Social Victorians/People/Alexandra, Princess of Wales

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Also Known As[edit | edit source]

  • Family name: Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
  • Alix

Demographics[edit | edit source]

  • Nationality: born Danish; married the Prince of Wales of the U.K., who was English and German

Residences[edit | edit source]

  • Sandringham House
  • Marlborough House, London

Family[edit | edit source]

  • "Alix" Alexandra Caroline Marie Charlotte Louise Julia (1 December 1844 – 20 November 1925), Princess of Wales and later Queen Consort of the UK[1]
  • Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, later Kind Edward VII of England, "Bertie" until he became king, and then "Teddy"
  1. Prince Albert Victor: Albert Victor Christian Edward, Duke of Clarence and Avondale (8 January 1864 – 14 January 1892)
  2. Prince George: George Frederick Ernest Albert (3 June 1865 – 20 January 1936), later George V; married Princess Mary of Teck in 1893
  3. Louise, Princess Royal: Louise Victoria Alexandra Dagmar (20 February 1867 – 4 January 1931); married Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife, in 1889
  4. Princess Victoria of Wales: Victoria Alexandra Olga Mary (6 July 1868 – 3 December 1935)
  5. Princess Maud of Wales: Maud Charlotte Mary Victoria of Wales (26 November 1869 – 20 November 1938); married Prince Carl, later King Haakon VII, of Denmark on 22 July 1896
  6. Prince Alexander John (6 April 1871 – 6 April 1871)

Queen Victoria and Albert's children were sometimes called the Royal Mob.

Relations[edit | edit source]

  • Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, later King Christian IX of Denmark, father
  • Princess Louise of Hesse-Kassel, mother
  1. Frederick VIII of Denmark
  2. Alexandra Caroline Marie Charlotte Louise Julia (1 December 1844 – 20 November 1925), Queen Consort of the United Kingdom
  3. George I of Greece
  4. Dagmar, Empress of Russia
  5. Thyra, Crown Princess of Hanover
  6. Prince Valdemar

Acquaintances, Friends and Enemies[edit | edit source]

Acquaintances[edit | edit source]

  • Joseph Merrick, "Elephant Man," at the London Hospital

Friends[edit | edit source]

Enemies[edit | edit source]

Organizations[edit | edit source]

Timeline[edit | edit source]

1861 September 24, Princess Victoria introduced Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, and Alexandra.

1863 March 10, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, and Alexandra married at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

1877, Spring, Alix spent in Greece visiting her brother King George of Greece.

1881, Alix and Albert Edward were in St. Petersburg after the assassination of Alexander II of Russia.

1897 July 2, Bertie and Alex as well as a number of their children attended the Duchess of Devonshire's fancy-dress ball at Devonshire House.

Costume at the Duchess of Devonshire's 2 July 1897 Fancy-dress Ball[edit | edit source]

At the Duchess of Devonshire's 2 July 1897 fancy-dress ball, Alexandra, Princess of Wales was dressed as Margaret of Valois and sat at Table 2. According to the Man of Ross,

She was attended by the Duchess of York in pale blue satin, embroidered in silver, pearls, and diamonds; the Duchess of Fife, in ivory satin, embroidered in gold; Princess Victoria of Wales, in yellow and gold; Princess Charles of Denmark, in pink and silver; and Princess Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, in pale blue brocade ornamented with pearls and silver. All the Princesses wore a profusion of diamonds.[2]

Mr. W. Clarkson "supplied the wigs and headdresses for the Royal Family."[3]:8, Col. 2A

The Princess of Wales's portrait in costume was included in the album presented to the Duchess of Devonshire and now in the National Portrait Gallery.[4] The printing on the portrait says, "H.R.H. The Princess of Wales as Queen Marguerite de Valois" with a Long S in Princess.[5] The NPG identifies this portrait in this way: "Queen Alexandra when Princess of Wales as Queen Marguerite de Valois and Hon. (Alexandra) Louvima Elizabeth Checkley (née Knollys) as her page)."

