herself to her fate.[1]

Victoria was set against her youngest daughter marrying and refused to discuss the possibility. Nevertheless, many suitors were put forward, including Napoleon Eugene, Prince Imperial, the son of the exiled Emperor Napoleon III of France, and Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse, the widower of Beatrice's older sister Alice. Although she was attracted to the Prince Imperial, and there was talk of a possible marriage, he was killed in the Anglo-Zulu War in 1879.

Beatrice fell in love with Prince Henry of Battenberg, the son of Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine and Julia von Hauke, a commoner. After a year of persuasion, Victoria agreed to the marriage, which took place at Whippingham on the Isle of Wight, on 23 July 1885. Victoria consented on condition that Beatrice and Henry make their home with her and that Beatrice continue her duties as the Queen's unofficial secretary.

Ten years into their marriage, on 20 January 1896, Prince Henry died of malaria while fighting in the Anglo-Asante War. Beatrice remained at her mother's side until Victoria died on 22 January 1901. Beatrice devoted the next thirty years to editing Queen Victoria's journals as her designated literary executor. She continued to make public appearances after her mother's death and died at the age of eighty-seven on 26 October 1944, outliving all her siblings and several of her children, nieces and nephews.


Early life

Queen Victoria, holding Princess Beatrice in 1862

Beatrice was born on 14 April 1857, at Buckingham Palace.[2] She was the fifth daughter and youngest of the nine children of the reigning British monarch, Queen Victoria, and her husband, Albert, the Prince Consort. The birth caused controversy when it was announced that Victoria would seek relief from the pains of delivery through the use of chloroform administered by Doctor John Snow. Chloroform was considered dangerous to mother and child and was frowned upon by the Church of England and the medical authorities.[3] Victoria was undeterred and used “that blessed chloroform” for her last pregnancy.[4] A fortnight later, Victoria reported in her journal, “I was amply rewarded and forgot all I had gone through when I heard dearest Albert say ‘It's a fine child, and a girl!’ ”[5] Albert and Victoria chose the names Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore. Mary after Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester, the last surviving child of King George III of the United Kingdom, Victoria after the Queen, and Feodore after the Queen's older half-sister. She was christened in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace on 16 June 1857. Her godparents were her maternal grandmother, The Duchess of Kent; her eldest sister The Princess Royal, and Royal's fiancé, Prince Frederick of Prussia.[6]

The daughters of Queen Victoria mourn the loss of their father. Beatrice is the only one shown who is not staring down.

From birth, Beatrice became a favoured child.[7] The elder favourite daughter of Prince Albert, the Princess Royal, was about to take up residence in Germany with her new husband, Frederick (“Fritz”) of Prussia. At the same time, the newly arrived Beatrice showed promise; Albert wrote to Augusta, Fritz's mother, that “Baby practises her scales like a good prima donna before a performance and has a good voice!”[8] Although Victoria was known to dislike most babies, she liked Beatrice, whom she considered attractive. This provided Beatrice with an advantage over her elder siblings. Victoria once remarked that Beatrice was “a pretty, plump and flourishing child ... with fine large blue eyes, [a] pretty little mouth and very fine skin”.[9] Her golden, long hair was the focus of paintings commissioned by Victoria, who even enjoyed giving Beatrice her bath, in marked contrast to her bathing preferences for her other children.[7] Beatrice showed intelligence, which further endeared her to the Prince Consort, amused by her childhood precociousness.[7] He wrote to Baron Stockmar that Beatrice was "the most amusing baby we have had." Despite sharing the rigorous education programme designed by Prince Albert and his close adviser, Baron Stockmar, Beatrice had a more relaxed infancy than her siblings because of her relationship with her parents.[10] By four years the youngest, and the acknowledged last Royal child, Beatrice was not forced to share her parents' attention the way her siblings had, and her amusing ways provided comfort to her faltering father.

Victoria's devoted companion

Princess Beatrice in 1868. Her late childhood brought little companionship since Prince Leopold, the sibling closest to her age, could not play because of his haemophilia.

