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Princess Maud, Countess of Southesk

Princess Maud, Countess of Southesk (3 April 1893-14 December 1945) was the younger daughter of Louise, Princess Royal and Duchess of Fife and Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife. She was a granddaughter of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom and Queen Alexandra. The Countess of Southesk and her elder sister, Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife, had the distinction of being the only female-line granddaughters of a British Sovereign to receive the title of Princess of Great Britain and Ireland and the style Highness, although she ceased to use that title and style after her marriage.

The Lady Maud Alexandra Victoria Georgina Bertha Duff was born at East Sheen Lodge. Her mother, Her Royal Highness Princess Louise, was the third child and eldest daughter of the then Prince and Princess of Wales. Her father, the Duke of Fife, was raised from an earldom to a dukedom by Queen Victoria two days after his marriage to Princess Louise in 1889. In 1900, Queen Victoria granted her father a second dukedom of Fife in the peerage of the United Kingdom with a special remainder providing for the succession of the Duke's daughters and their male descendants to the title, in default of a male heir. On 5 November 1905, King Edward VII declared her mother Princess Royal. He further ordered Garter King of Arms to gazette Lady Alexandra Duff and Lady Maud Duff as Princesses of Great Britain and Ireland with the style and attribute of Highness and precedence immediately after all members of the British Royal Family bearing the style of Royal Highness. From that point, Her Highness Princess Maud, held her title and rank, not from her father (a duke), but rather from the will of the Sovereign (her grandfather).

On 12 November 1923, Princess Maud married Captain Charles Alexander Carnegie, Lord Carnegie, K.C.V.O. (23 September 1893-16 February 1992), the eldest son of Sir Charles Noel Carnegie, 10th Earl of Southesk, and his wife Ethel Bannerman, at the Royal Military Chapel, Wellington Barracks, London. Upon her marriage, she ceased to use the title of Princess and the style Highness and was known as Lady Maud Carnegie until her husband succeeded as the 11th Earl of Southesk on 10 November 1941, when she became Countess of Southesk. Her first cousin, King George V, disapproved of his father's elevation of the Duke of Fife's daughters to the rank of princess. In accordance with his wishes, she simply stopped using her royal title, although no formal declaration, Letters Patent, or Royal Warrant to that effect appeared. Her husband, the 11th Earl of Southesk, was educated at Eton College and received a commission in the Scots Guard. From 1917 to 1917, he served as an aide-de-camp to the viceroy of India. As Lord and Lady Carnegie they operated a model farm at Elsick, in Kincardineshire, Scotland.

The Earl and Countess of Southesk had one child:

The Countess of Southesk died in a London nursing home in December 1945, after a bout of acute bronchitis.

The Countess of Southesk was considered a member of the British Royal Family, although she did not undertake official and public duties. She attended the coronations of her cousin, George V, in June 1911 and her first cousin once-removed, King George VI in June 1937. During George VI's absence in Africa in 1943, the Countess of Southesk served as a Councilor of State. At the time of her death in 1945, she was thirteenth in line to the British throne and next in line to the dukedom of Fife, since Princess Alexandra's only son, Alastair Arthur Windsor, 2nd Duke of Connaught had died in 1943. Princess Maud, Countess of Southesk's only son, Lord Carnegie, succeeded his aunt as 3rd Duke of Fife in 1959. He succeeded to his father's titles in 1992.