Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia (1860-1917)

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– Louise Margaret

Duchess of Connaught

Louise Margaret Alexandra Victoria Agnes was born at Marmorpalais, near Potsdam, on 25 July 1860 and was the fourth daughter of Friedrich Karl of Prussia and Maria Anna of Anhalt.

Louise Margaret married Arthur, Duke of Connaught, at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, on 13 March 1879. Since Arthur was in the army, Louise spent the next twenty years following her husband through various deployments around the British Empire. Arthur rose up the ranks fairly quickly and was hoping to be named as Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in 1895 but it was denied to him, however he was given command of the southern district of Aldershot until 1898. In 1902, Arthur was promoted to the post of field-marshal, after having been made Commander-in-Chief of Ireland in 1900.

When his nephew, Alfred, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, died in 1899, Arthur was next in line to succeed to the duchy but he renounced it in favour of his other nephew, Charles Edward, the posthumous son of his youngest brother, Leopold.

Louise Margaret and Arthur had three children and the marriage seemed successful, although Arthur did still have a liaison with Leonie, Lady Leslie. In 1911, Arthur was made Governor General of Canada and he brought his wife and youngest daughter, Patricia, with him where they remained throughout the First World War. Louise Margaret became colonel-in-chief of the 199th Canadian (Overseas) Infantry Battalion (The Duchess of Connaught’s Own Irish-Canadian Rangers) in 1916.

The Duchess of Connaught died of influenza and bronchitis at Clarence House on 14 March 1917. She became the first member of the British Royal Family to be cremated and her urn was transported in an ordinary coffin during the funeral ceremonies. Her ashes were eventually buried at the Royal Burial Ground, Frogmore.

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