King George I of Greece, Louis Mountbatten, Louis of Batenberg, Prince Alice of Battenberg, Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom
Princess Alice of Battenberg (Victoria Alice Elizabeth Julia Marie; February 25, 1885 – December 5, 1969) was the mother of Prince Philip and mother-in-law of Queen Elizabeth II.
Alice was born in the Tapestry Room at Windsor Castle in Berkshire in the presence of her great-grandmother, Queen Victoria. She was the eldest child of Prince Louis of Battenberg and his wife, Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine. Her mother was the eldest daughter of Ludwig IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine and and Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, Queen Victoria’s second daughter.
Her father was the eldest son of Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine through his morganatic marriage to Countess Julia Hauke, who was created Princess of Battenberg in 1858 by Ludwig III, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine. Her three younger siblings, Louise (later became Queen of Sweden), George, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven, and Louis, Earl Mountbatten of Burma and the last British Viceroy of India.
Princess Alice met Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark (known as Andrea within the family), the fourth son of King George I of Greece and Olga Constantinovna of Russia, while in London for King Edward VII’s coronation in 1902. They married in a civil ceremony on October 6, 1903 at Darmstadt. The following day, there were two religious marriage ceremonies; one Lutheran in the Evangelical Castle Church, and one Greek Orthodox in the Russian Chapel on the Mathildenhöhe. She adopted the style of her husband, becoming “Princess Andrew”.
The bride and groom were closely related to the ruling houses of the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, Denmark, and Greece, and their wedding was one of the great gatherings of the descendants of Queen Victoria and Christian IX of Denmark held before World War I. Prince and Princess Andrew had five children, all of whom later had children of their own. Her youngest child and only son is HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, husband to HM Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.
The royal couple lived in Greece until the exile of most of the Greek royal family in 1917. On returning to Greece a few years later, her husband was blamed in part for the country’s defeat in the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922), and the family was once again forced into exile until the restoration of the Greek monarchy in 1935.
In 1930, she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was committed to a sanatorium in Switzerland; thereafter, she lived separately from her husband. After her recovery, she devoted most of her remaining years to charity work in Greece. She stayed in Athens during the Second World War, sheltering Jewish refugees, for which she is recognised as “Righteous Among the Nations” by Israel’s Holocaust memorial institution, Yad Vashem. After the war, she stayed in Greece and founded a Greek Orthodox nursing order of nuns known as the Christian Sisterhood of Martha and Mary.
After the fall of King Constantine II of Greece and the imposition of military rule in Greece in 1967, she was invited by her son and daughter-in-law to live at Buckingham Palace in London, where she died two years later. In 1988, her remains were transferred from a vault in her birthplace, Windsor Castle, to the Church of Mary Magdalene at the Russian Orthodox convent of the same name on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.