Maud Alexandra Victoria Georgina Bertha was born at East Sheen Lodge, Richmond-upon-Thames, Surrey, on 3 April 1893 and was the youngest daughter of Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife, and Louise, Princess Royal.
Maud’s father was created Duke of Fife upon his marriage to Princess Louise, however it was a title inherited down the male line and when it became obvious no male heirs would be born, Queen Victoria granted Alexander with another dukedom of Fife that could be inherited down the female line. As a result, Maud’s older sister, Alexandra, became her father’s heir and Maud became second in line.
As female line great-granddaughters of a British sovereign, neither Maud nor her sister were entitled to the rank of Princess nor the style of Royal Highness, however this changed on 5 November 1905 when their mother was given the title of Princess Royal by her father, Edward VII. The king granted Maud and Alexandra the rank of princess and the style of Highness, with precedence immediately after all members of the British Royal Family bearing the style of Royal Highness. Maud would later stop using the title in 1917 when George V restricted the rank of Princess to the children of the sovereign, the children of the sovereign’s sons, and the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales. Technically, the new rules did not apply to Maud as she had been specifically promoted by their grandfather and George had no wish to revoke the warrant but Maud chose to comply with George V’s wish and stopped using it.
On 13 November 1923, Maud married Charles, the eldest son of Charles Noel Carnegie, 10th Earl of Southesk, at the Royal Military Chapel, Wellington Barracks, London. Charles would inherit the title of Earl of Southesk upon his father’s death on 10 November 1941. Maud and her husband lived at Elsick House, in Kincardineshire, where they operated a model farm. They had one child, James, who would eventually succeed to the dukedom of Fife as Maud’s sister, Alexandra, outlived her son, Alastair.