Friday, May 1, 2020

Crown Princess of Sweden dead (1882-1920)

May 1, 1920

Crown Princess Margareta of Sweden died this afternoon in Stockholm, according to the New York Times.  She had been suffering from erysipelas, "which affected the ear and maxillary suppuration," which resulted in blood poisoning.   The Crown Princess was 38 years old and was eight months pregnant.  She died at 2 in the afternoon.

The Crown Princess's father, the Duke of Connaught, celebrating his 70th birthday today, was in London when he received the news of Margareta's death.

Princess Margaret Victoria Charlotte Augusta Norah was the eldest of three children of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, and the late Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia.  She was born on January 5, 1882, at Bagshot Park, the home of her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Connaught.  She was baptized at the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle on March 11, 1882.  Her godparents were her maternal grandmother, Queen Victoria, German Emperor Wilhelm I (her great-granduncle), Empress Friedrich; her maternal grandparents, Prince and Princess Friedrich Karl of Prussia, the Duchess of Cambridge, the Prince of Wales, Prince Karl of Prussia and Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia.

It was during a trip to Egypt in Sudan in early 1905 the Duke and Duchess of Connaught and their two daughters,  Margaret and Patricia, met Prince Gustav Adolf.  The prince had no idea that a meeting had been arranged for him with the two Connaught Princesses.  It ha been assumed that Patricia would win the Swedish prince's hand, but, as it turned out, it was love at first sight for Gustav Adolf and Daisy, as Princess Margaret was called.   He proposed at a dinner hosted by Lord Cromer at the British Consulate in Egypt.  There was no hesitation when Margaret accepted the proposal of marriage.

The wedding took place on June 15, 1905, at the Chapel Royal, St. George's Chapel.   This royal marriage was a love match.  Margareta provided the Swedish court with "just a touch of the elegance of the Court of St. James's," wrote Infanta Eulalia.

Gustav Adolf became the Crown Prince in 1907 after the death of his grandfather King Oscar II, and the succession of his father, now King Gustav V.

The Crown Princess embraced her life in Sweden.  Within two years of marriage, she was largely fluent in Swedish and she also was an active participant in winter sports.  During the Great War, as Sweden remained neutral, the Crown Princess was a conduit between family members, who wanted to keep in contact, even though they were on separate sides of the conflict.   She was not hesitant in her support for her home country, and wanted "to her bit."  Margareta was very concerned about the welfare of British prisoners of war.

In early December in 1919, Margareta was suffering from a prolonged earache that would not heal. She underwent a mastoid operation that removed a small bone from behind the ear shortly before Christmas.  A month later she learned she was expecting a sixth child, due in June.  Her ear was not healing properly and continued to be inflamed.  The doctors could not find anything to assuage or end her pain.  Her health got worse when she caught chickenpox.  Her doctors thought a change of atmosphere might help so the Princess and her youngest son traveled to a family home in the north, where she tried to recover.   She caught a cold, which develop into peritonitis.

By April, the Crown Princess had returned to the Royal Palace in Stockholm, where her health was in rapid decline.  Her father was not told of the seriousness of her health,.

On Sunday, April 25, the Crown Princess began to suffer from pain in her face "caused by the formation of matter under the eye."  Her doctors believed that the pain was an "after-effect" from an operation she had undergone several months earlier.  It was assumed that another surgical procedure would be required.   On the 29th, "symptoms of erysipelas appeared under the right ear," but there was no sign of concern from her doctors until last night when blood poisoning was evident.  She died several hours later.  Crown Princess Margareta "suffered but little pain and was perfectly calm until the end."   Her family was at her bedside when she died.

Crown Princess Margareta is survived by her husband, Crown Prince Gustav Adolf, and their five children,  Hereditary Prince Gustav Adolf, 14,  Prince Sigvard, 12,  Princess Ingrid, 10, Prince Bertil, 8, and 3-year-old Prince Carl Johan.   She is also survived by her father, the Duke of Connaught, a son of Queen Victoria,  her brother, Prince Arthur of Connaught, her sister, Lady Patricia Ramsay, and her nephews, the Earl of Macduff, the only child of Prince and Princess Arthur, and Alexander Ramsay.

all images : Marlene A Eilers Koenig collection


Anastasie said...

Nowhere have I read anything about the child the Princess was expecting. Did she suffer a miscarriage or did the child die when she passed away ?

Many thanks for your clarifications.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

She certainly did not miscarry. She was pregnant when she died. Assumed the infant died as well as there were no reports of emergency surgery to remove the child

Unknown said...

Thank your these beautiful photos. Do you happen to know If the crown princess's father was able to attend her funeral?

Anastasie said...

Thank you for your prompt answer. I just find it strange that this dead infant was never mentioned since, ewhen the princess died2, her pregnancy was quite advanced.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

The Duke of Connaught was represented at the funeral by Prince Arthur of Connaught (traveled by ship to Sweden). The rest of the royal family attended a Memorial service at Westminster Abbey on the same day