Author Topic: Princess Louise,Princess Royal, Duchess of Fife  (Read 136171 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

alixaannencova

  • Guest
Princess Louise,Princess Royal, Duchess of Fife
« on: September 13, 2006, 04:13:55 PM »
I think Louise is one of the most misunderstood members of the RF primarily because she herself chose to distance herself and her daughters from the fold so to speak. I do not doubt that she was indeed shy, as QV herself was, and there were many others besides, who suffered such agonies within the family, but I feel that there is more to Louise than this stereotype footnote that she is given in so many biographies/memoirs.

Both Victoria and Maud have finally and quite justly emerged from beneath similar labels in recent years, so why shouldn't we at least try to reassess the enigma that is Louise? She may not have been a great beauty or a vanguard of the belle epoche, she may not have left a resounding legacy as a member of the RF, but perhaps in retrospect, through her quiet life she represents  a very human side to Royal life.

There is evidence that suggests that though she preferred to remain out of the limelight, Louise guarded her Royal status tenaciously, and that of her daughters also. Are these clues to what lay beneath the surface. Was she really such a 'cut and dry' insipid and retiring character as countless biographers have lead us to believe, or was there more to her?

There must be much more to Louise than her acomplishmets as a pianist, aritist and angler. Her daughters were both appointed Councillors of State and Alexandra in particular, was an amazing woman herself (I can't believe she doesn't have a thread of her own!) Perhaps, Louise had pertinent reasons for keeping her girls away from the freneticism of their grandparents' homes. But both seem to have grown into healthy and highly individual women. Alexandra was, like Queen Maud, regarded as one of best dressed Royals of her day and yet she was grounded enough to write of her experiences as a Nurse. Maud Southesk is a little harder to pin down, though I love the idea of her causing explosive expletives from Uncle George when she turned up at Windor, having dared to have her hair shingled.

I am trying to find out so many things about Louise. Does anyone know the identities of the claivoyants she used after Macduff died? I believe her confidente Elizabeth Gordon wrote about the seances but I have never been able to find out more about her ineterst in this. Any photographs of Louise would be greatly appreciated. Most especially I have tried in vain to find any of her taken at the time of her father's coronation, and that of George as well.     

 

 

 


alixaannencova

  • Guest
Re: Princess Louise,Princess Royal, Duchess of Fife
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2006, 05:44:34 PM »
Please excuse the dreadful spelling on my first message, but I am just getting use to a French keyboard again!

Offline Grace

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 3126
    • View Profile
Re: Princess Louise,Princess Royal, Duchess of Fife
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2006, 06:24:08 PM »
This is very interesting, alixaannencova.  :)

I have always wanted to know more about Louise and, as you have said, there is not a lot of information out there.  She was clearly a talented lady and was she really as retiring as we have been lead to believe or was this only with members of her family?

What intrigues me most about her is her is the way, as soon as she married, she seemed to distance herself and her children as far from Bertie and Alix as she possibly could.  I would love to know the fully story on this and the clairvoyant story as well!

I agree with alixaannencova -- there was far more to Louise that is generally known.

I shall try to post some pictures later but, unfortunately, I lost almost all when my computer went "phut".  >:(


Offline grandduchessella

  • Global Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 13040
  • Getting Ready to Move to Europe :D
    • View Profile
    • Facebook page
Re: Princess Louise,Princess Royal, Duchess of Fife
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2006, 06:55:24 PM »
Sorry about your photos Grace.  :(

There used to be a lot of info on Louise but those threads were lost in the switchover.

One of the more exciting (though not in a good way) events in Louise's life was the shipwreck of the Delphi (or Delhi?) in 1912. The entire family was on the way to Egypt when they're shipped foundered off the coast. The family was in lifeboats but Alexandra was swept overboard and almost drowned. The family finally straggled ashore, exhausted, cold and wet. They continued on but Fife developed lung problems and quickly worsened and died.

