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Louise, Princess Royal

Louise, Princess Royal

Member of British Royal Family
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Member of British Royal Family
Gender female
Birth February 20, 1867 (London)
Death January 4, 1931 (London)
Mother: Alexandra of Denmark
Father: Edward VII
Siblings: Prince Albert VictorDuke of Clarence and AvondaleGeorge V
Spouse: Alexander Duff1st Duke of Fife
Children: Princess MaudCountess of SoutheskPrincess Alexandra2nd Duchess of Fife
Louise, Princess Royal
The details

Louise, Princess Royal and Duchess of Fife (Louise Victoria Alexandra Dagmar; 20 February 1867 – 4 January 1931) was the third child and the eldest daughter of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom and Queen Alexandra; she was a younger sister of King George V. She was the sixth daughter of a British monarch to be styled Princess Royal.

Early life

Princess Louise was born at Marlborough House, the London residence of her parents, then The Prince and Princess of Wales (later King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra). She spent much of her childhood at Sandringham House, her parents' country estate in Norfolk. Like her sisters, Princesses Maud and Victoria, she received limited formal education.

She was christened at Marlborough House on 10 May 1867 by Charles Longley, Archbishop of Canterbury.

With her sisters Maud and Victoria, she was a bridesmaid at the 1885 wedding of their paternal aunt Princess Beatrice, to Prince Henry of Battenberg.

Marriage and children

The Princess Royal with her daughters Princesses Maud, left, and Alexandra, ca. 1911.

On Saturday 27 July 1889, Princess Louise married the 6th Earl Fife (11 October 1849 – 12 January 1912), at the Private Chapel in Buckingham Palace. Two days after the wedding, Queen Victoria created him Duke of Fife and Marquess of Macduff in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. The letters patent creating this dukedom contained the standard remainder to "male heirs of the body lawfully begotten." However, it became apparent that the Duke and Duchess would not have a son. Therefore, on 24 April 1900, Queen Victoria signed letters patent creating a second Dukedom of Fife, along with the Earldom of Macduff in the Peerage of the United Kingdom with a special remainder: in default of a male heir, these peerages would pass to the daughters of the 1st Duke and then to their male descendants.

The Duke and Duchess of Fife had three children:

  • Alastair Duff, Marquess of Macduff, stillborn 16 June 1890
  • Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, 2nd Duchess of Fife (Alexandra Victoria Alberta Edwina Louise; 17 May 1891 – 26 February 1959), married her first cousin once removed, Prince Arthur of Connaught (13 January 1883 – 12 September 1938), and had issue.
  • Her Highness Princess Maud of Fife (Maud Alexandra Victoria Georgina Bertha; 3 April 1893 – 14 December 1945) married the 11th Earl of Southesk, and had issue.
  • Her bridesmaids were The Princesses Maud and Victoria of Wales, Victoria Mary of Teck, Marie Louise and Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein and The Countesses Feodora, Helena and Victoria Gleichen

Princess Royal

On 9 November 1905, King Edward VII created Princess Louise the Princess Royal, the highest honour bestowed on a female member of the royal family. At the same time, the King declared that the two daughters of the Princess Royal would be styled as princesses, with precedence immediately after all members of the royal family bearing the style of "Royal Highness".

In December 1911, while sailing to Egypt, the Princess Royal and her family were shipwrecked off the coast of Morocco. Although they escaped unharmed, the Duke of Fife fell ill with pleurisy, probably contracted as a result of the shipwreck. He died at Assuan, Egypt in January 1912, and Princess Alexandra succeeded to his dukedom, becoming Duchess of Fife in her own right. Princess Alexandra later married Prince Arthur of Connaught, a first cousin of Princess Louise.

Later life

Braemar, Mar Lodge Estate, St Ninian's Chapel - Grave of Princess Louise, Princess Royal (1867–1931).
Princess Louise's coat of arms
Fife Arms Hotel, Braemar: Arms of the Duke and Duchess of Fife

Princess Louise of Wales received the Royal Order of Victoria and Albert in 1885 and the Imperial Order of the Crown of India in 1887. She became a Lady of the Venerable Order of St John of Jerusalem (LJStJ) in 1888 and a Dame Grand Cross (GCStJ) of that order in 1929. She became colonel-in-chief of the 7th Dragoon Guards (the Princess Royal's Own) in 1914. She later served as colonel-in-chief of the 4th and 7th Dragoon Guards when it was formed in 1921.

In the autumn of 1929 at Mar Lodge she was taken ill with gastric hemorrhage and was brought back to London. The Princess Royal died fifteen months later in January 1931, at her home in Portman Square, London and was buried in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. Her remains were later removed to the Private Chapel, Mar Lodge, Braemar, Aberdeenshire.

Titles, styles and arms

Titles and styles

  • 20 February 1867 – 27 June 1889: Her Royal Highness Princess Louise of Wales
  • 27 July 1889 – 29 July 1889: Her Royal Highness Princess Louise, Countess Fife
  • 29 July 1889 – 22 January 1901: Her Royal Highness Princess Louise, Duchess of Fife
  • 22 January 1901 – 9 November 1905: Her Royal Highness The Princess Louise, Duchess of Fife
  • 9 November 1905 – 4 January 1931: Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Duchess of Fife


Upon her marriage, Princess Louise was granted a coat of arms, being those of the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom with an inescutcheon for Saxony, all differenced with a label argent of five points, the outer pair and centre bearing crosses gules, and the inner pair bearing thistles proper. The inescutcheon was dropped by royal warrant in 1917.


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Early life Marriage and children Princess Royal Later life Titles, styles and arms Ancestors
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