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Queen Victoria's Favourite Granddaughter (Hardback)

Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, the Most Consequential Royal You Never Knew

P&S History > British History > Victorian History P&S History > Royal History Women of History

By Ilana D Miller
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 20 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399066266
Published: 30th July 2024


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In the Fall of 1947, an eighty-four-year-old woman receives an extraordinary invitation. Though much that happened was a lifetime ago and in a different world, Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, now the Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven, holds the heavy vellum envelop for a moment in her hands. Within is the end of a long journey seeking vindication for a husband who gave his life to the service of the Royal Navy and received, in return, ingratitude. Within is the reminder of a life lived with her family that is mostly gone. However, for one exquisite moment, it returns as she opens the envelope:

The Lord Chamberlain is commanded by Their Majesties to invite The Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven to the Ceremony of the Marriage of Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth, with Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, Royal Navy in Westminster Abbey, on Thursday, 20th November 1947, at 11.30 o’clock, a.m.

Thus begins the story of Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine. Victoria, the eldest daughter of Princess Alice and Prince Ludwig of Hesse, was born in April 1863. One of the envied grandchildren of Queen Victoria, she was related to most of the Royal Families of Europe – a member of the fabled “Royal Mob”.

The obstacles that characterized Victoria’s life began with her mother’s untimely death. Queen Victoria helped her granddaughter shoulder the responsibilities of caring for the motherless family, writing letters of advice and guidance, a correspondence lasting some thirty years.

In April 1884, Victoria married the dashing Prince Louis of Battenberg, an officer in the Royal Navy, who eventually became Britain’s First Sea Lord. Their daughter, Alice, was the future mother of Prince Philip and their youngest child, another Louis, was Viceroy of India.

On the eve of World War I, Prince Louis of Battenberg, was forced to resign because of his German surname, which he later changed to Mountbatten. Victoria’s sister, Alix, who had taken the name Alexandra when she married Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, and her entire family was murdered in 1918.

Progressive and intelligent, Victoria was the lynchpin of her family. Through cataclysms, both familial and historical, travelling from pre-revolutionary Russia to the British Mandate of Palestine, Victoria’s life was as exciting as it was triumphant.

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About Ilana D Miller

Ilana D. Miller is an Adjunct Professor of American History at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, as well as the Senior Editor of the European Royal History Journal. Her publishing credits include Reports from America: William Howard Russell and the American Civil War, TheFour Graces: Queen Victoria’s Hessian Granddaughters. She has co-authored with Arturo Beéche: Royal Gatherings I & IIThe Grand Dukes, Volume IThe Grand Ducal House of Hesse and lastly, Recollections: Victoria Marchioness of Milford Haven Formerly Princess Louis of Battenberg annotated and expanded by Mr Beéche and Ms Miller. She has authored several scholarly articles in historical magazines and journals as well as historical fiction. She is currently working on a biography of Princess Victoria Battenberg and with Mr Beéche she is working on the fourth book, Royal Gatherings III: 1940-1972. She lives in Los Angeles.

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