25 February 2015

Birthday Jewels: Alice of Battenberg


February 25 is the birthday of one of the most interesting princesses to have lived in the twentieth century: Alice of Battenberg, the great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, the niece of Empress Alexandra and Grand Duchess Ella of Russia, the wife of Prince Andrew of Greece, the mother of the Duke of Edinburgh, the sister of Queen Louise of Sweden and Lord Louis Mountbatten, the mother-in-law of Queen Elizabeth II, and the grandmother of the Prince of Wales (among many others).

Alice's life was dramatic, glamorous, tragic, tumultuous, and even heroic, and in between all of that, she managed to wear some interesting jewelry, too. To celebrate her birthday, here are some of my favorite photographs of the bejeweled princess.

Baby Alice with her mother, Princess Victoria of Hesse; her great-aunt, Princess Beatrice; and her great-grandmother, Queen Victoria

An illustration of Alice labeled with her full name: Victoria Alice Elizabeth Julia Marie

Alice, aged nine, among the child bridesmaids of the Duke of York and Mary of Teck (later King George V and Queen Mary)


Alice with her husband, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, around the time of their engagement in 1903


Alice on her wedding day, 7 Oct 1903, wearing the diamond star tiara that belonged to her mother, Princess Victoria; the tiara was later lost in Russia during the revolution, though the Mountbatten family now owns a similar replacement tiara

Alice depicted wearing the diamond tiara that was later broken up to make Queen Elizabeth II's engagement ring and bracelet


A postcard portrait of Alice taken a few years after her marriage


Alice painted by Philip de Laszlo, ca. 1907

Alice photographed ca. 1910


Alice wearing a tiara around 1913

Alice and Andrew, photographed together in 1922, about a year after the birth of Prince Philip

Alice in pearls

Escorted by her son, Alice, by then the head of an order of Greek Orthodox nuns, attends the wedding of her granddaughter, Princess Margarita of Baden