Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany

Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany

Infobox British Royalty|royal
name =The Prince Leopold
title =Duke of Albany

succession = Duke of Albany
successor =Charles, Duke of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha
spouse =Princess Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont
issue =Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone
Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
full name =Leopold George Duncan Albert
titles ="HRH" The Duke of Albany
"HRH" The Prince Leopold
royal house =House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
father =Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
mother =Victoria
date of birth =birth date|1853|4|7|df=y
place of birth =Buckingham Palace, London
date of christening =28 June 1853
place of christening =Buckingham Palace, London
date of death =death date and age|1884|3|28|1853|4|7|df=y
place of death =Cannes
place of burial =St George's Chapel, Windsor|

The Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany (Leopold George Duncan Albert; 7 April 1853 – 28 March 1884) was a member of the British Royal Family, a son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Leopold was later created the Duke of Albany, Earl of Clarence and Baron Arklow. He was diagnosed with haemophilia as a baby, which later led to his death as an adult.

Early life

Leopold was born on 7 April 1853 at Buckingham Palace, London. His mother was Queen Victoria, the reigning British monarch. His father was Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. During labour , Queen Victoria chose to use chloroform and thus sanctioned the use of anesthesia in childbirth, recently developed by Professor James Young Simpson. The chloroform was administered by Dr. John Snow. As a son of the British sovereign, the newborn was styled "His Royal Highness The Prince Leopold" at birth. His parents named him Leopold after his great-uncle, King Leopold I of the Belgians.

He was baptised in the Private Chapel of Buckingham Palace on 28 June 1853 by The Archbishop of Canterbury, John Bird Sumner, and his godparents were his first cousin once-removed, The King of Hanover; his fourth cousin once-removed, Princess William of Prussia; his first cousin once-removed, Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge; and The Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (his maternal uncle by marriage).

Leopold inherited the disease of haemophilia from his mother, Queen Victoria, and spent most of childhood as a semi-invalid. Evidence exists Fact|date=June 2008 that Leopold also suffered mildly from epilepsy.

Education and career

In 1872, Prince Leopold, entered Christ Church, Oxford where he studied a variety of subjects. He left the university with an honorary doctorate in civil law (DCL) in 1876. Prince Leopold travelled in Europe and 1880, he toured Canada and the United States with his sister, Princess Louise, whose husband John Campbell, Marquess of Lorne was the Governor General of Canada. Incapable of pursuing a military career because of his illness, Prince Leopold instead became a patron of the arts and literature, and served as an unofficial secretary to his mother. Later he pursued appointments as Governor-General of both Canada and Australia, but was rejected in part due to his health problems.

Duke of Albany

Prince Leopold was created Duke of Albany, Earl of Clarence and Baron Arklow on 24 May 1881 [ Yvonne's Royalty: Peerage] ] .


Prince Leopold, stifled by the desire of his mother, Queen Victoria, to keep him at home, saw marriage as his only hope of independence. Due to his haemophilia, he had difficulty finding a wife. Heiress Daisy Maynard was one of the women he considered as a possible bride. It has been suggested that he considered Alice Liddell, the daughter of the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford for whom Lewis Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland, though others suggest that he preferred her sister Edith. Leopold did become godfather of Alice's second son, who was named for him.

Leopold also considered his second cousin Princess Frederica of Hanover for a bride; they instead became lifelong friends and confidantes.cite book|title=Prince Leopold: The Untold Story of Queen Victoria's Youngest Son|first=Charlotte|last=Zeepvat|publisher=Sutton Publishing|year=1998|id= ISBN 0750937912 ] Other brides he pursued included Victoria of Baden and Caroline of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg.

After rejection from these women, Leopold's mother stepped in to prevent what she saw as unsuitable possibilities. Insisting that the children of British monarchs should marry into other reigning Protestant families, Victoria suggested a meeting with Princess Helene Friederike, the daughter of Georg Viktor, reigning Prince of Waldeck-Pyrmont. On 27 April 1882, Leopold and Helena were married, at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Leopold and Helena enjoyed a happy (although brief) marriage. In 1883, Leopold became a father when his wife gave birth to a daughter, Alice. He died shortly before the birth of his son, Charles Edward.

Later life

Prince Leopold had haemophilia, diagnosed in childhood and in early years had various physicians in permanent attendance, including John Wickham Legg. The Prince went to Cannes on doctor's orders in February 1884: joint pain is a common symptom of haemophilia and the winter climate in England was always difficult for him. His wife, pregnant at the time, stayed home but urged him to go. On 27 March he slipped and fell in the Yacht Club in Villa Nevada, Cannes, in France, injuring his knee and he died in the early hours of the next morning, apparently from the effects of the morphine he had been given and the claret that was served with his supper. He was buried in the Albert Memorial Chapel at Windsor. His posthumous son, Prince Charles, succeeded him as 2nd Duke of Albany upon birth. In 1900, Charles Edward succeeded his uncle, Alfred, as Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

Through Charles Edward, Leopold is the great-grandfather of Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, the current King of Sweden.

Titles, styles, honours and arms


*7 April 185324 May 1881: "His Royal Highness" The Prince Leopold
*24 May 188128 March 1884: "His Royal Highness" The Duke of Albany


*KG: Knight of the Garter (1869)
*KT: Knight of the Thistle (1871)
*GCMG: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St. George
*GCSI: Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India


In 1856, at the age of three, Prince Leopold was granted a personal coat of arms — the arms of the kingdom, with an inescutcheon of the shield of Saxony (representing his father), and all differenced by a label argent of three points, the first and third bearing hearts gules, and the second a cross gules. [ [ Heraldica – British Royalty Cadency] ]


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1= 1. Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany
2= 2. Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
3= 3. Victoria of the United Kingdom
4= 4. Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
5= 5. Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
6= 6. Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn
7= 7. Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
8= 8. Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
9= 9. Princess Augusta of Reuss-Ebersdorf
10= 10. Emil, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
11= 11. Louise Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
12= 12. George III of the United Kingdom
13= 13. Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
14= 14. Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (= 8)
15= 15. Princess Augusta of Reuss-Ebersdorf (= 9)
16= 16. Ernest Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
17= 17. Duchess Sophia Antonia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
18= 18. Henry XXIV, Count of Reuss-Ebersdorf
19= 19. Countess Caroline Ernestine of Erbach-Schönberg
20= 20. Ernest II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
21= 21. Charlotte of Saxe-Meiningen
22= 22. Frederick Francis I, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
23= 23. Louise of Saxe-Gotha
24= 24. Frederick, Prince of Wales
25= 25. Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha
26= 26. Charles Louis Frederick, Duke of Mecklenburg-Mirow
27= 27. Princess Elizabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen
28= 28. Ernest Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (= 16)
29= 29. Duchess Sophia Antonia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (= 17)
30= 30. Henry XXIV, Count of Reuss-Ebersdorf (= 18)
31= 31. Countess Caroline Ernestine of Erbach-Schönberg (= 19)



In the romantic comedy film, "Kate & Leopold", the latter is a British Duke who goes to New York. He also holds the title Duke of Albany. However, his family surname is Mountbatten, the surname which only entered the royal family through the husband of the present queen. However, it was first borne by Leopold's niece. Bizarrely, the Leopold character is credited with having invented the passenger lift, and having a butler called Otis.


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