Alexandra of Denmark (Alexandra Caroline Marie Charlotte Louise Julia; 1 December 1844 – 20 November 1925) was Queen of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Empress of India as the wife of King Edward VII.
Her family had been relatively obscure until 1852, when her father, Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, was chosen with the consent of the major European powers to succeed his distant cousin, Frederick VII, to the Danish throne. At the age of sixteen, she was chosen as the future wife of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, the heir apparent of Queen Victoria. They married eighteen months later in 1863, the same year her father became king of Denmark as Christian IX and her brother was appointed to the vacant Greek throne as George I. She was Princess of Wales from 1863 to 1901, the longest anyone has ever held that title, and became generally popular; her style of dress and bearing were copied by fashion-conscious women. Largely excluded from wielding any political power, she unsuccessfully attempted to sway the opinion of British ministers and her husband's family to favour Greek and Danish interests. Her public duties were restricted to uncontroversial involvement in charitable work.
On the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, Albert Edward became king-emperor as Edward VII, with Alexandra as queen-empress. She held the status until Edward's death in 1910. She greatly distrusted her nephew, German Emperor Wilhelm II, and supported her son George V during the First World War, in which Britain and its allies fought Germany.
|Alexandra of Denmark|
Photograph by Alexander Bassano, 1881
|Queen consort of the United Kingdom|
and the British Dominions;
Empress consort of India
|Tenure||22 January 1901 – 6 May 1910|
|Coronation||9 August 1902|
|Born||1 December 1844|
Yellow Palace, Copenhagen, Denmark
|Died||20 November 1925 (aged 80)|
Sandringham House, Norfolk
|Burial||28 November 1925|
(m. 1863; died 1910)
|Father||Christian IX of Denmark|
|Mother||Louise of Hesse-Kassel|
Princess Alexandra Caroline Marie Charlotte Louise Julia, or "Alix", as her immediate family knew her, was born at the Yellow Palace, an 18th-century town house at 18 Amaliegade, right next to the Amalienborg Palace complex in Copenhagen. Her father was Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and her mother was Princess Louise of Hesse-Kassel. Although she was of royal blood, her family lived a comparatively normal life. They did not possess great wealth; her father's income from an army commission was about £800 per year and their house was a rent-free grace and favour property. Occasionally, Hans Christian Andersen was invited to call and tell the children stories before bedtime.
In 1848, King Christian VIII of Denmark died and his only son Frederick ascended the throne. Frederick was childless, had been through two unsuccessful marriages, and was assumed to be infertile. A succession crisis arose as Frederick ruled in both Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein, and the succession rules of each territory differed. In Holstein, the Salic law prevented inheritance through the female line, whereas no such restrictions applied in Denmark. Holstein, being predominantly German, proclaimed independence and called in the aid of Prussia. In 1852, the major European powers called a conference in London to discuss the Danish succession. An uneasy peace was agreed, which included the provision that Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg would be Frederick's heir in all his dominions and the prior claims of others (who included Christian's own mother-in-law, brother-in-law and wife) were surrendered.
Prince Christian was given the title Prince of Denmark and his family moved into a new official residence, Bernstorff Palace. Although the family's status had risen, there was little or no increase in their income and they did not participate in court life at Copenhagen as they refused to meet Frederick's third wife and former mistress, Louise Rasmussen, because she had an illegitimate child by a previous lover. Alexandra shared a draughty attic bedroom with her sister, Dagmar (later Empress of Russia), made her own clothes and waited at table along with her sisters. Alexandra and Dagmar were given swimming lessons by the Swedish pioneer of women's swimming, Nancy Edberg. At Bernstorff, Alexandra grew into a young woman; she was taught English by the English chaplain at Copenhagen and was confirmed in Christiansborg Palace. She was devout throughout her life, and followed High Church practice.
Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, were already concerned with finding a bride for their son and heir, Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales. They enlisted the aid of their daughter, Crown Princess Victoria of Prussia, in seeking a suitable candidate. Alexandra was not their first choice, since the Danes were at loggerheads with the Prussians over the Schleswig-Holstein Question and most of the British royal family's relations were German. Eventually, after rejecting other possibilities, they settled on her as "the only one to be chosen".
On 24 September 1861, Crown Princess Victoria introduced her brother Albert Edward to Alexandra at Speyer. Almost a year later on 9 September 1862 (after his affair with Nellie Clifden and the death of his father) Albert Edward proposed to Alexandra at the Royal Castle of Laeken, the home of his great-uncle, King Leopold I of Belgium.
A few months later, Alexandra travelled from Denmark to Britain aboard the royal yacht Victoria and Albert II and arrived in Gravesend, Kent, on 7 March 1863. Sir Arthur Sullivan composed music for her arrival and Poet Laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson, wrote an ode in Alexandra's honour:
Sea King's daughter from over the sea,
Saxon and Norman and Dane are we,
But all of us Danes in our welcome of thee,
Alexandra!— A Welcome to Alexandra, Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Thomas Longley, the Archbishop of Canterbury, married the couple on 10 March 1863 at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. The choice of venue was criticised widely. As the ceremony took place outside London, the press complained that large public crowds would not be able to view the spectacle. Prospective guests thought it awkward to get to and, as the venue was small, some people who had expected invitations were disappointed. The Danes were dismayed because only Alexandra's closest relations were invited. The British court was still in mourning for Prince Albert, so ladies were restricted to wearing grey, lilac or mauve. As the couple left Windsor for their honeymoon at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, they were cheered by the schoolboys of neighbouring Eton College, including Lord Randolph Churchill.
By the end of the following year, Alexandra's father had ascended the throne of Denmark, her brother George had become King of the Hellenes, her sister Dagmar was engaged to the Tsesarevich of Russia, and Alexandra had given birth to her first child. Her father's accession gave rise to further conflict over the fate of Schleswig-Holstein. The German Confederation successfully invaded Denmark, reducing the area of Denmark by two-fifths. To the great irritation of Queen Victoria and the Crown Princess of Prussia, Alexandra and Albert Edward supported the Danish side in the war. The Prussian conquest of former Danish lands heightened Alexandra's profound dislike of the Germans, a feeling which stayed with her for the rest of her life.
Alexandra's first child, Albert Victor, was born two months premature in early 1864. Alexandra showed devotion to her children: "She was in her glory when she could run up to the nursery, put on a flannel apron, wash the children herself and see them asleep in their little beds." Albert Edward and Alexandra had six children in total: Albert Victor, George, Louise, Victoria, Maud, and John. All of Alexandra's children were apparently born prematurely; biographer Richard Hough thought Alexandra deliberately misled Queen Victoria as to her probable delivery dates, as she did not want the queen to be present at their births. During the birth of her third child in 1867, the added complication of a bout of rheumatic fever threatened Alexandra's life, and left her with a permanent limp.
In public, Alexandra was dignified and charming; in private, affectionate and jolly. She enjoyed many social activities, including dancing and ice-skating, and was an expert horsewoman and tandem driver. She also enjoyed hunting, to the dismay of Queen Victoria, who asked her to stop, but without success. Even after the birth of her first child, she continued to socialise much as before, which led to some friction between the queen and the young couple, exacerbated by Alexandra's loathing of Prussians and the queen's partiality towards them.
Albert Edward and Alexandra visited Ireland in April 1868. After her illness the previous year, she had only just begun to walk again without the aid of two walking sticks, and was already pregnant with her fourth child. The royal couple undertook a six-month tour taking in Austria, Egypt and Greece over 1868 and 1869, which included visits to her brother King George I of Greece, to the Crimean battlefields and, for her only, to the harem of the Khedive Ismail. In Turkey she became the first woman to sit down to dinner with the Sultan (Abdülâziz).
The Waleses made Sandringham House their preferred residence, with Marlborough House their London base. Biographers agree that their marriage was in many ways a happy one; however, some have asserted that Albert Edward did not give his wife as much attention as she would have liked and that they gradually became estranged, until his attack of typhoid fever, the disease which was believed to have killed his father, in late 1871 brought about a reconciliation. This is disputed by others, who point out Alexandra's frequent pregnancies throughout this period and use family letters to deny the existence of any serious rift. Nevertheless, the prince was severely criticised from many quarters of society for his apparent lack of interest in her very serious illness with rheumatic fever. Throughout their marriage Albert Edward continued to keep company with other women, including the actress Lillie Langtry, Daisy Greville, Countess of Warwick, humanitarian Agnes Keyser, and society matron Alice Keppel. Alexandra knew about most of these relationships, and later permitted Alice Keppel to visit her husband as he lay dying. Alexandra herself remained faithful throughout her marriage.
An increasing degree of deafness, caused by hereditary otosclerosis, led to Alexandra's social isolation; she spent more time at home with her children and pets. Her sixth and final pregnancy ended tragically when her infant son died only a day after his birth. Despite Alexandra's pleas for privacy, Queen Victoria insisted on announcing a period of court mourning, which led unsympathetic elements of the press to describe the birth as "a wretched abortion" and the funeral arrangements as "sickening mummery", even though the infant was not buried in state with other members of the royal family at Windsor, but in strict privacy in the churchyard at Sandringham, where he had lived out his brief life.
