Princess Patricia of Connaught CI GCStJ CD VA

Princess Patricia was born on 17 March 1886 at Buckingham Palace. Her full name was Victoria Patricia Helena Elizabeth, known as Patsy to her family. She was born on St Patrick's Day which inspired the name Patricia. Her father was Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, the third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Patsy's mother was Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia. She had an elder sister, Margaret who became Queen of Sweden, and a brother, Prince Arthur. She grew up as a member of the royal family and because her father was in the army she was well travelled. Part of her early life was spent in India but in 1911 the Duke was appointed Governor General of Canada. The family lived at Rideau Hall, the official residence, in Ottawa, and Patricia took to life in Canada with enthusiasm. She was sporty and artistic, and made a great impression on people with whom she came in contact. She had a fascination for the country and its people. She came to know Andrew Gault because he had entertained them when they arrived in Canada, and he had been a frequent visitor to Rideau Hall. When war was looming in the summer of 1914 Gault discussed the idea of raising a regiment with Lt-Col Farquhar who was Military Secretary to the Duke of Connaught. It was he who approached the Princess with the request that she lend her name to the new regiment. She readily agreed and the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry was raised. Being an artist she offered to design the cap badge and embroidered the first Colour to be carried by the regiment.

The Princess was a very eligible prospect for a royal marriage, and was expected to become Queen of a European country like her sister Margaret. But she was strong willed and married the man she had fallen in love with years earlier, the Hon Alexander Ramsay, son of the Earl of Dalhousie, who was ADC to the Duke of Connaught. The wedding was conducted in Westminster Abbey on 27 Feb 1919. Because her husband was not royal she had to relinquish her titles of Royal Highness and Princess so that she became Lady Patricia Ramsay. The marriage lasted into the 1970s when they died within two years of each other. They had one child, Alexander Ramsay who fought in World War 2 in the Grenadier Guards and lost a leg.

Although she had relinquished her titles, she remained a member of the royal family, was in the line of succession, took her place in royal processions, retained her coronet and attended functions as before. She died on 12 Jan 1974 at Ribsden Holt in Surrey, and was buried at Frogmore near her husband who had died two years earlier.

Regimental Details | Colonels-in-Chief

Armed Forces | Art and Culture | Articles | Biographies | Colonies | Discussion | Glossary | Home | Library | Links | Map Room | Sources and Media | Science and Technology | Search | Student Zone | Timelines | TV & Film | Wargames

by Stephen Luscombe