Princess Beatrice (1857-1944) and Prince Henry of Battenberg (1858-1896)
Princess Beatrice was Queen Victoria's youngest child. She was only 3 or 4 when her father died. Known to the family as "Baby" her mother initially refused to consider her marrying and only allowed it when her prospective husband agreed to live with the Queen for the remainder of her life.
Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore was born on April 14, 1857. She was Queen Victoria's ninth and last child. Princess Beatrice was only four years old when her father, Prince Albert died on December 14, 1861. By the end of that terrible day, the worst in her life, Queen Victoria went into the nursery where little Beatrice was sleeping and took the child into her own bedroom where she wrapped her in Albert's night clothes and spent all the night sleepless, waiting for the dawn. Despite her young age, Beatrice, like her siblings, had to wear the heavy mourning dresses. Altough bright and vivacious, the little girl suffered the heavy atmosphere of the Victorian mourning court, fact that contribute to turn her into a shy young woman.
When Beatrice was sixteen, she met Louis Napoleon, Prince Imperial of France and son of the exile emperor Napoleon III and his wife Eugenia de Montijo. A romance was about to spring out between the young pair but it stayed in nothing. Queen Victoria's plans for Beatrice were others; she wanted her to be by her side for the rest of her life.
In 1874, Beatrice was allowed to be present during the routine audiences of her mother with the Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. This should have ment too much for the shy and lonely Princess, since Disraeli was kind and payed special attention to her.
In April 1884, when Beatrice was 27, she and her mother went to Hesse Darmstadt to attend the wedding of her niece Victoria, Princess Alice's eldest daughter. Princess Victoria's bridegroom was Louis of Batenberg, the eldest of four young princes, who were sons of Prince Alexander of Hesse, unlce of Victoria's father, Grand Duke Louis IV of Hesse Darmstadt. Prince Alexander had made a morganatic marriage with a polish countess, Julia Theresa von Hauke, a lady in waiting to Alexander's sister the Tsaritsa of Russia, Maria Alexandrovna, wife of Tsar Alexander II. As product of a morganatic marriage, the four princes were excluded from the Hesse Darmstadt succesion. Their mother was created Princess of Battenberg and they assumed the maternal title. Louis' s brothers were Alexander, Franz Joseph and Henry. When Beatrice arrived in Darmstadt she met the youngest of the Battenberg brothers, Henry, who was different from her in every aspect; while Beatrice was big and quite fat, Prince Henry was "athletic and muscular, dark handsome and with a quite small phisiognomy. Unlike Betarice, who was shy, he was kind and charming. Since rthe firt moment Henry caused a deep impression in Beatrice; About Henry's feelings, it is difficult to magine what it was that the Prince found in Beatrice to attract him, except the fact that she was the daughter of the Queen of England. Beatrice and Henry became secretly engagged in Dramstadt and when she returned to England, she told her mother she had fallen in love with Henry. The Queen was infuriated, she wouldn't allow Beatrice to marry because she was her companion and secretary. After eight months of quarreling about the matter, Queen Victoria, at last agreed, thanks to the inervention of her eldest son Bertie and her son in law Louis of Hesse, who told her that her attitude towards Beatrice was bizarre. The only condition she imposed was that the couple would live with her for the rest of her life. Beatrice accepted and Henry, who had nothing to loose being a semi-impoverish and semi royal princeling and having no future in the Prussian Army, also agreed.
Prince Henry of Battenberg and Princess Beatrice of Great Britain were married on July 23 1885, at Wippingham Church in the Isle of Wight. Beatrice wedding dress was skin tight over which she wore a lace tunic that had belonged to Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII's first wife. She was the only of her sisters to be allowed to wear Queen Victoria's Honiton lace veil.
Once married, Henry was unbusy with nothing to do but fathered children. In 1886, the first Battenberg child was born; he was named Alexander,usualy called Drino. He was fallowed by a girl, Victoria Eugenia, in 1887. The third child, again a boy, was born in 1889; he was named Leopold and unfortunately he was haemophiliac. As her mother and sister Alice, Beatrice was a carrier of the haemophilia gene and transmitted it to her son. The fourth and last child, Maurice, was born in 1891; some authors say he also was an haemophiliac, but others say he was not.
