Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh (1844-1900) and Grand Duchess Marie (1853-1920)

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Wow Tyler 123 what an absolutely fascinating account! Thank you very much indeed for taking the time to share your family memories with us! Nevertheless how did your grandmother come to use the style of Lady Irene? Such a title can only be carried by the legitimate daughter of a Duke, Marquess or Earl! Furthermore your grandfather was not a Peer, Knight or the son of a Duke or Marquess was he?

I do not know if you are aware....but Marlene is one of the foremost authors and experts on Queen Victoria's descendants. Her knowledge is encyclopaedic. I think that Marlene feels it is her duty to question all claims of descent from Queen be honest I have long admired Marlene as she has fearlessly 'outed' several claimants and pretenders over the years and is generally regarded with deep respect by many! Sometimes I feel like I am one of her acolytes....but to be honest......Marlene's methods are those of a qualified Historian who seeks factual evidence and primary sources in all instances such as this one involving a child born out of a liaison between Young Affie and Mabel Fitzgerald!

I know that Marlene hardly needs me to stick my oar in on her behalf....but I just felt impelled to add my opinion! Here is a link to an article that may have been authored by 'our' Marlene!

RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project: Descendants of Queen Victoria

Source 6 explains the story of Affie and Mabel's weddings etc!
The Duchess might not have liked George but his cousin Marie, although she got along with her mother the Duchess, probably would never have married him regardless of her mother's feelings, but Marie was very fond of George V and they remained good friends through the years.

And from what I've read, Marie, or Missy as she was known to the family, believed, like Queen Mary, that royal duty trumped personal desire. Queen Marie was very upset with her son's attitude towards throne and country and Carol ended up treating Marie badly in her dying days and was horrible towards his sisters.
Connie, if I may call you Connie, you spelled encyclopedic wrong.
All I say here is of the utmost respect, as much as it can be... [just defending people who Marlene is saying are telling falsehoods.]
Well, I must assume that Marlene is the {god of all Royal History.} There are many Authors, American & European who write about the Royal Families of Europe. Since there are many Authors on this subject, I have not become aware of an official rating as to which one is "PERFECT" and Number "1".
Is she in the service of the British Royal Family? Are her books Authorized by the Royal Family? {She is an American it seems}.
As I said previously the deceased" cannot speak for themselves".
Lord Louis Mountbatten was my friend and confident for more than 25 years, since I was child, and, my relative. There was not a reason for him to manufacture to me his {and my} family history. And his Cousin Lady Iris either.
According to Marlene he, {Lord Mountbatten} must have been full of well as Bee Jordan and Mr. John Van der Kiste, also personally known to me, King Juan Carlos of Spain, and Desmond Guinness (who I do not want to bring him into this trife) a family friend for more than 60 years.
As I have only told the facts of my life as told to me by members of the Royal Families and their close confidents.
I am aware Marlene does not think much of the Mountbattens from other sources on this world wide web and persons I know.
The Queen acknowledged Lady Irene, this I know, I informed her of the passing of Lady Irene by telephone. I would properly think she would know more of her family than a host of Authors. Yes, I will admit you may not have found the papers that are said to not exist, but if look in the proper places they are there.
And, we all know the Royal family has always kept their misgivings under wrap, so to speak. If Lord Mountbatten were alive today this cloud of mystery could be cleared away and the truth would shine.
And, I have researched Marlene, Authors have opinoins which sometimes are misguided. I have found she has made quite a few persons place her number one on their list (not the good list).
The following is an excerpt from a letter that will be placed as well as the family line dating back to Royalty of the 16 Century on the web site
...In the case of Mabel FitzGerald, one must accept that her marriage to Prince Alfred was a valid one, since it was never in court ruled otherwise. The titles granted her by the Duke of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha, and the peerage granted to her by Queen Victoria, bestow legitimacy on both the marriage and it's issue. That Prince Alfred's widow refused to employ either the German titles or the British peerage given to her, preferring instead to style herself Countess of Ulster, while admirable in itself, is perhaps the cause of the uncertainty which subsequently arose as to her status and that of her child by Prince Alfred......As to the status of Prince Alfred's daughter and her proper style, she became, by letters patent issued by H.M. King Edward VII, in 1905, a Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, though she appears to never to have employed this style. The only published document in this matter remains that of H.M. King George V, the Royal Warrant granting to Prince Alfred's daughter "the style of Lady Irene FitzGerald, with precedence before the marchionesses of England."... Your Majesty could solve the problems of this lady's ambivalent status (which is ambivalent only in the public eye) by proclaiming her proper style to be
H.R. Princess Irene, Marchioness of Celbridge and Athy....That ill-natured gossip and unfortunate comments in the press have been encountered in this mater, as Your Majesty has suggested, fully within Your Majesty's power to set right, though I am reminded that the unfortunate results of such false reports are perhaps impossible to correct. "False statements like feathers, once scattered are not easily collected.".....
My Uncle Frank S. FizGerlad-Bush ( he acquired the surname FitzGerald as required by the FitzGerlad family as Irene's first son was to attached it to his surname) was a well respected Author, Historian,Lecturer, Teacher, a man of integrity who would not shame himself with an untruth no matter the harm to himself. This I Know to be fact As well as long time family friends.
I, being well respected in the Entertainment Industry(must retain my integrity) and being raised by my Royal Grandmother (no matter the issues raised here) was instilled as never to speak a falsehood, the "Truth is the proper means of Life."
I do apologize for being longwinded, but, these words I feel must defend, the Memory of Lord Mountbatten, Frank S. FitzGerald-Bush, Irene Victoria Alexandra Louise Isabel FitzGerlad.
By the way Mabel FitzGeralds' Father was Lord Charles FitzGerald, so there is a Royal title there...I gladly would like any & all comments you may have.
Thank You For Taking The Time To Read This Post.
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I found this article dated 1987 talking about the Descendants of Queen Victoria. I did not write the article, but the mistakes that were made shows the author was very careless with her research. Sorry but page 2 would not scan but it basically says she can't follow simple genealogical practice of listing first all sons and then all daughters and that the book was overpriced and her claims to perfection are wholly without foundation. Again these are not my words they were found in your book along with a letter written to my Uncle from you. I will post that tomorrow because it is late.


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I posted encyclopaedic as it is as acceptable as encyclopedic according to the Oxford Dictionary! It is amazing that yet again the Fitzgerald dynasty is being drawn into another 'cloak and dagger' disinherited, identity changing/swapping intrigue! It was bad enough with the Duke consigned to a mental hospital/brothers fleeing to America to escape inheriting titles and so on! I don't mean to be rude....but unless you can provide hard evidence has to be a little skeptical!

The title of Lord Charles Fitzgerald does not denote a 'Royal' title as you denotes a gentleman of noble parentage....not Royal parentage! You say that Mabel's father was Lord Charles Fitzgerald by which I assume you are implying that this Lord Charles Fitzgerald was in fact the same man bearing that name Lord Charles Fitzgerald (1859 - 1928) a son of the 4th Duke and Duchess of Leinster! If this is indeed you claim I must point out that this real Lord Charles Fitzgerald did indeed have a daughter called Mabel but it is recorded that she was born in 1891!:ermm: Thus she can not be the mother of Irene Fitzgerald Bush can she?

:ermm:Perhaps I have discovered a real but wrong Lord Charles Fitzgerald who by some amazing coincidence also had a daughter called Mabel! I do wander which Lord Charles Fitzgerald you are referring too....I did scuttle off and checked my copy of G.E Cockayne's Compete Peerage too and could not find another Lord Charles Fitzgerald....could you enlighten us please?

