Prince Arthur of Connaught

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Prince Arthur
Prince Arthur of Connaught colour.jpg
Prince Arthur in the robes of the Order of the Garter
3rd Governor-General of South Africa
In office20 November 1920 – 21 January 1924
Predecessor The Viscount Buxton
Successor The Earl of Athlone
Prime Minister Jan Christiaan Smuts
Born(1883-01-13)13 January 1883
Windsor Castle, Berkshire
Died12 September 1938(1938-09-12) (aged 55)
London
Burial22 September 1938
Spouse
Issue Alastair, 2nd Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
House Windsor (from 1917)
Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
(until 1917)
Father Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
Mother Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia
Military career
AllegianceFlag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
Service/branchFlag of the British Army.svg  British Army
Years of service1901–1922
Rank Colonel
Unit Royal Scots Greys

Prince Arthur of Connaught KG KT GCMG GCVO GCStJ CB PC (Arthur Frederick Patrick Albert; 13 January 1883 – 12 September 1938) was a British military officer and a grandson of Queen Victoria. He served as Governor-General of the Union of South Africa from 20 November 1920 to 21 January 1924.

Privy Council of the United Kingdom Formal body of advisers to the sovereign in the United Kingdom

Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council of the United Kingdom or just the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its membership mainly comprises senior politicians who are current or former members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.

Queen Victoria British monarch who reigned 1837–1901

Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. On 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India.

Contents

Early life

The Duke and Duchess of Connaught with their children in 1893. ArthurConnaughtfamille.jpg
The Duke and Duchess of Connaught with their children in 1893.

Prince Arthur was born on 13 January 1883 at Windsor Castle. His father was Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. His mother was the former Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia.

Windsor Castle Royal residence at Windsor in the English county of Berkshire

Windsor Castle is a royal residence at Windsor in the English county of Berkshire. It is notable for its long association with the English and later British royal family and for its architecture.

Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn British prince and Governor General of Canada

Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn was the seventh child and third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. He served as the Governor General of Canada, the tenth since Canadian Confederation and the only British prince to do so. In 1910 he was appointed Grand Prior of the Order of St John and held this position until 1939.

Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia British princess

Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia was a German princess, and later a member of the British Royal Family, the wife of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn. She also served as the Viceregal Consort of Canada, when her husband served as the Governor General of Canada from 1911 to 1916. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Queens Margrethe II of Denmark and Anne-Marie of Greece are among her great-grandchildren.

Arthur was baptised in the Private Chapel of Windsor Castle on 16 February 1883, and his godparents were Queen Victoria (his paternal grandmother), Princess Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (his great-great aunt, for whom his paternal aunt Princess Beatrice stood proxy), Prince Friedrich Leopold of Prussia (his maternal uncle, who was represented by the German Ambassador Count Münster), Princess Henry of the Netherlands (his maternal aunt, who was represented by Countess Münster), Prince George, Duke of Cambridge (the Queen's cousin), and the Duke of Edinburgh (his paternal uncle, whose brother the Prince of Wales represented him). [1]

Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach German empress

Princess Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach was the Queen of Prussia and the first German Empress as the consort of William I, German Emperor.

Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom Member of the British Royal Family and daughter of Queen Victoria

Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom, was the fifth daughter and youngest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Beatrice was the last of Queen Victoria's children to die, 66 years after the first, her elder sister Alice.

Prince Friedrich Leopold of Prussia German general

Joachim Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Leopold Prinz von Preußen was a son of Prince Frederick Charles of Prussia and Princess Maria Anna of Anhalt-Dessau, married in 1854.

Arthur was the first British royal prince to be educated at Eton College.[ citation needed ] He was known to his family as "young Arthur" to distinguish him from his father.

Eton College British independent boarding school located in Eton

Eton College is an English 13–18 independent boarding school and sixth form for boys in the parish of Eton, near Windsor in Berkshire. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as Kynge's College of Our Ladye of Eton besyde Windesore , as a sister institution to King's College, Cambridge, making it the 18th-oldest Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference school.

