Victoria Fedorovna

Victoria Fedorovna

Grand Duchess of Hesse and the Rhine
Date of Birth: 25.11.1876
Country: Germany

  1. Biography of Victoria Federovna
  2. Early Life and Education
  3. Marriage to Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig
  4. Unhappy Marriage and Children

Biography of Victoria Federovna

Victoria Federovna, also known as Victoria Melita, was born on November 25, 1876, in the San Anton Palace in Malta. She was the third child and second daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, and Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna. Victoria was given her first name in honor of her English grandmother, Queen Victoria, and her second name, Melita, after one of the English names for Malta.

Early Life and Education

As a representative of the third generation of the British monarchy, Victoria was known as Her Royal Highness Princess Victoria of Edinburgh. She grew up with a typical British upbringing, loving music, art, and literature. Despite her soft and feminine appearance, she possessed a strong character. Victoria, affectionately called "Ducky" by her family, received a British education and was known for her elegant and refined style.

Marriage to Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig

In 1889, Victoria's family moved to Coburg, Germany. In 1891, Victoria accompanied her mother to Russia for the funeral of Alexandra Georgievna, the wife of her maternal uncle, Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich. It was during this visit that Victoria met her cousin, Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich. They were fond of each other, but their marriage was prohibited due to the Orthodox Church's rules against the union of first cousins.

In 1893, Duke Ernst II of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha passed away, and the duchy was inherited by Prince Alfred, Victoria's younger cousin. Victoria received the title of Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha while retaining her title as Duchess of Edinburgh.

After her sister Maria's marriage, Queen Victoria suggested that Victoria marry her grandson, Ernst Ludwig of Hesse. The queen wanted her grandchildren to marry each other, as it was allowed within Protestantism. Despite initial refusals from both Victoria and Ernst, they eventually succumbed to family pressure and married on April 9, 1894, in Coburg. The wedding was a grand affair, attended by many European royal families. Victoria became known as the Duchess of Hesse.

Unhappy Marriage and Children

Victoria and Ernst had two children together. Their daughter, Elizabeth, was born on March 11, 1895. They also had an unnamed stillborn son on May 25, 1900. However, their marriage was unhappy. Victoria complained about Ernst's lack of attention, as he devoted most of his time to their daughter. The couple held social gatherings for their young friends, excluding anyone over the age of thirty. Victoria, disinterested in her social obligations, neglected charity work and ignored letters from people who did not interest her. She often engaged in conversations with entertaining individuals at official receptions, disregarding those of higher rank whom she found boring. Victoria's negligence of her duties caused dissatisfaction from Ernst, leading to frequent arguments between the couple.