September 27, 1913
Princess Patricia of Connaught is engaged, according to the Chicago Daily Tribune, based on reports from London.
This is not the first time the papers have reported an engagement for the youngest daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, but this time "they are right."
The official announcement is expected shortly, and the "betrothal will be a real one." The wedding is expected to take place early next year.
The "lucky man" is Hereditary Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich, heir to the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The young man is the grandson of the Dowager Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the former Princess Augusta of Cambridge, who is said to be "responsible for the royal match." The Dowager Grand Duchess is the elder sister of the late Duchess of Teck, and the aunt of Queen Mary.
It is imperative that the young heir marry as the "direct line" of the grand ducal family is "in danger of dying out." This is the primary reason why Augusta is so "anxious for the young people to marry." If she is able to bring this marriage off, she will have every reason to be "proud of her ability as a real matchmaker." She will have succeeded, where the late King Edward VII, failed to find a husband for his niece.
The British monarch has so far failed to secure a marriage for his niece. Finding a husband for the princess has been a "difficult problem." Patricia is very beautiful, she is full of charm and she is one of the "most attractive and popular" members of the royal family.
She has been matched with several eligible young royals. She flirted with the young men, and she "led them to believe that perhaps she really cared," but when the proposal came, she would laughed, and say, "no."
The 27-year-old princess is old enough to seriously consider marriage. She was born on St. Patrick's Day in 1886, and was named Victoria Patricia Helen Elizabeth, and has always been known as Patricia. Her father is the Governor General of Canada, and the only surviving son of Queen Victoria.
Her German-born mother, Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia, has no doubt had ambitious dreams for both her daughters. She was determined to secure thrones for Princess Margaret, her elder daughter, and Princess Patricia. In 1905, she married Prince Gustav Adolf of Sweden, then second in line to the Swedish throne. He is now the Crown Prince, and Margaret is the Crown Princess of Sweden, a future Queen Consort.
Princess Patricia would not be so lucky. She was determined to marry for love, and is alleged to have said: "I won't marry until I find the man I want."
The late King Edward considered King Alfonso XIII of Spain as a potential suitor. After Patricia turned him down, he married her first cousin, Princess Ena of Battenberg.
A throne was not the end all and be all. Edward also thought Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia would be a good match. He was a nephew of Queen Alexandra. They liked each other, but there would not engagement. Patricia was also reported to be in love with Prince Eitel Friedrich of Prussia, the son of her first cousin, Kaiser Wilhelm II. Sadly, the reports were only rumors. The story about a romance was without foundation.
The Marquess of Anglesley was also said to pursuing the young prince. He was one of the richest aristocrats in England, he was good looking, and he owned several country homes.
Some assume that King Edward wanted the Princess to marry a "man of higher rank." Lord Anglesey's proposal was declined.
She was also linked with Crown Prince Luis Filipe of Portugal, who was killed with his father, King Carlos I, in 1908. Patricia thought he was a "nice boy," but she was not interested in marrying him or his younger brother, King Manoel.
It is said that the Count of Turin also pressed his suit, but it was unlikely that Princess Patricia of Connaught would marry a member of the Italian royal family.
No one has confirmed Princess Patricia's marriage, but it was announced today that Patricia's older brother, Prince Arthur of Connaught, will marry Princess Alexandra, the Duchess of Fife, in October.