My book, Eczema and Atopic Dermatits: The Best Websites has recently been published. I've also had many articles published, but I'd like to write more non-fiction books and, of course, a novel!
My articles can be seen at many websites, including Life in Italy, Crescent Blues, Paris Eiffel Tower Newsletter, and France This Way.
A piece of very stale cake went on sale last year at a Birmingham antiques fair. It dated from Princess Louise's wedding to the Marquess of Lorne in 1871 and was offered for 145 pounds. The slice was one-inch thick and protected by parchment. Whoever bought the cake was advised that it would not be a good idea to eat it! (I haven't been able to find out whether it was sold or not.)
Princess Louise, Queen Victoria's fourth daughter and sixth child was born in 1848. Regarded as the most beautiful of the Queen's daughters, she had rich brown hair and blue eyes. She also had a distinctive personality. When she was very young she showed her assertiveness by stating, "We are not royal children, we are uncles and aunts!"
Prince Albert, Princess Louise's father died in 1861 when the princess was very young. She suffered great grief but soon found the atmosphere at Court very gloomy and started to become rebellious. However, she served as her mother's unofficial secretary and Queen Victoria was very pleased with her.
Princess Louise did find time for artistic studies, however. She was a talented painter and sculptor and attended the National Art Training School which was founded by Prince Albert. She was also good at playing the piano and dancing.
A Husband For Louise
Queen Victoria soon wanted to find a husband for her lovely daughter. Princess Vicky invited the Princess to Berlin but Louise disliked the Prussian men. She found that they lacked a sense of humour and were rude and arrogant to her. They found her too self-confident and independent for her. The Queen didn't want her to marry a Prussian anyway for political reasons.
There was trouble when the young Princess fell in love with the Rev.Duckworth, her brother Leopold's tutor. The Queen dismissed him. There were even rumours of an illegitimate child and there was a DNA case about this a couple of years ago.
The Princess eventually fell in love with John, the Marquess of Lorne, to great consternation. This was because he was only a subject, not a royal. Prince Edward was especially upset and didn't think that the young man was suitable.
However, Queen Victoria was pleased with the match because it meant that the Princess could remain nearby.
The Marriage of Princess Louise
Princess Louise married the good-looking, mild-mannered young man in 1871 in St.George's Chapel, Windsor. She wore a dress of white satin and a veil of Honiton lace which she designed herself. Her wedding cake weighed over 225 pounds (102 kilograms) and took three months to create.
The marriage was unfortunately not a very happy one. There were rumours that the Marquess was gay and the couple remained childless. There were also whispers that the Princess had affairs. These were allegedly with Bigge, the Queen's assistant private secretary and Edgar Boehm, the sculptor. There is no proof of this, however.
The Marquess became Governor-General of Canada in 1878. The couple lived in Ottawa. Princess Louise became very homesick and wasn't very happy in Canada although she liked many Canadians and kept in touch with her Canadian regiments after she returned to England. The couple liked Quebec better in Ottawa. They had a summer house there.
Princess Louise devoted time to her beloved arts and charities. She founded the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and wrote an operetta.
The couple had a nasty sleighing accident in Canada. The Princess was knocked unconscious and suffered concussion and shock. She may also have had a piece of glass in her ear.
Alberta and the stunningly beautiful Lake Louise are named after the Princess.
Princess Louise Returns
The couple returned to England in 1883. Lorne became a Liberal MP but joined the Unionists to the Princess's chagrin. She favoured Irish Home Rule. Princess Louise also supported the suffragettes and women's rights. She wrote to Josephine Butler and visited Elizabeth Garrett.
They spent much time apart and Princess Louise became rather keen on her sister Beatrice's husband. She joined the social circle that revolved around her brother, King Edward VII. They were very fond of each other. This is also when the rumours about affairs with other men began.
The couple reconciled in 1911 and the Princess was devastated when the Marquess died in 1914. She complained about being very lonely and wondered what the Marquess was doing!
She continued with her artistic works and many charitable activities until she became very ill. She was even known to visit hospitals on the spur of the moment. The Princess lived at Kensington Palace until she died at the advanced age of 91 in 1939. She had been teased by the King about her obsession with physical fitness and replied that she'd 'outlive them all.' She lived the longest life of the Queen's children so she was right!
I think that Princess Louise was one of the most interesting of the Queen's daughters. She wasn't as admirable as Vicky or Alice but I like her devotion to the arts and charities and she had a memorable personality, obviously.