For eight months over 1875–76, the Prince of Wales was absent from Britain on a tour of India, but to her dismay Alexandra was left behind. The prince had planned an all-male group and intended to spend much of the time hunting and shooting. During the prince's tour, one of his friends who was travelling with him, Lord Aylesford, was told by his wife that she was going to leave him for another man: Lord Blandford, who was himself married. Aylesford was appalled and decided to seek a divorce. Meanwhile, Lord Blandford's brother, Lord Randolph Churchill, persuaded the lovers against an elopement. Now concerned by the threat of divorce, Lady Aylesford sought to dissuade her husband from proceeding but Lord Aylesford was adamant and refused to reconsider. In an attempt to pressure Lord Aylesford to drop his divorce suit, Lady Aylesford and Lord Randolph Churchill called on Alexandra and told her that if the divorce was to proceed they would subpoena her husband as a witness and implicate him in the scandal. Distressed at their threats, and following the advice of Sir William Knollys and the Duchess of Teck, Alexandra informed the queen, who then wrote to the Prince of Wales. The prince was incensed. Eventually, the Blandfords and the Aylesfords both separated privately. Although Lord Randolph Churchill later apologised, for years afterwards the Prince of Wales refused to speak to or see him.
Alexandra spent the spring of 1877 in Greece recuperating from a period of ill health and visiting her brother King George of Greece. During the Russo-Turkish War, Alexandra was clearly partial against Turkey and towards Russia, where her sister was married to the Tsarevitch, and she lobbied for a revision of the border between Greece and Turkey in favour of the Greeks. Alexandra and her two sons spent the next three years largely parted from each other's company as the boys were sent on a worldwide cruise as part of their naval and general education. The farewell was very tearful and, as shown by her regular letters, she missed them dreadfully. In 1881, Alexandra and Albert Edward travelled to Saint Petersburg after the assassination of Alexander II of Russia, both to represent Britain and so that Alexandra could provide comfort to her sister, who was now the tsarina.
Alexandra undertook many public duties; in the words of Queen Victoria, "to spare me the strain and fatigue of functions. She opens bazaars, attends concerts, visits hospitals in my place ... she not only never complains, but endeavours to prove that she has enjoyed what to another would be a tiresome duty." She took a particular interest in the London Hospital, visiting it regularly. Joseph Merrick, the so-called "Elephant Man", was one of the patients whom she met. Crowds usually cheered Alexandra rapturously, but during a visit to Ireland in 1885, she suffered a rare moment of public hostility when visiting the City of Cork, a hotbed of Irish nationalism. She and her husband were booed by a crowd of two to three thousand people brandishing sticks and black flags. She smiled her way through the ordeal, which the British press still portrayed in a positive light, describing the crowds as "enthusiastic". As part of the same visit, she received a Doctorate in Music from Trinity College, Dublin.
The death of her eldest son, Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, in 1892 was a serious blow to Alexandra. His room and possessions were kept exactly as he had left them, much as those of Prince Albert were left after his death in 1861. She said, "I have buried my angel and with him my happiness." Surviving letters between Alexandra and her children indicate that they were mutually devoted. In 1894, her brother-in-law Alexander III of Russia died and her nephew Nicholas II of Russia became Tsar. Alexandra's widowed sister, the Dowager Empress, leant heavily on her for support; Alexandra slept, prayed, and stayed beside her sister for the next two weeks until Alexander's burial.
With the death of her mother-in-law, Queen Victoria, in 1901, Alexandra became queen-empress consort to the new king. Just two months later, her son George and daughter-in-law Mary left on an extensive tour of the empire, leaving their young children in the care of Alexandra and Edward, who doted on their grandchildren. On George's return, preparations for Edward and Alexandra's coronation in Westminster Abbey were well in hand but just a few days before the scheduled coronation in June 1902 the king became seriously ill with appendicitis. Alexandra deputised for him at a military parade, and attended the Royal Ascot races without him, in an attempt to prevent public alarm. Eventually, the coronation had to be postponed and Edward had an operation performed by Frederick Treves of the London Hospital to drain the infected appendix. After his recovery, Alexandra and Edward were crowned together in August: he by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Frederick Temple, and she by the Archbishop of York, William Dalrymple Maclagan.
Despite being queen, Alexandra's duties changed little, and she kept many of the same retainers. Alexandra's Woman of the Bedchamber, Charlotte Knollys, the daughter of Sir William Knollys, served Alexandra loyally for many years. On 10 December 1903, Knollys woke to find her bedroom full of smoke. She roused Alexandra and shepherded her to safety. In the words of Grand Duchess Augusta of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, "We must give credit to old Charlotte for really saving [Alexandra's] life."
