Alexander, 1st Marquess of Carisbrooke
When Irene (who became styled The Marchioness of Carisbrooke) subsequently became pregnant, Alexander’s cousin - 'David' - Prince Edward, The Prince of Wales, subsequently King Edward VIII (1894(1936)1972) and later The Duke of Windsor who thought his cousin was pompous and effeminate said - “I hear that Irene Carisbrooke has signs of a baby and that Drino has retired to bed for a month’s rest cure!” Their only child was -
Alexander’s wife - Irene, threw herself into charitable work and many good causes and worked tirelessly on numerous committees and charity fundraising events. Irene was appointed a Dame Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (GBE) in 1938. She became close to King George V (1865(1910-1936) and Queen Mary (1867-1953) and she was often hailed by the King as “an asset to the family”.
Irene, Marchioness of Carisbrooke
with their daughter - Iris
Irene, Marchioness of Carisbrooke with Queen Mary (right)
at the unveiling of the de László portrait of Alexander's mother -
Princess Beatrice, Princess Henry of Battenberg
The insignia of a Dame Grand Cross
of the Order of the British Empire (GBE)
Alexander became the first member of the Royal Family to enter the world of commerce and although he had no practical experience he went into the banking house of Lazard Brothers and subsequently became as a member of the Board of Directors of the British shipping firm of Lamport and Holt. Later be became a Director of Lever Brothers and other major concerns and became Senior Steward of the Greyhound Racing Club. When Alexander became a director in 1936 of a famous Oxford Street drapery store he announced his intention of doing his day's work in the store as well as his director's duties. His duties were then described as being "an adviser to buyers of decorative fabrics." Before that, he had worked for a time with the Metropolitan Housing Corporation which controlled many housing estates for artisans, and eventually took full charge of the social work connected with the estates.
The arms of Alexander, Marquess of Carisbrooke
The 1934 portrait of
Irene, Marchioness of Carisbrooke by Philip de László
In 1927, Alexander was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath - Civil Division (GCB). The Carisbrookes never missed the State Opening of Parliament every year - Alexander particularly enjoyed the pomp and pageantry of the event and of course the opportunity to parade around in his Parliamentary robes. At the start of World War II, Alexander joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves (RAFVR) as a Flight Lieutenant. He subdequently served as a Staff Officer to Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory (1892-1944), the RAF Commander-in-Chief of Fighter Command.
The memorial of Irene, Marchioness of Carisbrooke
in the Battenberg Chapel,
St Mildred's Church, Whippingham, Isle of Wight
ABOVE: The 1937 portrait of Alexander in Parliamentary Robes, wearing the collar of
a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath by Alfred Egerton Cooper
The memorial of Alexander, 1st Marquess of Carisbrooke
in the Battenberg Chapel, St Mildred's Church, Whippingham, Isle of Wight
Alexander’s long-suffering wife - Irene, Marchioness of Carisbrooke died on 16th July 1956 at 20 Marylebone Place, Marylebone, London - just several days after her 66th birthday. Her ashes were interred in her husband's family chapel - the Battenberg Chapel at St Mildred’s Church, Whippingham on the Isle of Wight.
On 23rd February 1960, Alexander died in his apartment at Kensington Palace, London from a cerebral haemorrhage aged 73yrs. His ashes were also interred in the Battenberg Chapel. Alexander, 1st (and last) Marquess of Carisbrooke was the last surviving grandson of Queen Victoria (1819(1837-1901) and upon his death, his titles became extinct.