Military career

After attending finishing school, Prince Arthur was educated at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst,[ citation needed ] from where he was commissioned into the 7th (Queen's Own) Hussars as a second lieutenant in May 1901. He saw his first active posting the following year. After the end of the Second Boer War in June 1902, most of the British troops left South Africa, but the 7th Hussars were posted there to keep the peace. Prince Arthur and 230 men of his regiment left Southampton in the SS Ortona in October 1902, [2] and arrived at Cape Town later the same month. He spent several months stationed at Krugersdorp. In 1907, he was promoted to the rank of captain in the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys). He became the honorary Colonel-in-Chief of this regiment in 1920.

Royal Military College, Sandhurst British Army military academy

The Royal Military College (RMC), founded in 1801 and established in 1802 at Great Marlow and High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, England, but moved in October 1812 to Sandhurst, Berkshire, was a British Army military academy for training infantry and cavalry officers of the British and Indian Armies.

Second lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces, comparable to NATO OF-1a rank.

Second Boer War war between two Boer Republics (South African Republic and Orange Free State) and the United Kingdom

The Second Boer War was fought between the British Empire and two Boer states, the South African Republic and the Orange Free State, over the Empire's influence in South Africa. It is also known variously as the Boer War, Anglo-Boer War, or South African War. Initial Boer attacks were successful, and although British reinforcements later reversed these, the war continued for years with Boer guerrilla warfare, until harsh British counter-measures brought them to terms.

During the First World War, Prince Arthur served as aide-de-camp to Generals Sir John French and Sir Douglas Haig, the successive commanders of the British Expeditionary Force in France and Belgium. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1919 and became a colonel in the reserves in 1922. In October 1922, Prince Arthur was promoted to the honorary rank of major general and became an aide-de-camp to his first cousin, King George V.

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

<i>Aide-de-camp</i> personal assistant or secretary to a person of high rank

An aide-de-camp is a personal assistant or secretary to a person of high rank, usually a senior military, police or government officer, or to a member of a royal family or a head of state.

John French, 1st Earl of Ypres Anglo-Irish officer in the British Army

Field Marshal John Denton Pinkstone French, 1st Earl of Ypres,, known as Sir John French from 1901 to 1916, and as The Viscount French between 1916 and 1922, was a senior British Army officer. Born in Kent to an Anglo-Irish family, he saw brief service as a midshipman in the Royal Navy, before becoming a cavalry officer. He achieved rapid promotion and distinguished himself on the Gordon Relief Expedition. French had a considerable reputation as a womaniser throughout his life and his career nearly ended when he was cited in the divorce of a brother officer whilst in India in the early 1890s.

Since the king's children were too young to undertake public duties until after the First World War, Prince Arthur carried out a variety of ceremonial duties at home and overseas.

Marriage

The wedding day of Prince Arthur of Connaught and the Duchess of Fife. Arthur Connaught Alexandra Fife.jpg
The wedding day of Prince Arthur of Connaught and the Duchess of Fife.

On 15 October 1913, Prince Arthur married his cousin Princess Alexandra, 2nd Duchess of Fife (17 May 1891 – 26 February 1959) at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace, London. [3]

The couple were attended by five bridesmaids: The Princess Mary, Princess Maud of Fife, Princesses Mary, Helena, and May of Teck. [4]

Princess Alexandra was the eldest daughter and heir of the 1st Duke of Fife and the Princess Royal, the eldest daughter of King Edward VII. As such, the couple were first cousins once removed. They had a son, Alastair.

Later life

St Ninian's Chapel, Braemar - wall plaque commemorating Prince Arthur of Connaught (1883-1938) Braemar, Mar Lodge Estate, St Ninian's Chapel - wall plaque 04.JPG
St Ninian's Chapel, Braemar - wall plaque commemorating Prince Arthur of Connaught (1883–1938)

After the accession of his cousin, King George V, Prince Arthur and his aging father were the most senior male members of the Royal Family over the age of 18 to reside in the United Kingdom. As such, he undertook a wide variety of royal duties on behalf of the King, and acted as a Counsellor of State during periods of the King's absence abroad.

