Friday, April 27, 2018

HRH Prince Louis Arthur Charles of Cambridge



In 1862,  Princess Alice, the third child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, married the future Grand Duke Ludwig VI of Hesse and by Rhine.    Their eldest child, Princess Victoria, was born at Windsor Castle on April 5, 1863.  She married in 1884 to her father's first cousin, Prince Ludwig Alexander of Battenberg ... he was better known as Prince Louis of Battenberg, a naturalized British subject who served in the Royal Navy and rose to be First Sea Lord.


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Anti-German sentiment led to Prince Louis resigning his position.  He was created Marquess of Milford Haven, Earl of Medina & Viscount Alderney, relinquishing his German titles at the request of his wife's first cousin, King George V.  He adopted the surname Mountbatten, the anglicized version of Battenberg

Louis and Victoria had four children:  Alice (1885-1969), who married Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark; Louise (1889-1965), the second wife of King Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden;  George (1892-1938), who married Countess Nada Torby, and Louis (1900-1979).

Alice was already married and the mother of four girls when her father's titles changed. She never used the Mountbatten name.  Her sister and brothers ceased to be HSH  and Princes and Princesses.  As their father was now a Marquess, the three younger children were styled as Lady Louise Mountbatten, the Earl of Medina and Lord Louis Mountbatten.  The first Marquess died in 1921 and was succeeded by his elder son.    In 1946, Lord Louis was created Viscount Mountbatten of Burma, a year later, he was created Earl Mountbatten of Burma and Baron Romsey.  The latter title was given a special creation to allow for the succession of his daughters and their male heirs.

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In June 1921,  Alice gave birth to a son Prince Philip.  In 1947, he became a naturalized citizen (although he was already one due to the Sophia Naturalization Act, a then forgotten about law) and took the surname Mountbatten.

The second Marquess of Milford Haven was Prince Philip's guardian until his death in 1938.  However,  Philip spent a good deal of his school holidays with Harald and Lady Zia Wernher, whose son, Alexander, was Philip's mentor and big brother.   The late Lord Mountbatten had far less contact with his nephew until Philip joined the Royal Navy.  But he had little to do with Philip's marriage to Elizabeth as Lord Louis was away at a sea, arranging Japan's surrender and the independence and partitioning of India and Pakistan.



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Victoria and Albert chose the name Arthur (1850-1942) for their fourth son and seventh child in honor of the 1st Duke of Wellington, the hero of the Battle of Wellington. The new prince shared his birthday with the Iron Duke.   Victoria created her son, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn and Earl of Sussex.  He served in the military and was named as Governor General of Canada in 1911.  His elder daughter, Margaret (1882-1920), married the future King Gustav VI Adolf Sweden.   Three years after the death of his first wife, Gustav Adolf married Lady Louise Mountbatten,

Charles is the first name of Louis' paternal grandfather, Charles, the Prince of Wales.   William and George have Louis as one of their middle names, as does Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex.  One of his godfathers was Prince Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine (1908-1968), the younger son of Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine and his second wife, Eleonore.  Ludwig's older brother, Hereditary Grand Duke Georg Donatus, was married to Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark, one of Prince Philip's sisters.



 Don and Cecilie, their two young sons, Ludwig and Alexander, his recently widowed mother, the Dowager Grand Duchess, and several other people, were killed in a plane crash en route to London, where they were to attend Prince Ludwig's wedding to the Hon. Margaret Geddes, whose father once served as the UK ambassador to the United States.



Prince Philip's mother, Princess Alice, was a first cousin to Hereditary Grand Duke Georg Donatus and Prince Ludwig.  Her mother,  Princess Victoria, was the elder sister of Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig.  She was with him when he died in October 1937, just weeks before the crash.  Prince Philip, then 16-years-old had spent late summer at Wolfsgarten with his grandmother and great uncle before returning to Gordonstoun.  He was scheduled to attend Prince Ludwig's wedding, but due to the crash, the wedding was held the next day, privately, with few guests.  The bride wore black.  After the wedding, the newly married Prince and Princess Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine, let for Belgium to bring back the bodies of the Dowager Grand Duchess, the Hereditary Grand Duke and Grand Duchess, two young princes and a stillborn infant.  Waiting back in Darmstadt was Don and Cecilie's 14 month-old-daughter, Johanna Marina, who had remained behind with her nanny.  The little girl was adopted by her uncle and aunt. Tragically, she died from meningitis less than 2 years later.


6 comments:

Jérôme J. said...


I would have prefered Arthur Louis Charles ... There is already Louis Arthur Nicholas Felix Windsor, 3rd son of Lord Nicholas Windsor, born in 2014.

DH said...

Superbly researched article Marlene, thanks.

Michelle said...

Kind of surprised at this one given that they already used Louis for George. Also surprised that nobody in the Middleton family was acknowledged in the name. I was sure that either Philip or a Michael would be one of the names.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Jerome, Lord Nicholas' sons are not royal - and not that closely related - Prince Louis and Master Louis are third cousins once removed

Helena Pinto said...

I also thought that William and Catherine would choose Philip and Michael as second and third names...

Jérôme J. said...


Marlene, you're right of course however Lord Nicholas third son's name is Louis Windsor and he is 4 years older only than Prince Louis. As you know, some medias won't resist to play with this in something like twenty years ...