Today marks the 80th Anniversary of the Death of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, who died on this day in 1942! The seventh child and third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Prince Arthur’s godparents included his namesake, the Duke of Wellington, with whom he shared his birthday, and he was reported to be Queen Victoria’s favourite child. In 1879, he married Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia and the couple had three children; Prince Arthur, Crown Princess Margareta of Sweden, and Lady Patricia Ramsay, becoming the great grandparents of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, and Queen Anne Marie of Greece among others.
Prince Arthur was privately educated before entering the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich, pursing a long and distinguished career as an army officer, with service in South Africa, Canada in 1869, Ireland, Egypt in 1882, and in India from 1886 to 1890. The Duke and Duchess of Connaught represented Queen Victoria and later King Edward VII and King George V at many royal events for decades, including the Coronation of Tsar Nicholas II in 1896, the Delhi Durbar in 1903, and the South African State Opening of Parliament in 1910. In 1899, after the death of his nephew, Prince Alfred of Edinburgh, Prince Arthur abdicated his own and his son’s succession rights to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, which passed to his other nephew, Prince Charles Edward, Duke of Albany. Appointed as Commander in Chief of the British Army in Ireland in 1900, Prince Arthur was later appointed as Governor General of Canada in 1911, one of three members of the Royal Family but the only Prince to go so, serving through the first years of the First World War until 1916. Prince Arthur continued to perform various royal duties until his retirement from public life in 1928, residing between Clarence House and Bagshot Park, where he passed away on this day in 1942.