09 March 2019

Amiable & Affectionate Alice's Birthday

Please enjoy this limited series by blog guest, Aimee Byrony Silvester. In these posts, she shares items from Queen Victoria's diaries marking the birthdays of each of Victoria's birthdays. One child will be spotlighted per post. (Click below for other posts in the series.)


Alice Maud Mary
born April 25, 1843

from Studio of Hills & Saunders
via Wikimedia Commons
The third child and second daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Princess Alice was a dutiful but strong-minded individual. Six months after nursing her dying father, she married the future Grand Duke Louis IV of Hesse, a match that her father had approved. However, her wedding was very small and intimate due to Albert's recent death. In Hesse, Alice made a habit of looking after the poor and the sick, even learning some nursing skills. She was also a hands-on mother (see The Kiss of Death). She shocked her mother by breastfeeding her own children, for which reason Victoria famously named on her cows Alice! Four of Princess Alice's seven children died tragically. Her daughters Elizabeth and Alix were both murdered by the Bolsheviks in the Russian Revolution as Grand Duchess Sergei and Empress Alexandra. Her second son, Friedrich, a hemophiliac, died at age two after a fall from a window. Her youngest daughter Marie died at age four from diphtheria. Alice followed her a few weeks later, on the 17th anniversary of Prince Albert's death, having contracting diphtheria herself while nursing her little ones. Her oldest daughter Victoria became the mother of Earl Mountbatten of Burma and the grandmother of Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh.

Embed from Getty Images

I went far too overboard with the notes but Alice is probably my favourite among Victoria's children, so I couldn't help myself. - Aimee Byrony Silvester

“Today is dear good fat little Alice’s 1st birthday. May God Almighty bless & protect her & may she continue & grow up as sweet tempered as she is now.”

“On waking, our first thoughts were for dear sweet little Alice, for whom we can never be thankful enough, & we earnestly pray that God will long bless & preserve her from all bodily & spiritual harm.”

“On waking we thought & talked much of our dear little Alice, whose birthday it is today. We arranged her table with presents in the window, in the breakfast room, & then went up to fetch the little darling.”

“Today is our dear pet little Alice’s 4th birthday. May God grant that she may ever be the blessing she is to us now!”

“Our dear good little Alice’s birthday. May God bless & protect the sweet child, who has ever been a pleasure to us, & may she grow up good & happy. I can hardly believe that it is really possible that she can be already 5!”

“Today is our dear good little Alice’s birthday, already her 6th. May God bless the dear sweet child, & let her grow up as amiable & gentle, as she is now!”

Embed from Getty Images

“Our dear little Alice’s birthday. May God bless & preserve our good little Alice; such a very amiable gentle child, with such a sweet & affectionate disposition. It seems like a dream, that she should already be 7 years old!”

“We were awoke by a serenade for Alice, whose 8th birthday it is, which seems quite incredible to me. May God bless her! She is so gentle, & very accomplished as to music, dancing, & needle work.”

“Our good little Alice’s 9th birthday. May God bless & protect her, she is a dear child, industrious, sweet tempered affectionate & very unselfish. It seems but yesterday she was born, & she was such a beautiful Baby. At 16 months & at 2 years old it was impossible to see a prettier, dearer little thing.”

“Dear Alice’s 10th birthday. May God bless her! She is a good, amiable unselfish & affectionate child.”

“Good Alice’s 11th birthday. May God bless her. She is a good amiable, unselfish child, who I am sure will someday make a very amiable wife.” 1

“Good Alice’s 12th birthday. May God bless the dear Child!” 2

“Good Alice’s 13th, & dear Aunt Gloucester’s 80th birthday! May God bless both! Alice is a dear good, amiable child, who deserves to be very happy.” [Because she was born on the same date, Alice's third name, Mary, was given to honor of George III's daughter Princess Mary, who married her cousin, the Duke of Gloucester.]

“On the 25th, dear Alice's 14th birthday, her present table was rolled into my bedroom” 3

“Our dear good Alice’s 15th birthday. It seems a dream she should be growing up so fast. May God bless our dear Child, so pretty, gentle, & so truly amiable & unselfish!”