Both Alex and the Prince of Wales were together accompanied by Princess Victoria and the Prince and Princess Charles of Denmark and attended by Lady Suffield, Miss Knollys and Major-General Ellis.[6] While Lady Suffield is listed as attending in her own right, neither Miss Knollys nor Major-General Ellis were reported as having attended anywhere else. In Alex's "court" were her three daughters: Princess Victoria of Wales, Princess Charles of Denmark, and Princess Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein. The Daily News says she had one1 train bearer, and the Morning Post says two pages bore her train.

  • as "Marguerite de Valois, her stomacher was ablaze with precious stones, her neck encircled with row upon row of pearls, on her head was a magnificent crown. The dress was of white satin, her train of cloth of gold borne by two pages."[3]:7, Col. 4C
  • Another description: "The Princess of Wales, as Margaret of Valois, was very beautiful in white and gold, and wore superb diamonds. She was attended by a charming little train-bearer, and by the ladies of her Court, represented by the Duchess of York, the Duchess of Fife, Princess Victoria of Wales, Princess Charles of Denmark, and Princess Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein."[7]:5, Col. 6A
  • The Princess of Wales was Margaret de Valois, and looked superb in a dress of white satin, richly embroidered with silver. Her train, which fell from the back of a high lace collar, was of cloth of gold, lined with silver, and magnificently jewelled. A small crown of diamonds, with loose bands of diamonds falling over the forehead, surmounted the headdress, and she wore long diamond earrings, a collar of pearls, and a great number of other necklets. The little daughter of Sir Francis and Lady Knollys bore Her Royal Highness's train, and was attired in white and gold. The Duchess of York, Princess Charles of Denmark, Princess Victoria of Wales, the Duchess of Fife, and Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein were attired as ladies in the suite of Margaret de Valois, and followed in her train."[8]:32, Col. 2a
  • "The Princess of Wales, as Margaret of Valois, was a beautiful vision of white and gold and blazing diamonds, and looked quite as young as any of her three daughters, who accompanied her as ladies of her Court in the dress of the period."[9]:5, Col. 9A (This description in the Belfast News-Letter is identical to one in the Carlisle Patriot[10]).
  • "There was the Princess of Wales, looking really herself, although masquerading as Marguerite de Valois, for she had not altered the fashion of her hair. Her white and gold dress, made in Paris, with an Elizabethan ruff and heavy train of white, gorgeously embroidered in gold and silver with many-coloured jewels, was most beautiful, and she wore the loveliest diamonds and pearls. In immediate attendance upon her were her three daughters and the Duchess of York, who looked very pretty in pale blue, embroidered in silver and diamonds, with a high collar."[11]:2, Col. 7B
  • "The Princess of Wales, who seems to be instinct with the spirit of youth, looked charming in the costume of Margaret de Valois, the most beautiful and accomplished Princess of her age. The dress was of white satin, embroidered with gold and precious stones, with a ruff of rich lace."[12]:11, Col. 4B
  • Shield's Daily Express, which seems to have been written before the ball, after it: "The Princess of Wales will be robed as a lady of Queen Elizabeth's Court; the attire will be very similar to that of Sarah Bernhardt as the Queen in 'Ruy Blas.' No one, I am sure, could look more charming than H.R.H. will in this most poetical garb."[13]
  • According to the description in the Pall Mall Gazette, "The Princess of Wales, looking lovelier and younger than ever, as Margaret of Valois, wore a beautiful dress of white satin embroidered with silver and finished with a collar of guipure, jewelled with diamonds and other precious stones. Her jewels included many strings of pearls, and her cloth-of-gold train was carried by a little page dressed in white and gold with a cap of crimson velvet."[14]
  • According to the Man of Ross, "The Princess of Wales, as Margaret of Valois, wore an exquisite gown of white, embroidered in gold and splendid diamonds. She was attended by the Duchess of York in pale blue satin, embroidered in silver, pearls, and diamonds; the Duchess of Fife, in ivory satin, embroidered in gold; Princess Victoria of Wales, in yellow and gold; Princess Charles of Denmark, in pink and silver; and Princess Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, in pale blue brocade ornamented with pearls and silver. All the Princesses wore a profusion of diamonds."[15]
  • "The Royalties mustered in great force. The Prince of Wales looked a very genial and easy-going Grand Master of the Knight Hospitaller of Malta. The black dress, with touches of white, was distinguished, and made a good foil to the fairy-like dress of the Princess, who was a vision of loveliness as Queen Margot of Valois, dressed in gold embroidered white satin, and with a gold and jewelled train."[16]

