Alexander Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Carisbrooke

Alexander Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Carisbrooke, GCB, GCVO, GCStJ (born Prince Alexander of Battenberg; 23 November 1886 – 23 February 1960) was a British Royal Navy officer, a member of the Hessian princely Battenberg family and a grandson of Queen Victoria.

The Marquess of Carisbrooke

Alexander of Battenberg, Marquess of Carisbrooke
Marquess of Carisbrooke
In office
7 November 1917 – 23 February 1960
Personal details
Prince Alexander Albert of Battenberg

23 November 1886
Windsor Castle, Berkshire
Died23 February 1960 (aged 73)
Kensington Palace, London
Resting placeWhippingham Church, Isle of Wight
Lady Irene Denison
(m. 1917; died 1956)
ChildrenLady Iris Mountbatten
ParentsPrince Henry of Battenberg
Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom
RelativesBattenberg family
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch/service Royal Navy
 British Army
 Royal Air Force
Years of service1902–08; 1909-19; 1941-45
RankLieutenant (RN)
Captain (British Army)
Flight Lieutenant (RAF)
UnitGrenadier Guards
Royal Air Force
Battles/warsSecond Boer War
First World War
Second World War
Coat of Arms of Alexander Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Carisbrooke
Coat of arms of Alexander Mountbatten

Early life

Bookplate-Alexander of Battenberg
Bookplate by Henry Badeley showing the coat of arms used by Alexander as member of Battenberg family (until 1917)

Prince Alexander was born in 1886 at Windsor Castle in Berkshire and was educated at Wellington College and at the Britannia Royal Naval College.[1] His father was Prince Henry of Battenberg, the son of Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine and Julie née Countess of Hauke. His mother was Princess Henry of Battenberg (née The Princess Beatrice), the fifth daughter and the youngest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Prince Henry of Battenberg was the product of a morganatic marriage and took his style of Prince of Battenberg from his mother, Julia von Hauke, who was created Princess of Battenberg in her own right. At his birth, Alexander was styled His Serene Highness Prince Alexander of Battenberg because the child of a morganatic marriage is ineligible for "Grand-Ducal Highness" status. However, three weeks after his birth, on 13 December 1886, he was styled His Highness under a Royal Warrant passed by his grandmother Queen Victoria.[2]

He was baptised in the White Drawing Room of Windsor Castle on 18 December 1886. His godparents were Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, (his maternal grandmother), Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine (his paternal grandfather), the Prince of Wales (his maternal uncle), Prince Alexander of Battenberg (his paternal uncle), and Princess Irene of Hesse and by Rhine (his maternal first cousin).[3]

Prince Alexander was the brother-in-law to King Alfonso XIII of Spain, who married Alexander's sister, Princess Victoria Eugenia, in 1906.

Military service and honours

Prince Alexander passed a qualifying examination to become service cadet in the Royal Navy in March 1902,[4] and subsequently joined the cadet training ship HMS Britannia at Dartmouth on 8 May 1902.[5] He served in the Royal Navy from 1902 to 1908[1] and in 1910, became one of the earliest members of The Castaways' Club, an exclusive dining club for Naval officers who resigned whilst still junior but who wished to keep in touch with their former service. Several of his Mountbatten cousins were also subsequently members, including the Marquess of Milford Haven and Duke of Edinburgh.

In 1909, he joined the British Army, being appointed Second Lieutenant (on probation) in the Grenadier Guards on 4 August 1909.[6] He was confirmed in the rank on 22 November 1911,[7] and was promoted to Lieutenant on 15 August 1913.[8] He was seconded to the staff to act as an extra aide-de-camp on 10 April 1915[9][10] and promoted to captain the same year.

On 1 June 1917, he was authorised to wear the insignia of the Russian Order of St Vladimir, fourth class with Swords, awarded "for distinguished service to the Allied cause."[11] He resigned his commission on 19 June 1919[12] and was placed on the General Reserve of Officers, ranking as a Captain with seniority of 15 July 1915.[13] He held several other foreign orders and decorations: Grand Cross of Order of Charles III (Spain), Order of Leopold, with swords (Belgium), Order of Saint Alexander Nevsky (Russia), Order of Naval Merit, fourth class (Spain), Order of the Nile (Egypt), Order of the Crown (Romania), and Croix de guerre, with palms (France).

