Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife

On this day in 1959, Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife died in London. Born the eldest daughter of Princess Louise, Princess Royal and the Duke of Fife in 1891, Princess Alexandra was a female-line granddaughter of King Edward VII, and niece of King George V and Queen Maud of Norway. Until 1905, Alexandra and her sister, Maud, bore the courtesy title of Lady, from their father’s Dukedom, but they were made Princess of the United Kingdom by their grandfather with the style of ‘Highness’. In 1911, while on route to Egypt, the family were shipwrecked off the coast of Morocco, which eventually led to her father’s death in January 1912. Princess Alexandra succeeded him and became the 2nd Duchess of Fife, as her parents had no son. In 1913, she married Prince Arthur of Connaught, the son and heir of the Duke of Connaught, who was a son of Queen Victoria. Afterwards, she was styled as Her Royal Highness Princess Arthur of Connaught. The couple had one son, Prince Alastair (styled as the Earl of Macduff after 1917), and were the Governor General and Viceregal Consort of South Africa in the 1920s. Princess Alexandra carried out royal engagements on behalf of her uncle and later for her cousin, King George VI. She also served as a Counsellor of State between 1937 and 1944. She was widowed in 1938, which meant that her son succeeded to the Dukedom of Connaught upon the death of her father-in-law’s death in 1942. Unfortunately, he died on ‘active service’ in Canada a year later, in 1943, and his titles became extinct. His death was a “crushing blow and a great shock” for his mother. Princess Alexandra continued to carry out official duties, but ill-health prevented her from playing a more active role. She died on this day in 1959. After her death, her title went to her nephew, only son of her sister, while her estate, Mar Lodge, went to another nephew, Alexander Ramsay, son of her sister-in-law, Princess Patricia.

Click HERE to learn about her Fife Tiara, HERE to learn about the Fife Fringe Tiara, and HERE about the Connaught Fringe Tiara.

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