Princess Augusta of Great Britain
Princess Augusta Frederica of Great Britain was a British princess, granddaughter of King George II and the only elder sibling of King George III. She was a Duchess consort of Brunswick by marriage to Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, her daughter Caroline was the spouse of King George IV. Princess Augusta Frederica was born at London, her father was the eldest son of George II and Caroline of Ansbach. Her mother was Augusta of Saxe-Gotha; as the eldest child, she was born second in the line of succession to the British throne, after her father. This would change the next year in 1738. Fifty days she was christened at St. James's Palace by the Archbishop of Canterbury, her godparents were her paternal grandfather, the King, her grandmothers, Queen Caroline and the Dowager Duchess of Saxe-Gotha. Her third birthday was celebrated by the first public performance of Rule, Britannia! at Cliveden in Buckinghamshire. Augusta was given a careful education, she was not described as a beauty, having loose mouth and a long face.
In 1761–62, a marriage was discussed between Augusta and her second cousin, the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick. The negotiations were delayed; this obstacle was overcome due to a reason described by Walpole: "Lady Augusta was lively, much inclined to meddle in the private politics of the Court. As non of her children but the King, had, or had reason to have, much affection for their mother, she justly apprehended Lady Augusta instilling their disgust on to the Queen, she could not forbid her daughter's frequent visits at Buckingham House, but to prevent ill consequence of them, she accompanied her thither. This, was an attendance and a constraint the Princess of Wales could not support, her exceeding indolence, her more excessive love of privacy, the subjection of being with the Queen, whose higher rank was a never ceasing mortification, all concurred to make her resolve, at any rate, to deliver herself of her daughter. To obtain this end, the profusion of favors to the hated House of Brunswick was not though too much.
The Hereditary Prince was prevailed to accept Lady Augusta's hand, with four-scour thousand pounds, an annuity of £5.000 a year on Ireland, three thousand a year on Hanover." On 16 January 1764, Augusta married Charles William Ferdinand at the Chapel Royal of St James's Palace. The wedding was followed by a state dinner at Leicester House, congratulations from the House of Parliament, a ball given by the Queen and an opera performance at Covent Garden, before departing from Harwich on the 26th. Augusta never adapted to life in Brunswick due to her British patriotism and disregard of all things "east of the Rhine"; this attitude did not change with time, twenty five years after her marriage, she was described as: "wholly English in her tastes, her principles and her manners, to the point that her cynical independence makes, with the etiquette of the German courts, the most singular contrast I know". During her first pregnancy in 1764, she returned to Great Britain in the company of Charles to give birth to her first child.
During their visit in England, it was noted that the Brunswicks were cheered by the crowds when they showed themselves in public. This exposed them to suspicion at court. During their visit, her sister-in-law Queen Charlotte refused them some honors at court, such as military salutes; this attracted negative publicity toward the hosting royal couple. During the negotiations thirty years for the marriage of her daughter to the Prince of Wales, Augusta commented to the British negotiator, Lord Malmesbury, that Queen Charlotte disliked both her and her mother because of jealousy dating from the visit of 1764. Augusta regarded the residence in Brunswick as too simple, was bored with the scholarly tone of her mother-in-law's court during the summers, when her spouse was absent at camp. A summer retreat was built for her in the southern part of Braunschweig where she could spend time away from court, built by Carl Christoph Wilhelm Fleischer and called Schloss Richmond to remind her of England. In her retreat, Augusta amused herself spending her days eating heavy luncheons and playing cards with her favourites receiving English guests.
The marriage was an arranged dynastic marriage. However, Augusta was attracted by Charles' handsome looks and pleased with him. Shortly after the birth of her first daughter, she wrote: "No two people live better together than we do, I would go through fire and water for him", it was noted that she seemed to be unaware of his flirtations in London. In 1771-72, Augusta visited England on her mother's invitation. On this occasion, she was involved in another conflict with her sister-in-law Queen Charlotte, she was not allowed to live at Carlton House or St. James Palace despite the fact that it was empty at the time, but was forced to live in a small house on Pall Mall; the queen disagreed with her about etiquette, refused to let her see her brother the king alone. According to Mr. Walpole, the reason was jealousy on the part of the queen, she attended her mother's deathbed during her second visit to England, upon her return to Brunswick, extended her period of mourning, which led to her retirement from participation in court life.
When her sister, queen Caroline Matilda of Denmark, was convicted of adultery and exiled near Brunswick in Celle, Augusta took the habit to visit her for weeks on end, to the disapproval of her spouse an
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans; the City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of the London Assembly. London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities and has been termed the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, sustainable, most investment friendly, most popular for work, the most vegetarian friendly city in the world. London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, education, fashion, healthcare, professional services and development, tourism and transportation.
London ranks 26 out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP, it is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. It is the leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games. London has a diverse range of people and cultures, more than 300 languages are spoken in the region, its estimated mid-2016 municipal population was 8,787,892, the most populous of any city in the European Union and accounting for 13.4% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census.
The population within the London commuter belt is the most populous in the EU with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. London was the world's most populous city from c. 1831 to 1925. London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London has numerous museums, galleries and sporting events; these include the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world. "London" is an ancient name, attested in the first century AD in the Latinised form Londinium. Over the years, the name has attracted many mythicising explanations; the earliest attested appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. This had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.
Modern scientific analyses of the name must account for the origins of the different forms found in early sources Latin, Old English, Welsh, with reference to the known developments over time of sounds in those different languages. It is agreed; this was adapted into Latin as Londinium and borrowed into Old English, the ancestor-language of English. The toponymy of the Common Brythonic form is much debated. A prominent explanation was Richard Coates's 1998 argument that the name derived from pre-Celtic Old European *lowonida, meaning "river too wide to ford". Coates suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through London. However, most work has accepted a Celtic origin for the name, recent studies have favoured an explanation along the lines of a Celtic derivative of a proto-Indo-European root *lendh-, combined with the Celtic suffix *-injo- or *-onjo-. Peter Schrijver has suggested, on these grounds, that the name meant'place that floods'; until 1889, the name "London" applied to the City of London, but since it has referred to the County of London and Greater London.
"London" is sometimes written informally as "LDN". In 1993, the remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the south foreshore, upstream of Vauxhall Bridge; this bridge either reached a now lost island in it. Two of those timbers were radiocarbon dated to between 1750 BC and 1285 BC. In 2010 the foundations of a large timber structure, dated to between 4800 BC and 4500 BC, were found on the Thames's south foreshore, downstream of Vauxhall Bridge; the function of the mesolithic structure is not known. Both structures are on the south bank. Although there is evidence of scattered Brythonic settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans about four years after the invasion
Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom
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. Beatrice's childhood coincided with Queen Victoria's grief following the death of her husband Albert, Prince Consort on 14 December 1861; as her elder sisters married and left their mother, Queen Victoria came to rely on the company of her youngest daughter, whom she called "Baby" for most of her childhood. Beatrice was brought up to stay with her mother always and she soon resigned herself to her fate. Queen Victoria was so set against her youngest daughter marrying that she refused to discuss the possibility. Many suitors were put forward, including Louis Napoléon, Prince Imperial, the son of the exiled Emperor Napoleon III of France, Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse, the widower of Beatrice's older sister Alice, she was attracted to the Prince Imperial and there was talk of a possible marriage, but he was killed in the Anglo-Zulu War in 1879.
Beatrice fell in love with Prince Henry of Battenberg, the son of Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine and Julia von Hauke and brother-in-law of her niece Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine. After a year of persuasion, Queen Victoria, whose consent was required pursuant to the Royal Marriages Act agreed to the marriage, which took place at Whippingham on the Isle of Wight on 23 July 1885. Queen Victoria consented on condition that Beatrice and Henry make their home with her and that Beatrice continue her duties as the Queen's unofficial secretary; the Prince and Princess had four children, but 10 years into their marriage, on 20 January 1896, Prince Henry died of malaria while fighting in the Anglo-Asante War. Beatrice remained at her mother's side until Queen Victoria died on 22 January 1901. Beatrice devoted the next 30 years to editing Queen Victoria's journals as her designated literary executor and continued to make public appearances, she died at 87, outliving all her siblings, two of her children, several nieces and nephews including George V and Wilhelm II.
Beatrice was born at Buckingham Palace. She was the fifth daughter and youngest of the nine children of the reigning British monarch, Queen Victoria, her husband, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha; the birth caused controversy when it was announced that Queen Victoria would seek relief from the pains of delivery through the use of chloroform administered by Dr John Snow. Chloroform was considered dangerous to mother and child and was frowned upon by the Church of England and the medical authorities. Queen Victoria was used "that blessed chloroform" for her last pregnancy. A fortnight Queen Victoria reported in her journal, "I was amply rewarded and forgot all I had gone through when I heard dearest Albert say'It's a fine child, a girl!'" Albert and Queen Victoria chose the names Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore: Mary after Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester, the last surviving child of King George III of the United Kingdom. She was baptised in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace on 16 June 1857.
Her godparents were the Duchess of Kent. From birth, Beatrice became a favoured child; the elder favourite daughter of Prince Albert, the Princess Royal, was about to take up residence in Germany with her new husband, Frederick of Prussia. At the same time, the newly arrived Beatrice showed promise. Albert wrote to Augusta, Fritz's mother, that "Baby practises her scales like a good prima donna before a performance and has a good voice!" Although Queen Victoria was known to dislike most babies, she liked Beatrice, whom she considered attractive. This provided Beatrice with an advantage over her elder siblings. Queen Victoria once remarked that Beatrice was "a pretty and flourishing child... with fine large blue eyes, pretty little mouth and fine skin". Her long, golden hair was the focus of paintings commissioned by Queen Victoria, who enjoyed giving Beatrice her bath, in marked contrast to her bathing preferences for her other children. Beatrice showed intelligence, which further endeared her to the Prince Consort, amused by her childhood precociousness.
He wrote to Baron Stockmar that Beatrice was "the most amusing baby we have had." Despite sharing the rigorous education programme designed by Prince Albert and his close adviser, Baron Stockmar, Beatrice had a more relaxed infancy than her siblings because of her relationship with her parents. By four years of age, the youngest, the acknowledged last royal child, Beatrice was not forced to share her parents' attention the way her siblings had, her amusing ways provided comfort to her faltering father. In March 1861, Queen Victoria's mother Victoria, Duchess of Kent, died at Frogmore; the Queen broke down in guilt over their estrangement at the beginning of her reign. Beatrice tried to console her mother by reminding her that the Duchess of Kent was "in heaven, but Beatrice hopes she will return"; this comfort was significant because Queen Victoria had isolated herself from her children except the eldest unmarried, Princess Alice, Beatrice. Queen Victoria again relied on Beatrice and Alice after the death of Albert, of typhoid fever, on 14 December.
The depth of the Queen's grief over the death of her husband surprised her family, courtiers and general populace. As when her mother died, she shut herself off from h
Princess Patricia of Connaught
Princess Patricia of Connaught was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. Upon her marriage to Alexander Ramsay, she relinquished her title of a British princess and the style of Royal Highness. Princess Patricia — "Patsy" to family and friends — was born on 17 March 1886, St Patrick's Day, at Buckingham Palace in London, her father was Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, the third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Her mother was Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia, she had two elder siblings, Prince Arthur of Connaught and Princess Margaret of Connaught Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden. She was baptized Victoria Patricia Helena Elizabeth at Bagshot Park on 1 May 1886, her godparents were Queen Victoria. She was named Victoria after Queen Victoria, she grew up as a member of the Royal Family. She was a bridesmaid at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of York on 6 July 1893. Princess Patricia travelled extensively in her early years, her father, the Duke of Connaught, was posted to India with the army, the young Princess spent two years living there.
Connaught Place, the central business locus of New Delhi, is named for the Duke. In 1911, the Duke was appointed Governor General of Canada. Princess Patricia accompanied her parents to Canada, she became popular there, her portrait appears on the one-dollar note of the Dominion of Canada with the issue date 17 March 1917. She was named Colonel-in-Chief of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry on 22 February 1918 and held that appointment until her death; the regiment named for her was raised by Andrew Hamilton Gault, of Montreal, at his own expense. Princess Patricia designed the badge and colours for the regiment to take overseas to France, at her wedding in 1919, the regiment attended and played their march specially; as the regiment's Colonel-in-Chief, she played an active role until her death. A memorial plaque in St. Bartholomew's Anglican Church in Ottawa is dedicated "To the memory of The Lady Patricia Ramsey, VA, CI, CD late Colonel-in-Chief Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry who as H.