“Today is our dear sweet Alice’s 16th birthday. I can hardly believe it possible! She is a great treasure to us, & may God leave her long with us, & may she ever be blessed, preserved & protected!”

“Our dear good Alice’s 17th birthday. May God bless & preserve this dear good, amiable child & may she be happy, when her future lot is decided (which I am thankful to think there is as yet no question of) She is gentle, unselfish & affectionate as can be.” 4

“Our dear good Alice’s 18th birthday, which we had looked forward to with pleasure, hoping beloved Mama would have been with us, as she was last year in London! Now all is so changed, & it is so sad that this, dear Alice’s last unmarried year, & season, should be one of entire seclusion.” 5 6

Embed from Getty Images

“Dear Alice’s birthday, her 19th, & the first without her beloved Father, as well as last unmarried. God bless her! How sadly her young life has been blighted." 7 8

“Our dear good Alice’s 20th birthday, which as all the birthdays is now so sad, so silent & so joyless! Directly after breakfast went over to dear Alice & felt I could hardly bear up as I wished her all possible happiness. But I do indeed pray God long to bless her with her excellent husband & dear little child.” 8

“Darling Alice’s birthday, the first she has ever spent away from home, & which she was to have spent here, only she has not been well.” 9

“Dear good Alice’s birthday. May God long preserve her!”

“Dear Alice’s 23rd birthday! May God long bless & preserve her, happy as she is now!” 10 11

“Dear Alice’s 24th birthday. May God bless & preserve her!”

“Dear Alice’s birthday. May God bless & preserve her!” 12

“Dear Alice’s 26th birthday. May God long bless & preserve her!” 13

“Dear Alice’s 27th birthday. God bless & protect her.”

“Dear Alice’s 27th [actually 28th] birthday. May God long bless & protect her.” 14 15

“Dear Alice’s 29th birthday. I trust all will go well with her.” 16

“Dear Alice’s 30th birthday. May god bless her.” 17

“Dear Alice’s birthday. May God bring her safely through her approaching confinement.” 18

“Dear Alice’s 32nd birthday, which she has not spent here since 68, just after Victoria’s birth. May 
God bless & protect her, dear Louis, & their delightful beautiful children!”

“Dear Alice’s birthday, which she spent here last year.”

Embed from Getty Images

“Dear Alice’s 34th birthday. May God bless & protect her!” 19

“Dear Alice’s birthday. May God long bless & preserve her!” 20 21

“This dear day, so full of tender & bright memories of darling Alice, now full of sadness, no letter to write, no present! All, silent! It is so dreadful.” 22

“My darling Alice’s birthday, formerly such a happy day, now alas! so sad! How impossible it is, yet to realize, the dreadful truth, even after having been to the Rosenhöhe.”

“Beloved Alice’s birthday, once such a happy day, now so sad.”

“Darling Alice’s birthday, the remembrance of which brought tears to poor Louis’ eyes.”

“Beloved Alice’s birthday. It would have been her 40th! If only she were with us still!”

“Darling Alice’s birthday. How strange I should be spending it at Darmstadt, never having done so, in her dear life time.” 23 24

“A day of great emotions. Dear beloved Alice’s birthday & her darling boy to be confirmed, & 1st grandchild, christened. But she not there to see it!” 25

“Beloved Alice’s birthday. We spent the day 2 years ago, & last year, at Darmstadt.”

“Darling Alice’s birthday, which we spent 2 years ago at Darmstadt, & Ernie was confirmed, & little Alice Battenberg christened on that day.” [Alice of Battenberg, Alice's first grandchild, became the mother of Prince Philip of Greece, spouse of Queen Elizabeth II.]

Embed from Getty Images

“Dear Alice’s birthday.” 26

“Darling Alice’s birthday! She has already been taken from us 11 years ago.” 27 28

“Dear Alice’s birthday.”

