Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein

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Prince Christian Victor
Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein.jpg
Born (1867-04-14)14 April 1867
Windsor Castle, Berkshire,
United Kingdom
Died 29 October 1900(1900-10-29) (aged 33)
Pretoria, South Africa
Burial 1 November 1900
Pretoria, South Africa
Full name
Christian Victor Albert Ernst Anton
House Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg
Father Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein
Mother Princess Helena of the United Kingdom
Occupation British Army officer

Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein GCB GCVO DSO KStJ (Christian Victor Albert Louis Ernst Anton;[1] 14 April 1867 – 29 October 1900) was the eldest son of Princess Helena, third daughter of Queen Victoria.

Early life[edit]

Prince Christian was born on 14 April 1867, at Windsor Castle. His father was Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, the third son of Christian, Duke of Augustenborg, and Countess Louise of Danneskjold-Samsøe. His mother was Princess Helena, the fifth child and third daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. His parents resided in the United Kingdom, at Cumberland Lodge, and the Prince was considered a member of the British Royal Family. Under letters patent of 1866, he was styled His Highness Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein.


The Prince, who was educated at Lambrook, Wellington College, Magdalen College, Oxford, and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, was commissioned in the 60th King's Royal Rifles in 1888 and served later in the 4th King's Royal Rifle Corps. He served at Hazara 1891, Mirzanai 1891, Ashanti 1895 and Nile 1898.

"Christle", as the Prince was known in the family, was the first member of the Royal Family to attend school instead of being educated by a tutor at home. That he studied at Wellington College made Queen Victoria very happy, as Prince Albert had helped to establish the institution many years before. At Wellington he played for the college First Eleven in 1883 and was captain of the cricket team in 1885. He was also captain of the cricket team while at Magdalen College and at Sandhurst, and made a single first-class appearance, for I Zingari against Gentlemen of England in 1887, scoring 35 and 0. He remains the only member of the British royal family to play cricket at such a high level.[2]

Military career[edit]

"Christle" became a British Army officer in the 60th King's Royal Rifles in 1888. He fought under Lord Kitchener in 1898 when the British troops defeated the Dervishes at Omdurman near Khartoum and recovered the Sudan. He participated also in the Ashanti Expedition to Ghana. From 1899 he served as a staff officer in the Second Boer War being involved the relief of Ladysmith[3] under General Sir Redvers Buller and later was with Lord Roberts in Pretoria.

Later life[edit]

Grave of Prince Christian Victor in Pretoria

In October 1900, while in Pretoria, he came down with malaria, and died of enteric fever, on 29 October, aged 33, after receiving Holy Communion in the presence of Lord Roberts and Prince Francis of Teck. He was interred in the Pretoria cemetery on 1 November 1900. During his funeral, a Boer woman commented: "They are burying their Prince in British soil; the English intend to remain in this land." His grave is marked with a granite cross and a cast-iron railing.


The Prince was a keen amateur cricketer, and played a single first-class match for I Zingari in 1897.[4] He scored 35 and 0. In lesser cricket, he represented Wellington College and also founded his own eponymous cricket team.[5][6]


The statue outside Windsor Castle

Prince Christian Victor was the favourite grandson of Queen Victoria.[citation needed] There is a monument to him in the Chapel of the Crucifixion at Frogmore Mausoleum by Emil Fuchs. It was originally placed in St George's Chapel. Another monument dedicated to him also serves as a monument to the fallen officers, NCOs and Soldiers of the Devonshire, Somerset and Gloucestershire Regiment who lost their lives in the Boer War. This monument is located on Plymouth Hoe in Plymouth, outside the entrance to the Royal Citadel.

There is also a statue of the Prince outside Windsor Castle (Berkshire, England), erected by his friends. The accompanying plaque displays a list of his campaign and war medals.

Prince Christian's parents dedicated a window to him in the Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor Great Park in 1905.[7]