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The Story of Princess Helena Victoria and Princess Marie Louise—Part 2: Birth of the Princesses


Princess Helena Victoria as a child.

Helena Victoria was born on May 3, 1870, at Frogmore House. She was christened Victoria Louise Sophia Augusta Amelia Helena.  Marie Louise was born on Augusta 12, 1872, at Cumberland Lodge. She was christened Franziska Josepha Louise Augusta Marie Christina Helena. Prior to their birth, Queen Victoria made a rather unusually proclamation that affected the princesses’ status in the precedence among members of the royal family. Under letters patent of 1866, Helena Victoria and Marie Louise, together with their two brothers, were allowed to bear the style Highness. The style was in effect in Great Britain, and not in Germany, where they were entitled to the style Serene Highness.

Princess Marie Louise when she was child.
The children spent their childhood at Cumberland Lodge. Although the two girls lived near the court and had their personal French maids, their mother raised them in as much a normal way as possible. They were taught to work with their hands and look after themselves. Princess Helena required her daughters to take care of their rooms and personal appearance. Their clothes were as simple as their condition of princesses permitted it. Their father taught them German lessons while their governesses taught gave them the French language. Since Princess Helena was a staunch advocate of nursing, she instructed them the basics of medical and welfare work, an advocacy that she passed on to her daughters, who themselves became patrons of nursing.

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