Queen Alexandra is Dead.
The whole empire will be saddened by the death of the Queen Mother, Alexandra. News of her serious illness on Thursday came as a shock, and the suddenness of her passing adds to the grief that will be felt, for while it had been known that she was in failing health, her death at this time had not been looked for.
Queen Alexandra was loved and revered wherever British people are. Widowed by the death of King Edward VII, one of the most popular monarchs that Britain and the Empire have had, British subjects everywhere had felt towards her an even deeper affection and reverence that she had enjoyed before.
Furthermore, her truly queenly qualities, her largeness of heart, her sympathetic outlook, and her friendly interest in all that might contribute to human happiness, she had endeared herself in, exceptional degree to British hearts throughout the world. The British royal family will have much sympathy in their personal loss. The King has lost his mother, and the whole empire will share his grief.
Queen Alexandra was born Alexandra Caroline Marie Charlotte Louise Julia on Dec. 1, 1844. Her father was Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. Her mother was Princess Louise of Hesse-Kassel. Princess Alexandra's family was rather obscure and impoverished. Due to the succession crisis that ensued on the accession of King Frederick VII of Denmark, Christian and his family were propelled into the limelight. With the backing of the Great Powers, Christian was declared heir to the throne and, eventually, ruled as King Christian IX in 1863.
In 1862, Princess Alexandra was engaged to Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, eldest son of Queen Victoria of England. She arrived in London on March 7, 1863 and her singularly beauty and charm immediately won her the affection of the English people. Poet Laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson, wrote an ode in Alexandra's honour, A Welcome to Alexandra. Their marriage was celebrated March 10 at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle.
Throughout her tenure as Princess of Wales (she was the longest-serving Princess of Wales), Alexandra was exceedingly popular, thanks to her selfless devotion to charities and her quiet dignity despite her husbands misgivings and extramarital affairs. A fashion icon, her style of dress was copied by the fashion-conscious of her days. She even popularized the wearing choker necklaces and high necklines, which was a fad for over 50 years.