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stories and histories MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF PRINCE ALFRED ~ 6TH FEBRUARY 1899

Mysterious death of Prince Alfred ~ 6th February 1899
Mysterious death of Prince Alfred ~ 6th February 1899

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On the 15th October 1874, Queen Victoria's second eldest son, Prince Alfred, and his wife, Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, proudly announced the birth of their first baby, a new son.

The baby boy was baptised, Prince Alfred Alexander William Ernest Albert of Edinburgh, in the Lower Bow Room of Buckingham Palace, on 23rd November 1874.
He was affectionately known as 'Young Affie'
Young Affie, would be their only son, but he did have four younger sisters~
Princess Marie.
Princess Victoria Melita.
Princess Alexandra.
Princess Beatrice.

In 1893, his granduncle, Ernest II, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, died without any legitimate heirs.
The succession devolved to Affie's father, who was at that time the Duke of Edingburgh, Affie thus became the 'Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha'.

Young Affie, had lived in Clarence House, in the early years of his life, with his parents and sisters.
After his father's accession to the ducal throne of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the family moved to Schloss Rosenau, near Coburg.

As a young man, Affie served in the Prussian 1st Foot Guards, but unlike many of his relatives, he hated military life.
It is thought that Affie may have first contracted syphilis, while serving, and this may have been a contributing factor, in his death.

In 1895, the engagement between Affie and Duchess Elsa of Württemberg.
But this marriage would never happen....

On 23rd January 1899, Affie's parents, Maria Alexandrovna, and Alfred, celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, at the Ducal seat in Gotha.
Absent from the festivities, was their only son Affie, who was gravely ill.
Affie died shortly after, on the 6th February 1899.

The exact circumstances of Affie's death are not known, and varying accounts have since been published.
His sister Marie's memoirs simply say his health "broke down", and others have said that he had "consumption".
'The Times' published an account, stating he had died of a tumor, while others give the generally accepted account, that he shot himself.

Various authors have since speculated on reasons why, he might have killed himself.
One author, Frank Bush, claimed to have been a descendant of a secret marriage between Affie and Mabel Fitzgerald, and claimed that friction between Affie and his family over the "secret marriage" was the cause of the suicide.

According to rumors, Affie shot himself with a revolver, while the rest of the family was gathered, for the anniversary celebration.
He survived, and was looked after for three days at the palace, before being sent to the Martinsbrunn Sanatorium, on his physician's advice.
Affie died there, at 4:15 pm on 6th February 1899.
He was just 24 years old.
Affie was buried in the ducal mausoleum, of the Friedhof am Glockenberg, Bavaria.


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