Alexandra again looked after her grandchildren when George and Mary went on a second tour, this time to British India, over the winter of 1905–06. Her father, King Christian IX of Denmark, died that January. Eager to retain their family links, both to each other and to Denmark, in 1907 Alexandra and her sister, the Dowager Empress of Russia, purchased a villa north of Copenhagen, Hvidøre, as a private getaway.
Alexandra was denied access to the king's briefing papers and excluded from some of his foreign tours to prevent her meddling in diplomatic matters. She was deeply distrustful of Germans, and invariably opposed anything that favoured German expansion or interests. For example, in 1890 Alexandra wrote a memorandum, distributed to senior British ministers and military personnel, warning against the planned exchange of the British North Sea island of Heligoland for the German colony of Zanzibar, pointing out Heligoland's strategic significance and that it could be used either by Germany to launch an attack, or by Britain to contain German aggression. Despite this, the exchange went ahead anyway. The Germans fortified the island and, in the words of Robert Ensor and as Alexandra had predicted, it "became the keystone of Germany's maritime position for offence as well as for defence". The Frankfurter Zeitung was outspoken in its condemnation of Alexandra and her sister, the Dowager Empress of Russia, saying that the pair were "the centre of the international anti-German conspiracy". She despised and distrusted her nephew, German Emperor Wilhelm II, calling him in 1900 "inwardly our enemy".
In 1910, Alexandra became the first queen consort to visit the British House of Commons during a debate. In a remarkable departure from precedent, for two hours she sat in the Ladies' Gallery overlooking the chamber while the Parliament Bill, to remove the right of the House of Lords to veto legislation, was debated. Privately, Alexandra disagreed with the bill. Shortly afterwards, she left to visit her brother, King George I of Greece, in Corfu. While there, she received news that King Edward was seriously ill. Alexandra returned at once and arrived just the day before her husband died. In his last hours, she personally administered oxygen from a gas cylinder to help him breathe. She told Frederick Ponsonby, "I feel as if I had been turned into stone, unable to cry, unable to grasp the meaning of it all." Later that year she moved out of Buckingham Palace to Marlborough House, but she retained possession of Sandringham. The new king, Alexandra's son George, soon faced a decision over the Parliament Bill. Despite her personal views, Alexandra supported her son's reluctant agreement to Prime Minister H. H. Asquith's request to create sufficient Liberal peers after a general election if the Lords continued to block the legislation.
From Edward's death, Alexandra was queen mother, being a dowager queen and the mother of the reigning monarch. She did not attend her son's coronation in 1911 since it was not customary for a crowned queen to attend the coronation of another king or queen, but otherwise continued the public side of her life, devoting time to her charitable causes. One such cause included Alexandra Rose Day, where artificial roses made by people with disabilities were sold in aid of hospitals by women volunteers. During the First World War, the custom of hanging the banners of foreign princes invested with Britain's highest order of knighthood, the Order of the Garter, in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, came under criticism, as the German members of the Order were fighting against Britain. Alexandra joined calls to "have down those hateful German banners". Driven by public opinion, but against his own wishes, the king had the banners removed but to Alexandra's dismay he had down not only "those vile Prussian banners" but also those of her Hessian relations who were, in her opinion, "simply soldiers or vassals under that brutal German Emperor's orders". On 17 September 1916, she was at Sandringham during a Zeppelin air raid, but far worse was to befall other members of her family. In Russia, her nephew Tsar Nicholas II was overthrown and he, his wife and their children were killed by revolutionaries. Her sister the Dowager Empress was rescued from Russia in 1919 by HMS Marlborough and brought to England, where she lived for some time with Alexandra.
Alexandra retained a youthful appearance into her senior years, but during the war her age caught up with her. She took to wearing elaborate veils and heavy makeup, which was described by gossips as having her face "enamelled". She made no more trips abroad, and suffered increasing ill health. In 1920, a blood vessel in her eye burst, leaving her with temporary partial blindness. Towards the end of her life, her memory and speech became impaired. She died on 20 November 1925 at Sandringham after suffering a heart attack, and was buried in an elaborate tomb next to her husband in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.
The Queen Alexandra Memorial by Alfred Gilbert was unveiled on Alexandra Rose Day 8 June 1932 at Marlborough Gate, London. An ode in her memory, "So many true princesses who have gone", composed by the then Master of the King's Musick Sir Edward Elgar to words by the Poet Laureate John Masefield, was sung at the unveiling and conducted by the composer.
