Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany writes to Alice Hargreaves [nee Liddell, Lewis Carroll’s model for ‘Alice’] accepting her invitation to be godfather to her child. The letter dated March 11 ’83.
Dear Alice, Many thanks for your very kind letter of good wishes on the birth of our little girl [Alice, born just two weeks previously]. The event is, as you can imagine a source of great pleasure to us. It is very good of you asking me to be godfather to your boy. I shall have great pleasure in being so. Please let me know what his names are to be, & the date of his christening though I fear it would be impossible for me to be present. Our child will probably be christened on easter Monday. We mean to call her Alice, after my dear sister, who died. With kind regards to Regy [Reginald Hargreaves, Alice’s husband] The prince signs himself ‘Leopold’
Short closed splits along a couple of the envelope folds, VG.
Included is a single sheet written both sides, also from Leopold, a ‘PS’ which must, I think be from another, earlier letter to Henry Liddell, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford enquiring ‘Would any of your children care to witness my wedding in the nave of St. George’s? It would give me much pleasure to see them there – particularly Alice & Ina [Lorina, Alice’s sister] in recollection of the dear old days…..of course ordinary morning dress would be worn. L.
The items amply demonstrate the strong bond of affection between Leopold and the Liddell family.
Leopold [1853-1884] was the eighth child, and youngest son of Queen Victoria. A haemophiliac, the traditional military roles of royal sons was denied to him, and he became a noted patron of the arts. Alice Liddell, daughter of the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford was the model for Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and there were rumours he considered marriage to her. He died at the age of 30 only a year after writing this letter after a fall at his residence in Cannes where he was spending the winter.