Princess Alice of the United Kingdom and Grand Duchess of Hesse: Daughter of Queen Victoria

Princess Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse

Princess Alice Maud Mary of the United Kingdom, Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine was born on April 25, 1843. She was the third child and second daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Her legacy is very much alive today in the British Royal Family. She was the confidant of her brother, Crown Prince Albert Victor (King Edward VII). 

She took care of her father when he developed typhoid fever in 1861. Unfortunately, he died a few weeks after on December 14th. 

She became her mother's companion until her marriage to Prince Louis of Hesse on July 1, 1862. The Prince became Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine in 1877. According to accounts, the couple enjoyed a loving relationship and had seven children. But her life and the lives of her family were mired in tragedy.

Princess Alice showed an interest in Nursing and Women's Affairs. She corresponded with Florence Nightingale in her lifetime. 

She died of diphtheria on December 14, 1878, the 17th death anniversary of her father, Prince Albert. Her youngest daughter, Marie Victoria Feodore Leopoldine, died one month earlier from the same illness.

Princess Alice, the Grand Duchess of Hesse was the first of Queen Victoria's children to predecease her. The Queen took great interest in the upbringing of her motherless grandchildren. 

Princess Alice and Prince Louis of Hesse 

Through her eldest daughter, Victoria Alberta Elisabeth Matilda Mary, she was the grandmother of Princess Alice (named after her grandmother), who married Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark. She was declared by the Israeli Nation as "Righteous Among Nations" because of her life-saving efforts during World War II. Princess Alice was also the mother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth II's consort. 

One of Princess Victoria's sons was Louis Mountbatten, Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Viceroy of India. Earl Mountbatten was assassinated in 1979 by the Irish Republican Army during a boating trip.

The Earl was instrumental in the Naval career and marriage of his nephew to the then-Princess Elizabeth. Lord Mountbatten was a mentor of sorts to his grandnephew, Prince Charles of Wales. In fact, one of the names given to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, is Louis.

Earl Mountbatten

Prince Philip

Elisabeth Alexandra Louise Alice was the second eldest daughter of Grand Duchess Alice. Princess Elisabeth took the name Yelisaveta Fyodorovna when she married Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia. The couple was childless. 

Grand Duke Sergei was the younger brother of Tsar Alexander III, the father of Nicholas II. He was assassinated in 1905. 

Upon her widowhood, Grand Duchess Elisabeth opened the Orthodox convent of Saints Marth and Mary. She was murdered by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution. 

She was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in 1981. In 1992, after the dissolution of communism in Russia, she was declared a New Martyr by the Moscow Patriarchate.

Grand Duchess Elisabeth

Princess Alice was also the mother of Alix Victoria Helena Louise Beatrice, who was only six years old when she died. Princess Alix became Tsaritsa Alexandra Feodorovna, the last Empress of the Russian Empire when she married Tsar Nicholas II in 1894. 

Tsarevich Alexei of Russia, the only son, and heir to the Romanov Empire suffered from hemophilia. The dreaded Royal disease that originated from Queen Victoria.

Tsar Nicholas II and his family were imprisoned and murdered in 1918 during their captivity by the Bolsheviks.

In 1998, the DNA of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was used to identify the remains of the massacred Romanovs.

The Romanov Imperial Family

Of all the daughters of Queen Victoria, Princess Alice's inheritance of the genetic disease, hemophilia, caused great misery with her descendants.

Princess Alice's youngest son, Frederick, died from internal bleeding after falling from a window. He was only 2 years old. Frederick suffered from Haemophilia.

Her grandsons, Princes Waldemar and Henry of Prussia, sons of her daughter Princess Irene Louise Mary Anne, also died because of the effects of hemophilia.

Luckily for the present British Monarchy, no one inherited the hemophilia gene which also affected other family members of Queen Victoria.

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