Princesses in Their Own Rights
|Princess Helena Victoria|
The Schleswig Daughters: Princesses Without Land
|Princess Marie Louise|
Princesses Marie Louise and Helena Victoria (daughters of Princess Helena, third daughter of Queen Victoria) were forced to drop, per letters patent issued by their cousin King George V, their territorial designation “of Schleswig-Holstein” (being the daughters of Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein). This was at the height of anti-German sentiments during World War I. This act placed them at a rather awkward position. Because the two were unmarried (Princess Marie Louise was annulled from Prince Aribert of Anhalt in 1900) and their right to be styled Highness within the British soil, by virtue of Queen Victoria’s letters patent, exempted them from taking the precedence of that day that should have been made them known as “Lady Marie Louise New Surname” and “Lady Helena Victoria New Surname.” They were allowed to retain their princely titles without immediate family membership or territorial designation to associate them with.
Another unique position within the highest echelon of British society was occupied by Princesses Alexandra and Maud of Fide. They were the only female-line granddaughters of a sovereign who held the title Princess of Great Britain and Ireland and the only pair of their status to held their rank not from their father (the Duke of Fife), but from the will of their grandfather, King Edward VII. Likewise, they held the style Highness and stood in precedence immediately after all members of the Royal Family bearing the style Royal Highness.
The lives of these princesses, as with other normal member royal family, have fascinated me most. Their marriages, family lives, careers, and contributions to the public have all made them, in one way or another, worthy of adulation during their time. As such, they were among the most popular members of the Royal Family, given their unique position. I will be writing a detailed biography of each of these princesses in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.