Princess Beatrice was the youngest daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of the United Kingdom. She married Prince Henry of Battenberg. They had four children, Alexander, Victoria Eugenie, Leopold and Maurice. This piece will be about the three boys with a further piece will be about Victoria Eugenie who went on to become Queen of Spain.
Alexander Mountbatten, Marquess of Carisbrooke.
Alexander Mountbatten as he would later become was born Prince Alexander Albert of Battenberg, on the 23rd November 1886 at Windsor Castle, Berkshire in England. He was the eldest son of Prince Henry and Princess Beatrice.
He was educated at Stubbington House and Wellington College before going on to join the Royal Navy in 1902. He served until 1908 and in 1910 joined an exclusive dining club called the Castaways Club. This club was for former junior officers who wished to stay in contact after leaving the Navy. He was in good company as the current Duke of Edinburgh; Price Philip was also a member as was also Prince Charles the current Prince of Wales.
After serving in the Navy he transferred to the Army serving in the Grenadier Guards. On 15th August 1913 he became a 2nd Lieutenant and in 1915 reached the rank of Captain. In 1917 Alexander was authorised to wear the insignia of the Russian Order of St Vladimir fourth class with Swords. On 19th November 1919 he resigned his commission.
During the First World War a lot of anti-German sentiment grew in Great Britain and because of this the British Royal family relinquished their German titles and changed their names. Battenberg changed to Mountbatten. This was when Alexander was given the titles of Marquess of Carisbrooke, Earl of Berkampsted and Viscount Launceston.
Alexander also got married in 1917 to Lady Irene Adza Denison (1890-1956) daughter of the 2nd Earl of Londesborough and Lady Grace Adelaide Fane. They married at the Chapel Royal in St James Palace, London. Alexander and Lady Irene had one daughter together, Lady Iris Mountbatten born in 1920.
After the First World War he started life as an ordinary clerk in the offices of Lazard Brothers, the bankers. Later he would become a director of Lazard Brothers.
Early in the Second World War he joined the RAF where he served as a staff officer attached to Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory before moving to Fighter Command Headquarters.
After the war he lived in Kings Cottage overlooking Kew Garderns before moving on to Kensington Palace.
Alexander died in 1960 aged 73 at Kensington Palace and was buried in the Battenberg Chapel, St Mildred’s Church, Whippngham on the Isle of Wight. The title Marquess of Carisbrooke became extinct upon his death. At his death he was the last surviving grandson of Queen Victoria.
Lord Leopold Mountbatten
Prince Leopold Arthur Louis of Battenberg was born on the 21st May 1889 at Windsor Castle and was the second son to Prince Henry and Princess Beatrice. As with the other British Royals at the time he relinquished his German title in 1917 and changed his name from Battenberg to Mountbatten.
Leopold became Sir Leopold Mountbatten due to him being a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order until by a Royal Warrant in September 1917 he was granted the style and precedence of the younger son of a Marquess and became Lord Leopold Mountbatten.
Unfortunately Leopold was blighted by the royal curse of haemophilia which he inherited from his mother. He died on 23rd April 1922 aged just 32 during a hip operation. He is buried in the Royal Burial Ground, Frogmore and a memorial tablet to him and his brother Maurice is in Winchester Cathedral.
Prince Maurice of Battenberg
Maurice Victor Donald was the third son of Prince Henry and Princess Beatrice and the youngest of Queen Victoria’s grandchildren. He was names Maurice after his great-grandfather Count Maurice von Hauke, Victor after his maternal grandmother and Donald because he was born at Balmoral Castle. He was born on 3rd October 1891 and is said to have been the closest of the four siblings to resemble his father’s looks.
His father died when he was aged just four, which is the same age at which his mother lost her father Prince Albert. He was educated at Lockers Prep School in Hertfordshire before going on to study at Wellington College. He then took his place in the British Army.
He served as a Lieutenant in the Kings Royal Rifle Corps. During the First Battle of Ypres he was mortally wounded by shrapnel and died on the field of battle before his men could lead him to safety. He is buried in Ypres Town Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery.
As he died before the relinquishment of the German titles by the British Royal family he was always known by his German title Prince of Battenberg even though he fought on the side of the British.