Princess Victoria Adelaide, Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

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Today marks the 50th Anniversary of the death of Princess Victoria Adelaide, Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, who died on this day in 1970! The eldest daughter of Frederick Ferdinand, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and his wife Princess Karoline Mathilde of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg, she was born at Gut Grünholz in Schleswig-Holstein and grew up at Glücksburg Castle. In 1905, Princess Victoria Adelaide married Charles Edward, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Duke of Albany, the only son of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany and Princess Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont and a grandson of Queen Victoria. The couple had five children, including Princess Sibylla of Sweden, and were the Reigning Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, spending the winter and spring in Gotha and the summer and autumn in Coburg, until 1918, after which they retained much of their wealth and property, including Veste Coburg and Schloss Callenberg in Coburg, Reinhardsbrunn Castle in Gotha and Schloss Greinburg in Austria, though their British Dukedom had been lost in 1917. While the Duke grew in the ranks of the Nazi Party, the Duchess was not as keen, and even defied him by supporting the German Evangelical Church Confederation against the antisemitic German Christians. After the Second World War, the Duke was imprisoned and charged with crimes against humanity, and later heavily fined, also losing much of their property in Germany, and passing away in reduced circumstances in 1954. The Duchess, who had stayed with her husband through all these hardships, moved to Schloss Greinburg in Austria, where she passed away on this day in 1970.

The Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Turquoise Tiara

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History of Royal Women

4 thoughts on “Princess Victoria Adelaide, Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

  1. I have often wondered what Crown Princess Sibylla of Sweden thought of her father’s involvement with the Nazis. What did she think of him, an officer in the dreaded SS. I know her wedding was attended by all the bigwigs in the Nazi Party in Germany, but that was before WWII began and the “final solution” against the Jewish people was not in full force. Her father survived the war and died in abject poverty, forgotten by everyone, including his daughter. It’s funny that some years ago there was a big brouhaha when it was suspected that Queen Silvia’s father, a German businessman, had had business with the Nazis, but what about King Carl XVI Gustaf’s grandfather, a full-fledged, bonafide Nazi? The sad part is that he really was a British aristocrat who had been forced to become a German aristocrat, practically against his will. The crazy vagaries of history! Beautiful tiara, though.

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    1. Yes, it must have been a very complex situation to navigate! While the Duke died in poverty, the family aren’t doing too bad these days and still have quite a big fortune and a few jewels too!

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      1. Yes, indeed! His sister, Princess Alice, Duchess of Athlone, suffered greatly with his arrest and pleaded for mercy, but her pleas fell on deaf ears. Prince Charles Edward was incarcerated and bankrupted. But, at least he had the comfort of his sister. The Saxe-Coburg family is not doing too badly these days, that’s very true. Prince Andreas, first cousin of King Carl XVI Gustaf, is the head of a well-run estate, full of farms, forests, and real estate as well as his own castle!

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      2. Not just one castle, but another in Austria too! I was rereading Princess Alice’s autobiography recently and you can really feel her anguish in that part!

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