On This Day: Death of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany

  March 28, 2014 at 6:00 am by

130 years ago today, Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany passed away in Cannes from a cerebral haemorrhage. He was thirty-one years of age.

The Prince had been in Cannes since February on the orders of his medical team, who insisted that the warmer climate in southern France would benefit the Prince’s joint pain brought on by his haemophilia. During his stay at the Villa Nevada, on March 27, Leopold accidentally fell down some stairs, resulting in a head knock and an injured leg.

He was checked out by a physician and told to rest in bed, where he passed away the next morning. The knock to his head during the fall caused a cerebral haemorrhage which had been overlooked by the physician. The news was immediately dispatched back to England, to the Prince’s mother, Queen Victoria, and pregnant wife, Helena.

Prince Leopold’s body was accompanied back to England by his eldest brother, the Prince of Wales (future Edward VII).

The funeral took place on April 12, at St George’s Chapel in Windsor. Members of the Seaforth Highlander regiment marched in the funeral procession – Prince Leopold was the regiment’s first Colonel-in-Chief. He was interred into the Albert Memorial Chapel in the presence of his bereaved family.

Prince Leopold was the second child of Queen Victoria’s to die during her lifetime (the first being Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine; the third Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha). The Prince was also survived by his wife, Princess Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont, and daughter, Princess Alice (later known as Alice, Countess of Althone). A son – Prince Charles Edward (later the last reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha) – was born four months after the Prince’s death.

Filed under Historical Royals, The United Kingdom
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