The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Princess Helena

Princess Helena

A carte-de-visite portrait of Princess Helena, Queen Victoria’s third daughter and fifth child.

Known as ‘Lenchen’ within the family, Helena grew up into a kindly, sensible but rather plain, dowdy, and ungainly girl. ‘Poor Lenchen,’ the Queen wrote, ‘though most useful and active and clever and amiable, does not improve in looks and has great difficulty with her figure and her want of calm, quiet, graceful manners.’

At the age of twenty she was married to Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg. The couple settled down at Windsor, first at Frogmore and then at Cumberland Lodge. The arrangement did not prove to be a satisfactory one. The Queen found Helena – who was addicted to laudanum – ‘difficult to live with,’ and Prince Christian proved quite as tedious in the Queen’s opinion as he did in everyone else’s.

Photographed by Hills and Saunders of Eton and Oxford.


Code: 124073
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© Paul Frecker 2019