Francis, Duke of Teck
|Duke of Teck|
Photograph by Alexander Bassano
|Born||Count Francis von Hohenstein|
28 August 1837
Esseg, Slavonia, Austrian Empire
|Died||21 January 1900 (aged 62)|
White Lodge, Richmond Park, London
|Burial||27 January 1900|
Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge
(m. 1866; died 1897)
|Issue||Mary, Queen of the United Kingdom |
Adolphus Cambridge, 1st Marquess of Cambridge
Prince Francis of Teck
Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone
|Father||Duke Alexander of Württemberg|
|Mother||Countess Claudine Rhédey von Kis-Rhéde|
Francis, Duke of Teck GCB GCVO (Francis Paul Charles Louis Alexander; 28 August 1837 – 21 January 1900), known as Count Francis von Hohenstein until 1863, was an Austrian-born nobleman who married into the British royal family. He was the father of Queen Mary, and thus a great-grandfather of the current British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Francis held the Austrian title of Count of Hohenstein (Graf von Hohenstein), and the German titles of Prince (Fürst) and later Duke of Teck (Herzog von Teck), and was given the style of Serene Highness in 1863. He was granted the British style of Highness in 1887.
Background and early military career
Francis was born on 28 August 1837 in Esseg, Slavonia (now Osijek, Croatia), and christened Franz Paul Karl Ludwig Alexander. His father was Duke Alexander of Württemberg, the son of Duke Louis of Württemberg. His mother was Countess Claudine Rhédey von Kis-Rhéde. The marriage was morganatic, meaning that Francis had no succession rights to the Kingdom of Württemberg. His title at birth was Count Francis von Hohenstein, after his mother was created Countess von Hohenstein in her own right by Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria.
He was educated at the Imperial Austrian Academy of Engineers from 1849 to 1853 and joined the Imperial Austrian Army as a lieutenant in the 1st Lancers in 1854. He transferred to the Guard Squadron in 1858 and later became a Captain (Rittmeister) in the 7th Hussars. He served as Orderly Officer under Count von Wimpffen in Italy during the Austro-Sardinian War and was awarded the gold medal for distinguished service at the Battle of Solferino and the bronze war medal, 1859.
In 1863, Francis was created Prince of Teck, with the style of Serene Highness, in the Kingdom of Württemberg. He served during the Austro-Prussian War and retired from the Austrian Army when he married and moved to England in 1866.
Marriage and dukedom
As the product of a morganatic marriage, and without succession rights to the throne, Francis was not acceptable as a husband for princesses in most of the European royal houses. He was also possibly homosexual. Further, Francis had little income in comparison with other European princes. He thus married into a richer family, by marrying his father's third cousin (in descent from King George II of Great Britain) Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, the younger daughter of Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, and a granddaughter of George III, who was known as 'Fat Mary' because of her wide girth.
- Princess Victoria Mary of Teck (1867–1953); later Queen Mary, Queen-Consort of the United Kingdom.
- Prince Adolphus of Teck (1868–1927); later Duke of Teck and Marquess of Cambridge.
- Prince Francis of Teck (1870–1910).
- Prince Alexander of Teck (1874–1957); later Earl of Athlone.
Later military career
He was attached to the staff of British General Sir Garnet Wolseley during the Egyptian campaign of 1882. He received the silver medal for the Battle of Tel-el-Kebir, the Khedive's Star, and the Order of Osmanieh, first class. On his return from Egypt he was gazetted a Colonel in the British Army.
The Duke of Teck was made Colonel (Oberst) à la suite of the 25th (1st Württemberg) Dragoons "Queen Olga" on 6 March 1889, and a Generalmajor in the German Army on 18 October 1891. He was made a supernumerary Major-General in the British Army in July 1893 and a Generalleutnant in the German Army on 18 April 1895.
Because Francis had no inheritance, the couple lived on Mary Adelaide's Parliamentary allowance of £5,000 per annum (equivalent to ca. £525,000 in 2013), supplemented by income from her mother, the Duchess of Cambridge. Mary Adelaide's requests to her cousin, Queen Victoria, for more funds were met with refusal; however, they were granted a grace-and-favour apartment in Kensington Palace, London and a country house, White Lodge, the former Royal deer-hunting lodge in Richmond Park, Southwest London.
