Kingdom of Hanover
The Kingdom of Hanover was established in October 1814 by the Congress of Vienna, with the restoration of George III to his Hanoverian territories after the Napoleonic era. It succeeded the former Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, joined 38 other sovereign states in the German Confederation in June 1815; the kingdom was ruled by the House of Hanover, a cadet branch of the House of Welf, in personal union with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until 1837. Since its monarch resided in London, a viceroy handled the administration of the Kingdom of Hanover; the personal union with the United Kingdom ended in 1837 upon the accession of Queen Victoria because females could not inherit the Hanoverian throne, so her uncle became the ruler of Hanover. Hanover backed the losing side in the Austro-Prussian War and was conquered by Prussia in 1866, subsequently becoming a Prussian province. Along with the rest of Prussia, Hanover became part of the German Empire upon unification in January 1871.
Revived as the State of Hanover in 1946, the state was subsequently merged with some smaller states to form the current state of Lower Saxony in West Germany Germany. The territory of Hanover had earlier been a principality within the Holy Roman Empire before being elevated into an electorate in 1708, when Hanover was formed by union of the dynastic divisions of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg, excepting the Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. After his accession in 1714, George Louis of the House of Hanover ascended the throne of Great Britain as George I, Hanover was joined in a personal union with Great Britain. Descendants of Hanoverians who fought alongside the British in the War of 1812 remain in Canada. In 1803, Hanover was conquered by the Prussian armies in the Napoleonic Wars; the Treaties of Tilsit in 1807 joined it to territories from Prussia and created the Kingdom of Westphalia, ruled by Napoleon's youngest brother Jérôme Bonaparte. French control lasted until October 1813.
The Battle of Leipzig shortly thereafter spelled the definitive end of the Napoleonic client states, the electorate was restored to the House of Hanover. The terms of the Congress of Vienna in 1814 not only restored Hanover, but elevated it to an independent kingdom with its Prince-Elector, George III of Great Britain, as King of Hanover; the new kingdom was greatly expanded, becoming the fourth-largest state in the German Confederation and the second-largest in north Germany. Under George III's six-year reign, he never visited the Kingdom. Having succumbed to dementia prior to the elevation of Hanover, it is unlikely he understood that he had gained an additional kingship nor did he take any role in its governance. Functional administration of Hanover was handled by a viceroy, which during the years of George III's reign and the reigns of kings George IV and William IV from 1816 to 1837, was Adolph Frederick, George III's youngest surviving son; when Queen Victoria succeeded to the British throne in 1837, the 123-year personal union of Great Britain and Hanover ended.
Salic law operated in Hanover, excluding accession to the throne by a female while any male of the dynasty survived. During the Austro-Prussian War, Hanover attempted to maintain a neutral position, along with some other member states of the German Confederation. Hanover's vote in favor of the mobilisation of Confederation troops against Prussia on 14 June 1866 prompted Prussia to declare war; the outcome of the war led to the dissolution of Hanover as an independent kingdom and it was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia, becoming the Prussian Province of Hanover. Along with the rest of Prussia, it became part of the German Empire in 1871. After George V fled Hanover in 1866, he raised forces loyal to him in the Netherlands, called the Guelphic Legion, they were disbanded in 1870. George refused to accept the Prussian takeover of his realm and claimed he was still the legitimate king of Hanover, his only son, Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover, inherited this claim upon George's death in 1878.
Ernest Augustus was first in line to the throne of the Duchy of Brunswick, whose rulers had been a junior branch of the House of Hanover. In 1884, that branch became extinct with the death of a distant cousin of Ernest Augustus. However, since Ernest Augustus refused to renounce his claim to annexed Hanover, the Bundesrat of the German Empire ruled that he would disturb the peace of the empire if he ascended the throne of Brunswick; as a result, Brunswick was ruled by a regency until 1913, when his son named Ernest Augustus, married the German Emperor's daughter, Princess Viktoria Luise and swore allegiance to the German Empire. The Duke renounced his claim to Brunswick in favor of his son, the Bundesrat allowed the younger Ernest Augustus to take possession of Brunswick as a kind of dowry compensation for Hanover; the German-Hanoverian Party, which at times supported secession from the Reich, demanded a separate status for the province in the Reichstag. The party existed. With Prussia in agony and on the verge of official dissolution, in 1946 Hanoverian politicians took advantage of the opportunity and advocated that the Control Commission for Germany - British Element revi
Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse
Ernest Louis Charles Albert William was the last Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine, reigning from 1892 until 1918. Ernest Louis was the elder son of Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine and his wife Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, he was named Louis after his father. His nickname was "Ernie". One of seven siblings, two of whom died in childhood, Ernest grew up with his four surviving sisters in Darmstadt. One of his younger sisters, would marry Tsar Nicholas II, the last Emperor of Russia, while another sister, Victoria Mountbatten, would be the mother of Queen Louise of Sweden and of Princess Alice of Battenberg, the mother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Ernest Louis grew up in a loving household, with parents who demonstrated their affection for their children, something not typical for that social stratum in those days, he grew much attached to his parents and siblings, it was his misfortune that he was fated to witness several deaths among them during his childhood.
When he was five, his only brother Prince Friedrich died. The two boys had been playing a game when the younger boy, who suffered from haemophilia, fell through a window onto the balcony twenty feet below. Ernest Louis was inconsolable. "When I die, you must die too, all the others. Why can't we all die together? I don't want to die alone, like Frittie," he told his nurse. To his mother he said, "I dreamt that I was dead and was gone up to Heaven, there I asked God to let me have Frittie again and he came to me and took my hand." In 1878, when Ernest was ten, an epidemic of diphtheria swept through Darmstadt. His father and all the children, except Elisabeth, visiting her paternal grandmother, fell ill. Princess Alice cared for her sick husband and children, but on 16 November, the youngest of them, Princess Marie, died. Alice kept the news from her family for several weeks, until Ernest Louis, devoted to little Marie, asked for his sister; when his mother revealed Marie's death, Ernest Louis was overcome with grief.
In comforting her grieving son, Alice kissed him. She fell ill within a week, died on December 14, the anniversary of her own father's death. On 19 April 1894, at Schloss Ehrenburg, Ernest Louis married his maternal first cousin, Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the daughter of his mother's brother, Prince Alfred; the match was encouraged by their mutual grandmother, Queen Victoria, who attended the wedding. At the wedding, Ernest's youngest surviving sister, Alix and became engaged to marry Tsarevich Nicholas of Russia, the excitement of that imminent match threw the nuptial celebrations into the shade. Ernest and Victoria Melita had two children: a daughter, born on March 11, 1895, who died of typhoid fever on November 16, 1903 at age eight, a son, stillborn on 25 May 1900. Ernest and Victoria entertained in style holding house parties for young friends, dispensing with formality on those occasions to indulge in fun and frolic; these revelries were more in keeping with Victoria's inclinations than Ernest's.
Their marriage was unhappy due to differences in attitude. Fond as she was of revelry, Victoria was less enthusiastic about fulfilling her public role, she avoided answering letters, put off visits to elderly relations whose company she did not enjoy, talked to people who amused her at official functions while ignoring people of higher social or official standing whom she found boring. Victoria's inattention to her duties provoked quarrels with Ernst; the young couple had loud arguments. The volatile Victoria shouted, threw tea trays, smashed china against the wall, tossed anything, handy at Ernst during their arguments. Queen Victoria was saddened when she heard of the trouble in the marriage from Sir George Buchanan, her chargé d'affaires at Darmstadt, but because of their daughter, she refused to consider permitting her grandchildren to divorce. Ernest held off from divorce for this reason, he lavished his time and attention on her. The child reciprocated her father's affection, preferred the company of her father to that of her mother.
Meanwhile, all efforts to rekindle the marriage failed. When Queen Victoria died in January 1901, significant opposition to the end of the marriage was removed; the couple were divorced 21 December 1901 on grounds of "invincible mutual antipathy" by a special verdict of the Supreme Court of Hesse. After the divorce had come through, Victoria was to tell some close relatives that Ernest was a homosexual, she had caught her husband in bed with a male servant when, in 1897, she returned home from a visit to her sister Queen Marie of Romania. She did not make her accusation public, but told a niece that "no boy was safe, from the stable hands to the kitchen help, he slept quite with them all." Victoria married another first cousin, this time on her mother's side, while Ernest married Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich. Ernest Louis remarried in Darmstadt, on 2 February 1905, to Princess Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich; this marriage proved happy. The couple had two sons: Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse.
