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 of Fife (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 granted the title of Princess of Great Britain and Ireland.[1]

Although Princess Maud did not normally carry out royal engagements, 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).[1] He was created Duke of Fife following marriage to Maud's mother, Princess Louise, the eldest daughter of the future King Edward VII.[1]

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 style Royal Highness. Instead she was styled Lady Maud Duff, as the daughter of a duke.[1] She was sixth in the Line of succession to the British throne at the time of her birth.

Maud and her sister were unique among British princesses in that they were descended from both William IV (through his mistress, Dorothy Jordan), and William IV's niece, Queen Victoria, who succeeded him because he had no legitimate issue.[1]


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 descendants to the title, in default of a male heir. Maud became second in line to the dukedom after her elder sister Alexandra.

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.[1]


On 13 November 1923, Maud married Lord Carnegie (23 September 1893 – 16 February 1992) at the Royal Military Chapel, Wellington Barracks, London.[1] 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 predecessor's decision to raise Maud and Alexandra to royal status and instructed to Maud to stop using her title and style upon marriage, however Maud remained British Princess until her death. She thus became known as Lady Carnegie, and later as Countess of Southesk. Since Maud had no official role in the royal family, this was able to be passed off as modesty. In some official documents, though, she was still styled Princess Maud.

Maud and her husband operated a model farm at Elsick, in Kincardineshire, Scotland. They had one child, James (b. 23 September 1929).[1]

Later life[edit]

Maud was considered a member of the British Royal Family, although she did not undertake official and public duties. She attended the coronations of her uncle, George V, in June 1911 and her first cousin, King George VI in May 1937. 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 heir 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, Lord Carnegie, succeeded his aunt as 3rd Duke of Fife in 1959.[1] 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 of Fife
  • 12 November 1923 – 10 November 1941: Her Highness Princess Maud, Lady Carnegie
  • 10 November 1941 – 14 December 1945: Her Highness Princess Maud, Countess of Southesk

Legally Maud remained Princess of the United Kingdom of Grait Britain and Ireland with the style Highness until her death.


References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ 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