Louise was pretty unknown to the public when she died. One paper even published a photo of her aunt Louise in the obituary--Louise was not only 20 years old but she was more active still at that point (1931) than her niece. She did pop up at some events in later years--her brother's coronation, some exhibition openings, Peace Day parades, and the Thanksgiving events for her brother's illness in 1929, but had mostly retired from the public eye.

There were a lot of foreboding editorials following Eddy's death regarding her possible ascension to the throne. At the time of Eddy's death, George was unmarried and still very weak from typhoid. He was cast down into depression and there was fear that he himself would die before marrying and having an heir, thus leaving Louise (and her daughter Alexandra, a mere Lady) next in line to succeed. This seems to be part of the reason why speculation immediately turned to marrying George off. The thought of a 'listless' Queen Louise succeeding Queen Victoria didn't fill many with optimism.

I don't think she was a particularly interesting character but how many of us actually are? She seems to have been a relatively normal person who married happily (and for love), had 2 children and a pretty quiet and contented life. Except for the miscarriage (or stillbirth) of a son and the relatively early death of her husband, her life was fairly unblemished by unhappiness or excitement.
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
Come visit on Pinterest--http://pinterest.com/lawrbk/

Offline basilforever

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1409
    • View Profile
Re: Princess Louise,Princess Royal, Duchess of Fife
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2006, 10:17:56 PM »
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread so far. I was wanting very much to see some info and stories on Louise, the Princess Royal on this thread. She interests me very much, not just as Eddy's sister, but as a Princess and daughter and sister of Kings. Unlike many, I don't find her looks to be at all displeasing. I have read her and her sisters being described as ''narrowskulled''. Personally I don't mind this look at all. I find it very elegant.

Louise had a son named Alastair Duff, Marquess of Macduff who was born on 16th June 1890. He was stillborn. This MUST have been a great trial for her and her husband. Especially since it was their first baby and only son they would have.

I find the evidence that Louise was once viewed as a future Queen fascinating. I don't think she would have been that unsuitable if it was indeed her destiny.

Imagine if George had died unmarried soon after Eddy. We woud have had a Queen Louise (if she had chosen to use that name). She could have chosen to use her second name Victoria and been Queen Victoria II. But it was not to be thankfully we had George V and his descendents.

I think the monarchy would still have survived with Louise as Queen.

I will find some pictures and post them soon of the Princess Royal alone and with her family.
His Royal Highness Prince Albert Victor Christian Edward of Wales, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, Earl of Athlone, Knight of The Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight of The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick

Offline Grace

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 3126
    • View Profile
Re: Princess Louise,Princess Royal, Duchess of Fife
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2006, 10:22:53 PM »
Sorry about your photos Grace.  :(

Thanks for that, GDE.

At least, a couple of days earlier, I had put all my Eddy photos etc. on a CD, otherwise I would have gone totally ballistic, had I lost those.  >:(

Offline basilforever

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1409
    • View Profile
Re: Princess Louise,Princess Royal, Duchess of Fife
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2006, 10:30:45 PM »
Here are some pictures I have gathered of HRH Princess Louise the Princess Royal and Duchess of Fife:



My avatar at another forum



The Princess Royal, Louise, Duchess of Fife, and the Princesses Alexandra and Maud who lived next door to the Countess of Dundonald in Portman Square







On their wedding date

I wrote this on another forum:

It is nice that the place where the Highland Games are held and witnessed by the Royal Family is named after Princess Louise the Princess Royal and Duchess of Fife (she was the eldest daughter of Edward VII and she is the Present Queen's Great Aunt) - and her husband the first Duke of Fife.

I like Scottish aristocracy and the Royal Family coming together.
His Royal Highness Prince Albert Victor Christian Edward of Wales, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, Earl of Athlone, Knight of The Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight of The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick

Offline basilforever

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1409
    • View Profile
Re: Princess Louise,Princess Royal, Duchess of Fife
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2006, 10:33:14 PM »
Sorry about your photos Grace.  :(

Thanks for that, GDE.

At least, a couple of days earlier, I had put all my Eddy photos etc. on a CD, otherwise I would have gone totally ballistic, had I lost those.  >:(

I have put absolutely ALL of my Eddy and Eddy related photos in photobuckets, because I do not think I could cope if my computer lost everything and I had to start from scratch. No I would definitely go ballistic.
His Royal Highness Prince Albert Victor Christian Edward of Wales, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, Earl of Athlone, Knight of The Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight of The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick

Offline basilforever

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1409
    • View Profile
Re: Princess Louise,Princess Royal, Duchess of Fife
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2006, 10:42:25 PM »
Some more photos: I'll include any that include Louise and her children

Enjoy!





Queen Alexandra with her grand-daughters Maud and Alexandra (daughters of her eldest daughter Louise, the Princess Royal)













His Royal Highness Prince Albert Victor Christian Edward of Wales, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, Earl of Athlone, Knight of The Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight of The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick

Offline basilforever

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1409
    • View Profile
Re: Princess Louise,Princess Royal, Duchess of Fife
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2006, 10:54:50 PM »
Grown up Louise Victoria Alexandra Dagmar











His Royal Highness Prince Albert Victor Christian Edward of Wales, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, Earl of Athlone, Knight of The Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight of The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick

Offline basilforever

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1409
    • View Profile
Re: Princess Louise,Princess Royal, Duchess of Fife
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2006, 11:11:30 PM »




Queen Alexandra, with Princess Louise the Princess Royal and her daughter Lady Alexandra Duff, later Her Highness Princess Alexandra of Fife and also through marriage Princess Arthur of Connaught.



Drawing of Eddy's mother and three sisters



A family portrait after Eddy's death, his parents with his four living siblings and their spouses - the Duke of Fife, King Haakon VII of Norway and Queen Mary. I'm not sure who the child is.



Louise must be here somewhere



Queen Alexandra, Princess Louise the Princess Royal and Eddy's other grandmother Queen Louise of Denmark



Portrait of Eddy's sisters Victoria, Maud and Louise







Must be here somewhere



In the little picture inset with parents and siblings


« Last Edit: September 13, 2006, 11:17:23 PM by basilforever »
His Royal Highness Prince Albert Victor Christian Edward of Wales, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, Earl of Athlone, Knight of The Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight of The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick

Offline basilforever

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1409
    • View Profile
Re: Princess Louise,Princess Royal, Duchess of Fife
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2006, 11:12:44 PM »

His Royal Highness Prince Albert Victor Christian Edward of Wales, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, Earl of Athlone, Knight of The Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight of The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick

alixaannencova

  • Guest
Re: Princess Louise,Princess Royal, Duchess of Fife
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2006, 02:23:16 AM »
Thank you so much Basilforever for the wonderful photographs...what a collection!! :) I had no idea about the mix up of the obituary photograph with Louise Argyll either, Granduchessella!

I think her marriage to Macduff was very happy. He appears to have been a very strong character, maybe the age gap indicates that Louise was looking for a steady and dependable rock of a man,a father figure pehaps. Apparently Macduff could be very brusque and matter of fact. His immense wealth was obviously an added advantage, though some of his ventures in to mercantile deals did not always work out for the best. He got mixed up with Earl Farquhar, who became a very good friend of the Fifes, but after Farquhar died leaving a mountain of debts, Louise was obliged to arrange an auction of art works to settle a portion of debts. Whether she had owed Farqhar money at the time of his death has never been fully explained, but she was apparently an executor of his will. I should imagine if she did have to auction off a few old masters, it must have come as quite  shock and been rather embarrassing for her and the RF.

With regards to her looks....


alixaannencova

  • Guest
Re: Princess Louise,Princess Royal, Duchess of Fife
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2006, 02:44:10 AM »
I think Louise was probably rather striking. In several photographs she looks quite attractive, espeacially just after her marriage but most do not do her justice. Perhaps she was not as photogenic as Toria or Maud.

