H.R.H. The Princess of Wales’s Pet Dogs and a Kaiser Behaving Badly

This is supposed to be my wordless Wednesday post, but I can quite simply not resist typing a few. It comes from having been a shy little girl. I have much silent time to make up for.

The picture below is from Country Life Magazine 8th Jan 1897. It shows the Princess of Wales, Alexandra of Denmark, who would later become Queen consort. She married the Prince who would become Edward VII – Queen Victoria’s son, Albert Edward. This picture was taken in 1897 and shows her in full mourning dress. (If you’re interested, you can see my post My Cousin Made A Black Bonnet – Mourning Dress in the 19th Century for more details on the rules of mourning dress.) In 1897 Princess Alexandra was 53 years-old and had been married for 34 years.

Alexandra was only 5th on Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s wish-list of brides for their ‘difficult’ son ‘Bertie’ in 1858 when they started planning his match. Queen Victoria did not approve of Alexandra’s family, saying of them, ‘The mother’s family are bad, the father’s foolish’. She disapproved so strongly of the King of Denmark‘s scandalous, immoral behaviour that when ‘Bertie’ and Alexandra were married in 1863, she refused to invite the father of the bride to the wedding. She was at this stage though, fonder of ‘dear Alix’, whose ‘sweet loving expressions’ post Prince Albert’s death in 1861 won her favour.

‘Bertie’ had this to say on the event of his proposal, ‘(I) offered her my hand and my heart. I really don’t know if I’m on my head or my heels.’

You can read an article about the wedding on the History Today website, which includes the story of Queen Victoria’s grandson, the future Kaiser Wilhelm II biting the leg of his kilted uncle at the ceremony.

The Princess of Wales’s Borzoi hound, Alix (how utterly strange to have a dog with the same name as you!), came from the Imperial kennels in Russia. He was a prize-winning hound ‘who has won under the very best judges of the breed, and, but for a slight weakness of the pasterns, would be the premier Borzoi in Great Britain.’

Photograph taken by Mr Thomas Fall of Baker St, W. Source: Country Life Illustrated Jan 8th 1897

Oh goodness…wordless Wednesday is 380 words long…enough already.

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