Arranged marriage is a type of marital union where the bride and groom are selected by individuals other than the couple themselves by family members, such as the parents. Depending on culture, a professional matchmaker may be used. Arranged marriages have been prominent in many cultures; the practice remains common in many regions, notably South Asia, though in many other parts of the world the practice has declined during the 19th and 20th centuries. There are several subcategories of arranged marriage. Forced marriages, while still practiced in some cultures, are not a type of arranged marriage and are condemned by the United Nations; the specific sub-category of forced child marriage is condemned. Many many cultures, practice marriage arrangements that are or consensual. Arranged marriages were common throughout the world until the 18th century. Marriages were arranged by parents, grandparents or other relatives; some historical exceptions are known, such as courtship and betrothal rituals during the Renaissance period of Italy and Gandharvaha marriages in the Vedic period of India.
In China, arranged marriages - sometimes called blind marriages - were the norm before the mid-20th century. A marriage was other older members of two families; the boy and girl were told to get married, without a right to consent if they had never met each other until the wedding day. Arranged marriages were the norm in Russia before the early 20th century, most of which were endogamous; until the first half of the 20th century, arranged marriages were common in migrant families in the United States. They were sometimes called picture-bride marriages among Japanese American immigrants because the bride and groom knew each other only through the exchange of photographs before the day of their marriage; these marriages among immigrants were arranged by parents, or relatives from the country of their origin. As immigrants settled in and melded into a new culture, arranged marriages shifted first to quasi-arranged marriages where parents or friends made introductions and the couple met before the marriage.
Similar historical dynamics are claimed in other parts of the world. Arranged marriages have declined in prosperous countries with social mobility and increasing individualism. In most other parts of the world, arranged marriages continue to varying degrees and in quasi-arranged form, along with autonomous marriages. A woman who refuses to go through with an arranged marriage, tries to leave an arranged marriage via divorce or is suspected of any kind of immoral behaviour, may be considered to have dishonored her entire family; this being the case, her male relatives may be ridiculed or harassed and any of her siblings may find it impossible to enter into a marriage. In these cases, killing the woman is a way for the family to enforce the institution of arranged marriages. Unlike cases of domestic violence, firstly honor killings are done publicly for all to see and secondly there are several family members involved in the act. Marriages have been categorized into four groups in scholarly studies: Forced Arranged Marriage: parents or guardians select, the individuals are neither consulted nor have any say before the marriage Consensual Arranged Marriage: parents or guardians select the individuals are consulted, who consider and consent, each individual has the power to refuse.
Broude and Greene, after studying 142 cultures worldwide, have reported that 130 cultures have elements of arranged marriage. Extreme examples of forced arranged marriage have been observed in some societies in child marriages of girls below age 12. Illustrations include vani, seen in some tribal / rural parts of Pakistan, Shim-pua marriage Taiwan before the 1970s. There are many kinds of arranged marriages, some of these are: Arranged exogamous marriage: is one where a third party finds and selects the bride and groom irrespective of their social and cultural group. Arranged endogamous marriage: is one where a third party finds and selects the bride and groom from a particular social and cultural group. Consanguineous marriage: is a type of arranged endogamous marriage, it is one where the groom share a grandparent or near ancestor. Examples of these include first cousin marriages, uncle-niece marriages, second cousin marriages, so on; the most common consanguineous marriages are first cousin marriages, followed by second cousin and uncle-niece marriages.
Between 25 and 40% of all marriages in parts of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan ar
Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine (1864–1918)
Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna of Russia was a German Hessian and Rhenish princess of the House of Hesse-Darmstadt, the wife of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia, the fifth son of Emperor Alexander II of Russia and Princess Marie of Hesse and by Rhine. She was a maternal great-aunt of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the consort of Queen Elizabeth II. A granddaughter of Queen Victoria and an older sister of Alexandra, the last Russian Empress, Elisabeth became famous in Russian society for her beauty and charitable works among the poor. After the Socialist Revolutionary Party's Combat Organization assassinated her husband with a bomb in 1905, Elisabeth publicly forgave Sergei's murderer, Ivan Kalyayev, campaigned without success for him to be pardoned, she departed the Imperial Court and became a nun, founding the Marfo-Mariinsky Convent dedicated to helping the downtrodden of Moscow. In 1918 she was arrested and murdered by the Bolsheviks.
