Prince Arthur William Patrick Albert was born on 1 May 1850 at Buckingham Palace. Having been born on the 81st birthday of the Duke of Wellington he was given the Duke's name of Arthur. He was the 7th child and 3rd son of Queen Victoria. Prince Arthur was a professional soldier, spending 2 years at RMC Woolwich and being commissioned, in 1868, into the RE, no doubt influenced by his childhood tutor Sir Howard Elphinstone VC RE. He next held a brief commission in the RA, then the Rifle Brigade in 1869. He served in Montreal in the 1st Battalion Rifle Brigade, and was at the Battle of Eccles Hill, fighting Fenians. While in Canada he toured North America and met President Ulysses S Grant. He transferred as a captain to the 7th Hussars in 1874. He commanded the Guards Brigade in the Egyptian Campaign of 1882. He also served in India, as Commander-in-Chief of the Bombay Army, in 1886. He had risen to the rank of Field Marshal by 1902 holding such posts as C-in-C Ireland, Third Army Corps, and Inspector-General of the Forces.
Prince Arthur was created a royal peer in 1874, receiving the title of Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, and Earl of Sussex. He renounced, a little later, his succession rights to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. On 13 Mar 1879 he married Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia, and had 3 children, living at Bagshot Park in Surrey. Their son, Prince Arthur was born in 1883 (died in 1938). Their youngest daughter was Princess Patricia who became very popular in Canada and gave her name to the famous Canadian Light Infantry Regiment. For many years The Duke had a liaison with Leonie, Lady Leslie, sister of Jennie Churchill (Winston's mother).
From 1908 to 1909 the Duke held the position of Commander-in-Chief and High Commissioner Mediterranean, based in Malta but he resigned the post stating that the position was an unnecessary expense. In 1911 he was appointed Governor-General of Canada and lived at the viceroyal residence of Rideau Hall in Ottowa. He and his wife carried out many tours and led a busy social life. The Connaughts were still in Canada when World War 1 broke out and remained there to encourage Canadian involvement in the European conflict. The Duke caused an upset when he took it upon himself to visit Canadian troops and salute them as they went off to Europe. Prime Minister Borden was not consulted and stated that The Duke had overstepped his duties. The Connaughts moved back to England in 1916 and the Duchess died in 1917. After the war he was involved with the Boy Scouts and was a Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England. He died at Bagshot Park on 16 Jan 1942, aged 91 and was buried at Frogmore. As well as honorary Coloncies of many foreign regiments he held the following Colonelcies of British and Empire regiments:
1880 Colonel-in-Chief of the Rifle Brigade from 29 May until his death.
Regimental details | Colonels