Saturday, February 9, 2019

Stars in Her Crown #6: Louise, Marquise of Lorne

Stars in Her Crown #6: Louise, Marquise of 
Lorne by Denniele Bohannon

Princess Louisa Caroline Alberta (1848-1939) was named for Prince Albert's mother who'd died when he was a child. She's the new baby in season 3 of the PBS series Victoria.

Louise's greeting drawn in her teens in 1863

When Louise was 19 years old the Queen described her to eldest daughter Vicky, writing she "had a wonderful talent for art...She is in some things very clever....but she is very odd, dreadfully contradictory, very indiscreet and from that, making mischief very frequently."

Louise is remembered as the most rebellious of the royal nine and she seems to have been the most successful at thwarting her mother's plans. Louise was permitted to attend the Kensington National Art Training School in 1863. Talented in watercolor painting like her mother and sisters she wanted to be a sculptor (a field that remains unconventional for women.) Her chosen field was stone cutting.

Louise completed this monument to the Queen on the grounds of 
Kensington Palace in 1893. 

Louise's portrait of younger brother Leopold, 1869

Spinning flax

Like her Great-Aunt Sophia the unmarried Louise was rumored to have given birth to a secret child, son of her brother's tutor.

Photograph celebrating Louise's marriage to John Campbell  (1845-1915)

Royal princesses were not supposed to marry their mother's subjects, even aristocrats due to be dukes, but Louise flouted tradition by marrying the very wealthy Scot John Campbell, Marquess of Lorne, in 1871 when she was in her early twenties. They shared an interest in the arts that united them all their lives. Some sources refer to one child, an unnamed son who died on the day he was born in 1872.

The Royal Family in 1887 by Lauritz Tuxen

The childless Lornes were the only royal offspring who did not contribute to the squeeze at family reunions. Before Victoria died she counted 70 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

John was appointed Governor General of Canada from 1878 to 1883. Louise and he were popular figures in America, founding the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and the National Gallery. Lake Louise is named for her as is the province of Alberta. She christened the city of Regina (Latin for Queen) after her mother.

Staffordshire Figures of the Lornes

Their marriage was unconventional if at times contentious. She returned alone to England after three years in Canada. The Marquess is thought to have been gay; she had affairs, notably with sculptor Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm (1834-1890) who is supposed to have died in her arms.

Louise and Boehm

In 1900 Lorne became 9th Duke of Argyll, inheriting his family's properties in Scotland. Their last home was Rosneath Castle where he was raised. He died in 1914 and she was brokenhearted after 43 years of marriage. "My loneliness without the duke is quite terrible."

Rosneath by Louise, Royal Collection Trust

Embroidered album cover

Many of her sketches, drawings, watercolors are in albums at the Royal Collection Trust site
but apparently few of her papers are available, leading to much speculation about their contents.

The Dowager Duchess of Argyll lived until the eve of World War II, dying in 1939. She spent her later life in charitable works and doing needlework, it is said.

Louise's footstool in the Royal Collection Trust

The Block

#6 Louise by Mark Lauer

The larger pattern is for a 12" Block; the smaller for an 8" Block.

To Print:
Create a word file or an empty JPG file.
Click on the image above.
Right click on it and save it to your file.
Print that file 8-1/2" x 11". Check to be sure the inch square box measures 1".
You'll need 4 copies if you are going to piece it over paper foundations.

The block is constructed in triangles—-Triangles are flipped and pieced into squares, four to a block. Each pattern includes paper foundations for 8” & 12” blocks, which you can also use for template piecing. Add a 1/4” seam allowance when you cut the fabric using the templates.
In Block #6 the triangles are identical except four are flipped over.
And those four have a different color for Points A & B, to give a shaded effect to the star points.
Becky shaded hers quite differently. 

#6 Louise by Becky Brown
She added an extra pinwheel in the center.

Textile of the Week

The Powerhouse Museum in Sidney owns a piece of small-scale stripe
celebrating Queen Victoria's 1897 Diamond Jubilee: Shamrocks,
roses and thistles for Ireland, England and Scotland.

Louise offers us a good deal of gossip about royal indiscretions:

Read a Book (or three) a Week
Lucinda Hawksley, The Mystery of Princess Louise 

Jehanne Wake, Princess Louise: Queen Victoria's Unconventional Daughter 

Robert M. Stamp, Royal Rebels: Princess Louise and the Marquis of Lorne 


  1. Such scandal! These stories are as fascinating as the blocks are lovely. Thank you!

  2. Loved reading about Louise's controversial lifestyle! Her mauve dress in the 'spinning flax' photo is just the colorway I'm aiming for with my blocks :)

  3. I'm really enjoying this series! Some day I hope to make the quilt too.

  4. I hightly recommend "Princess Louise: Queen Victoria's Unconventional Daughter" by Jehanne Wake over other books about her. Below I have reviewed it: https://thesavvvyshopper.blogspot.com/2018/09/princess-louise-duchess-of-argyll.html.

    Great post! I'm be sure to catch the series.