Prince Francis of Teck

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Prince Francis
Prince Francis of Teck, Vanity Fair, 1902-07-17.jpg
Born(1870-01-09)9 January 1870
Kensington Palace, London, England
Died22 October 1910(1910-10-22) (aged 40)
15 Welbeck Street, London, England
Burial26 October 1910
Full name
Francis Joseph Leopold Frederick
House Teck
Father Francis, Duke of Teck
Mother Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge

Prince Francis of Teck, GCVO , DSO (Francis Joseph Leopold Frederick; 9 January 1870 – 22 October 1910) was the brother of the British queen Mary of Teck, wife of King George V.

Contents

Family

The Duchess of Teck with her children, about 1884. Queen Mary with her mother and brothers by Alexander Bassano.jpg
The Duchess of Teck with her children, about 1884.

Francis Joseph Leopold Frederick, known as "Frank", was born at Kensington Palace and educated at Wellington College, Cheltenham College (Stone, 1912, p. xviii) [1] and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst.

His father was Prince Francis, Duke of Teck, the son of Duke Alexander of Württemberg and Countess Claudine Rhédey von Kis-Rhéde (created the Countess von Hohenstein). His mother was the Duchess of Teck (née Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge), the youngest daughter of Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge and a granddaughter of King George III. Frank was thus styled "His Serene Highness Prince Francis of Teck".

Education

He was expelled from Wellington College, Berkshire "for throwing his housemaster over a hedge to win a bet. All through his life he was an incorrigible gambler. He then went to Cheltenham where he got into more trouble." [2]

Personal life

Prince Francis was a gambler, whose debts led to him being sent to pursue his military career in India.

Prince Francis never married. According to Julia P. Gelardi's Born to Rule, Prince Francis was vigorously pursued by Maud of Wales, his sister's sister-in-law. The two exchanged letters, but it soon became clear that Francis was not interested in Maud. She went on to marry her first cousin Prince Carl of Denmark, becoming Queen of Norway in 1905.

Francis had an affair with society beauty Ellen Constance, wife of Francis Needham, 3rd Earl of Kilmorey, [3] to whom he allegedly bequeathed the Cambridge emeralds, part of the Teck family jewels. To recover these family heirlooms, Francis's sister Queen Mary had his will sealed by a court, and subsequently negotiated with Lady Kilmorey to buy back the emeralds, reportedly paying her £10,000 for them. [4]

The English actress Sarah Miles has claimed to be the great-granddaughter of Prince Francis, through her grandfather, allegedly an illegitimate son of the prince called Francis Remnant, born at Richmond, Surrey, in 1894. [5]

Military career

He attended the Royal Military College, Sandhurst and served in the Lancers and the Royal Rifle Corps before joining the Royal Dragoons in 1890. He rose to the rank of Major, before retiring in 1902.

In 1902 he again visited South Africa, and following the end of hostilities returned to England in June that year on board the SS Kinfauns Castle. [8]

Death and legacy

He died suddenly in 1910 at the age of forty, having caught pneumonia at Balmoral. [9]

On his early death, shortly before his sister's coronation as queen of the United Kingdom, Francis of Teck's will set a legal precedent when it was sealed, to avoid potential scandal. [10] The document remains unpublished, and subsequent royal wills have followed this tradition.

He is buried in the Royal Burial Ground, Frogmore.

Ancestry

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References

  1. Stone, E.D. (1912), Herbert Kynaston: a short memoir with selections from his occasional writings. London, Macmillan and Co., Ltd. Retrieved 6 September 2011 from https://archive.org/stream/herbertkynastons00kynauoft/herbertkynastons00kynauoft_djvu.txt
  2. Countess of Athlone, Princess Alice (1966). For My Grandchildren (First ed.). London: Evans Brothers. p. 128. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  3. "Ellen Constance (née Baldock), Countess of Kilmorey". National Portrait Gallery, London.
  4. "The Cambridge Emeralds and the Delhi Durbar Parure". From Her Majesty's Jewel Vault.
  5. Sarah Miles, A right royal bastard (1993), p. 20: "Clarice... the eldest child of Francis (Frank) Remnant, bastard son of Prince Francis of Teck".
  6. "No. 27377". The London Gazette . 15 November 1901. p. 7395.
  7. "No. 27470". The London Gazette . 2 September 1902. p. 5681.
  8. "The Army in South Africa – Troops returning home". The Times (36790). London. 10 June 1902. p. 14.
  9. "Secret wills of the royals – a tale of mistresses, jewels and cover-ups". The Guardian. 27 March 2007.
  10. "Philandering Prince Frank set seal on wills". The Daily Telegraph. 28 March 2007.