Friday, October 29, 2010

Victoria's grandson succumbs to Enteric fever

October 29, 1900

The newspapers are reporting today the death of Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein, grandson of Queen Victoria.  He died from enteric fever in South Africa.
The death was announced in today's Court Circular:
"The Queen deeply mourns the loss of so dear a grandson and of a brilliant officer of great promise.  She suffers doubly in the grief of his afflicted parents and their family, who were so devoted to him.  He was universally loved and respected.
"He had taken part in the whole campaign, and gone through the greatest hardships and dangers.  The Queen and all her family were looking forward to his happy return, when suddenly his life was thus cut short."
The announcement of Prince Christian Victor's death was "withheld for a time from the public, by special desire of the Queen and the Prince of Wales, to avoid casting a gloom on the City Imperial Volunteer festivities,"  according to the New York Times.
Prince Christian Victor, one of the most popular members of the British royal family, was a Major in the King's Royal Rifles.  He died at Pretoria, South Africa, where he contracted the fever during the Boer-British campaign.
The Prince was the eldest son of Princess Helena and her husband,  Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein.    He was born in 1867, and at the age of 21, he joined the King's Royal Rifle corps as Second Lieutenant.
The Chicago Tribune notes that the royal family has lost "one of its most democratic and most popular members.  From his school days he "won his way into the hearts of the people by his own sterling qualities."  Christian Victor was a "crack football player and cricketer."   He entered the British Army in 18988, and worked his way from "brevet rank to that of Major," having provided "valuable service: in the Miranzi, Isazai, Ashanti and Sudan campaigns."
One war correspondent in South Africa noted the Prince's unflagging willingness to work."  he watched the Prince for several hours one day as Christian Victor pushed mules "up a gangway of the army transport."
Only a week ago did the news of his illness reach London.   Prince Christian Victor was 33 and unmarried.  His body will probably be brought home and be buried at Windsor.
Queen Victoria is "said to feel her loss keenly."

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