Lady Feodora Gleichen

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Lady Feodora Gleichen
Feodore Gleichen.jpg
Born Countess Feodora Georgina Maud von Gleichen
(1861-12-20)20 December 1861
Died 22 February 1922(1922-02-22) (aged 60)
St James's Palace
Nationality British
Education Slade School of Art
Known for sculptor
Awards Légion d'honneur

Lady Feodora Georgina Maud Gleichen (20 December 1861 London – 22 February 1922 London) was a British sculptor of figures and portrait busts and designer of decorative objects.


Born Countess Feodora Georgina Maud von Gleichen, she was the eldest daughter of Prince Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (a British naval officer and sculptor, and half-nephew of Queen Victoria) and his morganatic wife, Laura Seymour, a daughter of Admiral Sir George Seymour,.[1] a remote nephew of Henry VIII's Queen Jane Seymour. Within her family she was called Feo. Her father having been largely disinherited at the time of his marriage, he initially adopted his wife's morganatic comital title. The family were taken in by the Queen and dwelt at St James's Palace. Her brother, Lord Edward Gleichen, became a career military officer and author. Her sister, Lady Helena Gleichen, became a portrait painter.

On 15 December 1885, the Court Circular announced the Queen's permission for Feodora's mother to share her father's rank at the Court of St James's, and henceforth they were known as TSH Prince and Princess Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. But the Queen did not extend that privilege to their four children, although she confirmed use of their German style as count and countesses. In 1889 Feodora and her sisters Valda and Helena were bridesmaids to the Princess Royal Louise and the Earl of Fife. On 12 June 1913 Feodora and her sisters were granted precedence before the daughters of dukes in the peerage of England by George V.[2]


Gleichen studied art in her father's studio at St James's and later with Alphonse Legros at the Slade School of Art. While maintaining her father's studio she associated with leading artists such as Sir George Frampton, sculptor of the statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. She completed her studies in Rome in 1891 and regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1892 and at the New Dudley Gallery. A bas-relief and hand-mirror in jade and bronze won her a bronze medal at the Exposition Universelle in 1900.

She helped with illustrations for the Younghusband Expedition to Tibet in 1904. During World War I she abandoned her German titles, accepting demotion by the King to the style and rank of a marquess's daughter,[3]

Later life[edit]

In 1917, Gleichen was obliged to relinquish her German title and was demoted in rank to the precedence and title of the daughter of a British marquess (i.e. "Lady Feodora") by Royal Warrant of Precedence, pursuant to the King's dynastic reform of titles and names during establishment of the House of Windsor. She died, unmarried, in 1922 at her grace and favour apartment in St James's Palace. Shortly before her death, she was awarded the Légion d'honneur in 1922 and was later posthumously made the first woman member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors.

Major works[edit]


References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Atwood, Kathryn J. (2014). Women Heroes of World War I: 16 Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies, and Medics. Chicago Review Press. p. 108. ISBN 978-1-61374-686-8. 
  2. ^ "no. 28789". The London Gazette. 2 January 1914. p. 37. 
  3. ^ "no. 30551". The London Gazette. 1 March 1918. p. 2632. 


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