To be honest with you tyler123 I am at a complete loss as to what you are trying to say with regards to your grandmother's status. With regards to marriage to Queen's Victoria's grandson Affie, the Queen would have had to grant her formal consent to marriage, which would have been passed in written form through a meeting of the Privy Council and would thus be published! If however Queen Victoria declined, Affie could have married and this marriage would have been null and void. However, Affie could have waited until his twenty fifth birthday and then declared his intentions to the Privy Council and after a year married. Therefore either way....Affie could not have contracted a marriage which permitted his wife or daughter to carry his British for his German titles......the stringent rules of morganatic marriage would have prevented Mabel or a child from rights to carry any titles other than those granted to them by the reigning Grand duke of Saxe Coburg and Gotha or some other German Sovereign.

As has been pointed out all styles, precedence and peerages are published in a gazette regularly in Britain. It appears that there are no records of an Irene being granted the style of Princess in 1905 nor in 1917 of an Irene Fitzgerald being given the style and precedence of a Lady with precedence before Marchionesses! Where are the gazetted declarations of these grants, why were they not published? I do hope that the Mods here will allow this fascinating conversation to continue.....maybe it should be moved to it's own special claimants thread!!!! I am finding it all rather enthralling!
Do you have access to the gazette you speak of? Second your friend of perfection Marlene had written my Uncle in 1982 asking for information, and admitted in the letter that she was aware that Mable Fitzgerald was the mother of Lady Irene, and was born at Carton House in Ireland. My Uncle was a real genealogist and historian and was doing research before your friend even knew how to write. We will post the letter tomorrow. I have probably 30 boxes of papers to go through and what I have found so far is, proving to me that what my family said to me was true. Did you read the attachment above? About all the mistakes that were made in the book, Queen Victoria's Descendants. You should read it. Good talking to you have a good night, or good day I get confused with the time difference.
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The Forums is not here to provide a platform for any person to lay out their claims of royal descent.

Over the years we have had more than our fair share of bogus claimants and royal relatives, the most recent being an alleged descendant of a Romanov Grand Duke just a month ago.

Members who wish to publicise or advance such claims should use another arena in which to do so by creating their own website or by publishing their own book.

TRF Administrator
And from what I've read, Marie, or Missy as she was known to the family, believed, like Queen Mary, that royal duty trumped personal desire. Queen Marie was very upset with her son's attitude towards throne and country and Carol ended up treating Marie badly in her dying days and was horrible towards his sisters.
Just a nit picky point here, you might want to clarify your Marie's. There was Grand Duchess Marie/Marie of Edinburgh, Empress Marie/Dagmar, Marie Nicholievna, Marie Pavlos, Marie Vladmiorovitch, Marie of Roumania. . .yeah. There were a lot of Marie's. . . :D
Sorry for the confusion, Russophile.

The Duchess might not have liked George but his cousin Marie, although she got along with her mother the Duchess, probably would never have married him regardless of her mother's feelings, but Marie was very fond of George V and they remained good friends through the years.

Duchess refers to Marie, Duchess of Edinburgh and the mother of Queen Marie of Rumania.

And from what I've read, Marie, or Missy as she was known to the family, believed, like Queen Mary, that royal duty trumped personal desire. Queen Marie was very upset with her son's attitude towards throne and country and Carol ended up treating Marie badly in her dying days and was horrible towards his sisters.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh's daughter, Marie, was known as Missy to the family and grew up to become Queen of Rumania. Inasmuch as the Duchess of Edinburgh never was a crowned head of state, Queen Marie refers to the Duchess' eldest daughter. Again, sorry about the confusion.
Enough has been written by Alix. :ermm: I just put on hold a book on Ducky: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita By John Michael Sullivan. I find her fascinating.
I read in Marie of Roumania's book that the Melita came from Malta where they where when she was conceived, or born?? Feel free to correct me here.
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She was born in Malta, where Prince Alfred was stationed as Navy officer.
Suggested books:
Princess Victoria Melita, Grand Duchess Cryil of Russia : by John Van Der Kiste, which was published in 1991.
btw the same author also published the following ....Dearest Affie : Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria's second son... in 1984.
both books are considered to be good read's .....;)
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Jonny, I found the book on Amazon.
Does it give any insight (curiosity is killing the cat) on Duchess Marie's opinions of the marriages of Ernie & Victoria Melita and Kirill & Victoria Melita....? As she was so opposed to Missy marrying the future King George V - a first cousin!
As much as Duchess Marie liked being top dog, I would have though she would have foamed at the mouth to have a daughter who was Queen of England! Even though she herself despised England and took of to Germany as soon as Alfred succeeded to the ducal throne in Coburg.
I have Vanderkiste's book as well, but I haven't read it yet. Although his books are easy to read, I always find them rather short and not too 'deep'. He usually does not do too much research in the archives either (I suppose that is what makes him more productive than most royalty authors) and he makes a - very readable- fusion of already existing books and articles. But considering there are no other books available it will do.

