v 6.30.00
28 Jan 2022
updated 28 Jan 2022

Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine
(11 Mar 1895 – 16 Nov 1903)

On 6 Oct 1903, her father hosted a large family gathering at Darmstadt for the wedding of his niece, Princess Alice of Battenberg (the future mother of Philip Mountbatten), to Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark. A few weeks later he took his daughter Elisabeth to stay with his younger sister, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, her husband, Tsar Nicholas II, and their family, at the Imperial Family's hunting lodge in Skierniewice.

It’s possibly in those informal surroundings, by now in November, that Kaulbach (who had been commissioned by the Tsar’s younger sister, the Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna) sketched the Imperial Family in preparation for a series of family portraits. But in the midst of relaxed family contentment, Elisabeth suddenly died of typhoid fever. Kaulbach’s memorial image of her is reproduced below. A beautiful girl, deeply loved and mourned by all who knew her.

I’m very grateful to Charlotte Lemmers for bringing these events to my attention.