In 1889, Queen Victoria honoured her son in law by appointing him governor and captain of the Isle of Wight. It was not a very hard job so it didn't take Henry out of his unbusiness. He used to spent his time educating and teaching his children. In 1890 Beatrice began to work on the translation into English of "The Adventures of Count Georg Albretch or Erbach" by Emil Kraus; the book was published later that year.
A very close friendship sprang out between Beatrice's sister Louise, Duchess of Argyll and Prince Henry. Louise even wrote that he was almost the greatest friend she had; after Henry's death in 1896, she eventually told Beatrice that she had been Henry's confident. This fact create a division between Beatrice and her sister,
In 1895, in the African territory of Ashanti, in Ghana, under the rule of King Prempeh, human sacrifice had become a usual activitiy and raids were made amoong the native tribes that lived along the Golden Coast border, in order to get people to be sold as slaves. The British Government demanded Prempeh to adhere to 1874 Treaty for peace and order in Africa. As the African King refused, it was decided to send an expedition to Ashanti to restore order, under the command of Sir Francis Scott. One day, when Queen Victoria, Princess Beatrice and Prince Henry were finishing breakfast, Prince Henry suddenly asked his mother-in-law for her permission to join the Ashanti Expedition. The Queen said that such matter was out of question. Beatrice supported her husband and told her mother that he had set his heart upon going, that he was tired of his inactivity and wanted to do something for England. When Prince Henry wrote to the Queen, "I hope, by voulunteeering in a national case, to prove my devotion to my adopted country", she finally accepted.
Before sailing, Prince Henry told to Lord Harris: "I am an Englishman and I want to show the people of England that I am ready to take the rough with smooth. I know there is no glory out of it and I know of the dangrer of subsequent ill-hea˝th and perhaps death from malaria, which I know is so great in that country". (Duff).
On December 6, he came to the Queen's presence to say good bye. He knelt before her and kissed her hand; she embraced him. The next day, December 7 1895, he sailed on board HMS Coramandel form the Royal Albert Dock on his way to Africa. Once in Ghana, Prince Henry started his way, with the main column of the Expeditionary Force, to Kumasi, capital of Ashanti. When they reached the River Pra on Jnauary 4th, some cases of fever had sprang out among the troop. At Prashu, Prince Henry and Mayor Ferguson went for an evening stroll and the Prince noticed the Mayor had begun with signs of fever. Two days later he was dead. Prince Henry and the rest of the troop continued their way to Kwisu, forty miled from Kumasi. They reached the place on January 10th. Here Pricen Henry fell ill with malaria and the doctor ordered him to return to Cape Coast. Despite his protests he was put on board HMS Blonde and sent back to England, but as the ship passed the coaust of Sierra Leona, on the evening of Monday 20th, Jnauary , 1896, Prince Henry died. That same day, at Kumasi, King Prempeh submitted to the Governor of Cape Coast.
Before his death, Prince Henry had sent a last message to Princess Beatrice: "In case I die, tell the Princess for me that I came here not to win glory but for a sense of duty" When Princess Beatrice learnt of her husband's death, she only said: The life is gone out of me".
After Henry's death Beatrice went to the south of France to recovered. It was the first time she was allowed to be on her own, appart from her mother's side. After some time she decided to go back to her routinary activities; for the next five years she again became her mother's secretary and companion. Her brother Bertie, the Prince of Wales, kept always a rancour against his sister for being the Queen's confident,while he, as heir to the throne had been always put aside by his mother from important matters.
When her mother died in 1901, Beatrice had no property of her own. All of the Queen's properties passed to Bertie, now King Edward VII, by his right of sovereignity. The King decided to gave Osborne House, where Beatrice and her family had spent much time, and which she considered she had some right to it, to the Government and make a museum of it. Beatrice opposed to her brother's desition but at last she had to accept and moved from the big house into the smaller Osborne Cottage, inside the Osborne grounds.
In 1906, Beatrice's daughter, Victoria Eugenia, married King Alfonso XIII of Spain. She accompanied her daughter, first to Biarritz, where the couple were officially engagged and then to Spain where they got married. Victoria Eugenia, as her mother, was also a carrier of the haemophilia gene, and introduced it to the Royal House of Spain.
Art the outbrweak of World War I, Beatrice established her own hospital, The Princess Henry of Battenberg Hospital for Officers. During this war, she suffered a graet pain; on October 27, 1914, her younger son, Maurice, was killed in action on the Belgian front line. Beatrice asked that her son was buried among his comrades in Belgium. In 1922, her other son, the haemophiliac Leopold, died after an emergency surgery.
Beatrice spent the last two decades of her life suffering from rheumatism. In 1931, she fell down in Kensington Palace, where she now lived, breaking two arm bones; she would spent the res of her life under medical care. She occupied her time in editing her mother's jurnals, eliminating all passages that could be embarasing for the Queen's memory or for those she had written about. Beatrice rewrote 111 volumes of her mother's originals. They are preserved today in the Royal Archives in Windsor. Among the documents that Beatrice eliminated form her mother's papers, were 30 volumes of the Queen's letters to her children Alfred and Alice. Beatrice's last work was the translation from German into English of the dairies of her great-grandmother, Augusta of Reuss (Queen Victoria's maternal grandmother) She turned the diary into a book called "In Napoleonic Days", published in 1914.
Beatrice became the last surviving child of Queen Victoria in 1942 when her brother Arthur died at age 91. During the last days of her life, she remained appart from public life at Brantridge Park in Sussex. In her last days, her nieces, Princess Helena's daughters, Helena Victoria and Marie Louise, joined her. Beatrice died during sleep at 5:10 in the morning on October 26, 1944, when she was 87 years old. Her daughter Victoria Eugenia arrived just in time to be with her mother. Her son Alexander asked the King's permission to take his mother's body to Whippingham Church in the Isle of Wight to lay next to her husband. - taken from the book Victoria's Daughters
I finally found this thread! :)
Here is some more information about Princess Beatrice. The article had a few spelling mistakes, so I tried to fix some of them up.
Princess Beatrice, 1857-1944
Queen Victoria's last child was Beatrice and was referred to as "Baby" in the family. Victoria was enchanted with her youngest child. Unfortunately the Queen never wanted her daughter to leave her. Beatrice was the first member of her family, but not the last, to run afoul of the future Kaiser Wilhelm II. A daughter of Beatrice married Alfonso XIII of Spain.
Beatrice was Victoria and Albert's last child.
Albert was the born into the royal family of a small German principality. He was strictly raised and very well educated. His marriage to Victoria brought him to the throne of the most powerful country of the day. He was only the Prince Consort and not a co-ruler with his wife. His advise to his poorly educated wife, however, was of great value to England, especially his advise that England not support the South in the American Civil War. He took the education of their children very seriously--especially heir, the future Edward VII very seriously. Despite the attention given to the care and education of the children. Albert's untimely death devastated the Victoria.
Queen Victoria was Britain's longest serving monarch. Her marriage with Albert was the love story of the 19th century. She set the moral tone of the nation and helped shape Britain's emergence as a truly democratic nation. Victoria witnessed an extraordinary development of British power and influence. She and Albert changed how Britain's looked on their monarch. She became in many ways the grandmother of Europe, forging dynastic ties throughout the Continent. She also played a major role in influencing boys clothing around the world by the garments she selected for the young princes.
Beatrice was born at Buckingham Palace in 1857, only 4 years before her father's death. It is likely that her life would have been quite different if Albert has not died at such a young age. Her formal name was Princess Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodora Wettin.
Victoria and Albert had nine children, four boys and five girls. They saw themselves and in many ways were suitably enough an ideal Victorian family. The marriages and offspring of these children are truly remarkable. Victoria in more than name was the grandmother of Europe. Ties were forged with Denmark, Prussia and other German states, Russia, and Spain. Notably France was exempted from Victoria's dynastic web.
