Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone

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Alexander Earl of Athlone

Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone , full birth name Alexander Augustus Frederick William Alfred George von Teck (born April 14, 1874 in Kensington Palace in London , † January 16, 1957 in Kensington Palace in London), came from a morganatic lineage of the house Württemberg , was a member of the British royal family through his mother and the youngest brother of Queen Mary , wife of the British King George V.


Alexander von Teck on June 28, 1910

Alexander was the youngest son of Duke Franz von Teck (1837-1900) and his wife Princess Mary Adelaide of Great Britain, Ireland and Hanover (1833-1897), the youngest daughter of Prince Adolphus Frederick, 1st Duke of Cambridge , and Princess Auguste of Hessen . The paternal grandparents were Prince Alexander von Württemberg and Claudine Rhédey von Kis-Rhéde , later Countess von Hohenstein. Alexander grew up at Kensington Palace and Country House White Lodge in Richmond Park , with his siblings:

See also: Teck / Cambridge family .

Training and military

Prince Alexander studied at Eton College before getting military training at Sandhurst Military Academy . In 1894 he joined a unit stationed in India as a career officer. In 1896/97 he took part in the fighting in Southern Rhodesia and from 1899 in South Africa in the Boer War. As the personal adjutant of the future King George V and his wife Mary (his sister), Alexander took part in the six-month journey through the British Empire on the ship Ophir in 1901 .

At the outbreak of the First World War , Alexander had been promoted to major and took part with his regiment in battles in France and Flanders. He later headed the British mission at the Belgian headquarters.

Marriage and activity in the service of the crown

The Earl of Athlone and his wife, Princess Alice, 1945

On February 10, 1904, Prince Alexander married Princess Alice of Great Britain and Ireland , daughter of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany , and granddaughter of Queen Victoria, at Windsor Castle . The couple had three children: Princess May von Teck (1906–1994), Prince Rupert von Teck (1907–1928) and Prince Maurice von Teck. Prince Maurice, born in March 1910, died while the couple was visiting Gotha at the age of just six months. He found his final resting place on the burial island of the large pond in Gotha Castle Park.

During the First World War, King George V renounced all his German titles, as did the members of the royal family, in the face of persistent domestic political pressure and against the background of the Russian February Revolution of 1917 . In this context, Alexander also gave up all his German titles at the request of the king (against his conviction) and on July 14, 1917, took the surname Cambridge . On July 16, 1917, the king bestowed on him the British titles of Earl of Athlone and Viscount Trematon .

From January 21, 1924 to April 12, 1930, Alexander represented the British crown as 4th Governor General in South Africa. On June 21, 1940 he was appointed 16th Governor General of Canada , which he held until April 12, 1946. From 1932 to 1955 he was also Chancellor of the University of London. He also served from 1939 to 1955 as President of the Football Association , the football association of England. Alexander served four kings, from George V to Elizabeth II, as a personal adjutant .

Since his sons died childless and before him, his titles of nobility expired on his death on January 16, 1957. He was buried in the royal cemetery at Frogmore House in Windsor .

Orders and decorations



Web links

Commons : Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Court and State Handbook of the Kingdom of Württemberg 1907. p. 29.