Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, Marchioness of Milford Haven, grandmother of the Duke of Edinburgh, was born on this day in 1863! The eldest daughter of Grand Duke Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine and Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, Princess Victoria was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. In 1878, she was the first of the family to fall ill with diphtheria, which claimed the life of her youngest sister and mother. Princess Victoria became the surrogate mother to her siblings, future Grand Duke Ernest of Hesse, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia, and Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna of Russia, and also served as her father’s hostess. In 1884, she married Prince Louis of Battenberg, a first cousin of her father, and the couple had four children: 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven, Princess Andrew of Greece, Queen Louise of Sweden, and Earl Mountbatten of Burma. The couple lived in the UK, where Prince Louis served in the Royal Navy and eventually became First Sea Lord, but was forced to resign during WWI because of his German titles. They eventually gave up their titles in 1917, becoming Marquess and Marchioness of Milford Haven, and a new surname of Mountbatten, though due to financial difficulties, they had to move out of Kent House on the Isle of Wight and also sell Schloss Heiligenberg in Germany. After being widowed in 1921, the Marchioness moved to Kensington Palace, where she lived till her death. In 1947, her grandson, Prince Philip of Greece (taking his maternal family’s surname of Mountbatten), married the future Queen Elizabeth II, then the heiress presumptive. Princess Victoria, Marchioness of Milford Haven served as a godmother to her great-grandson, the Prince of Wales, in 1948. Princess Victoria died at Kensington Palace in 1950.
Her grandchildren are: