Princess Alice of the United Kingdom VA CI was the Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine from 1877 to 1878. She was the third child and second daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Alice was the first of Queen Victoria's nine children to die, and one of three to be outlived by their mother, who died in 1901. Her life had been enwrapped in tragedy since her father's death in 1861.
Alice spent her early childhood in the company of her parents and siblings, travelling between the British royal residences. Her education was devised by Albert's close friend and adviser, Baron Stockmar, and included practical activities such as needlework and woodwork and languages such as French and German. When her father, Prince Albert, became fatally ill in December 1861, Alice nursed him until his death. Following his death, Queen Victoria entered a period of intense mourning and Alice spent the next six months acting as her mother's unofficial secretary. On 1 July 1862, while the court was still at the height of mourning, Alice married the minor German Prince Louis of Hesse, heir to the Grand Duchy of Hesse.