Alexandra was highly popular with the British public. After she married the Prince of Wales in 1863, a new park and "People's Palace", a public exhibition and arts centre under construction in north London, were renamed the Alexandra Palace and park to commemorate her. There are at least sixty-seven roads and streets in the Greater London area alone called Alexandra Road, Alexandra Avenue, Alexandra Gardens, Alexandra Close or Alexandra Street, all named after her. Unlike her husband and mother-in-law, she was not castigated by the press. Funds that she helped to collect were used to buy a river launch, called Alexandra, to ferry the wounded during the Sudan campaign, and to fit out a hospital ship, named The Princess of Wales, to bring back wounded from the Boer War. During the Boer War, Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service, later renamed Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps, was founded under Royal Warrant.
Alexandra had little understanding of money. The management of her finances was left in the hands of her loyal comptroller, Sir Dighton Probyn VC, who undertook a similar role for her husband. In the words of her grandson, Edward VIII (later the Duke of Windsor), "Her generosity was a source of embarrassment to her financial advisers. Whenever she received a letter soliciting money, a cheque would be sent by the next post, regardless of the authenticity of the mendicant and without having the case investigated." Though she was not always extravagant (she had her old stockings darned for re-use and her old dresses were recycled as furniture covers), she would dismiss protests about her heavy spending with a wave of a hand or by claiming that she had not heard.
She hid a small scar on her neck, which was probably the result of a childhood operation, by wearing choker necklaces and high necklines, setting fashions which were adopted for fifty years. Alexandra's effect on fashion was so profound that society ladies even copied her limping gait, after her serious illness in 1867 left her with a stiff leg. This came to be known as the "Alexandra limp". She used predominantly the London fashion houses; her favourite was Redfern's, but she shopped occasionally at Doucet and Fromont of Paris.
Queen Alexandra has been portrayed on television by Deborah Grant and Helen Ryan in Edward the Seventh, Ann Firbank in Lillie, Maggie Smith in All the King's Men, and Bibi Andersson in The Lost Prince. She was portrayed in film by Helen Ryan again in the 1980 film The Elephant Man, Sara Stewart in the 1997 film Mrs Brown, and Julia Blake in the 1999 film Passion. In a 1980 stage play by Royce Ryton, Motherdear, she was portrayed by Margaret Lockwood in her last acting role.
In 1901, she became the first woman since 1488 to be made a Lady of the Garter. Other honours she held included Member First Class of the Royal Order of Victoria and Albert, Lady of the Imperial Order of the Crown of India, and Lady of Justice of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. On 1 January 1918, she was appointed a Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire.
Among foreign honours received by Queen Alexandra was the Japanese Order of the Precious Crown, delivered to her on behalf of Emperor Meiji by Prince Komatsu Akihito when he visited the United Kingdom in June 1902 to attend the coronation. At the same time she also received the Order of Nishan-i-Sadakat from the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, despatched to London by a special messenger together with their coronation representatives.
Queen Alexandra's arms upon the accession of her husband in 1901 were the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom impaled with the arms of her father, the King of Denmark. The shield is surmounted by the imperial crown, and supported by the crowned lion of England and a wild man or savage from the Danish royal arms.
|Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale||8 January 1864||14 January 1892||engaged 1891, to Princess Mary of Teck|
|King George V||3 June 1865||20 January 1936||married 1893, Princess Mary of Teck; had issue|
|Princess Louise, Princess Royal||20 February 1867||4 January 1931||married 1889, Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife; had issue|
|Princess Victoria||6 July 1868||3 December 1935||never married and without issue|
|Princess Maud of Wales||26 November 1869||20 November 1938||married 1896, Prince Carl of Denmark (King of Norway as Haakon VII from 1905); had issue|
|Prince Alexander of Wales||6 April 1871||7 April 1871||born and died at Sandringham House|
Alexandra of Denmark
Cadet branch of the House of OldenburgBorn: 1 December 1844 Died: 20 November 1925
Title last held byAlbert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
as prince consort
| Queen consort of the United Kingdom
Mary of Teck
|New title|| Empress consort of India|
Events from the year 1844 in Denmark.Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg
Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg, (née Alexandra Christina Manley; born 30 June 1964) is the first wife of Prince Joachim of Denmark, the younger son of Margrethe II of Denmark.
