Princess Maud of Fife

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Princess Maud
Countess of Southesk
Princess Maud of Fife as an adult.jpg
Spouse Charles Carnegie, 11th Earl of Southesk
Issue James Carnegie, 3rd Duke of Fife
Full name
Maud Alexandra Victoria Georgina Bertha Carnegie
Father Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife
Mother Louise, Princess Royal
Born (1893-04-03)3 April 1893
East Sheen Lodge, Richmond-upon-Thames
Died 14 December 1945(1945-12-14) (aged 52)

Princess Maud Alexandra Victoria Georgina Bertha (3 April 1893 – 14 December 1945), later Countess of Southesk, was a granddaughter of the British king Edward VII. Maud and her elder sister, Alexandra, had the distinction of being the only female-line descendants of a British sovereign officially granted both the title of Princess and the style of Highness.[1][2] Despite the fact that they were not daughters of a royal duke, they were sometimes unofficially referred to with the territorial designation of Fife but in official documents, until their marriages, they were always styled Her Highness Princess Maud or Alexandra, without the territorial designation "of Fife". It does not appear that either sister was created Princess of Great Britain and Ireland.[3]

Although Princess Maud did not otherwise carry out royal engagements, because of her position in the Commonwealth's order of succession she served as a Counsellor of State between 1942 and 1945.

Early life[edit]

Maud was born at East Sheen Lodge, Richmond-upon-Thames, Surrey on 3 April 1893. Her father was Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife (1840–1912).[3] He was raised from Earl to Duke of Fife following marriage to Maud's mother, Princess Louise of Wales, the eldest daughter of the future King Edward VII.[3]

Maud and her sister were unique in sharing descent from both William IV (through his mistress, Dorothy Jordan), and William IV's niece, Queen Victoria, who succeeded him because he left no legitimate issue.[3]


Princess Maud of Fife as a teenager.

In 1900, Queen Victoria granted Maud's father a second dukedom of Fife in the peerage of the United Kingdom with a special remainder providing for the succession of the duke's daughters and their male-line descendants to the title, in default of a male heir. Maud became second in line to the dukedom, after her elder sister Alexandra, and her descendants would eventually succeed to the peerage.

As a female line great-granddaughter of a British monarch (Queen Victoria), Maud was not entitled to the title of a Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland nor to the attribute Royal Highness. Instead she was styled Lady Maud Duff, as the daughter of a duke.[3] She was sixth in the line of succession to the British throne at the time of her birth. On 5 November 1905, King Edward VII gave Maud's mother the title of Princess Royal. He further ordered Garter King of Arms to gazette Maud and her sister 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.[3]

She took part in the carriage procession for members of the Royal Family when she attended the funeral of Edward VII in 1911 (she was styled in the London Gazette as "Her Highness Princess Maud" and her sister "Her Highness Princess Alexandra", both without the territorial designation "of Fife".[4] She attended the coronation of her uncle, George V, on 22 June 1911 with the Royal Family, styled as "Her Highness Princess Maud" (without territorial designation)[5] She rode in the carriage procession with other members of the Royal Family at the funeral of George V in 1936; on this occasion she was styled in the London Gazette as "Lady Maud Carnegie".[6] She also attended the coronation of her first cousin, King George VI in May 1937, taking part in the procession of Members of the Royal Family, but not in the procession for Princes and Princesses of the Blood Royal (unlike her sister Princess Arthur of Connaught), and was officially styled as Lady Maud Carnegie.[7]


On 13 November 1923, Maud married Charles, Lord Carnegie (23 September 1893 – 16 February 1992) at the Royal Military Chapel, Wellington Barracks, London.[3] Lord Carnegie was the eldest son of Charles Noel Carnegie, 10th Earl of Southesk and inherited the title of Earl of Southesk on his father's death on 10 November 1941.

Maud's uncle, King George V, was displeased with his father's decision to raise Maud and Alexandra to princely rank and instructed Maud to stop using her title and style upon marriage.[citation needed] He did not, however, retract the royal warrant conferring the princely title and attribute of Highness upon her. On marriage, she became known as Lady Maud Carnegie (in accordance with the custom that peers' daughters who marry non-peers of lower rank - as was the case of a duke's daughter married to the eldest son of an earl - retain their own precedence and style), and later, on the succession of her husband to the peerage, as Countess of Southesk. Since Princess Maud had no official role in the Royal Family, this was able to be passed off as modesty.[citation needed], In some official documents, though, she was still styled Princess Maud,[citation needed] nor is it apparent that she was relegated to the precedence of a comital peeress when not in the company of her husband.

Maud and her husband operated a model farm from Elsick House, in Kincardineshire, Scotland. They had one child, James (b. 23 September 1929).[3]

Later life[edit]

Princess Maud consistently appeared at the Court of St. James's among the Royal Family, although she did not undertake official or public duties. During George VI's absence in Africa in 1943, Maud served as a Counsellor of State. At the time of her death in 1945, she was thirteenth in line to the British throne and heiress presumptive to the dukedom of Fife, since her sister's only son Alastair Windsor, 2nd Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, had died in 1943. Maud's only son James, Lord Carnegie, succeeded his aunt as 3rd Duke of Fife in 1959.[3] He succeeded to his father's titles in 1992.

Maud died in a London nursing home in December 1945 after a bout of acute bronchitis.

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 3 April 1893 – 5 November 1905: The Lady Maud Duff
  • 5 November 1905 – 12 November 1923: Her Highness Princess Maud
  • 12 November 1923 – 10 November 1941: The Lady Maud Carnegie (de jure "Her Highness Princess Maud)
  • 10 November 1941 – 14 December 1945: The Countess of Southesk (de jure Her Highness Princess Maud, Countess of Southesk)

Legally Princess Maud retained the style of Princess and Highness until her death.


References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ London Gazette, supplement to the Nov 7, 1905, issue 27852, p. 1/7495.
  2. ^ The distinction lies in being granted the styles of both Princess and Highness. Other female-line decendants of a British sovereign, such as the children of Prince and Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein and of Prince and Princess Henry of Battenberg, had been granted the style of Highness, but not that of Prince or Princess, presumably because they derived a princely style from their fathers, which was not the case of Princess Maud and Princess Alexandra. Their cousin Princess Victoria Eugénie of Battenberg was born "Highness" by virtue of an 1885 warrant of Queen Victoria and was created "Royal Highness" by Edward VII immediately prior to her 1906 marriage to the King of Spain: Supplement of the London Gazette, Apr 4, 1906, n. 27901, p. 1.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh (editor). Burke's Guide to the Royal Family, Burke's Peerage, London, 1973, p. 306. ISBN 0-220-66222-3
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