Princess Marie Louise died on this day in 1956. The youngest surviving child of Princess Helena of the United Kingdom and Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, she was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, and goddaughter of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria and Queen Marie of Hanover. Her first cousins included King George V of the United Kingdom, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain, Empress Alexandra Frederovna of Russia, Queen Marie of Romania, Queen Sophie of Greece, Queen Maud of Norway, and the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Growing up in the United Kingdom, in 1891, Princess Marie Louise married Prince Aribert of Anhalt. The marriage was unhappy, and was annulled by her father-in-law while she was on an Official Tour of Canada in 1900. However, Princess Marie Louise regarded her marriage vows as binding, and never remarried. Despite having a German title, she was an active member of the British Royal Family, carrying out an extensive round of official and charitable duties, and patronage of the arts, most notably as the person behind the famous Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, created to showcase the work of British craftsmen. After the British Royal Family renounced their German titles in 1917, Princess Marie Louise, along with her sister, Princess Helena Victoria, dropped the territorial designation ‘of Schleswig-Holstein’ and became ‘HH Princess Marie Louise’, “of nowhere” said her cousin the Marchioness of Milford Haven. She continued to be an active royal until her death in 1956, just months after she published her her memoirs, My Memories of Six Reigns. Princess Marie Louise is buried at the Royal Burial Ground, Frogmore at Windsor Great Park.
Click HERE to learn about her Cartier India Tiara, which she bequeathed to her godson, the Duke of Gloucester, and HERE to learn about her Honeysuckle Tiara, which was left to her cousin, Lady Patricia Ramsay.