In 1981 Elisabeth was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, in 1992 by the Moscow Patriarchate. Elisabeth was born on 1 November 1864 as the second child of Ludwig IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine, Princess Alice, daughter of Queen Victoria, she was given the names Elisabeth Alexandra Luise Alix: "Elisabeth" after both St. Elizabeth of Hungary and her paternal grandmother, Princess Elisabeth of Prussia, "Luise" and "Alix" after her parents. Elisabeth was known as "Ella" within her family. Though she came from one of the oldest and noblest houses in Germany and her family lived a rather modest life by royal standards; the children swept the floors and cleaned their own rooms, while their mother sewed dresses herself for the children. During the Austro-Prussian War, Princess Alice took Elisabeth with her while visiting wounded soldiers in a nearby hospital. In this happy and secure environment, Elisabeth grew up surrounded by English domestic habits, English became her first language.
In life, she would tell a friend that, within her family and her siblings spoke English to their mother and German to their father. In the autumn of 1878, diphtheria swept through the Hesse household, killing Elisabeth's youngest sister, Marie on 16 November, as well as her mother Alice on 14 December. Elisabeth had been sent away to her paternal grandmother's home at the beginning of the outbreak and she was the only member of her family to remain unaffected; when she was allowed to return home, she described the meeting as "terribly sad" and said that everything was "like a horrible dream". Charming and with a accommodating personality, Elisabeth was considered by many historians and contemporaries to be one of the most beautiful women in Europe at that time; as a young woman, she caught the eye of Prince Wilhelm of Prussia. He was a student at Bonn University, on weekends he visited his Aunt Alice and his Hessian relatives. During these frequent visits, he fell in love with Elisabeth, writing numerous love poems and sending them to her.
Wilhelm proposed to Elisabeth in 1878. Besides the future Kaiser Wilhelm II, she had many other admirers, among them Lord Charles Montagu, the second son of the 7th Duke of Manchester, Henry Wilson a distinguished soldier, yet another of Elisabeth's suitors was the future Frederick II, Grand Duke of Baden, William's first cousin. Queen Victoria described him as "so good and steady", with "such a safe and happy position," that when Elisabeth declined to marry him the Queen "deeply regretted it". Frederick's grandmother, the Empress Augusta, was so furious at Elisabeth's rejection of Frederick that it took some time for her to forgive Elisabeth. Other admirers included: Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich of Russia, who wrote a poem about her first arrival in Russia and the general impression she made to all the people present at the time. Prince Felix Yusupov considered her a second mother, stated in his memoirs that she helped him during the most difficult moments of his life; as a young girl, Queen Marie of Romania was fascinated with her Cousin Ella, would describe her beauty and sweetness in her memoirs as "a thing of dreams".
The French Ambassador to the Russian court, Maurice Paleologue, wrote in his memoirs how Elisabeth was capable of arousing what he described as "profane passions". It was a Grand Duke of Russia who would win Elisabeth's heart. During these visits, she was accompanied by her youngest sons and Paul. Elisabeth had known them since they were children, she viewed them as haughty and reserved. Sergei was a serious young man, intensely religious, he found himself attracted to Elisabeth after seeing her as a young woman for the first time in several years. At first, Sergei made little impression on Elisabeth, but after the death of both of Sergei's parents within a year of each other and the shock of his loss caused Elisabeth to see Sergei "in a new light". She had felt this same grief after the death of her mother, their other similarities began to draw them closer together, it was said that Sergei was attached to Elisabeth because she had the same character as his beloved mother. So when Sergei proposed to her for the second time, she accepted—much to the chagrin of her grandmother Queen Victoria.
