Princess Alexandra, 2nd Duchess of Fife

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For other people called Princess Alexandra, see Princess Alexandra (disambiguation).
Princess Alexandra
Princess Arthur of Connaught
Alexandra Fife.jpg
Duchess of Fife
Predecessor Alexander Duff
Successor James Carnegie
Spouse Prince Arthur of Connaught
Issue Alastair, 2nd Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
Full name
Alexandra Victoria Alberta Edwina Louise
Father Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife
Mother Louise, Princess Royal
Born (1891-05-17)17 May 1891
East Sheen Lodge, Richmond, London, England
Died 26 February 1959(1959-02-26) (aged 67)
Burial Mar Lodge, Braemar, Scotland

Princess Alexandra, 2nd Duchess of Fife, GCStJ (Alexandra Victoria Alberta Edwina Louise; née Duff; later Princess Arthur of Connaught; 17 May 1891 – 26 February 1959) was a member of the British Royal Family, a granddaughter of King Edward VII.

Lineage and early life[edit]

Alexandra's father was Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife. Having succeeded his father as the 6th Earl of Fife, he was elevated to Duke of Fife and Marquess of Macduff in the Peerage of the United Kingdom two days after his marriage in 1889 to Princess Louise of Wales, the eldest daughter of the future King Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark. Princess Louise accordingly became the Duchess of Fife.

Alexandra was born to them at East Sheen Lodge, Richmond on 17 May 1891. When it became apparent that the couple were unlikely to have a son, Queen Victoria renamed Alexander Duke of Fife and Earl of Macduff in the peerage of the United Kingdom in 1900, giving the second dukedom of Fife a special remainder in default of male issue to the Duke's daughters and their agnatic male descendants.

As a female-line great-granddaughter of the British monarch, Alexandra was not entitled to the title of a Princess of the United Kingdom Great Britain and Ireland or the style Royal Highness. Instead she was styled Lady Alexandra Duff, as the daughter of a duke. She was fifth in the line of succession at the time of her birth.

Alexandra and her sister were unique among British princesses in that they were descended from both William IV (through his mistress, Dorothea Jordan), and William IV's niece, Queen Victoria, who succeeded him because he had no legitimate issue.

Princess Alexandra[edit]

Princess Alexandra of Fife.

On 5 November 1905, King Edward VII declared his eldest daughter Princess Royal. He further ordered Garter King of Arms to gazette Lady Alexandra Duff and her sister Lady Maud Duff with the style and attribute of Highness and the style of Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names with precedence immediately after all members of the British Royal Family bearing the style of Royal Highness. From that point, Her Highness Princess Alexandra held her title and rank, not from her father (a Duke), but rather from the will of the Sovereign (her grandfather).

Around 1910, she became secretly engaged to Prince Christopher of Greece and Denmark, a son of George I of Greece and Olga Konstantinovna of Russia. The engagement was terminated when their disapproving parents learned of the liaison. As Prince Christopher's father was a younger brother of Princess Alexandra's maternal grandmother, the hopeful couple were first cousins once removed.[citation needed]


British Royalty
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1837-1952).svg
Edward VII
Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale
George V
Louise, Princess Royal and Duchess of Fife
Princess Victoria
Maud, Queen of Norway
Prince Alexander John of Wales
Grandchildren in the female-line
Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife
Princess Maud, Countess of Southesk

On 15 October 1913, Princess Alexandra married Prince Arthur of Connaught at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace, London.[1]

The bride's attendants were:[2]

Prince Arthur of Connaught was the only son of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, the third eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and thus a younger brother of her maternal grandfather King Edward VII. As such, Arthur and Alexandra were first cousins once removed.

After their marriage, Alexandra was generally referred to as HRH Princess Arthur of Connaught. This followed the tradition of a wife taking the style and title of her husband.

With her husband, Alexandra also carried out royal engagements on behalf of her uncle, King George V, and later for her cousin, King George VI. She also served as a Counsellor of State between 1937 and 1944.


Princess Arthur of Connaught with her only son Alastair.

During World War I, Princess Arthur of Connaught served as nurse at St. Mary's Hospital in Paddington. When Prince Arthur was appointed governor general of the Union of South Africa in 1920, she accompanied him to Pretoria and worked on behalf of local hospitals. Upon the couple's return to Britain, she continued to carry out royal duties. She died at her home near Primrose Hill, London, in 1959 and was buried at Mar Lodge chapel.

Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 17 May 1891 – 5 November 1905: The Lady Alexandra Duff
  • 5 November 1905 – 15 October 1913: Her Highness Princess Alexandra[citation needed]
  • 15 October 1913 – 29 January 1912: Her Royal Highness Princess Arthur of Connaught
  • 29 January 1912 – 26 February 1959: Her Royal Highness Princess Arthur of Connaught, 2nd Duchess of Fife


Honorary military appointments[edit]


Name Birth Death Notes
Prince Alastair of Connaught 9 August 1914 26 April 1943 later styled Earl of Macduff and 2nd Duke of Connaught and Strathearn



External links[edit]

Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Alexander Duff
Duchess of Fife
2nd creation
Succeeded by
James Carnegie