R. H; the Princess Patricia of Connaught worshipped here while resident at Government House 1911-1916."She was succeeded in 1974 by her cousin and goddaughter Patricia, who became the Countess Mountbatten of Burma, who asked that the men and women of her regiment discount her titles and refer to her in honour of her predecessor as Lady Patricia. The question of Patricia's marriage was the subject of much speculation in the Edwardian era, as she was considered one of the most beautiful and eligible royal princesses of her generation, she was matched with various foreign royalties, including the King of Spain, the Prince Royal of Portugal, the future Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Grand Duke Michael of Russia, younger brother of Tsar Nicholas II. In the end, Patricia chose a commoner rather than a husband of royal blood, she married naval Commander Alexander Ramsay, one of her father's aides-de-camp and third son of the 13th Earl of Dalhousie, at Westminster Abbey on 27 February 1919. Her bridesmaids and page boys were: Lady Mary Cambridge and Lady Helena Cambridge The Princess Mary Lady Ida Ramsay and Lady Jean Ramsay Princess Maud of Fife Lady May Cambridge Princess Ingrid of Sweden Alastair, Earl of Macduff The Honourable Simon Ramsay.
On the occasion of her marriage, Princess Patricia of Connaught was permitted by Royal Warrant to relinquish the style of Royal Highness and the title of Princess of Great Britain and Ireland. She was granted by Royal Warrant of 25 February 1919 the style of Lady Victoria Patricia Helena Elizabeth Ramsay, with special precedence before the Marchionesses of England. Since the Royal Warrant stated that her change in style took effect only upon the solemnization of her marriage, she entered the church as a Princess and Royal Highness and left as a Lady, a daughter of a royal duke. Cdr Alexander Ramsay and Lady Patricia Ramsay had one child: Alexander Ramsay of Mar, married in 1956 to Flora Fraser, 21st Lady Saltoun. Despite her relinquishment of her royal title, Lady Patricia remained a member of the British Royal Family, remained in the line of succession, attended all major royal events, including weddings and the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Elizabeth II in 1937 and 1953 respectively.
She rode in the carriage processions with other members of the Royal Family at the funerals of George V in 1936 and of King
Sir Edward Walpole KB PC was a British politician, a younger son of Sir Robert Walpole, Prime Minister from 1721 to 1742. The second son of Sir Robert Walpole, he was educated at Eton and King’s College and studied law at Lincoln's Inn, where he was called to the bar in 1727, he undertook a Grand Tour in Italy in 1730. Walpole first entered Parliament as Member for Lostwithiel in a by-election on 29 April 1730, following the death of Sir Edward Knatchbull earlier that month, he was appointed junior Secretary to the Treasury the same year. On 2 May 1734, in the next general election, he succeeded his uncle Horatio Walpole as Member of Parliament for Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, retaining the seat for nearly 34 years until the 1768 election, when his first cousin the Hon. Richard Walpole replaced him. On 7 September 1737 the Duke of Devonshire was named Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Walpole his Chief Secretary, though he continued as Secretary to the Treasury. Walpole was sworn of the Privy Council of Ireland on 8 October that year and stood for Ballyshannon in the Irish House of Commons, a seat he held until 1760.
On 9 May 1739 Edward Walpole's elder brother Robert, Lord Walpole resigned his post of Clerk of the Pells in order to become an Auditor of the Exchequer, Edward was appointed to succeed him, holding the office until his death. On 27 August 1753 Walpole was made a Knight Companion of the Order of the Bath, the order re-founded by his father in 1725. Walpole lived for a time at Frogmore House in Windsor, Berkshire which he bought in 1748 and sold in 1766, he bought a house in Windsor, which he gave to his daughter Laura Keppel in 1778, spent his last years in Isleworth, where he died in 1784. He had never married, but had a son and three daughters by his partner Dorothy Clement: Edward, died 1771 Laura, who married 13 September 1758 the Hon. and Rev. Frederick Keppel and died 27 July 1813, leaving issue. John Burke, A general and heraldic dictionary of the peerages of England and Scotland, dormant and in abeyance and Bentley, 1831 Joseph Haydn and Horace Ockerby, The Book of Dignities, 3rd edition, W.
