Princess Irene of Hesse and by Rhine

Princess Irene of Hesse and by Rhine

Daughter of Ludwig Iv + Grand Duke of Hesse and By Rhine and Princess Alice of the United Kingdom + Wife of Prince Albert Wilhelm Heinrich of Prussia.
Born Jul 11, 1866

Princess Irene of Hesse and by Rhine (11 July 1866 – 11 November 1953) was the third child and third daughter of Princess Alice of the United Kingdom and Ludwig IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine. Her maternal grandparents were Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert. Her paternal grandparents were Prince Charles of Hesse and by Rhine and Princess Elizabeth of Prussia. She was the wife of Prince Albert Wilhelm Heinrich of Prussia, her first cousin.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Princess Irene of Hesse and by Rhine.


1866 Birth Born on July 11, 1866.
1873 6 Years Old The family was devastated in 1873 when Irene's haemophiliac younger brother Friedrich, nicknamed "Frittie," fell through an open window, struck his head on the balustrade and died hours later of a brain hemorrhage. … Read More


1878 11 Years Old In the autumn of 1878 Irene, her siblings (except for Elizabeth) and her father became ill with diphtheria. … Read More
1884 17 Years Old Irene, raised to believe in a proper Victorian code of behaviour, was easily shocked by what she saw as immorality. In 1884, the same year that her elder sister Victoria married Prince Louis of Battenberg, another sister, Elizabeth, married Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia, and when Elizabeth converted from Lutheranism to Russian Orthodoxy, in 1891, Irene was deeply upset. … Read More
1885 18 Years Old With her sister Alix, Irene was a bridesmaid at the 1885 wedding of their maternal aunt, Princess Beatrice to Prince Henry of Battenberg.


1888 21 Years Old Irene married Prince Henry of Prussia, the third child and second son of Frederick III, German Emperor and Victoria, Princess Royal on May 24, 1888 at the chapel of the Charlottenberg Palace in Berlin. … Read More
1889 22 Years Old However, Empress Victoria was shocked because Irene did not wear a shawl or scarf to disguise her pregnancy when she was pregnant with her first son, the haemophiliac Prince Waldemar, in 1889. … Read More
1892 25 Years Old In 1892, Irene's father, Grand Duke Louis IV, died, and her brother, Ernest, succeeded him as Grand Duke of Hesse, and two years later, in May 1894, Ernest Louis was married off by Queen Victoria to a first cousin, Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
1894 27 Years Old It was amidst the wedding festivities that Irene's youngest surviving sister, Alix, accepted the marriage proposal of Tsarevich Nicholas, a second cousin, and when Nicholas' father died prematurely in November 1894, Irene and her husband traveled to St. Petersburg, to be present at both the funeral and the wedding of Alix, who had taken the name Alexandra Feodorovna upon her conversion to Orthodoxy, to the new tsar, Nicholas II. … Read More


1907 41 Years Old In 1907, Irene helped arrange what later turned out to be a disastrous marriage between Elizabeth's ward, Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia, to Prince Vilhelm, Duke of Södermanland. … Read More
1912 46 Years Old In 1912, Irene was a source of support to her sister Alix when Alexei nearly died of complications of haemophilia at the Imperial Family's hunting lodge in Poland. … Read More
1913 47 Years Old When Anna Anderson surfaced in Berlin in the early 1920s, claiming to be the surviving Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, Irene visited the woman, but decided that Anderson could not be the niece she had last seen in 1913. … Read More


1920 54 Years Old Irene later adopted Sigismund's daughter, Barbara, born in 1920, as her heir after Sigismund left Germany to live in Costa Rica during the 1930s. … Read More


1945 79 Years Old Irene grieved terribly when her haemophiliac eldest son, Waldemar, became ill in 1945 and died due to the lack of blood for a transfusion.
1953 87 Years Old Irene herself died in 1953, leaving her estate to her granddaughter. … Read More
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