Tag Archives: Alexander Cambridge

Children of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany and Princess Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont

Prince Leopold was the eighth child and fourth son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.  He was born on 7th April 1853.at Buckingham Palace.  He suffered from the royal curse of haemophilia which led him to an early death at the age of thirty.  He married Princess Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont (1861-1922) the daughter of George Victor, Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont  and Princess Helena of Nassau.

Prince Leopold

Prince Leopold

Helena, Duchess of Albany on her wedding day

Helena, Duchess of Albany on her wedding day

Together they had two children one boy and one girl.

First to be born was Princess Alice.  She was born on 25th February 1883 at Windsor Castle.  She married her second cousin once-removed Prince Alexander of Teck. whom she had three children with.  Due to the First World War and the relinquishing of German titles by British royals the family adopted the surname Cambridge.  Alexander was then made Earl of Athlone.

The first of the couples three children was Lady May Cambridge (1906-1994) who married Henry Abel Smith.  The second was Rupert Cambridge, Viscount Trematon (1907-1928) , died in a car crash.  The third child, Prince Maurice of Teck died within six months of his birth in 1910.

Princess Alice with her children May and Rupert

Princess Alice with her children May and Rupert

The Earl was made Governor-General of the Union of South Africa from 1924-1931.  At the beginning of the Second World War the Earl was appointed Governor General of Canada.  During the war many of Europe’s royal families sought refuge in Canada.  Among the royal quests were Crown Prince Olav and Crown Princess Martha of Norway, Grand Duchess Charlotte and Prince Felix of Luxembourg, King Peter of Yugoslavia, King George of Greece, Empress Zita of Bourbon-Parma (Austria) and her daughters as well as Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands and her daughter Princess Juliana.

Princess Alice of Albany

Princess Alice of Albany

 

Alexander Cambridge, Earl of Athlone

Alexander Cambridge, Earl of Athlone

The Earl died in 1957 at Kensington Palace in London.  Princess Alice lived on until 1981.  She was the last surviving grandchild of Queen Victoria.  The funeral took place at St Georges Chapel at Windsor Castle.

The second child of Leopold and Helena was Prince Charles Edward who was born at Claremont House near Esher, Surrey in England.  The young Prince never met his father.  Leopold died on the 24th March 1884 in Cannes, France while Charles Edward was born 19th July in the same year.  Due to the death of his father he inherited his titles on birth and was styled His Royal Highness Duke of Albany.

He also inherited the ducal throne of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha from his uncle Alfred in 1900 at the age of 16.  He made the Veste Coburg castle his main royal residence.  For the next five years he reigned through the regency of the Hereditary Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.  The regent acted under the strict guidance of Emperor Wilhelm II until the Duke came of age in 1905 assuming full constitutional powers.

Carl_Eduard_Sachsen_Coburg_und_Gotha

Also in 1905 Charles Edward married Princess Victoria Adelaide of Schleswig-Holstein and they had five children; Johann Leopold, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1906-1972), Princess Sibylla (1908-1972), Prince Hubertus (1909-1943), Princess Caroline Mathilde (1912-1983), Prince Friedrich Josias (1918-1998).

The Wedding of Charles Edward and Victoria Adelaide

The Wedding of Charles Edward and Victoria Adelaide

During the First World War Charles Edward chose the side of the Germans and his mentor Wilhelm II.  Due to this in 1919 his British titles of Duke of Albany, Earl of Clarence and Baron of Arklow were now officially removed.

In 1918 the Workers and Soldiers Council of Gotha deposed him and on the 23rd November he signed a declaration relinquishing his rights to the throne.  In 1935 he joined the Nazi Party and became a member of the Sturmabteilung (Storm Detachment), which functioned as the original paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party.  In 1936 Adolf Hitler sent Charles Edward to Britain as president of the Anglo-German Friendship Society to try and improve Anglo-German sentiments.  During his time there he attended the funeral of his first cousin George V in the uniform of a General in the German Army.

Charles Edward with Adolf Hitler

Charles Edward with Adolf Hitler

At the end of the Second World War, he was put under house arrested by American soldiers under the command of General George S Paton.  He was later imprisoned with other Nazi sympathisers and at this point his sister Princess Alice hearing of his imprisonment travelled to Germany to plead for his release, she was unsuccessful.  He was later sentenced by a denazification court, heavily fined and almost bankrupted.

The last years of his life were spent in seclusion, dying in his flat in Elasser Strasse on 6th March 1954 in Coburg.  At the time he was the eldest of only two surviving grandsons of Queen Victoria