Princess Margaret of Connaught

Princess Margaret of Connaught
Princess Margaret of Connaught
Crown Princess of Sweden;
Duchess of Scania
Spouse Gustaf Adolf, Crown Prince of Sweden
Prince Gustav Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten
Prince Sigvard, Duke of Uppland
Ingrid, Queen of Denmark
Prince Bertil, Duke of Halland
Count Carl Johan, Bernadotte af Wisborg
Full name
Margaret Victoria Charlotte Augusta Norah
House House of Bernadotte
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Father Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
Mother Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia
Born 15 January 1882(1882-01-15)
United Kingdom Bagshot Park, Surrey
Died 1 May 1920(1920-05-01) (aged 38)
Sweden Stockholm
Princess Margaret's coat of arms.

Princess Margaret of Connaught (Margaret Victoria Charlotte Augusta Norah; later Crown Princess of Sweden; 15 January 1882 – 1 May 1920) was the daughter of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, third son of Queen Victoria, and his wife, Princess Luise Margarete of Prussia. A Princess of the United Kingdom, she was nicknamed Daisy and in Sweden was known as Margareta.[1]


Early life

The Princess was born at Bagshot Park and baptised in the Private Chapel of Windsor Castle on 11 March 1882 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Archibald Tait, and her godparents were: Queen Victoria (her paternal grandmother); Wilhelm I, German Emperor (her maternal great-granduncle, who was represented by the German Ambassador Count Münster); the German Crown Princess (her paternal aunt, who was represented by her own sister Princess Christian); Prince and Princess Friedrich Karl of Prussia (her maternal grandparents, for whom her paternal uncle the Duke of Edinburgh and aunt Princess Beatrice stood proxy) and the Prince of Wales (her paternal uncle).[2] She was confirmed in the same chapel in March 1898, aged 16. Confirmation traditionally marked the end of childhood, after which a girl would 'come out' and be considered for marriage.


When Princess Margaret of Connaught was 23 and her younger sister Princess Patricia of Connaught was 18, both girls were among the most beautiful and eligible princesses in Europe. Their uncle, King Edward VII, wanted his nieces to marry a European king or crown prince. In January 1905, the Duke and Duchess of Connaught visited Portugal where they were received by King Carlos and his queen, Amélie of Orléans, whose sons Luís Filipe, Duke of Braganza, and Prince Manuel entertained the young British princesses. The Portuguese expected one of the Connaught princesses would become the future Queen of Portugal. Then the Connaughts visited Spain, where Patricia was expected to be King Alfonso XIII's future wife (later, Alfonso married another granddaughter of Queen Victoria, Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg). But neither of these expectations would become true; Margaret and Patricia had other destinies.

The Connaughts continued their trip to Egypt and Sudan. In Cairo they met Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden, the future Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden, grandson of the Swedish King Oscar II. Originally, it was Margaret's sister Patricia who had been considered a suitable match for Gustaf, when he was, as it is believed, arranged without his knowledge to meet the two sisters[3]. Gustaf and Margaret fell in love at first sight. Prince Gustaf proposed at a dinner held by Lord Cromer at the British Consulate in Egypt, and was accepted. Margaret had certainly fallen completely in love with Gustaf. Her parents were very happy with the match even though the Prince was ten months younger than his bride. Prince Gustaf was short of sight and used spectacles; he was "tall, dark, well informed, fond of music, an excellent shot and a good dancer". Gustaf and Margaret married on 15 June 1905 in St. George's Chapel, at Windsor Castle. The couple spent their honeymoon in Ireland, and arived in Sweden the 8 July 1905.

She became the first wife of Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden and his Duchess of Scania on 15 June 1905. When Gustaf Adolf's father Gustav V acceeded to the throne as King in 1907, the couple became Crown Prince and Princess of Sweden.

Crown Princess

The marriage between Margaret and Gustaf Adolf are described as a happy love match[4]. Gustaf Adolf felt great pressure from the "Prussian" military discipline by which he had been brought of by his mother, and he was greatly affected and attracted to Margaret's English customs, which contrasted to that of his mothers[5].

After her arrival in Sweden, Margaret, who in Sweden was called "Margareta", received lessons in the Swedish language, and asked to be educated in Swedish history and social welfare. After two years, she spoke good Swedish. During her first years in Sweden, Margaret behaved with great seriousness and was therefore regarded as stiff, but the view of her changed because of her great interest in sports, where she showed a more relaxed and natural manner. Margaret took a great interest in many forms of sports; she used the winters for skiing, ice skating and playing hockey, and played tennis and golf during the summers. She also corresponded with various relatives.

