Prince Francis of Teck

Last updated

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.

Distinguished Service Order UK military decoration

The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the Commonwealth, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat. Since 1993 all ranks have been eligible.

Mary of Teck 20th-century queen consort of the United Kingdom and Empress of India

Mary of Teck was Queen of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Empress of India as the wife of King George V.



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.

Kensington Palace royal residence set in Kensington Gardens, London, England

Kensington Palace is a royal residence set in Kensington Gardens, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London, England. It has been a residence of the British Royal Family since the 17th century, and is currently the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

Cheltenham College independent school in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

Cheltenham College is a co-educational independent school, located in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. One of the public schools of the Victorian period, it was opened in July 1841. A Church of England foundation, it is well known for its classical, military and sporting traditions, and currently has approximately 640 pupils.

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.

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 styled His Serene Highness Prince Francis of Teck at birth.

Duke Alexander of Württemberg (1804–1885) Great-great-grandfather of Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom

Duke Alexander Paul Ludwig Konstantin of Württemberg was the father of Francis, Duke of Teck and the grandfather of Mary of Teck, wife of George V of the United Kingdom.

Countess Claudine Rhédey von Kis-Rhéde Austrian countess

Countess Claudine Rhédey von Kis-Rhéde was the Hungarian wife of Duke Alexander of Württemberg. Her son, Francis, Duke of Teck, was the father of Mary of Teck, queen consort to George V of the United Kingdom.

Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge mother of Queen Mary, the consort of George V

Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge was a member of the British royal family, a granddaughter of George III, grandmother of Edward VIII and George VI and great-grandmother of Elizabeth II. She held the title of Duchess of Teck through marriage.


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]

Wellington College, Berkshire school in the village of Crowthorne in Berkshire, England

Wellington College is a British co-educational day and boarding public school near the village of Crowthorne, Berkshire, England. Wellington is a registered charity and currently educates roughly 1,100 pupils, between the ages of 13 and 18, per annum. It was built as a national monument to the first Duke of Wellington (1769–1852), in honour of whom the College is named. Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone in 1856 and inaugurated the School's public opening on 29 January 1859.

In British education, a housemaster is a member of [male] staff in charge of a boarding house, normally at a boarding school. The housemaster is responsible for the supervision and care of boarders in the house and typically lives on the premises. The term houseparent is also sometimes used, most commonly when a married couple share the role. In addition, there is often an assistant housemaster acting as a deputy.

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.

Julia P. Gelardi is an author of European royal history. She is an independent historian.

Maud of Wales Queen consort of Norway and British princess

Maud of Wales, was Queen of Norway as spouse of King Haakon VII. She was the youngest daughter of the British king Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark. Maud of Wales was the first queen of Norway in over five centuries who was not also queen of Denmark or Sweden.

Haakon VII of Norway King of Norway

Haakon VII, known as Prince Carl of Denmark until 1905, was a Danish prince who became the first king of Norway after the 1905 dissolution of the union with Sweden. He reigned from November 1905 until his death in September 1957.

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, his sister May, by this time Queen Mary, had Francis's will sealed by a court, and subsequently negotiated with Lady Kilmorey to buy back the emeralds, reportedly paying her £10,000 for them. [4]

Francis Needham, 3rd Earl of Kilmorey British politician

Francis Charles Needham, 3rd Earl of Kilmorey, styled Viscount Newry from 1851 to 1880, was an Anglo-Irish peer and Conservative Member of Parliament.

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.


Related Research Articles

Francis, Duke of Teck British Army general

Francis, Duke of Teck GCB GCVO, known as Count Francis von Hohenstein until 1863, was an Austrian-born nobleman who married into the British royal family. He was the father of Queen Mary, and thus a great-grandfather of the current British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Francis held the Austrian title of Count of Hohenstein, and the German titles of Prince (Fürst) and later Duke of Teck, and was given the style of Serene Highness in 1863. He was granted the British style of Highness in 1887.

Prince Arthur of Connaught British prince

Prince Arthur of Connaught 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.

Adolphus Cambridge, 1st Marquess of Cambridge British Army general

Adolphus Cambridge, 1st Marquess of Cambridge,, born Prince Adolphus of Teck and later The Duke of Teck, was a relative of the British Royal Family, a great-grandson of King George III and younger brother of Queen Mary, the wife of King George V. In 1900, he succeeded his father as Duke of Teck in the Kingdom of Württemberg. He relinquished his German titles in 1917 to become Marquess of Cambridge.

George Cambridge, 2nd Marquess of Cambridge Minor British royal

George Francis Hugh Cambridge, 2nd Marquess of Cambridge,, known as Prince George of Teck until 1917 and as Earl of Eltham from 1917 to 1927, was a minor member of the British Royal Family, a great-great-grandson of King George III and nephew of Queen Mary, the consort of King George V. He was also nephew to the 1st Earl of Athlone. He was the elder son of the 1st Marquess of Cambridge, formerly the Duke of Teck, and his wife, the former Lady Margaret Grosvenor.

Prince George, Duke of Cambridge British prince and military commander (1819-1904)

Prince George, Duke of Cambridge, was a member of the British Royal Family, a male-line grandson of King George III, cousin of Queen Victoria, and maternal uncle of Queen Mary, consort of King George V. The Duke was an army officer by profession and served as Commander-in-Chief of the Forces from 1856 to 1895. He became Duke of Cambridge in 1850 and field marshal in 1862. Deeply devoted to the old Army, he worked with the Queen to defeat or minimize every reform proposal, such as setting up a general staff. His Army became a moribund and stagnant institution, lagging far behind France and Germany. Its weaknesses were dramatically revealed by the poor organization at the start of the Second Boer War.

Duke of Teck noble family

The Duke of Teck was, in medieval times, a title borne by the head of a branch line of the German ducal House of Zähringen from 1187 to 1439, known historically as the first House of Teck. His territory was centered on Teck Castle in Swabia.

5th Royal Irish Lancers

The 5th Royal Irish Lancers was a cavalry regiment of the British Army. It saw service for three centuries, including the First World War and the Second World War. It amalgamated with the 16th The Queen's Lancers to become the 16th/5th Lancers in 1922.

Rupert Cambridge, Viscount Trematon British viscount

Prince Rupert of Teck was a member of the British Royal Family, a great grandson of Queen Victoria. During World War I, the British Royal Family relinquished their Germanic titles, and in 1917 Prince Rupert assumed the title Viscount Trematon, a subsidiary title to his father, who was created Earl of Athlone.

Lady Helena Gibbs British noble

Lady Helena Gibbs, born Princess Helena of Teck, was a descendant of the British Royal Family, great-great-granddaughter of King George III, and a niece of Queen Mary, the consort of King George V.

Francis Needham, 4th Earl of Kilmorey Irish peer

Captain Francis Charles Adelbert Henry Needham, 4th Earl of Kilmorey, styled Viscount Newry until 1915, was a Royal Navy officer and Anglo-Irish peer.

12th Royal Lancers

The 12th Royal Lancers was a cavalry regiment of the British Army first formed in 1715. It saw service for three centuries, including the First World War and the Second World War. The regiment survived the immediate post-war reduction in forces, but was slated for reduction in the 1957 Defence White Paper, and was amalgamated with the 9th Queen's Royal Lancers to form the 9th/12th Royal Lancers in 1960.

Victor Duleep Singh Prince of Lahore

Prince Victor Albert Jay Duleep Singh was the eldest son of Maharani Bamba Müller and Maharaja Sir Duleep Singh, the last Maharaja of Lahore, and of the Sikh Empire, and the grandson of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Wedding of Prince George, Duke of York, and Princess Mary of Teck

The wedding of Prince George, Duke of York, and Princess Mary of Teck took place on 6 July 1893 at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace in London.

Major-General John Vaughan, (1871–1956) was a cavalry officer in the 7th Hussars and the 10th Royal Hussars of the British Army.


  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
  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.