Victoria was delighted with the baby and her letters to Vicky describe the joy she got out of playing with the child. It was only 4 years, however, before the death of the Prince Consort Albert and the dramatic change in the life of the children. Victoria later wrote, Beatrice was the only thing I think I feel keeps me alive. As the baby of the family she was doted on. In fact baby became her nickname among the family.
Beatrice was the first member of her family, but not the last, to run afoul of the future Kaiser Wilhelm II. Beatrice was Wilhelm's aunt, but only a few years younger than him. Beatrice's sister Victoria brought Wilhelm along with her when she came to Britain for the Prince of Wales wedding. Wilhelm by all accounts out did himself with naughty behavior. He through Beatrice's muff from the carriage. For the wedding itself, Wilhelm was done up in a kilt costume and was intrigued with the dirk (dagger) in his knee socks. When he started playing with it, Beatrice tried unsuccessfully to get him to behave. She reportedly wanted him to refer to her as "Aunt Beatrice". As she was only a few years older than him, he objected. By this time he had picked up the fact that within the family she was called "Baby". He then told her, "... alright, I will call you Aunt Baby". [Van der Kriste]
Unfortunately the exquisite child grew into a lonely, sad, and repressed woman. She was not allowed to be in a room with a man unless she was accompanied. When she told her mother she had fallen in love, the Queen stopped talking to her. Beatrice stayed home with her mother all her life, eve after her marriage.
Prince Henry's father was Alexander of the Rhine von Hessen, Prince of Hesse (1823- ). His mother was Princess Juia of Battenberg (1825- ) who was born a commoner. Prince Henry Maurice was born in 1858. He fell in love with Princess Beatrice, Queen Victoria's youngest daughter. Queen Victoria was horrified at the idea as she had planned for Princess Beatrice to stay by her as she grew older. Another account indicates the queen had hoped that Beatrice would marry Henry's brother Louis. [Vickers, p. 11.] Apparently the Princess was not to happy with that arrangement. Prince Henry found an unexpected ally in the Princess of Wales who was not normally fond of Germans, even members of the family. [Battiscombe, p. 173.] Another Battenburg, Prince Louis married Princess Victoria Alberta of Hesse in 1884. She was the daughter of Louis IV of Hesse on the German side. She was a grand daughter of Queen Victoria and daughter of Princess Alice on the English side and rose to First Sea Lord by the time of World War I.
The matter was resolved when the Prince agreed that he and Princess Beatrice would live the Queen. They were married at Whippingham Church on the Isle of Wight in 1885. The marriage further linked the Hessian and British royal family. Princess Beatrice's elder sister Princess Alice had married Grand Duke Louis IV. Princess Beatrice's marriage occurred about the same time the affair between his brother Alexander and Princess Victoria, Princess Beatrice's niece, was unwinding. The marriage was criticised both in England and Prussia.
Continued Relationship with Queen Victoria
Even Beatrice's marriage to Prince Henry did not remove her from Victoria's side. A painfully shy person, Princess Beatrice was known to rest her shoulder against her neighbor's at dinner. Queen Victoria, however, became quite attached to Prince Henry. His name in the family was "Liko".
The marriage ended tragically. Prince Henry participated as a volunteer in the Ashanti Expeditionary Force to Sierra Leone where he contracted malaria. The Prince died at sea in 1896 while returning home. Princess Beatrice was devastated by her husband's death. The Queen was also devastated as she had come to rely on Prince Henry.
Princesses Beatrice and Prince Henry had four children. After her mother's death in 1901, the widowed Beatrice lived for her children, principally her daughter, Victoria Eugenie. Mother and daughter shared much in common and, significantly, both were transmitters of hemophilia, as became tragically known after Victoria Eugenie, became Queen Ena of Spain.
Princess Beatrice died in 1944 at Bantridge Park, Balcome in Sussex.
Battiscombe, Georgina. Queen Alexandra (Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1969).
Van der Kriste, John. Kaiser Wihelm II: Germany's Last Kaiser (Bodmin: Sutton Publishing, 1999), 244p.
