|Prince Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.|
Image: Wikimedia Commons
London, June 19, 1899 - The Daily Mail's Berlin correspondent reported that Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha "would probably abdicate" this year. C.F von Strange, the Minister of State, allegedly made the confidential pronouncement at the conclusion of a "secret session" of the duchy's Diet.
Prince Alfred was born in 1844. He was the second son and fourth child of Queen Victoria and of Prince Albert, the younger son of the Duke of Saxe-coburg and Gotha. Albert's elder brother succeeded as the duchy's ruler, but he failed to have an heir of his own. The Prince of Wales declined the title, so it eventually passed on to Alfred upon the duke's death in 1893. The duke was married to Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna, only daughter of Czar Alexander II of Russia. The marriage was blessed with four daughters, Marie, Victoria Melita, Alexandra and Beatrice. Their only son was the Hereditary Prince Alfred, who was in line to his father's British and German titles.
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