A male-line grandson of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, he was also until 1919 a Prince of the United Kingdom and held the British title of Duke of Albany. The Duke was a figure in the United Kingdom due to his status as the Sovereign Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. He was deprived of his British peerages, his title of Prince and Royal Highness, in 1918, he was forced to abdicate his ducal throne. He later joined the Nazi Party, and served in a number of positions in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s and he was the maternal grandfather of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and the younger brother of Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone. Prince Charles Edward was born at Claremont House near Esher, Surrey and his father was Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, the fourth son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. His mother was Princess Helena, Duchess of Albany, the daughter of George Victor of Waldeck and Pyrmont. As his father died before his birth, Prince Charles Edward succeeded to his titles at birth and was styled His Royal Highness The Duke of Albany. After falling ill, the young Duke was baptised privately at Claremont on 4 August 1884, Charles Edward was educated as a Prince of the United Kingdom for his first 15 years. Such was the interest Wilhelm showed in his young cousins upbringing that Charles Edward was dubbed the Emperors seventh son and his mother drummed into him endlessly the importance of becoming a good man, so you bring no shame on Papas name. In 1899 the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, urged by Kaiser Wilhelm II, decided on how to deal with the succession of Duke Alfred and his only son, Prince Alfred, had died in February 1899. The Duke of Connaught, the Queens third son, served in the British military and his son, Prince Arthur of Connaught attended Eton with Charles Edward. Wilhelm II demanded a German education for the boy, but this was unacceptable to the Duke of Connaught, thus young Arthur also renounced his claims to the Duchy. Next in line was sixteen-year-old Charles Edward, who now inherited the throne of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. With his mother and sister Charles Edward moved to Germany, following an education plan by Wilhelm II, he attended the Preußische Hauptkadettenanstalt at Lichterfelde, studied in Bonn and became a member of Corps Borussia Bonn. He also joined the 1st Garderegiment zu Fuß at Potsdam and spent some time at the German court in Berlin and his uncle, Edward VII, made him a Knight of the Garter on 15 July 1902, just prior to his 18th birthday. From 1900 to 1905 Charles Edward reigned through the regency of Ernst, Hereditary Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, the regent acted under the strict guidance of Emperor Wilhelm II. Upon coming of age on 19 July 1905, he assumed full constitutional powers and he proved loyal to the Emperor and was deemed a constitutionally-minded prince. He liberally supported the court theatres in both towns, taking an interest in Zeppelin and airplane technology, Charles Edward supported the newly created aircraft industry at Gotha
Image: Carl Eduard Sachsen Coburg und Gotha
Charles Edward on a 5 Mark coin from 1907
The Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, 11 October 1905.