Prince Leopold

Please add an image!
Birth Date:
Death date:
Person's maiden name:
Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany
Extra names:
Леопольд герцог Олбани, граф Кларенс барон Арклоу, princis Leopolds Georgs Džordžs Alberts принц Леопольд Георг Джордж Альберт, Leopold George Duncan Albert;
Aristocrat, Baron, Count, Duke, Prince
London Road Cemetery in Godmanchester

Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, KG, KT, GCSI, GCMG, GCStJ (Leopold George Duncan Albert; 7 April 1853 – 28 March 1884) was the eighth child and youngest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. 

Leopold was later created Duke of Albany, Earl of Clarence, and Baron Arklow. He had haemophilia, which led to his death at the age of 30.

Early life

Leopold was born on 7 April 1853 at Buckingham Palace, London, the eighth child and youngest son of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. During labour, Queen Victoria chose to use chloroform and thus sanctioned the use of anesthesia in childbirth, recently developed by Professor James Young Simpson. The chloroform was administered by Dr. John Snow.[1] As a son of the British sovereign, the newborn was styled His Royal Highness The Prince Leopoldat birth. His parents named him Leopold after their common uncle, King Leopold I of Belgium.

He was baptised in the Private Chapel of Buckingham Palace on 28 June 1853 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, John Bird Sumner. His godparents were his first cousin once removed, King George V of Hanover; his fourth cousin once removed, Princess William of Prussia; his first cousin once removed, Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge; and his maternal uncle by marriage, Prince Ernst of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.

Leopold inherited the disease haemophilia from his mother, Queen Victoria, and was a delicate child. There was speculation during his life that Leopold also suffered mildly from epilepsy, like his grand-nephew Prince John of the United Kingdom.

Education and career

The Prince's intellectual abilities were evident as a boy; Poet Laureate, Alfred, Lord Tennyson and his friend, philosopher Dr James Martineau, were familiar with the Queen's children and had noted that Leopold, who had often "conversed with the eminent Dr. Martineau, was considered to be a young man of a very thoughtful mind, high aims, and quite remarkable acquirements".

Oxford University

In 1872, Prince Leopold entered Christ Church, Oxford, where he studied a variety of subjects and became president of the Oxford University Chess Club. On coming of age in 1874, he had been made a privy councillorand granted an annuity of £15,000.[4]He left the university with an honorary doctorate in civil law (DCL) in 1876, then travelled in Europe. In 1880, he toured Canada and the United Stateswith his sister, Princess Louise, whose husband John Campbell, Marquess of Lorne, was Governor General of Canada. He was a prominent patron of chess, and the London 1883 chess tournament was held under his patronage. Incapable of pursuing a military career because of his haemophilia and the need to avoid even minor injuries, Leopold instead became a patron of the arts and literature and served as an unofficial secretary to his mother. "Leopold was the favourite son, and through him her relations with the Government of the day were usually kept up." Later he pursued vice-regal appointments in Canada and the Colony of Victoria, but his mother refused to appoint him, to his great unhappiness.

British Army

Despite his inability (through illness) to pursue an active military role, he had an honorary association with the 72nd Regiment, Duke of Albany's Own Highlanders, and from 1881 served as the first Colonel-in-Chief of the Seaforth Highlanders, when that regiment was formed through the merger of the 72nd regiment with the 78th (Highlanders) Regiment of Foot. A portrait of Prince Leopold in military uniform is held in the Royal Collection. The Seaforth Highlanders paraded at Prince Leopold's funeral, a fact recorded by William McGonagall in his poem "The Death of Prince Leopold".


Prince Leopold was an active Freemason, being initiated in the Apollo University Lodge, Oxford, whilst resident at Christ Church. He was proposed for membership by his brother, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, who was at the time the Worshipful Master of the Lodge, and was initiated in a joint ceremony with Robert Hawthorne Collins, his friend and tutor, who later became Comptroller of his Household. He served as Master of the Lodge from 1876-1877, and was later the Provincial Grand Master for Oxfordshire, still holding that office at the time of his death.

Duke of Albany

Prince Leopold was created Duke of Albany, Earl of Clarence and Baron Arklow on 24 May 1881.


Prince Leopold, stifled by the desire of his mother, Queen Victoria, to keep him at home, saw marriage as his only hope of independence. Due to his haemophilia, he had difficulty finding a wife. Heiress Daisy Maynard was one of the women he considered as a possible bride. He was acquainted with Alice Liddell, the daughter of the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford for whom Lewis Carroll wrote Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and was godfather of Alice's second son, who was named for him. It has been suggested that he considered marrying her, though others suggest that he preferred her sister Edith (for whom he later served as pall-bearer on 30 June 1876).

