Meet the Ten Longest Lived Royals in Europe
Here is our list of the ten amazing royals who enjoyed amazing longevity despite the hustle and bustle of their lives.
Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, 104
(December 25, 1901-October 29, 2004)
Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, was the daughter of a Scottish peer, the 7th Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, who was then the largest landowner in Scotland. She married Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, in 1934 and bore him two sons, Prince William, who died in a plane crash in 1972, and Prince Richard, who inherited his father’s title upon his death in 1974. One of the most popular royal figures during her lifetime, she was also the longest-lived European royal, dying at the age of 102. She penned her memoirs, The Memoirs of Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, which was published in 1981 and revised it ten years later with the title Memories of Ninety Years.
Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, 101
(August 4, 1900 – March 30, 2002)
Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was the youngest daughter of the 14th Earl of Strathmore. Her family was also one of the wealthiest land-owners in Scotland. She came to prominence in 1924 after she tied the knot with Albert, Duke of York, the second son of King George V and Queen Mary. The couple and their family became even more popular as the embodiment of royals who enjoyed family bliss while never failing to fulfill their obligation to the public. Known as the "Smiling Duchess" because of her sunny expression, she became Queen Consort and the last Empress of India when her husband succeeded as King George VI after his older brother, Edward VIII, abdicated to marry to the twice-divorced American Wallis Simpson. An influential figure during World War II, she stayed with her husband in London while German air raids heavily bombed the city. With her indomitable spirit and ceaseless efforts to boost British wartime morale, Hitler dubbed her as “the most dangerous woman in Europe.” She remained a popular member of the British Royal Family throughout her life, performing official duties until before her death.
Infanta Maria Adelaide of Portugal, 100
(January 31, 1912- February 24, 2012)
Maria Adelaide was the daughter of Miguel, Duke of Braganza, the Miguelist claimant to the throne of Portugal, and Princess Maria Theresa of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg. Throughout her life, the princess was a compassionate servant of the poor, working as a nurse and social assistant. During World War II, she joined the Nazi resistance movement, which almost cost her her life. If it was not for the intervention of the Portuguese President of the Council of Ministers, António de Oliveira Salazar who said that the infanta was a national heritage, the Gestapo could have executed her. She spent her entire life caring for the newborn poor and orphaned at the D. Nunes Alvares Pereira Foundation, which she headed.
Otto, Crown Prince of Austria and Hungary, 98
(November 20, 1912 – July 4, 2011)
The eldest son of Charles I and IV, the last Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, and Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma, Otto considered himself, his family and Austro-Hungarian legitimists,as the rightful claimant to the thrones of Austria and Hungary since 1922. His father never abdicated. The Crown Prince was active on the Austrian and European political stage from the 1930s. He promoted the Habsburg restoration and was an early proponent of European integration, while fiercely criticizing nationalism, Nazism and communism. A staunch Austrian anti-Nazi, he fled to the United States when the monarchists were severely prosecuted by the Nazis at the height of the Auschloss. After World War II, his political career surged with his election as vice president (1957–1973) and president (1973–2004) of the International Paneuropean Union. He also served as member of the European Parliament for the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU) from 1979 until 1999. He took a keen interest in the countries behind the Iron Curtain during his tenure, playing a key role in the revolutions of 1989. He also supported the EU membership of central and eastern European countries. Later in his life, he was hailed as one of the "architects of the European idea and of European integration" together with Robert Schuman, Konrad Adenauer, and Alcide De Gasperi.
Infanta Alicia of Spain, 98
(June 29, 1876 – January 20, 1975)
Infanta Alicia was the youngest child of Carlos, Duke of Madrid, Carlist claimant to the throne of Spain and Legitimist claimant to the throne of France, and of Princess Margherita of Bourbon-Parma. She was first married in 1897 to Friedrich, Prince von Schönburg-Waldenburg at Venice. The couple had children but their marriage was divorced in 1903. In 1906, he morganatically married Lino del Prete, a cavalry general in the Italian Army, in Viareggio. The couple had issue. The princess’ marriage to del Prete caused her estrangement to her family.
Duchess Altburg of Oldenburg, Princess of Waldeck-Pyrmont, 98
(May 19, 1903 – June 16, 2001)
Duchess Altburg was the daughter of Frederick Augustus II, Grand Duke of Oldenburg, and his second wife Duchess Elisabeth Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. She married Josias, Hereditary Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont. The couple had five children, four of which survived to adulthood.
Princess Alice of Albany, Countess of Athlone, 97
(February 25, 1883 – January 13, 1981)
Princess Alice is considered the longest-lived princess of the blood royal of the British Royal Family and Queen Victoria’s last surviving grand daughter. She married Prince Alexander of Teck, the younger brother of Princess Mary, later Queen Mary, in 1904. In 1917, the couple relinquished their German titles following the letters patent issued by King George V. The princess joined her husband in South Africa after he was appointed governor-general from 1924 to 1931. From 1940 to 1946, he was governor general of Canada, and as the wartime vicereine, Princess Alice also supported the war effort in various capacities. She continued to be an active and well-loved member of the British Royal Family until her death.
Princess Eduarda of Liechtenstein, Countess zu Pappenheim, 97
(October 16, 1903 – July 13, 2001)
Known as Princss Edina to her family, she was the fourth child and second daughter of Prince Eduard Victor of Lichtenstein. She first married in 1922 Viktor, Count von und zu Trauttmansdorff-Weinsberg . Her second husband was Alexander, Count zu Pappenheim.
Princess Lilian of Sweden, Duchess of Halland, 97
(Auguat 30, 1915 - March 10, 2013)
Princess Lilian of Sweden was initially controversial for her relationship with Prince Bertil of Sweden. Born in Wales, the former Lilian Davies consummated a rather discreet love affair with the prince. Marrying a divorcee and a commoner would bar Prince Bertil from inheriting the throne (that time, he was the third in line to the throne). While the couple's relationship was accepted privately within the Royal Family, the couple had to wait until the death of Bertil's father, King Gustaf VI Adolf, to get married. The new king, his nephew, Carl XVI Gustaf, permitted his uncle to marry the love of his life. Princess Lilian, despite being 61 at the time, emerged as one of most popular members of the Swedish Royal Family. She was a familiar fixture at the annual Nobel Prize awards ceremony, present every year from 1976 until 2005, when she decided she was too old to attend. She remained occupied with official functions even after the death of Prince Bertil in 1997.
Princess Marie Adelaide of Lippe, Princess Reus, 97
(August 30, 1895 - January 25, 1993)
Princess Marie Adelaide first married Prince Heinrich XXXII Reuss of Köstritz. After divorcing him, she married his younger brother Prince Heinrich XXXV. The marriage also ended in divorce. His third husband was the commoner Hanno Konopath, who was a prominent Nazi official. The princess was notable for being a popular socialite and a staunch Nazi supporter. She was a key figure in the Nordic Ring, which was a forum for the discussion of issues concerning race and eugenics. She also served as an aide to Nazi Minister of Food and Agriculture Richard Walther Darré, and produced numerous works of fiction, poetry, translations, and other books. After the end of World War II, she published translations of prominent Holocaust-denying works, such as Paul Rassinier's Le Drame des Juifs européens [The Drama of European Jews] into German in 1964.