“Today was darling Alice’s birthday. Thank God! that she did not live to see this terrible misfortune!” 29 [Alice's husband Louis had died suddenly of a heart attack six weeks earlier at the age of 54.]

“Beloved Alice’s birthday, she would have been 50!”

“Darling Alice’s birthday.” 30 31

“This was darling Alice’s birthday.” 32 33

“This was darling Alice’s birthday.” 34

“This was dear Alice’s birthday.” 35

“This was dear Alice’s birthday also Georgie’s little girl’s first birthday.” ["Georgie's little girl" was Princess Mary of York, the future Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood. "Georgie" was Victoria's grandson, the future King George V.]

“This was dear Alice’s birthday, & is also little Mary of York’s.” 36


1: “In 1854 the Crimean War started, and Victoria and Albert’s second daughter, now eleven, first tasted of the cause that would become her life’s work. Alice was already far the more emotionally sensitive of the princesses, her sympathies with other people’s burdens notably marked for a child so young. When she was taken by her mother to visit the war wounded streaming back from Russian battlefields to hospitals in Britain, the horrifying scenes she witnessed, no matter how circumspectly masked for the queen’s presence, burned indelible pictures on Alice’s sense of compassion.” (’Victoria’s Daughters’)

2: “Alice contracted scarlet fever in 1855, permanently weakening her constitution. It was a presentiment the queen seemed not to appreciate, possibly because of her own deep-seated unease with illness of any kind, even that in her own family. Added to the girl’s difficulties during adolescence were looks that elicited one of the queen’s most blunt assessments of her shortcomings when, in a letter to her half sister, Princess Feodore of Leiningen, Victoria commented, ‘I dare say [Alice] will improve...’” (’Victoria’s Daughters’)

3: Victoria went into confinement for the final time on the 13th April, for the birth of her youngest child Beatrice. Beatrice was born a day later on the 14th April. She started to write in her journal again on the 29th, which is when this birthday mention was written.

4: In June 1860 Alice met Prince Louis of Hesse and by Rhine on his visit to England. Queen Victoria noted in her diary a few days after they met, “It is nice to see the liking the young people have to one another, & it is so apparent, that everyone must see what is coming.”
“In 1858 the Queen Victoria turned her sights on the small, albeit far from wealthy, German Grand Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine which, until 1806, had been called Hesse-Darmstadt, the name by which it is still frequently, though incorrectly, known. Ruled by the childless and vaguely eccentric Grand Duke Louis III, the Queen’s interest lay in his eldest nephews, Ludwig (or Louis) and Heninrich (Henry). [...] By the time he and Henry were invited to England in the summer of 1860, to stay with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, first at Buckingham Palace and then at Windsor for Ascot races, Louis was twenty-three, a good looking young man with a fresh open face, light brown hair and, as the Queen noted, an attractive figure. A certain initial shyness added to his appeal. If the Queen was considerably taken with Prince Louis of Hesse, Alice herself was totally smitten. Cupid’s arrow had hit the desired spot with such speed and precision that Louis instantly became ‘the only man she ever did, shall, can or will love’.” (’Ella: Princess, Saint & Martyr’)
Louis proposed to Alice on 30th November. “Afterwards, while talking to the Gentlemen, perceived Alice & Louis talking more earnestly than usual before the fireplace & when we passed to go into the other room, both came up to me in great agitation, Alice saying he had proposed to her & he begging me for my blessing, which I gladly gave him, & told him to come to our room later. Got through the evening as well as we could. Alice came to our room & told us of Louis expressing his hope to her, that she liked him sufficiently to exchange her English for a German home, — small as it was. Louis then came going first to Albert's room, who called in Alice. We talked a little, then after a warm embrace of the dear young people we separated. Dear Alice was so happy & I overjoyed!”

5: 16th March 1861, Queen Victoria’s mother died. “The duchess of Kent died, while holding her heartbroken daughter’s hand, at Frogmore House in the grounds of Windsor Home Park. The only person Albert sent for was Princess Alice, to whom he gave a single simple instruction: ‘Go and comfort Mama.’ Alice had spent a good part of her days during the previous winter as a companion to her ailing grandmother, playing the piano in Frogmore’s drawing room, and eventually nursing the old woman, in an early demonstration of the princess’s abilities to care for the sick that would play so important a role in her married life. Albert was wise to choose this daughter to help the monarch get past the tragedy. But on the duchess’s death, Queen Victoria almost immediately fell into a nervous breakdown, the first of two she would endure in this one year.” (’Victoria’s Daughters’)

6: 14th December 1861 Alice’s father, Albert, died. She had been nursing him during his illness, but it was in vain. Alice, who had been extremely close to her father and was very much like him, was forever saddened by his death. Her last words were ‘Dear Papa’
“At this point Alice stepped in as principal family caregiver. At eighteen, the princess’s maturity would astound witnesses to the unfolding tragedy. She dropped every other pursuit of interest, including writing anything frivolous to Louis, informing her fiancé only of the facts surrounding the prince consort’s illness and of her mother’s needs: ‘I only hope that I am really useful to them... and I would still gladly bear everything, if it were possible.’ One observer, Lady Lyttelton, called Alice ‘the angel in the house’ [which makes it more ironic when Victoria, a few years later, said that Alice was the true ‘devil’ in the family].
Alice would read to Albert, or play the piano in the room adjoining Windsor’s Blue room, where the prince now lay. She moved her own bed into the connecting room, rising at all hours of the night to comfort her declining father. Though her presence at his side unquestionably eased the torments of Albert’s last days, her careful ministrations were powerless to check the progress of disease in a man who had already abdicated the will to live. [...] December 14 brought this great family tragedy to a horrifying close. Alice wrote to Louis that morning, informing him that ‘everything would be decided’ in the next twenty-four hours. [...] Alice carried on steadily with her nursing activities, her ministrations to her dying father remarkably intimate for the age in which these horrors were playing out. [...]
On December 14th Princess Alice ceased to be her father’s nurse, and on the following day assumed that role for her remaining parent. Thoughts of Louis and life in Darmstadt would be for a long time be relegated to a further corner of Alice’s thoughts. The ordeal the the queen underwent was in reality deeply shared by Alice. The younger woman would later write of her amazement that either she or her mother managed to survive the experience of Albert’s death with their reason intact. Sleeping nightly in Victoria’s room, keeping constant watch over the keening monarch, running interference with the ministers whose business with the sovereign remained as urgent as it had been before his death - never did the princess flag, even when her own need for her father’s counsel seemed almost unbearably urgent.” (’Victoria’s Daughters’)

7: On 1st July 1862 Alice married Louis. “The widow [Victoria] would allow none of the usual happiness associated with a wedding to supersede her grief, regardless of the effect his would have on the bridal couple. [...] What should have been a festive and joyous day was instead, as the queen described it to Lord Tennyson, ‘the saddest I remember.’ Indeed, the wedding could have been a funeral.” (’Victoria’s Daughters’). During the wedding Victoria “restrained my tears, & had a great struggle all through, but remained calm.”

8: On 8th July 1862 Alice and Louis left England. Victoria wrote, in her journal, “felt very wretched at the thought of my darling Child leaving us, & her home. [...] Then they left & I felt more than ever alone!”

9: On 5th April 1863 Alice gave birth to her first child, she was named Victoria. Victoria (who would later be the grandmother of the current Duke of Edinburgh, the current Queen of England’s husband), was born in England with Queen Victoria present.
“I stood close to the bed, stroking darling Alice's shoulder & feeling terribly agitated, but I was able to control myself completely, thank God! At last at 1/4 t.5 me child was born a little girl, who cried vehemently. Dear Alice was too exhausted & half stupefied by the chloroform to take any notice. I embraced good Louis whose face showed signs of deep emotion, though he had been perfectly calm, & full of devotion & affection.”

9: On 1st November 1864 Alice gave birth to her daughter Elisabeth, later Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna, who was nicknamed ‘Ella’.

