Friday, December 2, 2011

Princess Victoria is dead

December 3, 1935

Princess Victoria, who was one of George V's surviving sisters, died early today at her home, Coppins, in Iver, Buckinghamshire. She was 67 years old.

The New York Times reports that the princess, who was three years younger than the king, had not been in good health for the past three weeks. Her condition worsened a "little over a week ago," and she was visited by her brother and his wife, Queen Mary. The King's physician, Lord Dawson of Penn, was summoned to Iver on Sunday, and visited the princess several times yesterday.

Due to the Princess' grave condition, King George canceled his appearance for the State Opening of Parliament.

The Lord Chancellor, Viscount Hailsham, will read the king's speech.
Since the death of her mother, Queen Alexandra, in 1925, Princess Victoria has lived quietly at her country home, Coppins. She has never been in "robust health," and like her father, King Edward VII, she "had a tendency to bronchitis."
After her father's death in 1910, Princess Victoria "sacrificed her own interests to give attention to Queen Alexandra." Her home was filled with her mother's "relics and possessions."

Victoria was one of the "cleverest members" of the British Royal Family. She enjoyed gardening, music and photography, and she was an "expert bookbinder," and many of the volumes in her library bearing "striking evidence of her art and craftsmanship."

The Princess was president of Queen Alexandra's Rose Day Fund, and each June she attended the Wimbledon Tennis Championships as she was very interested in sports.

Princess Victoria Alexandra Olga Mary was born at Marlborough House in London on July 6, 1868, the fourth child of the then Prince and Princess of Wales. At the time of her birth, she was fifth in line to the British throne behind her father, the future King Edward VII, her two brothers, Albert Victor and George, and her sister, Louise, the late Princess Royal. Since the marriages of her siblings and the births of children and grandchildren, Princess Victoria had slipped down to a "much more remote position in the line of succession."
The princess' baptism took place at Marlborough House on August 6, 1868. The ceremony was conducted by the Bishop of London. Her sponsors were her grandmother, Queen Victoria, who was represented by the Duchess of Cambridge; Emperor Alexander II of Russia, represented by the Russian ambassador; The Queen of the Hellenes, represented by the Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; the Dowager Queen of Denmark; the Tsarevitch of Russia; Prince Arthur; the Dowager Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; Princess Mary Adelaide, Princess of Teck; Prince Louis of Hesse; Princess Friedrich of Anhalt; and Prince Georg of Hesse.

The Prince of Teck, Prince Edward and Saxe-Weimar and the Countess of Dornburg and Count and Countess Gleichen were also present for the service.
Princess Victoria traveled nearly every year "under the strictest incognito" with her former governess for "prolonged trips to the remotest parts of the British Isles" or to the European continent.

Later in life, she "developed a weakness of constitution which made her virtually an invalid." Her sisters, Louise, who died in 1931, and Queen Maud of Norway, also suffered from poor health.

Victoria served as a faithful companion to her mother, especially after King Edward's death in 1910.

Her "gentle and lovable disposition" made the princess a firm favorite among her relatives, especially her nieces and nephews.

Princess Victoria never married.

In 1892, there were rumors that the Princess was about to become engaged to Earl of Rosebery, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs. At the time, Lord Rosebery, 55, a noted Liberal politician, was a widower with four young children. She had formed an attachment to the earl, but Lord Roseberry, who was more interested in his political career, snubbed her. Victoria's older sister, Louise, married the Earl of Fife, and on their wedding day, he was created a duke by Queen Victoria.
Her parents did not actively seek a husband for Victoria, as Alexandra was determined to keep one of her daughters at her side.

After the announcement of the Princess's death, flags all throughout the country were lowered to half-staff. The Lord Chamberlain has issued the following announcement: "The King commands that the Court shall wear mourning for six weeks from this date for her late Royal Highness, Princess Victoria, sister of His Majesty.

" The Court is to change to half mourning on Tuesday, Dec. 24, and on Tuesday, Jan. 14, the court is to go out of mourning.

All royal engagements have been canceled. The "honeymoon plans" for the newly married Duke and Duchess of Gloucester have also been canceled. They had planned to travel to Northern Ireland for several days of shooting.
The funeral will take place on Saturday at St. George's Chapel, Windsor.

Afterward the coffin will be "placed in the royal vault," for later internment at the royal cemetery at Frogmore.

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