She is of mixed Chinese-European ancestry and lived in British Hong Kong until she met Prince Joachim in 1994. They were married from 1995 to 2005 and had two boys. After her divorce she remarried and stayed in Denmark.Alexandra Battery
Alexandra Battery is a coastal artillery battery in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. It was constructed at the neck of the South Mole (originally the New Mole) to enfilade the coastal fortifications of Gibraltar. The battery stood on the site of several previous fortifications; it was built over the New Mole Battery, which was itself constructed on the site of an old Spanish fort in front of the Tuerto Tower.The battery owed its construction to the recommendations of an 1868 report by Colonel (later General) William Jervois. He proposed that a new battery should be constructed on the site to house a RML 12.5 inches (320 mm) 38 ton gun – at the time, the heaviest rifled muzzle-loading gun in the British Army's inventory – in a casemate protected by an iron shield. It was named after Alexandra of Denmark, the wife of Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII). He laid the foundation stone in 1876 and the battery was finished two years later, but it was already out of date by 1902, and by 1906 it had been converted into accommodation casemates. The slide and the mounting were subsequently scrapped but the 12.5 inch gun was moved to near Engineer Battery and finally relocated to Harding's Battery in 2013. In 1940, a QF 2-pounder Pom-pom gun was installed on the top of the casemates to protect the South Mole and a Bofors 40 mm gun was installed in 1941 to provide anti-aircraft defence. The battery still exists and is reportedly in a relatively good condition.Alexandra Gardens, Melbourne
The Alexandra Gardens are located on the south bank of the Yarra River, opposite Federation Square and the Melbourne Central Business District, in Victoria, Australia. The Gardens are bounded by the Yarra River to the north, Princes and Swan street bridges, with Queen Victoria Gardens and Kings Domain across Alexandra Avenue to the south. The gardens are part of the Domain parklands which stretch to the Royal Botanic Gardens and were first laid out in 1901, under the direction of Carlo Catani, Chief Engineer of the Public Works Department. The Alexandra Gardens were named in honor of Alexandra of Denmark, in the year her reign as Queen Consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Empress consort of India began. The Alexandra Gardens are listed on the Victorian Heritage Register due to their historical and archaeological significance.Alexandra Park, London
Alexandra Park is an 80–hectare, Green Flag Award, and Green Heritage winning, diverse-landscape park, in the Borough of Haringey in north London adjacent to Hornsey, Muswell Hill and Wood Green.
Laid out on the site of Tottenham Wood and the later Tottenham Wood Farm, the park and palace were named in 1863, the year of the marriage of Alexandra of Denmark to the Prince of Wales who became King Edward VII.Alexandra Park is split between hilly and flat ground. The tree-lined hill has wide views from slopes and many areas of the relatively large hilltop. Of note is the view from Alexandra Palace which dominates the park, particularly its Panorama Room. On most days the Crystal Palace Transmitter and/or the North Downs on the south side of London are visible. From 1936 to 1981, the BBC transmitted TV programmes from a tall mast built onto one of the towers of the palace. In 1980, most of the palace was gutted by a huge fire. The building has since been restored and is now a conference and exhibition centre.Alexandra Rose Day
The Alexandra Rose Day (a variable date in June) is a charitable fund raising event held in the United Kingdom since 1912 by Alexandra Rose Charities. It was first launched on the 50th anniversary of the arrival of Queen Alexandra from her native Denmark to the United Kingdom. The Queen requested that the anniversary be marked by the sale of roses in London to raise funds for her favourite charities.
The arrival of Princess Alexandra of Denmark in the United Kingdom for her marriage to the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) in 1863 was a never-to-be-forgotten occasion. This was attributable to the then recent increase in the railway network, the lack of royal occasions in preceding years and the new process of photography, which had made it possible for pictures of the Princess to be sold in shops prior to the arrival. The City of London spent £40,000 on decorations and illuminations, and the result was a tumultuous reception for the bride.
When the 50th anniversary of her arrival and wedding came, Queen Alexandra's admirers insisted that it should be celebrated in a special way. A processional drive through the streets of London seemed an obvious choice, but Alexandra wanted an occasion that would help the sick and needy. She developed an idea which would benefit the funds of London hospitals through the sale of artificial wild roses, which were to be made by young women and girls with disabilities at the John Groom Industrial Training Home.
The day was to be called "Alexandra Rose Day", and the initial drive swept Londoners off their feet. The first event raised £32,000 (the equivalent of almost £2 million in 2002 money). The funds raised were a great benefit to hospitals, and the annual drive became an institution, one of the chief attractions of London's summer, with Alexandra the star. By 1920, £775,000 for London hospitals had been raised.
Queen Alexandra's Rose Day continued to be celebrated even after her death in 1925. Rare Autochrome colour photos exist of women selling paper roses with poster billboards and decorated collecting cans in Seaford, East Sussex on the 'Seventeenth Celebration Alexandra Day in memory of H.M Queen Alexandra Saturday June 16, 1928.'After a period of raising money for charities that do not normally get national attention for fundraising, today Alexandra Rose Charities is tackling food poverty in London, most notably through providing vouchers for disadvantaged families to buy fresh fruit and vegetables.
The Prime Minister traditionally launches the day by being the first to buy a rose.
Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy, Queen Alexandra's great-granddaughter, is the current President of Alexandra Rose Day.Collar (jewelry)
In jewelry, a collar is an ornament for the neck.