I always heard that she was named 'Melita' for Malta, but how is that since the names are somewhat simular but not the same in Englsih at least.
As much as Duchess Marie liked being top dog, I would have though she would have foamed at the mouth to have a daughter who was Queen of England! Even though she herself despised England and took of to Germany as soon as Alfred succeeded to the ducal throne in Coburg.
Well, I think the romance blossomed during George's navy days, when his brother Albert Victor was still alive. Thus, no one would have thought Princess Marie would become the future Queen of England (just married to a navy-career second son like her mother).
Being one of Queen Victoria's most charming and beautiful granddaughters (along with Ella and Ena) and possessing such regal lineage (granddaughter of Queen Victoria and Tsar Alexander II), Marie seemed destined to be Queen/Empress of a more prestigious throne. It was surprising that Marie "settled" for a upstart Balkan kingdom of Romania, all due to Duchess Marie's hatred of the British court that "was not good enough for a Grand Duchess."
I totally understand the Duchess Marie not thinking that England's throne was not "not good enough for a Grand Duchess" issue... even though she herself married, like you stated, a second son - of the British monarch, no doubt. However, since Marie could not marry the Czar (as Orthodoxy forbids such marriage and Nicky was head over heals in love with Alix.... and the Kaiser was already married and had children arriving that were close to Alfred and Marie's in age.... what kingdom or empire was there for her to affiance Missy in marriage to?? In my humble opinion, which there seems to be some issues with and with my posts as well, Duchess Marie would have still found the British Empire far more worthy than, like you said, the "upstart" Romania. Even if the marriage was to a "mere" second son. And wonder if she (Duchess Marie) ever entertained the notion of Missy and Eddy? Queen Victoria was at one time tried to push one granddaughter towards him...
Just a few ideas that popped into my head. Thanks EmpressRouge
Good point, CarolinaLandgrave! I guess when it comes to royalty, no how big of a catch a princess is, there's always a problem with supply. If one just wanted to marry rich, there's almost an endless supply. But royals, especially kings are very, very limited.

I think Marie Alexandrovna and her sister-in-law Maria Pavlova (wife of Vladimir) both had very snobby attitudes, proud to be Grand Duchesses (although MP's own Reuss lineage wasn't that impressive) and tried to steer their daughters into grand matches (MA had better luck, churning out a Queen and Grand Duchess). It seemed ironic that they emphasized their lineage so much when MA and Vladimir's mother, Marie of Hesse, was almost certainly the illegitimate daughter of Wilhelmine of Baden and her husband's employee.

It turns out the trait for many Russian-born Grand Duchesses to be snobby (think Maria Alexandrovna and Elena Vladimirovna) had a source, Tsar Nicholas I. According to Prince Michael of Greece's book, Nicholas was the one who began instilling the notion that the Russian court and empire was superior to all others (and had his wife Charlotte of Prussia dress and be painted wearing tradition Russian court dress) and that notion traveled with his daughters when they married. Along with pride, all Grand Duchess married with large dowries and impressive jewels (which is how Luxembourg, Hesse, Holland and Greece have some splendid pieces); when his sister Anna Pavlova, Queen of the Netherlands lost all her Russian jewels in a palace fire, Nicholas promptly ordered replicas of the entire collection.
Agreed... I think if you look up Grand Duchess in the dictionary, you'd see a picture of Marie Edinburgh and Meichen! And, bless her heart, Meichen would have never achieved such if she hadn't married up! At least Marie Edinburgh was truly a Grand Duchess (with the sketchy lineage on the Hesse side... seeing as Marie's grandfather may not have been so "Grand" a figure as the Grand Dule Louis II of Hesse!

EmpressRouge.... I had a thought, wonder why if Marie Edinburgh considered Willy and Dona's eldest son?? Crown Prince Wilhelm was just a few years Missy's junior... and like herself (Marie E), an Imperial and Royal Highness!!
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:previous: That's an interesting thought CarolinaLandgrave about a mariage to Crown Prince Willem but I really doubt Willy would have let his son and heir to the Prussian throne get married to a British Princess even if Marie Alexandrovna had cast a spell on his son in order to marry one of her daughters... Besides, the bride picked for him had to be x rayed by many, many people, and I doubt that any of Marie's daughters (who were very romantic and free minded and would always do exactly the thing they wished and nothing else) would have passed the test:D.
Courtesy of Wikipedia Grandchildren of Victoria & Albert
pic not subject to copyright
Prince Alfred of Edinburgh (1874-1899)


Marie with Albert Victor would have been a nightmare. Queen Victoria wanted someone for Eddy who was calm, royal and a good influence. Marie was one on a good day (royal) and never the two on another day. In other words...just a little boring. Boring is never been a term I have heard associated with Marie. But she did turn out to be a magnficient Queen...shame about that son though!

Does anyone know about Alfred and Marie's marriage? Was it a good one? Marie having a high opinion of her status and a low one of the British court (even though she married into one) does not give off good vibes. But they definitely had beautiful daughters...I thought there was a book written about them but I might be confusing it with the Hesse daughters (I think it was Coburg something).

I have also found Vanderkiste's books to be quite frothy. Not too detailed with new details. But maybe its just me because I love reading about the subjects and I try to read everything.

Wasn't it true that Princess Alice, daughter of Queen Victoria, was instrumental in promoting the alliance of Marie with Prince Alfred? She must have met Marie through her Hesse in-laws.
And wonder if she (Duchess Marie) ever entertained the notion of Missy and Eddy? Queen Victoria was at one time tried to push one granddaughter towards him...

well not Quite correct !!
The Queen had considered two of her granddaughters as a wife for him !
Alicky of Hesse and after she refused him. she tried to push Mossy of Prussia towards Eddy......he refused to consider her.

as for Duchess Marie, ever considering a match between Missy and Eddy. well think again.....she none too happy when his brother Georgie made his tentative proposal of marriage to her and Georgie was far more suitable in his character than his (now dead) brother...what nonsense :whistling:
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:previous:In Queen Marie of Roumania's bio she talked about Georgie, I think there was "something there".
She (Queen Marie) talked extensively about how whenever her mother traveled she had a huge perscription chest that had everything in it. I'll find the link.
It was Albert Victor who declined to consider Mossy of Prussia not the other way around. Several authors have stated this was because he did not find her physically attractive but that she and her mother would have welcomed the match.
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:eek: I am sorry, you are correct Roderick !! Eddy had refused to consider Mossy :flowers:
Who was Mossy of the Prussia sisters?
Mossy was Princess Margaret. Here is a short bio from Wikipedia.

Princess Margaret of Prussia (Margarete Beatrice Feodora) (22 April 1872 – 22 January 1954) was a daughter of Frederick III, German Emperor and Victoria, Princess Royal. She married Prince Frederick Charles of Hesse. In 1926 they became Landgrave and Landgravine of Hesse. She lost three sons in the two World Wars.


Some of the Prussian princesses had a somewhat bad reputation from what I have read. No one really wanted to be associated with Wilhem, and I believe another Prussian princess (was it Louise of Sweden) married into another former house and it wasn't a success. Some royal houses weren't interested in trying to wed another one.
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