In March 1861, Victoria's mother Victoria, Duchess of Kent, died at Frogmore. The Queen broke down in grief and guilt over their estrangement at the beginning of Victoria's reign.[11] Beatrice tried to console her mother by reminding her that the Duchess of Kent was “in heaven, but [Beatrice] hopes she will return”.[12] This comfort was significant because Victoria had isolated herself from her children except the eldest unmarried, Princess Alice, and Beatrice.[13] Victoria again relied on Beatrice and Alice after the death of Albert on 14 December of typhoid fever.[14]

The depth of the Queen's grief over the death of her husband surprised her family, courtiers, politicians and subjects. As when her mother died, she shut herself off from her family—most particularly, the Prince of Wales, whom she blamed for her husband's death[15]—with the exception of Alice and Beatrice. Victoria often took Beatrice from her cot, hurried to her bed and “lay there sleepless, clasping to her child, wrapped in the nightclothes of a man who would wear them no more.”[16] After 1871, when the last of Beatrice's elder sisters married,[17] Victoria came to rely upon her youngest daughter, who had declared from an early age: “I don't like weddings at all. I shall never be married. I shall stay with my mother.”[18] As her mother's secretary, she performed duties such as writing on the Queen's behalf and helping with political correspondence.[19] These mundane duties mirrored those that had been performed in succession by her sisters, Alice, Helena and Louise.[20] However, to these the Queen soon added more personal tasks. During a serious illness in 1871, the Queen dictated her journal entries to Beatrice,[20] and in 1876 she allowed Beatrice to sort the music that she and the Prince Consort had played, unused since his death fifteen years earlier.[20]

Princess Beatrice in the early 1870s, photographed by W & D Downey. During these years, Victoria grew more reliant on Beatrice.

The devotion that Beatrice showed to her mother was acknowledged in the Queen's letters and journals, but her constant need for Beatrice grew stronger.[21][22] The Queen suffered another bereavement in 1883, when her highland servant, John Brown, died at Balmoral.[23] Once again, the Queen plunged into public mourning and relied on Beatrice for support. Unlike her siblings, Beatrice had not shown dislike for Brown, and the two had often been seen in each other's company.[24] They had worked together to carry out the Queen's wishes.[24]



Possible suitors

Although the Queen was set against Beatrice marrying anyone in the expectation that she would always stay at home with her, a number of possible suitors were put forward before Beatrice's marriage to Prince Henry of Battenberg. One of these was Napoleon Eugene, the French Prince Imperial, son and heir of the exiled Emperor Napoleon III of France and his wife, The Empress Eugénie. After Prussia defeated France in the Franco-Prussian War, Napoleon was deposed and moved his family to England in 1870.[25] After the Emperor's death in 1873, Victoria and Empress Eugénie formed a close attachment, and the newspapers reported the imminent engagement of Beatrice to the Prince Imperial.[26] These rumours ended with the death of the Prince Imperial in the Anglo-Zulu War on 1 June 1879. Victoria's journal records their grief: “Dear Beatrice, crying very much as I did too, gave me the telegram... It was dawning and little sleep did I get... Beatrice is so distressed; everyone quite stunned.”[27]

Napoleon Eugene, Prince Imperial, to whom Beatrice was romantically attached in the 1870s

After the death of the Prince Imperial, Beatrice's brother, Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales, suggested that she marry their sister Alice's widower, Louis IV, the Grand Duke of Hesse, who had lost his wife to diphtheria in 1878. Albert Edward argued that Beatrice could act as replacement mother for Louis's young children and spend most of her time in England looking after her mother.[28] He further suggested that the Queen could oversee the upbringing of her Hessian grandchildren with greater ease.[29] However, at the time, it was forbidden by law for Beatrice to marry her sister's widower.[30] This was countered by the Prince of Wales, who vehemently supported passage by the Houses of Parliament of the Deceased Wife's Sister Bill, which would have removed the obstacle.[29] Despite popular support for this measure and although it passed in the House of Commons, it was rejected by the House of Lords because of opposition from the bishops.[31] Although the Queen was disappointed that the bill had failed, she was happy to keep her daughter at her side.[32]

Other candidates, including two of Prince Henry's brothers, Prince Alexander (“Sandro”) and Prince Louis of Battenberg, were put forward to be Beatrice's husband, but they did not succeed. Although Alexander never formally pursued Beatrice, merely claiming that he “might even at one time have become engaged to the friend of my childhood, Beatrice of England”,[33] Louis was more interested. Victoria invited him to dinner but sat between him and Beatrice, who had been told by the Queen to ignore Louis to discourage his suit.[34] Louis, not realising for several years the reasons for this silence, married Beatrice's niece, Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine. Although her marriage hopes had been dealt another blow, while attending Louis's wedding at Darmstadt, Beatrice fell in love with Prince Henry, who returned her affections.[35]

Engagement and wedding

Princess Beatrice in her wedding dress, Osborne, 1885. Beatrice wore her mother's wedding veil of Honiton lace

