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In Honour Bound

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 Princess Andrew of Greece & Denmark  

In April 1947, Alice came to England for the forthcoming wedding of her only son - Philip (b.1921), who by this time had renounced his Greek and Danish titles and took the name Philip Mountbatten.  On the eve of his marriage to Princess Elizabeth, the Heiress Presumptive of King George VI (1895(1936-1952), who would later succeed as Queen Elizabeth II (1926(1952-    ) Philip was created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth & Baron Greenwich, with the qualification of Royal HighnessThe marriage ceremony took place on 20th November 1947 at Westminster Abbey, London. Alice gave her son some of her last remaining jewels to make the engagement ring - which was made by the London jeweller Philip Antrobus Ltd, from a design by Prince Philip himself. Sadly hardly any of Prince Philip’s immediate family attended as it was decided not to invite his sisters because of post-war anti-German feelings. The ring is a platinum ring - set with eleven diamonds, a 3 carat solitaire and five smaller stones set on each shoulder. The wedding certainly brought colour and a glimmer of hope to many in post-War austerity Europe.

 

 

ABOVE: Princess Elizabeth

(now Queen Elizabeth II)

& Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

RIGHT: The engagement ring of

Queen Elizabeth II

 

A photograph from the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II & Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.  

Alice is standing next to Queen Mary at the front left.  Far right is Victoria, The Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven

(Prince Philip's grandmother) who is standing next to Queen Elizabeth (later The Queen Mother)

 

Alice - Mother Superior Alice-Elizabeth 

 

The Church of St Mary Magdalene

on the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem

In January 1949, the Alice founded a nursing Order of Greek Orthodox nuns - the Christian Sisterhood of Martha and Mary, modelled after the convent that her aunt - Grand Duchess Elisabeth 'Ella' Feodorovna of Russia, formerly Princess Elisabeth of Hesse & By the Rhine (1864-1918) and who later became a Holy Martyr, had founded in Russia in 1909.  She raised funds in America and sold the last of her jewels for the Order and bought premises in Athens and became known as Mother Superior Alice-Elizabeth, deciding to wear a grey nun’s habit.  However, the Order eventually was wound up due to the lack of suitable applicants but the orphanage she founded is still in use today as a community centre.  At the Coronation of her daughter-in-law - Queen Elizabeth II (1926(1952-    ) on 2nd June 1953, Alice attended in her habit (in sheer contrast to the tiaras, medals, uniforms and ermine) and led members of the Mountbatten family in the processional in the Abbey. 


On 21st April 1967, just weeks before the scheduled elections in Greece, a group of right-wing Army officers seized power in a coup d'état - called 'The Colonel’s Coup'. Alice (along with the rest of the Greek Royal Family) were forced to flee Greece.  Her great-nephew - King Constantine II, the King of the Hellenes (b.1940) left Greece soon after and went into exile after the failure of a counter-coup.  By this time Alice’s health was of concern and she was invited by Prince Philip and The Queen to reside permanently at Buckingham Palace, London - where she stayed until her death on 5th December 1969.  Her only possessions were 3 dressing-gowns.
 

 

Alice's grave at The Church of St Mary Magdalene

on the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem

Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh & his sister - 

Princess Sophie, Princess George William of Hanover

planting a tree at Vad Yashem in honour of their mother

On 31st October 1994, a ceremony was held at Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Memorial) on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem to be honoured as Righteous Among The Nations - an honour given by the State of Israel to describe non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis.  The ceremony was attended by her son - Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh (b.1921) and her only living daughter - Princess George William of Hanover, formerly Princess Sophie of Greece & Denmark (1914-2001).

Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge (b.1982) visited the grave of his great-grandmother in June 2018.  He was the first member of the British Royal Family to undertake an official visit to the State of Israel.  However, his father - Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales (b.1948) did visit the grave in October 2016, whilst he was in Jerusalem attending the State funeral of the former President - Shimon Peres

(1923-2016).

 

FAR RIGHT:

Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge

visited the grave of Alice,

Princess Andrew of Greece & Denmark

(his great-grandmother)

whilst on an official visit to Israel in 2018

 

Prior to her death, Alice made it clear that she wished to be buried at the Church of St Mary Magdalene, near the Garden of Gethsemene, on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, Israel. This Russian Orthodox church was built by Tsar Alexander III of Russia (1845-1894) in honour of his mother and was the last resting place of her aunt - Grand Duchess Elisabeth 'Ella' Feodorovna of Russia, formerly Princess Elisabeth of Hesse & By the Rhine (1864-1918) who later became a Holy Martyr. Initially her remains were kept in the Royal Crypt under St George’s Chapel, at Windsor Castle, but on 3rd August 1988, Alice’s remains were transferred to the crypt under the Church of St Mary Magdalene in accordance with her wishes.