by Scott Mehl
Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein
Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein (Christian Victor Albert Louis Ernst Anton) was the eldest child of Princess Helena of the United Kingdom (the third daughter of Queen Victoria), and Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein. He was born April 14, 1867 at Windsor Castle.
Christian Victor had four siblings:
- Prince Albert, later Duke of Schleswig-Holstein (1869-1931), unmarried, had illegitimate issue
- Princess Helena Victoria (1870-1948) – unmarried, no issue
- Princess Marie Louise (1872-1956) – married Prince Aribert of Anhalt (divorced), no issue
- Prince Harald (1876-1876) – lived just 8 days
“Christle”, as he was known within the family, became the first member of the British Royal Family to attend school, enrolling at Lambrook, Wellington College and Magdalen College at the University of Oxford, before entering the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He showed a high level of skill at cricket, and served as captain of the cricket teams at Wellington, Magdalen, and Sandhurst, and even played for I Zingari (cricket club) in 1887.
Upon leaving Sandhurst in 1888, he became a subaltern in the King’s Royal Rifles. In 1891, he participated in the Hazara and Miranzi expeditions in 1891, the Isazi expedition in 1892, and the Ashanti expedition in 1895. Upon his return, he was elevated to the rank of Major and then served under Lord Kitchener in the Battle of Omdurman in 1898. The following year, he saw duty in the Second Boer War, participating in the Relief of Ladysmith under General Sir Redvers Buller, and then in Pretoria under Lord Roberts.
Prince Christian Victor died of enteric fever in Pretoria on October 29, 1900, having fallen ill with malaria. He was just 33 years old. His death shocked his family, and in particularly his grandmother, Queen Victoria, with whom he had been very close. Although preparations were made to return his body to Britain, he was buried in a soldier’s grave in Pretoria, at the wishes of The Queen.