During World War II, despite being in his mid-fifties, the Marquess joined the Royal Air Force and was commissioned an acting pilot officer on 6 June 1941.[14] On 6 August, he was regraded as a pilot officer (on probation).[15] He was confirmed in his rank on 6 June 1942 and was promoted to flying officer (war-substantive) on 6 August 1942.[16] During the war, he was a staff officer attached to Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory.[17] He relinquished his commission on 21 May 1945, retaining the rank of flight lieutenant.[18]

Marquess of Carisbrooke

Anti-German feeling during the First World War led George V to change the name of the Royal House in July 1917 from the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to the House of Windsor. He also relinquished, on behalf of his various relatives who were British subjects, the use of all German titles and styles.

The Battenberg family relinquished their titles of Prince and Princess of Battenberg and the styles of Highness and Serene Highness. Under royal warrant, they instead took the surname Mountbatten, an Anglicised form of Battenberg. As such, Prince Alexander became Sir Alexander Mountbatten.[19] On 7 November 1917, he was created Marquess of Carisbrooke, Earl of Berkhamsted and Viscount Launceston.[20]

In the 1930s, author E.F. Benson dedicated two of his famous novels, Mapp and Lucia and Lucia's Progress, to the Marquess of Carisbrooke.


On 19 July 1917, he married Lady Irene Denison (4 July 1890 – 16 July 1956), the only daughter of the 2nd Earl of Londesborough and Lady Grace Adelaide Fane, at the Chapel Royal of St James's Palace.

Lord and Lady Carisbrooke had one child, a daughter:

According to the published diaries of Cecil Beaton, in his later years Lord Carisbrooke had a longtime male lover, Simon Fleet.[21] More is written about Lord Carisbrooke and his wife in the published diaries of James Lees-Milne.

Later career

Lord Carisbrooke, who received no state allowance, became the first member of the British royal family to work in the commercial sector. He began his career working as an entry-level clerk in the offices of Lazard Brothers bankers. He later worked for a company that oversaw housing estates, and before long he took control of social work for the tenants.[17] Later he became a director of Lever Brothers and several other prominent corporations.[17]


Tomb of Princess Beatrice and Prince Henry of Battenberg, with Lord Carisbrooke's ashes casket set into the wall above

Lord Carisbrooke, the last surviving grandson of Queen Victoria, died in 1960, aged 73, at Kensington Palace, and his ashes were buried within the Battenberg Chapel in St. Mildred's Church, Whippingham on the Isle of Wight. The title Marquess of Carisbrooke became extinct upon his death.

Titles, styles and honours

  • 23 November 1886 – 13 December 1886: His Serene Highness Prince Alexander of Battenberg
  • 13 December 1886 – 1910: His Highness Prince Alexander of Battenberg/His Serene Highness Prince Alexander of Battenberg
    • Via Royal Warrant issued by Queen Victoria (effective in the United Kingdom, not in Germany)
  • 1910–1911: His Highness Prince Alexander of Battenberg KCVO/His Serene Highness Prince Alexander of Battenberg, KCVO
  • 1911–1917: His Highness Prince Alexander of Battenberg GCVO/His Serene Highness Prince Alexander of Battenberg, GCVO
  • 1917: Sir Alexander Mountbatten, GCVO
  • 1917–1927: The Most Hon The Marquess of Carisbrooke, GCVO
  • 1927–1960: The Most Hon The Marquess of Carisbrooke, GCB, GCVO


  1. ^ a b "The Marquess of Carisbrooke; A Grandson of Queen Victoria". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 24 February 1960.
  2. ^ "No. 25655". The London Gazette. 14 December 1886. p. 6305.
  3. ^ Queen Victoria's Journals - Saturday 18th December 1886
  4. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times. 22 April 1902. p. 12.
  5. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36763). London. 9 May 1902. p. 10.
  6. ^ "No. 28276". The London Gazette. 3 August 1909. p. 5907.
  7. ^ "No. 28562". The London Gazette. 15 December 1911. p. 9448.
  8. ^ "No. 28752". The London Gazette. 2 September 1913. p. 6236.
  9. ^ "No. 29157". The London Gazette. 7 May 1915. p. 4509.
  10. ^ "No. 29168". The London Gazette. 18 May 1915. p. 4872.
  11. ^ "No. 30108". The London Gazette. 30 November 2012. p. 5433.
  12. ^ "No. 31408". The London Gazette. 17 June 1919. p. 7790.
  13. ^ "No. 31408". The London Gazette. 17 June 1919. p. 7793.
  14. ^ "No. 35208". The London Gazette. 4 July 1941. p. 3834.
  15. ^ "No. 35254". The London Gazette. 22 August 1941. p. 4877.
  16. ^ "No. 35809". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 December 1942. p. 5279.
  17. ^ a b c "Obituary: The Marquis of Carisbrooke". The Guardian. 24 February 1960. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  18. ^ "No. 37179". The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 July 1945. p. 3669.
  19. ^ "No. 30374". The London Gazette. 9 November 1917. p. 11593.
  20. ^ "No. 30374". The London Gazette. 9 November 1917. p. 11594.
  21. ^ Beaton, Cecil (2003). Vickers, Hugo (ed.). Beaton in the Sixties: the Cecil Beaton diaries as they were written. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 0297645560.
Alexander, Prince of Erbach-Schönberg