Notes and Questions[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Alexandra of Denmark". Wikipedia. 2020-09-21. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Alexandra_of_Denmark&oldid=979564180. 
  2. “The Devonshire House Ball.” The Man of Ross 10 July 1897, Saturday: 2 [of 8], Col. 4B. British Newspaper Archive http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0001463/18970710/033/0002.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Fancy Dress Ball at Devonshire House." Morning Post Saturday 3 July 1897: 7 [of 12], Col. 4A–8 Col. 2B. British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000174/18970703/054/0007.
  4. "Devonshire House Fancy Dress Ball (1897): photogravures by Walker & Boutall after various photographers." 1899. National Portrait Gallery https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait-list.php?set=515 (accessed May 2019).
  5. "Queen Alexandra when Princess of Wales as Queen Marguerite de Valois and Hon. (Alexandra) Louvima Elizabeth Checkley (née Knollys) as her page)." Devonshire House Fancy Dress Ball Album. National Portrait Gallery https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw158359/Queen-Alexandra-when-Princess-of-Wales-as-Queen-Marguerite-de-Valois-and-Hon-Alexandra-Louvima-Elizabeth-Checkley-ne-Knollys-as-her-page (accessed May 2019).
  6. "Court Circular: Prince and Princess of Wales." London Morning Post 03 July 1897, Saturday: 7 [of 12], Col. 2B. British Newspaper Archive http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000174/18970703/049/0007.
  7. "Duchess of Devonshire's Fancy Ball. A Brilliant Spectacle. Some of the Dresses." London Daily News Saturday 3 July 1897: 5 [of 10], Col. 6A–6, Col. 1B. British Newspaper Archive http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000051/18970703/024/0005 and http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/BL/0000051/18970703/024/0006.
  8. “The Duchess of Devonshire’s Ball.” The Gentlewoman 10 July 1897 Saturday: 32–42 [of 76], Cols. 1a–3c [of 3]. British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0003340/18970710/155/0032.
  9. "The Duchess of Devonshire's Fancy Dress Ball. Special Telegram." Belfast News-Letter Saturday 03 July 1897: 5 [of 8], Col. 9 [of 9]. British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/BL/0000038/18970703/015/0005.
  10. "Fancy Dress Ball: Unparalleled Splendour." Carlisle Patriot Friday 9 July 1897: 7 [of 8], Col. 4A–B. British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000365/18970709/084/0007.
  11. "The Duchess of Devonshire's Great Ball. Remarkable Social Function. Crowds of Mimic Kings & Queens. Panorama of Historical Costume. An Array of Priceless Jewels." Western Gazette 9 July 1897: 2 [of 8], Col. 7A–C. British Newspaper Archive http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000407/18970709/009/0002.
  12. "The Duchess of Devonshire’s Historic Ball. Some of the Fancy Costumes." Supplement. The Leicester Chronicle and Leicestershire Mercury 10 July 1897, Saturday: 11 [of 12], Cols. 4A–B. British Newspaper Archive http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000173/18970710/141/0011.
  13. “The Ladies Column: The Coming Fancy Ball.” Shield’s Daily Gazette 5 July 1897, Monday: 3 [of r], Col. 7A. British Newspaper Archive http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000287/18970705/041/0003.
  14. “The Devonshire House Ball. A Brilliant Gathering.” The Pall Mall Gazette 3 July 1897, Saturday: 7 [of 10], Col. 2A–3A. British Newspaper Archive http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000098/18970703/019/0007.
  15. “The Devonshire House Ball.” The Man of Ross 10 July 1897, Saturday: 2 [of 8], Col. 4B. British Newspaper Archive http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0001463/18970710/033/0002.
  16. “The Duchess’s Costume Ball.” Westminster Gazette 03 July 1897 Saturday: 5 [of 8], Cols. 1a–3b [of 3]. British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0002947/18970703/035/0005.