10: In 1866 the Austro-Prussian War started. “As a major general, Louis commanded the Hessian cavalry brigade that was to oppose the Prussian forces under the command of his brother-in-law. [...] Alice remained in a highly uneasy Darmstadt, expecting within days of her husband’s departure the birth of her third child. Determined to follow Louis to the war front after the baby was born, Alice sent the two older children - Victoria and Ella - to their grandmother in England. Her immediate post delivery aim was to oversee the Hessian army’s field hospitals [...] Heavily pregnant, Alice nonetheless undertook those war activities appropriate to her sex, principally making bandages from torn-up sheets and exerting pressure on the authorities to get the local hospitals ready for the expected casualties.” (’Victoria’s Daughters’)

11: On 11th July 1866 Alice gave birth to her daughter Irene. She was born just as Prussia’s troops were on the verge of entering Darmstadt. ‘On 11th September, the day before Prince Louis’s twenty-ninth birthday, his and Alice’s new baby was christened. In a ceremony at which her father’s entire regiment, the Hessian Cavalry Brigade, stood as godfather, the eight week-old princess was given the name Irene, the Greek word for Peace. It was, said Princess Alice, a name ‘my parents-in-law and we like; it stands, besides, as a sort of recollection of the peace so longed for... It will always remind us... of how much we have to be grateful for.’” (’Ella: Princess, Saint & Martyr’)

12: On 25th November 1868 Alice gave birth to her son Ernest, nicknamed ‘Ernie’.

13: “She daily went to the hospitals and ambulances, directing and organising the best means of relief, and bringing comfort and brightness wherever she went, proud to work like the wife of a German officer whose only thought during her husband’s absence was to relieve as much as possible the misery and suffering of the wounded soldiers. ‘The Alice Society for Aid to the Sick and Wounded’ did grand work all this time. The Princess established a ‘depot’ at her own palace of all hospital necessaries, and organised committees of ladies who served out refreshments day and night at the railway station to the wounded who were constantly passing through Darmstadt on their way home.
She was indefatigable, never a thought given to herself, and though almost distracted with anxiety about the Prince, it was she who ‘kept others up,’ who kept her presence of mind, who directed, guided, advised, who comforted the bereaved, and gave hope to many ready to despair. But what tried her the most sorely was the heartrending sight of the crowds of mothers, wives, sisters, pressing round her carriage after the first intelligence of a great battle: all came to her for news, and yet she was often unable to tell them anything but ‘that the loss had been enormous.’
The strain on her health was intense, but she would not give in. In answer to one of her sisters writing to her at that time and begging her to spare herself, she said: ‘I must work only not to be able to think. I should go mad if I had to sit still and think;’ and this, too, was shortly before her second boy’s birth, which took place on the 6th of October. After it, to help her recovery, she was persuaded by her parents-in-law to go for three weeks to her sister at Berlin. There is not doubt that the perpetual mental anxiety and great physical strain of that terrible time told permanently on the Princess’s health.” (Alice’s sister, Helena, 1884)

14: On 7th October 1870 Alice gave birth to her son Friedrich, nicknamed ‘Frittie’ or ‘Fritz’. “Not long afterwards, the 27-year-old Princess, who would suffer severe nervous strain as a result of the responsibilities she shouldered as a nurse, organizer, anxious wife and expectant mother, wrote home to Queen Victoria ‘A great many things concerning the troops come to me from all parts of the country and there is much to do - much more than in my present state is good for me; but it can’t be helped.’” (Ella: Princess, Saint & Martyr’)

15: Victoria had been becoming increasingly annoyed with Alice over the years. At this point, Alice and Louis’ financial situation was getting rather bad. “Helping to pay the price for opposing Prussia in the war also imposed its own financial demands, which used up the last of Princess Alice’s dowry.” (’Ella: Princess, Saint and Martyr’).
Victoria wrote to her daughter Louise on the 2nd November 1871 “Alice and Louis left yesterday. I warn you that (besides begging for much money again which must never let her think you know or tell anyone else) [she] is moving heaven and earth to stay, taking the children’s coughs as a pretext, the whole winter in England living at my expense”. She also wrote on the 11th “Beware of incurring debt (as Alice has to a very serious extent)”.
“A peripheral source of Victoria’s disenchantment with Alice turned on her daughter’s outspokenness on gynaecological matters and eagerness to extract as much information as possible on the subject from her already married sisters, information Alice hoped to put to use in her nursing work in Darmstadt. Louise received a letter from the queen just after returning from a honeymoon visit she and Lorne paid Alice in Darmstadt: ‘I would rather you had not met her so soon, for I know her curiosity and what is worse and I hardly like to say of my own daughter - and I know her indelicacy and coarseness... (she was as nice and refined as any of you and has learnt all of this from the family there)... When she came over in ‘69 and saw Lenchen again and asked her such things, that Christian was shocked.’ As has been noted, Victoria abhorred matters of the body, and highly resented anyone - especially her daughters - who didn’t share that discomfort.” (’Victoria’s Daughters’)

16: On 6th June 1872 Alice gave birth to her daughter Alix, later Alexandra Feodorovna, who was nicknamed ‘Alicky’

17: On 29th May 1873 Frittie died. “He had only shortly before been confirmed a haemophiliac [...] The young prince repaid his mother’s love in remarkable measure, and he became Alice’s foremost diversion from the frenzied aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War [...] Ernie and Frittie had joined their mother, and were playing together on the floor. Ernie left to go to the sitting room, and Frittie, wanting to keep an eye on his brother, jumped onto a chair near an open window so he could see through to where Ernie had gone. The younger boy leaned too far out the window, and either lost his balance or the chair tipped under his weight. He fell, about twenty feet, to the stone terrace below. [...] The end wasn’t long in coming. There was massing effusion of blood into the brain tissues, bleeding that wouldn’t stop because the child’s haemophilia kept the blood from coagulating normally. Alice’s beloved Frittie died the afternoon of the day he fell. It was a calamity which Alice would never recover. [...]
Though Victoria was not aware of the full circumstances of Frittie’s accident, she nonetheless reproached Alice in a letter to Vicky four days afterwards. [...] The queen refused to treat her grieving daughter gently.” (’Victoria’s Daughters’)

18: On 24th May 1874 Alice gave birth to her last child Marie, nicknamed ‘May’ and sometimes ‘Maysie’.

19: By late 1877 Alice and Victoria’s relationship had gotten better/recovered, but there were still incidents: “At the end of the year, she [Alice] complained to Louis of a hurtful letter from her mother, one ‘so unfair it makes me cry with anger... I wish I were dead it probably will not be too long before I give Mama that pleasure.’” (’Victoria’s Daughters’)

20: On 16th November 1878 May died. She had died from the illness which had affected the whole family (excepting Ella). Alice’s brother Arthur wrote Louise “imagine the frightful anxiety Alice has had to go through. At the very time of the funeral of her little darling she had to go into the room of Louise and the others with a smiling face as if nothing had happened.” Right after May’s death Alice, according to Miss Maebean, “was half sitting up, her face ghastly white; she put out both her arms, and drew me to her, and whispered, ‘She is gone; my little darling is dead,’ and then burst into tears.”
A few days later she said “Fancy having two up there in that blue sky, two of my little angels. I wonder if they know that ‘mother dear’ is looking at them, and if my two sweet little loves are looking down at me! Only no more, not Ernie. I could not bear that; it would kill me to have to give him up too.”.

