March 1915: Royalty and World War I

by Susan Flantzer


Brabourne Family Connections

Brabourne

Wyndham Knatchbull-Hugessen, 3rd Baron Brabourne; Photo Credit – www.illustratedfirstworldwar.com

On March 11, 1915, 29 year old Wyndham Knatchbull-Hugessen, 3rd Baron Brabourne was killed in action in World War I. On the March 10, 1915, during the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, the 1st Battalion of the Grenadier Guards took up reserve positions near Neuve Chapelle, France. On March 11, 1915, the battalion sustained heavy casualties while crossing the Rue Tilleloy. The battalion’s war diary recorded the death of Lord Brabourne together with 15 other officers and 325 other soldiers. Lord Barbourne has no known grave, but his name appears on the La Touret Memorial in Bethune, France. His family erected a memorial for him in the parish church in Smeeth, England.

As the 3rd Baron Brabourne was unmarried and had no heir, his first cousin Cecil Knatchbull-Hugessen succeeded him as the 4th Baron Brabourne. The peerage continued to be inherited from father to son until Norton Knatchbull, 6th Baron Brabourne, who was captured and executed by the Nazi Schutzstaffel (SS) during World War II. The 6th Baron Brabourne’s brother John then became the 7th Baron Brabourne as his brother had died unmarried.
Wikipedia: Baron Brabourne

The names Brabourne and Knatchbull may sound familiar to many British royal family enthusiasts. The current Baron Brabourne, Norton Knatchbull, 8th Baron Brabourne, is the son of John Knatchbull, 7th Baron Brabourne and Patricia Mountbatten, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma. His mother Patricia is the elder daughter of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma who was a great grandson of Queen Victoria. Patricia is also a first cousin of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The family’s descent from Queen Victoria comes from her third child Princess Alice who married Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine.

Queen Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha  Princess Alice married Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine   Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine married Prince Louis of Battenberg (later Louis Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven) →  Prince Louis of Battenberg (later of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma) married Edwina Ashley  Patricia Mountbatten, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma married John Knatchbull, 7th Baron Brabourne → Norton Knatchbull, 8th Baron Brabourne

Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma was killed in 1979 by a Provisional Irish Republican Army bomb placed in his fishing boat. Also killed was Nicholas Knatchbull, a son of Lord Mountbatten’s elder daughter Patricia, Patricia’s mother-in-law the Dowager Lady Brabourne, and Paul Maxwell, a 15-year-old crew member.
Unofficial Royalty: Tragedy in the British Royal Family at the End of August (scroll down to Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma)

Upon his father’s death in 2005, Norton Knatchbull became the 8th Baron Brabourne. He will become 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma upon the death of his mother Patricia, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma. Patricia was able to succeed to her father’s title because the peerage had been created with special remainder to the 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma’s daughters and their heirs male.
Wikipedia Earl Mountbatten of Burma

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Timeline: March 1, 1915 – March 31, 1915

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A Note About German Titles

Most of the royals who died in action during World War I were German. The German Empire consisted of 27 constituent states, most of them ruled by royal families. Scroll down to German Empire here to see what constituent states made up the German Empire.  The constituent states retained their own governments, but had limited sovereignty. Some had their own armies, but the military forces of the smaller ones were put under Prussian control. In wartime, armies of all the constituent states would be controlled by the Prussian Army and the combined forces were known as the Imperial German Army.  German titles may be used in Royals Who Died In Action below. Refer to Unofficial Royalty: Glossary of German Noble and Royal Titles.

24 British peers were also killed in World War I and they will be included in the list of those who died in action. In addition, more than 100 sons of peers also lost their lives, and those that can be verified will also be included.

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March 1915 – Royals/Nobles/Peers Who Died In Action

The list is in chronological order and does contain some who would be considered noble instead of royal. The links in the last bullet for each person is that person’s genealogical information from Leo’s Genealogics Website or to The Peerage website.  If a person has a Wikipedia page, their name will be linked to that page.

