As noted on Monday, we’re taking a look at the daughters of Empress Frederick (eldest daughter of Queen Victoria). Today we’re going to cover the second of four German princesses: Victoria of Prussia.
The most famous of Empress Frederick’s children is without a doubt Kaiser Wilhelm II. Ironically, this would also be the child with whom she had the worst relationship, for all told she produced eight children, six of whom reached adulthood. A year ago, I posted about her daughter, Sophie, who would end up marrying into the Greek Royal Family and became the Queen of the Hellenes in the lead up to World War I. Over the course of this week, we’re going to take a look at her three other daughters: Charlotte, Victoria and Margaret.
The last time we touched on Caroline of Ansbach we were covering her and her husband’s horrific relationship with their eldest son, Prince Frederick of Wales. It’s a period of time in which Caroline is hardly shown in a positive light, but what makes this particular queen so difficult is that when you set that relationship aside, she was an incredibly compelling woman with any number of admirable qualities. Today, we’re going to cover her life leading up 1714, when her father-in-law, George I, ascended the British throne.
For those that saw the finale of the ITV series “Victoria,” you saw the birth of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s first child. That infant would grow up to be one of the most accomplished princesses that the UK ever turned out, one groomed to take on the role of bridge between Britain and Germany and hopefully facilitate an understanding between the two growing empires.
That she failed was through no fault of her own, but rather a series of developments neither she nor her parents foresaw before her arrival at the Prussian court in 1858. Remarkably intelligent, painstakingly well-educated and thoughtful, it remains a tragedy that Vicky and her husband, Emperor Frederick III, “Fritz,” would only sit on the German throne for 99 days after a 30-year wait. Even more so when one looks back with hindsight, knowing that the crown would be inherited by their son, Kaiser Wilhelm II, who would shove the empire into World War I and eventually bring about the monarchy’s abolishment.
On January 16, in 1942, Arthur, Duke of Connaught died at Bagshot Park in Surrey, the current home of Edward, Earl of Wessex and his family. Arthur was the third son, seventh child of Queen Victoria and her husband, Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the Prince Consort. As a member of the British royal family and the British Army, he held a number of posts throughout the Empire, most notably as the Governor General of Canada from 1911-1916, covering the first two years of World War I.
Arthur was born at Buckingham Palace in London on May 1, 1850. At the time of his birth his parents had been married for 10 years and his mother had been queen for 13. During his childhood, the royal family established a familiar domestic routine, moving between Buckingham Palace in London, Osborne House on the Isle Wight and Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. In 1866 he enrolled at the Royal Military College at Woolwich, from which he graduated two years later, before moving on to the Royal Regiment of Artillery and the Rifle Brigade. As an army officer, he would go on to serve throughout the Empire, including stints in South Africa, India, Canada, Egypt and Ireland.
He was promoted to the honorary rank of Colonel in 1871, Lieutenant-Colonel in 1876, Colonel in 1880 and General in 1893. From 1886 to 1890, he served as Commander-in-Chief of the Bombay army. Notably, in 1870, while working in Canada, he made a visit to the United States, meeting President Ulysses S. Grant in Washington, D.C.