On This Day: Death of Alexandra, Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg

  April 16, 2017 at 7:00 am by

The Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, born Princess Alexandra of Edinburgh, died seventy-five years ago on April 16, 1942 at the age of 63.

She died in Schwäbisch Hall where the Hohenlohe-Langenburg family has its main residence, Schloss Langenburg. It was here, in the family cemetery, the Princess was laid to rest.

Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg; copyright expired

Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg; copyright expired

Princess Alexandra is one of the lesser-known daughters of Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (second son of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom) and Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia (second daughter of Tsar Alexander II of Russia) – her older sisters were Queen Marie of Romania and Grand Duchess Victoria Melita of Russia (a younger sister, Beatrice, and an elder brother, Alfred, completed the sibling set). Though she was a British Princess, Alexandra ‘Sandra’ was born at Schloss Rosenau in Coburg, Germany in September 1878.

Most of Alexandra’s childhood was spent between England, Malta and Germany, where the family moved to permanently in 1889 as her father was heir to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Her sister Marie described her as a “fat, harmless child, sweet-tempered and fair-haired” [1].

Princess Alexandra as a child with her mother and siblings; copyright expired

Princess Alexandra as a child with her mother and siblings; copyright expired

The Princess was married at the age of 17 to the heir to the House of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Hereditary Prince Ernst, in April 1896. Her mother had arranged the marriage, to the displeasure of both Duke Alfred and Queen Victoria (the formidable Queen’s initial response to her granddaughter’s official engagement was a telegraph full of “surprise and anger and reproaches”[2]). Princess Alexandra and Prince Ernst were, as in most royal matches, related: Ernst’s grandmother, Feodora of Leiningen, was the half-sister of Alexandra’s grandmother Victoria.

Five children were born to Princess Alexandra and Prince Ernst (who became the 7th Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg in March 1913) in the first fifteen years of their marriage: Prince Gottfried (who married the Duke of Edinburgh‘s older sister Margarita), Princess Marie Melita (who married the Duke of Schleswig-Holstein), Princess Alexandra, Princess Irma and Prince Alfred (who died two days after birth).

Princess Alexandra with her four children; copyright expired

Princess Alexandra with her four children; copyright expired

Alexandra spent the years between her marriage and death happily in Germany, though she would “bemoan the weather…it becomes a personal offence” [2] when it rained too often. She served as a Red Cross nurse during the First World War, and – as a number of people of her station did in the 1930s – joined the Nazi Party.

She was survived by her husband by eight and a half years, and by her only surviving sibling, Princess Beatrice, by 24.


[1] Queen of Roumania, Marie, The Story of My Life, Volume I, Charles Scribner’s Sons, United States of America, 1934, p. 64.
[2] Mandache, Diana, Dearest Missy: The Correspondence of Marie, Grand Duchess of Russia, Duchess of Edinburgh and of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and her daughter, Marie, Crown Princess of Romania, Rosvall Royal Books, Falköping, 2011, p. 230.
[3] Queen of Roumania, Marie, The Story of My Life, Volume I, Charles Scribner’s Sons, United States of America, 1934, p. 527.

Filed under Germany, Historical Royals, The United Kingdom
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