Just Who Was Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll?

We take a closer look at the life and history of Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, the daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

If asked to name a famous queen, 9 times out of 10, most people’s first response would be Queen Victoria.

Now, Victoria was responsible for many things, including helping to make Chicken Tikka Masala one of the UK’s most popular dishes. Culinary delights aside, however, she, along with her husband Prince Albert, also had a number of children together.

The child we’re looking at today is the fourth daughter and sixth child of Victoria and Albert, Louise, better known as Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll.

Louise was a strong supporter of the arts and a keen advocate for feminine rights.

She also had a reputation for being somewhat cold, callous, and even rebellious, but was this reputation justified?

Here’s a brief look at the life and times of Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll.

Early Life

Born on the 18th of March, 1848 at Buckingham Palace, Louise was the fourth daughter and the sixth child of Victoria and Albert.

Louise was born at the same time as there were revolutions going on all across Europe, which according to historians, resulted in Victoria exclaiming that this would result in Louise becoming ‘something peculiar’.

Victoria actually was given chloroform during labour with Louise, for the very first time.

As a youngster, she was a very talented, artistic, and a bright young child, and was reportedly her father’s favourite due to her charm and her wit.

Just Who Was Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll?
Princess Louise, the Duchess of Argyll in the 1860s

Marriage

Because of her position in the royal family, Louise was certainly not short of offers for marriage.

She was also accused by the media of being promiscuous and having a lot of affairs, though there was no evidence to back up these claims.

Louise reportedly had no interest in marrying a prince and instead stated that she wished to wed the Marquess of Lome, John Campbell, heir to the Dukedom of Argyll.

They were married on the 21st of March 1871 at Windsor Castle.

Just Who Was Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll?
Princess Louise on her wedding day.

Apparently, Louise grew tired of constantly being overseen by attendants, as well as being questioned about the marriage by her mother.

Private Life

As time went by, more rumours surrounding Louise began circulating, as it was alleged that she was having an affair, first with Arthur Brigge, the 1st Baron Stamfordham.

Louise denied these rumours and stated that they were started by Helena and Beatrice, two of her sisters, to undermine her position at court.

When sculptor Joseph Edgar Boehm died at his studio in London, Louise happened to be present, and again, the rumours began circulating.

Just Who Was Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll?

Louise did not take to life as a royal and longed for privacy. Whenever she travelled abroad, she used the alias ‘Mrs Campbell’.

She was a very charitable woman, especially towards her servants.

Death

Louise passed away at Kensington Palace on the 3rd of December 1939. She was 91 years of age.

Just Who Was Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll?
Princess Louise in 1915 as painted by Philip de László.

Due to the fact that WW2 was going on, her funeral was a simple affair.

Louise was best known for her charitable nature and for the fact that she longed to be ‘ordinary’ and valued her privacy.

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