When Beatrice, after returning from Darmstadt, told her mother that she planned to marry, the Queen reacted with frightening silence. Although they remained side by side, the Queen did not talk to her for seven months, instead communicating by note.[36] Victoria's behaviour, unexpected even by her family,[37] seemed prompted by the threatened loss of her daughter.[38] The Queen regarded Beatrice as her “Baby”—her innocent child—and viewed the physical sex that would come with marriage as an end to innocence.[39] Subtle persuasions by the Princess of Wales and the Crown Princess of Prussia, who reminded her mother of the happiness that Beatrice had brought the Prince Consort, induced the Queen to resume talking to Beatrice. Victoria consented to the marriage on condition that Henry give up his German commitments and live permanently with Beatrice and the Queen.[40]

Beatrice and Henry were married at St. Mildred's Church at Whippingham, near Osborne,[41] on 23 July 1885.[40] Beatrice, who wore her mother's wedding veil of Honiton lace, was escorted by the Queen and Beatrice's eldest brother, the Prince of Wales.[42] The ceremony—which was not attended by her eldest sister and brother-in-law, the Crown Prince and Princess of Prussia, who were detained in Germany; William Ewart Gladstone; or Beatrice's cousin, Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck[43][44]—ended with the couple's departure for their honeymoon at Quarr Abbey House, a few miles from Osborne. The Queen, taking leave of them, “bore up bravely till the departure and then fairly gave way”, as she later admitted to the Crown Princess.[45]

Victoria's last years

After a short honeymoon, Beatrice and her husband fulfilled their promise and returned to the Queen's side. The Queen made it clear that she could not cope on her own and that the couple could not travel without her.[46]

Prince Henry of Battenberg, who was married to Beatrice from 1885 until his death in 1896

Although the Queen relaxed this restriction shortly after the marriage, Beatrice and Henry travelled only to make short visits with his family.[46] Beatrice's love for Henry, like that of the Queen's for the Prince Consort, seemed to increase the longer they were married.[47] When Henry travelled without Beatrice, she seemed happier when he returned.[47]

The addition of Prince Henry to the family gave new reasons for Beatrice and the Queen to look forward, and the court was brighter than it had been since the Prince Consort's death.[48] Even so, Henry, supported by Beatrice, was determined to take part in military campaigns, and this annoyed the Queen, who opposed his participation in life-threatening warfare.[49] Conflicts also arose when Henry attended the Ajaccio carnival and kept “low company”,[50] and Beatrice sent a Royal Navy officer to remove him from temptation.[50] On one occasion, Henry slipped away to Corsica with his brother Louis.[51] The Queen sent a warship to bring him back.[51] Henry was feeling continually oppressed by Victoria's constant need for his and his wife's company.[52]

Despite being married, Beatrice fulfilled her promise to the Queen by continuing as her full-time confidante and secretary. Victoria warmed to Henry, as she often did with other handsome, strong men.[53] However, the Queen criticised Beatrice's conduct during her first pregnancy. When Beatrice stopped coming to the Queen's dinners a week before giving birth, preferring to eat alone in her room, the Queen wrote angrily to her physician, Dr James Reid, that, “I [urged the Princess] coming to dinner, and not simply moping in her own room, which is very bad for her. In my case I regularly came to dinner, except when I was really unwell (even when suffering a great deal) up to the very last day.”[54] Beatrice, aided by chloroform, gave birth the following week to her first son, Alexander.[54]

One of the last photographs taken of Victoria, circa 1900

Beatrice gave birth to four children. In addition she had a miscarriage in the early months of her marriage.[55] Alexander, called “Drino”, was born in 1886; Ena in 1887; Leopold in 1889 and Maurice in 1891. Following this, Beatrice took a polite and encouraging interest in social issues, such as conditions in the coal mines. However, this interest did not extend to changing the conditions of poverty, as it had done with her brother, the Prince of Wales.[48]

Although court entertainments were few after the Prince Consort's death, Beatrice and the Queen enjoyed tableau vivant photography, which was often performed at the many royal residences.[48] Henry, increasingly bored by the lack of activity at court, longed for employment, and in response to this, the Queen made him Governor of the Isle of Wight in 1889.[56] However, he longed for military adventure and pleaded with his mother-in-law to let him join the Ashanti expedition fighting in the Anglo-Asante war. Despite misgivings, the Queen consented, and Henry and Beatrice parted on 6 December 1895. Husband and wife would not meet again. Henry contracted malaria and was sent home. On 22 January 1896, Beatrice, who was waiting for her husband at Madeira, received a telegram informing her of Henry's death two days earlier.[49] Devastated, she left court for a month of mourning before returning to her post at her mother's side.[49] The Queen's journal reports that Victoria “[w]ent over to Beatrice's room and sat a while with her. She is so piteous in her misery.”[57]

