Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom
The Princess Beatrice, (Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore), (14 April 1857 - 26 October 1944), was a member of the British Royal Family, the fifth daughter and the youngest child of Queen Victoria. After her marriage she was styled 'Princess Henry of Battenberg'.
Princess Beatrice was famous for editing the journals and diaries of Queen Victoria after her death.
Princess Beatrice was born on April 14, 1857, at Buckingham Palace, London. Her mother was the reigning British monarch, Queen Victoria, the only daughter of King George III's fourth eldest son, Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent. Her father was Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. As the daughter of the sovereign, Beatrice was styled Her Royal Highness from birth. She was baptised in the Private Chapel of Buckingham Palace on 16 June 1857 by John Bird Sumner, Archbishop of Canterbury and her godparents were the Duchess of Kent, the Princess Royal and her sister's fiancé Prince Friedrich William of Prussia.
Her father, the Prince Consort, died when she was only four years old and the griefstricken Queen clung to her youngest child. Nicknamed "Baby" by the Queen, the princess became a good pianist; some of her compositions were later published. Her chief occupation, however, was to act as her mother's secretary and companion, a role she fulfilled until Queen Victoria's death on January 22, 1901. She was linked romantically with Napoleon Eugene, Prince Imperial, who was killed in the Anglo-Zulu War in an ambush.
On 23 July 1885, Princess Beatrice married Prince Henry of Battenberg, the third son of Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine (1823-1888) by his morganatic marriage to Julie Therese, Countess von Hauke (1825-1895), the daughter of a Polish politician on (5 October 1858-20 January 1896) at St. Mildred's Church, Whippingham on the Isle of Wight.
Queen Victoria gave her blessing to the marriage on the condition that the couple made their home with her. His elder brother, Prince Louis of Battenberg, had married Princess Victoria of Hesse and the Rhine, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and a niece of Princess Beatrice, a year earlier. On the day of his wedding, the Queen granted Prince Henry the style Royal Highness, a style that was in effect only in Great Britain, not Hesse and by Rhine, where the prince was a Serene Highness.
Beatrice and Henry had four children, all raised in the United Kingdom. By Royal Warrant of 13 December 1886, the Queen granted the children the style Highness. This style was in effect only in Great Britain and not Hesse and by Rhine, where as children of Prince Henry they were only entitled to the style Serene Highness:
Princess Henry of Battenberg
After her marriage, Princess Beatrice styled herself with her husband's name and title but with her style Her Royal Highness and became Her Royal Highness Princess Henry of Battenberg. The couple lived with the Queen at Windsor Castle and Balmoral Castle in Scotland. The Queen appointed Prince Henry Governor of Isle of Wight, a position later taken on by Beatrice in later life.
Prince Henry of Battenberg died in 1896 of a fever he contracted while on active military duty in the second Ashanti War, leaving Beatrice a widow at the age of 38.
When Queen Victoria died, the Princess went to live in Osborne Cottage and carried out her duties as governor of the Isle of Wright, a position she inherited from her husband. In 1914, she moved to Carisbrooke Castle, but maintained an apartment in Kensington Palace as her London home.
Queen Victoria's Journals
Before she died, Queen Victoria requested that Beatrice edit her journals and diaries before they were to be archived and published. As the Queen had been keeping a journal since her early years, the task was enormous and Beatrice spent the next thirty years editing her mother's journals. In doing so, she followed Queen Victoria's instruction to remove anything that might cause pain to persons mentioned or to her relatives. The Princess transcribed the text in her own handwriting and burned the originals. She finished the task in 1931 and the 111 volumes of Queen Victoria's edited journals are at the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle.
House of Windsor
In July 1917, anti-German feeling during World War I led King George V to change the name of the Royal House from the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to House of Windsor. He also relinquished, on behalf of his various relatives who were British subjects, the use of all German titles and styles. Princess Henry relinquished the title of Princess of Battenberg and resumed the style of Her Royal Highness The Princess Beatrice. Her two surviving sons assumed by Royal Warrant the surname Mountbatten and discontinued the use of the title Prince of Battenberg and the style Highness. Her elder son, Alexander ("Drino") was created Marquess of Carisbrooke, while the younger son, Leopold, assumed the courtesy title Lord Leopold Mountbatten. Her daughter, Princess Victoria Eugénie, had by this time married and assumed her husband's surname.
In January 1919, George V created Princess Beatrice a Dame Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (G.B.E.), in recognition for her role as president of the Isle of Wight branch of the British Red Cross Society. She was created a Dame Grand Cross of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem in 1927.
Princess Beatrice died at her wartime home, Brantridge Park, Balcombe, Sussex, in October 1944. Her funeral took place at St. George's Chapel, Windsor on 3 November, followed by internment at the royal tomb house. Her remains were transferred later to the Battenberg Chapel at St Mildred's Churchon the Isle of Wight on 28 August 1945. She was the last surviving child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
Titles, Styles, Honours & Arms
- 1857-1885: Her Royal Highness The Princess Beatrice
- 1885-1917: Her Royal Highness Princess Henry of Battenberg
- 1917-1944: Her Royal Highness The Princess Beatrice
- Order of Victoria and Albert
- Order of the Crown of India
- Royal Victorian Order
- Order of the British Empire
- Royal Red Cross
|Prince Alexander of Battenberg||3 November 1886||23 February 1960)||married, 1917 Irene Denison (4 July 1890-16 July 1956); had issue|
|Princess Victoria Eugénie of Battenberg||24 October 1887||15 April 1969||married, 1906, King Alfonso XIII of Spain (17 May 1886-28 February 1941); had issue|
|Prince Leopold of Battenberg||21 May 1889||23 April 1922|
|Prince Maurice of Battenberg||3 October 1891||27 October 1914|