Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn

Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn

Infobox British Royalty|royal
name =Prince Arthur
title =Duke of Connaught and Strathearn

caption =The Duke of Connaught, 1915
succession = Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
successor =Prince Alastair, Duke of Connaught
spouse =Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia
issue =Princess Margaret, Crown Princess of Sweden
Prince Arthur of Connaught
Lady Patricia Ramsay
full name =Arthur William Patrick Albert
titles ="HRH" The Duke of Connaught
"HRH" The Prince Arthur
royal house =House of Windsor
House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
father =Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
mother =Victoria
date of birth =birth date|1850|5|1|df=y
place of birth =Buckingham Palace, London
date of christening =22 June 1850
place of christening =Buckingham Palace, London
date of death =death date and age|1942|01|16|1850|05|01
place of death =Bagshot Park, Surrey
place of burial =Frogmore Mausoleum
occupation =Governor General of Canada|

The Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn (Arthur William Patrick Albert; 1 May 1850 – 16 January 1942) was a member of the British Royal Family, a son of Queen Victoria. Arthur served as the Governor General of Canada from 1911 to 1916. He was created Duke of Connaught and Strathearn and Earl of Sussex in 1874.

Early life

Arthur was born on 1 May 1850 at Buckingham Palace. His mother was Queen Victoria, the reigning British monarch. His father was Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. As a son of the Sovereign, he was styled "His Royal Highness" The Prince Arthur from birth. The Prince was baptised in the Private Chapel at Buckingham Palace on 22 June 1850 by The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr John Bird Sumner. His godparents were The Crown Prince of Prussia (later Kaiser Wilhelm I), Princess Bernard of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and The Duke of Wellington (with whom he shared his birthday and after whom he was named). It is reported that he was his mother's favourite child. [Erickson, Carolly. "Her Little Majesty: The Life of Queen Victoria."]

Army service

Like his elder brothers, he received his early education from tutors. Prince Arthur became interested in the army at an early age. In 1866, he entered the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich and received a commission as a lieutenant in the Corps of Royal Engineers two years later. He later transferred to the Royal Regiment of Artillery and then to the Rifle Brigade.

Arthur had a long and distinguished career in the British Army that included service in South Africa, Canada, Ireland, Egypt in 1882 and in India from 1886 to 1890. On 1 April 1893, he was promoted to the rank of general. Arthur had hoped to succeed his first cousin once-removed, the elderly Duke of Cambridge, as commander-in-chief of the British Army, upon the latter's forced retirement in 1895. However, this was denied to him. Instead, he held command in the southern district of Aldershot from 1893 to 1898. Arthur became a Field Marshal on 26 June 1902. He served in various important positions thereafter, as Commander-in-Chief in Ireland (1900-1904); Inspector-General of the Forces (1904–1907) and as Governor General of Canada (1911–1916).

In 1910 Arthur traveled to South Africa onboard the Union-Castle Line ship Balmoral Castle to open the first parliament of the newly formed Union of South Africa. [cite web|url=|title=Union-Castle Line - A brief Company History|last=Cox|first=Martin|publisher=Maritime Matters|accessdate=2008-08-28] On November 30, 1910 in Johannesburg he laid a commemorative stone at the Rand Regiments Memorial, a memorial dedicated to the British soldiers that died during the Second Boer War. [cite web|url=|title=The Anglo-Boer War Memorial at the Museum of Military History|publisher=The All at Sea Network|accessdate=2008-08-28]

From 1912 until his death in 1942, Auther was Colonel-in-Chief of the Cape Town Highlanders Regiment. [cite web|url=|title=History - Past Royal Connections|publisher=Cape Town Highlanders Website (Unofficial)|accessdate=2008-08-28]

Royal Dukedom

Prince Arthur was created Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, and Earl of Sussex on 24 May 1874. [ Yvonne's Royalty: Peerage] ]


On 13 March 1879, Arthur married Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia, the daughter of Prince Friedrich of Prussia and a grand-niece of the German Emperor Wilhelm I, at St. George's Chapel, Windsor. They had three children;
*Princess Margaret of Connaught (15 January 1882 – 1 May 1920)
*Prince Arthur of Connaught (13 January 1883 – 12 September 1938)
*Princess Patricia of Connaught (17 March 1886 – 12 January 1974)

The Duke and Duchess of Connaught acquired Bagshot Park in Surrey as their country home and after 1900 used Clarence House as their London residence.