Collar is an older word for necklace, and is usually reserved today for a necklace that lies flat to the body rather than hanging freely.
In contemporary fine jewelry, collar necklaces are 14 inches in chain length. In street fashion, collars are more commonly referred to as dog collars. Dog collars are associated with the punk scene and the BDSM scene.Specifically, collar may refer to:
One of the insignia of an Order of Knighthood.See:Collar (Order of Knighthood)
A wide choker popular in the Edwardian period (also called a dog collar); the style was introduced by Princess (later, Queen) Alexandra of Denmark who wore it to hide a scar on her neck.
The various livery collars or chains of office worn by officers of state in England and the United Kingdom.
Any massive necklace of the sixteenth century or earlier.Consort crown
A consort crown is a crown worn by the consort of a monarch for her coronation or on state occasions.
Unlike with reigning monarchs, who may inherit one or more crowns for use, consorts sometimes had special crowns made uniquely for them and which were worn by no other later consort.
All British queens consort in the 20th century, Alexandra of Denmark, Mary of Teck and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, wore their own specially made consort crowns, made in 1902, 1911 and 1937 respectively; (each went on to outlive her respective husband but, as a dowager, retained the title, crown and other privileges of a queen until death). Previous English and British queens consort had used the crown of Mary of Modena, wife of King James II, until Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, the consort of King William IV, who had a special new consort crown created for her.
In Imperial Russia, there were no unique consort crowns, because the Lesser Imperial Crown was intended to be used for coronation of all empresses consort, and after that, they did not wear crowns.Coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra
The coronation of Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark as King and Queen of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions took place at Westminster Abbey, London, on 9 August 1902. Originally scheduled for 26 June of that year, the ceremony had been postponed at very short notice, because the King had been taken ill with an abdominal abscess that required immediate surgery.Crown of Queen Alexandra
The Crown of Queen Alexandra was the consort crown of Alexandra of Denmark, the queen consort of King Edward VII. It was manufactured for the 1902 coronation.Lady of the Bedchamber
The Lady of the Bedchamber is the title of a lady-in-waiting holding the official position of personal attendant on a British queen or princess. The position is traditionally held by a female member of a noble family. They are ranked between the First Lady of the Bedchamber and the Women of the Bedchamber. They are also styled Gentlewoman of Her Majesty's Bedchamber.
The equivalent title and office has historically been used in most European royal courts (Dutch: Dames du Palais; French: dames or Dame de Palais; German: Hofstaatsdame or Palastdame; Italian: Dame di Corte; Russian: Hofdame or Statsdame; Spanish: dueña de honor; Swedish: statsfru).Louise, Princess Royal
Louise, Princess Royal and Duchess of Fife (Louise Victoria Alexandra Dagmar; 20 February 1867 – 4 January 1931) was the third child and the eldest daughter of the British king Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark; she was a younger sister of George V. In 1905, her father gave her the title of Princess Royal, which is usually bestowed on the eldest daughter of the British monarch if there is no living holder (e.g. the monarch's sister, designated in the previous reign).Mistress of the Robes
The Mistress of the Robes is the senior lady in the Royal Household of the United Kingdom.
Formerly responsible for the queen's clothes and jewellery (as the name implies), the post now has the responsibility for arranging the rota of attendance of the ladies-in-waiting on the queen, along with various duties at state ceremonies. In modern times, the Mistress of the Robes is almost always a duchess. During the 17th and 18th centuries, this role often overlapped with or was replaced as First Lady of the Bedchamber.