Sergei and Elisabeth married
Princess Alice of the United Kingdom
Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine, was the Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine from 1877-1878. She was the third child and second daughter of Prince Albert. Alice was the first of Queen Victoria's nine children to die, one of three to be outlived by their mother, who died in 1901. Alice spent her early childhood in the company of her parents and siblings, travelling between the British royal residences, her education was devised by Albert's close friend and adviser, Baron Stockmar, included practical activities like needlework and woodwork and languages like French and German. When her father, Prince Albert, became fatally ill in December 1861, Alice nursed him until his death. Following his death, Queen Victoria entered a period of intense mourning and Alice spent the next six months acting as her mother's unofficial secretary. On 1 July 1862, while the court was still at the height of mourning, Alice married the minor German Prince Louis of Hesse, heir to the Grand Duchy of Hesse.
The ceremony—conducted and with unrelieved gloom at Osborne House—was described by the Queen as "more of a funeral than a wedding". The Princess's life in Darmstadt was unhappy as a result of impoverishment, family tragedy and worsening relations with her husband and mother. Alice was a prolific patron of women's causes and showed an interest in nursing the work of Florence Nightingale; when Hesse became involved in the Austro-Prussian War, Darmstadt filled with the injured. One of her organisations, the Princess Alice Women's Guild, took over much of the day-to-day running of the state's military hospitals; as a result of this activity, Queen Victoria became concerned about Alice's directness about medical and, in particular, matters. In 1871, she wrote to Alice's younger sister, Princess Louise, who had married: "Don't let Alice pump you. Be silent and cautious about your'interior'". In 1877, Alice became Grand Duchess upon the accession of her husband, her increased duties putting further strains on her health.
In late 1878, diphtheria infected the Hessian court. Alice nursed her family for over a month before dying late that year. Princess Alice was the mother of Tsaritsa Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia, maternal grandmother of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, maternal great-grandmother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Another daughter, who married Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia, like the tsaritsa and her family, killed by the Bolsheviks in 1918. Alice was born on 25 April 1843 at Buckingham Palace in London, she was the second daughter and third child of Queen Victoria, her husband Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. She was christened "Alice Maud Mary" in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace by The Archbishop of Canterbury, William Howley, on 2 June 1843. "Maud", the Anglo-Saxon name for Matilda, was chosen in honour of one of Alice's godparents, Princess Sophia Matilda of Gloucester, a niece of King George III. "Mary" was chosen because Alice was born on the same day as her maternal great-aunt, the Duchess of Gloucester.
Her gender was greeted with mixed feelings from the public, the Privy Council sent a message to Albert expressing its "congratulation and condolence" on the birth of a second daughter. Her godparents were the King of Hanover, the Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, the Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Princess Sophia Matilda of Gloucester. Alice's birth prompted her parents to find a larger family home. Buckingham Palace was not equipped with the private apartments that Victoria's growing family needed, including suitable nurseries. Therefore, in 1844, Victoria and Albert purchased Osborne House on the Isle of Wight as a family holiday home. Alice's education was devised by his close friend, Baron Stockmar. At Osborne and her siblings were taught practical skills such as housekeeping, cooking and carpentry, as well as daily lessons in English and German. Victoria and Albert favoured a monarchy based on family values. Alice was fascinated with the world outside the Royal Household. On one occasion, she escaped from her governess at the chapel at Windsor Castle and sat in a public pew, so she could better understand people who were not strict adherents to royal protocol.
In 1854, during the Crimean War, the eleven-year-old Alice toured London hospitals for wounded soldiers with her mother and her eldest sister. She was the most sensitive of her siblings and was sympathetic to other people's burdens, possessing a sharp tongue and an triggered temper. In her childhood, Alice formed a close relationship with her brother, the Prince of Wales, her eldest sister, The Princess Royal. Victoria's marriage to Prince Frederick of Prussia in 1858 upset her. Alice's compassion for other people's suffering established her role as the family caregiver in 1861, her maternal grandmother Victoria, Duchess of Kent, died at Frogmore on 16 March 1861. Alice had spent much of her time at her grandmother's side played the piano for her in Frogmore's draw
Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine
Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine Victoria Mountbatten, Marchioness of Milford Haven was the eldest daughter of Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine, his first wife Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Her mother died while her brother and sisters were still young, which placed her in an early position of responsibility over her siblings. Over her father's disapproval, she married his first cousin Prince Louis of Battenberg, an officer in the United Kingdom's Royal Navy, lived most of her married life in various parts of Europe at her husband's naval posts and visiting her many royal relations, she was perceived by her family as liberal in outlook, straightforward and bright. During World War I, she and her husband abandoned their German titles and adopted the British-sounding surname of Mountbatten, a translation into English of the German "Battenberg". Two of her sisters—Elisabeth and Alix, who had married into the Russian imperial family—were killed by communist revolutionaries.
