|Intro||Greek and Danish princess|
|A.K.A.||Princess Of Greece And Denmark Cecilie|
|Birth||22 June 1911, Athens|
|Death||16 November 1937, Ostend (aged 26 years)|
Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark (Greek: Πριγκίπισσα Καικιλία της Ελλάδας και Δανίας) (22 June 1911 – 16 November 1937) was the wife of Hereditary Grand Duke Georg Donatus of Hesse and third eldest sister to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Birth and ancestry
Cecilie was the third child and daughter of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg. She was born on 22 June 1911 at the summer estate of the Greek Royal Family at Tatoi, fifteen kilometres north of Athens. Although her given name was Cecilie, she was known to her family as Cécile.
Cecilie was baptised at Tatoi on 2 July 1911. Her godparents were King George V of the United Kingdom, Grand Duke Ernst Louis of Hesse, Prince Nicholas of Greece and Duchess Vera of Württemberg.
Through her father Cecilie was a grandchild of King George I of Greece and his wife Grand Duchess Olga Konstantinova of Russia (a granddaughter of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia). Through her mother she was a great-great granddaughter of Queen Victoria. Cecilie had three sisters: Margarita (wife of Prince Gottfried of Hohenlohe-Langenburg), Theodora (wife of Berthold, Margrave of Baden) and Sophie (wife firstly of Prince Christoph of Hesse and secondly of Prince Georg Wilhelm of Hanover). Her brother Philip, later Duke of Edinburgh, is the husband of Queen Elizabeth II.
In 1922 Cecilie and her sisters were bridesmaids at the wedding of their maternal uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten (later Earl Mountbatten of Burma) to Edwina Ashley.
Marriage and children
On 2 February 1931 at Darmstadt, Cecilie married her maternal first cousin once-removed Georg Donatus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine. They had four children:
|Prince Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine||25 October 1931||16 November 1937||Killed in air accident|
|Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine||14 April 1933|
|Princess Johanna of Hesse and by Rhine||20 September 1936||14 June 1939||Died from meningitis.|
|Stillborn son||16 November 1937||Stillborn in air accident|
On 1 May 1937 Cecilie and her husband both joined the Nazi Party.
In October 1937, Cecilie's father-in-law Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse died. A few weeks after the funeral, her brother-in-law Prince Ludwig was due to be married to the Hon. Margaret Campbell-Geddes in London.
On 16 November 1937, Georg Donatus, Cecilie, their two young sons and Georg's mother Grand Duchess Eleonore left Darmstadt for London, where they planned to attend the wedding. The aircraft in which they were travelling struck a factory chimney in bad weather near Ostend, Belgium, and crashed in flames, killing all on board. Cecilie was eight months pregnant with her fourth child at the time of the crash, and the remains of her baby were found in the wreckage.
Cecilie was buried with her husband, two sons and the stillborn child in Darmstadt at the Rosenhöhe, the traditional burial place of the Hesse family. Cecilie's daughter Johanna was adopted by Prince Ludwig and Princess Margaret. However, Johanna died two years later from meningitis and is buried with her parents and siblings. Cecilie was the first of Prince Andrew and Princess Alice's children to die.
In popular culture
The crash figures in the plot of A Matter of Honour by Jeffrey Archer, where Grand Duke Georg has in his possession the jewels of his aunt, the last Tsaritsa of Russia, which the KGB are looking for. There is no evidence in reality that this was the case.
Titles, styles, honours, and arms
Titles and styles
- 22 June 1911 – 2 February 1931: Her Royal Highness Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark
- 2 February 1931 – 9 October 1937: Her Royal Highness The Hereditary Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine
- 9 October 1937 – 16 November 1937: Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine
- Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Saints Olga and Sophia.
|Ancestors of Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark|