Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein

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Princess Helena Victoria
Pss Helena Victoria.png
Princess Helena Victoria, in 1920
Born(1870-05-03)3 May 1870
Frogmore House, Windsor, England
Died13 March 1948(1948-03-13) (aged 77)
Berkeley Square, London
Burial17 March 1948
Full name
Victoria Louise Sophia Augusta Amelia Helena
House Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg
Father Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein
Mother Princess Helena of the United Kingdom

Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein VA , CI , GBE , RRC (Victoria Louise Sophia Augusta Amelia Helena; 3 May 1870 – 13 March 1948) was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.

Royal Red Cross order

The Royal Red Cross is a military decoration awarded in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth for exceptional services in military nursing.

Contents

Early life

Princess Helena Victoria (always known to her family as Thora) was born at Frogmore House, near Windsor Castle. Her father was Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, the third son of Christian, Duke of Augustenburg and Countess Louise af Danneskjold-Samsøe. Her mother was Princess Helena, the fifth child and third daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Her parents resided in Britain from marriage.

Frogmore House Grade I listed historic house museum in Windsor, United Kingdom

Frogmore House is a 17th-century English country house owned by the Crown Estate. The house is situated within the Frogmore Estate, which is itself located within the grounds of the Home Park, Windsor, Berkshire. Half a mile south of Windsor Castle, Frogmore was let to a number of tenants until the late 18th century, when it was used intermittently as a residence for several members of the British Royal Family.

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 Christian of Schleswig-Holstein German prince

Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein was a minor Danish-born German prince who became a member of the British Royal Family through his marriage to Princess Helena of the United Kingdom, the fifth child and third daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

She was baptised in the private chapel at Windsor Castle on 20 June 1870. Her godparents were Queen Victoria, the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Louise, Prince Arthur, Prince Leopold, Prince Valdemar of Denmark, Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar, Princess Louise Auguste of Schleswig-Holstein and Princess Caroline Amelie of Schleswig-Holstein (the latter two represented by the Duchess of Roxburghe). [1]

Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel German princess

Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel was the wife of Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, the tenth-born child, and seventh son, of George III of the United Kingdom and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The longest-lived daughter-in-law of George III, she was the maternal grandmother of Mary of Teck, wife of George V.

Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll English princess, sixth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, was the sixth child and fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. In her public life, she was a strong proponent of the arts and higher education and of the feminist cause. Her early life was spent moving among the various royal residences in the company of her family. When her father, the prince consort, died on 14 December 1861, the court went into a long period of mourning, to which with time Louise became unsympathetic. Louise was an able sculptor and artist, and several of her sculptures remain today. She was also a supporter of the feminist movement, corresponding with Josephine Butler, and visiting Elizabeth Garrett.

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.

She was a bridesmaid at the 1885 wedding of her maternal aunt Princess Beatrice to Prince Henry of Battenberg and also at the wedding of her cousins the Duke and Duchess of York (future George V and Queen Mary) in 1893. [2] [3]

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 Henry of Battenberg Member of the British royal family

Prince Henry of Battenberg was a morganatic descendant of the Grand Ducal House of Hesse, later becoming a member of the British Royal Family, through his marriage to Princess Beatrice.

George V King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India

George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936.

She spent most of her childhood at Cumberland Lodge, her father's residence as Ranger of Windsor Great Park. Known to her family as "Thora", or sometimes "Snipe", in reference to her sharp facial features, formally she used the names "Helena Victoria" from among her string of six given names.

The office of Ranger of Windsor Great Park was established to oversee the protection and maintenance of the Great Park at Windsor in the English county of Berkshire. The ranger has always been somebody close to the monarch.

Given name name typically used to differentiate people from the same family, clan, or other social group who have a common last name

A given name is a part of a person's personal name. It identifies a person, and differentiates that person from the other members of a group who have a common surname. The term given name refers to the fact that the name usually is bestowed upon a person, normally to a child by their parents at or close to the time of birth. A Christian name, a first name which historically was given at baptism, is now also typically given by the parents at birth.

World War I

In July 1917, King George V changed the name of the British royal family to the House of Windsor. He also relinquished, on behalf of himself and his numerous cousins who were British subjects, the use of their German titles, styles, and surnames. Princess Helena Victoria and her younger sister, Princess Marie Louise, thereupon ceased to use the territorial designation "of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg". Instead, they became known simply as "Her Highness Princess Helena Victoria" and "Her Highness Princess Marie Louise". Although the two had borne German titles, their upbringing and domicile were entirely English.

House of Windsor royal house of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms

The House of Windsor is the reigning royal house of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. The dynasty is originally of German paternal descent and was a branch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, itself derived from the House of Wettin, which succeeded the House of Hanover to the British monarchy following the death of Queen Victoria, wife of Albert, Prince Consort.

Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein British princess

Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Later life

Princess Helena Victoria never married. She followed her mother's example in working for various charitable organizations, most notably the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) and Princess Christian's Nursing Home at Windsor. During World War I, she founded the YWCA Women's Auxiliary Force. As its president, she visited British troops in France and obtained the permission of the Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener, to arrange entertainments for them. Between the world wars, she and her sister, Princess Marie Louise, were enthusiastic patrons of music at Schomberg House, their London residence. After a German air raid damaged the house in 1940, the two princesses moved to Fitzmaurice Place, Berkeley Square.

In ill health and using a wheelchair after World War II, one of Princess Helena Victoria's last major appearance was at the 20 November 1947 wedding of her first cousin twice removed Princess Elizabeth, to Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark. [4]

Princess Helena Victoria died at Fitzmaurice Place, Berkeley Square. Her funeral took place at St. George's Chapel, Windsor and she was buried at the Royal Burial Ground, Frogmore, Windsor Great Park. She died at the age of 77, the same age at which her mother, Princess Helena, had also died.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

As a male-line granddaughter of the Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, Princess Helena Victoria would have been styled Serene Highness (Durchlaucht). In May 1866, Queen Victoria had conferred the higher style of Highness upon any children to be born of the marriage of Princess Helena and Prince Christian, although the children were to remain Prince or Princess of Schleswig-Holstein. In June 1917, a notice appeared in the Court Circular that a Royal Warrant was to be prepared by George V dispensing with his cousins' use of the "Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg" part of their titles. However no warrant was issued, nor were they formally granted the titles of Princesses of Great Britain and Ireland nor of the United Kingdom. [5]

Honours

British honours

Foreign honours

Ancestry

Notes

  1. Queen Victoria's Journals - Monday 20th June 1870
  2. NPG: Prince and Princess Henry of Battenberg with their bridesmaids and others on their wedding day http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw145863/Prince-and-Princess-Henry-of-Battenberg-with-their-bridesmaids-and-others-on-their-wedding-day?LinkID=mp89748&role=art&rNo=2
  3. "'The Duke and Duchess of York and Bridesmaids'". National Portrait Gallery, London.
  4. Royal Collection: Seating plan for the Ball Supper Room http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/microsites/royalwedding1947/object.asp?grouping=&exhibs=NONE&object=9000366&row=82&detail=magnify
  5. This led to their being mockingly referred to as 'The Princesses of Nothing' by their cousin Victoria Mountbatten, Marchioness of Milford Haven, néePrincess of Hesse and by Rhine, as her granddaughter Pamela Hicks records in her memoir "Daughter of Empire" (London 2012), p. 161.
  6. "No. 27174". The London Gazette . 16 March 1900. p. 1790.

Sources

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