ICYMI: Royal cartes de visite

[Author's note: These blog posts originally appeared in Vita Brevis between December 2017 and February 2018.]

Princess Louis of Hesse (Princess Alice Maud Mary of Great Britain, 1843–1878) holding her daughter Victoria ca. 1864. CDV by George Washington Wilson.

To mark the death ten days ago and the funeral this weekend of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (1921-2021), I thought it might be useful to remind readers of four blog posts covering some of the iconography of the British royal family, since they illustrate Prince Philip's grandmother, Princess Victoria, Marchioness of Milford Haven;[1] her parents Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine,[2] and Princess Alice of Great Britain;[3] and her grandparents Queen Victoria[4] and Prince Albert, the Prince Consort.[5]

Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine (1837–1892). CDV by Camille Silvy

The series covers Victoria and Albert's family, including the present queen's great-grandparents, King Edward VII[6] and Princess Alexandra of Denmark.[7] In the genealogically complex world of the Victorian era royal caste, Prince Philip was Queen Alexandra’s great-nephew, just as his wife Queen Elizabeth II[8] was a great-great-niece of Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse.

The wedding party at the marriage of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, and Princess Alexandra of Denmark in 1863.

Part One covers Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort, along with their elder children.

Part Two covers the younger children of Victoria and Albert.

Part Three covers Victoria and Albert’s five sons-in-law.

Part Four covers Victoria and Albert’s four daughters-in-law.


[1] Princess Victoria Alberta Elisabeth Mathilde Marie of Hesse and by Rhine (1863-1950) married her cousin Louis Alexander, 2nd Prince of Battenberg and 1st Marquess of Milford Haven, in 1884. Their four children were Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark (Prince Philip’s mother); Louise, Queen of Sweden; George, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven; and Louis, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma.

[2] Frederick William Louis IV Charles, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine (1837-1892) married Queen Victoria’s second daughter Alice in 1862.

[3] Princess Alice Maud Mary of [the United Kingdom of] Great Britain and Ireland, Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine 1877-78 (1843-1878). Her other children included Grand Duchess Serge of Russia and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia.

[4] Alexandrina Victoria, Queen of [the United Kingdom of] Great Britain and Ireland from 1837 and Empress of India from 1876 (1819-1901). She married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in 1840.

[5] Prince Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, from 1857 The Prince Consort (1819-1861).

[6] Albert Edward VII, King of [the United Kingdom of] Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India from 1901 (1841-1910). He married Princess Alexandra of Denmark in 1863.

[7] Princess Alexandra Caroline Marie Charlotte Louise Julia of Denmark (1844-1925). Her brother William became King George I of the Hellenes in 1863; his son Andrew married Princess Alice of Battenberg in 1904, and their son was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark in 1921.

[8] Elizabeth II Alexandra Mary, Queen of [the United Kingdom of] Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 1952 (b. 1926). She married her cousin Lieut. Philip Mountbatten – created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich – in 1947.

Scott C. Steward

About Scott C. Steward

Scott C. Steward has been NEHGS’ Editor-in-Chief since 2013. He is the author, co-author, or editor of genealogies of the Ayer, Le Roy, Lowell, Saltonstall, Thorndike, and Winthrop families. His articles have appeared in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, NEXUS, New England Ancestors, American Ancestors, and The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, and he has written book reviews for the Register, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, and the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.View all posts by Scott C. Steward