December 14, 1878
Princess Alice Maud Mary was the third child and second daughter of Queen Victoria and the late Prince Albert, the Prince Consort. She was born on April 25, 1843. She married Ludwig IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and By Rhine, on July 1, 1862, less than seven months after the death of the Prince Consort.
The wedding was "solemnized privately at Osborne, and was probably the least ostentatious royal marriage" in England in many years. Queen Victoria, then "suffering in her recent severe affliction, attended in deep mourning, and in the most private manner. The Prince of Wales, Prince Alfred, Prince Arthur, Prince Leopold, Lord Palmerston, Earl Russell, Earl Derby, the Earl Clarendon, the Duke de Nemours and several Cabinet minister were the only other wedding guests.
Princess Alice was given away by her paternal uncle, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and the wedding took place at an "altar erected in the drawing room." All of the guests, apart from the bride, were "attired in mourning, and the entire ceremony was devoid of display or ostentation's."
Despite the somber settings, the "alliance was well received."
Princess Alice was a "favorite, owing to her gentle and amiable disposition." She and her husband had seven children, five of whom survive: Victoria, born in 1863; Elisabeth, in 1864; Irene, in 1866; Ernst Ludwig, in 1868; Friedrich, in 1870; Alix, in 1872, and Marie, in 1874.
Prince Friedrich suffered from hemophilia, and died in 1874 from injuries sustained in a fall from a window. One month ago, on November 16, four-year-old Princess Marie died from diphtheria.
In a remarkable coincidence, the Princess' father, Prince Albert died on December 14, 1861.