Alexander, Prince of Erbach-Schönberg (German: Alexander Ludwig Alfred Eberhard, Fürst & Graf zu Erbach-Schönberg; 12 September 1872 –18 October 1944) was the 2nd Prince of Erbach-Schönberg, eldest son of Gustav, 1st Prince of Erbach-Schönberg.

Francis Fane, 12th Earl of Westmorland

Colonel Francis William Henry Fane, 12th Earl of Westmorland CB, DL (19 November 1825 – 3 August 1891), styled Lord Burghersh between 1851 and 1859, was a British Army Officer and racehorse owner.

Frank James Hospital

The Frank James Hospital is a currently closed hospital in Adelaide Grove, East Cowes on the Isle of Wight. It was sold by the NHS Trust in 2002 and since then, it has had ownership issues, which has led to its vandalism and disrepair. The building is currently on the endangered buildings list for the United Kingdom. It has a central block with two projecting wings and a verandah to the ground floor on all sides. It is built of red brick, with a tiled roof and has been Grade II listed since 1979.The building was constructed in 1893, as a home for retired seamen and was originally called the Frank James Memorial Home. It was commissioned by William and Arthur James as a memorial to their brother, Frank Linsly James, eldest son of the New York entrepreneur Daniel James and his wife Sophia, who ran the British arm of their company Phelps Dodge from Liverpool. The building was designed in a Dutch Style by Somers Clarke.

In 1903, the home was transformed into a cottage hospital, with its running costs paid for by charitable donations. It was eventually absorbed into the National Health Service in 1948, before finally closing in 2002. Between then and now, it has been laying empty and gradually deteriorating.

In March 2012, an action group was formed called the "Friends of Frank James", with the aim of saving and preserving the Frank James Hospital for future generations. They have had the support of Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner. The group's aim is to push for action, to prevent the building being lost forever.

Haemophilia in European royalty

Haemophilia figured prominently in the history of European royalty in the 19th and 20th centuries. Britain's Queen Victoria, through two of her five daughters, Princess Alice and Princess Beatrice, passed the mutation to various royal houses across the continent, including the royal families of Spain, Germany and Russia. Victoria's son Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, also suffered from the disease. For this reason, haemophilia was once popularly called "the royal disease". Tests on the remains of the Romanov imperial family show that the specific form of haemophilia passed down by Queen Victoria was probably the relatively rare Haemophilia B.The sex-linked X chromosome disorder manifests almost exclusively in males, even though the genetic mutation causing the disorder is located on the X chromosome and can be inherited from the mother by male children or from either mother or father by female children. This is because the trait is recessive, meaning that only one correctly-functioning copy of the blood clotting factor gene is necessary for normal clotting. Females have two X chromosomes, and hence redundant copies of the blood clotting factor gene located on them. A female who inherits a mutated copy on one X chromosome has also inherited a second X chromosome from the other parent that is likely to carry a non-mutated copy of the gene, capable of directing appropriate clotting. Such a female, with normal clotting but possessing a single mutated copy of the gene, is called a carrier. Males only possess a single X chromosome, inherited from their mother, having received a Y chromosome from their father instead of a second X. If their sole X chromosome contains the haemophilia mutation they possess no second copy to provide for normal function, as in carrier females. Each child of a carrier will have a 50% chance of inheriting their mother's mutation, of being a haemophiliac (sons) or carrier (daughters). The daughter of a male haemophiliac will always inherit his mutation, while a son cannot ever inherit it. A female will only be affected with haemophilia in the rare circumstance that she inherits mutated X chromosomes from both a haemophiliac father and a carrier mother. No case of such double inheritance is known among Queen Victoria's descendants.

Although an individual's haemophilia can usually be traced in the ancestry, in about 30% of cases there is no family history of the disorder, and the condition is speculated to be the result of spontaneous mutation in an ancestor. Victoria's appears to have been a spontaneous or de novo mutation and she is usually considered the source of the disease in modern cases of haemophilia among her descendants. Queen Victoria's father, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, was not a haemophiliac, and the probability of her mother having had a lover who suffered from haemophilia is minuscule given the low life expectancy of 19th-century haemophiliacs. Her mother, Victoria, Duchess of Kent, was not known to have a family history of the disease, although it is possible that she was a carrier, but among her children only Victoria received the mutated copy. The rate of spontaneous mutation is known to increase with paternal age, and Victoria's father was 51 at her birth.

Queen Victoria's eldest daughter, Victoria, Princess Royal, apparently escaped the haemophilia gene as it did not appear in any of her matrilineal descendants. Victoria's fifth child, Helena, may or may not have been a carrier; two healthy sons survived to adulthood, but two other sons died in infancy and her two daughters did not have issue. Victoria's sixth child, Louise, died without issue. Queen Victoria's sons Edward, Alfred, and Arthur were not haemophiliacs; however, her daughters Alice and Beatrice were confirmed carriers of the gene, and Victoria's son Leopold was a sufferer of haemophilia, making his daughter Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone a carrier as well.

Irene Mountbatten, Marchioness of Carisbrooke

Irene Frances Adza Mountbatten, Marchioness of Carisbrooke, (née Denison; 4 July 1890 – 16 July 1956) was born in London, England, the daughter of William Francis Henry Denison, 2nd Earl of Londesborough, and Lady Grace Adelaide (daughter of Francis Fane, 12th Earl of Westmorland).

Lady Iris Mountbatten

Lady Iris Mountbatten (13 January 1920 – 1 September 1982) was an English actress and model, and a member of the Battenberg/Mountbatten family. She was a great-granddaughter and the youngest great-grandchild of Queen Victoria.

List of Freemasons (E–Z)

This is a list of notable Freemasons. Freemasonry is a fraternal organisation that exists in a number of forms worldwide. Throughout history some members of the fraternity have made no secret of their involvement, while others have not made their membership public. In some cases, membership can only be proven by searching through the fraternity's records. Such records are most often kept at the individual lodge level, and may be lost due to fire, flood, deterioration, or simple carelessness. Grand Lodge governance may have shifted or reorganized, resulting in further loss of records on the member or the name, number, location or even existence of the lodge in question. In areas of the world where Masonry has been suppressed by governments, records of entire grand lodges have been destroyed. Because of this, masonic membership can sometimes be difficult to verify.

Standards of "proof" for those on this list may vary widely; some figures with no verified lodge affiliation are claimed as Masons if reliable sources give anecdotal evidence suggesting they were familiar with the "secret" signs and passes, but other figures are rejected over technical questions of regularity in the lodge that initiated them. Where available, specific lodge membership information is provided; where serious questions of verification have been noted by other sources, this is also indicated.

List of Old Wellingtonians

This is a list of notable Old Wellingtonians, being former pupils of Wellington College in Berkshire, England.

Mike Bryan (musician)

Michael Neely Bryan (August 9, 1916 – August 20, 1972) was an American jazz guitarist.

Mountbatten family

The Mountbatten family is a European dynasty originating as a cadet branch of the German princely Battenberg family. The name was adopted during World War I by family members residing in the United Kingdom due to rising anti-German sentiment amongst the British public. The name is a direct Anglicisation of the German Battenberg (literally Batten Mountain), a small town in Hesse. The title of count of Battenberg, later prince of Battenberg, was granted to a morganatic branch of the House of Hesse-Darmstadt, itself a cadet branch of the House of Hesse, in the mid 19th century.

The family now includes the Marquesses of Milford Haven (and formerly the Marquesses of Carisbrooke), as well as the Earls Mountbatten of Burma. Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, the consort of Queen Elizabeth II, adopted the surname of Mountbatten from his mother's family in 1947, although he is a member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg by patrilineal descent. Lady Louise Mountbatten became Queen Consort of Sweden, after having married Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden.

