Skip to main content

Princess Feodora of Leiningen: Queen Victoria’s Half-Sister

While the young Princess Victoria was not allowed to play with other children her age, she was blessed enough to have with her the care and affection of her older, half-sister, Princess Feodora of Leiningen. She was born on December 7, 1807 and was baptized Anna Feodora Auguste Charlotte Wilhelmine. Her father, Emich Carl, was Hereditary Prince of Leiningen, while her mother was Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfed.
In 1814, Prince Emich Carl died and four years later, Princess Victoria married Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent, the fourth son of King George III. A year earlier, Princess Charlotte, the only child of the Prince Regent (who would reign as King George IV, 1820-1830), passed away. Her death led to a succession crisis, Charlotte being the only legitimate offspring of all of King George III’s children. While Edward and his brothers had children, all of them were illegitimate who were barred from inheriting the throne. Thus, the royal brothers were forced to look for a legitimate wife.

In 1819, Feodora joined her mother, now the Duchess of Kent, who moved to London with the duke  to establish their household at Kensington Palace. The duchess was heavily pregnant already but her husband wanted their only child to be born on the British soil. And so, much to her inconvenience, the duke's will had to prevail. 

Feodora’s half-sister, Victoria, was born on May 24, 1819. A few months later the Duke of Kent died. While Feodora and Victoria were 12 years apart in age, they maintained a close relationship which lasted until Feodora's death. However, she was never happy in Kensington Palace and voiced her desire to leave. In fact, her "only happy time was driving out" with Victoria and her governess Baroness Louise Lehzen because she could "speak and look as she liked."

In early 1828, Feodora finally found the reason to leave Kensington Palace, after marrying Ernst I, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1794–1860). They had only met twice before their wedding. After their honeymoon, they  settled in Germany, in the prince’s family seat. Schloss Hohenlohe was huge but it was also uncomfortable and damped. Nevertheless, it was now home for Feodoro who lived there until death in 1872. The prince did not actually rule (the principality was mediatised to the Kingdom of Württemberg in 1806).

The correspondence between Victoria and Feodora would go on and they sent letters to each other as frequently as possible. “I often think, when our children… are grown up and think back upon their happy childhood, how different their feelings will be from what ours are when we think back," Feodoroa once wrote to Victoria. "We both have not enjoyed a father's love."  

When Victoria succeeded to the throne, Feodora wrote: "Living but for your duty to your country, difficult as it is, will prove to you a source of happiness."

The Queen would provide her sister an allowance (about £300) each time she told Victoria she wanted to visit England.  Feodora and Ernst would have six children. All but one survived to reach adulthood. The eldest daughter Elise, succumbed to tuberculosis at the age of 19. 

Feodora and Victoria also endured the grief that widowhood brought almost at the same time. In 1860, Prince Ernst died and the following year, Prince Albert passed away. Victoria hoped Feodora would live with her in England but Feodora thought Victoria’s grief was too much to bear.

In February 1872, Feodora’s youngest daughter Feodora Victoria died. Seven months later, on September 23, Feodora passed away. The Queen paid her dear sister one last visit when the latter was terminally ill. Her death was another blow to her. “I stand so alone now," she wrote in her journal. "No near and dear one near my own age, or older to whom I could look up to, left! All, all gone! She was my last near relative on an equality with me, the last link with my childhood and youth.”

When Feodora's personal effects were being searched and sorted, a  letter for Queen Victoria dated 1854 was found, a lasting testament to the affection an older sister could have for a younger sibling: “I can never thank you enough for all you have done for me, for your great love and tender affection. These feelings cannot die, they must and will live in my soul – till we meet again, never more to be separated – and you will not forget.”


  1. In 1918, Feodora joined her mother, now the Duchess of Kent---typo correction on date 1819. :)


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

10 Interesting Facts About Princess Margaret of United Kingdom, Countess of Snowdon

Princess Margaret Rose was one of the most popular, albeit controversial, royals during her lifetime. She was a rather sad figure, a victim of love at an early age and a person who constantly sought affection and attention as she went on to looked for the real meaning of her life. Might as well want to learn about the colorful life of Queen Elizabeth II's younger sister? Here are 10 interesting facts about her.

1. Born on August 30, 1930, in Glamis, the family seat of her mother's family, Princess Margaret was the first member of the British Royal Family to be born in Scotland for over 300 years.

2. Her parents, the then Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth) wanted to call her Anne, but her grandfather, King George V, vetoed, so they named her Margaret Rose, instead.

3. In 1936, the princess' relatively peaceful life was altered considerably when his uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated to marry the woman he loved, the two-time American divorce…

King Edward VIII’s Financial Settlement: How Much Money Did He Get After The Abdication?

King Edward VIII leaped into financial uncertainty the moment he signed the Instrument of Abdication on December 10, 1936. That same day, Edward, now known as Duke of Windsor, entered into an agreement with his younger brother and successor, King George VI, that secured him £25,000 annually for the rest of his life. However, the King later renounced this agreement and instead offered him a smaller amount which would cease upon the King's death. The condition is that Edward should never step into British soil unless invited by government.

The Private Residences of the British Royals

Let’s check out the privately-owned or leased residences of the members of the British Royal Family. The list does not include the state-owned residences, like Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle, as well as those owned by the duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster.  This list, however, includes properties leased by members of the Royal Family for the purpose of having their own private residence.
Balmoral Castle

Balmoral Castle is the private residence of Queen Elizabeth II in Royal Deeside in Scotland. Purchased by Prince Albert in 1852, the property reminded him of his homeland, Thuringia, Germany. Prince Albert and Queen Victoria originally leased the property until the deal was sealed to purchase the estate for £32,000. The couple expanded the rather small house to fit in the growing family of the royal couple. Ownership of the property passed on to the eldest son (usually the sovereign). King Edward VIII retained ownership of Balmoral after his abdication. A financial settlement was …