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Alfred, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Alfred Alexander William Ernest Albert; 15 October 1874 – 6 February 1899) was born a member of the British Royal Family.

Early life

Prince Alfred of Edinburgh was born on 15 October 1874 at Buckingham Palacemarker, Londonmarker.

His father was Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, second eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. His mother was Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, a daughter of Alexander II of Russia and Princess Marie of Hesse and by Rhine. He was baptised in the Lower Bow Room of Buckingham Palace 27 November 1874 by Archibald Tait, Archbishop of Canterbury and his godparents were Queen Victoria, the Tsar of Russia, the German Emperor and German Crown Princess, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and the Prince of Wales.

Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

In 1893, his granduncle, Ernst II, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, brother of his paternal grandfather, died without an heir. Being ineligible under Duchy law to occupy the ducal throne, The Prince of Wales had previously renounced his claim to the ducal throne of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, therefore the vacant duchy fell to Alfred's father, the Duke of Edinburgh. Alfred thus became styled HRH The Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

Prince Alfred had lived in Clarence Housemarker 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, he moved to Schloss Rosenau at Coburgmarker.

Later life

By 1899, Alfred began exhibiting severe symptoms of the syphilis he had acquired as a young and wild Guards officer.

It was rumoured that Alfred married Mabel Fitzgerald in Potsdam in 1898, but according to Marlene Eilers König in her book about Queen Victoria's descendants, this was untrue.

Sandner also notes that he was suffering from syphilis when he was absent from his parents’ silver wedding celebrations on 22 January 1899. The reason given was nervous depression. However he had attempted suicide by shooting himself with a revolver. For three days he was looked after at Schloss Friedenstein before being sent - badly wounded – to the Sanitorium Martinnsbrunn in Gratsch near Meranmarker in Tyrol. Alfred died there at a quarter past four on the afternoon of 6 February 1899. He was 24 years old.

His death meant the throne of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha would pass to his uncle, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught. However, the Duke of Connaught renounced his claim to the Duchy on behalf of himself and his only son, Prince Arthur of Connaught. The Dukedom passed to Prince Charles Edward, Duke of Albany (the posthumous son of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, Queen Victoria's fourth son).


Titles, styles, honours and arms


  • 15 October 1874 – 23 August 1893: His Royal Highness Prince Alfred of Edinburgh
  • 23 August 1893 – 6 February 1899: His Royal Highness The Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

British arms

As a male-line grandson of the British Sovereign, young Alfred bore the royal arms, with an inescutcheon of the shield of Saxony, all differenced by a label argent of five points, the odd bearing crosses gules and even anchors azure.


British Honours Foreign Honours


  1. Heraldica – British Royalty Cadency

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