Just Who Was Princess Feodora of Leiningen?

We take a closer look at the life of Princess Feodora of Leiningen, the half-sister of Queen Victoria.

When people are asked to name a famous British king, more often than not, they’ll go with Henry VIII of England. When asked to name a British Queen, it is normally Queen Victoria who first springs to mind.

The individual we’re going to be looking at today is not Queen Victoria herself, but a close relation to her. In fact, she was her maternal half-sister.

Those with a keen interest in the royal family may now have guessed whom we’re looking at, but just to be sure, we are in fact looking at Princess Feodora of Leiningen.

Here’s a brief look at the life and times of this unique princess.

Early Life

Princess Feodora was born in Amorbach, Bavaria, on December the 7th, 1807.

Her mother was Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, and her father was the Prince of Leiningen, Emich Carl.

In 1814, her father passed away and four years later in May of 1818, her mother remarried the Duke of Kent and Strathearn, Prince Edward Augustus, who was the fourth son of King George III.

A year later, when her mother was pregnant, the family moved to Britain so that the new potential heir to the British throne could be born in Britain.

Feodora and her younger half-sister Victoria, yes that Victoria, were very close and would often play together as they were growing up.

Just Who Was Princess Feodora of Leiningen?
Portrait of Princess Feodora painted by Sir William Ross

Despite this, Feodora was still eager to leave Kensington Palace, as she found that she had the most fun whenever she, often accompanied by Victoria, left the grounds and went exploring.

Marriage, Growing Up, and Death

Just Who Was Princess Feodora of Leiningen?
Portrait of Princess Feodora of Leiningen by Franz Xaver Winterhalter | Courtesy of the Royal Collection.

Early in 1828, Feodora married Ernst I, the Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, at Kensington Palace after the marriage was arranged by Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, also known as Queen Adelaide of Great Britain.

Before they married, Feodora had only met Ernst twice. After they wed and honeymooned, she returned home to the German Confederation, where she lived until she passed away in 1872.

Despite living in a castle, it was reportedly in poor condition and uncomfortable, especially during the colder winter months.

Feodora remained in regular contact with Victoria, even when she became queen and was granted a personal allowance of £300 whenever she visited Britain. If that doesn’t sound like much now, just bear in mind that back then, £300 was the equivalent of close to £27,000 in today’s money.

In 1838, during Victoria’s Royal Coronation, Feodora was a member of the royal party.

Feodora and Ernst had six children together.

Just Who Was Princess Feodora of Leiningen?
The tomb of Princess Feodora of Leiningen.

She passed away in Baden-Baden, Germany, on the 23rd of September 1872. She was 64 years of age.