Albert Edward, Alexandra of Denmark, Francis of Teck, King Christian IX of Denmark, King Edward VII of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, King Haakon VII of Norway, Louise of Hesse-Cassel, Prince Carl of Denmark, Princess Maud, Princess Maud of Wales, Queen of Norway
Maud of Wales, (Maud Charlotte Mary Victoria; November 26, 1869 – November 20, 1938) was Queen of Norway as spouse of King Haakon VII. She was the youngest daughter of the British king Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark. Maud of Wales was the first queen of Norway in over five centuries who was not also queen of Denmark or Sweden.
Maud was born on at Marlborough House, London. She was the third daughter and fifth child of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, the eldest son of Queen Victoria, and Alexandra, Princess of Wales, the eldest daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark and Louise of Hesse-Cassel.
She was christened “Maud Charlotte Mary Victoria” at Marlborough House by John Jackson, Bishop of London, on December 24, 1869. Her godparents were her paternal uncle Prince Leopold, for whom the Duke of Cambridge stood proxy; Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Hesse-Kassel, for whom Prince Francis of Teck stood proxy; Count Gleichen; the Duchess of Nassau, for whom Princess Francis of Teck stood proxy; King Carl XV of Sweden, for whom Baron Hochschild, the Swedish minister, stood proxy; Princess Marie of Leiningen, for whom Princess Claudine of Teck stood proxy; her maternal aunt the Tsarevna of Russia for whom Baroness de Brunnow stood proxy; Crown Princess Louise of Denmark, for whom Madame de Bülow, the Danish Minister’s wife, stood proxy; and her great-grand aunt the Duchess of Inverness.
The tomboyish Maud was known as “Harry” to the royal family, after Edward VII’s friend Admiral Henry Keppel, whose conduct in the Crimean War was considered particularly courageous at the time. Maud took part in almost all the annual visits to the Princess of Wales’s family gatherings in Denmark and later accompanied her mother and sisters on cruises to Norway and the Mediterranean. She was a bridesmaid at the 1885 wedding of her paternal aunt Beatrice to Prince Henry of Battenberg, and at the wedding of her brother George to Mary of Teck in 1893.
Maud, along with her sisters, Victoria and Louise, received the Imperial Order of the Crown of India from their grandmother Queen Victoria on August 6, 1887. Like her sisters, she also held the Royal Order of Victoria and Albert (First Class) and was a Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.
Maud married relatively late, waiting until her late twenties to find a husband. She had initially wanted to marry a distant cousin, Prince Francis of Teck, younger brother of her sister-in-law Princess Mary. Despite being relatively impoverished from mounting gambling debts and being in a position to possibly benefit from Maud’s status, he ignored her advances.
On July 22, 1896, Princess Maud married her first cousin, Prince Carl of Denmark, in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace. Prince Carl was the second son of Queen Alexandra’s eldest brother, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, (future King Frederik VIII) and Princess Louise of Sweden, the only surviving child of Carl XV of Sweden and his consort, Louise of the Netherlands
The bride’s father gave them Appleton House on the Sandringham Estate as a country residence for her frequent visits to England. It was there that the couple’s only child, Prince Alexander, was born on July 2, 1903 in Sandringham. Maud was known to participate in tightlacing (as did all her sisters) and had an 18” waist. It was because of this small waist, she was rumoured to be infertile after giving birth to only one child.
Prince Carl served as an officer in the Royal Danish Navy and he and his family lived mainly in Denmark until 1905. In June 1905 the Norwegian Storting, dissolved Norway’s 91-year-old union with Sweden and voted to offer the throne to Prince Carl of Denmark. Maud’s membership of the British royal house had some part in why Carl was chosen.
The democratically minded Carl, aware that Norway was still debating whether to remain a kingdom or to switch instead to a republican system of government, was flattered by the Norwegian government’s overtures, but he made his acceptance of the offer conditional on the holding of a referendum to show whether monarchy was the choice of the Norwegian people.
After the referendum overwhelmingly confirmed by a 79 percent majority (259,563 votes for and 69,264 against) that Norwegians desired to retain a monarchy, Prince Carl was formally offered the throne of Norway by the Storting (parliament) and was elected on November 18, 1905. When Carl accepted the offer that same evening (after the approval of his grandfather Christian IX of Denmark), he immediately endeared himself to his adopted country by taking the Old Norse name of Haakon, a name which had not been used by kings of Norway for over 500 years. In so doing, he succeeded his maternal great-uncle, Oscar II of Sweden, who had abdicated the Norwegian throne in October following the agreement between Sweden and Norway on the terms of the separation of the union.
The new royal family of Norway left Denmark on the Danish royal yacht Dannebrog and sailed into Oslofjord. At Oscarsborg Fortress, they boarded the Norwegian naval ship Heimdal. After a three-day journey, they arrived in Kristiania (now Oslo) early on the morning of November 25, 1905. Two days later, Haakon took the oath as Norway’s first independent king in 518 years. The coronation of Haakon and Maud took place in Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim on June 22, 1906.