Despite her grief, Beatrice remained her mother's faithful companion,[49] and as Victoria aged, she relied more heavily on Beatrice for dealing with correspondence. However, realising that Beatrice needed a place of her own, she gave her the Kensington Palace apartments once occupied by the Queen and her mother.[58] In response to Beatrice's interest in photography, the Queen had a darkroom installed at Osborne House.[19] The changes in the family, including Beatrice's preoccupation with her mother, may have affected her children, who rebelled at school. It was discovered that the children's governess had been undermining the love and trust they had in their mother.[59] Beatrice also wrote that Ena was “troublesome and rebellious”, and that Alexander was telling “unwarrantable untruths”.[59]

Later life

Princess Beatrice with her mother, Queen Victoria

Beatrice's life was overturned by the death of Queen Victoria on 22 January 1901. She wrote to the Principal of the University of Glasgow in March, “ may imagine what the grief is. I, who had hardly ever been separated from my dear mother, can hardly realise what life will be like without her, who was the centre of everything.”[60] Beatrice's public appearances continued, but her position at court was diminished. She, unlike her sister Louise, was not close to her brother, now King Edward VII, and was not included in the King's inner circle.[61] Nevertheless, though their relationship did not break down completely, it was occasionally strained, for example when she accidentally but noisily dropped her service book from the royal gallery onto a table of gold plate during his coronation.[61]

After inheriting Osborne, the King had his mother's personal photographs and belongings removed and some of them destroyed, especially material relating to John Brown, whom he detested.[62] Victoria had intended the house to be a private, secluded residence for her descendants, away from the pomp and ceremony of mainland life.[63] However, the new King had no need for the house and consulted his lawyers about disposing of it, transforming the main wing into a convalescent home, opening the state apartments to the public, and constructing a Naval College on the grounds.[63] His plans met with strong disapproval from Beatrice and Louise. Victoria had bequeathed them houses on the estate, and the privacy promised to them by their mother was threatened. When Edward discussed the fate of the house with them, Beatrice argued against allowing the house to leave the family, citing its importance to their parents.[63] However, the King did not want the house himself, and he offered it to his heir, Beatrice's nephew George, who declined, objecting to the high cost of maintenance. Edward subsequently extended the grounds of Beatrice's home, Osborne Cottage, to compensate her for the impending loss of her privacy. Shortly afterwards, the King declared to Arthur Balfour, the Prime Minister, that the main house would go to the nation as a gift. An exception was made for the private apartments, which were closed to all but the royal family members, who made it a shrine to their mother's memory.[64]

Victoria's journals

Upon Victoria's death, Beatrice began the momentous task of transcribing and editing Victoria's journals, which had been kept since 1831. The hundreds of volumes contained the Queen's personal views of the day-to-day business of her life and included personal and family matters as well as matters of state.[65]

Victoria had given Beatrice the task of editing the journals for publication, which meant removing private material as well as passages that, if published, might be hurtful to living people. Beatrice deleted so much material that the edited journals are only a third as long as the originals.[65] The destruction of such large passages of Victoria's diaries distressed Beatrice's nephew, King George V, and his wife Queen Mary, who were powerless to intervene.[66] Beatrice copied a draft from the original and then copied her draft into a set of blue notebooks. Both the originals and her first drafts were destroyed as she progressed.[66] The task took thirty years and was finished in 1931. The surviving blue notebooks are kept in the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle.[67]

Retirement from public life

Prince Maurice of Battenberg. After his death during the First World War, Beatrice began to retire from public life.

Beatrice continued to appear in public after her mother's death. The public engagements she carried out were often related to her mother, Victoria, as the public had always associated Beatrice with their lost Queen.[68]

The beauty of Beatrice's daughter, Ena, was known throughout Europe, and, despite her low rank, she was a desirable bride.[69] Her choice of marriage partner was King Alphonso XIII of Spain. However, the marriage caused controversy in Britain, since it required Ena to convert to Roman Catholicism.[70] This step was opposed by Beatrice's brother, King Edward VII, and Spanish ultra-conservatives opposed their king's marriage to a Protestant of low birth.[71][72] Nevertheless, Alphonso and Ena were married on 31 May 1906. The marriage began inauspiciously when an anarchist attempted to bomb them on their wedding day.[73] Apparently close at first, the couple drew apart. Ena became unpopular in Spain and grew more so when it was discovered that her son, the heir to the throne, suffered from haemophilia.[74] Alphonso blamed Beatrice for bringing the royal disease to the Spanish royal house and turned bitterly against Ena.[71]

Ena returned to England many times during her reign as Queen of Spain to visit her mother, but always without Alphonso and usually without her children.

