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HM Queen Alexandra (1844-1925)

Medal - Edward VII Coronation, Shire of Camberwell & Boroondara,1902 AD

Image: Medal - Edward VII Coronation, Shire of Camberwell & Boroondara,1902 AD

Source: Museum Victoria

Alexandra of Denmark was Queen consort of King Edward VII, 1901-1910. She was Princess of Wales from 1863 to 1901- the longest that any woman has ever held that title.

Alexandra was born on 1 December 1844 in Copenhagen, eldest daughter of Prince Christian, later King Christian IX, of Denmark and the former Princess Louise of Hesse-Cassel. Although of royal blood, her family lived a comparatively normal life. In England, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were worried about their errant son Albert, infamous for his affairs and high living. They considered a range of potential wives, and the beautiful Alexandra was considered with some trepidation, because the Danes were engaged in a dispute with Prussia, and the British Royal Family were closely related to the monarchy and nobility of a number of German States. However, on meeting Queen Victoria, 'Alix' met with her approval, and the couple were married on 10 March 1863. The Prince and Princess of Wales had three sons and three daughters, including the future King George V.

Alix's style was very different from that of most British royals. She was devoted to her children and servants, and enjoyed a range of vigorous activities such as dancing and ice skating. Even after the birth of her first child, Prince Albert Victor, in 1864, she continued these activities, much to the chagrin of the Queen. Complications after the birth of her third child in 1867 restricted her activities and she was left with a permanent limp. She also suffered an increasing degree of deafness, and self-consciousness about a scar on her neck (allegedly the result of a childhood accident) saw her adopt high choker necklaces and dresses, which started a fashion.

The Prince of Wales continued to keep mistresses and reportedly produced a number of out-of-wedlock children. He also indulged in pursuits such as gambling and country sports, and entertained on a lavish scale. Several incidents including a court appearance in a notorious divorce case brought him bad publicity, and he continued to be regarded as unsuitable material for a future monarch. Alix resented the lack of attention that Albert showed her, and their relationship was often rocky.

When Queen Victoria died on 22 January 1901, Albert became King Edward VII. At the age of 59, he was the oldest man ever to ascend the British throne. Edward and Queen Alexandra were crowned at Westminster Abbey on 9 August 1902. As Queen from 1901 to 1910, and Queen Mother afterwards, Alix was greatly loved by the British people. She was associated with many charities, most notably Alexandra Rose Day. During the Boer War she founded Queen Alexandra's Nursing Corps. Alix remained startlingly youthful looking into her senior years, thanks to elaborate veils and heavy makeup. She died on 20 November 1925 at Sandringham, and was buried at Windsor Castle.

References:
Wikipedia Encyclopaedia website http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandra_of_Denmark

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