Princess Patricia of Connaught
Princess Patricia, photographed by W & D Downey
|Spouse||Sir Alexander Ramsay|
|Issue||Alexander Ramsay of Mar|
|House||House of Windsor
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
|Father||Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught|
|Mother||Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia|
17 March 1886|
Buckingham Palace, London
|Died||12 January 1974
Princess Patricia of Connaught (Victoria Patricia Helena Elizabeth; later Lady Patricia Ramsay; 17 March 1886 – 12 January 1974) was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. She relinquished her title of a British princess and the style of Royal Highness upon her marriage to the commoner Alexander Ramsay.
A Canadian Army infantry regiment, the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, was named in her honour. Patricia Lake in Alberta also carries her name. There is also a Thamesdown bus named after her in Swindon, Wiltshire.
Princess Patricia — "Patsy" to family and friends — was born on 17 March 1886, St Patrick's Day, at Buckingham Palace in London. Her father was Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, the third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Her mother was Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia. She had two elder siblings, Prince Arthur of Connaught and Princess Margaret of Connaught, later Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden.
She was christened Victoria Patricia Helena Elizabeth at Bagshot Park on 1 May 1886 and her godparents were: Queen Victoria (her paternal grandmother); the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (her paternal granduncle, who was represented by her paternal uncle Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein); the Hereditary Grand Duchess of Oldenburg (her maternal aunt); Prince Wilhelm of Prussia (her cousin, for whom the German Ambassador, Count Hatzfeldt, stood proxy); Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein (her paternal aunt); and Prince Albert of Prussia (her cousin, for whom her maternal uncle the Hereditary Grand Duke of Oldenburg stood proxy). She was named Victoria after Queen Victoria; Patricia, after St Patrick, the saint of her birthday; and Helena, in honour of her father's sister Princess Helena of the United Kingdom.
She grew up as a member of the Royal Family, taking part in royal weddings and family holidays. She was a bridesmaid at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of York (future George V and Queen Mary) on 6 July 1893.
Princess Patricia travelled extensively in her early years. Her father, the Duke of Connaught, was posted to India with the army, and the young Princess spent two years living there. Connaught Place, the central business locus of New Delhi, is named for the Duke. In 1911, the Duke was appointed Governor General of Canada. Princess Patricia accompanied her parents to Canada, and she became popular there. Her portrait appears on the one dollar note of the Dominion of Canada with the issue date, March 17, 1917.
She was named Colonel-in-Chief of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry on 22 February 1918 and held that appointment until her death. The regiment named for her was privately raised by Andrew Hamilton Gault, of Montreal, at his own expense; it was the last privately raised regiment in the British Empire. Princess Patricia personally designed the badge and colours for the regiment to take overseas to France, and at her wedding in 1919, the regiment attended and played their march specially. As the regiment's Colonel-in-Chief, she played an active role until her death.
A memorial plaque in St. Bartholomew's Anglican Church in Ottawa is dedicated "To the memory of The Lady Patricia Ramsey, VA, CI, CD late Colonel-in-Chief Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry who as H.R.H. the Princess Patricia of Connaught worshipped here while resident at Government House 1911-1916."
She was succeeded in 1974 by her cousin and goddaughter Patricia (the Rt. Hon. Lady Brabourne), who became the Countess Mountbatten of Burma, who asked that the men and women of her regiment discount her titles and refer to her in honour of her predecessor as Lady Patricia.
The question of Patricia's marriage was a hot topic of conversation in the Edwardian era. She was matched with various foreign royals, including the King of Spain and the Prince of Portugal; the future Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Grand Duke Michael of Russia, younger brother of Tsar Nicholas II.
In the end, however, Patricia chose a commoner rather than a husband of royal blood. She married naval Commander (later Admiral) The Hon. Alexander Ramsay (29 May 1881 – 8 October 1972), one of her father's aides de camp, and third son of the 13th Earl of Dalhousie. She was married at Westminster Abbey on 27 February 1919.
On her wedding day, Princess Patricia of Connaught voluntarily relinquished the style of Royal Highness and the title of Princess of Great Britain and Ireland and assumed the style of Lady Patricia Ramsay with precedence immediately before the Marchionesses of England.