Meanwhile, Beatrice lived at Osborne Cottage and Carisbrooke Castle, home of the Governor of the Isle of Wight. (Victoria had made Beatrice governor after Prince Henry died.)[75] In time, Beatrice chose to abandon Osborne Cottage, and, against the wishes of her nephew, George V, sold it in 1912.[76] She moved into Carisbrooke Castle and kept an apartment at Kensington Palace in London. She had been much involved in collecting material for the Carisbrooke Castle museum, which she opened in 1898.[77]

Her presence at court further decreased as she aged and the royal family continued to flourish along Edward VII's family line. Devastated by the death of her favourite son, Maurice, during the First World War in 1914, she began to retire from public life.[78] In response to war with Germany, George V changed the royal family surname from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to Windsor to distance himself from his German origins. Beatrice and her family were forced to renounce their German names; Beatrice's style reverted from HRH Princess Henry of Battenberg to her birth style, HRH The Princess Beatrice. Her surname was also anglicised to Mountbatten.[79] Her sons gave up their courtesy style, Prince of Battenberg.[80] Alexander, the eldest, became Sir Alexander Mountbatten and was later given the title Marquess of Carisbrooke in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.[80] Her younger surviving son, Leopold, became Lord Leopold Mountbatten and was given the rank of a younger son of a marquess.[75]

Following the war, Beatrice was one of several members of the royal family who became patrons of The Ypres League, a society founded for veterans of the Ypres Salient and bereaved relatives of those killed in fighting in the Salient.[81] She was herself a bereaved mother, as her son, Prince Maurice of Battenberg, had been killed in action during the First Battle of Ypres. Her rare public appearances after her son's death included commemorations of these events, including her laying of wreaths at the Cenotaph in 1930 and 1935 to mark the 10th and 15th anniversaries of the founding of the League.[82][83]

Last years

Beatrice continued to correspond with her friends and relatives in her seventies and made rare public appearances, such as when, pushed in a wheelchair, she viewed the wreaths after the death of George V in 1936.[84] She published her last work of translation in 1941. Entitled "In Napoleonic Days", it was the personal diary of Queen Victoria's maternal grandmother, Augusta, Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. She corresponded with the publisher, John Murray, who greatly approved of the work.[85] She made her last home at Brantridge Park in West Sussex, which was owned by Queen Mary's brother, Alexander Cambridge, the first Earl of Athlone, and his wife, Beatrice's niece, Princess Alice of Albany.[86] There Beatrice died peacefully in her sleep on 26 October 1944, aged eighty-seven.[87] After her funeral service in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, her coffin was placed in the royal vault on 3 November. It was transferred on 28 August 1945, and reunited with that of her husband, Prince Henry, inside St. Mildred's Church, Whippingham in their joint tomb.[77] Beatrice's final wish, to be buried with her husband on the island most familiar to her, was fulfilled in a private service at Whippingham attended only by her son, the Marquess of Carisbrooke, and his wife.[77]


British Royalty
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
UK Arms 1837.svg
Descendants of Victoria & Albert
   Victoria, Princess Royal
   Edward VII
   Princess Alice
   Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha
   Princess Helena
   Princess Louise
   Arthur, Duke of Connaught
   Leopold, Duke of Albany
   Princess Beatrice
Styles of
HRH The Princess Beatrice
Monarch's Children Coronet.svg
Reference style Her Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Ma'am

Beatrice was the shyest of all Victoria's children. However, because she accompanied Victoria almost wherever she went, she became among the best known.[88] Despite her shyness, she was an able actor and dancer and was a keen artist and photographer.[89] She was devoted to her children and was concerned when they misbehaved at school. To those who enjoyed her friendship, she was loyal and had a sense of humour,[90] and as a public figure she was driven by a strong sense of duty.[91] Music, a passion that was shared by her mother and the Prince Consort, was something in which Beatrice excelled, and she played the piano to professional standards.[92] Like her mother, she was a devout Christian, fascinated by theology until her death.[93] With her calm temperament and personal warmth, the princess won wide approval.[94]

