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Princess Alice of Battenberg
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Royalty
    (February 25, 1885-December 5, 1969)
    Born in Berkshire, England, United Kingdom
    Birth name was Victoria Alice Elizabeth Julia Marie
    Great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria
    Older sister of Lord Louis Mountbatten
    Married to Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark (1903-44)
    Mother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
    Founded a Greek Orthodox order of nursing nuns, the Christian Sisterhood of Martha and Mary (1949)
    She had a nervous breakdown, during which she claimed to have healing powers and to be receiving divine messages.
    She was diagnosed as schizophrenic and spent two years in a sanitarium (1930-32).
    She and her husband went years without seeing each other.
    During World War II, she was in the awkward position of having a son in the Royal Navy and a couple of sons-in-law fighting for Nazi Germany.
    After she founded her nursing order, her mother commented, 'What can you say of a nun who smokes and plays canasta?'
    She suffered congenital deafness.
    During the Balkan Wars, she served as a nurse and set up field hospitals.
    Her daughter, Princess Cecile, and two of her grandchildren were killed in a plane crash (1937).
    During World War II, she stayed in Athens while most of the Greek royal family went into exile.
    She worked for the Red Cross, organized soup kitchens and two shelters for orphans, and brought in medical supplies from Sweden following visits to her sister, Crown Princess Louise.
    When a German general asked if there was anything he could do for her, she replied, 'You can take your troops out of my country.'
    She hid a Jewish family in her house.
    During the ceremony in Jerusalem honoring her as one of the Righteous Among the Nations (1994), Prince Philip said, 'I suspect that it never occurred to her that her action was in any way special... She would have considered it to be a perfectly natural human reaction to fellow beings in distress.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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