Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein

Prince Christian Victor Albert Louis Ernst Anton of Schleswig-Holstein[1] GCB GCVO DSO KStJ (14 April 1867 – 29 October 1900) was a member of the British royal family. He was the eldest son of Princess Helena, third daughter of Queen Victoria.

Prince Christian Victor
Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein.jpg
Born(1867-04-14)14 April 1867
Windsor Castle, Berkshire
Died29 October 1900(1900-10-29) (aged 33)
Pretoria, South Africa
Burial1 November 1900
Pretoria, South Africa
Names
Christian Victor Albert Louis Ernst Anton
HouseSchleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg
FatherPrince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein
MotherPrincess Helena of the United Kingdom
Military career
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service1888–1900
RankMajor
UnitKing's Royal Rifle Corps
Battles/wars

Early lifeEdit

Prince Christian was born on 14 April 1867, at Windsor Castle. His father was Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, the third son of Christian, Duke of Augustenborg, and Countess Louise Sophie of Danneskiold-Samsøe. His mother was Princess Helena, the fifth child and third daughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert. His parents resided in the United Kingdom, at Cumberland Lodge, and the Prince was considered a member of the British royal family. Under letters patent of 1866, he was styled His Highness Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein.[citation needed]

He was baptised in the private chapel at Windsor Castle. His godparents were Queen Victoria (his maternal grandmother), the Duke of Augustenburg (his paternal grandfather; represented by Prince Arthur), the Prince of Wales (his maternal uncle), the Crown Princess of Prussia (his maternal aunt; represented by Princess Louise), the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (his maternal great-uncle; represented by the Duke of Edinburgh), and the Dowager Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (his maternal half-great-aunt; represented by Lady Churchill).[2]

EducationEdit

The Prince, who was educated at Lambrook, Wellington College, Magdalen College, Oxford, and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, was commissioned into the King's Royal Rifle Corps (60th Rifles) in 1888, serving in the 4th Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps.[citation needed]

"Christle", as the prince was known in the family, was the first member of the Royal Family to attend school instead of being educated by a tutor at home. That he studied at Wellington College made Queen Victoria very happy, as Prince Albert had helped to establish the institution many years before. At Wellington he played for the college First Eleven in 1883 and was captain of the cricket team in 1885. He was also captain of the cricket team while at Magdalen College and at Sandhurst, and made a single first-class appearance, for I Zingari against Gentlemen of England in 1887. He remains the only member of the British royal family to play cricket at such a high level.[3]

Military careerEdit

Upon leaving Sandhurst in 1888, the Prince became a British Army officer in the King's Royal Rifle Corps. Posted to India, he participated in the Hazara and Miranzi expeditions in 1891 and the Isazi expedition in 1892. Moving to West Africa, in 1895 he participated in the Ashanti Expedition in the Gold Coast, now Ghana.

Upon his return, he was elevated to the rank of Major and then served under Lord Kitchener in 1898 when British and Egyptian troops defeated the Dervishes at Omdurman near Khartoum and recovered the Sudan.

The following year he served as a staff officer in the Second Boer War, being involved in the relief of Ladysmith[4] under General Sir Redvers Buller and later was with Lord Roberts in Pretoria.

CricketEdit

The Prince was a keen amateur cricketer, and played a single first-class match for I Zingari in 1897.[5] He scored 35 and 0.[6] In lesser cricket, he represented Wellington College and also founded his own eponymous cricket team.[7][8]

DeathEdit

 
Grave of Prince Christian Victor in Pretoria

In October 1900, while in Pretoria, he came down with malaria, and died of enteric fever, on 29 October, aged 33, after receiving Holy Communion in the presence of Lord Roberts and Prince Francis of Teck. He was interred in the Pretoria cemetery on 1 November 1900. His grave is marked with a granite cross and a cast-iron railing.

Writing in her journal, the Prince's grandmother Queen Victoria wrote of her grandson's death:

"I went upstairs, Thora came in & in a faltering voice said "He is gone". I could not believed it, it seemed too dreadful & heart breaking, & this dear excellent, gallant Boy, beloved by all, such a good, as well as brave & capable officer, gone! To think that he had gone through the Indian campaign, Ashanti, (where our beloved Liko was taken) the Soudan, (going down in his ship) & now again in S. Africa had passed through endless hardship, & dangers, without being ill, or getting a scratch, — to fall a victim to this horrid fever, just on the eve of his return home, — oh! it is really too piteous."

— Queen Victoria, Journal, 29 October 1900[9]

LegacyEdit

 
Statue outside Windsor Castle
 
Plaque on the Windsor memorial, showing the prince's honours

There is a monument to him in the Chapel of the Crucifixion at Frogmore Mausoleum by Emil Fuchs. It was originally placed in St George's Chapel. Another monument dedicated to him also serves as a monument to the fallen officers, NCOs and Soldiers of the Devonshire, Somerset and Gloucestershire Regiments who lost their lives in the Boer War. This monument is located on Plymouth Hoe in Plymouth, outside the entrance to the Royal Citadel.

There is also a statue of the Prince outside Windsor Castle (Berkshire, England), erected by his friends. The accompanying plaque displays his orders and campaign medals.

Prince Christian's parents dedicated a window to him in the Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor Great Park in 1905.[10]

T. Herbert Warren's biography of Prince Christian was published by John Murray in 1903.[11]

HonoursEdit

AncestryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Eilers, Marlene A., Queen Victoria's Descendants, 1987, Genealogical Publishing Company, p. 205.
  2. ^ Queen Victoria's Journals – Tuesday 21st May 1867
  3. ^ "Never a famous cricketer", Jonathan Rice. Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2001.
  4. ^ Army of Natal
  5. ^ ESPN cricinfo.com website: How do you spell that? Steven Lynch, 30 April 2012.
  6. ^ "Royalty on the cricket field". International Cricket Council. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  7. ^ https://cricketarchive.com/Archive/Players/28/28535/Other_matches.html[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 May 2018. Retrieved 31 October 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Journal Entry : Monday 29 October 1900". queenvictoriasjournals.org. 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2022.
  10. ^ Jane Roberts (1997). Royal Landscape: The Gardens and Parks of Windsor. Yale University Press. pp. 347–. ISBN 978-0-300-07079-8.
  11. ^ "Review of Christian Victor: the Story of a Young Soldier by T. Herbert Warren". The Athenaeum (3946): 744. 13 June 1903.
  12. ^ Shaw, William Arthur (1906). The Knights of England. Vol. 1. London: Sherratt & Hughes. p. 213.
  13. ^ Shaw, p. 418
  14. ^ "No. 26725". The London Gazette. 27 March 1896. p. 1960.
  15. ^ "Rother Adler-orden", Königlich Preussische Ordensliste (supp.) (in German), vol. 1, Berlin, 1886, pp. 8, 25 – via hathitrust.org
  16. ^ "Ludewigs-orden", Großherzoglich Hessische Ordensliste (in German), Darmstadt: Staatsverlag, 1898, p. 8 – via hathitrust.org
  17. ^ "Herzoglich Hausorden Albrechts des Bären", Hof- und Staats-Handbuch für das Herzogthum Anhalt (in German), Dessau: Dessau, Im Selbstverlage des Herausgebers, 1894, p. 17, retrieved 16 June 2020