The demands made on Beatrice during her mother's reign were high. Despite suffering from rheumatism, Beatrice was forced to share her mother's love of cold weather.[95] Beatrice's piano playing suffered as her rheumatism got gradually worse, eliminating an enjoyment in which she excelled, but this did not change her willingness to cater to her mother's needs.[95] Her effort did not go unnoticed by the British public. In 1886, when she agreed to open the Show of the Royal Horticultural Society of Southampton, the organisers sent her a proclamation of thanks, expressing their “admiration of the affectionate manner in which you have comforted and assisted your widowed mother our Gracious Sovereign the Queen”.[96] As a wedding present, Sir Moses Montefiore, a Jewish banker and philanthropist, presented Beatrice and Henry with a silver tea service inscribed: “Many daughters have acted virtuously, but thou excelleth them all.”[97] The Times newspaper, shortly before Beatrice's marriage, wrote: “The devotion of your Royal Highness to our beloved Sovereign has won our warmest admiration and our deepest gratitude. May those blessings which it has hitherto been your constant aim to confer on others now be returned in full measure to yourself.”[98] The sentence was, as far as it dared, criticising the Queen's hold over her daughter.[97]

Many of the buildings with which Beatrice would have been familiar remain today. The main royal residences that she regularly occupied, including Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Balmoral Castle, are all standing, and Osborne House, her mother's favourite home, is accessible to the public.[99] Her Osborne residences, Osborne and Albert Cottages, remain, although they are now in private ownership after their sale by Beatrice in 1912.[100] Kensington Palace and her death place, Brantridge Park, also remain. At her death, she was the only surviving child of Victoria and Albert, and the future Queen Elizabeth II, Beatrice's great-great-niece, was eighteen years of age.[101]

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 14 April 1857 – 23 July 1885: Her Royal Highness The Princess Beatrice[102]
  • 23 July 1885 – 14 July 1917: Her Royal Highness Princess Henry of Battenberg[103]
  • 14 July 1917 – 26 October 1944: Her Royal Highness The Princess Beatrice
Princess Beatrice's coat of arms (1858–1917)



In 1858, Beatrice and the three younger of her sisters were granted use of the royal arms, with an inescutcheon of the shield of Saxony and differenced by a label argent of three points. On Beatrice's arms, the outer points bore roses gules, and the centre a heart gules. In 1917, the inescutcheon was dropped by royal warrant from George V.[105]



Image Name Birth Death Notes
Alexander of Battenberg, Marquess of Carisbrooke.jpg Alexander Mountbatten,
Marquess of Carisbrooke
3 November 1886 23 February
Married, 1917, Irene Denison (4 July 1890 – 16 July 1956);
1 daughter (Lady Iris Mountbatten, 1920–1982).
Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg05.jpg Victoria Eugénie,
Queen of Spain
24 October 1887 15 April
Married, 1906, King Alfonso XIII of Spain
(17 May 1886 – 28 February 1941);
3 daughters (1 stillborn), 4 sons (including Don Juan, Count of Barcelona, 1913–1993, Spanish heir-apparent 1933–1977 and father of King Juan Carlos I of Spain).
Prince Leopod Mountbatten 05363v.jpg Lord Leopold Mountbatten 21 May
23 April
Suffered from haemophilia; died unmarried and without issue during a knee operation.
1891 Maurice-04.JPG Prince Maurice of Battenberg 3 October 1891 27 October 1914 Died of wounds from action during World War I.