Leopold also considered his second cousin Princess Frederica of Hanover for a bride; they instead became lifelong friends and confidantes. Other aristocratic women he pursued included Victoria of Baden, Princess Stéphanie of Belgium, Princess Elisabeth of Hesse-Kassel, and Princess Karoline Mathilde of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg. Leopold was very fond of Mary Baring, daughter of Lord Ashburton, but, though she was very fond of him too, at 19, she felt she was too young to marry.

After rejection from these women, Victoria stepped in to bar what she saw as unsuitable possibilities. Insisting that the children of British monarchs should marry into other reigning Protestant families, Victoria suggested a meeting with Princess Helena Friederike, the daughter of Georg Viktor, reigning Prince of Waldeck-Pyrmont, one of whose daughters had already married King William III of the Netherlands. On 27 April 1882, Leopold and Helena were married, at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, and his income was raised by parliament to £25,000. Leopold and Helena enjoyed a happy (although brief) marriage. In 1883, Leopold became a father when his wife gave birth to a daughter, Alice. He died shortly before the birth of his son, Charles Edward.

Illness and death

Prince Leopold had haemophilia, diagnosed in childhood and in early years had various physicians in permanent attendance, including Arnold Royle and John Wickham Legg. In February 1884, Leopold went to Cannes on doctor's orders: joint pain is a common symptom of haemophilia and the winter climate in the United Kingdom was always difficult for him. His wife, pregnant at the time, stayed at home but urged him to go. On 27 March, at his Cannes residence, the 'Villa Nevada', he slipped and fell, injuring his knee and hitting his head. He died in the early hours of the next morning, apparently from a cerebral haemorrhage. He was buried in the Albert Memorial Chapel at Windsor. The court observed official mourning from 30 March 1884 to 11 May 1884. His posthumous son, Prince Charles Edward, succeeded him as 2nd Duke of Albany upon birth four months later.

Having died six years after his older sister Alice, Leopold was the second of Queen Victoria's children to die. At 30 years, he was also the shortest-lived of the cohort. His mother outlived him by seventeen years, by which time she had also outlived a third child, Alfred.

Leopold's passing was lamented by the Scottish "poet and tragedian" William McGonagall in the poem "The Death of Prince Leopold".

In 1900, Leopold's son, Charles Edward, succeeded his uncle Alfred as Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

Through Charles Edward, Leopold was the great-grandfather of Carl XVI Gustaf, the current King of Sweden.

The haemophilia gene is carried on the X chromosome, and is normally passed through female descent, as in the past few haemophiliac men survived to beget children. Any daughter of a haemophiliac is a carrier of the gene. Leopold's daughter Alice inherited the haemophilia gene, and passed it to her elder son Rupert.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

  • 7 April 1853 – 24 May 1881: His Royal Highness The Prince Leopold
  • 24 May 1881 – 28 March 1884: His Royal Highness The Duke of Albany
  • KG: Knight of the Order of the Garter (1869)
  • KT: Knight of the Order of the Thistle (1871)
  • PC: Member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom (1874)
  • GCSI: Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India (25 January 1877)
  • GCStJ: Bailiff Grand Cross of the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem (1880)
  • GCMG: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (1880)

In 1856, at the age of three, Prince Leopold was granted a personal coat of arms — the arms of the kingdom, with an inescutcheon of the shield of Saxony (representing his father), and all differenced by a label argent of three points, the first and third bearing hearts gules, and the second a cross gules.

