L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Prince Arthur, portraits by Winterhalter... and Sargent

At the age of seven weeks, 1850.

Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn (Arthur William Patrick Albert; 1 May 1850, Buckingham Palace, London – 16 January 1942, Bagshot Park, Surrey), the seventh child and third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. As an infant and small child, he was a great favorite with his mother; an often critical and demanding parent, the Queen was completely charmed by her young son.

With his mother at Osborne House, 1850.
"The First of May 1851", 1851. Prince Arthur is shown with his parents and his godfather, Arthur, Duke of Wellington. The picture celebrates
a date of threefold significance: the first birthday of the infant Prince, the eighty-second birthday of the "Iron  Duke", and the opening day of
the Great Exhibition, a personal triumph for Prince Albert; the Crystal Palace can be seen in the distance.

He was educated by private tutors before entering the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich at the age of sixteen. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the British Army, where he served for some forty years, seeing service in various parts of the British Empire. In 1874, he was created a royal duke, becoming the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, as well as the Earl of Sussex.


In 1879, he married Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia, and together they had three children. Their eldest child, Margaret, married the Crown Prince of Sweden; she died at thirty-eight, but the current Swedish Royal family are her descendants. For many years, Arthur maintained a liaison with Leonie Leslie, sister of Jennie Churchill, but remained devoted to his wife; in fact, his wife was very understanding and accepting, making it a congenial arrangement for all concerned.

In costume as Henry VIII, 1853.
The three-year-old Prince is depicted in a uniform is stated to be that of a Lieutenant in the 1st Foot Guards,
but the shoulder-strap plate and the arrangement of the buttons on the cuffs are those of the 3rd, or Scots
Fusilier, Guards, 1853. (The uniform was later passed on to Prince Arthur's son.)

He was appointed as Governor General of Canada in 1911 by his nephew, King George V, occupying the post until succeeded by the Duke of Devonshire in 1916. Given his military service, the selection of Arthur proved to be prudent, as he acted as the King's, and thus the Canadian Commander-in-Chief's, representative through the first years of the First World War.

With his younger brother Leopold and sister Louise, 1856.

After the end of his viceregal tenure, Arthur returned to the United Kingdom and there, as well as in India, performed various royal duties, while also again taking up military duties. Though he retired from public life in 1928, he continued to be involved with the army even into the Second World War. He was Queen Victoria's last surviving son at his death at the age of ninety-one.

Portrait by John Singer Sargent, 1908.

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