Alexander I & IV

From Roses, Tulips, & Liberty
Alexander I & IV
Portrait painted in 1880 by Albert Dawe
Reign28 December 1878 - 22 April 1896
Coronation25 January 1879
PredecessorEdward VII
SuccessorElizabeth III
Reign1878 – 1896
Born18 January 1827
Hampton Court Palace, London, Britain
Died22 April 1896
Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire, Britain
Burial8 May 1896
St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
SpouseJulia Campion (1841-1916) (m. 1873)
FatherErnest I
MotherCharlotte Sophia of Pomerania

Alexander I & IV (Alexander Victor; 1824-1878), was the King of the United Kingdom from 1878 until his death in 1896. He came to the throne in the aftermath of the assassination of his brother, Edward VII. While his youth would be plagued by serval major scandals, he was a moderately popular king, albeit in spite of his reactionary conservatism. He would be succeeded by his niece, Elizabeth III.


Prince Alexander Victor was born on January 18, 1827, to King Ernest I and Queen Charlotte at Hampton Court Palace. He was Ernest’s fourth child and second son. On his 13th birthday, he would be created Duke of York and Albany, and at age eighteen, he joined the Royal Navy as an officer. Alexander’s time in the Navy went fairly smoothly with him serving in the North Sea theater of the Canton War and making several lifelong friends. One of those friends was Patrick Conner who introduced Alexander to his sister, Sally Conner, who the prince would begin a relationship with. Sally despite loving the prince, felt she could not handle the restrictions that would come along with her relationship with him and broke things off. At first, the prince would not accept this and tried numerous times to change her mind. When the newspapers caught wind of this, they published a story that portrayed Sally as an immoral woman who had seduced the Duke of York for her own gain. Alexander was enraged and sent a blistering letter to that newspaper, telling them if they did not print a retraction, he would use his influence to shut them down. The damage was done and Sally received many hate letters and harassment before she finally had enough and committed suicide in 1854. Alexander was devastated and he would always blame himself for what happened to her, citing she was the love of his life and he should have accepted her wishes.

After this controversy and his honorable discharge from the Navy, his parents would engage him to Princess Maximiliana of Saxony. However, just days before she was to leave for Britain the princess was discovered to be pregnant by an Austrian Army Officer. When this scandal was unveiled the engagement would be broken off and after giving birth the princess would be forced into a Convent. After the scandal, Alexander would no longer be heavily pressured by his parents to marry and he would eventually enter a Morganatic marriage with the Welsh actress Julia Campion. They would have ten children together to who would be given the surname of FitzYork (with the exception of the three daughters born after his accession, who were named FitzAlexander) as well as places in the aristocracy, but they would not be elliable to inherit the throne.

In 1878, he would unexpectedly accent to the throne after the assassination of his elder brother Edward by the members of the Communard organization “The People’s Indomitable Will”. Somewhat controversial, he would choose to use the regal name “Alexander I & IV” out of respect for the three kings of Scotland that were named Alexander, despite all British monarchs before him only counting the Kings of England in their regal number. Alexander was greatly intimidated by his brother’s death at the hands of Communards and he quickly established himself as a reactionary. He openly expressed support for the conservative party and resisted calls for greater democratization and suffrage both at home and in the colonies.

In spite of his conservatism, he would completely divorce himself from politics and rarely spent time with his ministers, except to greet them when appointing them. He made few public appearances with his appearance at receptions and events being short and distant. Alexander also promoted agriculture, science, and the arts. Much like his brother he also found a pastime in painting and would paint several notable pieces of art that he would put on display in the British National Museum of Art. Alexander would pass away whilst on a brief respite from duties at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, from a fever contracted from his insistence on taking a brisk morning ride despite it being unseasonably cold for the time of year. As this was a sudden death, he died with only his staff around him, with his youngest daughter, Lady Caroline FitzAlexander, being the first to arrive, mere minutes after he breathed his last. As had been agreed upon, he would be succeeded by the eldest of his brother Alfred’s four daughters, Elizabeth Georgiana Augusta.


  • Paternal great-grandparents:
    • George I (1743-1804)
    • Lady Barbara Beauclerk-Lennox (1750-1819)
  • Paternal grandparents:
    • King George II (1779-1821)
    • Wilhelmina Marianne of the Netherlands (1782-1858)
  • Father: Ernest I (1779-1821)
  • Mother: Charlotte Sophia of Pomerania (1796-1877)
  • Spouse: Julia Campion (1841-1916)
  • Siblings:
    • Charlotte of Great Britain, Landgravine of Hesse-Kassel (Charlotte Sophia Augusta) (1822-1897)
    • Edward VII (Edward Augustus) (1824-1878),
    • Wilhelmina of Great Britain, Duchess of Saxe-Altenburg (Wilhelmina Augusta) (1825-1889)
    • Prince Alfred, Duke of Clarence and St Andrews (Alfred Augustus) (1827-1880)
    • Princess Henrietta of Great Britain (Henrietta Adelaide) (1829-1910)
    • Prince William, Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale (William Henry) (1831-1893)
    • Princess Amelia of Great Britain (Amelia Louise) (1832-1877)
    • Prince Adolphus, Duke of Sussex (Adolphus Frederick) (1834-1903)
    • Prince Lionel, Duke of Cambridge (Lionel Benedict) (1836-1911)
    • Princess Philippa of Great Britain, Duchess of Grafton (Philippa Augusta) (1837-1933)
  • Children:
    • Alexander FitzYork, 1st Duke of Berwick (1874-1942)
    • Charlotte Hay, Countess of Erroll (1875-1950)
    • Lady Sally FitzYork (1876-1960)
    • Lord Ernest FitzYork (1876-1919)
    • George FitzYork, 1st Earl of Munster (1878-1966)
    • Julia Cary, Viscountess Falkland (1878-1959)
    • Augustus FitzYork, 1st Duke of Albemarle (1878-1927)
    • Lady Sophia Hay Jenkinson (1879-1968)
    • Mary Granville, Baroness of Lansdowne (1880-1952)
    • Lady Caroline FitzAlexander (1881-1970)

Titles and honours

  • 1827-1840: His Royal Highness Prince Alexander Victor of the United Kingdom
  • 1840-1878: His Royal Highness the Duke of York and Albany
  • 1878-1878: His Majesty the King

The official style of Alexander I & IV was king was "Alexander the first of England and fourth of Scotland, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India, etc.".

See also