Philip’s Grandmother: Victoria of Hesse, Marchioness of Milford Haven

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There was consternation when Princess Elizabeth announced her engagement to Prince Philip in 1947 due to his German relations. All of his sisters were married to German men, three of whom had Nazi connections, while his father was a member of the Greek royal family which had been ousted between the world wars. In short, he was foreign, but he also had strong ties to the British Royal Family. His mother was Princess Alice of Battenberg, who had been born at Windsor Castle, named for her grandmother, Princess Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse, third child of Queen Victoria.

When the first Princess Alice died in 1878 – the first of the Queen’s children to do so – Victoria took up the mantle of offering her grandchildren motherly guidance. They spent considerable time in England and Scotland in their youths, and while two of the siblings would marry Russians, three of them married cousins from the extended BRF. The eldest, Victoria, who would become Philip’s grandmother, was one such sibling.

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