  1. ^ Dennison, p. 71
  2. ^ Dennison, p. 2
  3. ^ Dennison, p. 3
  4. ^ Longford, (Victoria R. I.) p. 234
  5. ^ Quoted in Dennison, p. 3
  6. ^ Dennison, p. 8
  7. ^ a b c Dennison, p. 13
  8. ^ Jagow, p. 272
  9. ^ Quoted in Dennison, p. 11
  10. ^ Dennison, p. 22
  11. ^ Longford, (Victoria, Duchess of Kent) ODNB
  12. ^ Quoted in Epton, p. 92
  13. ^ Bolitho, p. 104
  14. ^ Bolitho, p. 195–196
  15. ^ Matthew, ODNB
  16. ^ Duff, p. 10
  17. ^ Vicky in 1858; Alice in 1862; Helena in 1866; Louise in 1871
  18. ^ Quoted in Dennison, p. 38
  19. ^ a b Dennison, p. 204
  20. ^ a b c Dennison, p. 92
  21. ^ Bolitho, p. 301
  22. ^ After a failed assassination attempt on the Queen in 1882, she wrote of Beatrice: "Nothing can exceed dearest Beatrice's courage and calmness, for she saw the whole thing, the man take aim, and fire straight into the carriage, but she never said a word, observing that I was not frightened."
  23. ^ Buckle, p. 418
  24. ^ a b Dennison, pp. 95–101
  25. ^ Corley, p. 349
  26. ^ Dennison, pp. 86–87
  27. ^ Quoted in Dennison, p. 89
  28. ^ Dennison, p. 103–104
  29. ^ a b Dennison, p. 104
  30. ^ "Anglican Online archives" (Website). Anglican Online. 17 August 2003. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  31. ^ "New York Times Archives" (Website). New York Times. 6 February 1902. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  32. ^ Dennison, p. 106
  33. ^ Quoted in Dennison, p. 126
  34. ^ Dennison, p. 116
  35. ^ Dennison, p. 124
  36. ^ Dennison, p. 130
  37. ^ Dennison, p. 128
  38. ^ Dennison, pp. 127–128
  39. ^ Dennison, p. 129
  40. ^ a b Purdue. "Beatrice, Princess; Battenberg, Prince Henry of". Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  41. ^ Beatrice and her siblings were confirmed here
  42. ^ Dennison, pp. 152–153
  43. ^ The duchess was in mourning for her father-in-law
  44. ^ Dennison, p. 153
  45. ^ Hibbert, p. 94
  46. ^ a b Dennison, 179
  47. ^ a b Dennison, p. 180
  48. ^ a b c Dennison, p. 171
  49. ^ a b c d Dennison, p. 190
  50. ^ a b Dennison, p. 186
  51. ^ a b Purdue. "Beatrice, Princess". Retrieved 2007-12-30. 
  52. ^ Dennison, pp. 185–186
  53. ^ Bolitho, p. 27
  54. ^ a b Quoted in Dennison, p. 164
  55. ^ Dennison, p. 161
  56. ^ Purdue. "Beatrice, Princess". Retrieved 2007-11-11. 
  57. ^ Quoted in Dennison, p. 192
  58. ^ Dennison, p. 203
  59. ^ a b Dennison, pp. 210–212
  60. ^ Quoted in Dennison, p. 213
  61. ^ a b Dennison, pp. 233–234
  62. ^ Magnus, p. 290
  63. ^ a b c Benson, p. 302
  64. ^ Dennison, pp. 225–228
  65. ^ a b "Extracts from Queen Victoria's journals" (Website). Official Website of the British Royal Family. 2005. Retrieved 2007-11-11. 
  66. ^ a b Magnus, p. 461
  67. ^ "Royal Household" (Website). Royal Archives. Official Website of the British Royal Family. 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-11. 
  68. ^ Dennison, p. 215
  69. ^ Noel. "Ena". Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  70. ^ Lee, p. 513
  71. ^ a b Noel. "Ena of Battenberg". Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  72. ^ Because Prince Henry, Ena's father, was the son of a morganatic marriage, they considered Ena to be only partly royal and thus unfit to be Queen of Spain.
  73. ^ Noel. "Ena of Battenberg". Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  74. ^ Noel (Spain's English Queen), p. 10
  75. ^ a b Purdue. "Beatrice, Princess". Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  76. ^ "The Princess of the Wight" (Website). The Isle of Wight Beacon. 31 July 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-14. 
  77. ^ a b c "Carisbrooke Castle museum" (Website). Carisbrooke Castle museum. 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  78. ^ Dennison, p. 245
  79. ^ As a royal princess, Beatrice did not use a surname, but when one was used it was Battenberg (1896–1917) and then Mountbatten (1917–1944)
  80. ^ a b "Order to renounce German styles" (Website). London Gazette. 14 July 1914. Retrieved 2007-12-28. 
  81. ^ The Ypres League, Aftermath - when the boys came home, accessed 16/01/2010
  82. ^ To celebrate the tenth anniverary..., Reading Eagle, 9 December 1930, page 10
  83. ^ Beatrice Lays Wreath, Getty Images, image number 3294671, from the Hulton Archive, accessed 16/01/2010
  84. ^ Princess Beatrice pushed in a chair. (1936-1-23). Viewing the Wreaths. [News broadcast]. London: Pathe News. 
  85. ^ Dennison, p. 262
  86. ^ "Brantridge Park" (Website). 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  87. ^ Purdue. "Beatrice, Princess". Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  88. ^ Dennison, p. 157
  89. ^ Dennison: (dancing) pp. 44, 53; (acting) 174–175; (musician) 232–233; (photographer) 121–122
  90. ^ Aspinall-Oglander. "Beatrice, Princess". Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  91. ^ Dennison, p. 112
  92. ^ Dennison,p. 58
  93. ^ Dennison, pp. 84–85
  94. ^ Dennison, p. 193
  95. ^ a b Dennison, p. 110
  96. ^ "Illuminated Proclamation for Princess Beatrice" (Website). Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America. 31 July 1885. Retrieved 2007-12-28. 
  97. ^ a b Dennison, p. 134
  98. ^ The Times newspaper, 29 July 1885
  99. ^ "Osborne House" (Website). English Heritage. 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-15. 
  100. ^ Dennison, p. 230
  101. ^ "Ancestors of Prince William of Wales" (Website). Royal Genealogy. 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-15. 
  102. ^ Beatrice held the titles of Princess of Great Britain and Ireland; Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha; Duchess of Saxony. The German styles were dropped on 14 July 1917
  103. ^ Princess Beatrice, the daughter of the Sovereign, was entitled to use the definite article The before her name. However, when she took her husband's name, she lost it, as he was not entitled to use it.
  104. ^ a b c d e f g h "Princess Beatrice". Regiments. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-30. 
  105. ^ "British Royal Cadency" (Website). Heraldica. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-18. 


