by Scott Mehl
Princess Alexandra of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
Princess Alexandra (Alexandra Louise Olga Victoria) was the 3rd daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (son of Queen Victoria), and Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia (daughter of Tsar Alexander II). She was born on September 1, 1878 at Schloss Rosenau near Coburg, and her christening took place a month later at Palais Edinburg in Coburg. Amongst her godparents was her maternal uncle, Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia.
Alexandra had four siblings:
- Prince Alfred, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1874-1899) – unmarried, no issue
- Princess Marie (1875-1938) – married King Ferdinand of Romania, had issue
- Princess Victoria Melita (1876-1936) – married (1) Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine (divorced), had issue; (2) Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich of Russia, had issue
- Princess Beatrice (1884-1966) – married Infante Alfonso of Spain, Duke of Galliera, had issue
As the family moved around often due to her father’s naval career, Alexandra grew up in Britain, Cyprus, Malta, and Coburg. From the mid-1880s, the family spent a significant amount of time in Coburg, as her father was the heir-presumptive to his childless uncle, Ernst II, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. He succeeded to the ducal throne in August 1893, and the family took up permanent residence in Coburg. Alexandra was now styled HRH Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
It was at Schloss Ehrenburg on April 20, 1896, that Alexandra married Prince Ernst of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. He was the eldest son of Hermann, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and Princess Leopoldine of Baden. (Alexandra and Ernst were second cousins – their grandmothers, Queen Victoria and Princess Feodora of Leiningen, were half-sisters.) The couple had five children:
- Gottfried, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1897-1960) – married Princess Margarita of Greece and Denmark, had issue
- Princess Maria Melita (1899-1967) – married Friedrich, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, had issue
- Princess Alexandra (1901-1963) – unmarried, no issue
- Princess Irma (1902-1986) – unmarried, no issue
- Prince Alfred (1911-1911) – died at 2 days old
When her father died in 1900, her husband served as Regent for his successor (and her cousin) Prince Charles Edward, Duke of Albany until he reached his maturity in 1905. As her husband pursued his ambitions elsewhere, Alexandra often spent time with her mother in Coburg, as well as visits to her sisters. In 1913, her father-in-law died, and she and her husband became the Prince and Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, taking up residence as Schloss Langenburg. Living a relatively quiet life, Alexandra worked during World War I as a nurse with the Red Cross. After her mother’s death in 1920, Alexandra inherited Palais Edinburg in Coburg, and, along with her sisters, leased Schloss Rosenau from the state until the late 1930s. In 1937, Alexandra joined her husband, and some of her children, as a member of the Nazi Party.
Princess Alexandra died on April 16, 1942, in Schwäbisch Hall, Baden-Württemberg. She is buried in the family cemetery at Schloss Langenburg.