In the past, whenever the queen was a queen regnant rather than a queen consort, the Mistress of the Robes was a political appointment, changing with the government. However, this has not been the case since the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, and Queen Elizabeth II has only had two Mistresses of the Robes in more than sixty years' reign. Queens dowager have their own Mistresses of the Robes, and in the 18th century Princesses of Wales had one too.Princess Alexandra of Denmark
Princess Alexandra of Denmark may refer to:
Alexandra of Denmark (1844–1925), wife of Edward VII; later Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom
Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg, formerly Princess Alexandra of Denmark (born 1964), Prince Joachim of Denmark's ex-wifePrincess Victoria of the United Kingdom
Princess Victoria of the United Kingdom (Victoria Alexandra Olga Mary; 6 July 1868 – 3 December 1935) was the fourth child and second daughter of Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark, and the younger sister of George V.Princess parrot
The colourful princess parrot (Polytelis alexandrae) is an Australian bird of the parrot family. Its name was given in honour of Princess Alexandra of Denmark, who later married the Prince of Wales Edward VII and eventually became Queen of the United Kingdom. Other names for the species include: Queen Alexandra parrot (or parakeet), Alexandra's parakeet, Princess of Wales parakeet, rose-throated parakeet, and spinifex parrot. Their plumage is mostly green with a pink throat, bluish crown and rump, and bright green shoulders.Queen Alexandra's State Coach
Queen Alexandra's State Coach is one of several State Carriages maintained at the Royal Mews, Buckingham Palace. It was built around the year 1865, initially as a plain 'town coach'. Some 30 years later it was glazed and converted into a State Coach for the use of the Princess of Wales (later Queen) Alexandra.It is usually driven four-in-hand by a coachman. Like all the State Coaches it has a variety of uses, but perhaps its best-known regular duty is to convey the Imperial State Crown (together with the Sword of State, the Cap of Maintenance and their respective bearers) to and from the Palace of Westminster for the annual State Opening of Parliament. (In this instance it is always accompanied by The Queen's Bargemaster and Watermen acting as footmen, a reminder of the days when the Crown Jewels were invariably conveyed from the Tower of London by river for State occasions.) In transit, like the monarch herself, the crown and insignia are entitled to a Household Cavalry escort and receive a royal salute.Queen Alexandra Memorial
The Queen Alexandra Memorial on Marlborough Road, London, which commemorates Queen Alexandra of Denmark, was executed by the sculptor Sir Alfred Gilbert between 1926 and 1932. It consists of a bronze screen incorporating allegorical figures, set into the garden wall of Marlborough House. A late example of a work in the Art Nouveau style, it was regarded by the sculptor as his "Swan song".Before 1926 Gilbert was living in exile abroad, having fled Britain in 1901 bankrupt and disgraced after failing to complete the tomb of the Duke of Clarence in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. Gilbert later claimed that the Duke's mother, Princess Alexandra (Queen Alexandra after her husband's accession to the throne as Edward VII) was the only member of the royal family to have supported him after this debacle. She is also supposed to have expressed a wish in her old age that Gilbert might execute her memorial, should he outlive her.In 1926 Gilbert was invited to return to Britain, a result of the machinations of his biographer, the journalist Isabel McAllister. She had the twofold aim of getting Gilbert to complete the Clarence tomb (which he had succeeded in doing by 1928) and to receive the commission for a memorial to Queen Alexandra, who had died the previous year. The artist Lady Helena Gleichen offered her studio in St James's Palace for Gilbert's use. The Committee to Erect a Memorial to Queen Alexandra was set up in late 1926 and approached Gilbert in December of that year.The symbolism of the central sculptural group is explained by Gilbert in an "exegesis" he prepared for the Committee in 1927:
Central Group—represents "Love Enthroned", supported by Faith and Hope, on either side, and Love is directing a Boy sent out across the "River of Life", which springs from beneath Her Throne—symbolizing Queen Alexandra's charity to Children, also the water typifies Her advent to Great Britain from across the water.
The composition is in a style adapted from Perpendicular Gothic architecture, with three buttressed and pinnacled canopies over the figures and linenfold motifs on the screen. Two further allegorical statuettes appear on finials on the throne, that on the left representing Religion and the other without an attribute to help with identification, though Truth has been proposed as its subject.The two main inscriptions read QUEEN ALEXANDRA/ 1844 A TRIBUTE TO THE EMPIRE’S LOVE 1925 (on the bronze base) and FAITH, HOPE, LOVE./ THE GUIDING VIRTUES OF QUEEN ALEXANDRA (on the granite base below); a further inscription at the side of the bronze base reads A. B. BURTON. FOUNDER.The memorial was unveiled on 8 June 1932 (Alexandra Rose Day) by George V. At the unveiling ceremony the memorial was blessed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Cosmo Gordon Lang, and the choir of the Chapel Royal gave the first performance of Queen Alexandra's Memorial Ode, which had been composed for the occasion by the Master of the King's Music, Sir Edward Elgar, with lyrics by the Poet Laureate, John Masefield. On the following day Gilbert received his knighthood from the King at Buckingham Palace. The memorial was cast by A.B. Burton at the Thames Ditton Foundry. and was Gilbert's last completed public artwork, as he died in November 1934.Wedding dress of Princess Alexandra of Denmark
The wedding dress of Princess Alexandra of Denmark was the first in British royal history to be photographed while being worn. The gown was made by London dressmaker Mrs James of Belgravia. It's now part of the British Royal Collection. In 2011, the dress was part of a display of royal wedding dresses at Kensington Palace.
|Ancestors of Alexandra of Denmark|
* Though legally Princess of Wales, she does not use the title
* also a British princess in her own right
The generations are numbered from the implementation of hereditary monarchy by Frederick III in 1660.
^ Not a Danish princess by birth, but created a princess of Denmark
* also a princess of Greece