Having such a beautiful mother as Alix can't have been easy either. Always compared to the eteranlly youthful and undeniable beauty of the family. Does any one have details/photographs of East Sheen Lodge. I wonder if still stands under a different name or was demolished. It hardly seems to appear in any memoirs/bios after George and May engagement by the pond!

I have read so often that Louise suffered from 'mental upset'. What does this really mean? Did she suffer from depression or was there something else that plagued her? The birth of a stillborn son must have been dreadful, but she went on to have the girls who turned out fine. Pope Hennessey described Louise as apathetic, a term that was frequently used to sum up Eddy too. But as we have seen, he is now being seen as anything but, through rational revisied assessments of his character. 

Does anyone know if her journals/diaries have ever been cited. I know she kept some as she lost the 1911 one during the sinking of the Delhi as well as a jewel case. 

Has anyone considered the possibility that she suffered from porphyria. I know it is a long shot and that it is a bit of an old hat subject, but it might explain her so called 'mental upset' as described by David Duff in his bio of Alexandra, and also her 'delicate health.'

I am convinced there is more to Louise!
 

Offline basilforever

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1409
    • View Profile
Re: Princess Louise,Princess Royal, Duchess of Fife
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2006, 04:52:49 AM »
Thank you so much Basilforever for the wonderful photographs...what a collection!! :) I had no idea about the mix up of the obituary photograph with Louise Argyll either, Granduchessella!

I think her marriage to Macduff was very happy. He appears to have been a very strong character, maybe the age gap indicates that Louise was looking for a steady and dependable rock of a man,a father figure pehaps. Apparently Macduff could be very brusque and matter of fact. His immense wealth was obviously an added advantage, though some of his ventures in to mercantile deals did not always work out for the best. He got mixed up with Earl Farquhar, who became a very good friend of the Fifes, but after Farquhar died leaving a mountain of debts, Louise was obliged to arrange an auction of art works to settle a portion of debts. Whether she had owed Farqhar money at the time of his death has never been fully explained, but she was apparently an executor of his will. I should imagine if she did have to auction off a few old masters, it must have come as quite  shock and been rather embarrassing for her and the RF.

With regards to her looks....



Thank you alixaannencova. I am very happy that you enjoyed a small sample of my collection. I didn't search through my photobuckets, I just posted photos that I previously posted on another forum. I'm a big fan of Louise myself. She should get more attention, esp. since she was the PRINCESS ROYAL. The highest positon for a female royal other than Queen.

I don't understand why Louise would have to auction anything to repay some debts of hers or her husbands, she could just have got some money from her parents, or husband's family or something. :-\

It seems a bit strange to think of the Princess Royal auctioning off personal items, esp. in that day and age.

I think Louise was beautiful. She had such high cheekbones and a good figure. I think all of the Wales girls are underrated in the looks department, because they are too often compared with their mother who was just supernaturally beautiful, she was one in a million or several million really.

Louise bore her royal status and blood with impeccable dignity and poise.

I agree with your comments about her husband. He seems like a very manly man, with a perhaps dependable appeal for Louise. She definitely married for love and she is very lucky she escaped and had her own family unlike sister Toria.

I feel sorry for Louise for the loss of her son Alastair though. :'( Eddy was alive when it happened in 1890. He could have helped comfort his little sister.  :) Of course I am very jealous of Louise, since she knew Eddy her whole life.  :D

I'm sure Eddy was a wonderful big brother to have.

I remember I once read a story about Louise's husband the Duke of Fife dancing a reel with Queen Victoria at Balmoral or something like that. Or am I thinking of Lord Lorne/Duke of Argyll? :-\





His Royal Highness Prince Albert Victor Christian Edward of Wales, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, Earl of Athlone, Knight of The Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight of The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick