Gang


In 1898, Queen Victoria has her photograph taken by Robert Milne at Balmoral. Aged 79 (the photo was taken in June) she sits with three princesses to her right and three princes – and another princess – to her left. Looking all the world like a crime family portrait.

1898balmoralvictoria1024

The Latest Portrait of the Queen: A Royal Group from Balmoral

The caption runs from left to right under the picture (from The Graphic). It names neither Queen – almost indistinguishable from Alfred Hitchcock – nor toddler, and reads

  • Princess Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein
  • The Princess Leiningen
  • Princess Victoria of Wales
  • Princess Henry of Prussia
  • Prince Waldemar of Prussia
  • Prince Maurice of Battenberg

That uncredited (presumably no speaking part) two year old child in white is Prince Sigismund of Prussia, behind his brother Waldemar in the sailor outfit, both to our right of their mother Irene (aka Princess Henry) whose sister Alexandra would be the last Tsarina. Little Sigismund will last the longest and will die in 1978.

The other sitting elder, Marie Amelie of Baden (aka Princess Ernst of Leiningen), would be dead within a year.

The pair of standing Victoriae are both granddaughters of the principal sitter. Victoria Alexandra Olga Mary (of Wales) is the fourth child of Victoria’s son Edward (VII, to be, in another three years). And Helena Victoria – the one on the left of the picture – is the daughter of Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, and looks rather too ‘related’ to Irene if you ask me. They both have that Habsburg chin deal going on.

The kid on the extreme right, the quasi-Scot Maurice, is the son of Prince Henry of Battenberg and old Vic’s grandson.

They all kind of owned a hefty chunk of planet, back then.

Hel, Vic & Reen

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