Major-General Alexander Augustus Frederick William Alfred George Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone (born Prince Alexander of Teck; 14 April 1874 – 16 January 1957), was a British military commander and major-general who served as Governor-General of the Union of South Africa, the country's fourth, and as Governor General of Canada, the 16th since Canadian Confederation.
Prince Alexander was born in London, United Kingdom, to the Duke and Duchess of Teck, and was educated at Eton College before moving on to the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, for training as an officer. In 1904, he married Princess Alice and rose in the military ranks through his service in African campaigns and the First World War, receiving numerous honours and decorations, including elevation to the peerage as Earl of Athlone, after he had relinquished his German title of Prince of Teck in the Kingdom of Württemberg. In 1927 he was appointed as South Africa's governor-general by King George V, on the recommendation of Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, to replace Prince Arthur of Connaught, and he occupied the viceregal post until succeeded by the 6th Earl of Clarendon in 1930. Athlone then served as Chancellor of the University of London until in 1940 he was appointed as Canada's governor general by King George VI, on the recommendation of Prime Minister of Canada William Lyon Mackenzie King, to replace the Lord Tweedsmuir, and he occupied the post until succeeded by Viscount Alexander of Tunis in 1946. Athlone proved to be instrumental in the Canadian war effort and as a host to British and American statesmen during the Second World War.
After returning to the United Kingdom, Athlone sat on the organising committee for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. He died at Kensington Palace in 1957 and was interred in the Royal Burial Ground, Frogmore.
==Early life, education, and military career==
Prince Alexander of Teck was born at Kensington Palace on 14 April 1874, the fourth child and third son of Prince Francis, Duke of Teck, and Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck. Although his mother was a granddaughter of King George III and cousin to Queen Victoria, Athlone, as the son of a prince of Teck, in Württemberg, was styled from birth as ''His Serene Highness'' and held the title ''Prince Alexander of Teck''.〔 He was known, however, to his family and friends as ''Alge'', derived from the first two letters of ''Alexander'' and ''George'', and was characterised as a meticulous individual with a quick, but short-lived, temper and an ability to be cautious and tactful.〔
When Prince Alexander was nine years old, his parents for two years fled the United Kingdom for continental Europe to escape their high debts; but the prince remained at Eton College before moving on to the Royal Military College, Sandhurst.〔 In 1894, having completed his officer's training, Prince Alexander was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the 7th Queen's Own Hussars,〔 and shortly after served in the Second Matabele War. The prince was mentioned in despatches during the conflict, and after its cessation was appointed on 8 December 1898 by Queen Victoria as a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order. Later, for his actions in the Second Boer War, Prince Alexander was in April 1901 awarded by King Edward VII the membership in the Distinguished Service Order.
The announcement came on 16 November 1903 that Prince Alexander had become engaged to his second cousin once removed, Princess Alice of Albany, the daughter of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, and thus a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and niece of the then soon-to-be governor general of Canada, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn. The two were wed at St. George's Chapel, in Windsor Castle, on 10 February 1904,〔〔 and six days following, in celebration of the wedding, the Prince was elevated to the grade of a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order. The couple thereafter had three children: Princess May of Teck, born 1906; Prince Rupert of Teck, born 1907; and Prince Maurice Francis George of Teck. Maurice, however, lived only for less than six months, between 29 March and 14 September 1910.
In the same year Prince Alexander was selected as the chairman of Middlesex Hospital.〔
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