The Honorable William Eden

Prince Alexander of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, Prince of Ratibor-Corvey

Howard Stonor

Wyndham Knatchbull-Hugessen, 3rd Baron Brabourne

George Douglas-Pennant

Royal News: Saturday 28 February 2015

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Charlotte of Prussia, Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen

Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Princess Charlotte of Prussia was the second child and eldest daughter of Friedrich III, German Emperor and King of Prussia and his wife Victoria, Princess Royal, the eldest child of Queen Victoria. She was born on July 24, 1860 and christened Victoria Elisabeth Augusta Charlotte. Charlotte’s mother considered her the most difficult of all her children. As a toddler, Charlotte started to bite her nails and pull at her clothes and was forced to wear gloves or stand with her hands tied together. Charlotte also seemed to have learning difficulties. Her governess and tutors told her mother that they had never had such difficulties as with Charlotte. Charlotte was a favorite of her paternal grandparents whose spoiling did not help the situation.

Charlotte had seven siblings:

  • Wilhelm II, German Emperor (1859 –1941) married (1) Princess Auguste Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein, had issue (2) Princess Hermine Reuss of Greiz, no issue
  • Heinrich (1862 –1929) married his first cousin Princess Irene of Hesse and by Rhine, had issue
  • Sigismund (1864 – 1866) died of meningitis at 21 months
  • Victoria (1866 – 1929) married (1) Prince Adolf of Schaumburg-Lippe, no issue (2) Alexander Zoubkov, no issue
  • Waldemar (1868 – 1879) died of diphtheria at age 11
  • Sophie (1870 – 1932) married King Constantine I of Greece, had issue
  • Margaret (1872 –1954) married Prince Frederick Charles of Hesse, had issue

Charlotte’s mother and siblings in 1900: Sophia, Victoria, Wilhelm, their mother Empress Frederick, Charlotte, Heinrich, and Margaret; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Charlotte wanted to leave home as quickly as possible. As a marriage offered her the only way out, Charlotte found herself a prince, the shy and well educated second cousin Bernhard, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Meiningen. Because the prince was a suitable marriage candidate and their daughter caused much unrest at home, Charlotte’s parents agreed to the marriage. Charlotte and Bernhard were engaged in 1876 and married in Berlin on February 18, 1878 when Charlotte was not quite 18.

Charlotte and Bernhard in 1877; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Charlotte and Bernhard had one child, the first great grandchild of Queen Victoria:

Feodora circa 1900; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

After the birth of her only child, Charlotte neglected her daughter in favor of society life in Berlin which caused Feodora to be cared for by nannies and servants and her maternal grandmother. Feodora was a long-term house-guest at her grandmother’s home Friedrichshof. Her grandmother said of her, “She is really a good little child and far easier to manage than her Mama…The atmosphere of her home is not the best for a child her age.”

In 1891, Charlotte was involved in the Kotze Affair, a scandal in which several members of the aristocracy and members of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s family were accused in anonymous letters of sexual debauchery.

In 1914, Charlotte’s husband became the last reigning Duke of Saxe-Meiningen. His reign was short as Bernhard was forced to abdicate on November 10, 1918, and spent the rest of his life in his former country as a private citizen.

Charlotte was a chain smoker and had suffered ill health her entire life. She died on October 1, 1919 at the age of 59. Charlotte was buried at Schloss Altenstein, the summer residence of the Dukes of Saxe-Meiningen.

Burial site of Charlotte and her husband; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Charlotte’s daughter Feodora also was ill much of her life and spent her last years in a sanatorium. Tired of years of illness and ineffective treatments, Feodora committed suicide on August 26, 1945. Historian John Rohl, author of Purple Secret: Genes, ‘Madness’ and the Royal Houses of Europe believes that the stomach pains, rashes, and urinary problems both Charlotte and her daughter Feodora exhibited were signs of porphyria, the genetic disease that their ancestor King George III had. Recent medical tests performed on the remains of Charlotte and Feodora have revealed that both probably suffered from porphyria.