Margaret was also interested in art. She photographed, painted, took showed a great interest in gardening. She and her spouse as a wedding gift received Sofiero Palace, where they spent their summers and made a great effort in the gardens of the estate. The gardens of Sofiero were in an English style, and her children participated in their improvement. In 1915, Margaret as Kronprinsessan Margareta published the book Vår trädgård på Sofiero ("Our Garden at Sofiero") and two years later also Från blomstergården ("From the Flower Garden") illustrated with her own drawings and photographs, which were sold for the benefit of household schools with childcare.

During World War I, Margaret created a sewing society in Sweden to support the Red Cross. The society was called Kronprinsessans Centralförråd för landstormsmäns beklädnad och utrustning ("The Crown Princess' Central storage for clothing and equipment of the home guard"), which was to equip the Swedish armed forces with suitable underwear. When paraffin supplies ran low she organized a candle collection and in November 1917 she instituted a scheme to train girls to work on the land. She also acted as intermediary for relatives separated by the war. With her help, private letters and requests to trace men missing in action were passed on. She was also active in her work on behalf of prisoners. She aided prisoners of war in camps around Europe, especially British nationals. Margaret's efforts during the war were pro-British, in contrast to that of her mother-in-law's strictly pro-German attitude. In 1917, Margaret organized Margaretainsamlingen för de de fattiga ("The Margaret fundraiser for the poor"). At the end of the war, when the final steps towards full democracy were taken in Sweden, Margaret's positive attitude to reform influenced her husband the Crown Prince. Unlike the attitude of her reform-hostile in-laws, King Gustaf and Queen Victoria, this is believed to have eased political tensions and preserved the Swedish monarchy.[6].


Margareta's, Gustaf Adolf's and Louise's grave on Karlsborg Island in Solna, Sweden

On 1 May 1920, Princess Margaret died suddenly in Stockholm. The official announcement said infection set in following a mastoid operation. At the time, she was eight months pregnant and expecting her sixth child.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 15 January 1882 – 15 June 1905: Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret of Connaught
  • 15 June 1905 – 8 December 1907: Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Scania
  • 8 December 1907 – 1 May 1920: Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Sweden


VA: Member Second Class of the Royal Order of Victoria and Albert
CI: Companion of the Order of the Star of India
DJStJ: Dame of Justice of St John


Upon her marriage in 1905, Princess Margaret ceased to use the arms of the United Kingdom, with an inescutcheon of Saxony, the whole differenced by a label argent of five points, the first and fifth bearing fleurs-de-lys azure, the second and fourth shamrocks vert, and the central point a cross gules. In 1917, the inescutcheon was dropped by royal warrant from George V.[7] Instead she used the arms of a Princess of Sweden and Duchess of Scania.


Name Birth Death Notes
Prince Gustav Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten 22 April 1906 26 January 1947 Father of Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.
Prince Sigvard, Duke of Uppland 7 June 1907 4 February 2002 Later Count Sigvard Bernadotte af Wisborg.
Princess Ingrid 28 March 1910 7 November 2000 Later Queen of Denmark; mother of the present Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and ex Queen Anne-Marie of Greece.
Prince Bertil, Duke of Halland 28 February 1912 5 January 1997 Married Lilian Davies; no issue.
Prince Carl Johan, Duke of Dalarna 31 October 1916 Later Count Carl Johan Bernadotte af Wisborg, married twice, had adopted issue. He is the last living great-grandchild of Queen Victoria & Albert, Prince Consort

Princess Margaret was a grandmother of the current King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf, as well as of her namesake, the current Queen of Denmark, Margrethe II, and of the former Queen of Greece, Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark.



  1. ^ Från blomstergården (From the Flower Garden) a book by Margareta kronprinsessa av Sverige published by Norstedts in 1917
  2. ^ Yvonne's Royalty Home Page — Royal Christenings
  3. ^ Lars Elgklou (Swedish): Bernadotte. Historien - och historier - om en familj (English: "Bernadotte. The history - and stories - of a family") Askild & Kärnekull Förlag AB, Stockholm 1978. ISBN 91 7008 882 9.
  4. ^ Lars Elgklou (Swedish): Bernadotte. Historien - och historier - om en familj (English: "Bernadotte. The history - and stories - of a family") Askild & Kärnekull Förlag AB, Stockholm 1978. ISBN 91 7008 882 9.
  5. ^ Lars Elgklou (Swedish): Bernadotte. Historien - och historier - om en familj (English: "Bernadotte. The history - and stories - of a family") Askild & Kärnekull Förlag AB, Stockholm 1978. ISBN 91 7008 882 9.
  6. ^ (Swedish) Lars Elgklou, Bernadotte. Historien - och historier - om en familj. Askild & Kärnekull Förlag AB, Stockholm. 1978. ISBN 91-7008-882-9.
  7. ^ Heraldica – British Royalty Cadency

External links

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