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Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany Passes Away

Today in Masonic History Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany passes away in 1884.

Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany was a member of the British royal family.

Prince Leopold was born on April 7th, 1853. He was born in Buckingham Palace, London, England. He was the son of Queen Victoria. Prince Leopold inherited hemophilia from his mother and was a delicate child, he also had a mild case of epilepsy. From a young age Prince Leopold showed himself to be quite intelligent.

In 1872, Prince Leopold began attending Christ Church at Oxford University. There he would become the President of the Chess Club, the game would become a joy for Prince Leopold throughout his life. He would graduate with an honorary Doctorate in Civil Law in 1876.

After graduation Prince Leopold would travel extensively with his sister and brother-in-law who at the time was Governor General of Canada.

Despite his illnesses, Prince Leopold held an honorary position 72nd Regiment, Duke of Albany's Own Highlanders. In 1881 he would hold the first Colonel-in-Chief for the Seaforth Highlanders when the 72nd merged with the 78th regiment.

Prince Leopold felt stifled by his mother and saw marriage as his only way out. He would end up dating several women, the courtships for the most part ended amicably. After several disappointments for the Prince, Queen Victoria arranged a meeting between Prince Leopold and Princess Helene Friederike. The couple were married in 1882. They would have two children. This was rare for a male with hemophilia to live long enough to have offspring.

In 1884, Prince Leopold went to Cannes, France on doctors orders. Hemophilia causes join pain and winters in England were an uncomfortable time for the Prince. While in Cannes, Prince Leopold would slip and fall, hurting his knee and hitting his head. The following day he would pass away from what appeared to be a cerebral hemorrhage.

Prince Leopold was an active mason. He was initiated into Apollo University Lodge while at Oxford. His brother Albert Edward, Prince of Wales was the master of the lodge at the time. From 1876-1877, Prince Leopold was the Master of Apollo University Lodge. He would later be named Provincial Grand Master for Oxfodshire, a position he would hold until his passing.