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Francis, Duke of Teck

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Title: Francis, Duke of Teck  
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Subject: Prince Francis of Teck, Lady May Abel Smith, Mary of Teck, George VI, Lady Mary Whitley
Collection: 1837 Births, 1900 Deaths, British Army Generals, British Army Personnel of the 1882 Anglo-Egyptian War, Burials at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Counts of Hohenstein, Dukes of Teck, House of Württemberg, Knights Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, Knights Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown (Württemberg), Knights Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion, Knights Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Knights of Justice of the Order of St John, People from Osijek, People of the Austro-Prussian War
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Francis, Duke of Teck

Duke of Teck
Duke of Teck by Alexander Bassano.
Born (1837-08-28)28 August 1837
Esseg, Slavonia
Died 21 January 1900(1900-01-21) (aged 62)
White Lodge, Richmond Park
Burial Spouse Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge (m. 1866)
Issue Mary, Queen of the United Kingdom
Adolphus Cambridge, 1st Marquess of Cambridge
Prince Francis of Teck
Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone
Full name
Francis Paul Charles Louis Alexander
German: Franz Paul Karl Ludwig Alexander
House Württemberg
Father Duke Alexander of Württemberg
Mother Countess Claudine Rhédey von Kis-Rhéde
Religion Lutheran[1]

Francis, Duke of Teck present queen's paternal great-grandfather. Francis held the titles of Count of Hohenstein (Graf von Hohenstein) and later Duke of Teck (Herzog von Teck) and was granted the style His Serene Highness in 1863. He was granted the British style of Highness in 1887.


  • Background and early military career 1
  • Marriage and dukedom 2
  • Later military career 3
  • Later life 4
  • Titles, styles, honours and arms 5
    • Titles 5.1
    • Honours 5.2
  • Ancestry 6
  • References 7

Background and early military career

Francis was born Franz Paul Karl Ludwig Alexander on 28 August 1837 in Württemberg. His title at birth was Count Francis von Hohenstein, after his mother was created Countess of Hohenstein in her own right by Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria.

He was educated at the Imperial Austrian Academy of Engineers from 1849 to 1853 and joined the Imperial Austrian Army as a lieutenant in the 1st Lancers in 1854. He transferred to the Guard Squadron in 1858 and later became a Captain (Rittmeister) in the 7th Hussars. He served as Orderly Officer under Count Wimpffen in Italy during the Austro-Sardinian War and was awarded the gold medal for distinguished service at the Battle of Solferino and the bronze war medal, 1859.[1]

In 1863, Francis was created Prince of Teck, with the style His Serene Highness in the Kingdom of Württemberg. He served during the Austro-Prussian War and retired from the Austrian Army when he married and moved to England in 1866.

Marriage and dukedom

Francis, Duke of Teck, and Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck, with Duke Philipp and Duchess Marie Therese of Württemberg in England, around 1866

As the product of a St Anne's Church, Kew, in Surrey.[3] They had one daughter and three sons:[1]

He was created Duke of Teck by the King of Württemberg in 1871.

Later military career

Teck was made Honorary Colonel of the 1st City of London Artillery in 1867[1] and Honorary Colonel of 49th Middlesex Rifle Volunteers (Post Office Rifles) on 16 August 1876,[4] a position he held until his death.

He was attached to the staff of British General Sir Garnet Wolseley during the 1882 Egyptian campaign. He received the silver medal for the Battle of Tel-el-Kebir, the Khedive's Star, and the first class of the Order of Osmanieh.[1] On his return from Egypt he was gazetted a Colonel in the British Army.[5]

The Duke of Teck was made Colonel (Oberst) à la suite of the 25th (1st Württemberg) Dragoons "Queen Olga"[1] on 6 March 1889, and a Generalmajor in the German Army on 18 October 1891.[6] He was made a supernumerary Major-General in the British Army in July 1893[7] and a Generalleutnant in the German Army on 18 April 1895.[6]

Teck-Cambridge Family

Because Francis had no inheritance, the couple lived on Mary Adelaide's Parliamentary allowance of £5,000 per annum (equivalent to ca. £525,000 in 2013[8]), supplemented by income from her mother, The Duchess of Cambridge. Mary Adelaide's requests to her cousin, Queen Victoria, for more funds were met with refusal; however, they were granted a grace-and-favour apartment in Kensington Palace, London and a country house, White Lodge, the former Royal deer-hunting lodge in Richmond Park, Southwest London.

The Duke and Duchess lived beyond their means, leading to the build-up of large debts. In 1883, the Tecks fled the UK to continental Europe, where they stayed with relatives in Florence and Germany. They eventually returned to the UK in 1885.

Later life

With an Prince George, Duke of York, decided to marry her instead.

In 1897, the Duchess of Teck died, leaving Francis a widower. He continued to live at White Lodge, Richmond, but did not carry out any Royal duties, although he continued to receive the late Duchess' Parliamentary annuity.

In Hurlingham Club, the Ranelagh Club and the Jockey Club, as well as the Adels-Casino at Vienna and the Herren-Casino at Stuttgart.[1]

The Duke of Teck died on 21 January 1900 at White Lodge.[12] He was buried next to his wife in the Royal Vault at Earls Court, London, called the Prince of Teck;[13] there has been a pub on the site since at least 1832.[14]

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Arms of Francis, Duke of Teck .[15]


  • 28 August 1837 – 1 December 1863: Count Francis of Hohenstein
  • 1 December 1863 – 16 September 1871: His Serene Highness Prince Francis of Teck
  • 16 September 1871 – 11 July 1887: His Serene Highness The Duke of Teck
  • 11 July 1887 – 21 January 1900: His Highness The Duke of Teck




  1. ^ a b c d e f g ‘TECK’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, 1920–2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007 accessed 4 Jan 2012
  2. ^ Huberty, M., Giraud, A., Magdelaine, F. & B. (1979) L’Allemagne Dynastique, Vol. II (Alain Giraud, Le Perreux, France) p.524 ISBN 2-901138-02-0
  3. ^ Weir, A. (1996) Britain’s Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy, Revised edition (Pimlico, London)
  4. ^ issue 24354, 15 Aug 1876London Gazette
  5. ^ issue 25169, 17 Nov 1882London Gazette
  6. ^ a b Karl Spieß and Hans Ritter, Geschichte des Dragoner-Regiments Königin Olga (1. Württ.) Nr. 25 (Ludwigsburg, 1913), p. 509
  7. ^ issue 26417, 30 Jun 1893London Gazette
  8. ^ "Bank of England Inflation Calculator". Bank of England. Bank of England. Retrieved 2014-11-27. 
  9. ^ Royal Styles and Titles – 1887 Order-in-Council
  10. ^ Balfour to Salisbury, 30 August 1890, quoted in Max Egremont, Balfour: A Life of Arthur James Balfour (Collins, 1980) page 103
  11. ^ The London Gazette: no. 26233. p. 6911. 15 December 1891.
  12. ^ The Times Tuesday, 23 Jan 1900; pg. 7; Issue 36046; col D
  13. ^ "History". Prince of Teck pub website. 
  14. ^ Hermione Hobhouse (General Editor) (1986). "Earl's Court Village and Earl's Court Gardens area". Survey of London: volume 42: Kensington Square to Earl's Court. Institute of Historical Research. 
  15. ^  
  • ^ issue 23134, 26 Jul 1866London Gazette
  • ^ issue 26871, 9 July 1897London Gazette
  • German nobility
    Preceded by
    New Creation
    Duke of Teck
    1st Duke, 3rd creation
    Succeeded by
    Prince Adolphus of Teck
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