Queen Victoria’s Last Three Kids

Prince Arthur William Patrick Albert was born on May 1, 1850, the seventh of Victoria and Albert’s large family. He was named after the Duke of Wellington. At age sixteen, Arthur entered the Royal Military College at Woolwich, graduating two years later, and becoming a lieutenant in the Royal Engineers Corps. From there, he moved around in the army a bit and served in places like Canada, India, Ireland, Egypt, and South Africa.

During service in Canada, Prince Arthur became very popular there. The Iroquois even gave him the title Chief of the Six Nations.

In 1874, his mother gave him the title Duke of Connaught and Strathearn. In 1879, Arthur married Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia. They had three children.

In 1911, Arthur became the Governor General of Canada. He stayed in Canada during the beginning of World War One, his time as Governor General ending in 1916. The Duke of Connaught died on January 19, 1942, aged 91. Arthur’s descendants include members of the current Swedish and Danish royal families and Scottish nobles.

Prince Leopold

Prince Leopold George Duncan Albert was born on April 7, 1853. He was named Leopold after Victoria and Albert’s uncle, King Leopold of Belgium. Leopold had hemophilia, the first recorded member of the royal family to have the disease, so his childhood was pretty restricted and he wasn’t allowed to enter the armed forces like some of his brothers were. Instead, he acted as an unofficial secretary for his mother for a while, but finding court life restricting, he lobbied hard to be allowed to marry. In 1881, his mother created him the Duke of Albany.

Of course, being a hemophiliac, finding a wife proved to be a little tough–back then, hemophilia was known about, but without modern drugs and transfusions, hemophiliacs generally lived very short lives. But Leopold married a German princess, Princess Helena of Waldeck-Pyrmont, on April 27, 1882. The couple first had a daughter, Alice, in 1883.

In 1884, Leopold was suffering from joint pain–common in hemophiliacs–and was encouraged to leave cold England to spend some time in the south of France. He left his pregnant wife and daughter behind, but sadly, while in Cannes, Leopold slipped, hit his head, and suffered a brain hemorrhage. He died on March 28, 1884, aged 30, the first of Victoria’s brood to die. His son, Charles, was born four months later.

Charles became the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in 1900, after Prince Alfred, with no son to take the title, died. Through Charles, Leopold is the great-grandfather of the current king of Sweden. His daughter carried the hemophilia gene, passing it on to her sons, one of whom died as an infant, while the other one died after a car accident at age 21.

And finally…

Princess Beatrice in 1886

Princess Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore was born on April 14, 1857. She was born around the time her eldest sister Victoria was about to leave England to live with her husband in Germany and as the definite youngest, Beatrice was doted on by both of her parents. Beatrice–or “Baby” as she was called–was only four when Prince Albert died, so much of Beatrice’s childhood was spent in a court full of mourning. Beatrice was, as her siblings grew and left the household, always going to be the one who stayed at home with the Queen.

But Beatrice had other ideas. Although she was her mother’s secretary and devoted to her, she also wanted to be married. Beatrice considered Prince Louis of Battenberg, but he married her niece (Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, Alice’s daughter). At the wedding, Beatrice and Louis’s brother Henry fell in love and Beatrice returned to England and told her mother she wanted to marry Henry.

Victoria gave her daughter the silent treatment for seven months.

But finally, the Queen relented and Beatrice and Henry of Battenberg–who agreed to come to England to live–were married on the Isle of Wight in 1885. The couple lived with the Queen. They had four children, including one hemophiliac son (Lord Leopold Mountbatten, who died in 1922) and one son who died at the Battle of Ypres in World War One (Prince Maurice; he died before the family had to give up their German titles, so he was still a prince when he died). Beatrice and Henry’s only daughter, Victoria Eugenie (known by one of her middle names “Ena”), married the King of Spain. As Queen of Spain, Ena had six children and two of her sons were hemophiliacs.

Henry of Battenberg died in 1896, after contracting malaria while trying to fight in the Ashanti war (or was it escaping Queen Victoria?).

Beatrice was given apartments at Kensington Palace, but continued to be her mother’s reliable child, always by her side. When Victoria died in 1901, Beatrice transcribed her mother’s volumes of journals by hand–she also edited and deleted passages, destroying the originals as she went. Victoria wrote something like two thousand word-long journal entries for decades. The published versions are only one third as long. At the time, Beatrice was carrying out her mother’s wishes, to clean up the journals so that private bits would stay hidden forever, but of course, there was a lot of personality and history lost in the process. Beatrice finished this task in 1931.

Princess Beatrice died in 1944, the last of Victoria’s children to pass away. Her great-great-grandson Felipe is now the King of Spain.

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