Vickers, Hugo. Alice: Princess Andrew of Greece (St. Martin's Press: New York, 2000), 477p.
Some photos. These all come from a variety of websites. I have tried to keep them in chronological order, but some of them didn't have dates, so I've had to guesstimate a little. :p
Here are the links where most photos have come from:
And of course, Getty Images and Corbis. Some of the web pages where I got the photos from, closed down (my computer died) so I will look for them again later.
Photo 1: Family group at Osborne on Queen's birthday in 1859 (l to r Leopold, Louise, Queen, Arthur, Alice, Vicky, Beatrice, Albert, Helena)
Photo 2: 1st July 1860: Princess Beatrice Mary Victoria (1857 - 1944)
Photo 3: 26th March 1864
Photo 4: 1865 Queen Victoria's children at Prince Albert's birthplace (Rosenau) l to r Leopold, Louise, Beatrice, Alice, Bertie, Arthur, Vicky, Alfred, Helena
Photo 5: Princesses Alice, Helena, Beatrice, Vicky and Louise with bust of Prince Albert
Photo 6: a painting
Photo 7: The young Princess Beatrice with her mother, Queen Victoria (artist unknown). A copy of this painting now hangs in Bodelwyddan Castle
Photo 8: circa 1867
Photo 9: Princess Beatrice as a teenager
Photo 10: Queen Victoria and Princess Beatrice.
N.B. I don't know what has happened to photos 1 and 4. Sorry.
More photos: 1875 - 1885
Sorry, the photos mixed around a little, so they are not in the correct chronological order. :(
1. Circa 1870s
3. 1878 Queen Victoria with Princess Louise, Prince Leopold, Marquess of Lorne (Louise's husband), Princess Beatrice
4. Princess Beatrice and her sister Princess Victoria 1880
5. Princess Beatrice 1973
6. 1883 - Family group (l to right Prince Albert Victor, Alicky, Queen Victoria, Princess Beatrice, Princess Irene of Hesse
7. Portrait 1885
8. Queen Victoria and Beatrice
9. Queen Victoria (1819 - 1901) with Beatrice, Princess Henry of Battenberg and Victoria, Princess Louis holding Princess Alice.
10. 27th July 1885: Princess Beatrice Mary Victoria (1857 - 1944), the daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, in the family summer home of Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. An engraving by G Durand.
1886 - 1895
1. Queen Victoria and Beatrice
2. 1889 - Beatrice and Victoria
3. 1891 portrait
4. Queen Victoria (1819 - 1901) in a small donkey-drawn carriage at Balmoral with her youngest daughter Princess Beatrice. John Brown, wearing a kilt, stands behind her carriage. Brown was born in Craithenaird. He was Queen Victoria's personal servant and was first mentioned in her journal in 1849. Queen Victoria often stayed at Balmoral after the death of her beloved Prince Albert in 1861 and became such close friends with John Brown that their relationship caused scandal throughout the court and government of the time.
5. On a visit to Nice, Queen Victoria of England takes tea with her daughter, Princess Beatrice (wife of Prince Henry of Battenberg), and Princess Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, the wife of her grandson Duke Charles of Saxe-Coburg (son of Prince Leopold). Two of the Queen's Sikh guard stand by.
7. circa 1895: Queen Victoria (1819 - 1901) with her family, (standing left to right) Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, Prince Henry of Battenberg, Count Arthur Mensdorff-Pouilly, Beatrice, Princess Henry of Battenberg, George, Duke of York; (seated left to right) Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, Queen Victoria, Victoria Mary, Duchess of York holding Prince Edward of York, Prince Arthur of Connaught (hand on chin) and Prince Alexander of Battenberg.
8. 1895 Beatrice and her son Maurice
9. Queen Victoria in 1895, dining at Windsor with Princess Beatrice and family
10. Princess Beatrice as Queen Elizabeth in tableau (entertainment) at Osborne, 1888
2. Princess Beatrice (r) the youngest daughter of Queen Victoria, with her daughter Princess Ena at the time of Edward VII's 1902 Coronation.
3. 28th April 1906: Princess Beatrice, (1857 - 1944), (centre), with her family. Her daughter Princess Victoria Eugenie, (Ena), (1887 - 1969), is on the right; her fiancÚ King Alfonso of Spain, (1886 - 1941), is at the back. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
4. Beatrice 1907
5. circa 1909: King Edward VII (right) and the Duke and Duchess of Connaught; the Empress of Germany; Emperor Wilhelm of Germany; the Emperor of Germany and Princess Beatrice
6. October 1928 - Princess Beatrice arriving for the English painter Sir Frank Dicksee's memorial service.
7. circa 1930
8. 27th October 1935: Princess Beatrice of Battenberg, (1857 - 1944), youngest daughter of Queen Victoria, at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, after attending a service to mark the 15th anniversary of the Ypres League at Horse Guards Parade.
You're welcome, Dennis.
Here is another website I've found. It has a few more photos, and a little more on Princess Beatrice's life. http://www.geocities.com/jesusib/Beatrice.html
I have always felt sorry for Princess Beatrice. The youngest of 9, she was only 4 years old when her father died and Queen Victoria turned her into an eternal companion. Even upon marriage, Beatrice could not escape, Queen Victoria only gave consent to her marriage if she continued to live with her in England. She tragically lost her husband in 1895 and one of her sons in World War I. She lived many lonely years before her death in 1944.
The one bad thing Beatrice did do was edit Queen Victoria's diaries upon her death. She deleted much that she found "inappropriate." How much knowledge did we lose??
How come Leopold Arthur Louis died so young, is he related to Lord Louis Mounbatten who died in 1979?
She's an interesting royal woman...Thanks for the pics and information!! :)
Leopold Arthur Louis, Princess Beatrice's second son and third child, was born on May 21, 1889, at Windsor Castle. Leopold inherited from her mother the haemophilia gene, so he was a weak child. Since he was a young boy he manifested a special talent for music and he learnt to play the violin. When his grandmother, Queen Victoria, was dying, he played the violin, and his playing had a soothing effect on the Queen. At the outbreak of World War I, Leopold changed his German title of Battenberg for the more British Mountbatten. and he entered as a lieutenant to the King's Royal Rifle Corps, but his haemophilia only allowed him to receive a staff appointment and nothing more. He never married and on April 23, 1922 he had to be subjected to an emergency surgery, after which he died because of his haemophilia. He was about to be 33 years old.
what a lovely thread. Is there also something like this for the other daughters of Queen Victoria, I am looking for pictures/ info on Princess Louise actually.
Princess Louise was a talented artist. Her marriage to the Duke or Argyll was not a happy one but she never sought a divorce. Her husband predeceased her and she died in 1939 leaving her brother Arthur and sister Beatrice as the last living children of Queen Victoria.
I really love this thread because I did not know anything about Princess Beatrice. I vaguely remembered that Princess Beatrice of York was named after one of Queen Victoria's daughters, so I got onto the thread to learn more of her. It was so good of the Duke and Duchess of York to revive this name. Another of Queen Victoria's daughters was Princess Helena. Hope it will be used again in the BRF.
Here is a link to an intersting and quite long article from the Telegraph.uk.
It describes the relationship between Queen Victoria and her youngest child Princess Beatrice, and the difficulty Beatrice found in gaining her mother's permission to marry.
short link: Princess Beatrice
long link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main...n23.xml&page=2
Here's a brief extract to whet the appetite, giving an idea of the atmosphere when Beatrice announced to the Queen her wish to marry:
For seven months, from May to November 1884, mother and daughter continued to live side by side without the Queen addressing a single word to Beatrice. Rather she communicated by note ľ on those occasions, such as at the breakfast table, when she delivered the note herself, with eyes averted. The easy, intimate intercourse that had characterised their relationship for more than 20 years ended overnight.
A new book on Princess Beatrice.
The Last Princess: The Devoted Life of Queen Victoria's Youngest Daughter.
See the Royal Library forum, here.
that is very sad. it must have been heartbreaking.
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