  • Aspinall-Oglander, C. F., 'Princess Beatrice (1857–1944)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Archive), Oxford University Press, 1959 accessed 26 Dec 2007
  • Beatrice, HRH The Princess, A Birthday Book (Smith, Elder & Co. London, 1881)
    • The Adventures of Count Georg Albert of Erbach (John Murray, London, 1890)
    • In Napoleonic Days: Extracts from the private diary of Augusta, Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Queen Victoria's maternal grandmother, 1806 to 1821 (John Murray, London, 1941)
  • Benson, E. F., Queen Victoria's Daughter's (Appleton and Company, 1938)
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  • Corley, T. A. B., Democratic Despot: A Life of Napoleon III (Barrie and Rockliff, London, 1961)
  • Dennison, Matthew, The Last Princess: The Devoted Life of Queen Victoria's Youngest Daughter (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, Great Britain, 2007) ISBN 978-0-297-84794-6
  • Duff, David, The Shy Princess (Evans Brothers, Great Britain, 1958)
  • Epton, Nina, Victoria and her Daughters (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, Great Britain, 1971)
  • Jagow, Kurt, Letters of the Prince Consort 1831–1861 (John Murray, London, 1938)
  • Lee, Sir Sidney, King Edward VII: A Biography (Volume I) (Macmillan company, 1925)
  • Longford, Elizabeth Victoria R. I. (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, Great Britain, 1964)
    • ‘Victoria, Princess, duchess of Kent (1786–1861)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 8 Nov 2007
  • Magnus, Philip, Edward the Seventh (John Murray, London, 1964)
  • Matthew, H. C. G., ‘Edward VII (1841–1910)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2007 accessed 8 Nov 2007
  • Noel, Gerard, Ena: Spain's English Queen (Constable, London, 1985) ISBN 978-0-094-79520-4
    • ‘Ena, princess of Battenberg (1887–1969)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 12 Nov 2007
  • Purdue, A. W., ‘Beatrice, Princess (1857–1944)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 26 Dec 2007

External links

Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom
Cadet branch of the House of Wettin
Born: 14 April 1857 Died: 25 October 1944
Government offices
Preceded by
Prince Henry of Battenberg
Governor of the Isle of Wight
Succeeded by
The Duke of Wellington


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The Princess Beatrice (1857-04-141944-10-26), the youngest daughter of Queen Victoria, was a pianist, author and photographer.


  • ...It is sad and discouraging that the reports of dear Leopold show no improvement, & I am sure it must be a worry to you. All one can say, is that one has tried all for the best, & one must bear in mind that possibly it may be some time still before he can use his legs properly after such repeated attacks & that paralysis...
    • On her son, Prince Leopold (later Lord Leopold Mountbatten)
    • Letter from Princess Beatrice to her son's tutor, Mr Theobald (1903-06-10) (Private collection)

External links

Simple English

The Princess Beatrice (Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore; later (1885–1917) Princess Henry of Battenberg; April 14, 1857October 26, 1944) was a member of the British Royal Family. She was the youngest child of Queen Victoria, and her husband Prince Albert.

Other websites

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