Prinzessin Viktoria von Hessen-Darmstadt heiratete ihren Cousin Ludwig
von Battenberg, 1884 in Darmstadt.
Dieses Diadem mit Diamantsternen erhielt sie von ihrer Taufpatin, der
Herzogin von Argyll als Ersatz für Ihre in Russland verlorenen
Denn sie befand sich bei Ausbruch der Revolution zu Besuch bei ihrer
Schwester der Zarin Alexandra Feodorovna, die hat ihr geraten den Schmuck,
zur Sicherheit, in St Petersburg zu deponieren und später abzuholen,
was leider nicht mehr möglich war.
Die Marchioness hat fast ihren gesamten Schmuck bei dieser Gelegenheit
Sie gab die Tiara mit den Diamantsternen ihrem zweiten
Sohn, dem späteren Lord Mountbatten,Vizekönig von Indien,
für seine Frau Edwina anlässlich der Hochzeit.
Die Tiara wird und wurde in der Familie häufig und gern als Hochzeitsdiadem
getragen, wie man in den Bildern oben sehen kann.
Victoria fell ill with diphtheria in 1878. Suddenly she was followed
by the rest of the family, except her sister Ella, who was sent away,
and Princess Alice, her mother, who nursed the sick family. The youngest
sister May didn't survive and finally Princess Alice contracted the
disease and died on December 14, 1878.
Victoria, as the eldest sister, took her mother's place, supported
from a far by her grandmother, Queen Victoria, with whom she maintained
a healthy correspondence for many years.
In 1883 Victoria became engaged to her cousin Prince Louis of Battenberg,
who was a 28-year-old handsome and tall lieutenant. Unlike him, she
was in love for the first time. Louis wrote to his friend and shipmate
Prince George (later King George V): "My dearest Georgie, I
have a great piece of news to tell you. Our mutual cousin Victoria has
promised me to be my wife" (Hough).
Prince Louis was born in Graz, Austria on May 24, 1854. His father was
Prince Alexander of Hesse, brother of Grand Duke Louis III of Hesse,
of Tsarina Marie Alexandrovna, wife of Alexander II, and of Prince Charles
of Hesse, who was Victoria's grandfather.
Prince Alexander had married morganatically one of his sister's ladies-in-waiting,
Princess Julia Theresa von Hauke, who after the marriage was given the
title of Princess of Battenberg. The couple's four sons would bear their
mother's title. The eldest of them was Prince Louis. When he was eight,
Prince Louis was taken by his parents to stay with Queen Victoria at
Windsor Castle. As he grew up, he fell in love with England.
When he met Queen Victoria's sailor son Prince Alfred, he asked him
if it was possible for a foreign prince to enter the navy. Prince Alfred
and Queen Victoria agreed so young Prince Louis was prepared by a British
tutor to enter the Royal Navy. As a sailor, Prince Louis had the opportunity
to travel all around the world and to have many love affairs. He was
the friend and companion of the Prince of Wales, whose mistress Lily
Langtry, Louis shared. He even had a daughter with her. Although he
was German born, he became more English than English themselves. Finally,
tired of so many mistresses, Louis decided to find a suitable wife and
he fell in love with his cousin Victoria.
Louis and Victoria married on April 30, 1884 at Darmstadt.
The couple had four children, Princess Alice, (mother of Prince Philip,
Duke of Edinburgh), Princess Louise, (later the Queen of Sweden), Prince
George (2nd Marquess of Milford Haven), and Prince Louis (later Earl
Mountbatten of Burma)
The eldest daughter, Alice, was deaf due to thickened Eustachian tubes,
which was inoperable. Victoria taught her to read lips, and as she was
unusually intelligent she learnt to lip-read in German, English, French
Louis and Victoria made their home in England. Victoria's personality
was a mixture of English and German cultures;
In 1911, Prince Louis became Second Sea Lord of the British Royal Navy,
and the following year, he replaced Sir Francis Bridgam as First Sea
Lord. His German origins gained him several enemies but he was British
at heart. He was widely supported by King George V and by the First
Lord of Admiralty, Winston Churchill.
Victoria's youngest son, Lord Mountbatten, would later recall about
his father and Churchill:"They complemented each other so well
- my father with his unsurpassed knowledge of the service of which Churchill
was political leader and Churchill, he a canny political animal, very
devious, bursting with energy and determination, learning as hard as
he could." (Hough)
In 1917, the family renounced its German name and titles and anglicized
the family name to Mountbatten. Her husband gave up his title of Prince
Louis and became the Marquess of Milford Haven. Princess Victoria could
have kept her royal titles but decided to drop these and take her husband's
new name. Thus she became Marchioness of Milford Haven.
According to the official gift list published in The Times, 18 July
1922, the tiara was a gift of Lord Louis Mountbatten to his bride. It
is described as
"a diamond tiara of five stars with pearl in the centre of each".
More about the wedding>>
Given the relatively impoverished state of the Battenbergs finances,
the Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven gave the tiara to her son so
that he would have an important piece of jewellery to give his bride
Edwina Ashley, the grand-daughter and principal heiress of Sir Ernest
Cassel. This was the tiara worn by Lady Patricia Mountbatten when she
married Lord Brabourne.
Thanks again to Laura for her generous help!