Friday, November 20, 2009

Queen Alexandra has died

November 20, 1925

Bulletin: Queen Alexandra is dead. Britain's

The Queen Mother died today at 5:25 p.m., at Sandringham. She was 80 years old. The Queen, who was the consort of Edward VII, suffered a massive heart attack, and she never rallied. Alexandra suffered several more attacks throughout the day.

Alexandra's death has plunged Great Britain into "in the deepest and sincerest mourning," as she was the beloved consort to Edward VII.

King George and Queen Mary were at Alexandra's bedside when she died, the New York Times reports. The Queen's three daughters, the Princess Royal, Princess Victoria, and Queen Maud, and a grandson, Prince Henry were also with the Queen for her final moments. Several other relatives and Charlotte Knollys, who entered Alexandra's service, when she, like Alexandra, "was on the threshold of life," and stayed with Alexandra for fifty-five years "of affectionate and unswerving loyalty."

By one p.m., the queen "was in a very serious condition." She rallied for a bit, and appeared to recognize members of her family "grouped around her bed."
A smile, "charged with poignant meaning, illuminated her face." The smile was brief, and she sank back into unconsciousness. The Queen suffered no pain, but passed gently from "one state into another."

The Prince of Wales, who canceled his engagement at the Guildhall, and the Duke and Duchess of York, left London by train, only to arrive at Wolferton, the station closest to Sandringham, one minute after the Queen had died.

It will be up to Queen Alexandra's son, King George V, to decide if his mother has a state funeral. He is aware of "how great a place in the hearts of his people his mother held." The most recent funeral of a queen consort was in 1849 when Queen Adelaide, the widow of William IV died.

Queen Alexandra was born December 1, 1844, in Copenhagen, the eldest daughter of King Christian IX and his wife, Queen Louise, a princess of Hesse-Cassel. In 1863, the princess married Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales, and heir to the British throne. The couple had seven children, but only five survived into adulthood.

In January 1901, Queen Victoria died, and Bertie came to the throne as Edward VII, with his very popular wife, Alexandra at his side.

Edward VII died in 1910.

Queen Alexandra is survived by four of her children, King George V, Louise, the Princess Royal, Princess Victoria, and Queen Maud of Norway. She is also survived by her sister, Marie, the Dowager Empress of Russia. Her grandchildren include the Prince of Wales, the Duke of York, Princess Mary, Viscountess Lascelles, Prince Henry, and Prince George, the Duchess of Fife and Princess Maud, and Crown Prince Olav of Norway, and three great-grandchildren, the Earl of Macduff (son of the Duchess of Fife), the Hon George and the Hon. Lascelles, the sons of Princess Mary.

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Anonymous said...

I remember the observance of "Alexandra Rose Day" when I lived and worked in London. It was always a nice cheerful day.

I must read some biographies of Queen Alexandra.

Thank you for this posting Marlene.

Kind Regards, Keith.

Little Sis said...

So Marlene, Which one of your darling cats would pose so serenely on a little cushion by your feet?
I just love this picture. The POW looks most handsome. The queen has an ever present little dog in hand and the king is looking most regal.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Thanks, Sara

My cats prefer to lie down on my stomach when I am watching tv or sleeping.

Anonymous said...

Was Louise Fife at the bedside when her mother died? I only ask as Louise appears to have been seriously ill during the summer of 1925 and that she does not appear in any photographs of the processionals pertaining to her mother's obsequies nor is she mentioned in any British newspapers pertaining to the funeral etc that I can find!

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Louise was taken ill in May with a reported "gastric" problem. She is not mentioned in other articles regarding Alexandra's death. Battiscombe's biography makes no reference to who was at the death bed. The palace did not have a press office, as it does today, to release details - so the information could have been based on what a reporter was able to glean.

DavidH said...

The most recent biography of Queen Alexandra by Frances Dimond: History & Heritage (2022) notes that on the 19th November 1925 'Louise arrived from London during the afternoon and went straight to her mother who still seemed to recognise her. Queen Alexandra died quietly at 5.25pm on 20th November. Louise, Victoria, Nurse Fletcher and Marie stood by her to the last.'