Signature on Card with Windsor Crest
Mounted Autograph “Leopold” boldly written in fountain pen, above which is affixed the crown crest of Windsor Castle. Signature approximately 2″ x 1½”.
PRINCE LEOPOLD, Duke of Albany (1853-1884), 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 hemophilia as a baby, which later led to his death as an adult.
Leopold was born on April 7, 1853 at Buckingham Palace, London. His mother was Queen Victoria, the reigning British monarch. His father was Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. During labor, Queen Victoria chose to use chloroform and thus sanctioned the use of anesthesia in childbirth, recently developed by Professor James Young Simpson. 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 baptized in the Private Chapel of Buckingham Palace on June 28, 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).
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 hemophilia, 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.
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 April 27, 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.
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