When his brother was obliged to resign the office upon his accession as Edward VII, Prince Arthur was elected Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, and was annually reelected 37 times until 1939, when he was nearly 90.

Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha

In 1899, Arthur came into direct line of succession to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in Germany, upon the death of his nephew, the only son of his elder brother, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh. He decided, however, to renounce his own and his son's succession rights to the duchy, which then passed to his nephew, Prince Charles Edward, the posthumous son of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany.

Governor General of Canada

On 6 March 1911 [ Governor General – The Duke of Connaught] ] , the British government appointed Arthur to the post of Governor General of Canada. During Arthur's term of office as governor general, Sir Robert Borden was Prime Minister and Canada was making steady progress in its transformation from British colony to independent nation. Governors General however, were still appointed by the British, and Arthur was the first member of the British Royal Family to serve in the post (though his sister Princess Louise had been the wife of a previous Governor General, Lord Lorne), helping to strengthen ties between the British monarchy and Canada.

Arthur travelled to Canada, with his wife, the Duchess of Connaught, and his youngest daughter, Princess Patricia. They lived together at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, and travelled extensively throughout Canada. Arthur served as liaison between the British government and Canada during World War I. He re-laid the cornerstone of the burned-out federal parliament building in 1917. The stone had been set in the original building by Prince Albert Edward (later Edward VII) in 1860. Both the Duchess and Princess became popular figures in Canadian society. The Connaughts also made many improvements to Rideau Hall during the Arthur's term as Governor General.

World War I

In 1914, World War I broke out, with Canadians called to arms against Germany and Austria-Hungary. The Connaughts remained in Canada at the beginning of the war. Arthur emphasized the need for military training and readiness for Canadian troops departing for war, and gave his name to Connaught Cup for the Royal North West Mounted Police, to encourage pistol marksmanship for recruits. He was active in auxiliary war services and charities and conducted hospital visits, while the Duchess of Connaught worked for the Red Cross and other organizations to support the war cause. She was also Colonel-in-Chief of the Duchess of Connaught's Own Irish Canadian Rangers battalion, one of the regiments in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Their daughter, Princess Patricia of Connaught, also lent her name and support to the raising of a new Canadian army regiment — Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.Following the war, Arthur commissioned a stained glass window in their memory which is located in St. Bartholomew's Church next to Rideau Hall, which the family attended regularly.

Later life

After his term at Rideau Hall, the Duke of Connaught returned to military service and continued well into World War II [ [ Prince Arthur serving the military at Sandhurst military barracks] ] where he was seen as a grandfather figure by aspiring recruits. The Duchess, who had been ill during their years at Rideau Hall, died in March 1917. The Duke withdrew from public life in 1928, and died 14 years later at Bagshot Park in 1942, at the age of 91. At the time of his death he was the last living son of Queen Victoria. He also had outlived two of his three children. He was succeeded (briefly) in his dukedom by his grandson, Alastair Windsor, the son of Prince Arthur and his wife, Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife, a granddaughter of Edward VII.

As president of the Boy Scouts Association and one of Lord Baden-Powell's friends and admirers, he performed the official opening of the 3rd World Scout Jamboree at Arrowe Park.


