1st Duke of Albany (1881-1884)
Born 1853 Died 1884

Leopold George Duncan Albert, Duke of Albany, eighth child and youngest son of Queen Victoria, was born on the 7th of April 1853. The delicacy of his health seemed to mark him out for a life of retirement, and as he grew older he evinced much of the love of knowledge, the capacity for study and the interest in philanthropic and ecclesiastical movements which had characterized his father, the prince consort. He matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, in November 1872, living with his tutor at Wykeham House, St Giles's, and diligently pursued his favourite studies of science, art and the modern languages. In 1876 he left the university with the honorary degree of D.C.L., and resided at Boyton House, Wiltshire, and afterwards at Claremont.

On coming of age in 1874 he had been made a privy councillor and granted an annuity of £10,000. He travelled on the continent, and in 1880 visited the United States and Canada. He was a trustee of the British Museum, a bencher of Lincoln's Inn, and continued to take an active part in the promotion of education and knowledge generally. Like his father and other members of his family he was an excellent public speaker. On the 24th of May 1881 he was created Duke of Albany, Earl of Clarence and Baron Arklow. On the 27th of April 1882 he married Helene Frederica Augusta, Princess of Waldeck-Pyrmont, and his income was raised by parliament to £25,000.

Having gone to the south of France for his health in the spring of 1884, he was attacked by a fit, the cause or the consequence of a fall in a club-house at Cannes, on the 27th of March, and died very unexpectedly on the following morning. His death was universally regretted, from the gentleness and graciousness of his character, and the desire and ability he had shown to promote intellectual interests of every kind. He left a daughter, born in February 1883, and a posthumous son, Arthur Charles Edward, born on the 9th of July 1884, who succeeded to the dukedom of Albany, and who on the 30th of July 1900 became Duke of Saxe-Coburg on the death of his uncle.

Editor's note: Although Leopold's son is here named as Arthur Charles Edward, all other sources refer to him as being named 'Charles Edward George Albert Leopold'

Extracted from the entry for ALBANY, DUKES OF in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain.

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