She was the maternal grandmother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the consort of Queen Elizabeth II. Victoria was born on Easter Sunday at Windsor Castle in the presence of her maternal grandmother, Queen Victoria, she was christened in the Lutheran faith in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle, in the arms of the Queen on 27 April. Her godparents were Queen Victoria, Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, Louis III, Grand Duke of Hesse, the Prince of Wales and Prince Heinrich of Hesse and by Rhine, her early life was spent at Bessungen, a suburb of Darmstadt, until the family moved to the New Palace in Darmstadt when she was three years old. There, she shared a room with her younger sister, until adulthood, she was educated to a high standard and was, throughout her life, an avid reader. During the Prussian invasion of Hesse in June 1866, Victoria and Elisabeth were sent to England to live with their grandmother until hostilities were ended by the absorption of Hesse-Kassel and parts of Hesse-Darmstadt into Prussia.
During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, military hospitals were set up in the palace grounds at Darmstadt, she helped in the soup kitchens with her mother. She remembered the intense cold of the winter, being burned on the arm by hot soup. In 1872, Victoria's eighteen-month-old brother, was diagnosed with haemophilia; the diagnosis came as a shock to the royal families of Europe. The following year, Friedrich died, it was the first of many tragedies to beset the Hesse family. In early November 1878, Victoria contracted diphtheria. Elisabeth was swiftly moved out of their room and was the only member of the family to escape the disease. For days, Victoria's mother, Princess Alice, nursed the sick, but she was unable to save her youngest daughter, Victoria's sister Marie, who died in mid-November. Just as the rest of the family seemed to have recovered, Princess Alice fell ill, she died on the anniversary of the death of her father, Prince Albert. As the eldest child, Victoria assumed the role of mother to the younger children and of companion to her father.
She wrote, "My mother's death was an irreparable loss... My childhood ended with her death, for I became the eldest and most responsible." At family gatherings, Victoria had met Prince Louis of Battenberg, her first cousin once removed and a member of a morganatic branch of the Hessian royal family. Prince Louis was serving as an officer in the Royal Navy. In the winter of 1882, they met again at Darmstadt, were engaged the following summer. After a brief postponement because of the death of her maternal uncle, Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, Victoria married Prince Louis on 30 April 1884 at Darmstadt, her father did not approve of the match. However, Victoria took little notice of her father's displeasure. Remarkably, that same evening, Victoria's father secretly married his mistress, Countess Alexandrine Hutten-Czapska, the former wife of Alexander von Kolemine, the Russian chargé d'affaires in Darmstadt, his marriage to a divorcee, not of equal rank shocked the assembled royalty of Europe and through diplomatic and family pressure Victoria's father was forced to seek an annulment of his own marriage.
Over the next sixteen years, Victoria had four children: They lived in a succession of houses at Chichester, Walton-on-Thames, Schloss Heiligenberg, Jugenheim. When Prince Louis was serving with the Mediterranean Fleet, she spent some winters in Malta. In 1887, she contracted typhoid but, after being nursed through her illness by her husband, was sufficiently recovered by June to attend Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee celebrations in London, she was interested in science and drew a detailed geological map of Malta and participated in archaeological digs both on the island and in Germany. In leather-bound volumes she kept meticulous records of books she had read, which reveal a wide range of interests, including socialist philosophy, she taught her own children and exposed them to new ideas and inventions. She gave lessons to her younger son, until he was ten years of age, he said of h
Princess Irene of Hesse and by Rhine
Princess Irene of Hesse and by Rhine was the third child and third daughter of Princess Alice of the United Kingdom and Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine. Her maternal grandparents were Queen Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, her paternal grandparents were Prince Charles of Hesse and by Rhine and Princess Elizabeth of Prussia. She was the wife of Prince Henry of Prussia, a younger brother of Wilhelm II, German Emperor and her first cousin; the SS Prinzessin Irene, a liner of the North German Lloyd was named after her. Her siblings included Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, wife of Prince Louis of Battenberg, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna of Russia, wife of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia, Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia, wife of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. Like her younger sister, the empress, Irene was a carrier of the hemophilia gene, Irene would lose her sisters Alix and Elisabeth in Russia to the Bolsheviks.
