This month, I’ll be featuring Queen Victoria’s children (mostly her daughters).
Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, was the fourth daughter and sixth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. She defied the role of “princess” a bit by becoming an artist, sculptor and architect.
She was born at Buckingham palace in 1848 and spent most of her childhood hopping around the palace as well as Windsor Castle and Balmoral Castle. Rough. Her family called her “Little Miss Why” because of her curious nature.
When her father died in 1861, the entire royal family went into an intense mourning period (Victoria spent the rest of her life in mourning). They became so morose, Louise was eventually so fed up with a house full of black-clad downers, that on her 17th birthday she begged to open the ballroom for a big party. Denied. Arguments ensued, and Victoria was said to be incredibly irritated with the matter AND her daughter.
Louise eventually fell in love with and married John Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll in 1871. It started off pretty good, but they drifted apart for some time. Eventually they reconnected in 1911. When he died a few years later, she was devastated.
She is often referred to as Victoria’s “rebel” daughter due to some unconfirmed rumors that Louise gave birth to an illegitimate child at the age of 18 -and- that she supposedly had an affair with her mentor, sculptor Edgar Boehm. Boehm died at the age of 56 of a stroke while in his studio. The rebel Princess was the only person with him at the time. Rumors said that he had died while making love to the very gorgeous Louise.
So back to the illegitimate child… Queen Victoria’s obstetrician was Sir Charles Locock (unfortunate last name). Locock adopted a baby boy named Henry in 1867. When Henry grew up, he told everyone that he was Louise’s son. Scandal! In 2004, his descendants asked for DNA testing, but they were denied access by the Court of Arches. They wanted to compare his DNA with that of Louise’s niece, Tzarina Alexandra of Russia.
In 1939, Louise died at Kensington palace at the age of 91 where a marble statue of her mother (that Louise sculpted) still remains.
There’s a great article on her here: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/dec/29/mystery-of-princess-louise-review
Another one here: http://www.unofficialroyalty.com/march-18-1948-birth-of-the-princess-louise-duchess-of-argyll/