*Connaught Hall, London, a University of London intercollegiate hall or residence
* Connaught Hall, Botwood, NL. Masonic Temple, built 1911.
*Connaught Circus, principal shopping precinct of New Delhi
*Port Arthur, Ontario, a former city at the Lakehead of Ontario, incorporated with its former twin city of Fort William as Thunder Bay in 1970, and Connaught Square located in the centre of Port Arthur
*In Canada, numerous schools, roads, parks, and a military regiment are named for the first Duke, dating from his term as Governor General (eg Connaught Public School, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada)
*Connaught National Army Cadet Training Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
*Connaught Building, the headquarters of the Canadian Revenue Agency, in Ottawa
*Connaught Road, a major road along the harbourfront in Hong Kong
*Connaught Public School, Collingwood, Ontario, Canada
*Connaught Armoury in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
*Connaught, a neighbourhood of Calgary, Alberta, Canada


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1= 1. Prince Arthur,
Duke of Connaught and Strathearn

2= 2. Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
3= 3. Victoria of the United Kingdom
4= 4. Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
5= 5. Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
6= 6. Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn
7= 7. Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
8= 8. Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
9= 9. Princess Augusta of Reuss-Ebersdorf
10= 10. Emil, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
11= 11. Louise Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
12= 12. George III of the United Kingdom
13= 13. Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
14= 14. Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (= 8)
15= 15. Princess Augusta of Reuss-Ebersdorf (= 9)
16= 16. Ernest Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
17= 17. Duchess Sophia Antonia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
18= 18. Henry XXIV, Count of Reuss-Ebersdorf
19= 19. Countess Caroline Ernestine of Erbach-Schönberg
20= 20. Ernest II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
21= 21. Charlotte of Saxe-Meiningen
22= 22. Frederick Francis I, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
23= 23. Louise of Saxe-Gotha
24= 24. Frederick, Prince of Wales
25= 25. Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha
26= 26. Charles Louis Frederick, Duke of Mecklenburg-Mirow
27= 27. Princess Elizabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen
28= 28. Ernest Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (= 16)
29= 29. Duchess Sophia Antonia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (= 17)
30= 30. Henry XXIV, Count of Reuss-Ebersdorf (= 18)
31= 31. Countess Caroline Ernestine of Erbach-Schönberg (= 19)

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

*1 May 185024 May 1874: "His Royal Highness" The Prince Arthur
*24 May 1874–16 January 1942: "His Royal Highness" The Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
**13 October 191111 November 1916 [ Governor General – The Duke of Devonshire] ] : "His Royal Highness" The Governor General of Canada


*KG: Royal Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter (1867)
*KT: Extra Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle (1869)
*KP: Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of St. Patrick (1869)
*GCMG: Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George (1870)
*GCSI: Knight Grand Commander of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India (1877)
*GCIE: Knight Grand Commander of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire (1887)
*GCVO: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (1896)
*GCB: Grand Master & Principal Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (1898)
*GBE: Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (1917)
*Royal Victorian Chain
*Order of the Black Eagle
*Order of the Red Eagle {1873}
*PC: Privy Counsellor (1871)
*GCStJ: Bailiff Grand Cross of the Most Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem
*VD: Volunteer Decoration (1892)
*TD: Territorial Decoration (1934)


(Incomplete Listing)General Service Medal with 'FENIAN RAID 1870' Clasp (1870)Egypt Medal with 'TEL-EL-KEBIR' Clasp (1882)Order of the Majidi 2nd class (1882)1914 StarBritish War Medal (1918)Victory Medal (1918)Queen Victoria Silver Jubilee Medal (1887) with Bar (1897)King Edward VII Coronation Medal (1902)King George V Coronation Medal (1911)King George V Silver Jubilee Medal (1935)King George VI Coronation Medal (1937)Volunteer Decoration (1892)Territorial Decoration (1934)


Prince Arthur was granted a coat of arms with his dukedom — as a child of a British sovereign, the Duke bore the royal arms, with an inescutcheon of Saxony (for his father), and a difference of a label argent, of three points, the first and third bearing fleurs-de-lys azure, and the central a cross gules. In 1917, the inescutcheon was dropped by royal warrant from George V. [ [ Heraldica – British Royalty Cadency] ]


* "Scouting Round the World", John S. Wilson, first edition, Blandford Press 1959 p. 81

External links

* [ The Connaughts Online Gallery]

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