169 year ago on this day, Princess Alexandra Caroline Marie Charlotte Louise Julia, or “Alix”, as her immediate family knew her, was born at the Yellow Palace. right next to the Amalienborg Palace complex in Copenhagen. Although she was of royal blood, her family lived a comparatively normal life. They did not possess great wealth. Alexandra shared a draughty attic bedroom with her favourite sister, Dagmar (later Empress of Russia), made her own clothes and waited at table along with her sisters.

At the age of sixteen, she was chosen as the future wife of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, the heir apparent of Queen Victoria. They married eighteen months later in 1863, the same year her father became king of Denmark as Christian IX and her brother was appointed to the vacant Greek throne as George I. She was Princess of Wales from 1863 to 1901, the longest anyone has ever held that title, and became generally popular; her style of dress and bearing were copied by fashion-conscious women. Alexandra became the queen consort after the death of Queen Victoria in January 1901.

In Russia, her nephew Tsar Nicholas II was overthrown and he, his wife and children were killed by revolutionaries. Her sister the Dowager Empress was rescued from Russia in 1919 and brought to England by ship, where she lived for some time with Alexandra. Alexandra retained a youthful appearance into her senior years, but during the war her age caught up with her. Towards the end of her life, her memory and speech became impaired. She died on 20 November 1925 at Sandringham after suffering a heart attack, and was buried in an elaborate tomb next to her husband in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.


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