In 1906, by order of the King, he vested the Meiji Emperor of Japan with the Order of the Garter, as a consequence of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. In 1918, he was a guest aboard the Japanese battlecruiser Kirishima when she voyaged from Japan to Canada. [5] In 1920, Prince Arthur succeeded Viscount Buxton as governor-general and commander-in-chief in South Africa. The Earl of Athlone succeeded him in these posts in 1924. Upon returning to Britain, Prince Arthur became involved in a number of charitable organizations, including serving as chairman of the board of directors of Middlesex Hospital. Like his father, the Duke of Connaught, he was active in the Freemasons, becoming Provincial Grand Master for Berkshire in 1924.

Prince Arthur of Connaught died of stomach cancer at age 55 on 12 September 1938. He is buried in the Royal Burial Ground, Frogmore. One of his last public appearances was at the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in May 1937. His father, the Duke of Connaught, survived him by four years. Prince Arthur's only son, who used the courtesy title Earl of MacDuff after 1917, succeeded his paternal grandfather as 2nd Duke of Connaught and Strathearn and Earl of Sussex in 1942.

Honours and arms

Military ranks

Honours

Orders and appointments
Medals

Honorary military appointments

Arms

As a male-line grandchild of a British sovereign, Prince Arthur was awarded, on his twenty-first birthday, the use of the royal arms, with an inescutcheon of the shield of Saxony, and differenced by a label argent, of five points, the outer pair and central point bearing crosses gules, and the inner pair fleur-de-lys azure. In 1917, the inescutcheon was dropped by royal warrant from George V. [22]

Coat of Arms of Arthur of Connaught.svg
Royal Standard of Prince Arthur of Connaught (1917-1938).svg
Royal Standard of Prince Arthur of Connaught (1901-1917).svg
Prince Arthur's coat of arms
Arthur's banner of arms after 1917, a five-point label, the first, third and fifth points charged with the Cross of St. George, the second and fourth points charged with fleurs-de-lis
Arthur's banner of arms prior to 1917 with the coat of arms of the Royal House of Saxony superimposed on it

Ancestry

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References

  1. Yvonne's Royalty Home Page — Royal Christenings
  2. "Departure of Prince Arthur of Connaught for South Africa". The Times (36893). London. 8 October 1902. p. 8.
  3. "Royal Wedding Group". National Portrait Gallery, London.
  4. "Royal Wedding Group". National Portrait Gallery.
  5. Hackett, Robert; Kingsepp, Sander (2001–2009). "IJN KIRISHIMA: Tabular Record of Movement". Combined Fleet. CombinedFleet.com. Retrieved 14 October 2009.
  6. "No. 31377". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 June 1919. p. 7006.
  7. Quarterly Army List for quarter ending 31st December 1919 (London, 1920) Part I, p. 2002.
  8. "No. 32099". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 October 1920. p. 10366.
  9. "No. 32626". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 March 1922. p. 1797.
  10. 1 2 3 4 "No. 34473". The London Gazette . 14 January 1938. p. 291. (Last reference to Prince Arthur's full titles)
  11. "No. 27454". The London Gazette . 15 July 1902. p. 4509.
  12. "No. 28384". The London Gazette . 14 June 1910. p. 4164.
  13. "No. 27916". The London Gazette . 25 May 1906. p. 3655.
  14. "No. 30953". The London Gazette . 15 October 1918. p. 12120.
  15. "No. 27083". The London Gazette . 26 May 1899. p. 3335.
  16. "No. 33284". The London Gazette. 14 June 1927. p. 3836.
  17. "No. 27822". The London Gazette . 28 July 1905. p. 5219.
  18. Editors. "Duke of Connaught." Burke's Peerage. London: Burke's Peerage Ltd, 1914, p. 19.
  19. Redesdale, Lord, The Garter Mission to Japan. London: Macmillan, 1906.P. 26.
  20. "No. 23523". The London Gazette (Supplement). 18 November 1921. p. 9220.
  21. "No. 34396". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 May 1937. p. 3073.
  22. Heraldica – British Royalty Cadency
Prince Arthur of Connaught
Cadet branch of the House of Wettin
Born: 13 January 1883 Died: 12 September 1938
Government offices
Preceded by
The Viscount Buxton
Governor-General of South Africa
1920–1924
Succeeded by
The Earl of Athlone