boys clothing: British royalty--Princess Beatrice
Queen Victoria's last child was Beatrice and was referred to as "Baby" in the family. Victoria was inchanted 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 daugter of Beatrice mairred 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 stictly raised and very well educated. His mairrage 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 devestated the Victoria.
Queen Victoria was Britain's longest serving monarch. Her mairrage 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 extrodinary development of British power and influence. She and Albert changed how Britain's looked on their monarch. She became in many ways the gramdmother 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 mairrages and offspring of
these children are truely 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 exepted 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 knickname 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, butvonly 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 cairrage. For the wedding itself, Wilhelm was done up in a kilt costume and was intrgued with the dirk (dagger) in his kneesocks. 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 esquisite 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 mairrage.
Prince Henry's father was Alexander of the Rhine von Hessen, Prince of Hesse (1823- ). His mother was Princess Juia of Batteberg (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 mairred 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 mairrage was criticised both in England and Prussia.
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 devesated as she had come to rely on Prince Henry.
Princecess 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.
The first child, Alexander, was born in 1886. He became Mountbatten, Alexander of Carisbrooke, Marquess of Carisbrooke. He died in London during 1960.
Their eldest daughter, Victoria Eugenie, was born at Balmoral Castle in Scotland during 1887. She was Victoria Eugenie von Battenburg. Victoria Eugenie married Alfonso XIII, the long-serving king of Spain in 1906. She became Queen Ena. In 1907 she produced an heir, Prince Austrias, who was hemophilic. A second son, born the following year, was a deaf mute. Another was stillborn. Two daughters and one son were born healthy, but Ena's last child was a hemophiliac as well. Alfonso was deposed in 1931 by the Spanish Republic. She died in 1969 in Switzerland before the Spanish monarch was restored by Franco.
Beatrice's third child was Mountbatten, Leopold Arthur Louis, Lord Mountbatten. He was born in 1889. He died in 1922 in Kensington Palace.
Their last child was Prince Maurice Victor Donald of Battenberg. He was born in 1891. He died during the first months of World War I at Ypres Belgium.
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.
Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site royal pages:
[Return to Queen Victoria]
[Return to Prince Albert]
[Return to the main Main English royalty page]
[Belgium] [Bulgaria] [Denmark] [France] [Germany] [German states] [Hesse] [Italy] [Japan] [Jordon] [Luxemburg]
[Monaco] [Monaco] [Netherlands] [Norway] [Romania] [Russia] [Scotland] [Spain] [Sweden] [United Kingdom] [Yugoslavia]