Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn

The Duke of Connaught (1915)
The Duke of Connaught (1915)

The Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn (Arthur William Patrick Albert) (1 May 185016 January 1942) was a member of the British Royal Family, a son of Queen Victoria. Arthur served as the Governor General of Canada from 1911 to 1916. He was created Duke of Connaught and Strathearn and Earl of Sussex in 1874.

Early life

Arthur was born on May 1, 1850 at Buckingham Palace. His mother was Queen Victoria, the reigning British monarch. His father was Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. As a son of the Sovereign, he was styled His Royal Highness The Prince Arthur from birth. The Prince was baptised in the Private Chapel at Buckingham Palace on 22 June 1850 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr John Bird Sumner and his godparents were: the Crown Prince of Prussia, Princess Bernard of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and the Duke of Wellington (with whom he shared his birthday and whom he was named after).

Army service

British Royalty
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

Descendants of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
   Victoria, Princess Royal
   Edward VII
   Princess Alice
   Alfred, Duke of
   Saxe-Coburg & Gotha
   Princess Helena
   Princess Louise
   Arthur, Duke of Connaught
   Leopold, Duke of Albany
   Princess Beatrice
   Alfred of Edinburgh
   Marie of Edinburgh
   Victoria of Edinburgh
   Alexandra of Edinburgh
   Beatrice of Edinburgh
   Margaret of Connaught
   Arthur of Connaught
   Patricia of Connaught
   Alice of Albany
   Carl, Duke of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha
Great Grandchildren
   Alastair of Connaught
   Johann Leopold of
   Saxe-Coburg & Gotha
   Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha
   Hubertus of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha
   Caroline of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha
   Friedrich Josias of
   Saxe-Coburg & Gotha
Edward VII
   Albert, Duke of Clarence
   George V
   Louise, Princess Royal
   Princess Victoria
   Princess Maud
   Prince Alexander John
Maternal Grandchildren
   Alexandra, Duchess of Fife
   Maud of Fife

Like his elder brothers, he received his early education from tutors. Prince Arthur became interested in the army at early age. In 1866, he entered the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich and received a commission as a lieutenant in the Corps of Royal Engineers two years later. He later transferred to the Royal Regiment of Artillery and then to the Rifle Brigade.

Arthur had a long and distinguished career in the British Army that included service in South Africa, Canada, Ireland, Egypt in 1882 and in India from 1886 to 1890. On 1 April 1893, he was promoted to the rank of general. Arthur had hoped to succeed his first cousin once-removed, the elderly Duke of Cambridge, as commander-in-chief of the British Army, upon the latter's forced retirement in 1895. However, this was denied to him. Instead, he held command in the southern district of Aldershot from 1893 to 1898. Arthur became a Field Marshal on 26 June 1902. He served in various important positions thereafter, as Commander-in-Chief in Ireland (1900-1904); Inspector-General of the Forces (1904-1907), and as Governor General of Canada (1911-1916).


On 13 March 1879, Arthur married Princess Luise Margarete of Prussia, the daughter of Prince Friedrich of Prussia and a grand-niece of the German Emperor Wilhelm I, at St. George's Chapel, Windsor. The couple had three children:

The Duke and Duchess of Connaught acquired Bagshot Park in Surrey as their country home and after 1900 used Clarence House as their London residence.


When his brother was obliged to resign the office upon his accession as Edward VII, Prince Arthur was elected Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, and was annually reelected 37 times until 1939, when he was nearly 90.

Dukedom of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha

In 1899, Arthur came into direct line of succession to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in Germany, upon the death of his nephew, the only son of his elder brother, the Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh. He decided, however, to renounce his own and his son's succession rights to the duchy, which then passed to his nephew, Prince Charles Edward, the posthumous son of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany.

Governor General of Canada

In 1911, the British government appointed Arthur to the post of Governor General of Canada. During Arthur's term of office as governor general, Sir Robert Borden was Prime Minister and Canada was making steady progress in its transformation from British colony to independent nation. Governors General however, were still appointed by the British, and Arthur was the first member of the British Royal Family to serve in the post (though his sister Princess Louise had been the wife of a previous Governor General, Lord Lorne), helping to strengthen ties between the British monarchy and Canada.

Arthur travelled to Canada, with his wife, the Duchess of Connaught, and his youngest daughter, Princess Patricia. They lived together at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, and travelled extensively throughout Canada. Arthur served as laiason between the British government and Canada during World War I. He re-laid the cornerstone of the burned-out federal parliament building in 1917. The stone had been set in the original buildin by Prince Albert Edward (later Edward VII) in 1860. Both the Duchess and Princess became popular figures in Canadian society. The Connaughts also made many improvements to Rideau Hall during the Arthur's term as Governor General.

World War One

Styles of
The Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
Reference style His Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Sir

In 1914, World War I broke out, with Canadians called to arms against Germany and Austria-Hungary. The Connaughts remained in Canada at the beginning of the war. Arthur emphasized the need for military training and readiness for Canadian troops departing for war, and gave his name to Connaught Cup for the Royal North West Mounted Police, to encourage pistol marksmanship for recruits. He was active in auxiliary war services and charities and conducted hospital visits, while the Duchess of Connaught worked for the Red Cross and other organizations to support the war cause. She was also Colonel-in-Chief of the Duchess of Connaught's Own Irish Canadian Rangers battalion, one of the regiments in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Their daughter, Princess Patricia, also lent her name and support to the raising of a new Canadian army regiment -- Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.

Following the war, Arthur commissioned a stained glass window in their memory which is located in St. Bartholomew's Church next to Rideau Hall, which the family attended regularly.

Later life

After his term at Rideau Hall, the Duke of Connaught returned to military service for the remainder of the war. The Duchess, who had been ill during their years at Rideau Hall, died in March 1917. The Duke withdrew from public life in 1928, and died 14 years later at Bagshot Park in 1942, at the age of 92. He was succeeded (briefly) in his dukedom by his grandson, Alastair Arthur Windsor, 2nd Duke of Connaught, the son of Prince Arthur and his wife, Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife, a granddaughter of King Edward VII.


  • Connaught Hall, London, a University of London intercollegiate hall or residence
  • Connaught Circle, principal shopping precinct of New Delhi
  • In Canada, numerous schools, roads, parks, and a military regiment are named for the first Duke, dating from his term as Governor General

Titles and Honours

Royal Titles

  • His Royal Highness The Prince Arthur (1850-1874)
  • His Royal Highness The Duke of Connaught and Strathearn (1874-1942)
  • His Royal Highness The Governor General of Canada (1911-1916)


Preceded by:
The Lord Roberts of Kandahar
Commander-in-Chief, Ireland
Succeeded by:
The Lord Grenfell
Preceded by:
The Prince of Wales
Grand Master of the
United Grand Lodge
of England

Succeeded by:
The Duke of Kent
Great Master of the
Order of the Bath

Succeeded by:
The Duke of Gloucester
Preceded by:
The Earl Grey
Governor General of Canada
Succeeded by:
The Duke of Devonshire
Preceded by:
New Creation
Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
Succeeded by:
Alistair Windsor

Governors General of Canada
Monck | Lisgar | Dufferin | Lorne | Lansdowne | Stanley | Aberdeen | Minto | Grey | Connaught | Devonshire | Byng | Willingdon | Bessborough | Tweedsmuir | Athlone | Alexander | Massey | Vanier | Michener | Léger | Schreyer | Sauvé | Hnatyshyn | LeBlanc | Clarkson | Jean

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