21: On the 14th December, the same day that her own beloved father died on, Alice died. “For two weeks, Alice tried to keep word of the death [of May] from the other children. Irene had just come off the danger list. Ernie remained the sickest, Alice was almost certain she was going to lose this last of her sons. At the beginning of December, with the boy finally seemingly past the worst of the danger, the young prince begged his mother to know what happened to his beloved little sister. Alice was heartbroken at the pain on her son’s face when she had to tell him that May was gone. Herself still well, a miracle in the face of the diphtheria she had nursed for nearly a month, Alice would now break the cardinal rule of keeping away from any physical contact with the diseases’s victims. She bent over to kiss and comfort her tormented son.” (’Victoria’s Daughters’)
“That evening, however, the first symptoms of that fatal illness declared themselves, and the next morning the doctors confirmed the fact of its being diphtheria. The case was a most severe one from the first, and the Princess’s weakened delicate state made all especially anxious as to the course it would take. [...] She suffered terribly, but through it all her patience, gentleness, and unselfishness, as ever, made themselves felt; there never was a thought for herself, only sympathy and consideration for all around. [...] From that sleep she passed into unconsciousness, murmuring to herself as a tired child would do, ‘From Friday to Saturday - four weeks - May - dear Papa!’ Those were her last words, and early on the morning of the 14th December she passed away in her sleep from the world where she had suffered so much, yet where she had been so happy and so blessed, to that home above where ‘God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away’.” (Alice’s sister, Helena, 1884)

22: “With the horrendous shock of Alice’s death, Queen Victoria was jolted into a reappraisal of what this daughter had meant to her. In a torrent of grief, she wrote Vicky of her agony: ‘My precious child who stood by me and upheld me seventeen years ago on the same day taken, and by such an awful fearful disease... She had darling Papa’s nature, and much of his self-sacrificing character and fearless and entire devotion to duty!’ The bitterness and animosity she had shown Alice, the anger at this daughter’s progressive views and her willingness to thwart her mother’s wishes, would appear to have fallen away. It would be a stretch, however, to surmise that Victoria regretted any of the settled partialities that had led to her alienation from Alice.
Simultaneously, Vicky was pouring out her own grief in a thirty-nine-page letter to Victoria: ‘Darling Alice - is she really gone - so good and dear, charming and lovely - so necessary to her husband and children, so widely beloved, so much admired. I can not realise it - it is too awful, too cruel, too terrible.’ Vicky deeply mourned the sister to whom she was closest - in age, in the liberality of their political and social views, in their marriages to German princes and life in closely comparable cultures so different from that in which they had grown up.” (’Victoria’s Daughters’)

23: On 30th April 1884 Alice’s eldest child, Victoria, married Prince Louis of Battenberg. “I thought much of beloved Alice, whose spirit was surely near us.”

24: On 15th June 1884 Alice’s daughter, Ella, married Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich.

25: On 25th February 1885 Alice’s eldest child, Victoria, gave birth to her first child Alice. “I had some breakfast, & then went back, remaining with dear Victoria on & off, till, at length, at 20 m. to 5 in the afternoon, the child, a little girl, was born. The relief was great, for poor Victoria had had such a long hard time, which always makes one anxious. How strange, & indeed affecting, it was, to see her lying in the same room, & in the same bed, in which she herself was born. Good Ludwig, was most helpful & attentive, hardly leaving Victoria for a moment.”

26: On 24th May 1888 Alice’s daughter, Irene, married Prince Henry of Prussia.

27: On 13 July 1889 Alice’s eldest child, Victoria, gave birth to her daughter Louise. [Louise was later Queen of Sweden.]

28: On 20 March 1889 Alice’s daughter, Irene, gave birth to her first child Waldemar.

29: On 6 November 1892 Alice’s eldest child, Victoria, gave birth to her son George.

30: On 9th April 1894 Alice’s eldest son, Ernie, married Princess Victoria [Melita] of Edinburgh. [The two later divorces and both remarried.]

31: On 26th November 1894 Alice’s daughter, Alicky, married Nicholas II.

32: On 11 March 1895 Ernie’s first child was born, Elisabeth, who was nicknamed Ella. [At age 8, Ella died of typhoid contracted from drinking contaminated water while playing with her cousins, the Russian Grand Duchesses, who would later by killed by the Bolsheviks.]

33: On 15 November 1895 Alice’s daughter, Alicky, gave birth to her eldest child Olga.

34: On 27 November 1896 Alice’s daughter, Irene, gave birth to her son Sigismund.

35: On 10 June 1897 Alice’s daughter, Alicky, gave birth to her daughter Tatiana.

36: On 26 June 1899 Alice’s daughter, Alicky, gave birth to her daughter Maria.