H. Allen and Co. Ltd, 1894, reprinted 1969 thepeerage.comSpecific
Maud of Wales
Maud of Wales, was Queen of Norway as spouse of King Haakon VII. She was Alexandra of Denmark. Maud of Wales was the first queen of Norway in over five centuries, not queen of Denmark or Sweden. Maud was born on 26 November 1869 at London, she was the third daughter and fifth child of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, the eldest son of Queen Victoria, Alexandra, Princess of Wales, the eldest daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark. She was christened "Maud Charlotte Mary Victoria" at Marlborough House by John Jackson, Bishop of London, on 24 December 1869, her godparents were her paternal uncle Prince Leopold. The tomboyish Maud was known as "Harry" to the royal family, after Edward VII's friend Admiral Henry Keppel, whose conduct in the Crimean War was considered courageous at the time. Maud took part in all the annual visits to the Princess of Wales's family in Denmark and accompanied her mother and sisters on cruises to Norway and the Mediterranean, she was a bridesmaid at the 1885 wedding of her paternal aunt Beatrice to Prince Henry of Battenberg, at the wedding of her brother George to Mary of Teck in 1893.
Maud, along with her sisters and Louise, received the Imperial Order of the Crown of India from their grandmother Queen Victoria on 6 August 1887. Like her sisters, she held the Royal Order of Victoria and Albert and was a Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. Maud married late, waiting until her late twenties to find a husband, she had wanted to marry a distant cousin Prince Francis of Teck, younger brother of her sister-in-law Mary. Despite being impoverished from mounting gambling debts and being in a position to benefit from Maud's status, he ignored her advances. On 22 July 1896, Princess Maud married her first cousin, Prince Carl of Denmark, in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace. Prince Carl was the second son of Queen Alexandra's eldest brother, Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark, Princess Louise of Sweden; the bride's father gave her Appleton House on the Sandringham Estate as a country residence for her frequent visits to England. It was there that Prince Alexander, was born on 2 July 1903 in Sandringham.
Prince Carl was an officer in the Danish navy and he and his family lived in Denmark until 1905. In June 1905 the Norwegian parliament, the Storting, dissolved Norway's 91-year-old union with Sweden and voted to offer the throne to Prince Carl. Maud's membership of the British royal house had some part in. Following a plebiscite in November, Prince Carl accepted the Norwegian throne, taking the name of Haakon VII, while his young son took the name of Olav. King Haakon VII and Queen Maud were crowned at Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim on 22 June 1906, that being the last coronation in Scandinavia. Queen Maud never lost her love of Britain, but she adapted to her new country and duties as a queen consort. Maud played a discreet role in public. During her first years in Norway and her spouse were photographed in Norwegian folk costumes, enjoying winter sports such as skiing, to give them a Norwegian appearance in the eyes of the public, she disliked representation but performed her role as a queen with great care, used clothes and jewellery to make a regal impression.
She supported charitable causes those associated with children and animals, gave encouragement to musicians and artists. Among her projects was Dronningens Hjelpekomité during World War I, she supported the feminist Katti Anker Møller's home for unwed mothers, regarded as radical, designed furniture for the benefit of the Barnets utstilling in 1921, sold photographs for charitable purposes. An avid horseback rider, Maud insisted. Queen Maud would supervise much of this project herself and was inspired by the Royal Mews in London when the stables were expanded. Maud continued to regard Great Britain as her true home after her arrival in Norway, visited Great Britain every year, she stayed at her Appleton House, during her visits. She did, however appreciate some aspects of Norway, such as the winter sports, she supported bringing up her son as a Norwegian, she learned to ski and arranged for an English gardens at Kongsseteren, the royal lodge overlooking Oslo, the summer residence at Bygdøy. She is described as reserved as a public person but energetic and with a taste for practical jokes as a private person.
