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

Friday, May 19, 2017

Princess Louise, Duchess of Connaught - photographed by Lafayette, 18 December 1907

Princess Louise Margaret, Duchess of Connaught and Strathearn (born Luise Margarete Alexandra Viktoria Agnes; 25 July 1860, Potsdam – 14 March 1917, London), German princess, later a member of the British royal family as the wife of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn.

Then, as now, retouching of official images was almost de rigeur, and not always terribly subtle. Though the Duchess had a graceful enough
figure in reality, it's quite obvious that her waist and hips have been slimmed down, here - whittled away - to give her a narrower silhouette.

The fourth child and fourth daughter of a reportedly sadistic father, Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia, she married Prince Arthur, the seventh child and third - and favorite - son of Queen Victoria, at St. George's Chapel Windsor. The Duchess of Connaught spent much of the first twenty years of her marriage accompanying her husband on his various deployments throughout the British empire. The couple also frequently represented Great Britain and the British royal family at important foreign events, including the coronation of Nicholas II in 1896. She accompanied her husband when her husband served as the Governor General of Canada from 1911 to 1916.

The Duke and Duchess acquired Bagshot Park in Surrey as their country home in 1880, and after 1900 used Clarence House as their London residence. The couple had three children; their eldest, Margaret, married the future King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden and, though she died young, the present King of Sweden and the Queens of Denmark and Greece are among her descendants.

As with all the later photographs of her sister-in-law, Queen Alexandra, the Duchess' face has also been heavily retouched.

For many years, her husband maintained a liaison with Leonie, Lady Leslie, sister of Jennie Churchill, though remaining devoted to his wife; it's believed that the Duchess was aware of the relationship and even approved of it. The Duchess of Connaught died of influenza and bronchitis at Clarence House at the age of fifty-six, in the midst of World War I. (She became the first member of the British royal family to be cremated; her ashes were eventually buried at the royal burial ground, Frogmore.) Her husband survived her by almost twenty-five years.

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