Princess Alice of Battenberg

Princess Alice of Battenberg, later known as Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark, was the granddaughter of Queen Victoria and married into the royal family of Greece. She was born on 25th February, 1855 at Windsor Castle in Berkshire. On 7th October 1903 she married Prince Andrew (Andreas) of Greece and Denmark. In 1922 Turkey defeated Greece. Prince Andrew and his forced to stay on the island of Corfu. Soon there was an intervention by the British government. This allowed the Prince and Princess Andrew and their family to go to exile.

They settled down in the outskirts of Paris where the Princess opened a charity shop for Greek refugees. Princess Andrew became extremely religious and entered the Greek Orthodox Church in 1928. In 1930, she had severe nervous breakdowns and was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Having spent most of next decade in mental institutions she gradually drifted from her husband.

In 1938 she returned to Athens to work with the poor and suffering and sent her daughters to live with their German relatives and her son to stay with his uncles Lord Louis Mountbatten and George Mountbatten. During World War II, the Greek Royal family was exiled in South Africa. Princess Andrew was left with in difficult situation of having four daughters married to German princes and a son in the Royal Navy. Despite the times she and her sister-in-law decided to live in Athens during the war. Princess Andrew worked for Swedish and Swiss Red Cross organizations and assisted in organizing soup kitchens.

After the fall of Mussolini in September 1943, the German Army occupied Athens were most of the Greek Jews had sought refuge. During this time, Princess Andrew hid Rachel Cohen and five of her children, who were running away from the Gestapo and deportation to death camps. In January 1949, she founded an order of Greek Orthodox nuns called the Christian Sisterhood of Martha and Mary.

She died in December 1969 at the Buckingham Palace. On October 31st, 1994 there was a ceremony at Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Memorial) in Jerusalem honoring her for having hidden the Cohen family at her flat in Athens during WWII. The event was attended by her two surviving children, the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince George of Hanover.

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