She received her first name, taken from the Greek word for "peace," because she was born at the end of the Austro-Prussian War. Alice considered Irene an unattractive child and once wrote to her sister Victoria that Irene was "not pretty." Though not as pretty as her sister Elizabeth, Irene did have a pleasant disposition. Princess Alice brought up her daughters simply. An English nanny presided over the nursery and the children ate plain meals of rice puddings and baked apples and wore plain dresses, her daughters were taught how to do housework, such as baking cakes, making their own beds, laying fires and sweeping and dusting their rooms. Princess Alice emphasized the need to give to the poor and took her daughters on visits to hospitals and charities; the family was devastated in 1873 when Irene's haemophiliac younger brother Friedrich, nicknamed "Frittie," fell through an open window, struck his head on the balustrade and died hours of a brain hemorrhage. In the months following the toddler's death, Alice took her children to his grave to pray and was melancholy on anniversaries associated with him.
In the autumn of 1878 Irene, her siblings and her father became ill with diphtheria. Her younger sister Princess Marie, nicknamed "May," died of the disease, her mother, exhausted from nursing the children became infected. Knowing she was in danger of dying, Princess Alice dictated her will, including instructions about how to bring up her daughters and how to run the household, she died of diphtheria on 14 December 1878. Following Alice's death, Queen Victoria resolved to act as a mother to her Hessian grandchildren. Princess Irene and her surviving siblings spent annual holidays in England and their grandmother sent instructions to their governess regarding their education and approving the pattern of their dresses. With her sister Alix, Irene was a bridesmaid at the 1885 wedding of their maternal aunt, Princess Beatrice to Prince Henry of Battenberg. Irene married Prince Henry of Prussia, the third child and second son of Frederick III, German Emperor and Victoria, Princess Royal on 24 May 1888 at the chapel of the Charlottenberg Palace in Berlin.
As their mothers were sisters and Henry were first cousins. Their marriage displeased Queen Victoria because she had not been told about the courtship until they had decided to marry. At the time of the ceremony, Irene's uncle and father-in-law, the German emperor, was dying of throat cancer, less than a month after the ceremony, Irene's cousin and brother-in-law ascended the throne as Kaiser Wilhelm II. Heinrich's mother, Empress Victoria, was fond of Irene. However, Empress Victoria was shocked because Irene did not wear a shawl or scarf to disguise her pregnancy when she was pregnant with her first son, the haemophiliac Prince Waldemar, in 1889. Empress Victoria, fascinated by politics and current events couldn't understand why Heinrich and Irene never read a newspaper. However, the couple were married and they were known as "The Very Amiables" by their relatives because of their pleasant natures; the marriage produced three sons. Their descendants include two grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren.
Irene transmitted the haemophilia gene to her eldest and youngest sons and Heinrich. Waldemar's health worried her from early childhood, she was devastated when the youngest child, four-year-old Heinrich, died after he fell and bumped his head in February 1904. Six months after little Heinrich's death, Irene became an aunt to Tsarevich Alexei of Russia, son of her youngest sister, Tsarina Alexandra, who had hemophilia. Two of her first cousins, Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain and Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, would give birth to hemophiliac sons. Irene, raised to believe in a proper Victorian code of behaviour, was shocked by what she saw as immorality. In 1884, the same year that her elder sister Victoria married Prince Louis of Battenberg, another sister, married Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia, when Elizabeth converted from Lutheranism to Russian Orthodoxy, in 1891, Irene was upset, she wrote to her father. In 1892, Irene's father, Grand Duke Louis IV, her brother, succeeded him as Grand Duke of Hesse, two years in May 1894, Ernest Louis was married off by Queen Victoria to a first cousin, Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
It was amidst the wedding festivities that Irene's youngest surviving sister, accepted the marriage proposal of Tsarevich Nicholas, a second cousin, when Nicholas' father died prematurely in November