The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Princess Beatrice

Princess Beatrice

A carte-de-visite portrait of Princess Beatrice (1857-1944), the fifth daughter and last child of Queen Victoria.

As the youngest child of the family (she was known as ‘Baby’), Princess Beatrice was always more indulged than the rest of her royal siblings. ‘She is a most amusing little dot, all the more so for being generally a little naughty.’ Aged four at the death of her father, she grew up in an oppressive atmosphere of morbid grief.

In 1885, after initial opposition from her mother, she was eventually allowed to marry Prince Henry of Battenberg, on the condition that the couple lived with the Queen. After her husband’s early death in 1896 (from malaria, while returning from the Ashanti expedition), Princess Beatrice resumed her former duties as her mother’s secretary. After Queen Victoria’s death in 1901, Beatrice transcribed and edited her diaries, censoring all potentially embarrassing passages, and then destroyed the originals. Suffering from rheumatism, she lived on alone, first at Kensington Palace and then at Brantridge Park in Sussex. She died in 1944 at the age of 87, the last surviving child of Queen Victoria.

Photographed by John Mayall of London and Brighton.


Code: 124059
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© Paul Frecker 2019