Sunday, January 31, 2010

Princess Alice of Hesse

Princess Alice, the second daughter of Queen Victoria, was open-minded and interested in intellectual pursuits like her sister Vicky. She was an interesting woman. Unfortunately, she had a very sad life.

The Princess was only a teenager when her beloved father died. She was very close to Prince Albert and nursed him a lot during his illness. She played the piano to him and read to him. When the grief overcame her she quietly left the room and came back when she had calmed down. "Her fortitude amazed their doctors and servants."

After the Prince died the poor Princess then had to take over many of Queen Victoria's duties and try and nurse her through her terrible grief. This proved impossible but the Princess was a great help to her.

Princess Alice's wedding to Prince Louis of Hesse, soon after her father's death, was more like a wedding than a funeral. Almost everyone dressed in black and spent the ceremony crying. Even the Archbishop who married the couple cried.

The Princess joined her husband in Darmstadt. Her marriage was not happy because Prince Louis liked military parades and shooting, instead of reading and cultural pursuits. He hardly ever read a book. Princess Alice was quite disappointed in him.

In spite of this, they had five children in quick succession. The children included Princess Alexandra, who became the tragic Tsarina, and beautiful Grand Duchess Ella, who was also killed by the Bolsheviks in a terrible way. Princess Alexandra's son, Alexai, inherited his haemophilia from his mother. Her brother, Fritti, was a haemophiliac. Princess Alice was distraught when the young boy fell out of the window and died shortly afterwards. She never really recovered from her grief.

The Princess devoted herself to charity work. Soon after her marriage there was a war between Austria and Prussia. Hesse was on the side of Austria which made Princess Alice and Vicki enemies. Princess Alice admired Florence Nightingale and nursed the sick and wounded with great devotion. After the war she continued her interest in charity work. She founded a mental asylum and worked for many charities, and established schools and hospitals.

She caused controversy when she became interested in a controversial theologian, David Strauss. He believed in the historical aspects of Jesus's life, but not the 'supernatural' aspects. Princess Vicky invited him to the palace and liked to discuss Christianity with him. Many Germans didn't like this, and the Empress Augusta even accused her of being an atheist.

Princess Alice was sickly. She suffered from severe headaches, neuralgia, and rheumatism. She wore herself out with her charity work. After her little daughter May died of diptheria, Alice soon caught it from her son, Ernest, who also had the illness. She died at only 35 on the anniversary of her father's death.

Queen Victoria wrote that 'the princess who behaved so admirably during her dear father's illness...should be called back on this very anniversary, seems almost incredible, and most mysterious.'

Princess Alice was greatly beloved in Germany and England because of her charity work. The Princess Alice hospital in Eastbourne was opened in her memory in 1883.

New Posts

I hope to write a new post tomorrow. Perhaps I'll do a few posts. I hope so!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Kaiser's Withered Arm

Do you think that things might have been different if the Kaiser hadn't had a withered arm? Christina Croft doesn't but I do. Thank you, Christina, for posing such an interesting historical question.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Prince Alfred's Royal Tour of Australia

A long time ago Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh, conducted the first royal tour of Australia. He didn't have as pleasant a time as Prince William! Prince Alfred's Royal Tour of Australia.

Unfortunately, Queensland is still full of zealous officials!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Welcome Prince William!

Prince William Visits Australia - Day 1

Welcome to the very handsome Prince William who is visiting Australia. He visited Redfern which shows a caring side and he won the hearts of most of us, I am sure.

I hope that the 'Prince of Hearts' enjoys his stay.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Prince Alfred

I will write a new post on Queen Victoria's third child, Prince Alfred, soon.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Keyboard Problems!

My keyboard won't work on my laptop so I'm using another one. I stupidly got liquid on it. Any suggestions will be gratefully received.
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