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Later in 1899 Alfred's uncle the Duke of Connaught and his son Prince Arthur of Connaught renounced their succession rights to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
More DetailsHide DetailsAs a result, his first cousin Prince Charles Edward, Duke of Albany, became heir presumptive.
As a male-line grandson of the British Sovereign, young Alfred bore the royal arms, with an inescutcheon of the shield of Saxony, all differenced by a label argent of five points, the odd bearing crosses gules and even anchors azure.
On 28 January 1895, the Court Circular published the following: “We are informed that a marriage has been arranged between his Royal Highness Prince Alfred of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, only son of their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and grandson of Her Majesty, and Her Royal Highness the Duchess Elsa Matilda Marie, elder twin daughter of the late Duke William Eugene of Württemberg by his marriage with the Grand Duchess Vera of Russia.” The marriage never occurred.
More DetailsHide DetailsThe exact circumstances of Alfred's death are not known, and varying accounts have been published. His sister Marie's memoirs simply say his health "broke down", and other writers have said that he had "consumption". The Times published an account stating he had died of a tumor, while the Complete Peerage gives the generally accepted account that he "shot himself". Various authors have speculated on reasons why he may have killed himself, and one author, Frank Bush, claimed to have been a descendant of a secret marriage between Alfred and Mabel Fitzgerald, granddaughter of the 4th Duke of Leinster, and claimed that friction between Alfred and his family over the "secret marriage" was the cause of the suicide. Despite the lack of documentary evidence, and the lack of contemporary reference, other authors have repeated Bush's assertion that Alfred and Mabel married, including John van der Kiste and Bee Jordaan in Dearest Affie, and the assertion is repeated as fact in the official family history (Das Haus von Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha).
He was baptised in the Lower Bow Room of Buckingham Palace 23 November 1874 by Archibald Tait, Archbishop of Canterbury and his godparents were the Queen of the United Kingdom, the Emperor of Russia (Alfred's maternal grandfather Alexander II, whose son Czarevich Alexander stood proxy for him), the German Emperor (for whom Alfred's paternal uncle Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn stood proxy), the German Crown Princess (Alfred's paternal aunt, for whom her sister Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein stood proxy), the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (his paternal grand-uncle, for whom Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein stood proxy), and the Prince of Wales (his paternal uncle).
More DetailsHide DetailsIn 1893, his granduncle, Ernest II, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, brother of his paternal grandfather, died childless. Being ineligible under Duchy law to occupy the ducal throne due to his status as the heir apparent to an existing throne, the Prince of Wales had previously renounced his claim to the ducal throne of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Thus, the duchy devolved upon Alfred's father, who was at that time the Duke of Edinburgh. Alfred thus became styled HRH The Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
Prince Alfred had lived in Clarence House in the early years of his life with his parents and sisters; after his father's accession to the ducal throne of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, he moved to Schloss Rosenau, near Coburg.
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