The Duke and Duchess lived beyond their means, leading to the build-up of large debts. In 1883, the Tecks fled the UK to continental Europe, where they stayed with relatives in Florence and Germany. They eventually returned to the UK in 1885.
With an Order in Council on 1 July 1887, Queen Victoria granted Francis the style of Highness, as a gift to celebrate her Golden Jubilee. Despite this, the Tecks were still seen as minor relatives, with little status or wealth. Their fortunes improved when their only daughter, Princess Victoria Mary of Teck (known as May to her family) became engaged to the second-in-line to the British throne, Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence. There was initial opposition to the match from the Duke of Clarence's parents, the Prince and Princess of Wales: Arthur Balfour wrote to Lord Salisbury in 1890 that "(t)he Teck girl they won't have because they hate Teck and because the vision of Princess Mary haunting Marlborough House makes the Prince of Wales ill." Nevertheless, the Queen gave her official consent to the engagement on 12 December 1891. The death of the Duke of Clarence only six weeks later looked like a cruel blow. However, Princess May consented when the Duke of Clarence's brother (and next in the line of succession), Prince George, Duke of York, proposed to her instead.
In 1897, the Duchess of Teck died, leaving Francis a widower. He continued to live at White Lodge, Richmond, but did not carry out any Royal duties.
In Who's Who, the Duke of Teck listed his recreations as "a little of all". He was President of the Royal Botanic Society and a member of numerous clubs, including White's, the Marlborough Club, the Bachelors' Club, the Army and Navy Club, the United Service Club, the Cavalry Club, the Naval and Military Club, the Travellers' Club, the St George's Club, the Hurlingham Club, the Ranelagh Club and the Jockey Club, as well as the Adels-Casino at Vienna and the Herren-Casino at Stuttgart.
Titles, styles, honours and arms
- 28 August 1837 – 1 December 1863: Count Francis von Hohenstein
- 1 December 1863 – 16 September 1871: His Serene Highness Prince Francis of Teck
- 16 September 1871 – 11 July 1887: His Serene Highness The Duke of Teck
- 11 July 1887 – 21 January 1900: His Highness The Duke of Teck
- GCB: Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Bath (Civil division), 12 June 1866
- GCVO: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, 30 June 1897
|Ancestors of Francis, Duke of Teck|
- Huberty, M., Giraud, A., Magdelaine, F. & B. (1979) L’Allemagne Dynastique, Vol. II (Alain Giraud, Le Perreux, France) p.524 ISBN 2-901138-02-0
- ‘TECK’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, 1920–2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007 accessed 4 Jan 2012
- Pope-Hennessy, James; Vickers, Hugo (ed.) The Quest For Queen Mary, Zulieka, 2018, p20.
- Weir, A. (1996) Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy, Revised edition (Pimlico, London)
- James Pope-Hennessy, Queen Mary, Reprint Society 1959, p 61.
- "No. 26417". The London Gazette. 15 August 1876. p. 3714.
- "No. 25169". The London Gazette. 17 November 1882. p. 5173.
- Karl Spieß and Hans Ritter, Geschichte des Dragoner-Regiments Königin Olga (1. Württ.) Nr. 25 (Ludwigsburg, 1913), p. 509
- London Gazette, 30 June 1893
- "Bank of England Inflation Calculator". Bank of England. Bank of England. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
- Royal Styles and Titles – 1887 Order-in-Council
- Balfour to Salisbury, 30 August 1890, quoted in Max Egremont, Balfour: A Life of Arthur James Balfour (Collins, 1980) page 103
- "No. 26233". The London Gazette. 15 December 1891. p. 6911.
- The Times Tuesday, 23 Jan 1900; pg. 7; Issue 36046; col D
- Maclagan, Michael; Louda, Jiří (1999). Line of Succession: Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe. London: Little, Brown & Co. p. 30. ISBN 1-85605-469-1.
- "No. 23134". The London Gazette. 26 July 1866. p. 3871.
- "No. 26871". The London Gazette. 9 July 1897. p. 3819.
|New creation|| Duke of Teck
Prince Adolphus of Teck