Unofficial Royalty: Charlotte of Prussia, Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen

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February 28: Today in Royal History

Tomb of King Christian IV of Denmark in Roskilde Cathedral; Photo Credit – Susan Flantzer, August of 2011

February 28, 1155 – Birth of Henry the Young King, son of King Henry II of England, at Bermondsey Palace in Surrey, England
Unofficial Royalty: Henry the Young King

February 28, 1261 – Birth of Margaret of Scotland, Queen of Norway
Wikipedia: Margaret of Scotland, Queen of Norway

February 28, 1648 – Death of King Christian IV of Denmark and Norway at Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen, Denmark; buried at Roskilde Cathedral in Denmark
Wikipedia: Christian IV of Denmark

February 28, 1823 – Birth of Friederich Franz II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Wikipedia: Friederich Franz II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwering

February 28, 1908 – Wedding of Ferdinand I of Bulgaria and  Eleonore Reuss of Köstritz
Wikipedia: Ferdinand I of Bulgaria
Wikipedia: Eleonore Reuss of Köstritz

February 28, 1922 – Wedding of Mary, Princess Royal, daughter of King George V of the United Kingdom, and Henry, Viscount Lascelles (later 6th Earl of Harewood) at Westminster Abbey
Unofficial Royalty: Mary, Princess Royal
Unofficial Royalty: Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood

February 28, 1912 – Birth of Bertil, Duke of Halland, son of King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Bertil, Duke of Halland

February 28, 1941 – Death of King Alfonso XIII of Spain in exile in Rome, Italy; buried first at the Church of Santa Maria di Monserrato in Rome, Italy; reburied in 1980 at the Monastery of San Lorenzo de el Escorial in Spain
Alfonso married Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg (Ena), the daughter of Princess Beatrice (Queen Victoria’s youngest child).
Unofficial Royalty: Alfonso XIII of Spain

February 28, 1991 – Death of Prince Wenzel of Liechtenstein, son of Prince Franz Joseph II, brother of Prince Hans Adam II
Wikipedia: Prince Franz Joseph II – Marriage and Children
Esoteric Curiosa: A Mysterious End!  The Demise of Prince Wenzel von und zu Liechtenstein

February 28, 2007 – Birth of Princess Lalla Khadija of Morocco, daughter of King  Mohammed VI of Morocco, at the Royal Palace in Rabat, Morocco
Wikipedia: Princess Lalla Khadija of Morocco

Royal News: Friday 27 February 2015

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February 27: Today in Royal History

Wedding of Princess Patricia of Connaught and The Honorable Alexander Ramsay; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

February 27, 1666 – Death of Luisa de Guzmán, wife of King João IV of Portugal, in Lisbon, Portugal; buried at the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora in Lisbon, Portugal
Luisa was the mother of Catherine of Braganza, the wife of King Charles II of England.
Wikipedia: Luisa de Guzmán

February 27, 1919 – Wedding of Princess Patricia of Connaught and The Honorable Alexander Ramsay, third son of the Earl of Dalhousie, at Westminster Abbey
This was the first royal wedding at Westminster Abbey since January 20, 1382 when King Richard II married Anne of Bohemia, daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. Princess Patricia was the daughter of Queen Victoria’s son Arthur, Duke of Connaught.
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Patricia of Connaught
Wikipedia: Alexander Ramsay

February 27, 1921 – Wedding of King George II of Greece and Elisabeth of Romania
Wikipedia: George II of Greece
Wikipedia: Elisabeth of Romania

Royal News: Thursday 26 February 2015

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Princess Hermine Reuss of Greiz, German Empress, Queen of Prussia

Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Princess Hermine Reuss of Greiz, the second wife of Wilhelm II, former German Emperor, was born on December 17, 1887 in Greiz, Principality of Reuss-Greiz, German Empire (now in Germany). She was the fifth of the sixth children of Heinrich XXII, Prince Reuss of Greiz and his wife Princess Ida of Schaumburg-Lippe. Hermine had one brother and four sisters:

  • Heinrich XXIV, Prince Reuss of Greiz (1878–1927), unmarried
  • Princess Emma (1881–1961), married Graf Erich von Ehrenburg, had issue
  • Princess Marie (1882–1942), married Freiherr Ferdinand von Gnagnoni, no issue
  • Princess Caroline (1884–1905), married Wilhelm Ernst, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, no issue
  • Princess Ida (1891–1977), married Fürst Christoph Martin III zu Stolberg-Roßla, had issue

Hermine (on the left) and her sisters in 1903; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

When Hermine was not quite four years old, her mother died and Hermine was raised by Louise, Grand Duchess of Baden, the daughter of Wilhelm I, German Emperor and King of Prussia.

On January 7, 1907, Hermine married Prince Johann Georg von Schoenaich-Carolath, who died in 1920 from tuberculosis. Hermine and Johann Georg had five children:

  • Prince Hans Georg von Schönaich-Carolath (1907 – 1943), married Baroness Sibylle von Zedlitz und Leipe, killed in action during World War II
  • Prince Georg Wilhelm von Schönaich-Carolath (1909 – 1927), died unmarried
  • Princess Hermine von Schönaich-Carolath (born 9 May 1910), married Hugo Herbert Hartung
  • Prince Ferdinand von Schönaich-Carolath (1913 –1973), married (1) Rose Rauch, married (2) Baroness Margret von Seckendorff
  • Princess Henriette von Schönaich-Carolath (1918 – 1972), married Prince Karl Franz of Prussia (grandson of Wilhelm II, German Emperor and only child of Prince Joachim of Prussia), had three children including Prince Franz Wilhelm of Prussia whose wife Maria Vladimirovna, Grand Duchess of Russia is a claimant to the Headship of the Imperial Family of Russia

Hermine with her children in 1923; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

In January of 1922, one of Hermine’s sons sent birthday wishes to Wilhelm II, former German Emperor, living in exile at Huis Doorn in Doorn, the Netherlands, who then invited the boy and his mother to Doorn. Wilhelm found Hermine very attractive and greatly enjoyed her company. Having both been recently widowed, the two had much in common. Wilhelm was determined to marry Hermine despite objections from his children. 63 year old Wilhelm and 34 year old Hermine married on November 5, 1922 in Doorn. Although Wilhelm had abdicated, he continued to use his royal styles and titles and therefore Hermine was styled Her Imperial Majesty The German Empress, Queen of Prussia.

Wilhelm and Hermine in 1933 at Huis Doorn; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Hermine’s youngest child Princess Henriette came to live with Hermine and Wilhelm at Huis Doorn. Wilhelm stayed out of his stepchildren’s affairs, with the exception of Henriette. He seemed to have a genuine affection for her, and she came to be known as “the general”. On August 6, 1940 at his residence at Doorn, Wilhelm officially announced the engagement of his stepdaughter Princess Henriette and his grandson Prince Karl Franz of Prussia, the only child of Wilhelm’s son Prince Joachim who had committed suicide in 1920. The couple married at Huis Doorn on October 5, 1940, had three children, and divorced in 1946.

Hermine with Wilhelm and her youngest daughter Henriette in Doorn in 1931; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Hermine returned to Germany after Wilhelm’s death in 1941. After World War II, Hermine was held under house arrest at Frankfurt an der Oder in the Soviet Zone of Germany. She died at Paulinenhof, a Soviet internment camp near Brandenburg, Germany on August 7, 1947. She was buried at the Temple of Antiquities in Potsdam,Germany where Wilhelm’s first wife, Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, and several other family members are also buried.

