Military Wiki
Prince Arthur
Prince Arthur in the robes of the Order of the Garter
Prince Arthur of Connaught and Strathearn
Personal details
Born (1883-01-13)13 January 1883
Windsor Castle, Berkshire
Died 12 September 1938(1938-09-12) (aged 55)
Spouse(s) Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife
Occupation Governor-General of South Africa; Military
His Royal Highness
Prince Arthur of Connaught and Strathearn
3rd Governor-General of South Africa

In office
1920 – 20 January 1924
Monarch George V
Preceded by The Viscount Buxton
Succeeded by The Earl of Athlone
Military service
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1901-1922
Rank Colonel
Unit Royal Scots Greys

Prince Arthur of Connaught and Strathearn (Arthur Frederick Patrick Albert; 13 January 1883 – 12 September 1938) was a grandson of Queen Victoria. Prince Arthur held the title of a British prince with the style His Royal Highness. He also served as Governor-General of the Union of South Africa from 20 November 1920 to 21 January 1924.

Early life

Prince Arthur was born on 13 January 1883 at Windsor Castle. His father was Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. His mother was Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia. The Prince was baptised in the Private Chapel of Windsor Castle on 16 February 1883 and his godparents were: Queen Victoria (his paternal grandmother); the German Empress (his great-great-aunt, for whom his paternal aunt Princess Beatrice stood proxy); Prince Friedrich Leopold of Prussia (his maternal uncle, who was represented by the German Ambassador Count Münster) and Princess Henry of the Netherlands (his maternal aunt, who was represented by Countess Münster); the Duke of Cambridge (the Queen's cousin); and the Duke of Edinburgh (his paternal uncle, whose brother the Prince of Wales represented him).[1]

Prince Arthur was the first royal prince to be educated at Eton College.



Arthur Connaught

After attending finishing school[citation needed], Prince Arthur was educated at the Royal Military College Sandhurst and commissioned into the 7th (Queen's Own) Hussars. During the Second Boer War, he saw active duty with the 7th Hussars and spent several months stationed at Krugersdorp. In 1907, he was promoted to the rank of captain in the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys). He became the honorary Colonel-in-Chief of this regiment in 1920.

During World War I, Prince Arthur served as aide-de-camp to Generals Sir John French and Sir Douglas Haig, the successive commanders of the British Expeditionary Force in France and Belgium. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1919 and became a colonel in the reserves in 1922. In October 1922, Prince Arthur was promoted to the honorary rank of major general and became an aide-de-camp to his first cousin, King George V.

Since George V's children were too young to undertake public duties until after World War I, Prince Arthur attended a variety of ceremonial duties at home and abroad.


On 15 October 1913, Prince Arthur married Princess Alexandra, 2nd Duchess of Fife (17 May 1891 – 26 February 1959) at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace, London.[2] Princess Alexandra was the eldest daughter of Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife and Princess Louise, the Princess Royal, the eldest daughter of King Edward VII. As such, the couple were first cousins once removed. Princess Alexandra held the title of Duchess of Fife in her own right. After their marriage, Arthur and Alexandra were styled Their Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess Arthur of Connaught.

Together they had one child:

  • Prince Alastair of Connaught (9 August 1914 – 26 April 1943). Alastair was styled from 1917 by the courtesy title of Earl of Macduff until he succeeded at his grandfather's death as 2nd Duke of Connaught.

Later life

After the accession of his cousin, King George V, Prince Arthur and his aging father were the most senior male members of the Royal Family over the age of 18 to reside in the United Kingdom. As such, he undertook a wide variety of royal duties on behalf of the King, and acted as a Counsellor of State during periods of the King's absence abroad.

In 1906, by order of the King, he vested the Meiji Emperor of Japan with the Order of the Garter, as a consequence of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. In 1918, he was a guest aboard the Japanese battlecruiser Kirishima when she voyaged from Japan to Canada.[3] In 1920, Prince Arthur succeeded Viscount Buxton as governor-general and commander-in-chief in South Africa. The Earl of Athlone succeeded him in these posts in 1924. Upon returning to Britain, Prince Arthur became involved in a number of charitable organizations, including serving as chairman of the board of directors of Middlesex Hospital. Like his father, the Duke of Connaught, he was active in the Freemasons, becoming Provincial Grand Master for Berkshire in 1924.

Prince Arthur of Connaught died of stomach cancer at age 55. He is buried in the Royal Burial Ground, Frogmore. One of his last public appearances was at the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in May 1937. His father, the Duke of Connaught, survived him by four years. Prince Arthur's only son, who used the courtesy title Earl of MacDuff after 1917, succeeded his paternal grandfather as 2nd Duke of Connaught and Strathearn and Earl of Sussex in 1942.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 13 January 1883 – 12 September 1938: His Royal Highness Prince Arthur of Connaught


Military record

  • 2Lt: 2nd Lieutenant, 7th (Queen's Own) Hussars (8 May 1901)
  • Lt: Lieutenant, 7th (Queen's Own) Hussars (14 January 1903)
  • Capt: Captain, 2nd Dragoons (The Royal Scots Greys) (27 April 1907)
  • Bvt Maj: Brevet Major, 2nd Dragoons (The Royal Scots Greys) (14 October 1913)
  • Maj: Major, 2nd Dragoons (The Royal Scots Greys) (19 August 1915)
  • Bvt LtCol: Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel, 2nd Dragoons (The Royal Scots Greys) (3 June 1919)
  • Retired from active service (1 March 1922)

Prince Arthur's coat of arms

Honorary military appointments


As a male-line grandchild of a British Sovereign, Prince Arthur was awarded, for his twenty-first birthday, the use of the royal arms, with an inescutcheon of the shield of Saxony, and differenced by a label argent, of five points, the outer pair and central point bearing crosses gules, and the inner pair fleur-de-lys azure. In 1917, the inescutcheon was dropped by royal warrant from George V.[12]



External links

Prince Arthur of Connaught
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Cadet branch of the House of Wettin
Born: 13 January 1883 Died: 12 September 1938
Government offices
Preceded by
The Viscount Buxton
Governor-General of South Africa
Succeeded by
The Earl of Athlone
German royalty
Preceded by
The Duke of Albany
Heir to Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
as heir presumptive

30 July 1900 – 2 August 1906
Succeeded by
Hereditary Prince Johann Leopold

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