Her influence over her spouse and politics is not much examined, but she is described as a forceful and dominant person within the royal court, though her public role was less visible. Queen Maud's last public appearance in Britain was at the coronation of her nephew, George VI, in May 1937 at Westminster Abbey, she sat in the royal pew at Westminster Abbey next to her sister-
Princess Helena of the United Kingdom
Princess Helena of the United Kingdom was the third daughter and fifth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Helena was educated by private tutors chosen by her father and his close friend and adviser, Baron Stockmar, her childhood was spent with her parents, travelling between a variety of royal residences in Britain. The intimate atmosphere of the royal court came to an end on 14 December 1861, when her father died and her mother entered a period of intense mourning. Afterwards, in the early 1860s, Helena began a flirtation with Prince Albert's German librarian, Carl Ruland. Although the nature of the relationship is unknown, Helena's romantic letters to Ruland survive. After the Queen found out in 1863, she dismissed Ruland. Three years on 5 July 1866, Helena married the impoverished Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein; the couple remained in Britain, in calling distance of the Queen, who liked to have her daughters nearby. Helena, along with her youngest sister, Princess Beatrice, became the Queen's unofficial secretaries.
However, after Queen Victoria's death on 22 January 1901, Helena saw little of her surviving siblings, including King Edward VII. Helena was the most active member of the royal family, carrying out an extensive programme of royal engagements, she was an active patron of charities, was one of the founding members of the British Red Cross. She was founding president of the Royal School of Needlework, president of the Workhouse Infirmary Nursing Association and the Royal British Nurses' Association; as president of the latter, she was a strong supporter of nurse registration against the advice of Florence Nightingale. In 1916 she became the first member of her family to celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary, but her husband died a year later. Helena outlived him by six years, died aged 77 at Schomberg House on 9 June 1923. Helena was born at Buckingham Palace, the official royal residence in London, on 25 May 1846, the day after her mother's 27th birthday, she was the third daughter and fifth child of the reigning British monarch, Queen Victoria, her husband Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
Albert reported to his brother, Ernest II, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, that Helena "came into this world quite blue, but she is quite well now". He added that the Queen "suffered longer and more than the other times and she will have to remain quiet to recover." Albert and Victoria chose the names Helena Augusta Victoria. The German nickname for Helena was Helenchen shortened to Lenchen, the name by which members of the royal family invariably referred to Helena; as the daughter of the sovereign, Helena was styled Her Royal Highness The Princess Helena from birth. Helena was baptised on 25 July 1846 at the private chapel at Buckingham Palace, her godparents were the Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Helena was a lively and outspoken child, reacted against brotherly teasing by punching the bully on the nose, her early talents included drawing. Lady Augusta Stanley, a lady-in-waiting to the Queen, commented favourably on the three-year-old Helena's artwork. Like her sisters, she could play the piano to a high standard at an early age.
Other interests included science and technology, shared by her father Prince Albert, horseback riding and boating, two of her favourite childhood occupations. However, Helena became a middle daughter following the birth of Princess Louise in 1848, her abilities were overshadowed by her more artistic sisters. Helena's father, Prince Albert, died on 14 December 1861; the Queen was devastated, ordered her household, along with her daughters, to move from Windsor to Osborne House, the Queen's Isle of Wight residence. Helena's grief was profound, she wrote to a friend a month later: "What we have lost nothing can replace, our grief is most, most bitter... I adored Papa, I loved him more than anything on earth, his word was a most sacred law, he was my help and adviser... These hours were the happiest of my life, now it is all, all over."The Queen relied on her second eldest daughter Princess Alice as an unofficial secretary, but Alice needed an assistant of her own. Though Helena was the next eldest, she was considered unreliable by Victoria because of her inability to go long without bursting into tears.
Therefore, Louise was selected to assume the role in her place. Alice was married to Prince Louis of Hesse in 1862, after which Helena assumed the role—described as the "crutch" of her mother's old age by one biographer—at her mother's side. In this role, she carried out minor secretarial tasks, such as writing the Queen's letters, helping her with political correspondence, providing her with company. Princess Helena began an early flirtation with her father's former librarian, Carl Ruland, following his appointment to the Royal Household on the recommendation of Baron Stockmar in 1859, he was trusted enough to teach German to Helena's brother, the young Prince of Wales, was described by the Queen as "useful and able". When the Queen discovered that Helena had grown romantically attached to a royal servant, he was promptly dismissed back to his native Germany, he never lost the Queen's hostility. Following Ruland's departure in 1863, the Queen looked for a husband for Helena. However, as a middle child, the prospect of a powerful alliance with a European royal house was low.
Her appearance was a concern, as by the age of fifteen she was described by her biographer as chunky and double-chinned. Furthermore, Victoria insisted that Helena's future hu