On This Day: Death of Luise Margarete of Prussia

  March 14, 2017 at 4:00 am by

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the death of the only Duchess of Connaught and Strathearn, Princess Luise Margarete of Prussia.

Born on July 15, 1860 at the Marble Palace in Potsdam, Luise Margarete was the youngest daughter of Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia and Princess Maria Anna of Anhalt-Dessau. Among her ancestors were Kings of Prussia, Tsars of Russia, Grand Dukes of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, the first Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Landgraves of Hesse, and Dukes of Anhalt-Dessau.

Her childhood cannot be described as pleasant, as her parents’ marriage was not a happy one and her father was a incredibly brutal military man.

Princess Luise Margarete of Prussia

In March 1879, the Princess married the second youngest son of Britain’s Queen Victoria, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn. Queen Victoria originally had concerns about the match when Arthur asked about an engagement, wanting to distance her family from scandal (she couldn’t understand why Arthur wanted to marry a girl from a broken home), but soon relented and grew to like her new daughter-in-law. Luise Margarete and Arthur had three children: Princess Margaret (later Crown Princess of Sweden), Prince Arthur, and Princess Patricia.

The Connaughts spent much of their marriage travelling abroad, required by the Duke’s military postings, as well as royal duties. Luise Margarete and her youngest daughter, Patsy, went to live in Canada in 1911, when the Duke was made Governor-General of the realm.

The Duchess of Connaught with her three children

Luise Margarete contracted influenza in early 1917, and went back to her royal duties too early without having made a full recovery which had a negative impact on her health. She died at the Connaughts’ London residence, Clarence House, on March 14, 1917 at the age of 56; her ashes were later buried at the Royal Burial Ground, Frogmore. Her early death meant that, unlike her husband who lived until 1942, she did not have to suffer the loss of two of her children – Margaret died three years later in 1920, Arthur in 1938.

Her descendants can be found today in the royal families of Sweden, Denmark, Greece, Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and a line of the Hohenzollerns.

The Duchess of Connaught at the 1911 coronation of George V

The Duchess of Connaught at the 1911 coronation of George V

Filed under Germany, Historical Royals, The United Kingdom
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