Cdr Alexander Ramsay and Lady Patricia Ramsay had one child:
- Alexander Ramsay of Mar (21 December 1919 – 20 December 2000), married, 1956, Flora Fraser, 21st Lady Saltoun, and had issue.
Despite her relinquishment of her royal title, Lady Patricia remained a member of the British Royal Family, remained in the line of succession, and attended all major royal events including weddings, funerals and the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth and Queen Elizabeth II's own in 1937 and 1953 respectively.
Lady Patricia was an accomplished artist specializing in watercolours. In 1959, she was made an honorary member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours. Much of her work was inspired by her travel in tropical countries. Her style was influenced by Gauguin and Van Gogh, because she had studied under A.S. Hartrick who had known the artists. She died at Ribsden Holt, Windlesham, Surrey on 12 January 1974, eight weeks before her 88th birthday and a year and a half after her husband. At the time of her death, she was the younger of only two surviving female grandchildren of Queen Victoria; the other one being Princess Alice, who lived to the age of 97. Lady Patricia Ramsay and Admiral Alexander Ramsay are buried at the Royal Burial Ground, Frogmore, directly behind the Royal Mausoleum of her grandparents Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, in Windsor Great Park.
The second of Canadian Pacific Line's two 356 foot long, 56 foot wide, 5,611/6,062 ton (1963 refit) Fairfield Shipyards, Scotland-built west Pacific coast steam turbine passenger ships, the SS Princess Patricia (SS Princess Patricia II), was named in 1949 for Princess Patricia of Connaught. The first ship for Princess Cruises via a winter Mexican Riviera charter from CPL in 1965, she was retired from Alaskan cruising services in 1978, used as a floating hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia for their 1986 World's Fair before being finally scraped in 1995.
Her sister ship was the SS Princess Marguerite (II).
Titles, styles, honours and arms
Titles and styles
- 17 March 1886 – 27 February 1919: Her Royal Highness Princess Patricia of Connaught
- 27 February 1919 – 12 January 1974: Lady Patricia Ramsay
- CI: Companion of the Crown of India, 1911
- GCStJ: Dame Grand Cross of St John, 1934
- CD: Canadian Forces Decoration, 1934
- VA: Royal Order of Victoria and Albert
Upon her marriage in 1919, Lady Patricia was granted arms as a male-line grandchild of a British monarch. Her arms are those of the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom with a label for difference, blazoned thus:
Quarterly (by quarters):
- 1st and 4th, Gules three Lions passant guardant in pale Or (England). (The first and fourth quarters display the three lions, representing England.)
- 2nd quarter is Or a lion rampant within a Double Tressure flory counterflory Gules (Scotland). (The second quarter displays a red lion in a yellow field with a double border coloured red with red fleurs-de-lys, representing Scotland.)
- 3rd, Azure a Harp Or stringed Argent (Northern Ireland). (The third quarter shows a golden harp with silver strings against a blue background, representing Northern Ireland.)
The whole differenced by a Label of five points Argent, first and fifth with a cross gules, the others fleurs-de-lys azure.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Princess Patricia of Connaught.|
- Yvonne's Royalty Home Page — Royal Christenings
- "'The Duke and Duchess of York and Bridesmaids'". National Portrait Gallery.
- Leete-Hodge, Lornie (1985). Curiosities of Somerset. West Yorkshire: Bossiney Books. p. 73. ISBN 0-906456-98-3.
- Archives Canada - Andrew Hamilton Gault fonds
- "Lady Patricia Ramsey plaque". National Inventory of Canadian Military Memorials. Canadian Department of National Defence. 2008-04-16. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- "PRINCESS PAT" ENGAGED?; Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz Said to be Her Fiance.". New York Times. 30 June 1913. p. 4.
- "Wedding Of Princess Patricia To Sir A. Ramsay, 1919". British Pathe.
- Heraldica – British Royalty Cadency
- Marlene A. Eilers, Queen Victoria's Descendants, (New York: Atlantic International Publishing, 1987).
- Allison Weir, Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy (London: Palmico, 1996).
- "Obituary: Lady Patricia Ramsay, Granddaughter of Queen Victoria," The Times, 14 January 1974, p. 14.