Source: wikipedia.org

No places


        Relation nameRelation typeBirth DateDeath dateDescription
        1Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and GothaPrince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and GothaFather26.08.181914.12.1861
        2Queen VictoriaQueen VictoriaMother24.05.181922.01.1901
        3Princess AlicePrincess AliceDaughter25.02.188303.01.1981
        4Princess BeatricePrincess BeatriceBrother14.04.185726.10.1944
        5Артур Уильям Патрик, принц ВеликобританииАртур Уильям Патрик, принц ВеликобританииBrother01.05.185016.01.1942
        6Alfrēds Edinburgas, Olsteras un Kentas, Saksen- Koburgas  un Gotas HercogsAlfrēds Edinburgas, Olsteras un Kentas, Saksen- Koburgas un Gotas HercogsBrother06.09.184431.07.1900
        7Edvards VIIEdvards VIIBrother09.11.184106.05.1910
        8Виктория Гессен-ДармштадтскаяВиктория Гессен-ДармштадтскаяSister05.04.186324.09.1950
        9Принцесса ЛуизаПринцесса ЛуизаSister18.03.184803.12.1939
        10Beatrice Mary Victoria  FeodoreBeatrice Mary Victoria FeodoreSister14.04.185726.10.1944
        11Empress Alexandra  FeodorovnaEmpress Alexandra FeodorovnaSister06.06.187217.07.1918
        12Елизавета ФёдоровнаЕлизавета ФёдоровнаSister01.11.186418.07.1918
        13Victoria Princess RoyalVictoria Princess RoyalSister21.11.184005.08.1901
        14Victoria  MelitaVictoria MelitaSister25.11.187602.03.1936
        15Princess Alice Of the United KingdomPrincess Alice Of the United KingdomSister25.04.184314.12.1878
        16Princess Helena of Waldeck and PyrmontPrincess Helena of Waldeck and PyrmontWife17.02.186101.09.1922
        17George  VGeorge VNephew03.06.186520.01.1936
        18Prince AlfredPrince AlfredNephew15.10.187406.02.1899
        19Wilhelm  IIWilhelm IINephew27.01.185904.06.1941
        20Sophia of  PrussiaSophia of PrussiaNephew14.06.187013.01.1932
        21Vladimir  RomanovVladimir RomanovNephew30.08.191721.04.1992
        22Prince Albert VictorPrince Albert VictorNephew08.01.186414.01.1892
        23Татьяна РомановаТатьяна РомановаNiece10.06.189717.07.1918
        24Sophia of PrussiaSophia of PrussiaNiece14.06.187013.01.1932
        25Princess Victoria of the  United KingdomPrincess Victoria of the United KingdomNiece06.07.186803.12.1935
        26Кира  РомановаКира РомановаNiece09.05.190908.09.1967
        27Anastasia RomanovaAnastasia RomanovaNiece18.06.190117.07.1918
        28Ольга  НиколаевнаОльга НиколаевнаNiece15.11.189517.07.1918
        29Maud of WalesMaud of WalesNiece26.11.186920.11.1938
        30Alice von BattenbergAlice von BattenbergNiece25.02.188505.12.1969
        31Marie of RomaniaMarie of RomaniaNiece29.10.187518.07.1938
        32Великая княжна Мария НиколаевнаВеликая княжна Мария НиколаевнаNiece26.06.189917.07.1918
        33Alexander CambridgeAlexander CambridgeSon in-law14.04.187416.01.1957
        34Alexandra Caroline Marie Charlotte Louise JuliaAlexandra Caroline Marie Charlotte Louise JuliaSister in-law01.12.184420.11.1925
        35Луиза Маргарита ПрусскаяЛуиза Маргарита ПрусскаяSister in-law25.07.186014.03.1917
        36Maria AlexandrovnaMaria AlexandrovnaSister in-law17.10.185324.10.1920
        37Nikolajs II RomanovsNikolajs II RomanovsBrother in-law19.05.186817.07.1918
        38принц Генрих Баттенбергпринц Генрих БаттенбергBrother in-law05.10.185820.01.1896
        39Сергей АлександровичСергей АлександровичBrother in-law11.05.185717.02.1905
        40Сэр Джон Дуглас Сатерленд КэмпбеллСэр Джон Дуглас Сатерленд КэмпбеллBrother in-law06.08.184502.05.1914
        41Сергей  РомановСергей РомановBrother in-law11.05.185717.02.1905
        42Louis IVLouis IVBrother in-law12.09.183713.03.1892
        43Frederick IIIFrederick IIIBrother in-law18.10.183115.06.1888
        44Prince Henry of BattenbergPrince Henry of BattenbergBrother in-law05.10.185820.01.1896
        45Людвиг Александр БаттенбергЛюдвиг Александр БаттенбергBrother in-law24.05.185411.09.1921
        46Ernest IErnest IGrandfather02.01.178429.01.1844
        47George VIGeorge VIGrandson14.12.189506.02.1952
        48George IIIGeorge IIIGreat grandfather04.06.173829.01.1820
        49Frederick IX of DenmarkFrederick IX of DenmarkGreat grandson11.03.189914.01.1972
        50Princess Margaret, Countess of SnowdonPrincess Margaret, Countess of SnowdonGreat granddaughter21.08.193009.02.2002
        51Elizabeth IIElizabeth IIGreat granddaughter21.04.192608.09.2022
        52Grand Duchess Maria PavlovnaGrand Duchess Maria PavlovnaCousin18.04.189013.12.1958
        53Grand Duchess Elena VladimirovnaGrand Duchess Elena VladimirovnaCousin17.03.188213.03.1957
        54Кирилл ВладимировичКирилл ВладимировичCousin12.10.187612.10.1938
        55Natalia PaleyNatalia PaleyCousin05.12.190527.12.1981
        56Vladimir  PaleyVladimir PaleyCousin09.01.189718.07.1918
        57Dmitri  PavlovichDmitri PavlovichCousin06.09.189105.03.1942
        58Andrei  VladimirovichAndrei VladimirovichCousin02.05.187930.10.1956
        59Boris  Wladimirowitsch RomanowBoris Wladimirowitsch RomanowCousin24.11.187709.11.1943

        No events set