Temple of Antiquities; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Wikipedia: Hermine Reuss of Greiz

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February 26: Today in Royal History

King Eric XIV of Sweden; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

February 26, 1275 – Death of Margaret of England, daughter of King Henry III of England, wife of King Alexander III of Scotland, at Cupar Castle in Fife, Scotland; buried at Dunfermline Abbey in Fife, Scotland
Margaret was the eldest daughter and second child of Henry III and Eleanor of Provence.  She was only 11 years old when she married Alexander, who was 11 months younger than her.  Margaret’s first child, a daughter also named Margaret, was born 10 years later.  Margaret then had two sons, Alexander and David, but both predeceased their father.
Wikipedia: Margaret of England

February 26, 1416 – Birth of Christopher of Bavaria, King of Denmark, Sweden and Norway, at Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz, Bavaria (Germany)
Wikipedia: Christopher of Bavaria

February 26, 1577 – Death of King Eric XIV of Sweden at Örbyhus Castle in Sweden; buried at Västerås Cathedral in Sweden
Wikipedia Eric XIV

February 26, 1815 – Napoleon escapes from the island of Elba
Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba. Upon his escape in 1815, he rallied troops and declared himself emperor once again. However, the British and Prussians defeated him once and for all at the Battle of Waterloo.
Wikipedia: Napoleon

February 26, 1861 – Birth of Ferdinand I, Tsar of Bulgaria, in Vienna, Austria
Ferdinand I of Bulgaria

February 26, 1869 – Birth of Prince Albert of Schleswig-Holstein, grandson of Queen Victoria, at Frogmore House in Windsor, England
Full name: Albert John Charles Frederick Alfred George
Prince Albert was the son of Princess Helena, daughter of Queen Victoria, and Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein. He never married, but succeeded his childless first cousin, Ernst Günther, as titular Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenberg.  Shortly before his death, he recognized an illegitimate daughter, Valerie Marie.
Wikipedia: Albert of Schleswig-Holstein

February 26, 1909 – Birth of King Talal of Jordan in Mecca (now in Saudi Arabia)
Wikipedia: Talal of Jordan

February 26, 1933 – Death of Princess Thyra of Denmark, Crown Princess of Hanover
Unofficial Royalty: Thyra of Denmark

February 26, 1954 – Birth of Prince Ernst Augustus of Hanover in Hanover, Germany
Full name: Ernst Augustus Albert Paul Otto Rupprecht Oskar Berthold Friedrich-Ferdinand Christian Ludwig
Ernst is the senior direct male to male descendant of King George III.  He is descended from George III’s son, Ernest, Duke of Cumberland, who became King of Hanover (due to the Salic Law) following the death of King William IV.

George III > Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, King of Hanover > George, King of Hanover > Ernst Augustus, Duke of Cumberland (married Princess Thyra of Denmark, sister of Queen Alexandra of UK, Empress Marie Feodorovna of Russia and King George I of Greece) > Ernst Augustus, Duke of Brunswick-Luneberg (married Viktoria Luise, only daughter of Kaiser Wilhelm II) > Ernst Augustus, Duke of Brunswick-Luneberg > Ernst Augustus, Prince of Hanover
Wikipedia: Ernst Augustus of Hanover

February 26, 1959 – Death of Princess Alexandra, 2nd Duchess of Fife, daughter of Alexander Duff, Duke of Fife and Louise, Princess Royal (daughter of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom) at Avenue Road, London; buried at Mar Lodge Chapel in Braemar, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Alexandra was the Duchess of Fife in her own right.
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Alexandra, 2nd Duchess of Fife

February 26, 2000 – Death of Giovanna of Savoy, wife of Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria, in Estoril, Portugal; buried at the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi in Assisi, Italy
Wikipedia: Giovanna of Savoy

Royal News: Wednesday 25 February 2015

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