Princess 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. Princess Rhine

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.
Princess Irene of Hesse and by Rhine's personal information overview.
11 July 1866
Death Place
West Germany

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  • 1953
    Age 86
    Irene herself died in 1953, leaving her estate to her granddaughter.
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  • 1945
    Age 78
    Irene grieved terribly when her haemophiliac eldest son, Waldemar, became ill in 1945 and died due to the lack of blood for a transfusion.
  • 1920
    Age 53
    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.
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  • 1913
    Age 46
    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.
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  • 1912
    Age 45
    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.
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  • 1907
    Age 40
    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.
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  • 1894
    Age 27
    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.
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  • 1892
    Age 25
    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.
  • 1889
    Age 22
    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.
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  • 1888
    Age 21
    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.
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  • 1885
    Age 18
    With her sister Alix, Irene was a bridesmaid at the 1885 wedding of their maternal aunt, Princess Beatrice to Prince Henry of Battenberg.
  • 1884
    Age 17
    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.
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  • 1878
    Age 11
    In the autumn of 1878 Irene, her siblings (except for Elizabeth) and her father became ill with diphtheria.
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  • 1873
    Age 6
    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.
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  • 1866
    Born on July 11, 1866.
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