Albany Close, SW14

Place Name

Albany was a popular road name from the late Victorian period. It was in memory of Leopold George Duncan Albert (April 7, 1853 – March 28, 1884), the Duke of Albany (derived from the Gaelic name for Scotland), who was the eighth child and youngest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. He was later created Duke of Albany, Earl of Clarence, and Baron Arklow. Intellectually gifted his life was stifled because of his haemophilia, which led to his death at the age of 30. As his mother’s favourite child she did all she could to protect him, unable to join the military he instead served as her secretary. For his part he did all he could to escape from her well-meaning but smothering clutches. He was a devoted Freemason and a patron of the arts. Hoping marriage might be a way out, he scoured the UK and Europe for a suitable bride but because of his condition he struggled to find a suitable partner until he met Princess Helen Frederica, the daughter of George Victor, reigning Prince of Waldeck-Pyrmont. The couple wed at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on April 27, 1882. They enjoyed a happy, albeit brief marriage. In 1883, Leopold became a father when Helen gave birth to a daughter, Alice. However, he did not live to see the birth of his son, Charles Edward, because he died, apparently from a cerebral haemorrhage, after falling and hitting his head at his Cannes residence. His son inherited his titles but in 1919 he was stripped of his British peerages, his title of Prince and Royal Highness, and his British honours for having fought in the German Army (having reached the rank of General) during the First World War; he was labelled a “traitor peer”. He later joined the Nazi Party as well as the Sturmabteilung (Brownshirts), where he reached the position of Obergruppenführer. After surviving the Second World War he was heavily fined by the denazification courts and had his lands taken by the Soviet army. He died of lung cancer.





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