Princess Alice of Greece

Princess Andrew of Greece

Princess Andrew of Greece, mother of the Duke of Edinburgh, was born on this day in 1885 at Windsor Castle. Born Princess Alice of Battenberg, the deaf eldest daughter of Prince Louis and Princess Victoria of Battenberg (a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and later Marquess and Marchioness of Milford Haven), her siblings were the 2nd Lord Milford Haven, Queen Louise of Sweden, and Lord Mountbatten of Burma. In 1903, she married Prince Andrew of Greece, one of the younger sons of King George and Queen Olga of Greece. The couple had four daughters, Princess Margarita (Later Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg), Princess Theodora (later Margravine of Baden), Princess Cecile (later Grand Duchess of Hesse), and Princess Sophie (later Princess George of Hanover), and a son, Prince Phillip (now the Duke of Edinburgh). Princess Andrew was exiled from Greece with her family in the 1920s, living in Paris. She suffered a nervous breakdown, and was admitted into an asylum in the 1930s, but was well enough by 1935, that she returned to live in Athens, though by then she had separated from her husband. During WWII, under Nazi occupation, Princess Andrew sheltered Jewish refugees in her house in Athens, and flew to neutral Sweden to get supplies for the Red Cross on the pretext of visiting her sister. In 1947, her son married Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II). In the 1950s, Princess Andrew opened an Orthodox Nursing Order, The Christian Sisterhood of Martha and Mary, shocking her mother, who exclaimed; “Who ever heard of a nun who smokes and plays canasta”. She famously wore a nun’s habit to the Coronation of her daughter in law in 1953. However, the venture eventually failed, and she had to close it down. In 1967, after a Revolution forced the Greek Royal Family out of Athens, Princess Andrew went to live with her son and daughter-in-law in Buckingham Palace, dying there in 1969. She is buried in Jerusalem.

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