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Princess Patricia of Connaught (Victoria Patricia Helena Elizabeth; later Lady Patricia Ramsay; 17 March 1886 – 12 January 1974) was a member of the British Royal Family, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. She relinquished her title of a British princess and the style of Her Royal Highness upon her marriage to the commoner Alexander Ramsay.

The Canadian Forces infantry regiment, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, was named in her honour.

Early life

Princess Patricia — "Patsy" to family and friends — was born on 17 March 1886, St Patrick's Day, at Buckingham Palacemarker in Londonmarker. Her father was Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, the third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Her mother was Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia. She had two elder siblings, Prince Arthur of Connaught and Princess Margaret of Connaught, later Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden. She was christened Victoria Patricia Helena Elizabeth at Bagshot Park on 1 May 1886 and her godparents were Queen Victoria, Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, the Hereditary Grand Duchess of Oldenburg, Prince Wilhelm of Prussia, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Prince Albrecht of Prussia. She was named Victoria after Queen Victoria; Patricia, after Saint Patrick, the saint of her birthday; and Helena, in honour of her father's sister.


Princess Patricia travelled extensively in her early years. Her father, the Duke of Connaught, was posted to India with the army, and the young Princess spent two years living there. Connaught Place, the central business locus of New Delhi, is named for the Duke. In 1911, the Duke was appointed Governor General of Canada. Princess Patricia accompanied her parents to Canada, and she became popular there.

She was named Colonel-in-Chief of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry on 22 February 1918 and held that appointment until her death. The regiment was named after her. Princess Patricia personally designed the badge and colours for the regiment to take overseas to France. As the regiment's Colonel-in-Chief, she played an active role until her death. She was succeeded in 1974 by her cousin and goddaughter Patricia (the Rt. Hon. Lady Brabourne), who became the Countess Mountbatten of Burma, who asked that the men and women of her regiment discount her titles and refer to her in honour of her predecessor as Lady Patricia.


The question of Patricia's marriage was a hot topic of conversation in Edwardian times. She was matched with various foreign royals, including the King of Spain and the future King of Portugal; the future Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Grand Duke Michael of Russia, younger brother of Tsar Nicholas II.

In the end, however, Patricia chose a commoner rather than a husband of royal blood. She married naval Commander (later Admiral) The Hon. Alexander Ramsay (29 May 1881 – 8 October 1972), one of her father's aides de camp, and third son of the Earl of Dalhousie. She was married at Westminster Abbeymarker on 27 February 1919. On her wedding day, Princess Patricia of Connaught voluntarily relinquished the style of Royal Highness and the title of Princess of Great Britain and Ireland and assumed the style of Lady Patricia Ramsay with precedence immediately before the Marchionesses of England.

Cdr Alexander Ramsay and Lady Patricia Ramsay had one child:

Later life

Despite her relinquishment of her royal title, Lady Patricia remained a member of the British Royal Family, remained in the line of succession, and attended all major royal events including weddings, funerals, and the coronations of George VI and Elizabeth II in 1937 and 1953 respectively.

Lady Patricia was an accomplished artist specializing in watercolours, in 1959 she was made an honorary member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours. Much of her work was inspired by her travel in tropical countries. Her style was influenced by Gauguin and Van Gogh, because she had studied under A.S. Hartrick who had known the artists. She died at Ribsden Holtmarker, Windleshammarker, Surreymarker before her 88th birthday and a year and a half after her husband. She was the younger one of only two surviving female grandchildren of Queen Victoria, the other one being Princess Alice.Lady Patricia Ramsay and Admiral Alexander Ramsay are buried at Frogmoremarker Royal Burial Ground, directly behind the Royal Mausoleum of her grandparents Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, in Windsor Great Park.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 17 March 1886 – 27 February 1919: Her Royal Highness Princess Patricia of Connaught
  • 27 February 1919 – 12 January 1974: Lady Patricia Ramsay



her marriage in 1919, Lady Patricia was granted arms as a male-line grandchild of a British monarch. Her arms are those of the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom with a label for difference, blazoned thus:Quarterly (by quarters):

1st and 4th, Gules three Lions passant guardant in pale Or (England). (The first and fourth quarters display the three lions, representing England.)
2nd quarter is Or a lion rampant within a Double Tressure flory counterflory Gules (Scotland). (The second quarter displays a red lion in a yellow field with a double border coloured red with red fleurs-de-lys, representing Scotland.)
3rd, Azure a Harp Or stringed Argent (Ireland). (The third quarter shows a golden harp with silver strings against a blue background, representing Ireland.)

The whole differenced by a Label of five points Argent, first and fifth with a cross gules, the others fleurs-de-lys azure.



  • Marlene A. Eilers, Queen Victoria's Descendants, (New York: Atlantic International Publishing, 1987).
  • Allison Weir, Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy (London: Palmico, 1996).
  • "Obituary: Lady Patricia Ramsay, Granddaughter of Queen Victoria," The Times, 14 January 1974, p. 14.

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