Photo Credit – Wikipedia
Prince Arthur of Connaught was the only son and the second of the three children of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Princess Luise Margarete of Prussia. He was born at Windsor Castle on January 13, 1883, and was christened Arthur Frederick Patrick Albert on February 16, 1883 at the Private Chapel of Windsor Castle. His godparents were:
Prince Arthur of Connaught by Alexander Bassano, albumen cabinet card, 1885, NPG x128290 © National Portrait Gallery, London
Prince Arthur had two sisters:
Prince Arthur with his parents and his sisters, 1893; Photo Credit – Wikipedia
Arthur began his education at home with governesses and tutors. He was the first British prince to attend Eton College. After finishing Eton College, Arthur received his military education at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 7th (Queen’s Own) Hussars on May 8, 1901. Like his father, Arthur had a military career. He was on active duty during the Second Boer War. During World War I, Prince Arthur served as aide-de-camp to General Sir John French and General Sir Douglas Haig.
He held the following ranks in the British Army:
- Lieutenant, 7th (Queen’s Own) Hussars (1903)
- Captain, 2nd Dragoons (The Royal Scots Greys) (1907)
- Brevet Major (1913)
- Major, 2nd Dragoons (The Royal Scots Greys) (1915)
- Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel (1919)
- Retired from active service (December 31, 1919)
- Honorary Major-General (1920)
When his first cousin King George V succeeded to the British throne in 1910, Prince Arthur and his father The Duke of Connaught were the most senior male members of the British Royal Family over the age of 18 who were living in the United Kingdom. Therefore, Prince Arthur undertook a wide variety of royal duties on behalf of King George V and acted as a Counsellor of State when King George V was out of the United Kingdom.
On October 15, 1913 at the Chapel Royal of St. James’ Palace in London, Arthur married her first cousin once removed, Princess Alexandra, 2nd Duchess of Fife. Alexandra was the eldest surviving child of Princess Louise, Princess Royal and Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife and a grandchild of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom. In 1900, when it became apparent that the Duke and Duchess of Fife were unlikely to have a son to inherit the title, Queen Victoria issued the Duke of Fife a new Letters Patent as Duke of Fife and Earl of Macduff in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. This Letters Patent gave the second dukedom of Fife a special remainder that allowed the dukedom to pass to the daughters of the 1st Duke of Fife, if he had no son, and then to the male heirs of his daughters. Therefore, Alexandra became heir to her father’s dukedom.
Alexandra’s mother was the eldest daughter of King Edward VII and was created Princess Royal during her father’s reign, in 1905. At the same time, Alexandra and her sister Maud, were granted the title of Princess with the style of “Highness” and received precedence immediately after all members of the royal family bearing the style of “Royal Highness.” This act was unprecedented and when the College of Arms told King Edward VII it could not be done, the king simply said, “Do it!” Alexandra and Maud’s maternal uncle, the future King George V, was greatly disturbed by this act.
Because Alexandra’s father had died the year before her wedding, her uncle King George V, gave her away. After her marriage, Alexandra was styled Her Royal Highness Princess Arthur of Connaught, Duchess of Fife.
Photo Credit – Wikipedia
Arthur and Alexandra had one son Alastair Arthur, born on August 9, 1914 at his parents’ home at 54 Mount Street, in Mayfair, London, England. As a great grandchild of Queen Victoria through the male line, Alastair was styled His Highness Prince Alastair of Connaught until he was three years old. At that time King George V restricted the titles of Prince/Princess and the style of Royal Highness to the children of the sovereign, the children of the sovereign’s sons, and the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales. Alastair was then styled with the courtesy title Earl of Macduff, his mother’s secondary title.
Alexandra with her son Alastair, Photo Credit – Wikipedia
Prince Arthur was Governor-General of South Africa from 1920 – 1923. After his return to the United Kingdom, he supported several charitable organizations, including serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Middlesex Hospital. Like his father, Arthur was an active Freemason, and served as Provincial Grand Master for Berkshire in 1924.
Prince Arthur of Connaught by Lafayette (Lafayette Ltd), whole-plate nitrate negative, 30 July 1930, NPG x70586 © National Portrait Gallery, London
On September 12, 1938, Prince Arthur died of stomach cancer at the age of 55. He was buried at the Royal Burial Ground in Frogmore, Windsor, England. As Prince Arthur predeceased his father The Duke of Connaught, Arthur’s son Alastair became heir to the dukedom.
Prince Arthur is buried near his parents; Photo Credit – Connie Nissinger, www.findagrave.com
In 1942, upon the death of his paternal grandfather Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, Alastair succeeded him as the 2nd Duke of Connaught. On April 26, 1943, while on active duty with the British Army in Ottawa, Canada, the 28 year old Alastair fell asleep or passed out in front of an open window, fell out the window, and died of hypothermia during the night. On his death, his titles became extinct.
Alexandra survived her husband Prince Arthur for nearly 21 years, dying at her home in London on February 26, 1959 at the age of 67. She was buried at the private chapel in the mausoleum of Mar Lodge in Braemar, Aberdeenshire, Scotland where her parents are buried.
Wikipedia: Prince Arthur of Connaught
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