Prince Alexander

Prince Alexander may refer to:

Alexander Karađorđević, Prince of Serbia (r. 1842–1858)

Alexander, Crown Prince of Serbia (born 1945), head of the House of Karageorgevic

Alexander Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Carisbrooke, Alexander Albert Mountbatten (1886–1960)

Alexander of Bulgaria, Alexander Joseph of Battenberg (1857–1893)

Alexander of Hesse-Darmstadt (1823–1888)

Alexander, a character from the King's Quest series of video games

Prince Alexander John of Wales (1871), short-lived son of Edward VII

Prince Alexander of Belgium Alexander Emmanuel Henry Albert Marie Léopold (1942–2009)

Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands

Prince Alexander of the Netherlands (1818–1848)

Prince Alexander of Denmark (1903–1991), later became King Olav V of Norway

Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia (born 1982)

Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia (1924–2016)

Prince Alexander, Duke of Södermanland (born 2016), Swedish princeA few other princes have borne the name Alexander:

George V of Hanover (1819–1878)

Prince Alfred of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1874–1899)

Prince George, Duke of Kent (1902–1942)

Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester (born 1944)

Prince George of Cambridge (born 2013)

Prince Alexander of Battenberg

Prince Alexander of Battenberg may refer to:

Alexander, Prince of Bulgaria, Prince Alexander Joseph of Battenberg, (1857–1893) - the first prince of modern Bulgaria

Alexander Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Carisbrooke, Prince Alexander of Battenberg, (1886–1960)

Prince Henry of Battenberg

Prince Henry of Battenberg (Henry Maurice; 5 October 1858 – 20 January 1896) was a morganatic descendant of the Grand Ducal House of Hesse. He became a member of the British Royal Family by marriage to Queen Victoria's youngest child, Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom.

Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom

Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom, (Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore; later Princess Henry of Battenberg; 14 April 1857 – 26 October 1944) was the fifth daughter and youngest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Beatrice was the last of Queen Victoria's children to die, 66 years after the first, her elder sister Alice.

Beatrice's childhood coincided with Queen Victoria's grief following the death of her husband on 14 December 1861. As her elder sisters married and left their mother, the Queen came to rely on the company of her youngest daughter, whom she called "Baby" for most of her childhood. Beatrice was brought up to stay with her mother always and she soon resigned herself to her fate. The Queen was so set against her youngest daughter marrying that she refused to discuss the possibility. Nevertheless, many suitors were put forward, including Louis Napoléon, Prince Imperial, the son of the exiled Emperor Napoleon III of France, and Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse, the widower of Beatrice's older sister Alice. She was attracted to the Prince Imperial and there was talk of a possible marriage, but he was killed in the Anglo-Zulu War in 1879.

Beatrice fell in love with Prince Henry of Battenberg, the son of Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine and Julia von Hauke and brother-in-law of her niece Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine. After a year of persuasion, the Queen, whose consent was required pursuant to the Royal Marriages Act, finally agreed to the marriage, which took place at Whippingham on the Isle of Wight on 23 July 1885. Queen Victoria consented on condition that Beatrice and Henry make their home with her and that Beatrice continue her duties as the Queen's unofficial secretary. The Prince and Princess had four children, but 10 years into their marriage, on 20 January 1896, Prince Henry died of malaria while fighting in the Anglo-Asante War. Beatrice remained at her mother's side until Queen Victoria died on 22 January 1901. Beatrice devoted the next 30 years to editing Queen Victoria's journals as her designated literary executor and continued to make public appearances. She died at 87, outliving all her siblings, two of her children, and several nieces and nephews including George V and Wilhelm II.

St Mildred's Church, Whippingham

St Mildred's Church, Whippingham is the Church of England parish church of the village of Whippingham, Isle of Wight.

Stubbington House School

Stubbington House School was founded in 1841 as a boys' preparatory school, originally located in the Hampshire village of Stubbington, around 1 mile (1.6 km) from the Solent. Stubbington House School was known by the sobriquet "the cradle of the Navy". The school was relocated to Ascot in 1962, merging with Earleywood School, and it closed in 1997.

Ancestors of Alexander Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Carisbrooke
16. Louis I, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine
8. Louis II, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine
17. Princess Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt
4. Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine
18. Charles Louis, Hereditary Prince of Baden
9. Princess Wilhelmine of Baden
19. Princess Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt
2. Prince Henry of Battenberg
20. Friedrich Karl Emanuel Hauke
10. Count John Maurice Hauke
21. Maria Salomé Schweppenhäuser
5. Countess Julia Hauke
22. Franz Leopold Lafontaine
11. Sophie Lafontaine
23. Maria Theresia Kornély
1. Alexander Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Carisbrooke
24. Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
12. Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
25. Countess Augusta Reuss of Ebersdorf
6. Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
26. Augustus, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
13. Princess Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
27. Duchess Louise Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
3. Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom
28. George III of the United Kingdom
14. Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn
29. Duchess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
7. Victoria of the United Kingdom
30. Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (= 24)
15. Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
31. Countess Augusta Reuss of Ebersdorf (= 25)
1st generation
2nd generation
3rd generation
4th generation
5th generation


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